Thursday, December 3, 2009

Novella Review: Symptoms of a Broken Heart by Cory Cramer

Title: Symptoms of a Broken Heart

Author: Cory Cramer

Pages: 45

Recieved From: author


When Lisa and her sister Susan celebrate Susan’s birthday by attending a Full Moon Party–a party thrown by a group of werewolf fanatics in a swamp near New Orleans–an unexpected tragedy occurs. Fearing repercussions, Lisa turns to black magic in order to cover up what happened to her sister. But keeping things under wraps isn’t as easy as Lisa thinks. Little does she know, her inner demons—and desires—will be the biggest obstacles in keeping her sister’s death a secret.

I hate erotica. No, just kidding. I don't hate it. I'm uncomfortable with it.

This could either stem from extreme immaturity or the fact that my mother explained sex to me as "the bad thing that makes babies", but when I read the word "nipple" I break out into hysterical laughter that can only be halted by some kind of laceration or bodily harm to my person. This is very important to know in order to appreciate the full experience of this review.

Lisa and her sister, Susan, are taking a trip to New Orleans to celebrate Susan's birthday, and niether of them are going to take it easy. In fact, Susan makes it clear she fully intends to cheat on her fiance, using the excuse that she'd "never been with anyone but [him]". But when something goes wrong at a werewolf party--aside from the obvious "werewolf" issue--Lisa has to figure out a way to cover up what happened. And the only way to do that is to become Susan.

I must say, Symptoms is a delightfully weird, macabre read. Despite it's length, Cramer packs a steady dose of gore, heart and badass werewolfiness that rarely comes up short. There's a sort of weirdness to Symptoms that makes it kind of a surreal, kind of horrific, kind of disturbing. It provides an interesting new take to the werewolf folklore that I felt wasn't really explored on as much as it could have, but nonetheless very fascinating.

However, as there always is on this here blog, I have issues.

Number one: when Susan *spoilers* is killed, not only does Cramer give absolutly no clue as to how she died, but he doesn't even explain why Susan felt the need to hide the frigging body. At all. Okay, she's afraid someone will blame her. Not only is that so completly illogical--seeing as it wasn't her fault--but just kind of stupid. I don't know how the law works, but I am pretty sure hiding a body just kind of screams "I'm guilty".

Two: I kind of feel like this story would have been better suited for a full-length novel. The lore and characters were so interesting, I would have loved to seen them expanded on a bit more. Alas.

As I've said, I am horribly immature when it comes to erotica or romance. But I feel like Cramer put an even amount of both teh smex and a really interesting spin to the werewolf legend (involving frikken tattoos, for Christ's sake) that all the naughty bits where easy to brush aside. I thoroughly enjoyed Symptoms of a Broken Heart, and reccomend it to anyone it doesn't mind heavy use of the word cock. (seriously, you guys, it's all over)

Rating: 7 out of 10

Also: Look at that cover. That's just awesome.


Fiction Vixen said...

Warning---possible spoilers below

I think Cory leaves the reader to assume that Susan died as a result of her health issue. And the reason Lisa feels the need to hide the body has to do with her relationship with her mother. If you'll recall the flash back scene on the beach?

Symptoms was a bit out of my reading box but I did enjoy it. I really like Cory's writing style and I agree with you, I think this would have made a great full length novel.

Dannie said...

I thought of that flash back, too, but...even if I had a shitty relationship with my mother, I wouldn't hide my dead sisters body just to avoid her irrational blame. Especially in this case, where Lisa literally did nothing to cause her sister's death. Just my opinion.

Fiction Vixen said...

I wouldn't try to hide the circumstances of my sisters death either but Lisa was self serving and self centered. Just think about what she tried to steal from Susan after her death. *trying not to be too spoilery here* lol.

Dannie said...

Haha very very true. Never thought of it like that.

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