My Kyrosmagica Review of I’ll Give You The Sun

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

My review:

One of the best YA books I’ve read.

Fantastic characters, dialogue that sizzles with life. Ghosts that break things to try to communicate. Highly original.  I can’t recommend it enough for lovers of YA, and for authors who write YA, this is a must read.  Practically as near perfect as you can get, incorporating a wonderful mix of art, sculpting, twin sibling, and family relationships, teen experiences, coming out, love, secrets, and the sheer destructiveness of infidelity, in a powerful and emotional mix. The book is told via the alternating viewpoints of twins Noah and Jude who have been devastated by the death of their mother. Noah is struggling with coming out and coming to terms with his sexuality. Jude feels a responsibility to protect her younger brother but there is also jealousy, sibling twin rivalry… A sense that their grief for their mother’s death isn’t fairly shared.

The writing style is unusual, witty, and pretty much brilliant. A total favourite!!

Loved this so much. I hung on each and every word as if I wanted to drill the writing style of the author Jandy Nelson into my inadequate brain. As I couldn’t do this without injuring myself I filled the novel full of yellow post it notes highlighting all the quotes that I adored. There were masses of post it notes, and still are – haven’t taken them out yet!

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I loved its quirky little commentaries such as:

‘Every picture taken of you reduces your spirit and shortens your life.’

Eek… Oops perhaps no more selfies!!!!!

An abundance of facial hair indicates a man of an ungovernable nature.

(No question.)

Watch out for those hairy dudes guys!!

When twins are separated, their spirits steal away to find the other.

And quotes like this :

Her whole face is sparkling, especially the emerald-green wings around her icy blue eyes. Her pupils are huge black caves where bats live.

Oh, my lord isn’t that just the best…

And the character description  of Guillermo the Sculptor is so amazing and humorous:

He’s a skyscraper, impossibly imposing with his arms crossed now against his chest in a battle stance, studying me like I’m a new life form. Which really is pot meet kettle, because, wow, up close he looks like he just emerged from a pit of quicksand – a total swamp thing.

And the dialogue :

‘I lost the stars and the oceans too,’ I tell him.

‘This is terrible,’ he says his eyes widening inside the clay mask of his face. ‘You are a terrible negotiator. You need a lawyer next time. ‘ There’s amusement in his voice.

I smile at his. ‘ I got to keep the flowers.’

‘Thank God,’ he says.

And this!!! Poor Jude is battling with her boy strike!

Jude thinking about Oscar the Girl-Exhaler….  He’s looking at me in that way of his that should be illegal or patented, and it’s affecting my ability to remember things like my name and species and all the reasons a girl might go on a boy strike.

And loss and sadness:

I find her and find her and find her but I can’t find her.

Noah once told me he could hear horses galloping inside her. I got it.

There are so many quotes I could go on and on… but I don’t want to spoil the book for you.

Just get a copy.

My rating: 5 stars – of course.

See how many awards this book has won via  Jandy Nelson’s Authors Website: Jandy Nelson

Have you read I’ll Give You The Sun? Do leave a comment and let me know.

This is my blog post for #SundayBlogShare via Suzie at Suzie Speaks:  How To Increase Your Twitter Traffic With #SundayBlogShare

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.

Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her  spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo. 
As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a  barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her  bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain  murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys.
It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters. 
After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes. 

She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love,  stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and  inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...

 

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Emmy & Oliver

Goodreads Synopis:

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

 

My review:

Emmy & Oliver is a YA Contemporary romance with believable, lovable characters that draw you into the story making you want to read more.  Emmy & Oliver are the two central pins of the story. Everything revolves around Oliver and his old friends. He returns home following a lengthy disappearance after having been kidnapped by his father, and is reunited with old friends, and family members. Things have moved on a lot in the meantime. His mother has remarried and he has two twin half-sisters. His old friend Drew now has a boyfriend. Oliver expresses his emotions at all these changes in an utterly convincing way. As the novel progresses we begin to understand how he felt towards his father, (whom he still loves,) and his mother, and how he feels now.

I really loved this. It wasn’t trying to be over the top, gushing romance, or poor me I’ve been kidnapped feel sorry for me story. Instead it went for the gentleness of feels. That’s how I’d describe it. It had the perfect mix: believable storyline, cute romance (s), – between Emmy & Oliver as well as tidbits of  Drew’s gay romance, wonderfully engaging characters, and fantastic dialogue. The dialogue really held it together in a very cohesive way. It made me happy – while I was reading Emmy & Oliver I was editing my own YA dialogue in my current WIP, so this gave me bags of ideas and inspiration.  So a big Thank you to the author Robin Benway for his awesome dialogue!

Moreover, Emmy and Oliver’s friends, Caro and Drew are so likeable and engaging too.  

I loved the interaction between Emmy, Oliver and their parents, this was first class. Their parents’ overblown anxiety and protectiveness following Oliver’s kidnapping is so understandable, but Emmy  isn’t one to be held in check. She goes surfing on the sly, and has other plans that she hasn’t  told her parents about….  So this is also a story about growing up, new opportunities, new paths, discovering who you are, and cutting those parental apron strings.

My only  criticism was this:

Towards the end of the book Oliver’s dad gets justice for his crime and Oliver doesn’t seem to react much, which seems odd given that he still loves his father.. the story loses a bit of its believability at that point. I think this could have been remedied and explored by adding a chapter in the POV of Oliver at that precise point… Consequently this dropped a star in my rating otherwise Emmy & Oliver would have been a solid 5 stars.

Nevertheless, if you like a slow burning YA Contemporary romance, with masses of tender feels, and family centred issues this is the one for you.

Highly recommended. It is sad, heart-warming, and insightful, a witty exploration of family life.

I marked it a favourite – just saying!

My rating 4 stars.

