Official Review: Lust by Lola Blake

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CataclysmicKnight
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Official Review: Lust by Lola Blake

Post by CataclysmicKnight » 06 Jun 2016, 12:21

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Lust" by Lola Blake.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Note: there's a minor mention of underage incestuous rape in this book, as well as some cussing.

With a name like Lust, I almost didn't even consider reviewing this book. I'm very glad I looked at the book's description - this isn't an erotic book at all! Instead, it's a first person historical fiction account of a girl named Linda. Linda was unfortunate enough to get pregnant the first time she had sex when she was only 16. While this is seeming more and more common today, back in the late 1960s in Australia this was massively shameful. Instead of being supportive of their little girl, Linda's parents drop her off at Loxley House until she's had the child and given it up for adoption.

Loxley House is where the book takes place, starting with Linda being forcibly dumped there. The place is run by two strict nuns, but taken care of by putting the pregnant girls that stay there to work. The first order of business - Linda opening her bag to let one of the nuns go through her clothes and take any short skirts or shameful items (even her high heels), then mentioning that clothes like that are probably how she ended up in this mess - really sets the stage for the rest of her stay. The point is driven home even more when, later, she's told not to gain more than 25 throughout her pregnancy because otherwise it'll be obvious what happened when she gets home.

While being dumped out of ordinary life, imprisoned by nuns and worrying about what pain and discomfort pregnancy will bring would be enough to crush anyone, the sisterhood and friendship the girls share keeps them going. Lola Blake, the author, does a good job giving each of the girls their own personality and struggles, then blends them all together well in the house. All the girls end up dealing with their situation differently and it's interesting how even one of the nuns - Sister Catherine - becomes softer on the girls at times, understanding their pain and difficulties.

The book does a good job with its setting as well. It's really interesting to see an era my parents went through - the sexual revolution. Suddenly music, magazines and television were becoming "crude". Women were burning bras and people were "liberated". But, as the book points out, it's really only the men who reaped the benefits. The girls who became pregnant were shamed and, in these cases, essentially forced to give their kids up for adoption. The men responsible, however, either never knew about it or couldn't care less - it just wouldn't be fair to burden them with their pregnancy. Even after the pregnancy, the women were looked at as "ruined", and no one would want an easy woman no matter how in love they were when they ended up pregnant or if they were raped. These are things that, over 40 years later, are still valid today where men who hook up with girls are studs but girls who hook up with guys are looked down upon.

Overall, the book did a fantastic job of not only capturing the era and the thoughts these girls went through, it was able to explore all sorts of outcomes thanks to having so many girls at Loxley House. Really the only flaw I found with the book was that it could use some editing. There were a few situations where a word was missing, the wrong word was used or an extra word was thrown in that made a sentence take a few reads to understand. If I could, I'd give the book a 3.5, but it's more worthy of 4 out of 4 stars than 3. Also worthy of mentioning is that this is said to be "A Seven Sisters Novel (Volume 1)". If this wasn't mentioned, I never would've even considered this as part of a series because it absolutely stands alone. I'm really intrigued to see what's explored next!

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Christopher Morosoff
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Post by Christopher Morosoff » 08 Jun 2016, 13:44

Excellent review of "Lust by Lola Blake." Thanks for clearing up the actual subject matter.... the title doesn't sound as if it does the book justice. Interested in reading it now! Great job!

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Swash1967
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Post by Swash1967 » 13 Jun 2016, 09:41

Do you have any idea if this was a true story?

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Post by katiesquilts » 13 Jun 2016, 13:33

I also had to do a double-take when I saw that a YA novel had such a provocative title! It sounds like an interesting, emotional read.

Nice review, by the way. :mrgreen:

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Courteney Chew
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Post by Courteney Chew » 02 Jul 2016, 00:52

Based on the title of the book I was a bit taken back by your review, I did not expect the book to be like that. Thanks for the review! It really cleared up my first impression of the book.

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 03 Jul 2016, 07:30

Sounds like a very interesting book. As an unwed mother at 19, I think I can relate with these girls. Great job on the review. I hope I get the chance to read it. Congratulations to Lola Blake on such an obviously well-written book.

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Post by Clifora » 22 Jul 2016, 23:16

When I saw the title of the book, I certainly thought it would be one of those romance books. Thankfully, I read your review - which really cleared up the confusion I had about it. Great job on the review! I will definitely check this book out when I can.
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Post by KeriCraven » 12 Oct 2017, 10:47

Sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for your review.
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Post by meteku4 » 12 Oct 2017, 10:53

I was a bit skeptical about what the title will convey myself, but I am glad I read your review. Great job. Thanks!
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Post by Abodunrin » 14 Oct 2017, 01:06

When I saw the title I couldn't help but imagine what the subject matter will be and the lessons it will teach the readers. But from the review I can tell it is quite educative and instructive. I will just read it attentively and extract the lessons I can possibly extract
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Post by Nanig83006 » 02 Apr 2018, 09:01

Despite the title and cover, the book sounds like quite an interesting read. Thank you for clarifying as much in your review.

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Post by Haute_Coffee » 04 Apr 2018, 19:36

Ooh this sounds really good. So do the books in the series each focus on a different girl there, do you think?

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Post by Asavela » 30 May 2018, 15:54

Great review, sounds like a interesting book. Definitely won't judge by the cover next time

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Post by Paiges-reads » 01 Jul 2018, 22:30

Thank you for the review! I have to admit, I kept going back and fourth on this book. You make it sound so interesting, but I'm afraid it would just anger me, what these women were put through - and as you mentioned, some of those stigmas are still around today. In the end, while you make it sound engaging, I don't think I could make it through the book. Thanks again!

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