05 July 2010

Review: This Gorgeous Game By: Donna Freitas

Title: This Gorgeous Game
Author: Donna Freitas
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 224 Pages (May 25th 2010)
From: the Publisher - Thanks!

Synopsis: I know I know I know I should be grateful. I should be grateful to have his attention. To have him take such an interest in me.
I should. I know I should. I will. No, you are grateful, Olivia, I tell myself as if I am my self's imaginary friend, sitting across the table, giving advice. Start acting grateful then, she begs.

I have a gift. I have a gift from God, he says. So rare he hasn't seen it in all his many years. I'm the real thing, he says. I'm a once in a lifetime, he says. I'm special and it's his responsibility to take me under his wing, to make sure I don't waste my talent. It would be a sin not to help me, he says. It would be a sin for me not to take his offer of help.

But I swear to God... no... scratch that... I'll not be swearing to God... I swear to Who Knows What that his latest demand, this pile of typewritten pages he hands me with a face that says, Please, Olivia, oh please don't be difficult and just do this for me, is staring, no it's glaring at me from the coffee table like a monster that might eat me. I feel like if I touch it I will go up in flames or the pages might bite.

Am I making too much of this? Isn't it just a matter of grabbing hold of the stack and moving it in front of my eyes so my eyes will begin to scan those black marks on the page which will magically arrange themselves into words that my brain will recognize and understand and volia, I'm finished before I know it.

Then, when he asks, because he will ask, I'll be able to answer truthfully, "Yes, I read it. I did," and he will smile and I'll be Good Olivia again.

I wish I'd never won that stupid prize which is what got me noticed by him . . . no . . . what got my writing noticed by him which is what led to the initial introduction which somehow turned into communications and invitations and coffees and attending office hours and going to High Profile Events together--his words--even before the summer started.

Review: 3.5 Stars - From the beginning of This Gorgeous Game right through to the end, it had creepy written all over it. It’s a story about our main character, Olivia and the horrible events she faces at the hands of someone she trusts – a famous writer who just happens to be Priest. I was extremely thankful that Freitas didn’t write a graphic story of abuse; however she was able to get across to me as a reader just how horrible things were between this teenage girl and her mentor.

The story is written well in the fact that it shows how Olivia works her way through the various emotions of shock, disbelief, depression, isolation and anger as she tried to figure out just what was wrong. It was at times hard to read because as a person viewing it from the outside in I could see things going wrong rather quickly and found myself frustrated with Olivia’s actions. However frustrating it might be, it was written pretty accurately, especially when it comes to the shock and confusion that Olivia went though.

Don’t let the content of this book detour you from reading. As powerful as it is with the events that happen, the overall outcome and how Olivia fights back is well worth the emotional ride you have to first take to get there. Freitas has taken such a controversial subject, especially when writing about abuse at the hands of a Priest, and written a story that’ll stick with you after reading. I’ll be on the look out for books from Donna Freitas in the future.

FTC Disclaimer: I did not pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this review.

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  1. I've heard a lot of great things about this book. I'm excited to read it.

  2. This does sound creepy. I might put this on my dark and stormy night pile.

  3. This sounds like a really powerful and emotional read, I loved her debut (The Possibilities of Sainthood) but that sounds completely different from this!

    Thanks for the review!


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