THERE’S A FINE LINE BETWEEN INNOCENCE AND GUILT. AN EVEN FINER LINE BETWEEN JUSTICE AND REVENGE.
Data scientist Laura prefers the company of her books to the real world – let alone that cesspit online. But when her best friend Emily becomes the victim of horrific cyberbullying, she makes it her all-engulfing mission to track down the worst culprits.
Petite corporate financier Suki is about to outshine the stupid boys at her firm: she’s leading the acquisition of Edinburgh’s most exciting start-up. If only she could get its brilliant, but distracted, co-founder Laura to engage.
Event planner Claire is left to salvage the start-up's annual conference after her colleague Emily fails to return to work. She’s determined to get a promotion out of it, but her boss isn’t playing ball.
As the women's paths intertwine, the insidious discrimination they each face comes to light. Emboldened by Emily’s tragic experience, they join forces to plot the downfall of all those who've wronged them.
But with emotions running high, will the punishments fit the crimes?
A pacy and suspenseful novel with its feet firmly in the #MeToo era. 9 to 5 meets Suits with a dash of Black Mirror.
I’ll be honest, this is a difficult review for me to write. Stay Mad, Sweetheart by Heleen Kist touches on current subjects like sexual harassment and online bullying. It also starts with off-page suicide. So trigger warnings apply. While I knew it had to do with the #metoo movement, I wasn’t expecting the suicide and that hit me a little harder than I expected.
I kept reading, mostly I had a feeling the rest of the book would make me feel better. And I did. I normally don’t start talking about the ending at the beginning of the review, but this will be an exception. While the three women all have their issues and experiences, Emily’s trauma is always centre stage. And when that gets closure, everyone days. It didn’t come easy though, the women had to work for it and had their fair share of disappointment. But I’m glad there’s a happy ending, which I knew before I started the book, and it kept me going.
The themes in this book are heavy, so I think you have to be in the right mood to read it, but I can definitely recommend it. The characters all have their own voices, lives, and experiences. Having them come together like this and the three women becoming friends, it’s great and I love it. Kist did an excellent job of making sure each of them is unique. They felt real to me.
The only thing that threw me off a little was the switching point of view. Laura is our leading lady, with Suki and Claire as the supporting PoVs. But the last two are written in third-person (except for the last chapter), and Laura’s is a first-person perspective. It confused me a little at first but got used to it as I read more.
All in all, Stay Mad, Sweetheart is a great book that everyone should read to get a better perspective of sexual harassment and what online bullying can do. You can’t help but sympathise with Emily and the other women. I give this book 5 stars. Save it for a rainy day or when you’re allowed to go to the beach again because it’s a page-turner and you’ll probably finish it in one go if allowed. It’s not a surprise this book took third place in the BBNYA 2020. Well deserved.
I received this book to read and review as part of the 2020 BBNYA competition and the BBNYA tours organised by the TWR Tour team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest. Please check back later for more reviews of other finalists.
BBNYA is a yearly competition where Book Bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website www.bbnya.com or twitter @bbnya_official and follow this link to enter! Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering.