Friday, September 29, 2017

"23:27" by H. L. Roberts

by H. L. Roberts

23:27 by H. L. Roberts

This review opportunity for 23:27 by H. L. Roberts is brought to you by YA Bound Book Tours.

These were all the things that you would expect from being famous. The bait that the producers of the industry would tempt you with to get you on their side.
What they don't tell you though are all the inner tragedies that come along just as quickly. They don't tell you about the heartache that occurs when you realize that this wasn't what you wanted at all.
They don't tell you about the pressure that's always on the verge of crushing you when you're forced to do everything that the public demands for and not what you truly desire.
They don't tell you about the self hatred that would soon take over your entire being at the thought that you will never be good enough.
No - they don't tell you these things at all.
But, Lilith Rose will.
When Lilith Rose, lead singer to one of the most famous rock bands around gets tired of all the lies and secrets that comes with being famous.
She decides that it's time for all of it to stop and ends up revealing everything on a Facebook live stream.
The result ...
"Part of me wants to die tonight, part of me wants it to be an accident, and part of me wants someone to notice and save me." - Lilith Rose.

In the beginning, that was all there was. Seconds, minutes, hours pressed together, forming a mask of illusion that could never be dropped. A wall of steel grew around their hearts, one that couldn’t be broken. The United Misfits image could never be distorted.
It was wrong. It wasn’t right. No matter what her heart told her, it was wrong. Every flutter that skated through her stomach. His every skipped heartbeat, meant nothing. She was nothing. He was nothing. They were nothing.
It had been said many times, by many different people, the most broken person in the world could hide behind a perfected smile and a fake laugh. This could carry out a person’s persona, something that never even existed to begin with. That would never exist. Laughter and smiles filled with fake truths and real lies could hide what that person wanted to show, to tell, the truth.
In the end, she wanted to break free, but chains restrained her, blocking each and every move before she could make a single one, turning her into a prisoner. A captive in her own life.
Those chains squeezed tighter and tighter, never loosening their grip. They choked her from the inside, wrapping her tighter with every deceitful accusation and fake persona they put in her life. Deadly thoughts clouded her vision and stomped through her mind. Both of their minds.
Their hearts were noosed, yanked in every which direction. Like a snake. Until it all stopped. Until they both stopped fighting.
And when the fight dissipated, she could no longer turn away from the deceitful ways that they had so graciously bestowed on her.

Praise for the Book
"There are ups in 23:27 and there are downs. There were moments I wanted to launch the book at the wall because I was so frustrated with the characters. But there were moments I could have cried because I felt so incredibly sad for them and I just wanted things to work out. The emotions this book brought out in me is the whole reason I read. I want to feel something. And Roberts made me feel so much so fast I could hardly put the book down." ~ Cassandra Fear
"A really captivating read. Couldn't put the book away! A must read for young Adult readers!" ~ Marie Julien
The writing style is superb. The author took two of my favorite things, reading and music and put it into one beautiful story. If you guys are thinking of reading this book, take a chance on it, and let yourself be surprised." ~ Tracy Thomas
"I fell in love with the characters and just wanted them to be happy. There were moments I just want to cry or yell at a characters. This book is just too good! This is Ms. Roberts debut and let's just say she has hit it out of the ball park!" ~ Korina
"H. L. Roberts’s writing style is breathtakingly beautiful. She brings her characters to life in a way that you can’t help, but be drawn into the story. Roberts is one talented lady! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her. [...] My advice is take a chance on this book you won’t regret!" ~ Kayla

