About My Book Reviews

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Call Me Cockroach by Leigh Byrne

Call Me Cockroach
Series: Call Me Tuesday Series (Book 2)

Title: Call Me Cockroach

Author: Leigh Byrne

Published: 2013

GenreFictionalized Memoir

Grade Level: Adult

-Trigger Warning: Depression, domestic violence

-Movie Rating: R for domestic violence and vulgar language

-Features: PTSD


Read by: Allyson Ryan

Length: 8hrs 6min

Recommend: Yes

Blurb (from goodreads):

Our prisons, mental hospitals and streets are filled with tragic stories like Tuesday Storm's. Her childhood was riddled with torturous "games" and violent physical attacks. She was isolated from the rest of her family, locked in an attic with nothing but a bare bed and a bucket for a toilet, and fed just enough to keep her alive.

The experts say it's next to impossible to find the soul's light in a dark past like Tuesday's. They say she'll never trust again after being betrayed by the people she loved most, or silence the voices inside her head telling her she's worthless and unloved. She's doomed to suffer a lifetime of depression and self-destructive behavior, and destined to be drawn to people who will again abuse her, or worse--she could become an abuser. That's what the experts say. And the thing about experts is--they're usually right.

"Call Me Cockroach" is a chilling reminder of the unfortunate truth that no one survives the devastation of severe child abuse unscathed.

Disclaimer: My review of this memoir is not in any way a reflection upon the author or their life. I am a book reviewer, I review books… not people.

My Scores:

Writing Style: Good

The writing style is slightly different in comparison to her first work. The pacing is much slower. The narration is repetitive, or maybe it only seemed that way because there's unnecessary explanation.

I was still very much emotionally invested, but how much of that was because of my attachment from reading the first novel I will never be fully certain.

I gave the score of ‘good’ rather than ‘sparse’ because of the very well executed flashback sequences and other various moments of character development. The flashbacks are by far my favorite part of this book. They have the most personality, literary form, and memorability.

Characters: Fully Developed
(I known they’re at least inspired by real people. I’m referring to them as character’s anyway.)

Maybe it’s because I’m a well-adjusted adult, but I expected so much more from the MC. While it’s realistic to expect her to make a lot of mistakes when she’s figuring out life on her own from such a disadvantaged mindset, I still felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment. It wasn’t so much the fact that she made the mistakes to begin with, it was that she failed to correct them that had me internally screaming Ted Talks at her.

On a side note, she makes considerable progress from the beginning to the ending of this book. It just doesn’t feel much like progress because of the slow pacing. So much of the book deals with her poor choices, that it’s all I can seem to remember.

Plot: Predictable

What’s interesting about this work is that typically in memoirs about child abuse the struggles that are carried into adulthood are shoved in the very back and mostly glossed over. This work shines a spot light on how difficult it really is to deal with the effects of PTSD from childhood trauma. I greatly appreciate this as a concept, however, I just don’t feel it was executed well in this case.

While I enjoyed the piece overall, it was very slow for me as I have mentioned. There were several moments that were interesting, but nothing had me on the edge of my seat. I still felt for the MC as she struggled with the terrible situations she was in, but I couldn’t help but feel that these terrible situations were a result of her poor life choices.

The most interesting part of the plot is its organization. Unlike the first book, there were several well placed flashback sequences which really gave new life to the plot line.

Overall: Enjoyable

Overall, this sequel was a letdown for me. I loved the first book ‘Call Me Tuesday’ so much that it really set the bar high going into this second work. This work focused its attention on dealing with childhood abuse as an adult, which I greatly appreciate as a concept. Unfortunately, this second work just didn’t have that same amount of urgency or level of suspense I expected.

However, the book is by no means a bad read. It made for an enjoyable time.

You can become your own worst enemy, but it’s never too late to change.

Goodreads Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

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