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Stephanie Parent, Reader and Writer

Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.
Nearly Broken - Devon Ashley Wow! Devon Ashley’s Nearly Broken is one of the darkest, most intense books I’ve ever read, especially the last third. Many other reviews have mentioned a need to be vague about the plot in order to avoid spoilers, and I’m going to do the same thing here. I do think that if you read some other reviews and/or just the synopsis, you can make a good guess as to the general subject matter of the book. I know of a few other indie books about this subject, but Nearly Broken was the first one I read, and I have to say I was incredibly impressed. I’m so glad that indie publishing has allowed authors to explore these types of very dark, but realistic subjects that traditional publishers might balk at.From the first page of Nearly Broken, I was completely sucked in to the story and just had to keep reading and find out what happened to Megan. Her voice was believable and engaging, the plot was suspenseful from the very beginning, and once the love interest Nick appeared on the scene, I loved him right away. He was just a really amazing, genuinely good guy, and someone Megan really needed in her life.Devon Ashley didn’t shy away from depicting Megan’s pain and the horrors she’s gone through—and again, this is where I don’t want to get too specific, in order to avoid spoilers. In the middle section of the book, I alternated between feeling hopeful about Megan’s first steps toward healing with Nick’s help, and horror as she discovered more of the truth about her past. But all that changed in the last third of the book, when things became intense, horrific and heart-pounding on a completely different level. Once I got to this part, I literally could not put the book down until I finished. I was amazed by the author’s ability to take readers to such a very dark place, and to portray it so realistically and in such an emotionally gripping way. The ending was satisfying, but still leaves plenty of room for a sequel.I know this review has been vague, but trust me—if you like dark, suspenseful, psychologically oriented novels, you need to read Nearly Broken!