 

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Amazon UK Kindle Edition: http://amzn.to/2xfgHh8

Amazon UK Paperback Edition: http://amzn.to/2jGwHFL

Amazon UK Hardcover Edition: http://amzn.to/2jEH9gU

Amazon UK Audiobook: http://amzn.to/2jFYYfE

I hope you enjoyed my review.

Author’s Website: Robin Benway

Have you read Emmy & Oliver? Do leave a comment I’d love to hear your opinion.

 Note: Photo of book edited with InstaSquarer program developed and designed by Thomas Tsopanakis.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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My Kyrosmagica Review of The Yearbook Committee

Goodreads Synopsis:

The school captain: Ryan has it all … or at least he did, until an accident snatched his dreams away. How will he rebuild his life and what does the future hold for him now?

The newcomer: Charlie’s just moved interstate and she’s determined not to fit in. She’s just biding her time until Year 12 is over and she can head back to her real life and her real friends …

The loner: At school, nobody really notices Matty. But at home, Matty is everything. He’s been single-handedly holding things together since his mum’s breakdown, and he’s never felt so alone.

The popular girl: Well, the popular girl’s best friend … cool by association. Tammi’s always bowed to peer pressure, but when the expectations become too much to handle, will she finally stand up for herself?

The politician’s daughter: Gillian’s dad is one of the most recognisable people in the state and she’s learning the hard way that life in the spotlight comes at a very heavy price.

Five unlikely teammates thrust together against their will. Can they find a way to make their final year a memorable one or will their differences tear their world apart?

First of all before I begin my review I’d like to say a big thank you to Jade at  Scatterbooker for sending me my giveaway prize all the way from Australia! Miraculously it arrived the very morning that I was going to Brighton for a family get together for my mum’s birthday! Quite extraordinary… Anyway it was lovely to bring it along with me for a weekend away. In fact I took a photo of it for Instagram along with a beautifully folded towel and some toiletries.

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My Review:

The main characters in  Sarah Ayoub’s The Yearbook Committee are Matty, Charlie, Ryan, Tammi, and Gillian. The story revolves around the five teammates who are drawn together to create a Yearbook of their final year at school. All of them are reluctant, (expect Gillian,) to get involved in this activity. In fact the five would most probably never have been friends if it wasn’t for their involvement in the Committee.  As the Yearbook develops so do their friendships. In fact these new relationships make the Yearbookers’ question some of their existing friendships, and an unlikely but strong bond is formed.

I must admit that I found The Yearbook Committee a little slow to get into at first, but maybe I’m showing my age! Ha ha!! The chapters are set out in alternating Pov’s of the five characters, so perhaps it takes a while for the reader, (particularly oldies like me!) to engage with each individual character. Nevertheless I enjoyed The Yearbook Committee. I’d say that its strongest characteristic by far is its exceptionally well written and believable dialogue. Though, I didn’t get much of a sense of place. Of course we know the novel is set in Australia but there’s very little descriptive language. So perhaps not a recommendation for  readers who enjoy a lot of descriptive language…

The Yearbook Committee will definitely appeal to those who enjoy YA, teen books,  character led stories with tons of engaging dialogue, an emphasis on the wide ranging difficulties and peer pressures of growing up. The novel highlights a wide range of diverse issues: cyber bullying, having a sibling with Downs, coping with a parent with severe depression, non-nuclear families, moving to a new school, distracted and disinterested parents, lost dreams, pressure to have sex, to do well, to be popular, to take drugs.. 

The characters are: 

Charlie’s just moved from Melbourne with her mum and stepdad to Sydney. She didn’t want to move and is determined not to fit in. She’s the bright spark and feminist of the group.

Ryan is the clever, athletic, popular but nice guy whose dreams are smashed by an injury.

Matty  is the scholarship kid who has a tough time of it working two jobs to try to help and support his depressed mother who can’t even get herself together to go to parent’s meetings.

Tammi is to some degree defined by others. She is best friends with the popular but meanest girl going. Tammi  finds it hard to convince her parents that she’d like to be a police officer.

Gillian is the only one of the five who volunteered to be on the Yearbook Committee. She’s a politician’s daughter and the target of cyber bullies, and constantly in the media spotlight.

The key words: Revelations, Relationships, Frustrations, Explorations, Decisions, Unlikely Friendships, Unfortunate, Sad, Tragic, Thoughtful (Ryan’s final chapter,) Teen, YA, Social Media, Current, are the key words I would use to describe The Yearbook Committee.

If these appeal to you then I’d recommend that you pick up a copy!

The ending really smashed it for me, very moving and emotional, making up for the slow start.

My Star rating : 4 stars.

Recommendation: Read

 

Links: Sarah Ayoub Website

Have you read The Yearbook Committee? Would you recommend it? Or perhaps you might have read Sarah Ayoub’s previous book Hate is Such A Strong Word?

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

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My Kyrosmagica Review of The Game of Love and Death

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now… Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured—a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.

My review:

Well with a title like that this novel was bound to capture my attention: The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough… huh!! To begin with I have to admit it took me a while to get into this novel but when I did it was a soaring in the air doing crazy flips kind of moment.  If I was to use one word to describe this novel, it would be: imaginative. Loved those imaginative loop-the-loops!

The heroine Flora sings in a jazz club her parents once owned, but  dreams of being a pilot, Amelia Earhart is her inspiration. But this is 1937, and Flora can’t get sponsorship to fly, due to horrible racist attitudes about her skin colour. The story is set in Hooverville, USA, at a time when racism and sexism were rife.

The characters of Love and Death have a certain fondness for each other, having spent much time locked together in an endless battle to overcome each other and win. Love chooses Henry as his player, whilst Death, picks Flora. Both end up being pretty ruthless in their desire to win, but Death has a soft side to him which is expressed in subtle and unexpected ways.

