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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.
Precise (Pulling Me Under #.5) - Rebecca Berto PRECISE by Rebecca Berto is not an easy or comfortable read, but it is a worthwhile one. At the beginning of the novella, our protagonist Katie still lives with her mentally ill, emotionally abusive mother, even though Katie is in her twenties and married. The reader soon learns that Katie's mother controls nearly every aspect of her daughter's life, and when Katie discovers she's pregnant, her mother tries to control that as well. However, having a child may provide the impetus Katie needs to finally step outside of her mother's shadow...and watching her fight her way out provides a gut-wrenching, emotionally taut reading experience.I was really impressed by the strong, dark imagery throughout the story that managed to capture so much in so few words. I especially loved the way the word "precise" was used and took on a greater meaning by the end of the novella. However, while I understood that the somewhat disjointed writing was meant to illustrate Katie's fragile mental state, I did feel that some of the scene changes were a bit too abrupt. A lot of time was covered for a shorter novella, and at times I was confused by how we got from one place/scenario to another.Overall, though, this is a powerful first effort. I look forward to more from this author.