Beautiful Scars: A Life Redefined by Kilee Brookbank and Lori Highlander

About the Book:

Kilee Brookbank was a typical sixteen-year-old, thinking about school, soccer, her friends, and her boyfriend. But her last ordinary day erupted in an explosion that consumed her house, burning over 45 percent of her body and sending her to the very brink of death. After thirty-eight days of surgeries, skin grafts, perpetual physical therapy, and excruciating pain, she had to discover how to live again.

When Kilee returned home, she had to find a new “normal,” relearning how to tie her shoes, put on her makeup, and even turn a doorknob. In each moment of her long journey back to everyday life, she had to make choices that would define who she was and who she would become.

With unwavering support from her mom, Lori, and the rest of her family, Kilee faced her journey with determination, strength, and a positive attitude that inspired not only her community, but people around the world.

Told together by Kilee and Lori, Beautiful Scars is a story of recovery, healing, and hope, reminding us all that we’re never powerless, never alone, and that each challenge we face helps make us the people we are meant to be.

My Thoughts:

This story of 16 year old, Kilee Brookbank’s experience with skin burns and her positive outlook to fight back and live a fulfilling life is encouraging and inspiring. The idea to get her story out there, to teach people to love themselves in spite of how they look or the scars they bear is wonderful and I applaud Kilee for the same!

This book brings out the sequence of events from both Kilee’s POV and her mother, Lori’s POV, thus helping us to understand all sides of the story and the feelings of everyone involved. It is a scary thing that happened, but the way in which it was approached and dealt with, made a huge difference to the recovery.

How do you recover from the pain and shock of the burns to living a normal life again? How does someone accept that they no longer look the way they used to, they are different in many ways? All this is covered and shared in great detail. The strength and support of the family and the people around them is wonderful and this story of hope and healing tells us that we are not alone, as long as we do not hesitate to ask for help. There is always someone out there who has gone through what you are going through and there are support groups and help if we seek it out. This is a story of growth and healing of not only of Kilee but also of her family and her mother who stood by her and supported her. They treated her as a normal person, in spite of her burns and the difficulties she faced initially. She had to re-learn to do all the everyday things by herself and I think Lori deserves a huge amount of credit for her unwavering faith and support. The idea to help people deal with the trauma of burns and healing makes Kilee’s story worth a read!

Get set for another emotional roller-coaster with A Charm of Finches by Suanne Laqueur

Suanne Laqueur’s upcoming novel : A Charm of Finches will be out later this year. I was provided with an ARC and as usual I was swept away! I do not know what it is about her books and writing, but it completely sucks me in and then I move only after finishing the book! Suanne deals with many pertinent issues in her books and handles the topics, the emotions and her characters very well.

About the Book:

A Charm of Finches (Venery, #2)

“I swear. Give me one more chance and I will make the most of it.”

From the author of The Fish Tales comes the long-awaited second book in the Venery series. In An Exaltation of Larks, Laqueur captured readers with a tale of life, friendship and the bonds of love that both create and destroy. A Charm of Finches follows Javier Landes as he retires from escorting, reinvents his writing career and invites love to be his friend. Both love and friendship arrive in the form of Steffen Finch, an art therapist from Manhattan, and what starts as casual deepens into a passionate relationship—everything Jav has ever wanted, and everything he fears losing.

Stef’s business card reads Curator & Sailor. His creative and insightful nature have made him into a talented therapist, the one to call for delicate, complex cases. While his career is full of excellence, in matters of the heart he’s barely mediocre. Openly bisexual, his committed relationships have always been with women, but at the age of forty, a failed marriage and a handful of forgotten lovers are all he can call his own. His professional success can’t conceal a deep need to connect with someone who inspires him to be the best he can be. Someone like Javier Landes.

Geno Caan, one of Stef’s patients, is likewise struggling to find the best of himself after a sexual predator destroyed his family. Unsure of who he is or where he belongs, Geno allows an alter-ego called Mos to make decisions on who gets to come near him and for what purpose. Living a double life within a web of protective lies takes its toll and after a suicide attempt, Geno enters a private rehab facility and starts to work with Steffen Finch. Under Stef’s patient and compassionate navigation, Geno uses art to express what Mos forbids to be spoken aloud—the crucial first step in taking back his life. But when Geno’s attachment to Stef gradually spills onto Jav, the boundaries between professional and personal begin to blur.