This is a tale of love between two ‘star crossed lovers,’ Flora and Henry. Henry is an orphan too but he has a wealthy family backing him,  Flora only has her Grandmother. There is a particularly poignant point later in the story regarding the grandmother but rather than spoil it for you I’ll just say read it and weep. The ‘star crossed lovers’ are discouraged from being a couple purely on the basis of their differing skin colour. They are drawn into a game with deadly consequences with no realisation that they are players.

The Game Of Love And Death  is also a reflection on attitudes to homosexuality at the time, played out beautifully with the character of Love taking the persona of James Booth and engaging in a relationship with Henry’s best friend Ethan.

The story is  written against a fantasy backdrop – a game between two mighty game players, LOVE and DEATH. Who will win? Until now Death has always won but with the right players could Love win?

The characters of Love and Death shapeshift into people to try to influence the outcome of the game. Love is portrayed as a guy, and Death as a girl, this I liked as the girl gets to be the wicked one! Of the two game masters I enjoyed (if that is the right word to use!) Death’s persona more!

Expect surprises, interesting characters, a romance which is not overplayed, and a well researched historical background.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel in countless ways. Highly recommended.

 

A few of my favourite quotes:

“Life is a temporary condition, Henry. And it’s uncertain. That’s why you have to seize chances when you find them. Pursue what you want. Take risks. Live, love…all of it. Every last one of us is going to die, but if we don’t live as we truly want, if we’re not with the one we want to be with, we’re dead already.”

“We have all the time in the world.’ Love found a record. He laid it on the player. The music started again, scratchy from age, but so sweet and beautiful and deep.
Someday.
And there, in the darkness, Love and Death and the ones inside of them danced until the song was done.
And then, when all around them was silent and still, they disappeared.”

“The kiss: It felt like light rising through them. It was a memory and it was a promise, an enigma and a wonder. It was music. A conversation. A flight. A true story. And it was theirs.”

Rating:

4.5 stars.

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Buying Links:

Amazon UK kindle: http://amzn.to/2xgUBuP

Amazon UK Paperback: http://amzn.to/2xSuJs4

 

Have you read The Game of Love and Death? If so what did you think of it? Do tell.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

My Kyrosmagica Review of Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

My review:

Just Listen is enjoyable, a fairly light read given its underlying subject matter.  The main character is Annabel, the youngest sister of three girls who are all encouraged by their mother to model.  Annabel’s best friend Sophie is popular, and being around her seems to have elevated Annabel’s status, but Annabel feels uncomfortable around Will, Sophie’s boyfriend. In time we learn why this is. Just Listen roused my emotions but in my opinion it could have been a more thought provoking read if it explored the personal emotions, and trauma of Annabel being attacked, and her immediate response to that more realistically but instead Annabel chose to remain silent and I found this quite frustrating. Okay, the reader is meant to take from this that she couldn’t bear to tell anyone and I understand that but nevertheless it just seemed a little unrealistic given the circumstances. There are a wide variety of themes that are explored in this novel: anorexia, sibling relationships, families, secrets, boy/girl relationships, sexual assault, and friendship difficulties. The writing is marked by a fair amount of telling which at times slows down and overburdens the narrative.

 Overall, I  would rate this 4 stars, due to the points mentioned below:

 Just Listen’s  strengths lie in its:

Portrayal of family life, particularly sibling relationships, the dynamics of the three sisters is where the real emotion of the novel lies. I found myself really moved by certain chapters in the book which explored the relationships between the sisters.

Owen’s character is another high point of the novel he really brought the story to life for me, in fact I would say that he is perhaps a more engaging character than Annabel. Annabel by the very act of withholding her emotions, comes across as quite frustrating. I felt great sympathy when I discovered what had happened to her but I desperately wanted her to confide in Owen but instead, to begin with, she ran away. I do get why she did this but nevertheless I wanted her to do the right thing and tell him and stand up so that other girls wouldn’t go through the same thing. 


I liked how Sarah Dessen explored this very human tendency to judge people by their looks, and by other peoples’ reactions to them, rather than looking deeper and discovering for ourselves that everyone can be different and more complex than we expect. Owen,  is a perfect example, he sits apart from everyone, is immersed in his music, needs anger management to handle his emotions, but there is so much more to him than those  simple facts alone. Even family members can have an unexpected side to them, a case in point is Annabel’s mother, who turns out to be tougher than we might imagine.

The multitude of secrets and hurts that lay buried waiting to be discovered, are fascinating, particularly set amongst the pressures to be the perfect skinny, flawless beauty in the much desired world of modelling.

 Music really felt like a character in this novel, and played a pivotal point in the storyline which was such a nice unexpected touch.

This is the first Sarah Dessen novel that I have read, on the whole I enjoyed Just Listen, especially the detail regarding the sibling relationships in the latter part of the novel.

I’d recommend Just Listen to readers of YA, Contemporary, Romance, Chick lit.

 

Have you read any Sarah Dessen books, do let me know if you have.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

#BlogBattle: The Scar

This Tuesday I am taking part in Rachael Ritchey’s Writing Blog Battle the prompt word this week is Scar. With a word like that how could I say no! My theme this month is scary, spooky, Halloween stuff and nonsense so with that in mind I’ve written a paranormal, contemporary romance. Or have I? Beaton just read through this (a fellow blog battler and in his cheeky way kind of said the category wasn’t quite right, so I suppose it might be safer to keep to Paranormal for now!??) I think it started off as a romance and wondered off somewhat, though at its core the romantic ideal, of true love, is central with all the angst that accompanies it!!

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Here it is:

The Scar

The scar woke her as it always did every morning, a sad throbbing sensation that sliced into her day. She couldn’t take the pain anymore. Today had to be different, the promise of a fishing adventure with Todd at the country park lake lay ahead of her. It wasn’t exactly the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean with red snapper to be caught, but it was Todd, fish and her and that was all that mattered. Todd had always held the undisputed title of Anna’s best friend, they had met at secondary school and been inseparable friends ever since.

