Reviewed by: Keith Nixon
Approximate word count: 10-15,000 words
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Shaun Jeffrey grew up in a house located in a cemetery so he believes it’s only natural that he writes books with a darker side. Besides the novella Day by Day the author has also published five novels, a collection of short stories and is published in a large variety of magazines and anthologies.
Tina is a fifteen year old girl from a broken home. She has few friends and plays second fiddle to her older sister. Her divorced mother, trying to stay young, regularly brings men home from the pub. Tonight her companion is Trevor, a smooth talking guy who makes a connection with Tina and she soon falls in love with him. But he has ulterior motives and soon Tina is on a path of drugs and prostitution to stay with the man she loves.
This is a short tale, even for a novella, at 15,000 words. I read it quickly, in just a single sitting. It’s a decent story that gets better as it progresses. At first I wasn’t greatly engaged. Initially there is a lot of dialogue, which is okay and sets the scene of Tina’s predicament. As Tina drifts into her more difficult situations, the dialogue is internal and much stronger. More time is spent on descriptive narrative and then it gets interesting and compelling.
Because of this, it feels that the characters, besides Tina, are only lightly painted as is the backdrop. As it’s a first person narrative you get more of a view of Tina, but she doesn’t spend a great deal of time on herself either.
Dodgy Trevor arrives in the book immediately. The way he manipulates Tina is well done, it’s subtle and all too plausible. And quite scary to think it could happen to your own children given the wrong circumstances.
So, overall a decent read, albeit incredibly fast, and well enough written for me to want to pick up another of Mr Jeffrey’s longer novels.
Some adult scenes.
Rating: *** Three Stars