January 23, 2014

Etched on Me by Jenn Crowell + Giveaway

Etched on Me: A Novel
Etched on Me by Jenn Crowell
Series: N/A
Source: Publisher for Review
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
In the surface, sixteen-year-old Lesley Holloway is just another bright new student at Hawthorn Hill, a posh all-girls prep school north of London. Little do her classmates know that she recently ran away from home, where her father had spent years sexually abusing her. Nor does anyone know that she's secretly cutting herself as a coping mechanism . . . until the day she goes too far and ends up in the hospital.

Lesley spends the next two years in and out of psychiatric facilities, where she overcomes her traumatic memories and finds the support of a surrogate family. Eventually completing university and earning her degree, she is a social services success story - until she becomes unexpectedly pregnant in her early twenties. Despite the overwhelming odds she has overcome, the same team that saved her as an adolescent will now question whether Lesley is fit to be a mother. And so she embarks upon her biggest battle yet: the fight for her unborn daughter.

I'll be the first to say that the premise of Etched on Me appealed to me - I love the dark, gritty stories that I read, but this one didn't really work for me. It's not that it wasn't dark or gritty (it was!), the problem was that I couldn't connect with the main character, Lesley. She's a girl with a lot of problems, and although I understand that... I don't think that she was fleshed out enough.

I liked the inside look at mental institutions, and the people that are in them. It was interesting to see the things that they experience, and how Lesley reacted to them. I also liked the mystery of Lesley and her baby - it's said that they ended up on TV, and that there was a big battle between social services and such... but I didn't know why. I liked that these strings were tied up in the end.

I have to say, though... there were some parts throughout this book - well, they made me cringe, and I didn't exactly want to read them. But I did anyway - and I think I came through it with one thought - "I don't think I get this book".

I really don't think that I did. There were so many... plot twists. There was just so much going on, and I couldn't really get into it. My disconnection with Lesley didn't help either, because not only could I not connect with the story, the character just escaped me.

The message of this book is good - it lets people that are in Lesley's situation know that there is hope, and that they will get through it... but that message just isn't for me. All in all, Etched on Me just wasn't my thing, but I'm not going to try and dissuade you from reading it.

Jenn CrowellAbout the Author:
Jenn Crowell’s debut, Necessary Madness, was released when she was just 19; her second novel, Letting the Body Lead, when she was only 24. Both were critically acclaimed and reviewers marveled at the wisdom, maturity, and depth of feeling expressed by so young a writer. Over the next ten years, Jenn earned her MFA, but also underwent treatment for depression and self-harm—issues that she writes about so vividly in her latest novel, ETCHED ON ME (Atria/Washington Square Press, February 4, 2014).
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google + | Pinterest

The publisher has been kind enough to offer up a copy of Etched on Me to give away! It will be a signed paperback copy. US/CAN ONLY! Remember, even if I didn't really get this book... that doesn't mean that you won't love love love it! I hope that you enter! :)

(Pssstt... Etched on Me releases on February 4, 2014!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Amazing review. This was the first book that I read this year and I loved that I read it. I agree that this story is so heart broken and truthfully, Asher really did an amazing job bringing Hannah "back to live" in those tapes and is just an amazing book overall :)

    Deyse @ http://deysesays.wordpress.com/

  2. Thank you! It's definitely a good book to start out the year with - it's really emotional! It's totally an amazing book, girly! Thanks for commenting. :)