Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review: Dollface

Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring TwentiesAuthor: Renee Rosen
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: NAL Trade

America in the 1920s was a country alive with the wild fun of jazz, speakeasies, and a new kind of woman—the flapper.

Vera Abramowitz is determined to leave her gritty childhood behind and live a more exciting life, one that her mother never dreamed of. Bobbing her hair and showing her knees, the lipsticked beauty dazzles, doing the Charleston in nightclubs and earning the nickname “Dollface.”

As the ultimate flapper, Vera captures the attention of two high rollers, a handsome nightclub owner and a sexy gambler. On their arms, she gains entrĂ©e into a world filled with bootleg bourbon, wailing jazz, and money to burn. She thinks her biggest problem is choosing between them until the truth comes out. Her two lovers are really mobsters from rival gangs during Chicago’s infamous Beer Wars, a battle Al Capone refuses to lose.

The heady life she’s living is an illusion resting on a bedrock of crime and violence unlike anything the country has ever seen before. When the good times come to an end, Vera becomes entangled in everything from bootlegging to murder. And as men from both gangs fall around her, Vera must put together the pieces of her shattered life, as Chicago hurtles toward one of the most infamous days in its history, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

I thought they could protect me from people like the Black Hand Gang. But that was before I’d met his friends, Vincent Drucci and Hymie Weiss. They scared the hell out of me.

The Chicago River had frozen over, frosted on top like a chilled martini glass.

All I could think was, She’s the type of girl Shep belong with, not me.

I love the 1920’s, flappers, stories of gangsters, and learning about their lifestyle. The cover of this book immediately caught my attention. It is these type of women, on the front cover of this book, that I enjoy reading about most. Women that stood for change and spoke out for themselves. Vera Abramowitz fits this image perfectly. She has just recently left her mother and the life she has always known, moved to the city, and secured a few low paying jobs just to make ends meet. But when she meets two of the most well-known gangsters in Chicago, she gets a taste for the flashy side of life. Little does she know, the two gangsters she has been seeing are working for opposing sides. How did she ever get herself in this mess, and how will she ever get herself out?

This was another book that I did not want to put down. The action and descriptive scenes give the reader plenty to be excited about. Things escalate quickly and the pace of this book is perfect. Rosen keeps readers hanging on for dear life, wondering what Vera will get herself into next. I enjoyed all the parties, dancing, and scenes between the gangsters and their girlfriends or wives. This book does have some violence, but really I don’t think you can write about big cities in the 1920’s and not shed a little violence on the scene.

Vera gets herself in a mess right from the start. She is seeing both Tony and Shep, who work for different mob bosses and are rivals. Vera can be a little self-destructive at times, just because of need to feel like she belongs somewhere, and following her on this adventure was riveting. She has feelings for both of these men, but this is not your average love triangle. It is written sincerely and with much thought. Vera passionately loves one of these men, but sadly he is not the type to settle down permanently. I was heartbroken for Vera by the end of this book. Vera, sometimes not making the best decisions, was a very realistic character and was perfect for this time period and this particular story!

I cannot wait to see what this author produces next!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Berkley Trade in exchange for my honest review***

No comments:

Post a Comment