Thursday, May 13, 2010

Questionable Therapy by Steve Godofsky

First, thanks Steve for sending me your book to review :)

A difficult family background complicated by depression and suicidal tendencies is revealed through a combination of first person therapy sessions and flashbacks in this psychological drama.  Stacy and Rick deal with her growing problems, posing great danger to their relationship and marriage.  Adding to their issues is someone who causes Rick to question his own love for Stacy and their future.  Eventually, the death of a close friend, and worsening substance abuse, send Stacy into a downward emotional spiral that results in even more severe challenges that threaten her life.

At the same time, a dark force is brewing in the mind of a dangerous person who is fighting desires for Stacy that he cannot control.  Ultimately, it's Rick who uncovers Stacy's surprising and terrible fate, as he unravels clues from unlikely places and discovers who seals it.  (From the back of the book)

I have quite a few mixed emotions about this book.  My initial reaction is that it's merely mediocre.  There are several things I love about the book, but there are a few that really brought it down.  Let's just do a bit of dissection and go from there.

First and foremost, editing issues.  I know these aren't necessarily the author's fault, but they're there and distracting.  I'm emailing Steve and I'm quite sure he'll fix these errors so I'm not all that concerned about them.  Please don't let them decide whether you'll read the book or not. 

I had two main problems with the actual story.  The first, and most frustrating, is that we never get a diagnosis for Stacy.  I know, it's not really the main point of the book, but I really wanted to know.  As I'll explain when I get to the good stuff, Stacy's illness is unique and fascinating and I was left feeling unfulfilled where she was concerned.  Secondly, though it's a psychological drama, there's a mystery involved and it didn't take pure genius to figure out who the bad guy was.  Thankfully, there were a few chapters that cast a shadow over another possibility, which helped quite alot.  A mystery isn't alot of fun if you know all along who the culprit is.

Now the good stuff!  The characters are fun and unique!  The mental issues displayed by Stacy and her family are ones that I've never heard of.  Obviously Steve did his homework before writing this book.  Though I really wanted to find out exactly what was wrong with Stacy, I had a blast sitting in on her therapy sessions.  As the readers, we're flies on the wall just sitting back, watching and listening.  Each character is lovingly flawed in some manner, yet even so, they're all extremely likable.

Another thing I loved about this book is that it flows nicely and is quick to read.  It's perfect for a summer book.  Take it to the beach while the kids are swimming.  Enjoy a little psychosis instead of a little romance!  Personally, I feel like this book is geared more towards the male readers out there, but women will enjoy it as well.  Then again, usually when a book tosses in strippers, I automatically feel it's more geared towards men :) 

Overall, an enjoyable quick read.  There isn't alot of in depth thinking necessary, making it wonderfully dark entertainment.

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