She dressed quickly, and rushed to meet him. It was a lovely bright sunny day with no hint of rain. The lakeside was empty, its waters calm and still. Anna arrived first as she always did, she opened her folding chair and waited. She sighed. Todd was never on time, even for fishing! He didn’t have many faults except this one. She stared at the surface of the lake wondering what they would catch today, and spied a swan far off in the distance, landing near a speck of pond flora. Todd crept up on her, unannounced, placing his cold fingertips on her shoulder. She jumped.

“Todd! Quit doing that one of these days you’ll give me a heart attack!”

“Sorry Anna, you looked so absorbed in the mysteries of that lake, I just couldn’t help myself,” Todd’s face creased, striking out into a sweet smile.

Anna couldn’t help but smile back. Todd had that way with him, one smile and you just melted. It was good to see that smile again, it had been sadly lacking of late. Nevertheless she wondered why his fingers were cold on such a warm day.

Todd took out all of his fishing gear, set up his chair, and was soon fishing line in hand baited. Ready.

“Do you want to try your luck Anna, seeing as you’ve already cast a spell on that lake?” he asked handing the fishing rod to her, with a wink.

“Very funny Todd, I’m no witch, so there’s no need for your teasing!”

“Sometimes folks don’t know what they are until it hits them in the face.”

What do you mean Todd?” asked Anna, grabbing the rod and casting it far out into the lake.

“You could heal that scar yourself you know,” he said.

Anna fell silent. The rod flopped into the water. Her shoulders slumped and the chair that she sat on appeared to cut a deeper groove into the ground.

“Some scars are there to remind us of past hurts so we don’t do the same foolish things again.”

“Yes, but you can’t carry it around with you forever Anna, you have to face that eventually.”

Anna could feel the scar throbbing, slicing, and tearing her apart. She wanted so badly to be rid of it, but a scar in the heart was not something you could cover with makeup. It was as deep as the lake she now sat at, permanent, and ached in a way that made every single day torture.

Todd took the rod off her, and cast it out again. Anna sat in silence contemplating Todd’s words.

Anna began to wonder if there were any fish at all or whether this was just a ruse by Todd to get her on her own to talk about Nick.

“Have you spoken to him?

“No, we are both as proud and stubborn as each other neither of us will give in.”

“Anna, you’ve got to make the first move, cast your spell on him again. He’s longing for you to call him.”

“How do you know Todd?”

‘I just know, Anna.”

Todd glanced down at his feet, not daring to look Anna in the eye.

Anna leant over, cupped his face in her hands and looked at Todd, really looked at him and knew in that instant that Todd loved her.  Not just in the way you love a friend, there was so much more behind those dark eyes that had been hidden until now. Why had she been so blind?

She couldn’t cope with this revelation and the scar, it was too much.

“We always hurt each other Nick and I. We cut like twin knives slicing little irreparable notches in each other’s hearts. The scars ache so much, I don’t know if I can take that kind of love.”

“What kind of love do you want, Anna, the safe we’re just good friends kind?” asked Todd, his eyes surrendering the pain of his love to her.

The hurt in Todd’s eyes demonstrated another deep scar inflicted, why did life have to be so painful? Why couldn’t it be simple, uncomplicated like fishing? If only you could cast your line, find love, and live happily ever after. But it was never like that, ever, it was a bumpy, gut wrenching ride all the way, with a stop button that had the capability to wrench out your heart while it was still beating.

Anna sighed. If only she could love Todd, with his kind eyes, warm heart and ready smile. But she knew she couldn’t, that crazy breathless spark of passion, with its dangerous on off switch, didn’t exist with Todd. Only friends. Poor Todd.

“I want the kind that makes me know that I am alive. You’ll find love Todd, cast out again, I promise that you will.”

Todd did as Anna said, he couldn’t argue with a witch, he cast out his line, it circled a full arc, and splashed triumphantly, scattering fish in its wake.

A young woman appeared from the pathway behind them she gently tapped Todd on the shoulder. Todd turned and smiled, a hesitant smile, but there was a hint of hope in that smile.  Anna’s scar ached slightly less in the knowledge that maybe her friend’s scar and cold, sad hands would be healed. There was only so much a good witch could do before Halloween!

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Above photo of the lake is my own. I’m now on Instagram too, you can follow me there:  https://instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

 To join in with Blog Battle or to vote for your favourite story follow the link to Rachael’s blog:

http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

Do leave a comment I’d love to hear what you think about The Scar.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

#Blog Battle. An Exercise in Fun: Orchid Girl

This is my entry for Rachael Ritchey’s writing Blog Battle: http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

Week 28 Theme is Orchid and the genre of my short story is Paranormal Romance.

Date to Post: Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Rules:
1.1000 words max
2.fictional tale (or true if you really want)
3.PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
4.Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
5.Go for the entertainment value!
6.State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
7.Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
8.Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
9.Have fun!

Orchid Girl

The heady exotic scent of the orchids reminded him of a time long ago. On that particular day he had filled his living room with a floral tribute to a past life which he celebrated each year without fail. But this time it was different, he had made special plans and now they were about to come to fruition. He waited nervously for the clock to announce that it was time for him to pick Suzie up. He could hardly contain his excitement; he set about making his house as beautiful as he could so that it would meet Suzie’s expectations. But would Suzie meet his?

He had been met with derision when he told his friends and family about his plans, a mail order bride how ridiculous! A middle aged, lonely old man, exhibiting signs of desperation that’s what they’d said, or intimidated.

He greeted his bride at the airport with a shy hug. An almost perfect vision of beauty, her petite frame, and jet black hair gleamed with a glossy, playful youthfulness but her delicate features couldn’t conceal a tragic expression that seemed irreversible.

He wondered how he was to bear looking at such a sad face for the rest of his life. He prayed that he could turn the sharp downwards turn of her lips to a smile.

The journey back to his house was more or less silent apart from short bursts of conversation, in which she replied with a yes or a no.