Over the course of a year, three overlapping lives form an unexpected and unconventional triangle, revealing how men make love in times of war, and how love is a great wisdom made up of small understandings. A Charm of Finches is an epic tale of survival and secrets guaranteed to make you think and feel and remember.

My Thoughts:

This new story by Suanne brings together three very different people in this story, highlighting their backgrounds and characters. She takes her time to focus on each one of them, including Jav, even though we have already met him and know his story (if you have already read An Exaltation of Larks).

Geno, a rape victim, is also forced to deal with the death of his twin brother and his father one after the other in a very short span of time. The trauma is not easy to deal with and his journey to healing forms the crux of this story. At the same time, Stef and Jav form an expected bond and take an instant liking to each other. The story of their growth as individuals and together forms the other part of this story.

Suanne deals with topics of trauma, self-discovery, healing as well as acceptance all rolled into one neat story. The emotions are deep and tug at your soul. They will force you to go through the issues of the characters with them and accompany them on their journey. A story filled with hope, love and everything good, Suanne doesn’t hesitate to highlight all the bad things that can happen in life and how they can be dealt with, without sounding preachy in any way.

The teaching techniques used and the concept of art for therapy is wonderful and frankly interesting to read about. The book on the whole is wonderful and as usual written in Suanne’s unique style of being to the point, and being an emotional roller-coaster. You will love them, hate them, cry with them, but you will not be able to put down the book until you know what happens in the end!

I will stop my review here, without talking a lot about the story for fear of divulging it all! Read it and enjoy!

Dark and sad, Paige Dearth brings out a part of life that many don’t see, in her book When Smiles Fade!

About the Book:

When Smiles Fade

Emma’s father’s coldblooded beatings and the ultimate abuse to which he subjects her, lays the foundation of the person she becomes. As she matures into a resourceful teenager, she is unwilling and unable to stifle her desire for revenge. Reaching her breaking point she can no longer control the impulse to fight back and finally takes matters into her own hands.

Having learned the art of hatred from her father and the mastery of manipulation from her mother, young Emma now sets out to make a better life for herself, leaving the memory of the abused child she had once been behind her. Hardened by the heartless brutality she encounters and the dangerous situations she must overcome in the course of her journey, she faces every challenge that comes her way in her quest for a normal life for herself and for those she loves.

Finally a person emerges from within that guides her toward a better life until she learns of a secret that sets her on the path of ultimate redemption.

 My Thoughts:

What would you do if your only option to survive is to do anything? Would you resort to killing the people who hurt you to protect the ones you love? What does it mean to be hated and hurt? How do you live in a family devoid of the basic emotion that connects them, love and trust? How does your upbringing shape who you ultimately become?

These are the kind of questions that this book raises and answers in some ways. There cannot be a right answer, it’s more of a perspective which the author brings out in a gentle manner. This is required when dealing with topics of abuse and hurt. Paige Dearth introduces us to Emma and her younger sister, who are subject to severe abuse from their father, with a mother who turns the other way through all this. To be frank, it is expected that the children will be traumatized, and that is putting it mildly. These experiences can change a person and the author portrays the same through the protagonist, Emma. She is strong-willed and resourceful while at the same time has a pleasing personality. It becomes difficult to dislike her or condemn her actions when she is after all doing her best to survive.

The people the sisters encounter along the way leave profound impacts on their lives. Some help them and end up becoming life long friends while the others end up somewhere in a ditch, and that’s putting it mildly. Everyone craves normalcy and a mundane life at times and the sisters are no different. However, tragedy seems to strike  so many times, it’s a wonder that they still find reasons to smile. In the end, Emma has the last laugh, but it was worth it all.

The author’s writing is bold and to the point and she doesn’t hold back on her descriptions. There is no stone left unturned in the journey of the sisters and Emma finally learns that you move on – “When smiles fade”! The title is apt and the reader understands this eventually. The story has a lot of smaller plot lines, with each encounter giving us a different glimpse into the characters who support this story and take it forward. The characters are well developed and clearly defined, giving the reader a clear idea of their personalities and at the same time helping us understand how they fit in.

