Monday, October 6, 2014

PLEASE, PRETTY LIGHTS by Ina Zajac | Review

by Ina Zajac

Adult Literary Fiction
Published by BookTrope
Released July 2014

It’s September when good girl Via Sorenson stumbles into a Seattle strip club, drunk and alone on her twenty-first birthday. Matt and Nick—best friends, bandmates, and bouncers—do their best to shield her from their sadistic cocaine-trafficking boss, Carlos. They don’t realize her daddy issues come with a forty-million-dollar trust fund and a legacy she would do anything to escape.

She is actually Violetta Rabbotino, who had been all over the news ten years earlier when her father, an acclaimed abstract artist, came home in a rage, murdered her mother, then turned the gun on himself. Young Violetta was spared, hidden behind the family Christmas tree, veiled by the mysticism of its pretty lights whose unadulterated love captivated and calmed her.

Now, desperate to shed her role as orphaned victim, Via stage dives into a one-hundred-day adventure with Matt and Nick, the bassist and drummer of popular nineties cover band Obliviot. The rock-and-roll lifestyle is the perfect distraction—until she is rattled by true love. As Christmas looms closer, her notorious past becomes undeniable. How will she ever untangle herself from her twisted string of pretty lights?

First of all, I want to preface this review by saying this is a well written, highly emotional and gripping book. We are given an intimate view of a young woman who has grown up under the stigma that her father lost his mind and killed her mother and himself in a rage of jealousy. The impact on our character's psyche was so intense, she is still grappling with the guilt and remorse from that fated day. She was a witness in hiding to this violence. Nothing she has done since then has allowed her to bury her past and build a strong future.

Now I can say that for the first half of this book, I was a reluctant reader. Why reluctant? Because the pain of reading what her young life has become is so visceral I wanted to shut the book and find some happily ever after story to lift my spirit. This is as honest as I can be. Something happened to me while continuing to read this story. I could not put it down and forget about it. The rawness of the writing kept calling me back to read this story to its logical conclusion. I am glad I listened and finished the book.

This is a story of survival and awakening your mind and spirit to realization. The moment when you finally understand what you want your future to be, you realize you want to live, and you are ready to sacrifice to achieve this goal. We have drugs, sex, rape, and death to contend with. In all, this plotline was additive (no pun intended). Somehow, I just needed to know how all the characters were going to extrude themselves from this mire and find their purpose.

About the Author

Ina Zajac is an award-winning journalist, avid people watcher, and lover of quirk and contrast. Her writing is heavily influenced by her fascination with music, art, and her hometown of Seattle. 

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