Falling In Love
Author: Stephen Bradlee
Genre: non-fiction, memoir
Published: August 9, 2012; self-published
Sherry Johnson is young, beautiful, bright and athletic. She has everything going for her, except for one thing. She is addicted to love. Her life is a vicious circle of nightly trysts and morning regrets. Her addiction got her kicked out of college, cost her the love of her life and has left her in complete despair. But still Sherry keeps falling in love. And falling. And falling. Finally, as Sherry struggles to pull herself up from a bottomless abyss, she realizes that she will have to learn to love the one person she has loathed for most of her life. Herself.
Based on the True Story of a Young Woman's Battle with Sexual Addiction
** I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. **
When the author emailed me and offered me to review this ebook, I was hesitant at first. Looking at the cover, I thought it was an adult erotic novel. But the blurb caught my interest and I decided to check it out on Goodreads. I saw that it gathered a lot of good reviews and was intrigued. I accepted his review request and I'm glad I did.
Falling in Love is a true story of a woman with sexual addiction and hating herself for it. Sherry cannot control her urges to "act out" with a guy, especially when she's drunk. She's repulsed by what she does but she can't help it. Aside from sexual addiction, she also struggles with her own identity having never met both her parents. She's craving for love but does not know if she can handle it. She's pessimistic and doesn't believe in herself. She's broken and hurt and angry and suicidal.
But there were also a number of things I liked about Sherry. For one, she can be very competitive when she wants to. She constantly doubts herself but when something great is at stake, she comes at it in full force.
"In school, I was always the best player so why would I pass to a lesser player. Instead, I always dribbled down the field looking for a clean shot and then took it. Girls called me a ball hog and they were right. But I had to be the top scorer. I had to score the winning goal."
I also admire her determination to change. Even when she was physically suffering, she held on to her promise to Elaine (and to herself) and she kept it. She always anticipates the worst but does not let go of hope. She tries to stand up again and redeem herself. She's strong even though she doesn't acknowledge that strength.
I also loved that she was able to find friends who accepted her. Dede is fabulous. I liked her character. She's the sister Sherry never had. In some ways, she's also Sherry's savior. Adam is a great employer. Very considerate and kind. He understands her and goes out of his way to help her. Elaine and Gregory also play a big role is Sherry's recovery. And of course, Paula and Darcy and the rest of the Wildcats are also Sherry's family. Paula's concern and belief in Sherry was almost unbelievable. She's shown Sherry trust and confidence that she can do something great.
"Sherry Johnson, you are a champion and don't ever let anyone tell you any differently, especially you. - Paula Harper"
Another character worth mentioning, of course, is Paul. I think it's sad that if not because of Sherry, he wouldn't have known that he also has a problem. I still hate it when he did not even let Sherry explain, but I also understand his anger. But it's good that he faced his problem and sought help. At least he would come to understand Sherry's situation, even a bit.
It was a good thing that Sherry decided to share her story. It was part of her healing process, getting it all out. I think her story will also help other people going through their own problems. It tells us that no matter how many times you hit the bottom, the important thing is that you always try to stand up again. If you want really want something, and you work hard for it, nothing can be impossible. Difficult, yes. Painful, yes. But not impossible.
All in all, I liked it. It was enjoyable. I did not expect to really enjoy this book, but I did. It was deep and simple at the same time. The words were direct and easy to understand (even for me, who's not a native English speaker). I was constantly looking forward to what happens next. The flow of the story is okay. There may be parts that were almost dragging but my curiosity kept me reading. The only thing that constantly irked me was the typos. Gah, there were a lot of them! But anyway, I managed to look past that minor annoyance and read it to the last word. I will always be thankful to the author, Stephen Bradlee, for introducing this wonderful story to me.
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