Angst by Victoria Sawyer
Release date: February 7, 2013
My rating: 3.25 depressing stars
***Recommended for ages 17+ for adult themes and frequent use of harsh language.
There are two things I want out of my freshman year of college: to hook up with confusing hottie Jared and to chug some beer as soon as possible.
Getting wasted is like purely medicinal freedom. I murder my secret and constant soul sucking fear and tense nervous body beneath 17 glorious shots of pseudo-sanity. And destroying self-conscious crazy me reveals a sexy confident stranger who likes to try wild new things.
Then there’s the Jared complication, the guy with the Halloween costume that features his ripped and naked chest. It’s an attraction I can’t deny. Too bad I can’t understand what he wants because half the time we’re making out on the dance floor and the other half we’re screaming at each other about whether or not I’m a party slut.
And as the year party-crashes to an end, my drunk-scapades and severe panic attacks want me to pay up, big time. What little sanity I started out with is clinging by a thin thread and when that thread snaps, I’m lying on the cold basement floor of my parents’ house, a loaded hand gun kissing my hot tear streaked forehead.
As I’m craving the freedom and soothing blackness of death, he calls and I open up like a fire hose of self-hating hot mess. After we hang up, I make a choice.
"Passionate about writing, graphic design, creativity. Fueled by the light and dark. Beauty, color, euphoria, artistic frenzy, depression, panic, anxiety."
What you see on the outside is not what you get on the inside. On the outside, Victoria Sawyer is polished, confident, put together, but on the inside things are a bit different. She's creative, thoughts whirling, anxious, alternately depressed and happy or self-critical and confident, energetic, charismatic, cranky and panicked.
She has suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and depression since the age of 10 and has been writing for just about as long. Her love of writing started as journal entries as therapy and eventually morphed into a melding of fact and fiction. Sometimes writing drives her to drink or drinking drives her to write or sometimes it's depression, anger, mental illness or love.
Angst is a story she has always wanted to tell, a fiction retelling of her own struggles as a college freshman. Her goal is to be completely honest about mental illness and life's struggles and to reduce the stigma of mental disorders. She hopes to follow up with a second book featuring Victoria in the future. For more Wicked Victoria, visit her blog: http://www.angstanxietypanic.wordpress.com
A little extra you won't find in the book....
October 31, 2004
I try to concentrate over the loud music and people yelling and laughing around me, squinting at the red Solo cup at the front of the triangle of cups across the table. I’m already pretty buzzed and things are starting to look kinda fuzzy. No matter though, since I’m a junior, I’m king shit at Beirut and I know I can make this shot. Confidence much? Whatever, I’ve had a lot of practice. I aim, say a prayer to the beer gods and throw my ping pong ball. It arcs and then effortlessly drops into the cup in the front of the triangle with a nice swishing sound. Fucking right!
My brother claps me on the back and I turn to face him and give him a high five. Our friends cheer and I accept their accolades with a nod.
“Maverick does it again, nose dive, double barrel roll!” Andy says with a laugh and I smile and then fall back to chat with a few of our friends while the girls in skimpy costumes across the table take their shot. I’ve been eyeing the brunette all night. I have a thing for dark haired girls. She giggles and then attempts to aim her ball, squinting one eye. She’s gonna miss, she’s already way too wasted, giggling and unsteady. But hey, it’s Halloween after all, everyone’s getting shitfaced.
I feel like someone’s watching me through the crowd and I turn to scan the packed basement to see what kind of hotties we’ve got here tonight at ATO. I’ve already seen a decent slice of hot girls in half naked costumes that I’d love to hook up with, not that I normally just randomly hookup, but tonight…fuck it, I want to let loose and not think about everything else going on in my life.
But that’s when I see her. Holy shit. She’s dressed in a devil costume, tall black boots, short black skirt, strapless red top and red devil horns. She’s got long dark hair and bright green eyes with cherry lips, shaking her hips to the music, moving seamlessly, a sexy sinuous girl, body bangin’ in all the right places. Nice ass, nice tits, sexy full pout. Whoa, uh hello.
She turns again and looks up from under her eyelashes, teasing me and my heart starts to hammer. She studies me for a minute, eyes zooming over my shirtless chest and I wonder what she thinks of my costume. Since I’m only wearing dog tags and shorts…she’s seeing a lot of what I have to offer. Does she like it? For the first time tonight I wonder if this was the right costume choice. Sure…I’ve been working out, I look good, but to flaunt it?
Her eyes flick to my face and catch mine and I can’t help but smile at her and she smiles back, this slow smile that starts with her sexy lips and travels to her gorgeous eyes and then she looks away. Yup I’ve got the right costume, definitely. I think she can appreciate. Wait a minute, she’s the girl from the grocery store…the hottie in the courtesy booth who cashed my check! The girl I innocently, yea sure, asked to help me find a few things and she offered to help me herself, not that she had to, it was almost like she wanted to. Sparks had been flying between us that day and I’d remember that curvy ass anywhere since I followed it down the aisle, eyes practically popping outta my freaking head. My face heats, body tense despite myself. I want that girl. She’s like my perfect girl. Victoria, her name’s Victoria, I remember that now from her nametag.
