Being Kalli (Kalli #1) by Rebecca Berto
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance.
At nineteen, Kalli Perkins has never been in love and doesn’t ever intend to be. She has her issues handled. She’s managed to keep the secret of what happened to her nine years ago from her mother, although her mother’s usually high anyway and barely notices Kalli or her little brothers.
One night at a party, Kalli makes a bet with her friend, Nate, that could change everything. But she didn’t count on him. Nate’s very capable of satisfying her, not only under her clothes, but in her heart, too.
She just doesn’t know it yet.
*** Recommended for mature readers due to explicit content. This book is published in Australian English and includes relative diction. ***
Book Review ~ ‘Being Kalli’ by Rebecca Berto ~ 5 Stars!
You know that feeling you get when you read a book that just resonates with you and you then spend two weeks attempting to write a review because all you feel you can do is just obscenely ramble about your adoration for it?
Well, Being Kalli is one of those books.
I always adore Rebecca Berto’s writing style as it has a brilliant mix of both prose and factual statements which makes reading it almost like experiencing the story in real life. In Being Kalli, there’s a way that she manages to entwine psychological elements in her book so well with the everyday activities of Kalli’sl life that made me identify with her as a character and as a real person. There’s not many characters that I can say I’ve stuck with and sympathised with through all of their bad choices like I did with Kalli. Seeing the trauma she was subject to in her childhood and the strength of her love for her little brothers made her to me seem, despite some of her more racy behaviour, a real role model to other sisters and daughters. She faced a lot in life and through it all she still longed for the love of her mother, and everything she did she did with the benefits of her little brothers at the forefront of her mind.
I adored the relationship between Kalli and Nate, and also the way that the relationship developed. I liked that the part of storyline where their relationship deteriorates and then begins to build again was not all forced into the final quarter of the story, as with many stories. I liked that Kalli attempted to fix their relationship throughout the novel, making it part of the drama along with the issues she faces in her home life.
What really made this book stand out to me, and yet again remind me of Rebecca Berto’s exceptional skill at storytelling, was that she always brings the details within the novel to the next level. Her descriptions of playing the Violin, and of the fluidity of a piece of music, with the different tones was absolutely superb. I can’t tell you the number of times where authors forget to have the character add rosin to a bow. ROSIN PEOPLE ROSIN! Rebecca Berto not only showed this, but she also gave the action a reason in a reader-friendly way by making the use of rosin a joke with Nate. In my opinion, that is first class storytelling and is real ‘show-not-tell’.
This story is one of love, family, overcoming fears of the past and trust and as always Rebecca Berto brings in some really difficult and emotional issues in her writing and tackles them flawlessly. In this novel the issues of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Child Sexual Assault, Emotionally absent parents, and the fears of a girl who despite her strength of character towards her brothers, mother and people who do not know the real her, has an emotional vulnerability which needs only the most devoted of men to soothe.
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