The final question of “Will she find redemption and be happy?” is answered and I really enjoyed the way the story ended. It proved that Emma is a survivor and this is an inspiring thought. There is a lot to learn and understand in this book and I strongly recommend the same to all.

Book Review: The Ones That Got Away by Suanne Laqueur

I was provided with an ARC of Suanne Laqueur’s upcoming book in the Fish Tales series. Read on to know my take on the book. The book will be available on Amazon on July 7th.

Please note that the review may contain some spoilers, but for those who have already read the book, there aren’t too many surprises.

About the Book:

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Plenty of fish in the sea. But none like the ones that got away.

Author Suanne Laqueur gives her readers an intimate, guided tour of the award-winning novel, The Man I Love. From the embryonic chapters written over twenty years ago to scenes cut from the final draft, you’ll witness the crafting of an emotional journey and the evolution of the beloved characters within The Fish Tales.

Includes never-before-seen material and an excerpt from Laqueur’s next novel, An Exaltation of Larks.

My Thoughts:

Suanne Laqueur is back with yet another book and this time it is not a story per se, but an insight into the making of one of the stories we have read and loved, The Fish Tales. It is the story of the journey, the behind the scenes, the creation of Erik and all the other people whom we love and mourn. In a simple and slightly humorous manner, Suanne has shared excerpts from her early writing interspersed with quirky thoughts/comments that she has added now, almost 20 years after she first penned those words.

The story behind the story, this gives us an insight into how the characters were born, how they developed and became the people we came to meet and know so well. As Suanne mentioned at the beginning. This is definitely along the lines of fan fiction and some may even point out that it is inclined towards obsession. However, those who have read TMIL, will completely understand this as they, like me, have taken this journey with Erik and Daisy, not just at a superficial level, but also at the emotional level. The stories will strike your emotional chord and through this book, Suanne keeps the thoughts, emotions and memories alive.

This book brings a sense of nostalgia with it as well as a sense of belonging. It is interesting to see how Suanne first pictured Erik and Daisy and how they grew from there to become who they are now. Somehow, it is clear that some of the basic ideas of the plot never changed. We are also introduced to some people she created, but they never made an appearance in the final story. It is wonderful to meet them however, and knowing how Suanne pictured them fitting into the lives of the characters we know sheds a great deal of light into her way of thinking and her style of writing. The glimpses she provides into some of her written material show us how raw and real her writing is. The style never changes and the emotions are there, no matter what she writes about.

Suanne provides insights into two of the most wonderful people of these stories, Will Kreager and Lucia Dare. She brings us parts of the story from their perspective, mainly from Will’s and shows us how the various events that occur affect them. She clearly brings out Will’s interest in Lucky, Daisy and Erik, his relationship with James and his feelings throughout the story. Seeing everything from his perspective, will bring the reader closer to him than before. As endearing as he was previously, this insight gives new meaning to his existence.

Reading this book feels as though we are sitting with an old friend and taking a stroll down memory lane.

Suanne also expands on how the trauma of the shooting affected not just Daisy and Erik, which we have already seen in TMIL and GMYAT, but also Will and Lucky. She expands on what they feel, how they react, how their relationship develops, breaks and then returns, stronger than ever. She also brings out how Will’s actions eventually lead to the shooting and all events that led to it and that happened after. Even though it cannot be said that everything that happened is his fault, he was a part of what set everything in motion. One decision changes all.

This book only adds to the beauty of the story Suanne has crafted and will make the reader love it more. It will no doubt leave the reader with a heavy heart, but it was worth it. The characters and chapters that were created and written but got left behind or removed from the story are well worth the effort of writing them. Sometimes, as Suanne has mentioned, it’s better to just write what you think and then see the usage later on. The bonus insight into Erik’s younger days when his father was still there and after he leaves are wonderful and I hope Suanne uses this in a story sometime in the future.

Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to summarize my thoughts about this book in a nutshell, and given a chance, I will keep talking about it. This is the first time I have written so much about a book and it has made me experience emotions so deeply that it is slightly difficult to come back to reality. However, I will say this, everyone should, at some point, read The Man I Love and enjoy this story and world as much as I have.

Finally, Suanne gives us a glimpse of her upcoming novel, An Exaltation of Larks which is definitely much awaited for by fans of her books.

