IMPORTANT: if you have a copy of “Mean: A Psychological Thriller Novelette” bought or downloaded for free BEFORE JULY, 23rd, please  contact me before reading it, and I’ll replace your file with the improved edition ASAP. I’ll even send it in any format you prefer (Epub, Mobi, PDF, etc.). And I’ll apologize and thank you endlessly while doing it, be sure.

From a reader on Goodreads (Thank you very much for your kind words, Martha Bryce!!):

I have already read Mean and believe me, this is a book that you don’t want to miss from an author you will want to follow as she climbs to the top name in the psychological thriller genre.

Cassandra Connelly looks like a normal twenty-four-year-old girl. She seems sweet and shy. She works hard in two jobs and still finds time to do volunteer work. Nonetheless, there’s something wrong within her. She has a lot of anger boiling inside, and a very problematic past, making her a dark, twisted woman.

She hides her true self from the world, but there’s someone Cassandra hates so much, she has been thinking of doing something unspeakable: killing this person.

To her, killing this person is absolutely necessary, for he or she should not be alive. However, since she is still not sure about doing it or not, she seeks help. She goes to a psychiatrist in order to make a decision: should she continue hiding her meanness and being a normal girl, or should she let the meanness win and kill this person she believes deserves to die?

In this contemporary piece of fiction, we’ll find out how badly child abuse and a dysfunctional family can transform a life for worse, much worse.

Mean is a novelette (longer than a short-story but shorter than a novella).



(I love all reviews to my books. Even if the reviewer didn’t like it so much, he or she still cared enough to write about it!! Thank you so much, reviewers!):

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Psychological Thriller, July 27, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: MEAN: A psychological thriller novelette (Kindle Edition)

MEAN by Renata F. Barcelos is an enjoyable dark psychological thriller novelette told from the point of view of an angry female patient who is seeing a psychiatrist and planning to kill somebody. The reader is left guessing as to who the intended victim is until the last few pages. I must admit it surprised me. Very good and quick read at only 50 pages, but there are a few editing issues with the work that need correcting. I have since been advised that a revised version is posted and the errors have been fixed. Still I enjoyed it overall.

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark but interesting, July 21, 2012
C Liset (Miami, FL USA) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: MEAN: A psychological thriller novelette (Kindle Edition)

This novelette kept my mind constantly shifting trying to figure out who she wanted to kill. Without spoiling it, I’ll tell you that is something new for me. The way that she addresses you as if she were talking to you… I enjoyed it.

Martha Bryce‘s review Aug 04, 12

5 of 5 stars false
Read in July, 2012
Mean is a great little novelette. A young woman starts to see a psychologist because she is worried that her meanness is going to drive her to commit murder, a murder that she hopes the psychologist can guide her to avoid committing. The murder that the young woman feels compelled to commit, however is not random but specific to a person who she feels is responsible for having ruined her life. As the story unfolds, more details of the young woman’s horrific past are revealed, building to a carefully constructed crescendo of calculated madness. This is a compelling, well written read and a true psychological thriller!
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept me turning pages… September 2, 2012
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
finished this well written short read in one sitting. Ms. Barcelos gives the reader insight into a multi-layered character who has ample reason to be mean. Looking forward to the intriguingly titled, “My Sore Hush-a-bye”.

e-thriller review (also on goodreads):

A Chilling and Captivating Novelette – Review by Charlotte Waller
Despite being a novelette, Mean by Renata F. Barcelos is captivating from the very first sentence. It starts off with the reader being let into the chilling mind of Cassandra Connelly, hinting at the deep but downright scary thoughts to come.
The unique style of writing makes this thriller even more exciting, as Cassandra could well be talking to the reader themselves. We soon find out that the whole story is her side of the conversation with her therapist and because the reader is seeing the whole thing through Cassandra’s eyes, it makes it even more chilling, especially as she has the urge to kill someone.
This mystery person who has angered Cassandra is only revealed at the end, keeping the reader literally on the edge of their seat. There are hints here and there as to who this person is, and you might not be as surprised at the end when all is revealed.

Lizzy Lessard (visit her blog, great reviews there!) review:

I actually read two different versions of this ebook and I can definitely see the improvements in the latest update.  This is an odd book in that it’s written in first person and directed to the reader – only the reader is playing the part of Cassandra’s shrink.  Cassandra rants about her life and the person she wants to kill to her shrink.  It’s amazing how rich her background and personality is without boring the reader.  And the ending is nice…very dark.

