Books,  Four Stars,  Review,  YA

Tears of a Clown by M.B. Mulhall

Author: M.B. Mulhall
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: 15th July 2012
Pages: Unknown
Format: Ebook
Source: Complimentary copy from Author
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon US, Amazon UK


Some girls wear makeup to enhance their natural beauty.
Some wear it to make themselves look sexy and mature, in the hopes to attract the attention of a paramour.
Darcy wears hers as a mask, a deterrent, a tribute of sorts to the musical group who got her through her parents’ messy divorce.
When she’s uprooted from her hometown in Detroit and plopped down into rural Georgia, the townsfolk don’t know whether she’s an escapee from the circus or a devil worshiping antichrist looking to kill their pets and corrupt their children.
Much to her surprise, Darcy finds herself in the middle of a bizarre love triangle; the preppy good-looking popular boy that all parents would love on one side, and the bad boy heartthrob that would have fathers sitting on their porches with shotguns and mothers buying chastity belts on the other.
Not surprisingly, Darcy also finds herself the object of cruel jokes, bullying and pies in the face. While she’s trying to stand up for what she believes in and exact revenge on those who treat her and her friends badly, she also has to decide between the two guys vying for her attention.
Will one of them really be able to see beyond the makeup and love her for her? Or will she end up just being a pawn in a long standing rivalry between the boys?
*Recommended for older teens age 15+*

The First Step
There is often a time in our lives when we feel like an outcast, a feeling of sadness may descend upon us and we believe we find ourselves very much alone. It is this feeling that first caused me to pick up Tears of a Clown as it is one I used to feel a lot. This book is the kind of story that would help others to understand that they are never truly alone. It is an intriguing and inspiring book that is full of friendship, love, forgiveness and family. Of course, aside from that, it also holds an element of fun and it is possible to truly feel alive as you read the words on the page. Or at the very least, that is exactly how I felt as I read this.

Defines Everything
Darcy has come from a broken home, her parents divorce striking her to the core and she has had to find a way to survive the pain that settles in her chest. When her dad remarries, she is moved across country to live with her new stepmother and stepsister and to start a brand new school. While this is hard enough as it is, Darcy uses make-up to cling onto the only thing that helped her survive her childhood, a band that spoke to her when she needed it most. Soon her clown make-up causes her to be bullied, as well as bringing the attention of two popular boys in a much nicer way. This book details the journey that she takes, it shows her strength and stamina and is really a great coming-of-age tale about dealing with peer pressure, bullying and the true greatness of friendships. It is a story that is full of greatness that will have you tearing up one minute and laughing hysterically the next.

And Everyone
I truly adored Darcy. Right from the beginning of the story I found myself attached to her character. I felt for her because she had a true heart and was just a girl trying to deal with new circumstances. She was a strong character who had a lot to face but never let herself be backed into a corner. She was quite stubborn but she was also loyal and protective – even when she didn’t have to be. But even with all of these good things, she could also be a royal pain. She had a quick, sharp tongue and was quicker to snap at the people around her rather than explaining what was really happening beneath it all, preferring to push those away who got to close then having to lose her heart all over again. She had her flaws, helping to make her seem like a much more realistic and likable character.

Jazz was my second favourite character in the novel. She had some flare, a large, fun personality who seemed like she wasn’t afraid of anything. Deep down she wasn’t quite so fearless and strong, admitting her weakness to Darcy within the story but this just showed her to be stronger in my eyes as despite it all, she still stuck around and brought with it her live and vivacious personality. She is the kind of friend I would love to have. Judd was not my favourite character to begin with. I found him annoying and jarring but I soon found myself really enjoying his company on the page and I am still not sure as to when my feelings towards him changed! I adored Chaz, he was so charming and I just loved the way he was around Darcy when she acted like a clumsy little lady. He was always the perfect gentleman and you could just feel the kindness evaporate off of him.

Until You Change
Generally speaking, I am not a great lover of romance triangles in stories. I can sometimes feel them jarring as they just don’t seem realistic. And, in all honesty, I did feel this way at the beginning of this book and well, probably until half way through the book but this is all simply my own personal feelings towards it. Putting that aside, I feel like, as far as triangle’s go, this one was a very interesting one with an intriguing dynamic that kept the reader interested. When things settled down, I actually found myself happy with the way things panned out and realised that it probably worked out best the way that the beginning of the story went. The romance in this book was definitely well-written and I loved the way that the characters just felt so perfect for each other.

The Perspectives
While I loved the story, and I enjoyed the characters immensely, it did take me a short while to get used to the writing style. I am uncertain if this is due to the fact that I was reading the story on a small screen for a large portion of the book, or if it was just the style I had trouble with. There were times throughout the book that I struggled to understand who was speaking and I had to re-read passages a few times over. I could see what was needed to be done but found it lacking and therefore almost got confused at some parts. Fortunately, this didn’t happen often and once I got used to the style, it was much easier to contend with and didn’t distract from the story itself. I have a feeling that many readers will have no problem with this style at all but it just wasn’t something that I was used to!

Surrounding It All
All in all this book is one that I am incredibly glad that I read. It was truly entertaining and interesting and one that I was simply truly invested in. I loved the characters and felt a small sadness when I realised I had finished the book and no longer had them around for company. I felt that the serious topics brought about in this book were all handled well, even with the humour that was spaced throughout the story. It is a read that I would easily recommend to other readers who love a good contemporary YA story, especially one that is light but heavy all at the same time. It is a story that will stay with me for a long time and one that I can imagine reading time and time again. I thoroughly enjoyable read.

** I received this book in return for an honest review **

Four Stars
four out of five hearts


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