 

The Fish Tales Series is on Sale!

Author Suanne Laqueur would like you all to know that from May 11th through May 18th, all books in the Fish Tales series will be priced at 0.99! I personally vouch for this series and believe that they are worth reading as well as collecting! My reviews of the books are already available on the blog and can be referred to for more information. My review is also available on Goodreads and Amazon.com if you guys are looking for a small push to cement your decision in buying the books!

FishTalesSeries

The following are the buy links for the books:

Amazon US Links:

The Man I Lovehttp://www.amazon.com/The-Man-Love-Suanne-Laqueur-ebook/dp/B00L2H6CSO/

Give Me Your Answer Truehttp://www.amazon.com/Give-Me-Your-Answer-True-ebook/dp/B00V0ZF7MK/

Here to Stayhttp://www.amazon.com/Here-Stay-Fish-Tales-Book-ebook/dp/B01AKBIZB4/

Amazon UK Links:

The Man I Love: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00L2H6CSO/

Give Me Your Answer True: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Give-Your-Answer-True-Tales-ebook/dp/B00V0ZF7MK/

Here to Stay: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01AKBIZB4

Review: The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes

About the Book:

The Minds of Billy Milligan

A portrait of a tortured young man, arrested for a series of kidnappings and rapes, explores the world of a multiple personality, whose traumatic childhood shattered his mind into twenty-four distinct personalities.

My Thoughts:

This book chronicles the life of Billy Milligan who suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder and is said to have had 24 personalities. This biography of the man, written by author Daniel Keyes, tells us the story of Billy’s life. We are given glimpses into his life, shown how his childhood was and the events that eventually led to the existence of his various personalities. Initially, not having been diagnosed, Billy was treated as a different child and everyone thought he was weird. During his college days, he was arrested for rape and armed robbery. It was at this time, that he underwent psychological treatment and eventually diagnosed with MPD.

Initially, Billy was placed in state run mental hospitals and claimed to have received very little treatment. He was diagnosed to have 10 personalities at this time. It was only later on, when he started to undergo treatment under David Caul, did the rest of his personalities emerge.

The biography, as told to Daniel Keyes by the various personalities of Billy, highlights the various incidents in his life. We are shown the immense pressure he was under and he survived. Most of the time, the original person “Billy” was asleep as the others put it. Some of his personalities took turns in taking over his mind to conduct various day to day activities. Each personality was as different from the next as possible and each were talented in their own way. The book brings out the trouble faced and the kind of psychological effect traumatic events can have on the mind of a child as well as on people in general.

It was indeed difficult to read this book as it brought out so many emotions but it does succeed in making the reader stop and think. There is a lot that can be learnt from this book and even though it is an emotional roller-coaster, there are some key points that everyone should walk away with. Most importantly, it is very intriguing and teaches the reader that every action of ours and every word we utter can affect the other person at whom our actions/thoughts are directed. It is essential to be understanding and give people the benefit of doubt before blindly branding them and shunning them. It is rather difficult for me to continue with this review without giving away much of the story, though most of it is quite well known or can be read off the internet. I however strongly suggest that everyone pick up this book and make the effort to read it.

This is a must read for everyone as this book not only chronicles the life of Billy Milligan, it brings out the psychology of the mind in relation to MPD as well as how easy it is for people to brand someone a charlatan or an attention seeker without really understanding them. Moreover, through the eyes of Billy’s personalities, we can form a picture as to why each one came to exist and how they played a part in his life. We are indeed afraid of the unknown and I believe this book gives us great insight into one of the mysteries of the mind.

Book Review: Here to Stay by Suanne Laqueur

Here to Stay is the sequel to The Man I Love. The book is set for release in January 2016. I was provide with an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have also had the pleasure of reading The Man I love and it’s parallel narrative in Daisy’s POV: Give me your answer true.

Here to Stay (The Fish Tales, #3)

About the Book:

“You can’t sort of do this, Fish. Draw a line and get on one side or the other…”

Love is never so sweet as when it receives a second chance. In the sequel to the award-winning novel The Man I Love, Suanne Laqueur continues the story of Erik Fiskare’s romance with Daisy Bianco. Though separated for twelve years, the extraordinary bond they forged in their youth has endured. Now reconciled and committed as adults, they begin to create a new life together.

