Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wounded Review

Book Review April


by: Jasinda Wilder

★★★★★ 5 Stars

In a country where women do not amount to much Rania is running out of options. How far would you go to survive?

Having recently read Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder I was desperate for something as wonderful. Wounded was that and more. (BTW I found Wounded in To Die for, a collection of books on Amazon for only .99 cents, link on bottom.) If you’re also a fan of Falling Into You, let me warn you, Wounded is nothing like it. Sure it has it’s heartbreaking moments, but Wounded is dark, twisted and magnificently beautiful. I warn you though; this book is not for everyone as Rania must do some crazy things to survive. The setting for the majority of the story is Iraq and Jasinda Wilder holds nothing back. Wounded is not like watching the war on TV, no it’s like being stranded in a crumbling building waiting to see if you survive the next missile or shot from an automatic assault rifle. I think Rania is an amazing character. Even in a place where women do not amount to much, she turns her back on her religion and lives by her own rules. She’s limited in what she can do and how she can survive but she’s able to differentiate her personas in order to stay sane. This is really a story of two emotionally wounded people coming together and finding a love neither expected. The book does have alternating POV's that work amazingly well. This is a great example of a story that knows when to use them and how. Wounded was a touching masterpiece I was sad to see end.

Rania and her brother Hassan are young children living in Iraq, in the early 90's, trying there hardest to stay alive in the middle of a war. Both their parents have died and they live with a aunt whose health is slowly deteriorating as well. The two are wandering around the streets trying to hide from bombs when they run into an American photographer.
Hassan picks up a gun and aims it at the man. Before he shoots the man fires upon him (only hitting him in the arm). Rania picks up the gun to defend herself and though she can tell the man will not shoot her, she releases the clip into his stomach.

Two years later Hassan decides to become a full time soldier and leaves Rania all alone. Rania runs all over the city to try and convince her twelve year old brother to return home. He hits her, refuses to come home and tells her she is on her own.
Starving for food Rania is desperate. Her home is bombed and she scours the city looking for food or work, finding neither. One evening a small group of Iraqi soldiers offer her food. She does not realize the offer comes with rules and Rania is raped. (Though she excuses it as payment for food.) With no other hope for income Rania begins to sell her young body for money. 
She finds shelter and a home next door to a bombed mosque. The mosque becomes her place of business and her alter ego Sabah runs free leaving Rania (the innocent) far behind.

For years Rania does not see her brother and thinks he is long dead. One day, roughly ten years later, Rania sees Hassan again as a small group of American soldiers are patrollign the streets. Hassan and his gang open fire. Hassan goes down as do numerous military members. Rania hides as best she can. One soldier jumps over the prone body of his friend and Rania is intrigued.
She approaches the fallen soldier and is reminded of the photorgaphers life she took years ago. She cannot leave him to die in the street so she drags him back home with ehr. 
Without a way to pay for food or medical supplies for the soldier she continues with business as usual often times with high ranking officials in the Iraqi military. Hunter is not OK with Rania's job but realizes he is in no shape to argue and she really has no other option in order to survive. Slowly the two begin to bond and manage to learn enough of each-others language to communicate. (Even if they sound like 5 year-olds occasionally.)
Rania has never known love or even pleasure. As she begins to know Hunter the two bond and slowly fall in love. However, Rania manages to make an enemy of a past client and military official Abdul and Hunter comes to defend her.Hassan magically reappears to warn Rania that Abdul and a small army are coming to kill her.
Hunter is not going to let anything happen to Rania and promises to do everything he can before going down. Luckily, his men are nearby and after taking out the enemy they are rescued. Hunter demands that Rania come back with them and after being beaten by her people for harboring an American soldier she is taken on base with Hunter.
Rania is close to getting thrown off base when Hunter realizes what he has to do. He has the chaplain brought in and the two are married. 

Rania is fearful of being owned by a man but realizes that Hunter will not own her. She will no longer have to sell herself to survive or worry about where her next meal will come from. Hunter has freed her and nothing is more romantic than that!!!

Blurb: War has taken everything from me. My family. My home. My innocence. In a country blasted by war and wracked by economic hardship, a young orphan girl like me has very few options when it comes to survival. Thus, I do what I must to live, to eat, and I try very hard to not consider the cost to my soul. My heart is empty, and my existence brutal.
The one impossibility in my life is love.
And then I meet HIM.
War is hell. It takes a chunk out of a man's very soul to do the kinds of things war demands of you. You live with fear, you live with guilt, and you live with nightmares. If you haven't been through it, there's no understanding it. War leaves no room for love, no room for tenderness or softness. You gotta be hard, closed off, and ready to fight every moment of every day. Lose focus for a split second, and you're dead.
Now the only thing that can save me is HER.

Amazon link for To Die For - still .99 cents as of 3/2/2013 


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