Edit – Brand new review on goodreads:

That was so unexpected.I never expected it would turn out the way it did.This book just goes to show you how upbringing and environment can affect how children turn up.I could so relate to what Cassandra was going through,even if I haven’t gone through what she did.But we all have some feelings within us that makes us so dark sometimes.All part of life.I loved this short novel,Amazing.
Edit – First review on Amazon UK:
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing read, 16 Sep 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: MEAN: A psychological thriller novelette (Kindle Edition)

A young girl approaches a psychiatrist to help decide if she should kill someone or not, what will the outcome be?

This is a very intriguing novelette that makes you want to keep reading to find out what the outcome will be, and very cleverly written, its like the main character, Cassie is speaking to you, as well as the psychiatrist. I thought I guessed the ending part way through, but I was very wrong!!

Very interesting style, and will be interested to read more by Renata.

Edit: Another Great review for Mean!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously dark & twisty 18 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

A dark psychological novelette about young Cassie who pays for sessions with a psychiatrist in order to decide whether to stop herself from killing the person she blames for the horrors of her life, or let the meanness inside of her win.Each chapter is one of the nine therapy sessions, and we only ever hear narration from Cassie, no one else, which I have to say worked surprisingly well. I felt very drawn to Cassie and it was as though I was eavesdropping on her sessions. More of Cassie’s anger pours out as she explains what she endured during her life, and the reader is left eagerly turning the pages for the big reveal of the identity of the person she so urges to kill. I had many thoughts about who this could be, but was never certain, so the twist at the end was a good surprise.The style coupled with the length of this worked well. It is a dark, intriguing read that hooks you very quickly, and is well constructed.

Oh my, another one! (You must visit  Jeff Whelan’s blog, some amazing stuff there. Plus, you should check out his book, Space Orville, and its wonderful reviews! Oh, and see my interview with him)

5.0 out of 5 stars A searing look into a troubled mind, September 25, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: MEAN: A psychological thriller novelette (Kindle Edition)

I certainly don’t envy those in the mental health profession. Having to patiently listen to and gently counsel the emotional and psychological woes of others would be a taxing affair. But when your patient declares that her reason for seeing you involves a decision to commit murder, your work is really cut out for you. Such is the premise of MEAN, a psychological thriller by Renata F. Barcelos. MEAN is a highly effective nailbiter that puts you in the doctor’s chair. A first-person novelette, the story moves quickly over the course of the patient’s therapy sessions but loses not a single nuance of the patient’s troubled psyche. Barcelos digs deep into her protagonist, whose traumatic past has resulted in deeply buried pain and a rock-hard exterior that conceals an even greater secret. You’ll want to read MEAN in one sitting. Intensely focused, thought-provoking character exploration doesn’t get much better than this.

This review is incredible, I loved it! Please check Anachronist’s blog (Books as portable pieces of thoughts) for more excellent reviews!

Mini Review: Mean by Renata F. Barcelos

 Book info:

Form: pdf 
Length: 60 pages
Genre: psychological thriller
Target audience: adult

A copy of this novelette for reviewing purposes was sent to me free of charge by the author – thank you very much Renata!  That fact, of course,  didn’t influence my review in any way.

Because I am really feeling mean after the lecture let me start the synopsis like one of these jokes.
A nice girl with green eyes comes to a shrink. She knocks, enters and says: “Good evening. I want to kill somebody really worth killing but I’m still undecided. Would you mind my talking to you for a moment or two?”
Of course the shrink doesn’t mind it at all – it’s her job, after all, and she is paid handsomely for listening to different nutcases and wacky people. Is it really as safe as it seems to be, is she just a therapist? Is it possible such a nice girl really has a serious reason to kill anybody? Is she really so mean or is it just her sick imagination?

What I liked:

The idea behind this novelette was a very nice one – simple yet captivating. I truly enjoyed getting to know Cassandra and her horrible family. I was also immediately interested in the identity of her potential victim. I didn’t mind the first person narration much because  it helped creating an illusion the reader is actually a shrink. Some things Cassandra had been through sent a thrill down my spine and the more she told the more I wanted to know.
The best feature of this one was actually Cassandra herself – such a nice, intelligent girl with such a dark, twisted, narcissistic mind. She kept me wondering: was it because of her horrible childhood or was it because of her gene pool or maybe both ? Nurture or nature?  I  loved the ambiguity of her situation: she was not only a potential killer but also a victim; she was so self-centered and narcissistic she hardly noticed how much harm she was doing to herself. Still she remained perceptive enough to pursue a successful career and to plan a murder in a really clever way.