But when she walked into the living room, she couldn’t contain her enthusiasm.
“This pretty,” she said, pointing at the orchids, a hint of a smile playing seductively on the edge of her lovely lips.

The orchids had won a tiny place in her heart, orchids always did.

As the day departed and evening began to suggest itself Alfred’s nervousness increased. It was such a long time since he had gone to bed with a woman. So many years, he did not care to count how many. He worried about his wobbly tummy, his hairy chest smattered with tiny grey hairs. Would this young woman cry and sob into his sheets, would he be the cause of a further sharp downturn of her sweet lips?

He gave her privacy to get undressed, imagined her placing a silky negligee on the bed, slipping into it, and laying her head on his pillow. He imagined her black hair fanned out on the pillow, a sharp contrast to the crisp whiteness of the sheets. He plucked one of the orchids from its stem, and took it up to her intending to pop it into her hair.

When he walked into the bedroom the humid room reminded him of a stifling greenhouse. He opened the window to let in some fresh air. He daren’t look at her, not yet, that magical moment would come later. As the fresh air drifted into the room, he turned to undress her with his gaze, but he saw his foolishness straight away.

He sat on the edge of the crisp bed, his eyes brimming with tears. He deserved this. It was always the same, she never came. He wept, picking up his wedding picture, his wife Grace stared back at him. Grace’s smiling face could match the most beautiful of sunsets. He couldn’t bear it, why did he torture himself this way? She had died without his saying goodbye. No final farewell.

Every year it was the same, on the anniversary of her death, he always bought orchids, her favourite flower and he filled their home with them. But she didn’t come. He had resorted to shock tactics, imagining a fantasy to bring her back to him one last time. His fantasy scenarios never worked, he sensed her presence in their room, but she didn’t return to him. Why would she?

He didn’t deserve her. He cried, and cried. He lifted up the tiny bottle of pills, his hands trembled as he tipped them out. Such tiny pills, he thought, so harmless looking. The water next, one big gulp and it would be all over, no more suffering. But as he turned the lid of the bottle, he thought he saw a tiny movement. The glass had moved, it was no longer on his bedside table but appeared to be hovering before him. As he looked at the glass more closely he saw the sweet semblance of his wife, a shimmering sunset glow, holding death away from him. The water tipped, evaporating as it splashed.

Alfred couldn’t believe his eyes. She had come back, his Grace, his love. “It’s you,” he said, his voice cracked, breaking with emotion.
“Yes.”
“My Gracie, I’ve missed you so much. Why have you taken so long to come back to me?”

“Hurt lay heavy in my heart, so my friend time, became my healer. Now the time is right for you to live and love again. Now I can rest forever.”

  “No, Grace, please, there’s something I must tell you.”

“There’s no need, it has taken me a long while, but I forgive you Alfred. I always knew that you didn’t mean those hurtful words.”

“I’m so sorry Grace, I was stressed. I lost my temper, shouted at you, when I shouldn’t have. I blamed myself for your heart attack.”

“You’re not to blame Alfred. My heart attack wasn’t caused by anything you said. But all this crazy fantasising is giving me a ghost of a second heart attack! Promise me this Alfred, live your life. Let your fantasies become realities. Maybe not that mail order bride, that’s preposterous, but you know what I mean.”

“I promise, Grace.”

He tucked the living orchid in the wispy suggestion of her sunlit hair. She gifted him one last sunset smile, a whispered farewell, and the sweetest hint of a lover’s kiss.

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Thanks for reading my blog battle entry I hope you enjoyed it. Do comment and let me know what you think.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

My Kyrosmagica Review of The Raven Boys By Maggie Stiefvater

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Goodreads Synopsis:

There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

My review:

I haven’t read any Maggie Stiefvater before. It’s wonderful when you discover a new author.

Why I enjoyed The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle#1):

1. Great Characters

2. Interesting premise – Blue’s kisses will kill off her true love.

3. Clairvoyants, spirits, magic, ley lines.

4 A Quest to find Owen Glendower, The Raven King.

5. Maggie Stiefvater uses foreshadowing very successfully, particularly with regard to Noah.

6. There’s a well kept journal that wants! Loved the idea of this! With its very own shape doodle.

Tip: I did find Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style took a while to get into, but when I did I really enjoyed The Raven Boys. This is a series, there is Book two to look forward to in this quartet: The Dream Thieves (Raven Cycle #2.)

The Raven Boys is set in Henrietta, Virginia, a “town known for its ravens.” 94

Blue Sargent has been warned off kissing her true love as one single kiss will seal his fate, and believe you me his fate ain’t nice, one kiss and then he’s a goner. No more kissing, no more breathing, just dead. Quite a powerful premise, a mighty hook, but does the novel take you down this kissing, route to death path? Read and find out!

Blue joins in the church watch, on St Mark’s eve, April 24th,  with Neeve, her half aunt who happens to be a famous TV psychic. Blue normally goes with her mother but this time she finds herself having a bit of a weird moment, on this particular St Mark’s eve she sees the spirit of a young man:

“He was so real. When it finally happened, when she finally saw him,  it didn’t feel like magic at all. It felt like looking into the grave and seeing it look back at her.” 15

There are a wonderful array of interesting characters to engage with in this novel. This is partly because Blue doesn’t live in your typical household, Blue lives in 300 Fox Way, a clairvoyant household with her mum Maura and her psychic aunts, Calla and Persephone.

The Boys:

There are several Raven boys to take a pick from! I know I have my favourites, I’m sure you will too!

There’s Gansey  (Blue initially calls him President Cell Phone).

“Gansey was the boy she either killed or fell in love with. Or both.”

The Raven Boys aren’t quite your usual boy next door type: “There was something odd and complicated about all of these boys, Blue thought – odd and complicated in the way that the journal was odd and complicated.”

Then there’s Adam, who isn’t a rich kid like the others:

“Success meant nothing to Adam if he hadn’t done it for himself.” 132.

