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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Review: Pure Fake



Gina is the kind of girl who works hard to keep up her appearance -- not just her hair and makeup, but going so far as breast-enhancement surgery and regular diet pills. When tall, athletic, good-looking Colter wants to be her boyfriend, Gina jumps at the chance. She thinks they'll be the perfect couple and ignores the warning signs that things aren't right with him. That includes rumours that his past girlfriend has a restraining order against him. But when Colter's actions put Gina in physical danger she is finally forced to wake up to what Colter is really like.


    Pure Fake reads like a Lifetime Original Movie. Which isn't necessarilly a bad thing as long as that's what you go into the book expecting. It was a perfectly enojyable book but it lacked a certain amount of substance and depth to be an out of this world must read.

    The main character, Gina, is hardly likeable. There are plenty of times in Pure Fake that you feel sorry for Gina but even in the end I don't think you truly like her. She is petty, mean, jealous, conceited and rude. When she hears the stories of Colter attempting to rape and abusing his ex girlfriend, Mel, she is quick to side with him and label Mel as an attention seeking liar.

    When things spiral out of control and Gina starts to see that Colter has a substance abuse problem and he turns his rage on her she finally believes Mel. But like many young women in her situation she blames herself for his outbursts and abuse. She believes him when he says it wont happen again and that he will get help. We all know how that story goes.

    I found the abuser and victim psychology, although basic, pretty true to form in Pure Fake. Reading books about abuse can be a very difficult experience, especially for those who have had to go through it in the past. I don't think that this book is triggering but if you are recently coming out of an abusive relationship I would suggest reading some happier material for the time being.

    I want to tell you a story bit about me. The first time a guy ever physically hurt me  on purpose I was 15 and at Bible Camp. He punched me in the face and then later during the week fractured my finger. He was all apologies and I love you's and I, being a hurt and lonely tween, believed him. I never told my parents, in fact if they read this it would be the first time they hear about it, and I didn't break up with him. The abuse just got worse but he hid it better. I can't tell you why I put up with it. I knew that what he was doing to me wasn't any form of love. All I can say is I felt awkward at school and the fact that he liked me made me feel special. He was older than me and I tried to brush off the abuse by saying that we were roughhousing to much, or I had brought it on myself. I told myself he didn't mean it. I only found the courage to end things with him when he called to tell me he had cheated on me and that he wanted to break up because he felt so guilty. He then immediately changed his mind and said he wanted to stay together. That was the last straw, I had put up with so much from him and then he was going to act like this. I snapped back into reality. He didn't care about me. I told him it was over and to stay away from me. I tell you this to let you know that I have been where Gina was and I can understand some of her actions. It's easy to say that you will leave someone or call the police until it is you in the situation. I think that Beverly Scudamore did a pretty good job showing that part of being a part of an abusive relationship.

    It's not an epic, life changing, novel but it is a quick and entertaining read. So when you are in the mood for a day of Lifetime movies and similar books this is a great one to put in your TBR pile.


Do You Think You Or Someone You Love Might Be In An Abusive Relationship?

Warning Signs of Abuse:
  • Telling you that you can never do anything right
  • Showing jealousy of your friends and time spent away
  • Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family members
  • Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs
  • Controlling every penny spent in the household
  • Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
  • Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
  • Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions
  • Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
  • Preventing you from working or attending school
  • Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
  • Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons
  • Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol
You may be experiencing physical abuse if your partner has done or repeatedly does any of the following tactics of abuse:
  • Pulling your hair, punching, slapping, kicking, biting or choking you
  • Forbidding you from eating or sleeping
  • Damaging your property when they’re angry (throwing objects, punching walls, kicking doors, etc.)
  • Using weapons to threaten to hurt you, or actually hurting you with weapons
  • Trapping you in your home or keeps you from leaving
  • Preventing you from calling the police or seeking medical attention
  • Harming your children
  • Abandoning you in unfamiliar places
  • Driving recklessly or dangerously when you are in the car with them
  • Forcing you to use drugs or alcohol (especially if you’ve had a substance abuse problem in the past)
You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if you partner exerts control through: 
  • Calling you names, insulting you or continually criticizing you
  • Refusing to trust you and acting jealous or possessive
  • Trying to isolate you from family or friends
  • Monitoring where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • Demanding to know where you are every minute
  • Punishing you by withholding affection
  • Threatening to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets
  • Humiliating you in any way
  • Blaming you for the abuse
  • Accusing you of cheating and being often jealous of your outside relationships
  • Serially cheating on you and then blaming you for his or her behavior
  • Cheating on you intentionally to hurt you and then threatening to cheat again
  • Cheating to prove that they are more desired, worthy, etc. than you are
  • Attempting to control your appearance: what you wear, how much/little makeup you wear, etc.
  • Telling you that you will never find anyone better, or that you are lucky to be with a person like them
Sexually abusive methods of retaining power and control include an abusive partner:
  • Forcing you to dress in a sexual way
  • Insulting you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names
  • Forcing or manipulating you into to having sex or performing sexual acts
  • Holding you down during sex
  • Demanding sex when you’re sick, tired or after hurting you
  • Hurting you with weapons or objects during sex
  • Involving other people in sexual activities with you against your will
  • Ignoring your feelings regarding sex
  • Forcing you to watch pornography
  • Purposefully trying to pass on a sexually transmitted disease to you
Sexual coercion
Sexual coercion lies on the ‘continuum’ of sexually aggressive behavior.  It can vary from being egged on and persuaded, to being forced to have contact. It can be verbal and emotional, in the form of statements that make you feel pressure, guilt, or shame. You can also be made to feel forced through more subtle actions. For example, an abusive partner:
  • Making you feel like you owe them — ex. Because you’re in a relationship, because you’ve had sex before, because they spent money on you or bought you a gift
  • Giving you drugs and alcohol to “loosen up” your inh)ibitions
  • Playing on the fact that you’re in a relationship, saying things such as: “Sex is the way to prove your love for me,” “If I don’t get sex from you I’ll get it somewhere else”
  • Reacting negatively with sadness, anger or resentment if you say no or don’t immediately agree to something
  • Continuing to pressure you after you say no
  • Making you feel threatened or afraid of what might happen if you say no
  • Trying to normalize their sexual expectations: ex. “I need it, I’m a man”
Even if your partner isn’t forcing you to do sexual acts against your will, being made to feel obligated is coercion in itself. Dating someone, being in a relationship, or being married never means that you owe your partner intimacy of any kind.


 Please Reach Out.
 Call The National Domestic Violence Helpline 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

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