{Blog Tour} Review + Guest Post + Giveaway: Within by Clare C. Marshall

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hey! Today, I'm posting a review of Within by Clare C. Marshall and a guest post for the Within blog tour. Weehoo! There is also tour-wide giveaway of a print copy of Within and swags so come and join us!

Title: Within
Author: Clare C. Marshall
Publisher: Faery Ink Press
Date of Publication: November 13, 2011

Trinity Hartell’s life changed after the accident. Left with irreversible brain damage, she becomes a burden to her mother, a cause for heartbreak for her boyfriend Zack, and a flattened obstacle for her best friend, Ellie.

But then she starts writing. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that the psychotic, murdering protagonist of her novel bears a striking similarity to the charming Wiley Dalton, a mayoral candidate in the upcoming election.

Or, perhaps not...


My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, so whew! Let's get down to this review.

This is a novella and I didn't know that prior to reading it. So I was actually shocked with the pace everything was going and to discover that it's actually short. So yes, it is a short read but in no way did it lack in plot or action. It was jam-packed with that and the author wasted no time in telling the story she wants to tell us. I finished this in one sitting, save for that little nap I simply had to have. Hee.

I joined the blog tour purely because I want to help Clare and I've been eyeing her The Violet Fox for so long. Plus, when I read the blurb, I was definitely intrigued. Who wouldn't? Trinity suffers brain damage and then she writes this great story? How? Why? So I signed up! Thank you to Clare C. Marshall for holding this tour and for giving me the chance to read this book. This in no way affected my review and all of these are my honest thoughts. So back to Within...

Within is told in different perspectives. Yeap, not just one. This is in great service to the story because you just have to know how each character thinks and their motivations. Even without labels as to who was talking, you won't be confused because Clare masterfully changes tone as she changes POVs. I love that.

Clare warned people that Within might not be for everyone. I agree. It has some gritty, realistic and gory details some of the weak-hearted might opt out of. It describes graphic violence and thoughts so so dark and twisted, you might shudder. At first, the novel took its time to establish the characters and the setting. I can't quite predict what's gonna happen. But once Edmund started speaking, it was a whirlwind of information and happenings. Woah. I totally did not expect this story just from the blurb. Clare, you took us all by surprise!

The only gripe I have about this book are the characters. See, it could have been a 4 but seriously, I hated Ellie and Stephanie. Ellie is SUPPOSEDLY Trinity's best friend but she couldn't care less about Trinity. Ellie likes Zack, Trinity's boyfriend ever since and she just keeps on trying to get him for herself. Back off, girl! The boy's taken BY YOUR BEST FRIEND. She's possibly the worst best friend ever until she kinda redeemed herself in the end. I say kinda because I don't think she's redeemable. Gah, she frustrated the heck out of me. She's selfish, inconsiderate and she certainly lacks compassion. She's smart though and I'd give her that. And kinda kickass with her athleticism. But seriously, worst friend ever. Zack is the lovesick boy and while he wasn't irritating, I think he's a stock character. Trinity spent most of the time being mentally challenged with these bouts of obsession to writing her story so I can't comment on her much. Most of all, I hate Stephanie. What kind of a mother are you? Your seventeen year-old daughter now acts as if she's in kindergarten and all you can think of is your career? You don't even care. Wow. You're just a volunteer? You can't leave? George too. What great parents. You're the vice president of the company. You can't take a leave? The most fleshed out character would be the villain. Rocked my socks off. So yeah, I guess it kinda balances everything. Moreover, maybe it was Clare's intention to make her characters like this and if so, she succeeded.

Lastly, the cover. Wee, I love the cover! And because of that, I asked Clare if I can also host a guest post about the cover and she gladly agreed! Read it below! 

Guest Post

Now, I have a guest post from Clare about the cover of the book. You know I'm always interested with the story behind the cover. Now, let's take a peek at how Within got its cover!

The Cover for Within
by Clare C. Marshall

Coming up with a cover for book can be a fun but gruelling process. This was my first book so it was especially exciting.

I wanted to have a girl on the cover that was both innocent, and absent from the moment. The white dress fits perfect with the theme of innocence and “purity” and her eyes lift towards the edge of the cover, beckoning you to open the cover, and showing that she is staring past the reader into the beyond.

The leaves sprouting from the back of her head confused some readers. Originally, I thought I’d like to have a cover with a young woman’s silhouetted head below ground growing an entire tree. This represents the story inside Trinity’s head, the knowledge that was divinely placed there, that wants to be free. It could also represent Trinity’s “true self” locked within her damaged mind that also seeks to be free.

My boyfriend Dave does my covers, so it was easy to communicate what I wanted. He created the texture in the back and got the right tint of purple that I wanted--purple is my favourite colour. I hope you get a chance to read it! :)

Ooooohhh, it must be great to have a designer boyfriend! Hee. Thank you Clare for the very informative guest post!

About Clare C. Marshall

Clare Marshall grew up in rural Nova Scotia with very little television and dial up internet, and yet, she turned out okay. She has a combined honours degree in journalism and psychology from the University of King’s College, and is a graduate from Humber College’s Creative Book Publishing Program. She founded Woulds & Shoulds Editing and Design in 2010 for self-published authors looking for quality editing and design services. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing the fiddle and making silly noises at cats. Within is her first published novel.


There's a tour-wide giveaway of a printed copy of Within and some swag! Good luck!


  1. This novella actually seems really good! I really want to try it out now!

  2. Thanks for the review Dianne! :)

    1. Thank you too, Clare, for dropping by and letting me join the tour! I enjoyed this tale you wrote! :D


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