Adam has a difficult home life, and he’s trying to rise above his problems but there’s always this chip on his shoulder which he can’t quite shake off.  Adam’s home life is certainly no cake walk, I really felt sorry for him.

As well as Gansey and Adam there are two brothers Declan and Ronan Lynch, who have been “at odds for as long as Adam had known them.”

Gansey prefers the company of Ronan and I have to agree I prefer Ronan too!

“Adam suspected Gansey’s preference was because Ronan was earnest even if he was horrible, and with Gansey, honesty was golden.”

There is a villainous side to Ronan but he’s not your stereotypical villian with just one side to his character. He also has a kind, unexpected side, which is demonstrated by his care and attention to a tiny foundling raven :

“You look like a super villain with your familiar,” Adam said. Ronan’s smile cut his face, but he looked kinder than Blue had ever seen him, like the raven in his hand was his heart, finally laid bare.”

More about the mighty raven:

“The raven was Glendowers bird.”

“Legend had it that Glendower could speak to ravens, and vice versa.”

Then there’s Noah who’s the less detailed out of all the Raven Boys, he’s a  bit grey round the edges, but there’s a good reason for that.

My favourites out of the boys are Adam, Ronan, and Gansey. I reckon Ronan is going to get very interesting in book 2 – my intuition is telling me! Okay, maybe intuition with a bit of help, the last line of the novel kind of hints that this is the way the series develops.

On top of clairvoyancy, readings, spirits, there’s a four year quest, to find Owen Glendower, The Raven King. But the Raven Boys are not the only ones searching for Glendower, a young man comes for a reading with Blue’s psychic mother, Maura, Calla and Persephone.

As well as all the wacky aunts, we have a very special journal:
“More than anything, the journal wanted.”  84 

The Journal is about ley lines and all manner of other details – “invisible energy lines that connected spiritual places ” Glendower, sleeping knights,  “sacrificed kings, ancient water goddesses and all of the old things that ravens represented. 

The adventure starts to step up a notch when Helen, Gansey’s sister, a helicopter pilot takes them exploring. Blue goes along and directs them to the church on the ley line. They fly over a shape in the overgrown grass that resembles a raven.

Gansey: “If they removed Glendower from the corpse road, I think the magic that keeps him asleep would be disrupted.”215  She said, ‘Basically, you mean he would die for good if he was removed from the line.”

All manner of incredible things happen, but not to spoil it for you by saying too much.

Would I recommend reading the Raven Boys? Absolutely. Highly recommended for readers of Fantasy, Paranormal, YA, Romance, Supernatural, Mystery.

My rating:

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4.5 Pentagons

If you would like a Recap of the book, I found this excellent site, but beware as there are spoilers: http://recaptains.co.uk/2013/09/the-raven-boys-by-maggie-stiefvater/

In short, Recaptains is a blog dedicated to spoiling books on purpose. Written by none other than Maggie Stiefvater herself!

Have you read The Raven Boys? Do comment, I’d love to hear from you.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My Kyrosmagica Review of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly re-imagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, Miller’s debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction’s brightest lights. Fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.  

Awards:

Orange Prize for Fiction (2012), Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best Novel (2013), Chautauqua Prize Nominee (2013)

My review:

I loved The Song of Achilles, which didn’t surprise me because I love Greek mythology and I adore a well crafted love story.  In fact I enjoyed reading it so much that my copy was stuffed choc a block full of my tiny post it notes. I use a system of post-its to mark passages that I want to return to later, maybe to quote, or in this case just to re-read. So when this happens it is a sure sign that the novel I am reading is a 4 star or a 5 star read.

It is astonishing to me that The Song of Achilles is Madeline Miller’s debut novel. Miller writes with such effortless style, she grabs the reader by the you know whats and mades you purr. Given her background, maybe this is what I should have expected, she has a BA and MA from Brown University in Classics and is an accomplished student from the Yale School of Drama, specialising in adapting classical tales for a modern audience.

One of the novel’s great strengths is its ability to make Greek legends accessible to all readers even those with little or no knowledge of classical history.  Miller chooses Patroclus  as a first person narrator rather than the more obvious choice: Achilles, giving the story a powerful human touch. The reader is so blinded by Patroclus’s love for Achilles, that he or she is unable to see Achilles faults, right up until the end.

This tale of love and betrayal is set against the backdrop of the agonisingly long Trojan War. The developing love story between Patroclus and Achilles is crafted wonderfully, you sense the gentle tread of their initial attraction, from their first kiss when Patroclus calls upon the gods:

Dear gods, I think, let him not hate me. I should have known better than to call upon the gods.”

Followed by the full on progression to them becoming lovers. The sexual act between the two is not graphically described, and in my opinion it is better that way.  In so doing Madeline Miller ensures that this is a sensual delight, rather than blatant titillation. Some might argue that she is treading sensitively with this portrayal but anything else would have in my opinion jarred with her style of writing.

Achilles must avoid killing Hector, Patroclus sums up the dreadful prophecy with these words:

“And Hector must live, always, he must never die, not even when he is old, not even when he is so withered that his bones slide beneath his skin like loose rocks in a stream.”

Madeline Miller attributes Achilles with God-like characteristics, his beauty is without question, yet it is his  lack of awareness that makes him all the more appealing to the reader and to Patroclus:

“Perhaps most remarkable was his un-self-consciousness. He did not preen or pout as other handsome children did. Indeed he seemed utterly unaware of his effect on the boys around him.”

Achilles has a tender side to him, it appears that his human side is stronger than his goddess mother Thesis would like, after witnessing the sacrificial death of a young woman he is distressed:

“I was close enough. I could have saved her.”

When Patrolus watches him sleeping he reflects : “His face is innocent, sleep-smoothed and sweetly boyish. I love to see it. This is his truest self, earnest and guileless, full of mischief, but without malice. He is lost in Agamemnon and Odysseus’ wily double meanings, their lies and games of power.”