Laqueur crafts a new journey that stretches into both the future and the past. Erik’s passionate, soulful love for Daisy continues to evolve and be tested. His friendship with Will Kaeger grows deeper and more complex. And unexpected contact with his Fiskare cousins offers insight to the cruel childhood desertion that shaped Erik as an adult. With Daisy at his side, he travels back to his hometown to explore fragile memories, meet his people and learn about the charms on his signature, heirloom necklace.

All these relationships will prove invaluable when Erik faces his greatest challenge as a son, a husband and a father. Once he walked away from everything he loved. But now he is here to stay.

My Thoughts:

*Spoiler alert*

For those of you who have not read the first book, some things mentioned throughout the review may be treated as small spoilers, but I promise to avoid any direct references to events in this story.

Here to Stay continues where The Man I Love left off. Erik finally returns to face his past and apologises to Daisy. They start working on their relationship and Erik also focuses on his relationship with his friends and family. Many references are made to the past and all the events that led up to the current situation. Thus it is indeed necessary to read The Man I Love before reading this. Note: It is not necessary but is a plus if Give Me Your Answer True is also read before this.

The story is filled with strong, raw emotion expressed beautifully in a style that one will understand and associate with Suanne. The reader will be drawn in as the journey continues and there will not come a moment when the reader will want to stop.

Though this story goes at a slightly slower pace than the first one, it gives the feeling that everything has settled down and hence the pace of the story also seems to be in tune with the tone.

This entire story is an emotional roller-coaster that portrays a deep romance that some say is the kind that are meant to be or the made for each other stuff. I know it can be hard to believe or digest but the author convinces us that fairy-tales can be true and that we can all have our stories as long as there is belief and trust.

A lot can be learnt about relationships and how fragile they are as well as the thin line between trust and betrayal. The focus is on finding oneself even after everything that happens and learning to forgive and move on.

A great story and a wonderfully written book that will tear at your heartstrings and move you to tears! This is for all the romantics out there showing that this kind of love does exist. This is also a must read for every person, to understand that there will be a lot of ups and downs in life, but the most important thing is to hold on to your family and friends and open up about one’s thoughts and feelings.

I would like to end my review here. If I continue writing I will just keep going on and on like a broken record, trying to stress on how much I have enjoyed this sequel. I hope you all decide to read these books too.

Book Review: Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur

About the Book:

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“What I feel has no name…”

Following her award-winning debut novel The Man I Love, author Suanne Laqueur now gives Daisy Bianco a chance to tell her story.

It’s been three years since an egregious error of judgement cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he’s chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her. Alone and shattered, she attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik’s unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the shootings at Lancaster, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John “Opie” Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again.

Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the years at Lancaster with Daisy’s present life. Supported by John’s patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me.

In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they evolved without being resolved. Because when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.

My Thoughts:

I am sure all of you have read my thoughts on Suanne’s first book The Man I Love. If not please go and check it out. Following that, Suanne asked me whether I would be interested in reading GMYAT and sharing some of my thoughts. I cannot deny that I was excited to get a chance to know the story from Daisy’s perspective.

This story can be considered as a parallel narrative to TMIL. Personally I would suggest reading TMIL first and then GMYAT. The reasons for this will hopefully become clear as you read my review.

GMYAT follows the events of the shooting at Lancaster University through the eyes of Daisy. The story highlights her thoughts and her feelings throughout the entire timeline of events and beyond. Since the author had already introduced the story sequentially in TMIL, she seems to have handled the narration in this book differently.

The story follows Daisy’s sessions with her therapist Rita as she talks about the events that finally led her to the point of needing to see a therapist interspersed with flashbacks to events in the past. All this until we reach the present day in Daisy’s life from where we follow her as she proceeds to take her life back into control and move forward.

The author beings out pure emotion at every stage and they are expressed so wonderfully that as a reader I was able to feel everything that the characters were feeling. The strength and depth of the emotions startled me.

It is quite intriguing to witness how one incident can change the life of a lot of people. the pain they endure and the way they deal with the situation changes them all. Through this story, the reader will also meet John, Will and Lucky. We are shown a side of them that we never knew while reading TMIL. In TMIL, the story was told from Erik’s POV and so everything was described based on how he perceived it.

