February 4, 2015

Book Review ~ Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke

Another tour of something new that I'm glad I read. Introducing Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke. ***Potential triggers, depression and self-harm.***

Behold, the cover!
Damsel Distressed is the story of Imogen Keegan, a plus-sized teenager who loves the theater, and has to navigate the drama of high school while struggling with clinical depression an anxiety. Don't think that's all her character is, that's just her background, her world view and such. The big problems emerge when her stepsister moves in, the beautiful Ella Cinder (Cinderella, get it. :-)) Ella is a witch with a capital B, and she brings Imogen's fragile world crashing down on her.

Now, I'm a spec fic gal. I'm into fantasy, sci-fi, even paranormal sometimes. I usually need something weird or outrageous to keep me interested, so I was a little doubtful to pick up a contemporary YA about normal high schoolers. Really, how can normal high school life keep my attention? Well, Macke did it. I was drawn in my Imogen's voice, snarky and self deprecating, but not to the point of annoyance. She made me empathize and has a fun spin on how she describes the world. I wanted to follow Imogen, and I rooted for her.

More importantly Imogen's best friend Grant is everything I want in a high school boy. He's a nerd, smart, also outgoing and charismatic at points. He understands Imogen even if she doubts anyone can, and he's the best friend/love interest that just captured my heart. No adult in her right mind would want to re-live high school, and I just might be willing if Grant was part of that high school life.

As with a story about depression, there's definitely a dark point. Macke nailed it. I really felt for Imogen in her most awful moments, and while I empathized with her, that's not what made me cry. It was her pulling herself out of the pit, her strength and support from her friends, and finally overcoming that hump of immense adversity that yanked the tears from my eyes. I don't cry when I read often. I really don't. Sometimes I sniffle, but to make a big globby tear fall from my eye takes real talent. Big claps, Damsel Distressed did it. And for the happy tears, I'm in love. I can't recommend this book enough.

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