Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Review of The Popcorn Girl

I've always said, Any review is good, even as simple as "Good book." But sometimes you get something incredibly insightful. Like this one:

5.0 out of 5 stars Unapologetic, August 24, 2014
By CSLowe - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Popcorn Girl (Kindle Edition)
Michael J. Vaughn’s THE POPCORN GIRL is a tremendously complex and bittersweet novel masterfully researched and honed. Vaughn
is to be congratulated on untangling the “knots” deeply rooted in religious hypocrisy and its oftentimes ancillary manifestation in the abuse of children, who may, in turn, self-mutilate, act out in sexually deviant ways, or fall prey to dissociative disorders to better cope with the aftermath of their traumas. This book is tempered by tremendous compassion and fraught with tension and revelatory psychological wisdom. Moreover, it is set against a backdrop of welcomed razzle-dazzle rock band hijinx, (go ahead and ask me what a dachshund slipper is), descriptions of breathtakingly gorgeous California vistas, and impassioned debates over organized religion, destructive cults, and the legalization of marijuana. As if these elements are insufficient enough to mesmerize a reader, they are all further enhanced by depictions of enough mouth-watering culinary repasts to rival any mealtime scenes lovingly tucked inside the pages of a Dickensian novel.

In an era when one in four women will be molested before they reach 18 and one in six men, Vaughn has navigated some difficult and frightening territory in creating this novel. That said, everyone who reads it no doubt has suffered personally from such incidents or knows a friend or family member who has been victimized by sexual predators and/or religious sociopaths. This is but one reason why THE POPCORN GIRL needs to reach a wider audience. More significantly still, Vaughn tackles this unabashedly dark terrain while simultaneously sustaining the suspense of gradually unraveling the gripping twists and turns of a damaged young woman’s mysterious past and breathing life into characters you care about because they have overcome so many disillusioning experiences with grace, wackadelic humor and indomitable courage. The dialogue is scrumptious, the secondary characters as fully drawn and engaging as the primary ones, and the romance interwoven between the two main protagonists, Paul and Jasmina, yields a compelling exploration of taut sexual and intellectual chemistry. The adjectives frisky, provocative, riveting and risqué come to mind with all the attendant emotions they evoke. Vaughn takes the reader on a balls-on and paradoxically redemptive ride into what it means to overcome and transform adversity into imaginative incursions into what life can look like freed of banal, white-knuckled adherence to religious orthodoxies that more often than not suffocate our deepest longings for autonomy and authentic connection with the Divine.

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