What I didn’t like:

Perhaps I have a dangerous mind but I guessed pretty quickly who Cassandra wanted to kill. Still I  didn’t know why till the very end so it didn’t spoil my pleasure. An my main carping: this novelette would be far nicer if it was turned into a novel, with a richer characterization of the main lead and some other characters added in the background.

Final verdict:

A nice, short, intelligent read. Next time I  want a fully-fledged novel, though! Preferably with Cassie as a main character as well because her story is not over, is it?

Amazing new review on Chasity Brewer’s gorgeous blog, Batty for books. She gave ‘Mean’ 5 bats! Please visit her blog, she has great reviews there!

My Thoughts:

‘Mean’ totally blew me away. This novelette was so filled with entertainment. It’s the story of a young woman who is turning to the help of a psychiatrist because she thinks this meanness inside of her is going to take over. The story is told in her point of view and the doctor never speaks in the book. It is simply Cassandra’s twisted mind speaking, a one sided book. From the very first doctor’s session the story was crazy. It just took off and was filled with such a crazy story, with twists and turns, that I couldn’t stop reading it. I mean this girl’s life was truly insanity at its best.

 I read through this novelette very quickly. I just couldn’t wait to see what Cassandra decided to do.

 Then at the end, wow, what a shocker, I did not see that coming. I expected it to be something crazy but not THAT crazy. It was pure brilliance, I really loved this story. It was one of my favorites this year. I just found all of it fascinating.

Great writing and a great job for Renata!
Latest review – From Amazon Top Reviewer –  The Kindle Book Review “The Kindle Book Review”
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling psychological thriller., October 8, 2012
This review is from: Mean: A Psychological Thriller Novelette (Kindle Edition)

This is the first story I have read by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mean is a novelette which is packed with story. The story is set around a lady who seeks therapy because she feels she has a mean streak inside her. She seeks therapy not for help but to make her decision on whether to act on dark thoughts she has been experiencing.

The story unfolds in a Psychiatrists Therapy Room, it is set around numerous therapy sessions where the patient tells her whole life story and has to make a decision which the Doctor will have a huge impact on the final decision made.

I do not want to spoil the story so I will not divulge anymore. This story is a dark psychological thriller with plenty of twists and turns, I read the story in one sitting because it had me captivated from the beginning to the end.

I can not wait to read more of the author’s work, I have rated this 4 stars but if the option was available I would rate a strong 4.5 stars.

Becky Sherriff
(The Kindle Book Review)

Great new review on Amazon UK! Thank you so much, Nicholas Devonald

4.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Interesting Narration Style 24 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I have never before come across a narration quite like the one in this novel, which made for a thoroughly enjoyable read. It is set over a course of nine therapy sessions, and consists solely of the main protagonists dialogue to the therapist. There is absolutely nothing else. Occasionally she responds to questions the therapists asked, but we never hear the therapists questions, we only assume from the context of the reply.This made for an extremely unique story telling. The length of this novelette was perfect, as much as I loved the style of the narration I think it would have began to get old if it had carried on for much longer, as it was I didn’t find myself losing interest but there was still time for plenty of background information to be filled in.It was obvious from quite early on that there was going to be a bit of a twist towards the end, and I had a pretty accurate idea just what this was going to be from about half way through, but as the protagonist herself says at the end she left plenty of clues throughout the narration, so this was not unexpected.I’d recommend this for anyone looking for something a little bit different, very enjoyable distraction.
C.J.Listro posted an AMAZING review of MEAN on her beautiful site, Sarcasm and Lemons, a Book Blog. Please go there to read it entirely, because I loved this review!!
the basics

I’m very picky about my short stories, but I really, really liked this.  It’s such a clever concept.  Girl goes to therapy…because she wants to kill someone, and she wants her therapist to help her decide whether to do it.  I mean, come on?  Aren’t you already curious!?  I think part of the reason I liked it so much was that Barcelos legitimately did her homework.  I thought, well, this would never work.  As soon as she names a person, her therapist will have to tell the police.  But she even mentioned that loophole in the text and how Cassandra got around it.  I had a moment of sheer joyful geekery.  The writing was clean, though a little bit exaggerated.  It’s an all-dialogue story, which is neat, but some of the phrasing felt a little over-the-top.  I also felt that “meanness” just wasn’t impactful enough for the concept Barcelos wanted to get across.  But overall, it kept me up turning page after page and I’m about to go buy Barcelos’ other story because I want more!


For  more reviews, please visit ‘Mean’ on Goodreads

2 responses to “Mean

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