Pros: full of different stories, lots of content, most are well written, hours of reading
Cons: some of the stories sound so hokey
A year ago, I did a consumer survey which awarded me with a gift certificate to an online magazine retailer. Looking over their list, they didn't have much of anything to appeal to me. I finally decided on True Confessions as well as True Love, to use up my gift certificate amount.
True Confessions is a magazine featuring short stories written by different authors, though I've never seen a credit to anyone's name in the magazine or with the stories. They're supposedly "true" stories, but, after reading them for a year, I completely believe that several sets of them are written by the same authors, what with the same lines used in various stories, or the same distinct phrases used (for instance, if I read "Why shut my mouth wide open!" in two entries, I would assume they were by the same author because it's a phrase that's rarely used in print).
A year will give me 12 issues and a subscription costs $24. The better deal is to buy 2 years at $29, however. (And, this can be found cheaper on websites such as MagazineLine. I think it was marked down to $5 when I bought it there.) There is very little advertising in this magazine, compared to others, and it consists of nothing but stories seemingly written by women about "confessions" they would like to talk about.
A typical issue has one "major" story, which is supposed to be the sluttiest, or the most outlandish (usually about a woman having an affair, though they do not go into detail about the actual sex). There are usually two longer "novel-length" (as they refer to it) confessions, and they usually run about 10 to 12 pages long. And there are between 5 and 7 regular length stories added, which usually run 5 to 6 pages each.
Also in the magazine are mini-stories such as "My Moment With God" (where someone talks about a religious experience), "My Man!" (which talks about the man in someone's life), "That's Incredible", and "The Life I Live". Some issues have extra mini-stories, while some have extra novellas. Each issue is different in that way, as well as with the type of content it contains.
Most of the stories involved read like short fiction stories, and it seems that all of them involve a love interest, whether he stumbles into their life unexpectedly and sweeps them away, or they are scared to commit, or they have given up on love and here he comes to save the day. Some of them are about marriage troubles, and can be about someone who is abused, someone who commits adultery, or someone who runs away from their spouse (it isn't always the men who are the "bad guys" in these stories, either).
Some of the stories are better than others. I always find at least one dud in an issue, but the rest are a great way to spend time just reading, when I do not have anything else to do. An example of a story I liked was about a woman who had a newly crippled son. He became depressed and she worried about him greatly. It came time for him to think about college, and those years of worrying had made her a bit overprotective, so she worried tremendously that he would either not fit in, or hate it there, and who would take care of him? But, everything turned out well in the end.
Things usually turn out well in the end, in these stories. I've read about a woman who was wrongly accused of a crime and was shunned by her town when she got out, but everything worked out in the end (she even gained a beau!), there have been people who were couples and became addicted to partying and drugs, became swingers...but, guess what?! Things worked out in the end. One woman completely left her spouse and kids, gave the kid she was carrying up for adoption, and hid for years. But, even she gets a piece of eye candy at the end and a new chance at love. Every once in a while, there comes a story where "happily ever after" isn't so much the ending, but it is rare. Even if it's a case where the author/character realizes a mistake they made and changed their life....well, that's a good ending isn't it??
There are a lot more down and out type of stories in this magazine than the other, True Love, that I subscribe to. Both would appeal to fans of the romance genre of books, though, because each issue has at the very least, one story about love.
Even though I believe a lot of the things in this magazine are complete rubbish, I still enjoy reading it. I cannot say that about many other magazines, that I actually enjoy reading it. Each of the stories offer something different, and it's like receiving several quick-read books in the mail every month.
It's not a raunchy magazine, even though some of the characters behave questionably. Some take their married neighbors or best friend's boyfriends to bed, some like to hit the party scene and behave badly, and things like that. (But, on the flip side, some women are inspirational, and some are victims who gain their courage back). While they may have a little hanky-panky in their story, the actual scenes or anything of that nature are omitted from the magazine. No porn stories, in other words. They're actually clean enough, in some respects, to let teenagers read (every now and then, a story is written as if from a teen as well).
I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading chick-lit or what's sometimes called "fluff" stories. There's usually some drama between the pages in each issue, but a lot of happy endings as well.