REVIEW: Toward the Sound of Chaos by Carmen Jenner
"I’m a US Marine. Nothing holds us down. Not war, famine, deprivation, and certainly not terror. When others run from the sounds of chaos. I revelled in it, wrought it until i couldn’t wield any longer and it won"
Jake Tucker is broken. At twenty-two, he went in to the Marine Corps a naïve, troubled youth. Nine years and four tours later, Jake finds himself back on US soil, though his mind remains firmly planted in the sands of Afghanistan with the men he left behind. Wounded, chewed up and spat out by war, Jake has only his dog, Nuke, PTSD, and survivor’s guilt to keep him company. He’s lived every day for nine years wondering when it will be his last, but there’s little comfort in the fact that he’s still standing when his platoon isn’t. Ellie Mason doesn’t have time for broken. She’s too busy trying to put food on the table. And keeping up with the demands of her autistic son, Spencer, is sometimes like fighting behind enemy lines. As if navigating the minefields of single parenthood isn’t enough, Ellie finds herself drawn to the quiet Marine who’s just as lonely as she is. But she’s loved damaged men before, and it left her wounded. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Fairhope, Alabama, Ellie and Jake find themselves running toward the sound of chaos. Love is war. Only the strong survive, and surrender is inevitable.
All the feels. Every single last one of them. As I was reading certain heartbreaking parts of this beautiful book my eyes were streaming with tears. Nothing has made me feel all the feels in so long! Heart wrenching, Life altering, Emotional. Toward the Sound of Chaos was my first Carmen Jenner book and I’m absolutely livid that I’ve waited this long to read one of her books. Carmen has a beautiful way with words and has created two damaged people who’s only solace in life is ‘the same’. Change is not acceptable in the worlds they live in but change is also inevitable. “On any given day I feel as if i’m taking one baby step forward and eight giant leaps back. In my head, I repeat the bullshit mantra of my shrink: Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day”. Jake Tucker is a tortured and broken soul and as far as he’s concerned beyond repair. He lives his life one moment at a time struggling through each and every moment and suffering through the PTSD he brought home with him from the war. PTSD isn’t the only companion he brought home from the war, physical scars now mar his beautiful body. His trusty sidekick Nuke is there at every step but even he can’t help with the pain and torture that still lives in his head and his body. Jake was a complex character who was a walking contradiction. Sometimes when you’re reading from Ellie’s POV it’s almost like he’s a completely different character which to me felt like that was the way that Ellie saw him. Completely different to how Jake saw himself when you read from his POV. I’ve never read a book about a marine before nor about someone suffering with PTSD and I found it incredible the way that Carmen could articulate how Jake was suffering. It was written in such a respectful way and definitely opened my eyes to the sacrifices of war. Yes Jake was lucky enough to make it home when other’s didn’t but he never really returned whole. He was fragmented and broken. Carmen wrote Jake perfectly. “That’s the thing about wishes, though—they’re just that. Hopes thrown out to the universe, swept away on a breeze and left up to fate.” Ellie Mason is from a very different background to Jake. She didn’t grow up in his small town, she moved there on a whim with her son Spencer, while escaping her own demons. Spencer has Autism and is just as troubled as Jake sometimes. The way Carmen wrote about how much Ellie had to go through just to get through the day with Spencer was so surprising to me. I understand Autism but i never really thought about how much it affects the parents. How hard it must be to have a child that can’t tell you they love you which is something I’m sure most people take for granted. Toward the Sound of Chaos was a beautiful eye opener for me. It was the story of two beautiful people just trying to find a place in a harsh world and just trying to make it to the next day. The character development for Jake and Spencer was so well written and felt like it fitted in with the development of the plot perfectly. It was respectful, real and unpredictable just like PTSD and Autism. Carmen has done PTSD Survivors and those Autism justice in the way she has described what they suffer through on a daily basis and should be commended for how well written this beautiful book is. “There’s no bravery in running away, but there can be in surrender. Sometimes to surrender to someone else’s chaos is the bravest thing you can do.” Toward the Sound of Chaos is worth 5 emotional stars. I highly recommend you read this absolutely beautiful book
About The Author: Carmen Jenner
Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA Today and international bestselling author. Her dark romance, KICK (Savage Saints MC #1), won Best Dark Romance Read in the Reader’s Choice Awards at RWDU, 2015. A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore makeup addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child. A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?