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Can you escape Reality?

Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen, #1) 
by Lisa Renee Jones 

Can you truly ever escape your past? If someone wants you dead? Because you know a secret that could rock the fabric of the world? But you don’t remember it…

What a cliff hanger! You just have to buy the next book to find out what happens to Amy and why.
But then you find out there are 3 more books – so you buy all 3... So Amazon wins again and you read all 3 one after each other, thus breaking your promise to yourself not to be distracted from your (ever growing) list of books to read from NetGalley and also direct from publishers and authors!
So Amy and Lara it seems are the same person and Amy clearly suffers from PTSD with severe headaches, blackouts, amnesia and yet also flashbacks.
The NHS and the charity MIND tells us that sufferers can have:
•	flashbacks
•	nightmares
•	repetitive and distressing images or sensations
•	physical sensations – such as pain, sweating, nausea or trembling Some people have constant negative thoughts about their experience, repeatedly asking themselves questions that prevent them from coming to terms with the event.
For example, they may wonder why the event happened to them and if they could have done anything to stop it, which can lead to feelings of guilt or shame.
They may also suffer from hyperarousal being very anxious and easily startled. They may have an extreme alertness and may repress the memories of the event.
It is clear from the descriptions of Amy in the book that she is a classic case and her repression of her memories means that she doesn’t know who is trying to kill her, only that someone is. And this is real and not an imagined threat as they have already set fire to her house and killed her family. Locked in her memory are the reasons for this and the nightmares and flashbacks gradually reveal what she has locked away.
All the fleeing from towns and fake identities required to keep her out of harm, means that Amy doesn’t trust easily – and being unable to form deep relationships is also a symptom of PTSD.  Who can she trust? And who is lying to her? And why would they want to hurt her? What does she know that is so dangerous? Which leads to some interesting ideas in the sex scenes as S&M requires trust in your partner in order to participate – and a mild ’50 Shades of Grey’ appears on these pages. Luckily for me, just a mild version as this is just so not my scene and I personally think that it is not a useful behaviour to indulge in despite its popularity.
So book 1 finishes and book 2 starts and then book 3 and by now the twists and turns and unexpected events and people’s allegiances apparently – or not – changing leaves you beginning to be confused as to who you – or Amy for that matter – can believe. Everyone seems to be lying.
So if you read the series, don’t think you know the end outcome as you don’t. Every book takes the story in a different direction and the people change their ‘coats’ as often as you change your underwear – maybe even more often!
Definitely 4 stars.

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