Monday, October 21, 2013

Out of Control

Spiralling Out of Control by Michelle Dennis Evans
Temptation, depression, seduction, betrayal ... Not what Stephanie was expecting at fifteen years of age. Uprooted from her happy, all-girl high school life with a dream filled future and thrown into an unfriendly co-ed school, Stephanie spirals into depression.

When charismatic high school senior, Jason notices her, Stephanie jumps in feet first and willingly puts all her faith and trust in him, a boy she barely knows. Every choice she makes and turn she takes leads her towards a dangerous path. Her best friend is never far away and ready to catch her … but will she push Tabbie too far away when she needs her most?

This novel contains adult themes.
Recommended reading audiences 15+

About Michelle
Michelle writes to inspire, take people on a journey and escape their world. She believes you can find healing or hope when you read about someone else’s story – fiction or truth. Michelle is married to an awesome man. She spends most of her days educating, socialising and sporting their four children and her nights writing. Her life is full and at times overflowing but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
http://michelledennisevans.com


Spiralling Out of Control via Amazon


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My review
Set in Australia, this is a story about a fifteen year old girl named Stephanie who spirals out of control and goes from popular student with so much potential, to a drop out involved with sex and drugs. After moving away from all her friends in Sydney, Steph finds herself bullied at the new school, neglected by her parents, and in desperate need to find a connection with someone, anyone.

I love the occasional use of verse scattered throughout the novel. The poetry sometimes portrayed more raw emotion in its simplicity than the main body of the novel. I got the impression this was because, since the story is written through Steph's point of view, she was more able to express herself through the freedom of verse than she could with her family and friends.

Because I became so deeply invested in the character of Stephanie, the story became increasingly difficult to read as I watched her fall further into her downward spiral. I kept wondering what would make Steph wake up and take control. At each terrible event, I'd think, 'this is it', but she kept making catastrophic decisions and all the adults around her turned a blind eye, or made things worse.

It's a heart wrenching story of how easy it is to fall so far. It's an unsettling read, but one that will stay with me for a long while.
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My thoughts and prayers go to all the people affected by the bushfires of New South Wales in the last couple of days. I live in the south of Sydney and took this photo last Thursday from my front balcony, showing the smoke from the fires. Over two hundred homes have been lost. As I type this, there are still fires burning out of control.


80 comments:

  1. Great review. The book does sound disturbing and would tax a reader by the sounds of it.

    Have been glued to the tv watching the bushfire reports. Must be horrendous down there. Wow,so close to home for you! So sad with the loss of houses. Hopefully, no one else will lose their life.

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    1. I'm glad the National Park I live near hasn't been touched by fires so far. They did close it though as precaution.

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  2. Thank you so much for reviewing my book on your blog today. xx

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  3. Sounds like a cute book. Beautiful cover too.

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  4. Those bushfires... awful! :-( I have family in NSW - they're all ok but still how scary!

    Yay for Michelle - poor Stephanie!!

    Take care
    x

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    1. yes... Stephanie does go through quite a bit!

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  5. Not my type of read, but I wish Michelle all the best with it.
    Prayers for those affected by the fires.

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    1. Thanks Alex .. and thank you for your prayers - our fire-fighters are working hard!

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  6. Sounds like a good book, but hard to read. So hope that they get those fires under control.

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    1. Thanks Natalie - yes it's a great book if I do say so myself :P

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  7. Shared! When I pray this morning, I'll put South Wales into it.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  8. At that age, it's easy to fall into a spiral of self-destruction. After being a foster parent, I understand the mentality that goes with that behavior.

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    1. I hate that too many of our youth do spiral into self destruction - so hard to see it happen

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  9. Ooh, occasional verse sounds really unique. I love that! Stories like these are such great value to the YA age group. Helps them believe that someone else might actually understand how they feel. It's so easy to fall into the clutches of self-destruction without even seeing it.

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    1. I'm a poet... just had to slip a couple it :D I hope both teens and parents get some insights from this book.

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  10. sad to hear about the fires in your country, Lyndy!

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    1. Yes, house is smokey but safe. :)

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    2. keep us posted, dear, we need to know you're safe. I've just seen at the news that they've connected two fires there so that they could control them better.

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    3. Currently firefighters are battling 60 fires, 18 of which are uncontained. It's a mighty hot day today and the winds are really bad. While there are still people and property in danger, I'm ok where I am. Thanks, Dezzy.

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  11. All those fires, horrible indeed. Hope it gets under control soon

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  12. Hi, Lynda,
    Spiralling does sound like an intense read.

    I heard about the fires on the news and the homes lost. My prayers are with those families. Hope the fire-fighters gain the upper hand soon.

