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on August 14, 2009
Wretched (This is My Sorry) by Katherine Marple is one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read. I cannot recall the last time I felt for a character in a book as I did in this one. Wretched is more than a love story. It contains many elements that are somewhat biographical, but always emotional. But the beauty of it is that this is not a story that you read, but rather feel.

In Wretched, a young woman is suffering from diabetes mellitus. Her disease has taken over her life and affects her relationship with her loved ones, including her mother. Even her boyfriend, Shane, has trouble dealing with her extreme mood swings brought about by her illness. As her biological clock ticks toward complete shutdown, the young woman's heartbreaking tale of trying to cope with her deadly disease while maintaining some semblance of a normal life is gut-wrenching to say the least.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a story of the heart. This is especially the case since this is a story that has its base in an issue that millions of people are faced with every day. Katherine's passion for the suffering of people with Diabetes is evident in the compassion in which she tells this tale. I will never forget this book, not only because it is well told, but also because I feel as though any one of us could end up experiencing the trials that the main character in this story endures.
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on January 13, 2009
From the opening acknowledgments, it's quite clear that "Wretched (This is My Sorry)" could be labeled "Heavy Reading Ahead - Casual Readers Exit Here." That said, make no mistake about the quality of the writing; it is extraordinary. Katherine Marple has crafted a tormented love story that is as bewildering as it is compelling. For one thing - unless I missed it - you never learn the name of the main character. From this clue, I have to assume that the female "lead" - if you will - is none other than the author herself. If this is Katherine Marple's autobiography, all I can say is: "It's one hell of a read."
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on January 19, 2009
I felt like I was peeking in on someone else's life. Spooky, but makes you feel sorry for the main character. This story reads like well written screeplay, written in a novel format. I couldn't stop reading once I started. The medical facts make you think about lifestyles and no matter who you are, you can't stop from identifying with the cover. I won't be surprised to see this in a movie some day.
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on June 27, 2009
After reading the first chapter, I was like ok this is a love story. After continuing on I realized it was much more than that. It was definitely more about sickness than it was about love. There were times where I would get angry at the un-named character, because she was selfish and spoiled and so "look at me suffer" in her outlook. I wanted to just scream SNAP OUT OF IT! But I think that was the author's intentions, to teach us not to make the same mistakes that the un-named character did. I have to disagree with the earlier post by the mom who said it wasn't informative enough about diabetes. The descriptions were very detailed, and at times shocking. I never knew all that a person with diabetes goes through. I just figured you take a shot a day and then go on with life as normal. This story taught me different. The cool thing about this book is that it doesn't bore you. I'm not really an avid book reader. I'm that guy who starts a book, gets to page 75 and then quits. But this book is one of the few I've actually read all the way through. The only gripe I have about the story is that its told in first person. I really struggled trying to convince myself that I wasn't reading someone's diary. I can't wait to read a story from Katherine Marple told in 3rd person. She definately has talent.
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on August 20, 2008
Katherine Marple weaves a story of love and loss. The main character struggles with her past home life as a child and where she stands in life as a young adult, while also coping with the difficulties of diabetes. She has been with her boyfriend for many years and they have grown in many ways together. She starts to feel stagnant and self-doubt, and wonders if there is more out there.

The story is written as a glimpse into her inner thoughts and fears. The medical notes are detailed and would probably benefit a person who also struggles with diabetes, kind of like an inner circle. The emergency scenes feel very real and scary.

The main character tosses herself into an age-old question of love: Do you stay with the relationship that is shaky but fills you with passion, or do you go with the one who brings you stability and confidence in yourself? A question that undoubtedly has crossed many minds.
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VINE VOICEon August 2, 2009
Young love is hard enough without throwing in a life-threatening illness. In this novel, Katherine Marple mines the challenges and heartaches of a young woman from a broken home, who is also living with juvenile diabetes.

This is a timely subject, as diabetes is on the rise, and childhood obesity is contributing to the problem. In the beginning of the book, Marple notes that, through this story, she hopes to bring to light the trials and troubles of diabetes Type One (juvenile) mellitus.

She succeeds admirably, while telling a touching story of the confused emotions of one who is not only physically ill, but who also must deal with an unstable, erratic mother.
This is a mother who failed to visit her daughter through five different hospitalizations.
Thankfully, there is a stable, loving father to lean on, through her life challenges.

Marple takes us into her deep relationship with Shane, a young man she's been living with, who, in the beginning, took hold of her hand, and she thought (p.23) "you know it's right when your hands fit together." She, who was "looking for someone to protect me, to care for me, and to need me. I was filled with way too many love stories and fairytale endings."

As in real life, there are no fairytale endings in the book. But Marple's writing is so "to the heart" that she made me care deeply for her characters. They are all flawed human beings, products of their own beginnings, inheritances, and disappointments.

Marple scatters poetry throughout the book, as well as recordings of her blood test results throughout the day, which swing wildly. Ironic, since it's a poignant reminder of the one of the few constants in her life; disease.

This is a book that grabbed me, and took just a few days to read. Marple has a fresh voice, and entertains, while still pulling your heartstrings. Very real and very deep. She's made a fan of me, and I look forward to reading more of her work.

