“Everything that glitters isn’t gold.”
Ammora’s goal for the year is to do everything she can to keep her scholarship. To Ammora this means no partying, dating and definitely no drinking. With her head stuck deep within her books, she seems to be well on her path of accomplishing her goal, that is, until she meets Brooke Holderman.
Brooke Holderman is everything Ammora isn’t and with his easygoing charm, Ammora falls easily for him. Soon, she is sucked into a world of friends, partying and glamour, her goal seemingly pushed aside.
Ammora soon realizes that there is a price for everything, even her newfound popularity. Everything isn’t as they seem and she learns the hard way that everything that glitters isn’t gold.
Diane Andersen’s Review: 4-Stars
Set on a university campus in middle America, this New Adult novel starts with all the earmarks of a romance, including a naïve female main character falling for a handsome “big man on campus” type. However, it soon veers toward a dark and all too real situation that is anything but romantic.
The studious and sheltered title character, Ammora first meets her new boyfriend at a party and is encouraged by her friends to become more social and accept his flirtatious and flattering advances. Soon she is swept off her feet over the course of Fall semester, in a whirlwind of parties, dinner dates and even twirling across an ice rink with him at Christmas time. However, it soon turns horrifying after her first night of letting go completely to him, body, heart, and soul, only to learn the next day, he has videotaped their lovemaking for all the campus (and world) to see.
The rest of the novel veers from romance to the all too real world of cyberbullying and consent for publishing film footage in this age of advanced technology in an archaic legal system. While I won’t give the ending away, the story does do a good job of tackling these issues in a very realistic manner that leaves no room for a typical happy ever after for anyone, although there is sufficient closure and a sense of empowerment throughout.
The author even gives some statistics at the end and encourages readers to fight injustice and cyberbullying whenever it occurs. For that, she is to be commended in using her writing to make a difference in a changing world, slowly learning to cope with the good and evil of modern technology. The story makes for a short, easy read, even with its heavy subject matter. However, I found the writing a bit bland in places, the dialogue somewhat contrived and stilted, as well as far too much tedious detail when it was not needed.
The real point of the story was the trial that ensues when Ammora seeks justice for the crimes done to her. Yet this was rushed to the end and glossed over when it in effect could have been given more treatment rather than the intricacies of college life. More time delving into the justice system leading to the climactic scene of the verdict would have made this a gripping story worthy of a Lifetime movie. Or at the very least, offering more setting detail.
A brief mention of Missouri State University (a place I’m somewhat familiar with in my home state) gave me little to go on. It could have been a university on the Moon for the severe lack of any other mention or detail of geography or campus life. Hopefully, Ms. Etienne will continue writing and honing her craft to bring more effective writing and world-building to her audience in this growing New Adult genre. If she does, I would look forward to reading her again soon.
Sherry Terry’s Review: 4-Stars
I love the cover! It’s quirky and fun and drew my attention immediately. I also love the dedication, and I’m jealous I never thought of it myself. As an average reader, this is a very good book. As an editor, this needs some eyeballs on it.
Cachline is a good writer, and she has tackled the real-life issues of cyberbullying and trusting the wrong guy beautifully. I recommend Ammora for all young people going off the college, especially young women. I did enjoy reading this book.
However, it needs a pair of fresh eyes to catch the punctuation and typo issues. These are things authors may not catch in general as we tend to miss things after reading our own writing so many times. Our eyes fly right past those things. I feel that Cachline is a wonderful writer with great stories to tell that can help young people, she just needs an editor to do some proofreading. Ammora is billed as a romance, but it’s more of a coming of age story.
One thing that really jumped out at me was the POV issue. The story starts in the main character’s POV, then switches to Omni to describe the characters with Ammora describing herself sort of. There are so many better ways to describe characters without them doing it for themselves.
I gave this story 4-stars because Cachline Etienne has a good message in Ammora for all young adults leaving home for college.
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