I know it's not currently the weekend, but honestly, I couldn't wait to write this post. :)
I'll start off right away with my rating and review of Defective. It's 5 out of 5 stars for me. Honestly I couldn't put it down. I mean, I did. I couldn't let the family starve, and the stack of dishes was starting to stink, but as soon as I could, I was picking it back up. Such a great novel.
Amazon review of Defective:
Wonderful, wonderful story!
I received a copy of Defective in exchange for a honest review.
I give this novel 5 out of 5 stars.
Usually, when I'm reading for a review, I nit-pick the entire thing, making notes as I read it. Not the case with Defective. I could not put it down. From page one, I connected with maggie, feeling her pain, fears, and despair. I wanted to find answers with her. I felt relief when she did. And her happy ending felt like MY happy ending.
Susan has written a touching story, bringing to lift hard issues that many people face. If I hadn't known this was her debut novel, I'd say she's been on the New York Times best seller lists for years. Well done Susan!
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Warning: Possible spoilers ahead!!!!!
A more detailed review of Defective:
The story centers around young Maggie, a law school student with an evil twin living in her head. From the start, you know something is wrong but you aren't looking at it objectively. You're in Maggie's head, listening to that evil voice spewing venomous thoughts. You FEEL lost in the darkness. And when her fiance, Sam, leaves her because of her seemingly split personality, it finally spurs Maggie to try and find some answers to her problems.
Finally, through visits to a therapist and psychiatrist, Maggie discovers what was wrong all along. She's bipolar 2, and there's hope that medicine can bring some normalcy to her life. But Maggie's idea of normal is having Sam back in her life, though it's becoming increasingly clear that a re-do of her life is not going to happen. Even if you've never been there, fighting to salvage a lost relationship, you FEEL like you know exactly how it is. In the back of your mind, you know there's nothing you can do, but you convince yourself that there's a chance.
Throughout this chaos, Maggie discovers secrets that her family has buried for years. Secrets that could have given her answers to her problems years ago. Bitterness threatens, but Maggie intends to never let secrets plague her family again. Through some great friends (and cousins), Maggie begins to think about a fling she had years ago, and finally reconnects with Nick, now an orthopedic doctor. Though Maggie's brain insists she's only having a friendly conversations, that all changes when Nick knocks on her door one day. The back of her mind still insists that life with Sam is possible though, and her willingness to listen to that one thought, ruins things with Nick.
Maggie finally sees the truth after a desperate conversation with Sam. She sees that he was never the one, and in that moment realizes that it had always been Nick from the start. Then comes a mad dash to find Nick and fix everything. You'll feel your own heart pounding as she races to catch up with him and the sigh of relief when he wraps his arms around her again.
When I started Defective, I assumed it was not going to be a happily-ever-after type story. Mental illness is difficult to diagnose and treat, and for some, even with help, they lose themselves in the darkness, permanently. It was great to see a good ending to what could've been a tragic story. I feel that Defective could not only be a great read, but also inspirational to those that struggle with their own minds. I cannot reiterate how much I loved this story.
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NOW, some information about Susan!
Susan Sofayov lives in scenic, Pittsburgh, PA and runs a real estate management/development company with her husband. She is the mother of three children and the owner of the most hated dog in the neighborhood.
You can find Susan here:
You can find Defective here:
Barnes and Noble
Black Opal Books
And a little more about Susan:
What inspired you to write your first book?
A combination of events inspired me to write the book, but the most important was my own diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder at age 46. I wanted people to understand that though not curable, mental illness, in many cases, can be controlled and people with mental illnesses are everywhere, living productive lives. I'll stop now. This is a subject I can ramble on about forever. But, if you read the book and see yourself in Maggie, please reach out for help.
What do you think is more important: Characters or Plot?
I think they're both important, but for me, characters are easier to write.
What does your family think of your writing?
Well, my mother is a one-woman marketing department. My daughter is a terrific beta reader. My sons are waiting for the Spark notes, and my husband claims he’ll read it when it’s translated into his native language, which is not English. Sad to say, but my only brother passed away two months before the release of Defective. The book is dedicated to him and my father.
If you could cast your main character(s) in a Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would land the roles?
Wow, that’s a hard one. These characters are completely real to me, asking the question is almost the same as asking me who would play my husband and children. I’ll give it a try. I think Jennifer Lawrence would make a great Maggie. Amanda Seyfried could play Stephanie. I think Anna Kendrick would make a good Amy. I don’t have any idea who could plan Sam or Nick.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Taller, just kidding. Honestly, I remember a whole list of things I wanted to be. Even now, if I could go back to college, I’d still be undecided. There are so many things that interest me, which is evident by the wide variety of jobs I’ve held.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
Cook, read, spend time with my family and friends.
What is a talent you have that no one knows?
It’s so secret, I don’t even know what it is.
What is one tip you'd give to up & coming authors?
One, join a critique group or find a critique partner who has different strengths than you do. Personally, I can’t use a comma properly to save my life, but I’m pretty good at identifying plot issues. My critique group inserts commas into my work and I help plug their plot holes. Also, go to conferences! They're worth the money.
If you could spend the day with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
My dad. He died many years ago. I would like to introduce him to my husband and his grandchildren. Also, I think he would be thrilled with all the technology we have today.
10) What's next for you?
I just finished my second novel, The Kiddush Ladies.