Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review: Jettie Woodruff's Shhh: Mack's Side

My name is McKenzie Perry. I’ve lived a life filled with secrets. Secrets that took me years to understand. Secrets that my bestie Gia and I kept from the world. Secrets that only I knew. I wasn’t afraid of the lies, the secrets, or the hidden skeletons. That’s not what frightened me. I was afraid that one day they would come out, somebody would find out the truth. If I am the only one that knew the secrets, the lies, then they were safe, right? How does a well-rounded, talented little girl create a false sense life? It took several years for me to understand the impact of lies. Lies I told, secrets I kept, and the lives they controlled. One of the things I know to be true is, I did the things I did for a reason, even if I didn’t know it at the time. They all had a reason.

My name is Mack, and this is my side of the story.

4 Suspenseful, Steamy Stars!
Review by Jen Hagen
Mack is 26 years old and has suffered from bipolar disorder since she was a pre-teen.  She discovered that if she went off her medications for a short time that she develops a high…supercharged and ready to conquer anything with a deadline as she does not need sleep and her thinking process is off the charts.  Besides being hyperaware of her thoughts, she also becomes even more hypersexual during those times than normal.  She has always been a very hypersexual individual, but the high that comes from being off her meds causes her sexual drive to become a DeLorean instead of a Volvo.   

Mack and Gia were the best of friends growing up and living next door.  They had their future planned out -- they were going to go to the same college on cheer/dance scholarships.  They have always been inseparable so this was only a given that they would continue their lives intermingled with each other.  Sadly, an event 7 years ago changed the course of their lives and broke their friendship.  Mack and Gia no longer speak to each other.


I never confessed how I was so messed up because of that night, or that I wake having nightmares because of that night.


Mack continues to struggle with that night, and even with therapy she is never able to confront what happened.  Whenever her therapist becomes close to having Mack relive the events, Mack finds a new therapist and starts her story all over once again from the very beginning.  Mack doesn’t do relationships.  But Colton has seen her at her best/worst – depending on how you look at her when she is off her meds.  Colton has been there for Mack to keep her grounded when the real versus unreal judgement begins to cloud over from not taking her meds.   Colton is there also to satisfy her hypersexual needs.  Colton is a very nice guy and he admits to wanting to take things with Mack beyond sex.


“Let me be here for you.  Let me love you.”  


Mack’s past includes too many lies, secrets and betrayals to contend with.  Too many times she’s been told “Shhh” and now the truth versus lies are going to collide.  Will the truth cause Mack to pull away from everyone even more than she has already?


“People aren’t who you think they are, are they, Mack?”


Mack has always run when things get tough and she gets scared, never staying to see the outcome.  She is given a chance to see a glimpse of her past – one that she ran far away from.  Betrayals and lies are unveiled. How she handles these will define if she has progressed towards growth and acceptance, or if she will continue to be a runner from the past. 

Not only does Mack have the lies of that night to keep hidden, she also has a long-going secret love affair that would do irreversible damage to everyone around her if it was ever revealed.   What if it wasn’t so well hidden that it became the basis for revenge?   


Oh I can’t forget to mention revenge…it’s a huge subplot.   It takes everything we thought we knew about the situation and turns it around.   The entire revenge scenario tickled my funny bone because the revenge plan was completely backfiring.   This person did not take into account Mack’s need to have her medication. 

“This is so f*cked up…I didn’t bring your stupid ass here to watch you go whacko.”


I am a huge fan of Jettie’s writing.  She can take the most unbelievable situation and turn it into a romance novel, plus add an edge of eroticism to it.  I have learned that Jettie is a master of not letting the story play out in its entirety until the final pages and this story was no different.  I found it to be a little slow paced for the first quarter of the book, but when it begins to pick up it never slows down.  It is told from present tense with several glimpses into the past of pivotal moments that helped either form or change the course of Mack’s life.  Adding to the suspense of this story is the prologue and epilogue being told from a third point of view. 



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