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Lilith has been the lead singer of The United Misfits since high school. As their success grew, so did her feelings for fellow band member Alec. But their relationship threatened the band's future. Lilith had to make a hard decision, one she now regrets and is about to make public via a Livestream broadcast. The lives of Lilith and the rest of the band members are about to change forever.
The story is told from both Lilith's and Alec's points-of-view, recounting events in the present and the past. The first 40% of the book deals with the lead-up to Lilith's suicide attempt, while the rest of the book focuses on the aftermath of her actions. The Livestream is compelling, if predictable, but what follows is not compelling and is, in fact, boring. *Spoiler alert* Lilith's time in the treatment center is glossed over. Three months pass, and then we get her a fleeting account of her stay. She is writing to Alec but he's not replying although, according to his story, she's not writing to him! More miscommunication and people interfering in their relationship. Just leave them alone, already! So frustrating! Why don't the other band members ask her why she isn't communicating with Alec or tell her that he is writing to her every day? Then six more months pass with no further details. Meanwhile, the whole band is in limbo while they are waiting for Lilith to get out. When she finally does get out, she's with Markus. What the ...? Then another six months fly by until there is only a week left to the wedding. Then, the night before the wedding, Alec finally makes his move. Aargh!
Believe it or not, it was 23:27 when I started reading this book, that means 11:27pm. This time is never actually spelled out in the book but occurs about 40% in, when a crucial event occurs. Why is the title relevant? Perhaps it has nothing to do with time but is a reference to the Bible: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.Matthew 23:27. That certainly seems to fit with how Lilith sees herself.
I had a number of issues with this book: *spoiler alert*
·       We have no idea what the characters' ages are.
·       Alec drinks and sleeps around in order to forget Lilith. He keeps wishing he could go back in time and change things, yet he continues to act badly.
·       Lilith reveals that management forced her to break up with Alec for the band's image because of their color: he's black and she's white. This is the only time that we learn that Alec and Jase are black, although it appears to be crucial to the story.
·       We hear too much from Alec and not enough from Lilith.
·       Why does the character of Chloe-Grace have such a beautiful name only to have it shortened to CG?
·       Why do two band members have names starting with J (Jaxson and Jace) when they're not even the twins?
·       What is the relevance of Alec and Jace being twins? They could simply have been brothers.
·       In addition, there is the annoying stammering by a number of characters, unrealistically polite swearing by rock stars, unbelievable behavior from everyone, and some confusion of timelines.
There are also numerous editing errors, including:
·       misplaced commas,
·       incorrect use of apostrophes,
·       missing words,
·       incorrect words,
·       awkwardly phrased sentences (e.g., "I shot up from my chair so fast it fell back, slamming into the ground and ran to the hallway tugging on my shoes."),
·       short choppy sentences,
·       overuse of sentence fragments,
·       incorrect prepositions,
·       formatting errors (the last paragraph of each chapter is cantered),
·       lame similes (e.g., "My head shook and tears fell like apples from trees onto my cheeks."),
·       repetition of a whole chapter (Chapter 4 is a duplicate of Chapter 3 minus the incorrect heading),
·       inconsistencies in tense (written in the past tense with occasional lapses into the present tense),
·       too much smirking and crying,
·       constant descriptions of looks, smiles, facial expressions, touches.
This book has potential if it receives a complete re-edit.
While the characters' current ages are never actually mentioned, I place this book in the New Adult category, as they are no longer in school.
Warnings: suicide references, alcohol consumption, self-harm, coarse language, casual sex, mental illness.

Some of My Favorite Lines
"So much love I could barely let my mind wander there without my heart threatening to melt from my chest into a puddle at my feet."
"It tore my heart out knowing the people would never know who I was because Star Records and Management turned me into a stranger even I didn’t know."
"He was kissing me. My best friend; the guy I had fallen in love with ages ago was kissing me. That was the best moment of my life."
"I had to break my boyfriend's heart and in turn, break my own."
"I stopped living as much as I could without actually ending my life."
"She’d become my purpose in life, my only purpose."
"Part of me didn’t care. The other part always would."
"I used to think happiness was just an illusion. Something people made up to tell an engaging story or to sell a good book."
"Happiness would never exist for me."

About the Author
H. L. Roberts
H. L. Roberts is a short story writer and a contemporary novelist from a small town in Kentucky. She is currently in her third year of college where she is majoring in English Literature and minoring in Psychology. When she isn't reading a book you can find her raising awareness about mental illness, suicide prevention, and epilepsy.