Miller engages the reader’s interest by showing Achille’s human side, his ability to love another human being. She demonstrates that being the son of a Goddess  isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, what with all the prophecies, and the potential crises of angering the Gods.

It is clear that Achilles could have had any young man, so why indeed did he choose gawky Patroclus to be his lover? Achilles is so near perfect as it is possible to be, so why would he want a mirror image of himself?Patroclus cannot compare in looks, or courage, or ability to Achilles, but I think the answer lies in Patroclus’s human characteristics. Patroclus is kind, and caring. It is Patroclus’s human weaknesses that attract Achilles. Patroclus is flawed. In the beginning, young Patrolus is exiled to the kingdom of Phthia because he killed a boy.

“In exchange for my weight in gold, they would rear me to manhood.”

There, his is fostered by King Peleus, who happens to be the father of Achilles, a youth the same age as Patroclus.  Patroclus could have pretended that the boy’s death was an accident, yet he did not.

If I had lied, I would still be a prince. It was not murder that had exiled me, it was my lack of cunning.”

He cares deeply for the welfare of others, and ends up attending to the battlefield victims. He feels such pity for Deidameia, the mother of Achille’s son:

“She did not know that I almost asked him, to be a little kinder to her.”

Patroclus is especially fond of Breisis, Achille’s war prize, claimed under Patroclus’s influence to save and protect her from the lecherous clutches of Agamemnon.  In fact it is clear that Patroclus loves Breisis, albeit in a platonic way. Breisis pays a very pivotal part in the story and Agamemnon’s actions towards her in the latter part of the book have dire consequences.

The character of Thesis, Achille’s sea goddess mother scares the pants off of Patroclus and no wonder:

“She leaned closer still, looming over me. Her mouth was a gash of red, like the torn-open stomach of a sacrifice, bloody and oracular. Behind it her teeth shone sharp and white as bone.”

Patroclus and Achilles spend some time in an idyll with the centaur Chinon, before they have to grow up, become men and fight in what seems like a never ending war:

“There was something in Chiron’s face, firm and calm and imbued with authority, that made us children again, with no world beyond this moment’s play and this night’s dinner.”

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***** Spoiler Alert Below in Italics******

The tender aspect of Patroclus’s character leads to the story’s final tragic outcome, he wishes to protect Achille’s reputation. Breisis is taken forcibly by Agamemnon. Patroclus wishes to protect her from Agamemnon’s carnal desires, Achille’s resents Patroclus’s caring so much for Breisis, but more than anything he resents Agamemnon’s actions, the insult to his honour, he has become vain. Can a God be conflicted? Can a God feel pain and jealousy? In the end it is Patroclus who leaves in Achille’s armour, adopting his persona, promising that he will not fight. In donning Achille’s armour he becomes a God-like warrior for a brief moment of exquisite triumph, but ultimately he can’t sustain this as he is not Achilles, he is a human, not a God. When he realises what impact his well meaning actions will have upon Achilles he knows that he has made yet another terrible decision. This time the outcome will be tragic for all those he loves, his first thought is Achilles, but by the time he realises this, it is too late.

 

Highly recommended for Fantasy, Historical, Mythology, Romance, GLBT, and War readers.

Well, it’s got to be a definite 5 stars, and it’s most certainly one to grace my favourites shelf.

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Authors Website: http://www.madelinemiller.com/

Excellent interview with Madeline Miller: http://blog.booktopia.com.au/2011/07/20/madeline-miller-author-of-the-song-of-achilles-answers-ten-terrifying-questions/#comment-187225

Have you read The Song of Achilles? Do leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

My Kyrosmagica Review of Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance.

At twenty-two years old, Sydney has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter’s cheating on her–and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by Ridge, her mysterious neighbor. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

Original music created for Maybe Someday by musician Griffin Peterson can be accessed through the website listed in the ebook and paperback.

My review:

I’ve been meaning to read a Colleen Hoover novel for some time, so when I visited my daughter recently and she offered to lend me Maybe Someday I didn’t deliberate and say Maybe, no sir,  I jumped at the chance. Maybe Someday literally sent shivers up and down my spine. This is my first New Adult novel and I sense it will not be my last. If I could sum up the strengths of Maybe Someday I would say that Colleen has a way of writing that gets the reader immersed into the private thoughts and emotions of the characters. It’s almost as if I’ve been guiltily eavesdropping on a developing love affair. I found myself really seeing this dilemma from two differing points of view, which alternate giving you a male and a female perspective (the novel is written from both Sydney and Ridge’s viewpoints.) I was amused to see that Ridge got the last word, but his final sentence was worth it, so that’s ok!

Sydney finds out that her flatmate boyfriend, Hunter, (very cheater sounding,) is cheating with her best friend Tori, on her birthday of all days. Hunter fits the typical male cheater profile, he’s just out for sex rather than love. Poor Sydney, it’s not really the birthday surprise she was hoping for.

The hurt of this revelation leads her to staying in a flat with three people that she doesn’t know, Ridge, the musician, Warren, the funny prankster, who they like to take pranking tips from,  and Bridgette, the bitch. Again, I like this, because it suggests Sydney’s hurt is so profound that in her current  state of confusion she would go anywhere, even to a strangers flat, to escape the two people who had hurt her so much.  Warren and Bridgette are both interesting characters but of the two I would say I preferred Warren. I think more emphasis was placed on Warren’s part in the novel rather than Bridgette’s and this is as it should be.  There is also Brennan, Ridge’s younger brother, who is the voice for Ridge’s lyrics in their band Sounds of Cedar. Sydney hasn’t met Warren and Bridgette before, but she has seen Ridge out on his balcony playing his guitar, and has been drawn to his marvellous guitar playing, and of course to him! Ridge learns that Sydney has a wonderful gift for writing song lyrics, and their relationship develops from this shared interest.