A great quick read for a day at the beach, a rainy day, or for any day. Very highly recommended!
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on May 7, 2009
I would recommend 'Wretched' to anyone who wants a quick, entertaining read. It certainly is a page-turner.
'Wretched' is the story of a young girl suffering from 'type one' diabetes and goes some way to educating people who do not know about the disease. It is also a story of love and loss, as the young girl battles between her feelings for the man she has loved for most of her life, and a new man on the scene. It's written in the first person from the young girl's viewpoint (I don't think we ever find out her name). I felt that it was very much like reading someone's journal/diary rather than a novel. But in a way, this made it more intriguing.
My main issue with the novel was that I could not warm to the main character. She came across as very needy, selfish and self-obsessed. This of course, may have been intentional, and maybe a result of the years of suffering with her disease, or due to her unhappy childhood. It was hard to feel any sympathy for someone who was so unstable and did not seem to even care about herself.
The book could have benefited from some editing in parts. At times I also thought that it would have been better to have written the novel in the third person and to have included more about her past. This would have enabled the author to develop the other characters. For example, the book would have benefitted from development of the girl's father's character, as he played such an important role at the end of the story, but was a very minor character up until that point.
There were a few memorable and inspirational quotes in the novella, and I enjoyed the poems which were scattered among the pages, even though I'm not a great fan of poetry. The ending was a good twist, if not entirely unforeseeable.
I recently read Katherine Marple's latest novella 'Okay' and really enjoyed it. I feel that in 'Okay' Marple has found her 'voice'. 'Wretched' is an earlier work and not as accomplished; but, like 'Okay', it does contain signs that this author is destined for greatness.
I am looking forward to Katherine Marple's next book
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on October 11, 2009
Most of us have been there - saying goodbye to someone you care about deeply because you believe they deserve much more than you can ever give them. We've all been in that limbo of saying goodbye and not wanting to let go (or even knowing how to). Most of us find dealing with the inevitable change an emotionally daunting and difficult task. I know that I am most certainly one of those people.

Wretched starts out being thrown head first into the emotional turmoil of her relationship with long-time boyfriend, Shane. The main character, well - she has no name, at least not that I can remember (but I'll get to that). This main character suffers from type I diabetes, which has completely ravished her body, mind, and spirit. She has been given bad life filled with hospital trips, seizures, disease, and a mother who just didn't give squat about her. The only really good thing she had going on in her life, was the relationship she had between her boyfriend Shane, and herself.

I'm going to be honest. I genuinely could not put the book down. I started it at 8am this morning and finished it sometime early afternoon. I have never read about a character with diabetes and there was so much I learned from this novel that I wasn't even aware of. When I originally viewed diabetes, I didn't think it was riddled with so many life threatening complications (as much as what was portrayed in the novel) so in a sense, this novel was an intriguing eye opener for me. Now I fully understand the race for the cure. Wretched was thought-provoking, emotional, engaging, and you really just want to keep reading it - hoping and wishing that this main character would just get herself pulled together.

As enthralled as I was in this novel, it does feel a bit unfinished. I think had this book been edited by a formal editor, such things would have been noticed and fixed prior to publication. However, I do not think the issues are too late to resolve and fix. (Many novels do have 2nd editions and so forth).

* The Cover - Although I know it's a common knowledge not to "judge a book by it's cover" people still do and to be quite honest - presentation is everything (well.. almost). The cover made absolutely no sense to me. It wasn't attractive with it's pixilated images, underlined text, and/or lack of capitalization in the subtitle. The hibiscus on the cover serves no purpose or meaning to the story itself and if it's symbolic then I really do not get it. On the back is a picture of a needle used to inject herself. Personally, I think this would have made a more lasting impression had it been on the front of the cover. I think, if it were me - I would redesign the cover using a more readable font, the injection needle on the front, and images that are at the correct dpi for the size print. No hibiscus.
* Fonts & Formatting - The fonts and formatting are all over the place. On pg. 5, a title page - there are 5 different fonts used. It looked sloppy and unprofessional and takes away from the experience. I also would advise Katherine to cease bolding, underlining, and italicizing sentences in which she wants emphasized with emotion. Good literature does not need to point out emotion in such a way that says, "Hey- look at me! I am in bold so pay attention!" If it's truly written well, your readers will remember it as it is. Also there is an issue with formatting on pg. 111 that has the date running off and merging with the next column, making the table difficult to understand initially.
* Don't be afraid of back stories - There was so many questions left to be unanswered. The character has no name, at least not one that was used often and/or memorable. She needs a name. She needs a history in which the reader falls in love with her. Although her emotions were raw and real - it's hard to like a character that is all drama, pity, and woe - even though the feelings she displays are real. I found the character to be selfish and all drama - and maybe that was the point on some level. But, I think it would have been more powerful that as she is the main character that she be a likeable one, her faults and all. One way to take such a dramatic, depressed, and saddened character and make her likeable - is to give her a past. An identity. A reason to want to fight for her and with her.
* Realism in characters - For some reason, Drew did not feel real to me. Instantly I pegged him to be the type of guy you flirt with - the one who seems so absolutely into you (until he gets you into bed). At many times, he does seem like this type of character. But then he'll say or do something that seems unfitting and a bit cliche. It doesn't seem completely real to me that someone so selfish (main character) can attract so many men who thirst for her affections relentlessly with utter abandon and selflessness. If it were me, I would have portrayed Drew as an opposite of Shane, giving the main character what she feels like she is missing. Maybe he encourages her in some way to feel truly real and alive. Maybe he's the selfish pig that I would like to peg him for and only said all those sweet things to get into bed and that realizaiton is what haves her running back to Shane. Then, I think the love triangle and confusion she feels between two men would be more real to me. Drew being a rebound, teaching main character something important about herself, before she finally gets it.

