Review: Giving It Up

Giving It Up
Giving It Up by Amber Lin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Almost three years have passed yet Allie clings to the betrayal of a best friend like a lifeline. Her entire being seems to revolve around her sexual violation by a trusted friend. The choices in her life continue to stem from this befuddling incident. She frequents bars on a monthly basis for her fix of degrading violent sex. She defiantly owns her desecration by taking the pounding when she actively seeks it. Unfortunately, instead of a woman yelling, “hear me roar”, she comes as across as a scrawny beaten kitten piteously mewing “please hurt me because I deserve nothing better.”

Allie is a vortex of destruction. It appears everyone she touches is sucked down into her depressing world of self flagellation. Her smarter prettier friend Shelly lives in a hovel with Allie to keep her company. Shelly earns money by spreading her legs or kneeling on her knees, sucking dick. Shelly whores herself out to keep both Allie and Allie’s child from being on the streets.

The title of this story is aptly named – giving it up. The characters in this story appear to have given up on a dream. Hope is stolen away from them as they stumble through life waiting for the next bad thing to beat them. Make no mistakes, this story is jam packed with one depressing event after another. Ms. Lin jackhammers into the reader’s head how desolate the situations seem and perhaps it would best give up on a better life, to find love and to experience security. It is surprising not a single character commits suicide in this story. Ms. Lin’s writing voice is smooth and clear. The picture she paints is a grey world punctuated by scarlet slashes and purple bruises. Her words evoke emotions and imagery which impacts the reader.

The plot in this book while slit your wrist depressing does show redeeming qualities. Bonds of friendship still shine through. Even when all hope is lost, somehow, Allie salvages it and the story ends in a believable happily ever after. Colin is Allie’s catalyst for a better life. Colin is a sexy and understated man. He blurs the line of right and wrong, yet he holds strong to his own moral code. Colin is the best thing to ever happen to Allie and she knows it. Their relationship is not quite a white knight riding in to save a damsel in distress, but it’s pretty darn close. This poignantly romantic element is what carries the reader through the quagmire of despair.

The sex in this book is not meant to be smexy. The rough sex feels dirty because of Allie’s state of mind. Colin’s loving is unexpected and endearing. He’s the gentle giant people fear yet hides a heart of gold. He is the hero in this story and he earned it. This angst ridden book is recommended for romance lovers who desperately want a white knight to ride in and save the day.

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