Monday, December 28, 2015

Book: You're Not Broken by Gemma Hart

You're Not BrokenYou're Not Broken by Gemma Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a digital ARC of You're Not Broken via Hidden Gems for the purposes of providing an objective review.

Friends to lovers or second chance romances are my romance trope catnip, and You're Not Broken was a bit of both, with more emphasis on second chances than on friends to lovers.

Kat and Jason meet one night in her uncle's diner, she senses his loneliness, and spends a little time with him after her shift is over. It's the first and last time she sees him, for over two years - he's deployed overseas. They write at first, then his letters stop, and Kat grieves for a while, then decides she needs to just get over him and move on. She's got too much crap to do to waste any more time on this guy.

Her family life is rife with tragedy throughout the book; she's a big sister holding the family together almost by sheer will, and her stubbornness comes in handy while Jason's gone.

No word from Jason for over two years and she runs into him again in a most unexpected place. She's cold and dismissive with him, not without reason. Jason's pretty determined to make some sort of amends, though, and he keeps showing up.

So far, despite the poor editing and numerous grammatical errors, I'm enjoying the story. Hart has me hooked, even if I am reading with a mental red pen in hand. Oy vey.

Then, the sex happens. It's a romance, so sex is gonna happen. I like a good raunchy sex scene. Well, frankly, I LOVE a good raunchy sex scene. But the section with the sex in it is decidedly different from the rest of the book, almost as if two different people wrote the disparate segments. It's also out of character for both the heroine and hero - in this case, the language changed, with the descriptions getting coarser and the characters going from zero to sixty in one weird scene.

When I read the first bit of it, my first thought was, "In the diner? With all the frakking windows? No way would she do it there. No way would he subject her to the potential humiliation of being seen. And what happened to all his objections? They're just magically swept away?" I still have a really hard time believing these two did the deed in full view of anyone who might have been outside. On top of the difference in writing, that took me out of the story entirely. Their first time deserved a little more thought put into it.

My favorite line was one which truly resonated with me: "If anything, I feel more useless and inept the older I get. I think it's because I keep comparing myself to who I thought I would be by now." For much of my adult life, this was a core part of my consciousness - comparing myself to the myself I thought I'd be and coming up way short. I get Kat, in that way at least.

Final evaluation: Good story. Promising writer. I'll be watching Gemma Hart in the future. With the help of a good editor or at least a proofreader, she has the potential to be great.

View all my reviews

Monday, December 14, 2015


When I started keeping track, I was at 323. That's the most I've ever weighed, including when I was pregnant. I was mortified by my weight, but didn't know what to do about it. Nothing really seemed to work for me. All I knew was I was determined not to gain one single more pound. I was not going to hit 325. No way, no how.

Then I ended up in the hospital last year, with pneumonia, among other things. That sucked, but on the upside, as a result, I got in to see a doctor for the first time in four years. I was diagnosed with diabetes, with a frighteningly (to me) high A1C, got medicated for it, as well as medicated for depression (and gods, I desperately needed it).

It's been a bit of up and down, adding diagnoses and medications one or two at a time, and I'm pretty sure I'm not quite done yet.

However, with the diabetes diagnosis came aforesaid medication, to which I'd previously had a very bad reaction. Not this time! My food stayed down, daily numbers went down, my A1C went down, and best of all, my body mass went down.

I weighed myself last Friday, yes, the day after Thanksgiving, just out of curiosity. I figured, hey, it'll be a bit high, but still, I want to know (plus, I was alone in the house, and it's a talking scale. :/). Packing a little extra on can sometimes break through a plateau. Not that I'm actually trying to reduce my mass, just that it happens to be a happy coincidence of medical care. If I focus on it, my brain will derail it somehow. It's very good at that.

Anyway. 266.4. That is 23 plus 33, which equals 56. Fifty-six pounds of mass recycled to the universe! Pretty awesome news!

I'm wearing jeans again, since my jeans finally fit for the first time in years, and even though I'm nowhere near skinny, I feel better in whatever I'm wearing.

Also as a result of all this medical care, I got a new pair of sneakers (free!! from the hospital system) so my PT could be more effective. Walking still isn't the most fun I've had with my clothes on, it definitely still hurts, but it's *easier* than it has been. That's probably a combination of the support of proper shoes and the reduction in mass, but whatever. I'll take it. Being able to walk farther is useful, and even though it hurts, I still feel good after, like I've done something amazing.

And really, with a body as broken as mine is, walking is pretty damn amazing. :D