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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

When Josh was four, a little girl named Rachel was kidnapped and never found. Twelve years later, Chatham Clairborne appears, apparently on the hunt for her runaway sister. But Josh suspects she is also tied to the mystery of Rachel. Josh falls for Chatham, but Chatham remains elusive. He can't tell if she's lying or not. But he's sure that once he finds out the truth about her, he will be able…


by Sasha Dawn

Overall Book Review:

Overall, Blink by Sasha Dawn was actually an interesting book. Josh Michaels is the main character, a 16-year-old boy living in a tiny Chicago suburb, trying for a football scholarship while dealing with his mother’s constant failing relationships and caring for his 4-year-old twin sisters. The underlying plot of a long-ago kidnapped girl, presumed dead since she’s been missing for 12 years, coincides with the arrival of a teenage girl into Josh’s life, apparently looking for a runaway sister.

Josh is an overall good kid. He lives in a pretty lousy situation with a mother who is constantly working and leaving him in charge of his twin stepsisters, and an abusive stepfather who keeps trying to get back into their lives. If Josh can get into a football scholarship, he can get into a good school away from his broken family. But with the arrival of the mysterious Chatham Claiborne into his life, Josh’s already complicated life is further complicated with his deepening romantic feelings for Chatham, and a realization that she may not be all she claims to be.

Be warned, this is a content-heavy book.  (See content review below.)  Plentiful profanity and language made for tough reading. There is also some fairly descriptive “sexy” moments, usually between a horrible ex-husband and his beaten-down ex-wife, but there is also a pretty graphic sexual scene between a boy and a girl, which was very uncomfortable to me as a reader.  The violence was mostly past-related, but the situations with the ex-husband can be pretty violent as well, although I never found it to be overly graphic. 

I found this to a good one-time read. I’d probably not read it again, just because of the amount of language, the violent content, and particularly the overwhelming amount of sex, but the story was compelling.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Carolrhoda Lab

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language51 religious exclamations; 38 mild obscenities; 18 religious profanities; 12 derogatory names; 59 scatological words; 35 anatomical terms; 2 offensive hand gestures; 96 F-word derivatives. 

Violence/Gore: Many instances of violence and gore, including but not limited to: a boy notices a burn mark on a girl’s hip, which elicits a flashback of violence in his own life; a character recalls being slammed into concrete by an abusive stepfather; a character relates having contemplated an abortion; character relates she and her sister might have witnessed a kidnapping when they were very young; a mother and son frequently have vicious verbal fights; an abusive man threatens a boy; characters occasionally have verbal fights and arguments; a mother slaps her son; a boy recalls taking a beating from a stepfather; a boy and man fight and punch; a character occasionally has flashbacks about various trauma he has endured from abusive stepfathers; report of a man hanging a dog; a boy confronts a man who has beaten a woman; a man chokes a boy and kicks him in the back; a woman shows policeman marks where she was pummeled so she would have a miscarriage; in an extended scene, a stepfather comes to house, threatens a boy with a belting, threatens to rape the boy’s mother, and whips the mother with a belt; a man throws a belt around a boy’s neck and throttles him; characters are arrested for the long-ago murder of a child; a character recalls seeing her foster sister beaten to death. 

Sex/Nudity:  Many instances of sex and nudity, including but not limited to: A boy sees his mom kissing her ex-husband; a character accuses someone of spending an afternoon in bed with a guy; a girl kisses a boy; a boy and girl hang out for a few hours at night; a man and woman share a graphic kiss, with the man groping at her; a boy touches the skin between a girl’s shorts and shirt; a boy and girl kiss and caress, and lie on the floor together; a boy sees a girl wearing nothing but a boy’s shirt and guesses she just got laid; a girl inches her shorts down to reveal a scar on her hip, and a boy notices the panties she’s wearing; a girl is touched and fondled by a man at a rave; two girls kiss; a boy and girl explicitly touch and explore each other’s bodies, removing clothing (fairly graphic and sexual); a boy can hear a man and woman “f*cking” in the next room; a boy watches a girl almost strip; a girl lets a comforter fall, revealing a bra and panties; a boy carries a condom for a just-in-case moment; memory of a girl’s body; brief conversation of child porn (not explicit); a man cups his cock through his jeans and threatens to rape a woman.

Mature Subject Matter:

Physical child abuse, physical/sexual/emotional spouse abuse, kidnapping, forgery, unwanted pregnancy, abandonment, separation, rape, underage drinking, underage smoking, sex.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Underage characters occasionally smoke weed; a boy’s father is a pro-advocate for marijuana legalization; a character is said to be able to obtain six-packs for underage kids; a Pabst is mentioned; a character was arrested for substance use and public drunkenness; a man smokes; a man claims to be on a program for alcoholism; a character mentions drugs and raves; a boy says a man is going to spend money on booze and drugs; a mother is said to have made a drug run; a character is said to be addicted to prescription sleeping pills; a character sold his mother’s prescription pills; underage characters smokes cigarettes at a rave; a character agrees to do a drug run for a friend; a character dabbles in drugs; mention of “molly”; an underage character frequently smells like weed; a character asks someone if they’re drunk; a character rejects an offer to get high; an underage girl drinks.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Fantasy is my bread and butter. I read and write it. I’m obsessed with world-building and fascinated with lyrical prose. I love that I can contribute to the writing community by recommending good books that can actually make a difference in a person’s life.