Friday 19 February 2016

Review - Out of Focus by L.B. Simmons

Title: Out of Focus
Series: Chosen Paths 
Author: L.B. Simmons
Release Date: February 19, 2016

*** Upper New Adult Spinoff Standalone to the USA Today Bestselling Novel, Under the Influence*** 

“Shhhh, Cassandra, it’s our little secret.” 

Secrets are stubborn things when they refuse to remain hidden. They tear through your soul, clawing and lashing until the pain becomes so unbearable, you’re left no choice but to silently scream your agony. No one hears you, of course. You smile on the outside and drift through life as though your mind is at peace, but all the while, you remain your own tortured prisoner. Sealed inside the darkened, soundproof room of your conscience, deafening cries echo as you plead for someone to unlock the door and release you from your nightmares. And eventually, when no one comes, you find ways to cope. To dull the suffering the only way you know how. 
But what happens when you’ve become so numb, when everything around you has become so blurred, that you begin to lose focus on the saving grace standing directly in front of you? When you’ve anesthetized yourself to the point of losing consciousness, forced to watch as his once solid image fades away, lost to your reach in the haze as it smothers you? 
What do you do then? 
You fight. You heal. Then you bring him back. 
Well, my name is Cassie Cooper, and it’s time. 
No more secrets. 
This is my story. 

***WARNING - The subject matter of this novel centers around the psychological effects due to sexual abuse experienced during childhood. For this reason, as well as sexual situations, language, and adult themes, suggested reading age is 17+.***

"I read obsessively to escape my own world. To live the dreams of others when, for so long, the reoccurrence of my nightmares has been my reality."

I fell into like with Cassie while reading Under the Influence but was given no choice to fall in love with her in Out of Focus. As always, L.B. Simmons has written an amazing, heartfelt novel. 

Filled with heartache, strength and self-loathing, Out of Focus made me cry, laugh and cheer for Cassie's journey to redemption. Not redemption for another person but redemption for herself. It was beautifully written and so easy to relate to. Who hasn't had a time in their life where escaping felt like the best option? For Cassie, her nightmares haunted her daily. She kept her pain to herself, always putting a fake smile in place, and only truly smiling while helping Spencer through her own despair. Not only was this book a great example of how to find strength to fight your own demons but it was a true demonstration of friendship. 

While this book can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend picking up Under the Influence before doing so. The back story is pretty important to get the full range of emotions this book can guarantee you. 
~ Review by Kelly

L. B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in biomedical science. She has been a practicing chemist for over ten years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.

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