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    1. Thanks so much, Joy. I didn't realise the news had travelled so far.

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  13. A book that can keep you thinking about it when your done is great praise.

    My prayers go to those in New South Wales as well. It's looks pretty close to you, I hope you are ok.

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    1. Yep, currently all good, just a little smokey. Thanks for the prayers.

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  14. Sounds like a tough and meaningful read--thanks for the review! And sending good thoughts to those in the fires--scary!

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  15. Your wildfires have made the news here, too. Stay safe.

    Great review of Michelle's novel.

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  16. Wonderful review of Michelle's novel - it makes me ache to think of reading it, but then I know good books like that are worth the heartache if they take you through it meaningfully.

    I'll be praying for those affected by the wildfires. Stay safe.

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  17. The book sounds like it deals with issues of great relevance to young people. When a book sticks in your craw I think it's a sign of a good story that has been well told.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I hope readers agree with your thoughts Arlee :D

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  19. Great to see Michelle's book here; I too really enjoyed the verse parts, and wondered what it would take to wake the MC from her downhill slide. Ugh, so sorry to hear of the bush fires; great photo, however.

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  20. This sounds like a deep and moving novel. Thanks for sharing it!

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  21. Good luck, Michelle, and definitely good luck to those involved in the terrible fires.

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  22. A very good intro and review of Michelle's book.

    And I am just stunned by the impact on the atmosphere of those bush fires. What a photo, Lyn!

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    1. Thankfully there's a gentle breeze in Sydney today, blowing away the smoke at last! Although the forecasts are bad for tomorrow, so the fears of more fires continue.

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  23. The book sounds sad. I can't take people who continually make wrong decisions and ruin their lives. I gave up a college path toward being a clinical psychologist for this reason - you can't help those who won't help themselves. :(

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  24. It is sad when teens lose their way but such stories must be told in hopes of helping others. Both the cover and story are attention grabbing Michelle. My condolences to all those affected by the fires.

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    1. I'm glad the cover and review grabbed your attention Sheena-kay. I hope you have the chance to read the book xx

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  25. It is curious how connected we can get to a character in a book and actually dread reading about any harm that comes to them. Sounds like good writing to me. :)

    And I was wondering if those fires were anywhere near you. That was how our summer went last year in Colorado. We lost hundreds of homes to fires. This year it was flash-flooding. Enough! Fingers crossed they get those fires put out soon.

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    1. It's also hard for the author to keep the character in the darkness and not rescue them (with an unrealistic plot)

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    2. I'm currently safely away from the fires. It's just the smoke from them causing health problems in a lot of Sydney-siders.

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  26. Congrats to Michelle and best of luck with the book. I agree with LG that it sounds like good writing when readers get this invested in a character.

    Very sorry about the fires, what a terrible situation.

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  27. We've been having news of the fire, so terrifying.

    Congrats to Michelle. The story sounds great.

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    1. Thank you Kelly, I hope you find a moment to read my novel.

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  28. Fantastic review! Congratulations to Michelle. :)

    My condolences to everyone affected by the fires.

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  29. Congrats to Michelle! And what a great review!

    So sorry to hear about the fires! I hope they get them out soon.

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    1. Thanks Cherie. We need rain! We need the wind to stop! Fire is so devastating - I live miles away but the whole of Australia aches when something like this happens

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  30. Congrats Michelle! It sounds like a very compelling read.

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  31. Congrats and best of luck to Michelle!

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  32. Congrats Michelle... your book sounds wonderful:)

    The fires are so scary... I live south of Sydney and we're getting so much smoke over our place.

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    1. Thanks T.F. I'm on the Gold Coast... we have grass crunching under our feet - our country needs rain! But not the flooding variety ... please!

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    2. yeah there's so much extreme here.

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  33. Beautiful cover. Sounds like an emotionally intense read!

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    1. Thank you Rachel, I am so happy with the cover.

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  34. Intriguing story. Although I don't typically read this genre of book, the tragedy of the storyline sounds universal.

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    1. Universal is a good way to define it - thanks Mark

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  35. I love stories like that- the ones that grip on and don't let go.

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    1. Awesome Melanie - I hope you find the time to read it :D

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  36. Sounds like a tear-jerker. What I want to know is with so many fabulous writers and terrific storylines, why is TV so terrible?

    Great review, Lynda. This one sounds wonderful.

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    1. That is a good question Joylene. :\ I do hope you read it. xx

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  37. I saw this book on another blog earlier on. Sounds intriguing. Congrats to Michelle...
    Hope you're safe Lynda! Take care.

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  38. Temptation, depression, seduction, betrayal - sounds like teenage years to me. :)

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