My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Everything I left Unsaid
The Truth About Him
by M. O’Keefe
I didn’t realize when I bought the first book that this wasn’t a standalone novel. There is a HUGE cliffhanger at the end of Everything I Left Unsaid, so much so that I had to buy the second (and final) book, The Truth About Him. This reviews both books, since I can’t really separate them in my mind–they are essentially one plot line.
Overall Rating: 4 (XXX)
Quick & Dirty summary: Annie is trying to reclaim her life. She’s just settled into her new home, a trailer in a po-dunk trailer park, when she hears a phone ring. It’s amazing how much her life can change just by answering somebody else’s phone, but it does. In the space of a few minutes, her life is tied to Dylan’s and she can’t seem to
Molly O’Keefe has done the best job so far of writing a woman who has been traumatized. Between Annie’s mom and her husband, she is a woman who has had very little options and very little freedom to discover herself. Because of this, Annie isn’t perfect. In that first book, it’s painful how slow Annie progresses in claiming her own life. Sometimes she goes backward, sometimes she stands still, but Annie seems to be the most realistic rendering of a woman who has been abused. The psychological impact makes it hard to be a kickass heroine, but O’Keefe manages to slowly turn Annie into one. It is incredible to read.
One of the hardest things for me about this book wasn’t Annie’s abuse, or even her relationship with Dylan, but Dylan himself as a character. His development was slow, and seemed to only come about at the very end. I found this a little unsatisfying, considering how far Annie comes. There were a few times when I wanted metaphors to progress a little more—like Dylan calling himself, the beast. That could have worked for me, but it seemed to get dropped midway through the first book.
Outside of that, I thought the books were well-paced, full of suspense and complex secondary characters. I could easily see additional books focusing on Max and Tiffany and Brody. If O’Keefe decides to write them, I would definitely read them.
Is it worth buying? (Kindle $1.99, $4.99)
Yes. Normally I don’t like to pay this much money for what is essentially one book. But I was so caught up in the story I had to read them both back-to-back. While the price is a little steep going into it, I don’t think you’ll notice once you start reading.
Something else you might enjoy:
Charlotte Stein’s Forbidden also has a young woman who has been abused, not by a lover, but rather by her mother. It’s dark, but also intensely erotic and full of taboo. I recommend, but it’s not for the faint of heart, or for those who are sensitive to issues of religion and sex.
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