Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Healing Hannah's Heart by Preslaysa Williams


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Healing Hannah's Heart by Preslaysa Williams
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Hannah Hart may have been burned by the breakup of her rocky marriage, but the ambitious Afro-Filipina model has big plans for her future. Her stunning looks and flawless skin provide the opening she craves to become a celebrity in the fashion world. Then an arsonist’s match brings Hannah’s world crashing down around her.

While Hannah recovers from her burns, she is forced to accept help from the last person on earth she wants, her estranged husband, Jake Hart. Jake isn't ready to give up on their marriage. The return of Jake's teenage son from a one-night stand had been the catalyst for their breakup. Can Jake help both the son who resents his abandonment and the woman he still loves? He can do nothing about the scars on her skin, but can he heal Hannah's heart?
As she struggles to rebuild her life from the ashes of her shattered dreams, does Hannah have the courage to give Jake a second chance? And is the world ready for a differently-abled model who will redefine what it means to be beautiful? 
I sat on my feelings for Healing Hannah's Heart for a while because I wasn't sure how to encapsulate my feelings for this book. I wanted to be eloquent and not sound like a raging maniac. However, even after all of that time, though my feelings are not as strong—I still do not and will never like this book.

I try not to make everything about race but with the portrayal of black women; it gets my hackles up to see us portrayed stereotypically. AAVE is a part of our culture, but it is always blatantly obvious when an author is using it to portray a character's blackness; as opposed to something that is inherently a part of their everyday vernacular and or lifestyle. That's what Hannah was(is) to me. The author is a black woman and I am not using this space to question her blackness, but her character reads false. I could tell by how the words were used and then spoken. Like, if someone spoke Spanish, you can tell the difference from someone who has spoken it for a long period of time, compared to someone who is just learning. The blackness of one’s character is not determined by how many aint’s or periods they can fit in a paragraph or a sentence. Don’t use it as a determining factor for blacknessas for me and my house, it won't be well received.

The son (the illegitimate child) has these barber cut designs in his hair, tattoos, and the clothes to boot. He read like the gang banger he wound up being. Though the understanding is that he’s a troubled kid due to the lack of a present father, I would have just as quickly believed it simply based on his actions—and found no need for the stereotyped exterior.

Also, the race card was played like a bad hand in this story. It wasn’t unbelievable by any means but it doesn’t seem believable at the same time. As a black person, in this world, race will play a role in our lives no matter what we do—but if you're going to discuss it, do it with care, not with the reckless abandon of someone seeking to grab a certain audience.

Even aside from that, I could not stand Hannah. She was rude and judgemental. She was basically that way to almost every single person who crossed her path. From her mother down to the son her husband had. She made that man forgo a relationship with his child because she needed to be more important to him—and in no way, shape, form or fashion could I get behind this ideology.

Not to mention the beginning of the book was a tailspin I got caught up in and could not find my way out of. I don't claim to know a lot but I don't hear of many gym fires. The author too easily set up the one thing that would hinder the character's development and the thing that would progress the plot. I mean I can't imagine being in a gym pedaling away, walking away momentarily, and the whole thing going up in flames---and then getting caught in said fire.

It was laughable. I literally laughed because I couldn't believe it. I knew from that point the story wouldn't go well. I was not wrong. The MC is awful and though everyone around her tried to do right by her, "her burns" hindered her from moving forward. While I don't doubt going from a swan to an ugly duckling would put many a people into a funk, she was funky long before she became a model burn victim. It served her right for treating her plus-sized model friend like trash because she was a plus-sized model. Who by the way forgave her far too quickly and easily than she deserved.

Hannah does make a turn around at about 95-100% percent, but by then I gave up on her because even with that swift and too late change, I do believe she's still an asshole.

The characters were dreadful. The representation was poor. The plot was boring and the story itself needs restructuring. I won't say I'm able or unable to make this assessment but it's going to be a complete no ma'am for me. 

3 comments:

  1. You know, this review speaks to me because I've felt the same way that you feel with other characters, in other books. Characters who are over the top, the dialogue is super cheesy and it makes the character seem false. I am probably going to stay away from this one. Thanks for the heads up!

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  2. Very interesting review, thank you for taking the time to drop it.

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