Although Wretched had it's small issues, I only feel that it is a sense of editing - rather than the story itself. There is so much depth in this story just waiting there, waiting to emerge from the surface. With it's true to life arguments between lovers to its carefully planned research on the disease. Marple has the power to draw you into her story and I truly want to see this story become a success. I just think (and maybe I am completely wrong - who knows?) that the above (cover & formatting at the minimum) need to be refreshed to truly capture the story in its true worth.

I guess the bottom line is - Would I recommend this book to a friend? Well, considering I couldn't put it down, I would say yes. It's definitely an interesting read, for sure. There are many lessons to be learned while reading this novel, which makes it a novel capable of true impact.

Source: Wretched was an author-requested review. Receiving this book directly from the author in no way or form has altered my opinion on the book content and quality itself.
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VINE VOICEon September 17, 2010
As a woman who has my own disability, I could relate to the heroine of this book. She suffers type 1 diabetes. She is young and tired of fighting her disease. This is a disease that can take over your life. It's not a simple matter of changing your diet. (Note, there are different kinds of diabetes. The kind the heroine has is not talked about in infocommericals. The more common diabetes is type 2.)

The heroine has been dating Shane for three years when he breaks up with her. He is tired of wondering if he is going to wake up next to a dead girlfriend in the morning. Here is an excerpt of what this disease is like from Shane's POV:

"You were kicking really hard, so when I turned over to wake you up, you were ice cold. You felt like you were dead. All of your muscles tightened up, your arms pressed hard against your chest. I tried to move your legs, because they looked so distorted, but I couldn't fight against the strength of your strained muscles. You were biting your tongue hard and your eyes rolled back into your head."

No wonder Shane freaks out. On one hand, what Shane does makes sense. He wants the heroine to start taking care of herself. He can't do it for her. She must care for herself before anyone else will care for her. The problem is she has grown resigned to her fate, aware that she won't live a long and full life and as a result, isn't really living it. As Shane begins to step out of the picture, she begins to grow close to Drew, a man at work.

The book is a short but sad read and meaningful. The heroine not only deals with man problems but also tries to quit smoking, write a book, struggles with new medications, has issues with her estranged mother, and even gets a pump. She is afraid to go to sleep for fear she won't wake up. And top all that off with kidney disease.

Can she get it together and live her life despite her illness? Can she keep her illness in check? Can she live life without Shane? Is Drew going to be a part of the long term picture or is she going to learn to live life for HERSELF, not for any man?

The first person narrative is very real and honest. I almost gave this a four star tho because the heroine (no name is another minor irritant) is irritating at times with her indecisiveness. One minute she will push Shane away and say, "I'm not ready," three hours later, they are having sex. However, the ending blew me away. I wasn't expecting it and I had to struggle not to cry. The ending brought the book back up to a 5 star rating.

Funny quote: "...who ever can read a man should get some kind of trophy. They're more difficult to understand than a PMSing woman."
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on December 26, 2009
I just finished reading Wretched (This is My Sorry) by Katherine Marple. I am not an author. I am not a writer. I do not have diabetes. I am just an average person who firmly believes in the importance of this book.
I read another review which, although was quite positive about the book, questioned the focus of the author. As a person who has had no previous experience with type one diabetes, I believe that the content was perfect. There was just enough information on the disease to keep me interested and make me seriously desire to learn more, however I was not lost in any medical wording, etc...
This book not only makes readers more aware of the struggles and severity of the disease, but it also makes me feel for the characters on a personal level.
Yes, this book is a Love story. But it is more than that. It is a personal exploration. The main character allows us into her inner thoughts and emotions. We follow her on a journey into her own self- awareness as she looks back on what is probably the most difficult time in her life. The characters are real. We all know them. We are them.
Katherine Marple writes with a harsh honesty that often catches you in an unexpected, take your breath away, cant believe she just said that sort of way. She has a lack of fear which needs to be acknowledged and rewarded.
Overall, I think the editing could have probably been a little bit better, (some charts didn't quite line up- which may have been intentional but I couldn't tell) but overall I can not stress the importance of this book. People NEED to read this. People like me, who are unaware of not only the seriousness of this disease, but the need to find a cure. I think we all owe Katherine Marple a very special "Thank You."
Take a few hours-you wont want to put this down.
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