Monday, June 2, 2014

Undefeated by Scott Hildreth, Review by Dee

 Undefeated by Scott Hildreth
review by Dee

Trying to figure a way to get out of a relationship and not feel like a complete failure is difficult. Most people will never understand why I have stayed in the relationship with Josh as long as I have. As much as I hate the way that he has treated me, I cannot imagine giving up on us - giving up on our relationship. I don’t think I know how to be alone. When I think of it, my head gets all jumbled up and I get scared. Sometimes when I think of leaving him I shake. As soon as I start shaking, I change my mind. I often wish someone would decide for me.

Each time that he has beaten me, I deserved it. I remember the time when I was eighteen, right after high school. Josh was twenty-one. He had to work overtime that day, and he came home exhausted from a long day at work. He asked me about dinner, and I back talked him. He just lost his temper. He never would have hit me if I hadn’t talked back. It was a really long day for him.

If I am attempting it, and I do not succeed, you can believe that I gave it my best effort, regardless of the outcome. I choose to do very little, and be exceptional at what it is I decide to do. I would much rather be perceived as being great at a few things than be a failure at many. I have always been honest with myself and conscious of who I am, but that doesn’t always help me understand why I am the way I am.

On the outside, I am always kind, polite, and considerate of others. On the inside, demons reside. I don’t know why or what fuels the demons inside of me, but I am very aware of their existence. My consciousness of their need, necessity, and deep desire to be fed is what has caused me to choose boxing as my main outlet. I keep the demons fed, and they allow me to live an otherwise peaceful life. Fulfilling their hunger allows my desire to live a tranquil life to be met. As long as I continue to fight, they’re fed. When they are fed, I am allowed. Allowed to live.

Author Scott Hildreth's Inspiration for Writing Undefeated:

My inspiration to write Undefeated, and the hope that it may inspire someone to get out of an abusive relationship, came from the events described below. The events below are true. The events in the book are not. The book is one hundred percent fiction.

One weekend, I had a girl get in touch with me that I had never met. She had received my telephone number from a friend of a friend. Frantic, she attempted to speak to me initially, but each time she tried, she was overcome with emotion.

This emotion filled silence continued for almost an hour, and then we then actually began to communicate, albeit slowly, and one-sided. I learned through the conversation (that lasted almost eight hours) that she was bound by her husband, and gang raped by his friends. This happened for a few days. Against, if I even need to state this, her will. She was in and out of consciousness for two days. Eventually, she was released. In shock and extremely poor health, she contacted me from a remote hotel room.

I struggled with this event, and how to handle it. I struggled with this more than I have struggled with almost anything in my life. Vengeance. At what point does one administer justice to someone that the courts will undoubtedly not punish properly? The punishment for this particular crime, regardless of what was imposed by the court, would not be sufficient for the crime committed.

I chose at the time to speak to another close female friend about the event, and get her opinion.

Although I could not speak to my friend about the person, the events, or the intimacies of the above mentioned conversation, we spoke for some time in general about God, about law and about the difference between what is right and what is wrong. I shared with her my thoughts of feeling a need to resolve this issue with the caller’s husband on my own. When the smoke cleared, I sat in a coffee shop and thought. I made a decision. “Put up again thy sword into his place; for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” I decided, for once in my life, that it was not my responsibility to resolve this issue. I contacted the authorities, called in a few favors from some friends in law enforcement, and the issue was dealt with in a manner in accordance with law.

My female friend, as always, proved extremely useful in her ability to convey her understanding of the message of God in a manner that I could listen to and accept. I have always struggled with attempting to do what is right (in my mind), and hoped that it was what was right in God’s eyes. I do not know that these things always were in line with one another.

Until now.

And now, a year later, the person from the incident above?

She is well. As well as she can be, considering all things. She is fortunate.

I struggle - still today - with thoughts of vengeance.

My struggle brought me to this.

I hope you enjoy.

MY FIRST reaction after reading this book was you're a man, you're not supposed to understand how a woman feels, you're not supposed to get me! I'm not supposed to relate to how a man writes a book! How prejudice does that make me? Yeah I totally felt like a bitch. But the fact is that I did relate and he did get it. I'm not saying I'm being abused, but the reading being an escape, the dying need to have someone love you, to feel beautiful, to have someone who tells you everyday, someone who appreciates you....yeah I totally freaking relate. Now when it came to the book, I am on the fence.  Don't tar and feather me, let me explain. I liked the story, alot. I liked the characters, their growth, the little family they built. I even found some humor in their relationship and the way Kace did things, especially how she couldn't talk when overly excited. Or how she had to pee, it kind of made me laugh. But there were sometimes in the book where I would get stuck, not so much on the drama but the way it was written.  This is where I feel I need to explain. Not how Scott writes, but how he wrote how they would talk. I know Scott has some die hard fans and I'm sure I'm going to be tarred and feathered in the town square for saying this, but it was almost like the writing style changed throughout the book. One minute I like it and the next I dont. That's what would cause me to be on the fence. The weird part, most times it was when it was a guy's POV. I know, I'm strange. Now let me also say, I'm not too sure about Ripp.  I didn't really care for his character at times, and most times it was when he talked that I kind of spaced out and couldn't stay in the story. I liked that he took care of Shane and Kace both when they needed it, and I loved that he took care of Buster. But I don't know, I just couldn't connect with his character. And part of me thinks it's the way he talks. I don't know what it was about it that I really just didn't like. I really like Kace`s growth in this book and how Shane helped her get there. I really liked Shane`s outlook on life. I loved the way he approached fighting. And I also love his need to defend women, children and elderly people who need it more than anything. I could almost validate the violence at that point. Do you see my internal battle now? Something about Ripp just threw me off, I can't pinpoint what it was. But.. the larger issue was, because I kept getting distracted about why I just couldn't get into his character, it kept leading me astray from the story of Shane and Kace... and to me, that story deserved my full attention. I can tell you what I absolutely loved and wished there was more of... getting in Shane's head when he fought. I. Freakin. Loved. It.  Like I said, I still liked the book. Please don't tar and feather me! 

I give this book 3.5 hearts!

☆☆ Unstoppable (Book 2, Ripp and Vee) ☆☆

☆☆ Unleashed(Book 3,Extended Ripp&Vee) ☆☆ 

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