Book Review: Why Aren’t You Sweet Like Me?

**CONTAINS SPOILERS**

I usually don’t write reviews that contain spoilers, however,  I felt that it was necessary in this case to convey just how powerful an author Nyman really is.  I have denoted the paragraph containing the spoiler with these: **

If you are interested in downloading a copy of Nyman’s novel, if can be found on Amazon.com for $9.99

Why Aren't You Sweet Like Me?Why Aren’t You Sweet Like Me? by Carrie Nyman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Carrie Nyman’s novel is historical fiction based on letters her grandmother, Honey, received from her husband, Don Shepard. I enjoy historical fiction, especially that surrounding WWII, and I downloaded a copy of Nyman’s first novel over Memorial Day weekend. Her publisher was doing a promotion and the book was free that week, so I figured, “Why not?” Honestly, I was not expecting much. I have read many novels by first-time “authors” and if I had to pay for the book, I would not have read it. But it was free so what did I have to lose?

I was shocked. From page one of Nyman’s novel I was hooked and found myself unable to put the book down until the last page. Her ability to convey real human emotion is amazing and inspiring. I have carried on conversations with people who did not have as much tangible emotion as Nyman’s characters, Honey and Don. It was incredible.

In the beginning, I was not a fan of Don Shepard. He was cold, manipulative and at some points he even seemed mentally ill. Many times, I found myself questioning his love for Honey while other times, it was clear that the sun rose and set on Honey. Yes, Don could be a jerk, but toward the end of the novel he redeems himself in a totally expected yet unexpected way. I did not see the event on the horizon, but when it happened, I was not all that shocked. It did cause me to see Don Shepard in a new light and not just for the snot he could be.

**Honey, Nyman’s grandmother, was an amazing voice throughout the novel. She came across as a woman ahead of her time. She did not want to get married immediately after high school. Instead, she went on to college in Saint Louis and became a medical technician. She wanted to be an independent woman and in the 1940s that was going against the grain. Hearing the story told from the point of view of such a strong woman made the pain so much more real and intense when her telegram arrives. The emotion that Nyman conveys when Honey learns of Don’s death was incredibly intense. I found myself going through the same emotions as Honey. Denial, shock, and rage filled my mind as I, too, wondered if the State Department had made a mistake. The ability Nyman has that allowed me to relate to Honey’s emotions was mind-blowing, never before have I felt a character’s joy and pain so acutely in a novel.**

The story Nyman has created from her grandmother’s letters deserves five stars. However, I have read a lot of books and I can be a stickler. I started noticing many spelling and grammatical errors beginning at chapter 10. For me, this took away from the context of the book just a little because I found myself having to piece together what was meant on occasion. Also, I found some descriptions of places and things to be a bit wordy. There was one point where the retelling where things were located on Honey’s farm where I had to skip the someone painfully drawn out text. Nyman’s description of Saint Louis, however, was fantastic (but I am biased as Saint Louis is my hometown). Overall, the book is a four-star masterpiece that will definitely get a higher rating from me if the second edition fixes these minor blemishes.

Nyman has a gift that is rare to find in a new author. Her writing is emotional, three-dimensional, and human. I imagine there will be many more fantastic novels from Nyman in the future and the reading world will see great things from her.

View all my reviews

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4 comments

  1. Wow. Thank you! Such an articulate and thoughtful review. I’m honored. You’ll be happy to know that my publisher and I did fix the errors that my copy editor missed (but that was only in the print version). Awesome feedback. I was hoping that you might be able to post part of this on Amazon and Goodreads (if you haven’t yet)? Reviews are helpful and I’m grateful that you decided to take a chance on me.

    1. I am so glad that I decided to take the plunge! I would have missed out on something very special had I not taken that chance. I have posted this review on Goodreads and on Amazon. I have also been plugging your novel whenever I get the chance! It was a very moving novel and I will be sure to purchase Empire as soon as it is published!

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