I spend the next hour or so drinking, playing flip cup and glancing at her when I can. What can I say, I’m too chickenshit to actually approach her. Lame, I know and I keep reminding myself how much every few minutes, hoping that the alcohol will finally give me courage. But that’s when the DJ announces a contest for sexiest girl costume and my heart starts to thud. Please let hottie devil Victoria go up. Please!
I watch her discreetly, trying not to be obvious and I breathe a bit faster when I see her pushing her way toward the front of the room with a hot blonde in an angel costume. Hot Devil, Hot Angel? Hell fucking yes. My brother elbows me cause apparently he thinks so too as they climb onto the stage. Sure, the blonde is hot, but the brunette, hotter still.
“I know that girl. How the hell do I know her?” I hear him say over the loud pulsing music as the girls on stage start dancing.
“Who?” I ask. But I’m hardly paying attention because she’s dancing again, in front of all of us, hips circling, body rolling, hands running over her waist, lips pouting and then she whispers into her friend’s ear and it’s like she’s playing the devil and her friend an angel who doesn’t want to dance dirty. The blonde shakes her finger no and pushes hottie devil away.
“The blonde, I know her. From high school, I think.” Andy replies. But I’m far past listening to him now. I cross my arms over my chest and watch. I take in all of her, heart pounding, body responding, eyes lingering on her legs, that amazing ass as she grinds, her curvy hourglass shape, long dark hair. Now the blonde is dancing with her, their hands all over each other and the crowd is going wild. No one is paying any attention to the other girls on the stage.
Some frat guy, I think it’s Jeremy Horne the Horndog, at the front near the stage yells “make out!” and I know the rest of us are thinking, yes, yes, yes yes!
They’ve got their arms around each other now, as close as they can be, still dancing, hands running over each other’s bodies and then the brunette devil breaks away, Victoria what a fucking hot name and she struts around the angel. She pauses, looks out over the crowd and her green eyes connect with me. Fireworks, sparks, tension, heat, all that cliché shit, but cliché or not my heart is jack hammering. She’s so fucking hot. Something passes between us, a moment, a question maybe, and I grin. She smiles back and pulls her friend in close again, says something to her and then leans in and…
Kisses the blonde angel. And not just a peck either, a full lipped and then slanting, open-mouthed make out session, hands traveling over each other.
My mouth drops open, pulse catapulted into a full body throb and all rational thought is gone. It’s like time has stopped. Guy…sexual…fantasy…overload. I can feel the crowd around me stop, stare, mouths open, guys shitting themselves with how hot this is. Holy fucking…and before I can have a coherent thought, the chanting starts, “Devil and Angel, Devil and Angel!”
Depression. Anxiety. Self-loathing. This book is one big book of spiraling self-destruction. The main character, Victoria, is stuck in her own head. She hates herself. She suffers from severe anxiety and depression. This was a hard book to read for many reasons.
If you aren't one for books that jump from time frame to time frame, in no chronological and logical order, this is definitely not a book for you. This book jumps from specific days in different years, even going back into the main character's childhood. It is hard to follow if you aren't paying attention to the dates.
The author describes the main characters thoughts thoroughly. This is supposed to depict a young girl full of anxiety, but it is much more than that. She is highly depressed, and borderline personality disorder. I have suffered from anxiety for years, I have never had the thoughts and actions as this main character. She exhibits some bi-polar tendencies and manic depressive tendencies. She is a walking zombie.
If you are looking for a light read into a mind of a young woman with some self-esteem issues... This book goes way beyond that. I was drawn to this book after reading the blurb. However, it didn't live up to what I was hoping for. I understand what the author is trying to accomplish in this book, but I didn't get where I think I should be. I tip my hat to Victoria. As a new author, this is a hot topic to start out with. The writing just wasn't to my liking per-say. This book was not only hard to follow, but it was hard to read. I had to force myself through over 300 pages of a depressing monologue. Please don't think I am trashing this book. I am not. This book just isn't my cup of tea. Many will like this. I think this is a book that either you will rave about or not. I don't think there really is an in-between with it.
If I didn't necessarily care for the book, why the 3.25 rating? That is easy. This isn't a bad book. Just not a book for me. The writing in itself may not call out to me, but it is good. This book has many mixed ratings. It's a sensitive topic. Some will like how the author delivers it, others won't. So when you read this book, just keep in mind that this isn't a romance novel. It is not a comedy or a thriller. It is the deep, personal thoughts of a college girl on the brink of losing her sanity. It will tear you apart over and over again. You may not necessarily have a smile on your face once it ends, then again, you may. If you can handle the topics covered in this book, you should definitely read it.
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