Chewed Confessions by Cheryl Kirwan Review: Gum has a life of its own

June 18, 2013 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Indie, Reviews

Chewed Confessions by Cheryl Kirwan Review: Gum has a life of its ownChewed Confessions by Cheryl Kirwan
on April 1, 2013
Source: Author Review Copy
Genres: Short Stories
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2013 Indie Excellence Book Award - FINALIST WINNER in Fiction Short Stories 2013 Global EBook Award - BRONZE MEDAL WINNER in Fiction Short Stories

What if each piece of discarded gum on the sidewalk, or stuck to a park bench or underneath an elegant dining table could tell the story of how it got there?

Chewed Confessions, is a series of thought-provoking linked short stories, using this inventive supposition to share a variety of human experiences, as related by the animated stick of gum that traveled with each person on a given day. From this intimate vantage, these humorous, heartfelt stories together explore a broad spectrum of everyday life, from affairs of the heart to matters of conscience. With rich insight and reflection, this original work of literature reveals the daily struggles we all face with doing the right thing. In this series of nine diverse short stories, each unique gum narrates the thoughts and actions of the characters once it enters his or her mouth. Each gum has its own flavor, and its own insightful understanding of the journey they are taking.

Grab your favorite piece of gum and enjoy...who knows, you may see your own life story with common threads to one of the stories in Chewed Confessions.

Although I don’t usually read short stories, Chewed Confessions had such an interesting concept that I just had to check it out.

What if the gum you chewed took on a life of it’s own? Chewed Confessions takes on the role of a piece of gum that witnesses a person’s thoughts, actions and lives at the time it is being chewed. It touches the lives of very different people and tells us the stories of each person it touches, while telling us how it performs its role of relieving tension, cleaning teeth, and providing a burst of flavour for each person. From the perspective of different flavours, such as cherry jubilee, peppermint, cinnamon and minty chocolate, the gum meets very different people who are somehow linked.

The opening story of Jason, a perfectionist who reflected on his never ending quest for a perfect woman, was the highlight. While chewing the cherry jubilee flavour, he recalls several women who he’s dated in the past and his dissatisfaction with everything from finding out they have a messy house, to not cooking for themselves, and being slightly older than their dating profile picture. This intrigued me from the start as I glimpsed into the life of different people.

Of particular interest to me were the more personal ones, including the one of Abby, the jaded wife trying to defend herself against an evil husband, and the story of Rudy, a smart but conforming teenager in high school winning a date with the object of his affections. Some of the other stories I found kind of tedious and dry, mainly the ones to do with business people who go into detail about business transactions, legal matters, and corporate misdealings. Because these people were only going to last a few pages long, I found myself skimming those areas of extreme detail.

As each of these people are dealing with something major in their lives, it’s hard to believe that they can all be connected (family, business partner or otherwise) in such a way. It’s definitely not believable and I’m not sure whether it’s aiming to be, especially when describing Abby’s husband who is a philanderer, wife beater, liar, gambler, etc. all rolled into one.

That being said, it’s amazing what the author can do with describing a piece of gum and what it does and sees when it’s in a person’s mouth. From cleaning bits of tartar, to describing people’s chewing styles, to helping them get through the day, the creativity is astonishing. I just wish there was more of a point to these people’s stories, but hey, that’s the reason why I don’t usually read short stories.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to delve into your childhood game, I enjoyed it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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3 responses to “Chewed Confessions by Cheryl Kirwan Review: Gum has a life of its own

  1. wildgypsyrose

    TBH….I really don't read short stories unless it's in the horror genre and so I think I'll pass on this novel. Excellent review.

  2. What a different story premise! And I liked the cover at first(I thought is was colored popcorn, or Fruity Pebbles) but then when I realized it was chewed pieces of gum… not gonna lie, got a bit squeamish, lol!