- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 4476 KB
- Print Length: 282 pages
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0755ZZQTY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #107,533 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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What Goes Down: An emotional must-read of love, loss and second chances Kindle Edition
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I'm watching Sephs car crash of a life and want to reach into the book, to stop the crazy decisions but I can't. I can't stop her like she can't stop herself. It's heartbreaking.
What's clever is that instead of showing the other side of the story from boyfriend Ben's viewpoint, we get it from her mum's experience of a similar situation back in the 80s.
Thoughtful, emotional and has flashbacks to the 80s - pixie boots and shaggy perms. The best.
The real heart of this book is the
The problem for me personally is that being plunged into a catastrophe is too hard and sudden, like being pushed into cold water. I can’t get my bearings, I haven’t orientated myself. We don’t see the characters at their best, for a start, when we meet them mid-crisis. I took an immediate dislike to Seph, who, understandably thrown off course by the news, came over as self-absorbed and whiney. She dealt with the situation in a way which seemed, to me, too immature for her 27 years. Laurel, her mother, didn’t deal with the state of affairs well either. Angst is so tricky to write well, there are few shades of light and dark and I felt the writing was a bit laboured and high pitched in the opening section of the book.
BUT, what emerged out of the book was so much more interesting, I am glad I stuck with it. Whether kicked off by the revelation, or whether they had been there all the time, Seph’s bipolar tendencies rise subtly and cleverly to the top. Her shock and anger morphs into a crippling depression which the writer renders with bleak and vivid realism. Emerging from that into a period of frantic work, her bursts of energy and determination cross the line into mania. By this time I was on Seph’s side, worried for her, but able to see why, from her viewpoint, the things she was doing were totally reasonable.
The story splits into two, alternating between Seph’s story and her mother’s, thirty years previously, another frequently used narrative technique which can work well, but wasn’t needed here. Laurel’s teenage self was really well done, the obsession of first love, the horror of discovering that the perfect boyfriend has deep and cruel flaws really rang true for me.
All in all I liked this book. I wish the writer had structured it differently, chronologically, starting at the beginning and working through to the end. I think the writing is good enough to carry it and the story certainly has the interest and resonance to sustain it. It would have given the characters a better chance to establish themselves in the reader’s minds and would have given the writer more scope to develop the bipolar angle, which is a really interesting and rarely tackled-topic. Patrick Gayle’s Notes from an Exhibition is the only other book I know which handles it.
As a summary Seph, a woman in her mid-twenties feels her world come crashing down around her ears when she receives an email from a man named Nico, telling her he is her biological Father and he wants to meet her. She never knew the man she calls Dad wasn’t her biological Father and so begins a tale of two women, Seph as she tries to unravel her life and Laurel, her Mother and how we end up in this position in the first place.
Natalie K. Martin could have settled with weaving a complicated storyline of young love, a neglectful Father and a complicated mess for a young woman to unravel. But she added an element of mental health with members of the family having Bipolar. Regular readers of the blog will know I have Bipolar so am maybe overly critical when I read characters in books who have it. Natalie K. Martin has not only nailed what living with undiagnosed Bipolar is like, but how people react to someone with it, both before and after. Things aren’t always nice and fluffy, people don’t always understand, and sometimes people, especially people you may have hurt, are downright nasty about the illness. Natalie K. Martin has managed to capture this in a way that doesn’t come across as unnatural, but to me felt very real.
I loved this book in a way that is very hard to describe, I felt connected to the characters and loved Nico and Seph with a passion that is hard to put into words. I really hope you all go and pick this book up because it deserves to be read by as many people as possible.
Sending huge thanks to Natalie K. Martin, and Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
Seph Powell has all she ever wanted: a close family, loving boyfriend and her dream career.Read more
When I first heard about What Goes Down, I was really interested in the premise as I knew that it dealt with mental health and often do search for books...Read more