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Book Review: Cut it Out by Terri Gillespie

Book Review: Cut it Out by Terri Gillespie

It's Book Review Wednesday again! This time, a book I found myself enjoying despite the fact that it's WAY outside of my preferred genre.

Cut it Out

The Hair Mavens are back! Women are flocking to the newly remodeled Hair Mavens Salon. But the salon isn’t the only thing that has changed—two more mavens arrive and create chaos for the ladies. When a life-threatening situation arises, the mavens realize how much they need each other. But, did they learn the lesson too late? cover

My Review: 3.5 Stars

When I received this book from the author, I was not looking forward to reading it. It's not in my preferred genre, and was fairly "female-centric" for my tastes. But when I cracked it open, I found I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. There is the occasional typo and grammar mistake, and the story moves at a fairly slow pace--though I guess that's normal for the genre. It places a lot of emphasis on the religious side of things, but in a way that irked me rather than made it seem part of the story. One thing I found is that the book uses terms and words that is very industry-specific. The author clearly has experience in the field of beauty salons and hair care, and writes as if everyone understands the jargon and terms. Not the case, at least for me. The ending left me a bit disappointed, as there was no real build-up or climax. It reminded me of serial novels, with a sort of episodic feel rather than being a self-contained story. The darkness in Katya's story was a bit "in your face", but it was a good addition to the plot. That being said, the writing is fairly tight, the mistakes are minimal, and the characters are easy to relate to. The personalities were well-developed, though there are a few things that are too stereotypically "girly". All in all, a pretty solid read if you are a woman who likes to read stories centered around the problems women face in the modern world.

Here's a Taste:

Katya flipped through the scraps of paper on the coffee table where she had feverishly written notes from the news program and then later while investigating the CUT IT OUT organization’s website. Shira must bring this program into the salon. She had to. Everyone needed to know how to stop domestic violence. Even though Katya’s brutal attack was not by her boyfriend, it was someone she knew. She shut her laptop. Justin Langley was a wealthy client whom everyone respected—or at least kowtowed to. Fidel Gooding, her former boss, practically genuflected whenever Justin arrived. She stood and paced. How many times had she complained to Fidel when Justin made crude and inappropriate remarks? Or touched her backside. How many times had Fidel turned down her requests to reassign Justin to a male stylist? She paused. Perhaps he had considered her acceptance of the crisp hundred dollar bill tips as encouragement? Was it then her fault that he had raped her? Here. It was always here that she stopped—she had caused the rape by her own actions. For too long she stayed at this ugly dark place where the nightmares were. After watching this program, looking at the website, and remembering Edna’s alarm that she thought such a terrible thing, maybe it was all telling her this was not truth. No one would have believed that the handsome Justin needed to force any woman to be with him. Even Yuri had been jealous of Justin. He never would have believed that she had not willingly succumbed to Justin’s attention. Was that even the truth? It seemed true. She would never know. Still, had she given Yuri the opportunity to believe her? Her fingers tangled themselves in her hair. She twisted a hunk of curls around them, tugging at her scalp. Nyet. Instead of giving him that chance, she had thrown random clothes into her mother’s tattered suitcase, left a cruel note that she no longer loved him and not to look for her, and then took the first bus out of Manhattan. How she ended up in Gladstone, Pennsylvania, was still a mystery to her. Had she not stumbled upon The Hair Mavens Beauty Shop, exhausted, hungry, and thirsty she would never have met dear Edna. The woman who saved her. She untangled her fingers and pushed her hair behind her ears. No one should have to go through what she had. Men like Justin should be stopped by any means possible. They had to pay. He had not only raped and beaten her, but had stolen her life. A successful career, a man she loved, a beautiful apartment, and a future her mother could only have dreamed of for her. She stomped across the bare hardwood floor. That brute had taken everything from her. Her fists balled tightly. She wanted to hit something. Hit it hard. Instead, she grabbed her purse off a chair and threw it across the room letting loose a scream. It spun out its contents and slumped into a black lump of leather. If it had been closer she would have given it good kick. Her heart raced and her chest heaved. But she felt alive. Empowered, as the woman said in the news program—she felt that. She would present to the mavens what she had learned about CIO tomorrow. Or perhaps she should wait until they could all take the class at the hair show. She bent to pick up the envelope to the PECO bill where she’d written all the particulars of the CIO class on the front and back. It was just one session on Sunday afternoon. Shira just had to make Harriet and Beulah attend. Should she tell them why it was so important—to her? No. They would see the merits alone. Shira had said she wanted the mavens to be more “socially conscience” and get involved in the community. How much more involved could they be than to save women’s lives?

About the Author:

HEADSHOT_TERRI_GILLESPIE Terri Gillespie is a wife, mother, grandmother, author, and speaker. She is head writer for the Restoration of Israel Minute heard on 25 stations in 11 states and Canada, has contributed to several other books, magazines, newspapers and published her first book, Making Eye Contact with God—A Weekly Devotional for Women. Her first novel—The Hair Mavens: She Does Good Hair—won BWB’s Best Women’s Fiction for 2013. Book two of The Hair Mavens: Cut It Out! was released in December. Find the book here: