AskDavid.com has compiled all the links related to Bend Me, Shape Me (Street Stories Book 2) and gives you an opportunity to submit your review of the book right from their site. Painted Black (Street Stories Book 1) can also be found there.
Starza Thompson over at Windy City Reviews gave Bend Me, Shape Me a long and marvelous review today. Below are some of my favorite excerpts, but I really hope you will click through to read everything she had to say.
Bend Me Shape Me takes a deep and fascinating look into the world of teen homelessness in Chicago. Through the eyes of Snow Ramirez, Jo Sullivan, and Leonard Goldenhawk, author Debra Borys shepherds the audience on a terrifying journey of homelessness, mental illness, family problems, and murder.
This novel was chock full of nail-biting scenes and page-turning tension, making it very hard to put down. Throughout the book, Borys does an excellent job of painting a realistic picture of homeless youth and the struggle they have with mental illness, family, trust, and more. From the very first page of this novel, the audience is pulled into Snow’s story and her struggle to keep her brother and herself safe.
For me, this book was both entertaining and eye-opening. The plot twists and multiple narrators kept me flipping the page to find out what happened next, while the reality of Snow’s situation made me want to learn more about how I could make a difference in the lives of homeless youth. As someone who loves psychological thrillers and who is a Big Sister in Big Brothers Big Sisters, this book combined my interests in ways I didn’t think possible. I immediately wanted to know more about Snow and her brother and could have easily read a book twice as long on this topic.
Bend Me Shape Me is a chilling and tension-drenched thriller that will enable you to take a long hard look at the plight of the homeless. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes thrillers that make you think—once you pick up this book, you will struggle to put it down!
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Snow Ramirez hasn’t trusted anyone in a very long time, not even herself. Memories of her childhood on Washington’s Yakama Reservation haunt her even on the streets of Chicago. When her squat mate Blitz slits his own throat in front of her, she knows it’s time to convince someone to trust her instincts. Blitz may have been diagnosed bi-polar, like Snow herself, but no way would he have offed himself like that if the shrink he’d been seeing hadn’t bent his mind completely out of shape.
Normally she wouldn’t care. Who wasn’t crazy in one way or another in this messed up world? After all, she’d gotten out from under the doctor’s thumb weeks ago and it was too late for Blitz now, wasn’t it? Snow’s little brother Alley, though, there might still be time to save him. If only she can get reporter Jo Sullivan to believe her story before Snow loses her own mind.
Available in Trade Paperback or E-book
On November 12 at 6:30 p.m. I will be reading from Bend Me, Shape Me at the Princeton Public library, 698 E Peru St, Princeton IL 61356. I will also talk a bit about how setting influences crime fiction and answer any questions you might have. Afterward, there will be an opportunity to buy books and have them signed.
I hope you will join me. I look forward to seeing everyone.
If you are interested in the reading i did last year from Painted Black, the whole event was recorded and is available on my Painted Black website.
I knew from an email Jill at IndieHeart sent me two weeks ago that this review of Bend Me, Shape Me would be a good one. Jill has experience working with troubled teens and so her accolades are high praise indeed. Please click through to read more, including a brief overview of the main characters that you should find interesting.
I found most of the characters in Bend Me, Shape Me to be well drawn. Alley is the perfect picture of a boy with fetal alcohol syndrome. Snow, who has been diagnosed as bipolar (like many traumatized teen girls with legitimate anger) is a strong and compelling character. You will find yourself pulling for her from the beginning.
The author also brings a high degree of craft to the elements that make the story an experience you can see, hear, and smell; she has a talent for both descriptive language and dialogue. The conversations between characters, in particular, ring true. If you want your street people to speak a polite, formal language, look elsewhere. This story is a story of the cold winter streets and abandoned squats of Chicago where survival is difficult and language is colorful. Ms. Borys paints a picture that makes you feel you are there.
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’.