Author: T.T. Kove
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Pages/Word Count: 264 Pages
At a Glance: What I’ve decided I’m going to take away from this book is a little bit of hopefulness for these guys.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: On a cold, wet afternoon Damian stumbles across a young man huddled beneath a tree crying his eyes out. He’s got more than enough problems of his own, but is compelled to give the bloke a place to crash for at least the night.
Josh is used to being alone, and most days it’s easier than trying to deal with people who can’t, or won’t, understand him. When Damian takes him in for the night, Josh assumes it’s going to be one more go round of sex and get out in the morning.
Neither of them expects the friendship that develops, and they’re far from prepared when friendship starts to turn into more.
Review: I’m finding this to be a tough one to review. It was a very tough one to read; if I hadn’t been reading it for review, I likely wouldn’t have finished it. I don’t mind angst – I have read many books that were tough but in the end I found to be beautiful – however, the angst here was a bit excessive, which is simply not how I personally like to spend my reading time. But, the more I sit with it, the more I realize there were aspects that many may find appealing in a story, and that the author was ultimately trying to write a story of hope.
The subject matter is very dark for the most part. Between our two main characters, Josh and Damian, T.T. Kove covers sexual abuse, substance abuse, self-harm, depression, borderline personality disorder, domestic violence, and suicide. Scarred Souls is definitely the perfect title for this book. Josh and Damian are absolutely scarred souls, and looking back on the story, almost every single character in it is scarred to some extent. I found it exhausting that with the exception of two very minor characters, who have very little page time, there were NO happy people in this book.
I understand wanting to tell a story about troubled characters. Wanting to write an abuse-survivor story. Wanting to simply educate readers about the different hurts that people can feel, or a certain facet of mental illness. However, not only is it my preference, but I also believe it’s more realistic, to have some more-or-less stable and happy people in the story. The closest this book got was Silver, Damian’s best friend and roommate, who I liked very, very much. Silver is a tattoo artist, and since the next book scheduled in the series is apparently titled Inked Souls, I’m going to be saying my little prayers that we will be getting Silver’s story in that book!
So, what I’ve decided I’m going to take away from this book is a little bit of hopefulness for these guys. Though it’s extremely difficult for Josh, given his BPD, Damian has given him reason to have little glimpses of hope for the future. Damian accepts Josh for who he is. Doesn’t pressure him to “get better” or be anything or anyone he isn’t capable of being. It feels realistic for Josh, and attainable, I think. And, for Damian, Josh has allowed him to finally be able to be close to a person and have it feel right. Maybe his natural connection to Josh will eventually lead to even more comfortable intimacy between them. It certainly seems bleak throughout the majority of the book…but, who knows? Maybe these guys will be okay after all.
You can buy Scarred Souls here: