Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters' story. Those girls don't get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing
Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.
When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time.
While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.
And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.
Enhance the experience with the companion soundtrack, Imogen Unlocked, by the author's band, Wedding Day Rain.
Title: Damsel Distressed
Author: Kelsey Macke
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Expected Publication Date: October 14, 2014
RATING: 5/5 STARS
I would like to thank Spencer Hill Contemporary for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.
Imagine you are Cinderella's sister. She's gorgeous and beautiful and everyone loves her. Your fat and you have tons of mental health issues and people aren't quite sure what to make of you. Well this is that story. The story where we come to see that Cinderella's step sister is not quite who we thought she was.
Imogen has issues. She's overweight, she's had a nervous breakdown, and she takes lot of medications to keep her balanced. Not to mention she has to see a therapist who also tries to keep her in check. It's impossible not to like Gen, not to feel for her and want her to have her HEA. She carries so much on her shoulders and throughout the book there's always that inkling that she can somehow overcome it. But then things always come crashing down on her and she's right back where she started. Despite all her quirks, her eccentricities, her ability to be up one minute and down the next, you fall completely in love with this character. She's smart and witty and absolutely relatable.
I have to say that this book was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. I laughed, I cried, my stomach got twisted in knots because I kept thinking something bad was surely going to happen. I love that Macke was not afraid to really delve into the emotional issues Imogen had. To show her audience that there is so much more to being a teen than we ever think. Compared to most YA novels, this one shows so much more of the truth of what teens go through than I've seen in the past. It's not sugar coated, it's not glossed over, it's you and the character in the thick of it page after page.
Macke's writing and ability to engage her characters in interesting and meaningful dialogue is fantastic. The words she uses are sometimes poetic, sometimes harsh, but always on target with bringing you to where you need to be emotionally. Mostly she is able to really pull your focus on the development of the main character, her growth, her change, her resistance, and even her stumbles and falls.
It's a story about finding out who you are in the mist of battling your demons. It classically demonstrates the roller coaster ride that is high school and all the intense issues teens have to face. The gripping reality of the book is really what pulled me in and kept me there. Fans of Gayle Forman will enjoy this one for sure!
***Disclosure: I work for Spencer Hill Press but this has in no way altered my reaction to this book***Kelsey Macke has been creative for as long as she can remember. From an early age she was on stage singing, penning poetry, and writing notebooks full of songs. When the idea for her debut novel, DAMSEL DISTRESSED, popped into her head, she was undeterred by the fact that she had no idea how to actually write a novel. Her bff, the internet, was her guide, and after much trial, error, and candy, she finished it, and set out to get it published… a process far more difficult than, the internet (now her mortal enemy), had lead her to believe.
Her whirlwind adventure was made even more unbelievable when she signed with fabulous agent, Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency and, shortly after, Danielle Ellison of Spencer Hill Contemporary bought her debut.
This innovative, mixed-media art project has given Kelsey an incredibly unique opportunity to join two of her passions: writing and making music with her husband as half of the folky, indie-pop band Wedding Day Rain.
DAMSEL DISTRESSED, and the companion album of original songs, Imogen Unlocked, are scheduled for release in October 2014.