Saturday, April 29, 2017

REVIEW: Dear Reflection: I Never Meant to be a Rebel, by Jessica Bell

Growing up is hard to do. . .growing up with performing musicians who are also your parents, is even harder. Jessica Bell has written an engaging and poignant memoir which spans two distinct places: Australia and Greece. It's a whirlwind tour of learning to cope.




Jessica Bell's Memoir cover for:Dear Reflection



DEAR REFLECTION: I Never Meant to be a Rebel
Author: Jessica Bell

A lonely child uses her imagination to provide what she doesn't have--a trusted person to talk to. In listening to this mirror image alter ego, she gives permission to the voice that urges her, demeans her and chips away at her confidence. Music comes along with an early guitar and suddenly she finds something she enjoys. But is she good enough? Always the uncertainty.

There are forays into the wilder side of life for intervals, but something always seems to save her from her destructive tendencies. Family issues come and go, each teaching the young woman more about the real world. She learns the darkness of addiction to prescription drugs from her mother, the blindness of the mind that alcohol causes, and the bullying of a jealous partner.

To survive, she must accept her parents for what they are, and push back and prove to herself that the voice in the mirror and in her head is wrong. This memoir, with its moments of grittiness, is the first I've read that has kept my attention throughout. Reading this novel stirred the thought that when the going gets tough, the struggle strengthens us. 

Highly recommended for parents, teens, or anyone who has felt loneliness whether growing up or afterwards as an adult. I consider Dear Reflection: I Never Meant to be a Rebel one of Jessica's best. She handles the issues which she has lived through with sensitivity and brutal honesty. Bravo!

ALERT: Available the 1st of May. See the link to website below.

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Have you read any of Jessica Bell's other novels? Do you like memoirs? Why or why not? Do you ever think of writing a memoir? 


Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by. 

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For more on this author's novels, and other talents, please visit Jessica Bell's website: http://www.jessicabellauthor.com/  


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10 comments:

  1. This one sounds like a book I would really love. Gonna go add it to my Amazon wish list.

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    1. Jessica was blogging until a year or so ago and has worked with Vine Leaves Press for a long time. This is one of her best, IMO, but you might like some of the other novels too. She has a unique voice in her writing.

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  2. Her name sounds very familia, but I'm not sure if I have read anything by her. She sounds like a survivor and your review is great as always. I would not want to write a memoir for publication, but I enjoy writing in my journals and on my blog. I love some memoirs and can't stand others. It just depends on how good the writing and how interesting the person, I think.

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    1. This memoir is one of the best I've read, and I'm like you, Inger, some memoirs just don't keep my attention for one reason or another. 'Dear Reflection. . .' kept me reading.

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  3. Yes, I've read most of Jessica's books and her poetry, too, is awesome. Jessica is 'true blue' as we say in Australia, and tells it like it is. I do enjoy memoir, D.G., especially travel memoirs of course. Love to read trials and tribulations set in exotic locales.

    Thanks for a thoughtful review and for keeping your eye out for spoilers.

    I wish Jessica sincere congratulations.

    Denise :-)

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    1. Thanks, Denise, for checking in as another Aussie and a reader of Jessica's work. I do try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, as I dislike reading them myself. I love Jessica's honesty in her writing. She graciously has included many links in this novel to musical samples - very nice.

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  4. Thank you so much for reading, and for the lovely review!

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    1. Wishing you the best of sales, Jessica! This one will sell itself. Good luck!!

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  5. Hi DG - such a great review and good to know that there are links to her music. I've read some of Jess' writings and listened to some of her music - it is certainly gritty - and one can feel the life behind her words and music ...

    It's on my to buy list ... good luck to Jess and thanks for writing this up for us ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I've already given this book to one of my daughters to read. They were both interested (they are young adults). I enjoyed this one and felt sympathy with many of the emotions expressed throughout the book. . .thanks for dropping by Hilary!

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