There are so many ironies in this novel.

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Ridge struggles with his conscience when he learns of Hunter’s infidelity with Tori, eventually he decides to tell her and texts Sydney about Hunter’s infidelity, but  later he is tempted himself to be unfaithful with Sydney. Sydney is the victim of infidelity and then becomes a possible instigator of infidelity. So we see the whole problem from the viewpoint of both the hurt party, first Sydney, and then Maggie, and the “cheaters,” and the point to be made is both parties are hurting. This is where Colleen scores, please forgive the pun, she shows the emotions of the “innocent” and the “guilty” parties and this is such an interesting way to go. These kind of heightened emotions aren’t that simple to define, they don’t just flow in a straight controlled line, rather they zigzag all over the place causing a sense of deep hurt and chaos.

Will Sydney and Ridge become cheaters?  If they do, how will they feel when they cross this forbidden line?  Sydney and Ridge are basically caring people who don’t want to upset Ridge’s lovely girlfriend Maggie by falling in love. Yes, falling in love, this isn’t about a sexual attraction without love, no if it had been it would have de-valued the plot. But, and this is a big but, the emotion of love has no off switch, it isn’t something that we can turn off easily, once  the fire of love is lit it is so hard to extinguish. So there are good intentions, and all in all they do well to keep their desires in check, particularly for a New Adult novel  I guess, but a single kiss is enough to set their hearts aflame with longing. In my experience this is true, if you love someone a kiss will tell you all you need to know about that person and Colleen gets this so right, as this quote illustrates: “Kisses like his should come with a warning label. They can’t be good for the heart.”

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A Disney tornado of a kiss! WOW!!!

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Yes, Disney figured out the power behind the simple kiss! Even in the Lady and the Tramp, this is so obvious and cute!

Link:

Top 15 Disney Kisses/Kiss Scenes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxOHmJalt2w

I loved that Colleen chose a male character that was different, Ridge is deaf, so this enables the reader to see him communicating his emotions in a way that a hearing person wouldn’t normally be able to. I think this is so interesting, particularly as guys tend to hold their emotions in check more than girls. Ridge can’t hear so he uses his other senses to experience life in full.  To begin with Ridge and Sydney communicate with each other by texting, (a large proportion of the novel is in text speak,) but when texting and computer messaging isn’t enough to convey Ridge’s emotions he manages to utter a few precious words. When Ridge and Sydney practice songs together he has to lie close to her or lean against her chest to feel the reverberations of her voice. “His head is against my chest, and I can feel his hair brush my neck. He’s pretty much sprawled across me in order to reach his guitar with both arms.”  It’s no wonder that a deep connection grows! It takes Ridge a long time to discover that his love for Sydney and Maggie is not the same love, one is born out of a sense of wanting to protect someone, (and Ridge is a caring type of guy,)whereas the other is a less complicated love, which is yet another irony. Finally, Ridge comes to a decision. It takes him a long time to get there and I just wanted to grab him by the scruff of the neck and shake him and say, come on Ridge, what are you waiting for, make a decision, stop procrastinating!

I enjoyed the reveal towards the end of the novel, that was an interesting way for the novel to go. Another point I would like to make about Maybe Someday is the action is contained within a very small area. So if you like books with rich descriptions of places to add depth to a story you probably will find this lacking.  It’s almost as if the characters are in a bubble, a bubble of emotion, but maybe this is a conscious decision on Colleen Hoover’s part.  Possibly she wants the reader to focus one hundred percent on the character’s feelings, and emotions, slightly to the detriment of a sense of place.

There have been criticisms of this book, some reviewers have been turned off by the cheater theme, but  in my opinion books are here to make us question moral dilemmas, and the feelings and emotions of people caught up in such a scenario. I sympathise that this book would most probably be a difficult one to read if you’ve just suffered a break up, and we’ve all experienced these at some point in our lives, but let’s not pretend cheating doesn’t happen, it’s best to write about these painful issues, give them voice, and I think to her credit Colleen Hoover does this very well indeed. So read the whole novel, if you read the first half you might be quick to assume that Ridge is a typical guy doing his best to hide the fact that he has a girlfriend so he can get some action!  In fact I would say that in Maybe Someday Colleen overthrows the typical stereotype of the cheater and argues that sometimes cheaters can be nice people, (who have some flaws,) caught up in a very difficult situation, which they would much rather never have found themselves in.

Overall rating is so close to five out of five,  this one has been so hard to rate but I’d say: 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended for  readers of New Adult, YA, Romance, Contemporary, and readers who like to  deliberate about the complexities of  relationships, this book is most definitely for you. Oh, and for lovers  of music, I just found out today there is a soundtrack for Maybe Someday, how awesome is that!

I’ve been following Colleen on her author page for sometime, and now I am so glad that I am!

www.facebook.com/authorcolleenhoover

She’s also on Twitter and Instagram: @colleenhoover

Colleen hosts a book-a-day giveaway on her Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

My Favourite Quotes:

“How ever, I’ve learned that the heart can’t be told when and who and how it should love. The heart does whatever the hell it wants to do. The only thing we can control is whether we give our lives and our minds the chance to catch up to our hearts.”

“Hey, heart. Are you listening? You and I are officially at war.”

“I failed miserably at trying not to fall in love with you.

I failed first.”

“To me, lyrics are harder to write when you have to invent the feelings behind them. That’s when lyrics take a lot of thought, when they aren’t genuine.”

“Never in all my life and in all my years of living in a world of silence have I wanted to hear something as much as I want to hear her sing right now. I want to hear her so bad it physically hurts.”

“Hurts to see you everyday
Cupid shuts his eyes and shot me twice
Smell your perfume on my bed
Thoughts of you invade my head
Truths are written, never said
And if I can’t be yours now
I’ll wait here on this ground
Till you come, till you take me away
Maybe someday
Maybe someday”

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Have you read Maybe Someday? Do leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx