Review: Bristles by Donna Callea

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Bristles by Donna CalleaTitle: Bristles
by Donna Callea
on April 10, 2013
Genres: fantasy, young adult
Pages: 187
Format: eBook
Source: the author
Buy the Book
5 Stars
Set in a repressive dystopian society with a steampunk sensibility, Bristles is the story of a 16-year-old girl who longs to free herself from a life of bondage to her cruel stepmother, and to discover her true, and possibly magical, heritage.

Humiliating haircuts and a life of oppression have been Bryssa's fate ever since her father died when she was nine. Dubbed Bristles by her stepmother, she's determined to escape. But fleeing the city-state of Erba means leaving behind the boy who loves her, bristles and all. And returning means putting everything she's gained at risk.


Format: PDF

Fantastic, easy to jump into novel. A mix of fairy tale, fantasy, steam punk, and dystopia, this young adult novel kept my interest from the first page.

After the death of mother at birth and father in childhood, Bryssa is stuck with oblivious step sisters and a horrid stepmother. Her stepmother makes her a servant and Bryssa serves a life a’la Cinderella. Tired of oppression in the dingy, depressing city she eeks out a life in, Bryssa sets out with friends to discover her mother’s birthplace.

After discovering adventure and unknown family, Bryssa once again faces down her worst enemy and the whole society she left behind.

The main character is very likeable and I appreciated her tenacity. Her romance is sweet and endures through all the trials they face. The story flowed easily and was not stilted. I enjoyed the changes of scenery and the folklore the author weaved into her story.

Highly recommended for any steam punk or young adult alternate society/dystopian fans.








Before Donna became a novelist, she was an award-winning journalist. OK. She didn’t win any awards you might have heard about. We’re not talking Pulitzers here. But she did work as a reporter for a minor metropolitan newspaper for a number of years, during which time she wrote numerous stories that elicited laughter, tears, outrage, civic pride, civic shame– and won a few prizes. But not any Pulitzers.

At a pivotal point in her career, Donna decided that she would much rather write fiction than factual news stories. And since the newspaper she worked for much preferred printing the latter, she embarked upon a long and lonely journey as a novelist, culminating in the publication of two well-received e-books: The Haircut, A New Year’s Tale and New Coastal Times. Neither has yet to win any prizes. Not even very obscure prizes that no one has heard about. But thank you for asking.

Donna is currently hard at work (OK, not so hard at work) on her third novel. She lives in Florida with her very adorable husband, and really needs to get out of the house more.

She loves to hear from readers. Especially readers who have no complaints. You can send her an email at or visit her Her website:

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I'm 30 years year old and live in Texas. I'm married to an awesome guy and we have a 3 year old son. I'm a licensed social worker. I love reading and will read about any genre.