Friday, May 11, 2012

She Had No Choice by Debra Burroughs - REVIEW

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Northern Mexico in 1918 was a dangerous place to live. The Spanish Flu pandemic was ravaging village after village. Young Sofía’s parents decided to take what was left of their family and brave a perilous night crossing into the United States, hoping to save the lives of their remaining children. They did not anticipate the hardships that lay ahead of them.

After a family tragedy, Sofía was sent to live with a well-to-do aunt in Phoenix. Sofía’s father assumed this was for the best, but in truth it plunged her into a life of servitude and relationships with the wrong men. Hungry for love, her relationship with Enrique led to a daughter, Eva, born out of wedlock. 

When Enrique abandons them, Carlos comes to her rescue. But when Carlos tries to convince Sofía to go west with him, to work the fields of California, she is torn. Weighing her options, she has no choice but to go with him. Her life unfolds in a series of highs and lows, her daughter by her side. When life becomes dangerous and unbearable, will Eva and her boyfriend be able to save Sofía, or will Sofía become the savior?

This poignant and gripping drama plays out from 1918 to 1960, and is full of love and heartbreak, prejudice and betrayal, lovers, friends and family. It is inspired by the true stories written in Debra Burroughs’ book CARMEN.

My take: 2 stars

I give this book a 2 star review. I 'did' finish this entire book, but only because the author had asked me to review the book, so I did. 
I am going to be completely honest in my review of this book, as I always am in the book reviews I do write. This book bored me to tears and the author thinks she can write. Not in my opinion.
I held off on writing the actual review because the author kindly offered her book to me to use this book as a Giveaway Prize during a Blog Hop. I did not want to write what I truly felt about this book until 'after' the hop was over as I did not want my negative review of this book to deter people from making up their own minds as to whether or not to read this book.
The summary from Goodreads, (up above) pretty much sums up this entire book, excluding the continuous Domestic Abuse that Sofia suffers through all the years of her living with a man who won't marry her, almost to the point of death. I honestly got tired of reading about the abuse. Yes, it happens, but she could have LEFT. It takes this characters' oldest daughter to grow up and start having a family of her own before she does something to get her mother OUT of the situation.
The author has referred to this book as "A Spin on the Color Purple." I HIGHLY disagree. How and WHY? Is it because of the abuse? The book, "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker, has TRULY written a 5-star book! This book, "She Had No Choice, A Spin on the Color Purple" by Debra Burroughs, has NOTHING to do with "The Color Purple" at ALL. I don't even see HOW these two books could even be compared side to side? I wonder how Alice Walker would feel knowing this author, Debra Burroughs, is advertising her book in comparison to her book?
The history of this story in the very beginning of the book was interesting and I am guessing this is why the author wrote this book. This book is supposed to be based upon her own family's experiences. That was about it for interesting for me. As for the rest of the book, it was the same, repeat after repeat. Each time a new character was introduced to us, whoever introduced us to them, the author made us have to read about the ENTIRE HISTORY of the family escaping from Mexico again, and the subsequent abuse over and over, again and again. I was BORED TO TEARS! 
Why? The book was written poorly and in dire NEED of editing. I felt NO attachment to any of the characters whatsoever. Even reading about the abuse did not make me 'feel' anything. Something is wrong with the writing if that alone does not make you feel something, except to think that this woman needs to get away from that man. She never does until her daughter makes her in the end. 
The book, in my opinion, could have been written for a middle-grade /elementary reader, as it was written that format. At least this is how I felt. I felt as if the author thought I was stupid and had no memory of the events of this story that occurred earlier in the book. She continuously kept repeating things over and over again. I JUST read it, I'm NOT going to forget about it that quickly. Heck, some elementary kids see MORE abuse, or abuse this author described in this book, in their own homes, unfortunately. 
I just did NOT find reading about the abuse enjoyable, either. It was continuous throughout the story.
The author also made a comment in the beginning of the book that some of the names had been changed and others not. This is a GREAT book for the family, but it's not for me!
In my opinion, if you have just read the Synopsis, that's all you need to know about this book. Skip reading the book, It will only be a loss of your time, unless you enjoy reading the same thing over and over again. 
I received this book for FREE from the author, Debra Burroughs, in exchange to read this book and write an honest review about it.  It is NOT required for the review to be either positive or negative, but, of my own opinion. Free means I was provided with NO MONIES to read this book or write a review, but to enjoy reading the book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255,
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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