I find it interesting that on the same day I receive a review complimenting how strong the characters are portrayed, I also find another which says the opposite. The Pankhearst Review posted a review on August 14 that I found only because I was bored and did a Google search for “Borys” and “Bend Me, Shape Me.” Despite the fact that the reviewer felt disappointed with the character depth and thought the ending seemed rushed, he did have a few good things to say and ended his commentary with: “”It’s weird reading a novel and being satisfied and disappointed at the same time.”
This is the only 3-star review I’ve ever received, but I find it wasn’t as painful as I thought it might me. You might say I also am “satisfied and disappointed at the same time.”
If you’re looking for a quick, easy read with an intriguing plot and interesting subplot, then I do recommend you pick up a copy of this novel. There are many things to like about Borys’ writing style and content wise Bend Me, Shape Me has a fair amount of meat for you to feast on. With gritty and harsh moments, you’ll be drawn into the story and constantly wondering ‘what’s next’.
via Bend Me, Shape Me | The Pankhearst Review.
I am, Indeed gave Bend Me, Shape Me a 4-star review and had some great things to say, particularly about Snow and Jo as characters.
Snow’s “determination to protect her brother and survive against horrific odds is a testament to her strength.”
“Jo is pretty amazing and the careful nurturing of the budding relationship that she is building with Snow is well-defined and presented with a solidity that feels both possible and realistic.
I hope you will click through to read the whole review, but here is another little taste of the a 4-starry goodness:
There must be something in the air or some odd convergence of planets: I’ve had a group of books that I have read lately that, at least tangentially, deal with characters that are “less than” in society’s eyes. Bend Me, Shape Me is no different. Debra Borys deals with the issue of underground teenaged runaways. Often squatting in abandoned buildings, abused in birth families and targeted for abuse by the predatory denizens of the city, and often with recurrent and severe mental illnesses, this is not a pretty set of circumstances for a quiet afternoon read. That should NOT discourage you, however, because it is a beautifully written, well-presented and completely engaging afternoon’s read that will have you wondering if you can find somewhere to make a difference in this world.
via Bend Me Shape Me by Debra Borys Book Review.
The review for Bend Me, Shape Me is not yet posted at IndieHeart Reviews, but I did receive an email today from their reviewer that got my work week off to a great start. With inspiration like this, how can I not dig deep into the third Street Stories suspense novel?
I finished “Bend Me, Shape Me” on Friday, and I hope to have a review written by next week. I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed the book. I spent 10 years as a Family therapist specializing primarily with violent teens (and juvenile sexual offenders) in both Phoenix and my current rural Ohio location, and I was so pleased to see your characters so realistically portrayed while still being a suspenseful novel with an interesting storyline.
As you might guess from that, my review will be on the good side!
M.J. Joachim did a thoughtful review of Bend Me, Shape Me last week that I almost missed. While she did not add the book to her Recommended Reading list, she had many good things to say, including the excerpt below. Click through to read the entire commentary.
Bend Me, Shape Me
Let me know if you agree with some of her conclusions. I love learning if there is something I can do better for next time.
This is a story that begins with an intensely strong opening chapter, one that startles readers, awakens their senses and captures their attention. Happy endings, albeit nice, seem to soften the blow and dismiss the horror of what life must be like for homeless teenagers on our streets, especially in rough cities like Chicago.
Bend Me, Shape Me is an important testimony for the plight of homeless people, prostitutes, addicts etc. My heart opened wide as I looked beyond the story and felt the desperation and hopelessness they must feel, as I recognized and acknowledged the circumstances which led to their situation. There is no other answer but love and compassion for those left wandering our streets – lost souls in need of hope, assistance and truth without judgment, fear or rejection. This was the meat of the story, the message I hoped Borys would deliver in her conclusion.
via M. J. Joachim’s Writing Tips: Book Review: Bend Me, Shape Me by Debra R. Borys.
Kimberly Costa gave Bend Me, Shape Me 4-stars and some high praise. Here are the highlights of her review, but I encourage you to click through to read the whole review and followup comments.
I am delighted I agreed to read and review this novel. Borys offers fascinating characters, a look at inner city homeless children and combines it with a suspenseful mystery that kept me flipping the pages. This is the second book in the Street Stories series but each work is a standalone. Three word review: suspenseful, enlightening and well done.
Snow is a powerful character who has been apart of too much darkness for a girl of eighteen. She is street wise and has spent her youth protecting her brother Alley and drowning her sorrow in pills. Snow and Alley are half Native American and left the Washington Yakama Reservation with her mother and father. Their life went downhill from there. Orphaned they have become wards of the state and both show signs of mental illness. Snow is strong, brave, troubled and incredibly fierce. Watching her open up and trust was profound. Jo Sullivan is a reporter plagued by the conditions of the homeless children on the streets. When Blitz dies she begins researching and eventually meets Snow. I liked Jo; she cares and takes an active role in bettering her community. She can be fearless and I enjoyed watching her work to find the truth. Jack works at the center and while we didn’t have a lot of interaction with him, I enjoyed those we did. Dr. Mordechai Levinson is someone you will love to hate and I found him to be pompous and manipulative. We meet other characters who help round out the tale including the Ramirez’s uncle.
Borys spun a fascinating and suspenseful tale all while weaving in the lingo and life of homeless children in the intercity. She cleverly wove in government experiments and repressed memories keeping me on edge. The tale has darker sides with drugs, and implied sex. The novel is well researched and shows in the characters creating a realistic feel. There were one or two characters and scenes I felt could have been eliminated for a tighter tale. The pace slowly built towards the climatic conclusion keeping me engaged. Borys did an excellent job of bringing all of the threads together.
Bend Me, Shape Me is the second novel in the Street Stories Suspense series and my experience with Borys work. Fans of realistic suspense and unique characters will appreciate this tale.
via Review: Bend Me, Shape Me by Debra R. Borys – Caffeinated Book Reviewer | Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
Darian Wilk continues to love my Street Stories suspense series. Here’s her review of Bend Me, Shape Me. She is also offering a contest to give away a print and e-copy of the book. Follow the link to enter.
This is the second book in the Street Stories series by Debra Borys, the first, Painted Black, I also had the privilege of reviewing.
The focus again is on the lives of young homeless kids living on the streets. Kids, especially those trapped in this type of life, should be able to trust those in positions to help them – like psychiatrists. But something feels all too wrong. Snow’s roommate commits suicide. Again Jo Sullivan is the one who steps up to help those without a voice. True to Borys style you get a very surreal feeling of what life on the streets is really like. It’s gritty, dirty, frightening, and cold. She portrays this life effortlessly, and before long you’re pulled into this harsh life these kids live.
The plot moves along at a good pace throughout the story, slowing and spiking at just the right points, and the characters are fleshed out so well that you immediately feel a connection to them – even if you’ve never lived the same kind of life.
There are many books that try to delve into the darker areas of life on the streets, yet at best can only come across as somewhat believable; Borys is quite the master at not only creating believable environments, but thrilling tales. Again, I would recommend Borys work to anyone who is a fan of the suspense genre, or anyone brave enough to take a real look at life of homeless kids. But buck lovelies, it opens your eyes to all the ugly you try to pretend don’t exist.
I would definitely recommend this book, and series. Be sure to add it to your Goodreads list!
via Book Review: Bend Me, Shape Me by Debra Borys – Darian Wilk.