Book Review: Shameless by Nina Lemay

Nina Lemay
NA, Romance, Contemporary
e-ARC from Xpresso Book Tours
See on: Goodreads

Buy from: Amazon

 Girls like me don’t get happy endings.

I know what I am. At worst a cliché, at best a cautionary tale. I put an international border between me and my past, only to wind up working in a low-end titty bar. Even my excuse is as lame as it gets: I’m paying for college, getting my art degree from Montreal’s most prestigious school. Although some days it becomes confusing: am I just a student who moonlights as a stripper, or a stripper who masquerades as a student?

But the inevitable happens and my two lives collide. And now there’s one other person who knows both the quiet, antisocial Hannah and the sensual, shameless Alicia. One person who keeps my secret.

He’s beautiful, he’s sophisticated. He comes from the other side of life, the one where I’m not wanted or accepted. But he calls me la petite Américaine, and his hot, hot hands on my skin promise me things I long ago gave up on.

The problem? He teaches my Classic Photography class.

This is a standalone novel, no series, no cliffhanger.

Before writing out my review on this book, I decided to look into the author's Goodreads page and found an excerpt from her post, as follows: 
The love interest with dreamy abs may be a part of it, even a significant part--a source of happiness or anguish. But without him, she'd be just fine--AND SHE'D STILL HAVE A STORY.

Some dude's dreamy abs are all good, but they're not enough to keep me interested, whether it's a book I'm reading or a book I'm writing.

See where I'm going with this?

So why the hell are girls with stories so hated and reviled? Is it really a self-insert issue? (I mean, if the heroine has unique interests and quirks, however will the reader manage to empathize with her? Sounds like work... ew, work.) Is it the good ol' double standard? Internalized misogyny? Or maybe it's subconscious projection: I've been shamed for doing this or that, so now I'll shame someone else to make myself feel better?

More importantly, how do we get rid of it?

Me, I tell stories. Girls' stories. Stories that don't always revolve around a love interest, stories about girls who sleep with whoever they want, girls who are sometimes irritating and stubborn, who sometimes act foolishly, who make mistakes and regret their decisions.
It's a good thing that I stopped by and read it. I was set on giving out a truly biased review but having read this made me rethink and examine the story more. Now I have an inkling on the message that the author wants to deliver in her book, Shameless.

Hannah, who changes from uni student to a temptress when night comes, has lost herself through the contrast of the persona she displays day and night.

This continuous cycle of self-loss would have continued if it not have been for the appearance of a certain guy in her life, Emmanuel.  

Emmanuel rekindled deep recesses in her heart she thought dead and trusted herself completely to him.

In answer to the author's post, everyone has stories. Not just people like Hannah; even people with the usual, normal life have them too. Everyone faces problems albeit it varies as regards to the severity. It all depends on the person and his/her willingness to get out of the grave they have dug themselves.  

That is why, right from the beginning, I have very little liking for Hannah/Alicia. Reading her story made me imagine a deep, dark, depressing pit that she's trying but cannot claw her way out of. Rather, she'd try, but in the middle of her trying, she'd stop helping herself out of it. She just let her demons get to her and in the process, she does not know who she is anymore. Her stubbornness and want of independence made her keen to refuse the help of other people even when she needs it.

Strength comes when you accept that you are not capable enough of dealing with the problems you have and letting others help you. She tried too much to be strong on her own, letting her pride get the best of her, thus making her life hell day by day. 

Comments aside, I stilll suggest that you read this book til the end, as redemption does happen for her.
She found her strength and was able to tamper down her ego enough for another person to shine light on what she must do. That person gave her the push she needed in order to get out of that depressing pit she has sentenced herself on.

Shameless is the type of book that has my brows scrunched from the beginning til the middle, but left me cheering for her in the end.

Nina Lemay is a YA writer by day and author of sinfully twisted New Adult…well, also by day. She loves all things dark and edgy and never tires of tormenting her characters. While Nina is a fan of all things scary, Gothic, and fantastic, she doesn’t shy away from a gritty contemporary romance when the muse strikes. She lives in Montreal, a city that never fails to inspire, with her partner and her dog.

Author links: Website ll Twitter

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