In GMYAT, Lucky and Will, who were her friends even before Erik came, are shown in a different light. Suanne highlights their friendship and how it started and the level of comfort they all shared. Suanna focusses on telling us the stories of many of the principle characters who appeared in TMIL. Through this narration we see them in a different light and get to know more about them and their personalities. The story also talks about Daisy’s relationship with John and how he helps bring her out of depression. All the events that lead up to this and what happens after are dealt with deftly and showcased through Daisy’s memories and experiences.

As always, Suanne has strengthened her character sketches in this narration thus making us relate to them even more. It is easy to understand them. Suanne flawlessly crafts the story in a way to make the reader experience all the emotions she is describing at each stage. The story comes to an end at the same instant as TMIL does but the path taken to reach there is what makes GMYAT different.

This story is a wonderful parallel narrative to TMIL and will once again bring the readers in contact with the characters Suanne introduced in TMIL. I strongly recommend this book for the sheer beauty of the narration and the depth of emotions protrayed through the style of writing.

Book Review: The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

About the Book:

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As a college freshman, Erik Fiskare is drawn to the world of theater but prefers backstage to center stage. The moment he lays eyes on a beautiful, accomplished dancer named Daisy Bianco, his atoms rearrange themselves and he is drawn into a romance both youthfully passionate and maturely soulful. Their love story thrives within a tight-knit circle of friends, all bound by creativity and artistry. A newcomer arrives–a brilliant but erratic dancer with an unquenchable thirst for connection. And when this disturbed friend brings a gun into the theater, the story is forever changed. Daisy is shot and left seriously injured. And Erik finds himself alone in the aisle, looking down the muzzle of a pistol and trying to stop the madness. He succeeds, but with tremendous repercussions to his well-being and that of his loved ones.

Traumatized by the experience, the lovers spiral into depression and drug use until a shocking act of betrayal destroys their relationship. To survive, Erik must leave school and disconnect from all he loves. He buries his heartbreak and puts the past behind. Or so he believes.

As he moves into adulthood, Erik comes to grips with his role in the shooting, and slowly heals the most wounded parts of his soul. But the unresolved grief for Daisy continues to shape his dreams at night. Once those dreams were haunted by blood and gunfire. Now they are haunted by the refrain of a Gershwin song and a single question: is leaving always the end of loving?

Spanning 15 years, The Man I Love explores themes of love and sexuality, trauma—physical and mental—and its long-lasting effects, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through Erik’s experience we reflect on what it means to be a man, a son and a leader. A soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel. What it means to fight for what you love.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22515690-the-man-i-love

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-1hYK86Lzs

My Thoughts:

This first novel by Suanne Laqueur is a work of sheer brilliance. The book is so well written that it will keep the reader hooked until the very end.

This book explores the emotional psych of people who are in university and following certain events the author explores how trauma affects people, how they cope with it and how friendships and relationships fare in the midst of all this.

The story is written with powerful descriptions that makes it easy for the reader to visualize each situation. The power behind the way the author has described each emotion will draw the reader into the world of intrigue, theatre, friendship, betrayal and trauma.

The author touches upon how the world of theatre works with both the on stage crew and off stage. Dancers and directors on the one hand and then comes those who are involved in the lighting and props. The vivid descriptions of the world of theatre and dance bring out the author’s passion for the same.

Erik is a strongly developed character, affected by his father’s leaving their family in ways he didn’t even realize. He later behaves in certain ways and takes certain decisions that affect his life and the ones he loves in ways he doesn’t expect. Erik falls in love with Daisy and their love is one built in trust and understanding. The author explores how their relationship grows and later how it faces trials after the shooting and finally touches on the necessity of communication. There are so many elements to this that it will definitely affect the reader emotionally. The lives of those around the two central characters are intricately woven into the story and these people provide wonderful support to the plot.

Moreover, through the story, the author shows that it is necessary to seek help after facing any kind of trauma and the support of the ones we love. It is difficult to move on from something unless you confront it and deal with it. Bottling it up and burying something will never solve anything. Erik Fiskare learnt this the hard way.

I strongly recommend this book for everyone as it is important to understand the message that can be drawn out of this story. We learn that all our decisions have consequences and that the paths and decisions we take shape who we are and our actions in the future.