Review by Sahani Nimandra -- Insectual by Barbara Sala

This forum is for volunteer reviews by members of our review team. These reviews are done voluntarily by the reviewers and are published in this forum, separate from the official professional reviews. These reviews are kept separate primarily because the same book may be reviewed by many different reviewers.
User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1766
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: The Sparrow
Bookshelf Size: 594
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: Dibs and Dabs of my Life by Gertrude Coulter
Reading Device: Huawei

Review by Sahani Nimandra -- Insectual by Barbara Sala

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 06 Feb 2019, 21:03

[Following is a volunteer review of "Insectual" by Barbara Sala.]
Book Cover
2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Dear Readers,

If you have picked up this book in hope of finding a cheerful story, I'm afraid you have picked up the wrong sort. In fact, you shouldn't be reading this if you don't have a strong stomach. I call this a collection of unfortunate events encountered by Maya.

From the very first page, we can see Maya troubled by her emotional turmoil. Taking us back to the period of mid-to-late 1900s, Maya discloses her dark secrets: the existence of the Devil, and her haunting insignia of the black butterfly. Plunged in psychotherapy for seven years, she peeled-off her constrains and confusions. The mirage of incest, scars of a dysfunctional family, and cripple sexual relations with men are some of the dark omens lingering in her mind. Nevertheless, will she find her inner peace?

Babara Sala in her unusual picture book Insectual: The Secret of The Black Butterfly for adults explores Maya's dark world. Engulfed in the world of psychological thriller: it has certain fragments associated with historical fiction and biography. In these 253 pages, Barbara brings out a typical mocumentary aspect written in the first person's perspective. Because of its mature contents, I strongly advise this read is suitable for an adult audience.

Babara explores Maya's odyssey: from war and betrayal in Germany, late 1940s to the adventures in Africa, 1960s. This includes the Mulele revolution and African political unrest. By 1980s in Montreal, North America, she undergoes psychotherapy for seven long years.

The structure divided into 4 parts consists of 71 chapters in total. Part 1, Marriage in Congo, consists of 26 chapters: introduces her current life as a U.N official, and her failing marriage with Lorenzo. Part 2, Childhood in Nazi Germany, consists of 18 chapters: explores her childhood traumas buried in the Bavarian Alps which is the family's hideaway from the bombing raids, and her happy but short-lived honeymoon. Part 3, Seduction in Therapy, consists of 23 chapters which discuss the gradual steps of Maya's inner revolution and discovery that ultimately ended her marriage. Part 4, The Later Years, consists of 4 chapters which discuss Maya's new-found strength to stand up and embrace herself away from negativity and abuse. The literary device of quotes pulled from the text to create a parallel universe of 80 drawings, each one an epiphany helps to picture Maya's mindset.

The style used address the audience through quick flashback memories of Maya. It's a fast-paced, complex plot that makes your mind twist and turn to understand Maya's given circumstances in life. Readers intrigued by deep cognitive psychology will find this read fascinating. Maya's psychological struggles reminded me of a movie called Before I Awake.

Barbara used a lot of gray and black characters, and out of all Maya stands apart. Her introvert nature aids her inner turmoil and struggles. The scars of her past, haunting her like a leech, tipped off in her psychotherapy sessions. The secret seductions in therapy helped to create awareness about abusive therapist. Maya's anatomy about the secret seduction, "dislodge the pebble that sets in motion an avalanche." She doesn't have trouble falling in love but experiences a crippled sex life. Throughout these pages, I noticed the emotional and mental development within Maya.

This read is far different to what I anticipated. Though recognized as a historical fiction read, larger proportion of this read focusses more toward psychological aspects. 'Maya needs help' was the only statement that screamed in my mind through this read. There were moments that will slap you right across your face demanding attention. This plot never failed to define every part of this read with reason. It has the ability to reflect your life if you are an absorbed reader. I experienced a tedious beginning. The only short-lived happy moments that I experienced were Maya's honeymoon period. Barbara hinted indirectly about her hidden intention of introducing 'let go' concept.

This read tested my limitations and patients. The illustrations weren't funny, but rather concerning since it reflects an individual's mental health. The ending left me flabbergasted. I had great expectations, but the author's failure to execute a strong finisher resulted in my disappointment. I noted grammatical and sentence structure errors on a large-scale, and wish to caution the importance of re-editing this read. Considering the disappointment, and its baffling stressful source I rating this 2 out of 4 stars. It was a tedious disappointment! It's my sad duty to record these unpleasant events, but there is nothing stopping you from selecting a much merrier book: if you prefer that sort of a thing.

With all due respect,

******
Insectual
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Sahani Nimandra's review? Post a comment saying so!
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid! - Jane Austen :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Helen_Combe
Posts: 2396
Joined: 18 Feb 2018, 12:17
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 150
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Martian
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 177
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-helen-combe.html
Latest Review: A Twisted Wisdom by Stephanie Colbert
Reading Device: B00M4L4MFC

Post by Helen_Combe » 10 Feb 2019, 04:21

Sounds like quite a mixture of themes. I think I’ll stick to merrier topics.
A thesaurus is necessary, essential, indispensable, vital, crucial and fundamental.

