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Review: Survival Girl by Carolyn Jernigan

Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

About the Book

Your journey in life is not a fly on the wall nor a dream what I can tell you though it can be regrettable most definitely unchanging. The last second of your actions just became a memorable moment or not. Reality Check: 1. Are others experience an example for you-if breathing it could very well be so. 2. Recognizing a trouble individual coming your way-after reading this it's possible. 3. Releasing love is the best cure for a self-pity somebody found out while other never did. The best ruler of your life is you (and most of all of course God) even if you father or any guidance shows little loving support because truly ultimately there a space in life that nobody can inhabit but you no matter how hard they endeavor. Achievements are for everyone whether that around your family or around strangers or living by yourself. And don't be so quick to throw out your best friend over slipups that can be pardoned. Therefore do yourself a huge favor think twice before making a drastic decision once said it carried forever in one way or another. Really the blame game it a temporary felling that blow away with the wind. Challenges sometime have to be embrace to go the next phase.


Just as all fairy tales do not end in happily ever after, ‘Survival Girl’ did not make it to the metaphorical finish line, either.

‘Survival Girl’ follows Tanya from childhood to adulthood as she tries to make her way despite abusive parents, unreliable friends and unstable relationships. The readers initially want to see poor Tanya succeed but, as Jernigan shoves Tanya through awkward grammar and forced conflicts, we easily become disenchanted with our protagonist. 

The characters that inhabit the story have the spirit of real people behind them, and it is clear from the first word that Jernigan is drawing from real life experience to inspire her characters, settings, and conflicts. A number of supporting characters were relatable, level-headed and entertaining but, unfortunately, I cannot speak for Tanya in the same way. As the story progresses, Tanya is fooled, beaten both physically and mentally, and the butt of the joke more often than not; she does not survive so much as she gets tossed around by the waves. All throughout the novel, Tanya reaches out for someone who can truly love and respect her but, as is clear throughout the narrative, Jernigan is not one of those someones. 

For one, the novel is riddled with grammatical and punctuation errors, clunky dialogue and narration, and an impressive amount of semicolons; the novel as a work of literature was difficult to slog through. As a specific example, when new characters were introduced in the beginning of the book their names were bolded, but this style was immediately dropped after the second chapter and not corrected. Jernigan also does not treat her characters, the story, or even the readers with the respect they deserve. Conflicts were clumsily shoehorned in and then randomly abandoned as Jernigan thought of new ones. Every story has some kind of plan or goal from the beginning, but ‘Survival Girl’ has no clear direction or purpose, and suffers an ending so anticlimactic there was not even a period after the last word.

There are such things as good stories told poorly and subpar stories told well. Stories, whether they be bound in paper, watched through a screen, or even simply spoken aloud can, and do, mean a lot to people. The fact that we can bring new, fully formed people and places into existence with just our words will always be amazing to me. Storytelling requires work, care, and nearly obsessive attention. No matter how lacking a story is, the author has the obligation to nurture and care for the narrative just a mother cares for a child. Jernigan starts the story off with good intentions but, in the end, does not respect her characters enough to put in the effort to have her story edited. 

Maybe, in some other life, Tanya and her family and friends do find a happy ending. Until then, though, they’re stuck kissing frogs. 

Reviewed by Catherine Mesure

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