Saturday 15 February 2020

Unprotected - Sophie Jonas-Hill

She's fighting to save everyone else but will she have anything left to save herself?

Witty, sharp and sarcastic tattoo artist Lydia’s life is imploding. Her long-term relationship has broken down after several miscarriages and she’s hiding from her hurt and loss in rage.  After a big night out she wakes beside a much younger man who brings complications she could really do without. 

As her grief about her lost babies and failed relationships spirals out of control, she obsesses about rescuing a wayward teenage girl she watches from her window and gets more involved than she should with her charming but unstable younglover. 

Unprotected is a raw and punchy story of love, family and accepting yourself for who you really are.

What did I think?

Oh my goodness, what a flipping AWESOME novel.  Reading books you wouldn't normally pick up has to be one of the best things about blogging; it's so easy to stick to your comfort zone with your favourite authors, but by doing so you're missing out on a wonderful world of outstanding literature with books like Unprotected.  It's going to be hard to review Unprotected as it's so fantastic that I all I really want to say is "just buy it", but I'll try to portray some of the reasons why you should definitely do just that.

Lydia is Hurting and I mean that with a capital 'H'.  Having miscarriage after miscarriage and yearning for a baby proves too much for her partner Max who kicks Lydia when she's down and leaves her.  Oh I could have given Max a good kicking alright!  Lydia has never really felt good enough so she takes the failure to carry a baby for longer than a few weeks more personally than most.  When Max leaves her she spirals out of control, and I couldn't really blame her, but I feared that she would fracture into a million pieces if she hit rock bottom.  

To take her mind off her pain, Lydia picks up an unshakeable one night stand who she refers to as 'The Boy'.  As much as he keeps turning up when she doesn't want him to, it turns out that he is carrying his own pain and in order to help him Lydia needs to muster the strength she has deep inside.  With Lydia's mind going round like a washing machine, it's no surprise that she suffers from insomnia.  When she sees strange things with a young girl going on at the local taxi rank, Lydia's maternal instinct kicks in and she turns into a roaring lioness.

Lydia reminded me of Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander, not only because she has tattoos and blue hair but because she is such a strong character and is willing to fight to keep people safe.  It's absolutely astounding how Sophie Jonas-Hill has created a character in Lydia that is so personal and completely laid bare that I felt as if I could see the bones of her.  Every flaw, pain and quip builds such a multi-dimensional character that makes it easy to forget that she is fictional.  

Absolutely stunning, Unprotected is gritty, raw, emotional and surprisingly humourous.  If you're looking for something different to read, you've definitely found it.  Unprotected is so unique and painfully compelling; I've never read anything like it.  Very highly recommended.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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