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Ratings and Book Reviews (10 14 star ratings
10 reviews
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4.6 out of 5
14
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    Riveting and exposed for the world to see

    Toby Neal has been a favorite author of mine for sometime now. Upon hearing that she was coming out with a memoir, I jumped at the chance to read it even though memoirs aren’t my usual read. I thoroughly enjoyed traversing back in time with Toby as she takes us through her journey growing up in Hawaii. She pulled me into her early life and I connected with her lonely childhood as she strives to try and fit in. I longed for her happiness and my heart broke for the many obstacles she endured. I felt as though had it been another time and place, we could’ve been great friends. As tough as life had been for Toby, she became an amazingly wonderful woman. An example of what love and forgiveness can do if you learn to let go of what haunts you.
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    A Uniquely Immersive Experience

    Memoirs aren't my usual go-to reading choice, but this opportunity to learn more about a successful author's background was not to be missed. I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging tale of overcoming childhood and experiencing Hawaii through Toby's childhood eyes to find out where her deep-rooted love of the islands began.
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    EMOTIONALLY MOVING!

    I’ve been a fan of TW (Toby) Neal’s since her first Lei Crime Series Book was published. I’ve known she was happily married, mother of two grown children a Licensed Therapist and had grown up in Hawaii. Now that I have read her memoir, FRECKLED, I have a totally new respect for this talented author. I’ve read plenty of memoirs because I like to know the backstory. I have to say, this was not an easy read for me. I’m a few years older than Toby and had the opportunity to visit Hawaii during a period of time she wrote about. I couldn’t help but contrast my childhood/teenage years with hers. I have to say they were as totally opposite as could be possible! Neal writes with such honesty and clarity and provides her readers an opportunity to feel as though they are reliving her life with her. She is an amazing, resilient, goal oriented, spectacular woman who has overcome immense odds to achieve all the goals that she set as a young child/early teen. I think it’s very telling that in spite of all the struggles her family went through, READING was always a PRIORITY and her Mom read to her often and as soon as she could read, made sure she NEVER went without books! What an incredible gift! I believe if you can read & read well, you can do anything! Toby Neal should have been the Poster Child for Reading as a young child/teenager! Also, it helped foster her imagination and allowed her to become the gifted author that she is today. I was provided an ARC of this novel by the author. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
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    Amazing

    In her Memoir Freckled, Toby shares of her life growing up in the paradise of Kauai during the 70's. Being raised by hippie parents who were self centered and more concerned about their drugs and alcohol then their children's welfare, Toby had to grow up fast. Her responsibility to her sisters care and her focus on what she wanted to become, outweighed the neglect and weight put upon her shoulders by her parents. She overcame the bullying and physical abuse put on her, not only by her parents, but by the bigotry of the time and the local Hawaiians. Toby found her escape in the glorious beauty that surrounded her and in her books. All that Toby went through and overcame molded her into the amazing woman she is today. With her schooling and degree and becoming the therapist, author, wife, and mom. she has achieved and grabbed on to exactly what she wanted. Her artistic view on the island and description transports you right there. Toby has an amazing way of describing the beauty and the not so beautiful. I have loved all the fiction books that Toby has written, (and I have read every one of them), but this one took me over the top. I received this book as an ARC reader, but this heartfelt review is totally mine.
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    Best memoir ever !

    After reading my ARC copy I sat down and wrote this review with tears streaming down my cheeks. Now Toby Neal is not only one of my favorite authors but also one of my heros. She grew up in Kauai i in the wilderness with hippies for parents living in shacks if lucky or camping out in tents or their van with no modern conveniences. Well, let me tell you, I know I wouldn't have survived this yet she took care of her younger siblings and alcoholic drug addicted parents. She was bullied relentlessly by the Hawaiian natives while trying to make up for not being the son her father wanted. Yet after all this she becomes a college graduate let alone a published author of many action packed books. If you liked The Glass Castle and even if you didn't, you won't want to miss reading Freckled. I promise you that you will not be sorry.
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