4 out of 4 stars
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What's Your Poison is a modern-day fictional story written by Marie Fostino. Published in June of 2018, Fostino's story is a shorter read at 170 Kindle edition pages. Although written as a work of fiction, the novel is inspired by the author's personal experiences in working in a detox and rehabilitation center for addiction. The main character in the story is a middle-aged woman named Sylvia. Compelled to give back to the community by news of the Oklahoma bombing, Sylvia enrolls in EMT school with a determination to help others.
After serving as an EMT and paramedic for many years, Sylvia began another part of her career by working at a detox and rehabilitation clinic. Coming from what could be considered a sheltered life of being a housewife, Sylvia was horrified by the things she saw and heard while working at the clinic. She knew little regarding drug use and even less regarding the actions and language used by those who were suffering. Sylvia's story features some heart-wrenching situations of those who have lost everything due to their addiction, as well as an unfortunate close call that left her vulnerable to someone at the breaking point of their addiction.
Sylvia's character development from the beginning of the story to the end was admirable. When she first began her career, she often felt out of place and hesitant with the patients and their erratic behavior. Her caring and understanding demeanor helped her significantly grow within the center and allowed the visitors to feel more welcome and comfortable. I especially liked how the author included well-developed secondary characters to help fill out the story's depth as well. Some of these characters exhibited traits and prior life choices totally different than that of Sylvia, which allowed her a deeper understanding to see how addiction can change someone, but also how they can overcome their struggle and create an entirely new and positively refocused life.
While the pace of the story was exceptionally well-done, there were a few grammatical and spelling errors that became distracting at times. Some of these errors included displaced line breaks, spelling errors with words such as angle/angel and shelve/shelf, and a few sentences that lacked clarity altogether. Despite the errors I found while reading, I enjoyed reading Sylvia's story and found her mannerisms to be inspirational.
It's rare that I am able to give a 4-star rating to a story that lacks seamlessly professional editing, however, What's Your Poison is a story that will stick with me for a long time and I am happy to give a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Although I can confidently say the story will only benefit from another round of editing, I would positively recommend this one to a wide range of readers. Although there is mention of drug use and explicit language, the author substituted the expletive words with symbols. Despite how the clinic center works tirelessly to help patients with their addiction, it's necessary to give a trigger warning to readers who may have previously, or currently are, struggling with substance or alcohol addiction.
What's Your Poison
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