Sunday, 19 October 2014

Review: Scratch by Rhonda Helms

ScratchAuthor: Rhonda Helms
Series: -
Publisher: Kensington
Pages: 240
Release Date: 30/09/2014


The most painful scars are the ones you never see. 

In her DJ booth at a Cleveland dance club, Casey feels a sense of connection that's the closest she ever gets to normal. On her college campus, she's reserved, practical-all too aware of the disaster that can result when you trust the wrong person. But inexplicably, Daniel refuses to pay attention to the walls she's put up. Like Casey, he's a senior. In every other way, he's her opposite. 

Sexy, open, effortlessly charming, Daniel is willing to take chances and show his feelings. For some reason Casey can't fathom, he's intent on drawing her out of her bubble and back into a world that's messy and unpredictable. He doesn't know about the deep scars that pucker her stomach - or the deeper secret behind them. Since the violent night when everything changed, Casey has never let anyone get close enough to hurt her again. Now, she might be tempted to try.

Review: 2 out of 5 stars

The premise is what originally intrigued me about Scratch, a young girl with a traumatic past who puts her efforts into DJing and her studies whilst also finding an unlikely friend and eventual love but unfortunately it fell flat in execution for me and I was unable to fully appreciate the book.

The characters: Casey is a college senior with a tragic past; she isolates herself from everyone except her grandparents, her days are spent studying and some nights DJing at a dance club. Daniel is in Casey’s Philosophy class and inserts himself into her life much to her reluctance; he was an all-round great guy with bucket loads of patience.

What I enjoyed:

  • * The build-up to the mystery surrounding what had happened to Casey and her family – her stomach is covered in puckered scars, I was eager to learn what had happened to her.
  • * As a love interest, Daniel was a great guy – kind, calm, persistant and tolerant.
  • * The beautiful cover art.
  • * Casey’s amazing grandparents were a wonderful support.
  • * The believability of Casey’s anxiety and panic attacks

What I didn’t enjoy:  

  • * A heroine I couldn’t relate to or connect with.
  • * Insta attraction/lust & love.
  • * The writing seemed stilted and the dialogue made me cringe.
  • * I didn’t feel the connection between Casey and Daniel, too much seemed to happen between them too soon. They were chalk and cheese.
  • * I would have loved more page time with Casey and her passion for music and DJing – we only get a small aspect.
  • * Casey’s hot and cold personality drove me crazy! I constantly wondered why Daniel would stick around when she constantly pushed him away.

Scratch is a book that I feel has potential; it just needs a little refining.

About the author: Rhonda Helms started writing several years ago. She has a Master's degree in English and a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. She also edits for Carina Press (an imprint of Harlequin Publishing) and freelance edits.

When she isn't writing, she likes to do amateur photography, dig her toes into the sand, read for hours at a time, and eat scads of cheese. WAY too much cheese.

Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her family.


  1. Sorry this one wasn't better, that always sucks. I really appreciate your honest review.

    1. Thanks Ellen! the premise was great I just expected more.

  2. It is so hard when you cannot connect to the heroine. The premise does sounds good, and I like the mystery aspect.

    1. The mystery was great, I was very curious but a lacklustre MC makes any story fall flat for me.

  3. This kind of sounds like This Song Will Save Your Life, but not as good. Sorry this one was a bust for you.

    1. I haven't heard of that book Nereyda, I will have to check it out because the concept really interested me.

  4. Daniel and Casey’s grandparents sounds like wonderful secondary characters, and I like that the author delivered on the anxiety/ panic attack front. However, if the heroine falls short that will usually pull an entire story down, and the stilted dialogue definitely didn't do this story any favours. Have fun as Disney! :D

    1. They were fantastic secondary characters but the heroine needed a little bit of a backbone and a bit of oomph (if that makes sense).

      Thanks Carmel! we're on the countdown now, very excited!

  5. I have a copy of this book but I've seen that it's gotten less than stellar reviews. I also wouldn't like the instalust situation. Ugh! You'd think that Casey's love of music and DJ-ing would be more prominent considering the title of the book. And I always love it when grandparents are featured in books. Is that weird?


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