Apr 17, 2015

Rewriting the fairytale || Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke

Title:Damsel Distressed
Author:Kelsey Macke
Release Date:October 14th 2014
Publisher:Spencer Hill Contemporary
Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters' story. Those girls don't get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing 

Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.

When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time.

While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.

And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.

I knew that I was going to love Damsel Distressed even before I started it.I learned about this book from Hazel @ Stay Bookish.After reading her beautiful review for this Cinderella retelling,I knew I had to give this book a shot.Fortunately for me,I could borrow a copy from Nuz @ Say it With Books and thanks to both of them,I found my next new favourite book which ruined me and left me drowning in feels and tears.

Damsel Distressed is the story of Imogen Keegan.A chubby,overweight,insecure girl who's battling depression and panic attacks.She lost her mother when she was really young,and her absent father remarries and along comes a ready made stepsister-gorgeous and completely evil.Her only escape is her passion for theatre-she is a sound techie-and her adorable best friend Grant,whom she is in love with.

Imogen's story is painful,heartbreaking and it hit a really sensitive spot in me.I personally think that,in a way,every girl is insecure.But still,some of us,carry it around like a burden.As an obstacle.As a barrier to our confidence and happiness.As a wet blanket to our joy,relationships and success.And if you are a girl who feels like that,you'll definitely relate to Imogen's story.

I've always been an insecure girl. I've always felt like I am not pretty enough,not fair enough and not good enough.Often I've stood in front of the mirror and wished that I was prettier.And then there was the bullying.It's amazing how someone can bring down your self esteem and confidence in a few seconds.I was bullied a lot.Bullied for being a bespectacled,braces wearing,plain faced preteen.Bullied for being too smart.Plus I was also diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome-a neuropsychiatric disorder-when I was 11,automatically branding me as a "basket case."

Those times made me cry a lot. I've often felt like I don't want to live anymore.I was utterly miserable,sick and tired of life.
But one thing I am proud of,is that I never gave up.I just had some optimism inside me-which I clung to.
And now,at almost 17 year old,I've matured quite a lot.I can't say I've totally overcome my insecurity-I still am hugely insecure,at least appearance wise.But with the other things,I've come through a lot.So when I read this book,where Imogen went through each and every single agony I went through in my own life,I couldn't help but break down and cry for myself,Imogen and all the other girls in the world,who feel like that.

Imogen is a beautiful character.Throughout the book,I wanted to hug her tightly and say that she is not alone.I could understand every single feeling of hers.Kelsey Macke has portrayed her as a personification of insecurity.Because with insecurity,comes low self esteem,bitterness,hatred and lots and lots of jealousy.She struggled through everything,and by the end of the book,I was shedding happy tears for her,thinking how proud of her I was.

All the characters beside her were wonderful as well.Grant,Imogen's love interest and best friend was basically her rock.He was a shoulder to lean onto and a great support,and I loved him for that.He was there whenever Imogen needed him.I loved his geekiness,cute t shirts,love for Imogen and for being a wonderful best friend.Though I was really happy for them that they ended up together,truth to be told,I actually loved their friendship more.It was truly beautiful.

The rest of the characters,Brice,Jonathan,Antonique were all great people as well.And then there was Imogen's father,who was not an ideal father,but he was there when she really needed him.Imogen's stepmother,who ended up being a great person in the end.And finally even Carmella-who was evil,yet quite vulnerable herself in a way.

Damsel Distressed deals with emotions in a beautiful way.Even if you don't break down in every five minutes like me while reading the book,I guarantee that you'll feel touched and will be moved.It's impossible not to feel a deep connection to Imogen and her story.Kelsey Macke presents raw,powerful and intense emotions in the book,and it will definitely drown you in feels.

On a side note,I also want to mention the companion soundtrack.The author's band-Wedding Day Rain-has composed a playlist of songs,titled Imogen Unlocked.Those songs are beautiful,and will bring back the feels that the words of the book brought you.

In the end,the only thing I can say is.GO READ THE BOOK!Damsel Distressed is a beautiful book with intense emotions and painful feels.The book stresses on how insecurity can destroy someone totally.Furthermore,it says that though life is clearly not a fairytale,we can make it one.We have the power to design our lives,no one else.
Damsel Distressed is a must read,and I'll recommend it to anyone,especially those who love angst filled,emotional contemporary tearjerkers.

P.S-By the way,sorry for dumping my own personal grief story on you guys.
But,I am not going to lie,it felt really good to let it all out:)

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