User avatar
Cotwani
Posts: 1438
Joined: 01 Nov 2017, 16:12
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 200
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 10
2017 Reading Goal: 200
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 4
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 175
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cotwani.html
Latest Review: The Biblical Clock by Daniel Friedmann and Dania Sheldon

Post by Cotwani » 10 Feb 2019, 09:46

Congratulations for persevering through such sensitive but bizarre read. I guess I will stay with the merry!
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island!
-Walt Disney

User avatar
BelleReadsNietzsche
Posts: 331
Joined: 28 Jan 2019, 19:07
2019 Reading Goal: 36
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 22
Currently Reading: The Handmaid's Tale
Bookshelf Size: 276
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bellereadsnietzsche.html
Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by BelleReadsNietzsche » 11 Feb 2019, 02:10

Holy cow. This sounds too dark even for me, and I like dark and psychological themes. Thanks for your clear-sighted and thorough review!
"The bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so." -Ratatouille (2007)

User avatar
Zimall
Posts: 531
Joined: 17 Sep 2018, 22:06
2019 Reading Goal: 60
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 8
Favorite Author: Atilla K. Zengin
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 26
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-zimall.html
Latest Review: The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis
fav_author_id: 156933

Post by Zimall » 11 Feb 2019, 02:17

I was confused about whether to read this book or not and thanks to you am not going to read this😀. I would be frustrated if i had picked this one.
Thanks a lot for the great and honest review Sahani☺
"All That is Gold Does Not Glitter
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost"

User avatar
Espie
Member of the Month
Posts: 2171
Joined: 05 May 2018, 06:36
2019 Reading Goal: 12
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 25
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 116
Currently Reading: Bluewater Walkabout
Bookshelf Size: 102
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-espie.html
Latest Review: Pastoring is not what you think by Elijah Oladimeji

Post by Espie » 11 Feb 2019, 23:30

You've totally caught me with your introduction. Nonetheless, thank you for the warning and the honest review.
"Life has many different chapters for us. One bad chapter doesn't mean it's the end of the book."-Unknown
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."-Alexander Pope
"Put GOD first; He'll bless your efforts with success."-Proverbs

User avatar
Susmita Biswas
Posts: 104
Joined: 13 Jul 2018, 08:53
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-susmita-biswas.html
Latest Review: Superhighway by Alex Fayman

Post by Susmita Biswas » 12 Feb 2019, 00:27

I like dark thrilling stories but this one is an exceptionally dark one. I think I'll take the risk.

User avatar
Lunastella
Posts: 649
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 16:22
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 12
Currently Reading: The Ordinary Doll
Bookshelf Size: 785
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lunastella.html
Latest Review: The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

Post by Lunastella » 12 Feb 2019, 20:36

I like very much the idea of depicting psychological turmoil and I'm very much interested in books that approach inner struggles, but apparently, this one might need a better development.
Your review, as always, is engaging and original. Thank you!

User avatar
Kendra M Parker
Posts: 571
Joined: 07 Apr 2018, 07:49
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 12
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 88
Currently Reading: The Dragon In The Garden
Bookshelf Size: 406
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kendra-m-parker.html
Latest Review: Star Marque Rising by Shami Stoivall
Reading Device: B00GDQDRPK

Post by Kendra M Parker » 15 Feb 2019, 06:15

I gotta hand it to you. You’re braver than I am to have picked up this book. Just the title gives me the creeps. Knowing that it’s a dark psychological thriller definitely confirms it is not for me.

User avatar
Ma Cheryll
Posts: 187
Joined: 24 Nov 2017, 00:58
2019 Reading Goal: 8
2018 Reading Goal: 8
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Currently Reading: Happy Healing
Bookshelf Size: 58
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ma-cheryll.html
Latest Review: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid by Gary Robinson

Post by Ma Cheryll » 17 Feb 2019, 15:46

Thank you for the big warning sign dear @Sahani Nimandra I can feel the disappointment from your very descriptive review! Fortunately, it’s not my cup of tea, that’s why i can easily go pass this read👍thanks again! Best regards to the rest of your forthcoming reviews👏

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1766
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: The Sparrow
Bookshelf Size: 594
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: Dibs and Dabs of my Life by Gertrude Coulter
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 17 Feb 2019, 23:22

Helen_Combe wrote:
10 Feb 2019, 04:21
Sounds like quite a mixture of themes. I think I’ll stick to merrier topics.
Yes, I'm sure about that. Thank you for stopping by!
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid! - Jane Austen :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1766
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: The Sparrow
Bookshelf Size: 594
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: Dibs and Dabs of my Life by Gertrude Coulter
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 18 Feb 2019, 00:37

Cotwani wrote:
10 Feb 2019, 09:46
Congratulations for persevering through such sensitive but bizarre read. I guess I will stay with the merry!
It's better that way. Thank you for commenting! :tiphat:
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid! - Jane Austen :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1766
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: The Sparrow
Bookshelf Size: 594
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: Dibs and Dabs of my Life by Gertrude Coulter
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 18 Feb 2019, 00:43

BelleReadsNietzsche wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 02:10
Holy cow. This sounds too dark even for me, and I like dark and psychological themes. Thanks for your clear-sighted and thorough review!
Thank you for stopping by! And yes, Holy Cow. I'm glad you for this read resourceful. :tiphat:
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid! - Jane Austen :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1766
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: The Sparrow
Bookshelf Size: 594
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: Dibs and Dabs of my Life by Gertrude Coulter
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 18 Feb 2019, 00:45

Zimall wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 02:17
I was confused about whether to read this book or not and thanks to you am not going to read this😀. I would be frustrated if i had picked this one.
Thanks a lot for the great and honest review Sahani☺
If you are an absorbed read then you shouldn't. I'm glad you found my read resourceful. :tiphat:
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid! - Jane Austen :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1766
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: The Sparrow
Bookshelf Size: 594
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: Dibs and Dabs of my Life by Gertrude Coulter
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 18 Feb 2019, 00:46

Espie wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 23:30
You've totally caught me with your introduction. Nonetheless, thank you for the warning and the honest review.
Thank you for commenting, dear Espie! :tiphat:
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid! - Jane Austen :techie-studyingbrown:

Post Reply

Return to “Volunteer Reviews”