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A very different story from author Donna Jay from her usual stories. A YA story of being bullied and traumatized , finding a first love, and coming out as a lesbian. Highly recommend this story that I think many of us can relate to. Different from her other books, but very poignant. In this story the protagonist has to face being bullied.


She has to face growing up and coming to terms with aspects of life that makes her grow up really fast. I can recommend this books. The torture Katie experienced was a great part of this story. Finding Gillian was the best thing in her life. Introducing other characters into the story added the believability to the storyline. Especially Nana! I was bullied a lot growing up so I had an understanding with Katie.

This story was well thought out and handle with care. Donna Jay did amazing job!! Format: Kindle Edition. Donna Jay's latest, "Bitter Sweet Revenge," is a real page-turner! I read it in one quick sitting. It's a real departure from her previous work and I applaud her for that! It is unlike any other book of hers, in story, in type, in tone, and in style. That fateful day that would forever change how she viewed the world around her.

Harrowing, intense, reflective, contemplative, Katie's road to facing her fears, obtaining peace, truth, reconciliation and ultimately experiencing the beginnings of love and hope was paved with delicate care and sensitivity, constructed at a deliberate pace. I was moved and captivated by Jay's honesty and conviction in weaving a story that felt utterly personal, inspiring, resonating, deeply relevant and thought-provoking.

Somewhere in New Zealand. Katie, just finishing her school certificate exam before the end of the school year, was still very much deep in the closet. I was reminded that in the 80s, people coming out and being gay were hard, very hard, especially when it was the era of AIDS or "gay disease. It was always an abstract subject matter for me especially in the context of student behaviour toward it in schools.

I mean, I'd watched movies and TV shows about the matter set in the 80s but to read about it was an entirely different experience for me. They seep into the mind so much more potently, don't they? Jay's richly described words to depict body language, behaviour, attitudes, and situations were affecting, to say the least. Anyway, back to Katie. As soon as Jay introduced the three so-called "in-crowd" popular girls into Katie's life as the story began, alarm bells sounded very loudly in the deep recesses of me mind. As soon as those girls invited Katie for a drive and hang out with them after their exam that day, which Katie bless her innocence and desire to be included into the fold of acceptance!

I kept muttering to meself, "This isn't gonna end well!

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It was like watching an innocent lamb slowly being led to slaughter What made this long scene so intense was how Jay so meticulously constructed its pacing of every angle, every laughter, every push, every word uttered, every motion The suspense was killing me with anticipation! I loved that Jay described Katie's endless internal battle with her own instincts that something was terribly wrong with the picture she was thrust into with her "new" popular mates.

At that moment, I was struck by humans' innate desire to belong, this need to be a part of this social construct, a behaviour frequently observed amongst students in school - cliques, in-crowds. Katie's deep desire to finally be accepted into the "social norm" via a popular group after years of feeling like an outcast, trumped her instincts of self-preservation and protectionism, as succinctly described by Jay.

Every stage of Katie's interaction with the trio, from their car ride to the remote location they chose to hang out in, was depicted with intentional stride so that Katie's questioning mind became more acutely felt by the reader, making it more intense. The moment the four of them were seated together, the subsequent scenes began to "play out" in slow motion, at least to me, when I slowly, just like Katie, realised the worst.

At that point, I was expecting the worst and I felt meself slowly pulling away I really did not wanna discover any presence of you-know-who on those pages describing that scene! But thankfully, Jay didn't focus on the impending act which turned out to be something drastically different than what I expected, but still shocking nevertheless because of reasons you'll know when you read it - I will never understand the cruelty of people to instigate such inhumane acts, just because of someone's sexuality, especially when they're of the same gender as the impending target.

But rather, Jay set her sights on Katie's mental state of mind, her frenzied thoughts, her natural instinct to escape her predators, at that pivotal moment of a potential cataclysm of her life. The sheer fear and desperation in Katie were described in such vivid detail, I could feel her safety slipping away. So when the moment came when Katie realised and decided that she wasn't just going to take anything without a fight, I literally jumped out of me seat with utter elation, cheering her on at every move!

The entire scene was depicted with such raw intensity and fervour, it was like watching everything unfold on-screen! This scene alone, garners this book a must-read.

Sweet Revenge (Culinary Mystery Series #14)

I'd not read anything written so efficaciously before that didn't have anything to do with the violent act BUT the psychological and emotional aspect and impact of a physically violent scene. That approach, to me, was so much more effective, creating a much more potently lasting impression, imo. Well done, Ms. The aftermath of Katie's horrendous ordeal marked the start of her journey of retribution, taking back her own life that was paralysed with fear, self-doubt, depression and zero self-esteem.

All the psychological effects that Katie experienced after such a traumatically life-altering event were deftly portrayed, including the fear that wasn't just of the perpetrators seeking another go at her but the deep-seated fear that her parents would find out about her sexuality. I was gratified by Jay's methodical approach in depicting Katie's PTSD, which was always whispering in the background throughout her journey. It showed that trauma such as Katie's has a long-term impact. This is where a little support goes a long way to recovery. In Katie's case, it was her brother, Simon.

I absolutely adored him. He reminded me so much of me own sister who'd defend and protect me to the death, no questions asked. So, I related to Katie and Simon's relationship very much and was so glad that Katie had a safe outlet she found in Simon. That knowledge, I thought, gave Katie the ammunition to begin her retribution on those who wronged her.

To say that it wasn't thrilling to read about what she planned, with that sense of "You go, girl! Make them sorry! I was Katie's ultimate cheerleader as she came up with some really creative ideas on each of them! Mind, I'm not one who condones violence or any kind of physical attack. It's so easy to judge, out of context or in an abstract, innit? But when something as traumatic as what happened to Katie happens to oneself, I think our perspective, our sense of justice, shift, don't they?

And that mindset is aptly personified by Gillian, who would slowly but surely become Katie's love as the story developed and progressed further. Let me just say, though, that Katie's retribution was not what you might think, at least not its essence. Katie's crippling fear that she felt in the aftermath of the incident left a deep scar in her inner psyche, which was the catalyst to her PTSD.

That kind of deeply personal emotive substance that had infected her sense of well-being, in time, and because deep down, she was a strong character, thanks to the love and support she always had from her parents, especially her brother, she was able to finally face up her fear and handle it head-on. Karma is truly a bitch.

Bitter Sweet Revenge - Kindle edition by Donna Jay. Romance Kindle eBooks @

Again, it's not what you think! I won't divulge it here because the entire process of Katie finally being able to confront her perpetrators, complete with bouts of PTSD flare-ups, needs to be read so the impact can be felt directly. Jay's utterly fervent description of every sequence during each confrontation was what made Katie's way of looking at fear in the eye and kicking it into the abyss through her perpetrators so powerful and compelling.

Deeply stirring. Sidenote: That's why a little love, encouragement, and support to a person who's been bullied, or ill-treated by peers or other people, go a long, long way. It doesn't have to be done in a grand manner. A person only needs an acknowledgement, a reassurance that they are worthy, that they matter, that it gets better, to catapult their previously defeated spirit into action - persevere, live, let go, move on.

She was the polar opposite of Katie in every way. Unlike Katie's fear of being found out to be a lesbian, Gillian was totally living out and proud. Whereas Katie was still too afraid to tell her parents about her sexuality, Gillian's sexuality had total support of her parents and family who loved her unconditionally. October 30, October 28, Hope you are having a wonderful Monday! It started to rain here in LA and being like the bunnies we are we wanted to burrow in our huts!

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