THE iREAD REVIEW
In a heartrending tale of hardship and small triumphs, a spirited Greek boy living on an island in eastern Aegean searches for love, belonging, and his destiny.
In hopes of securing a better life, Yanni's mother has left him with his caring grandparents until she returns from a job she has taken overseas. Months turn into years as the stumbling blocks of illness, relative relations, and tribulations at school feed his yearning to see her again. With World War II and the German occupation, life on the island turns into a silent battle for survival against constant terror and starvation, but Yanni endures. When he finds himself leaving his homeland to be reunited with his mother, he hopes to finally find the life he's always dreamed of.
Christopher Stratakis creates a beautifully written coming-of-age story placed during a turbulent, historical time in the rich and lively country of Greece. The book is broken down into four main sections, each beginning with an older Yanni sharing a few gentle thoughts as he reflects back on pivotal moments of his life. Like an artistically placed collage, events from his past are picked out and strung together to form a seamless composition of heartfelt struggles, desires, dreams, and disappointments.
Although many of his experiences are based in a harsh reality evoking raw emotions, others expose the gentler sides of life that mold a young boy's personality and expectations. Each scene is depicted with vivid descriptions, revealing Yanni’s vibrant yet provincial island life while remembering to paint the world through his point of view. The reader is immersed into the emotions which shape and drive Yanni through his life and bring him to the realization that destiny isn't something achieved in a single moment but rather through an entire lifetime.
THE iREAD REVIEW
An entertaining look into what just about every girl dreams of and what happens when it actually happens. Set in Beverly Hills, If This Was a Movie creates a modern-day Cinderella tale in which she must learn to live in the spotlight if she wants to keep her Prince Charming.
Seventeen-year-old Nora Novak is trying to start over. After her father died of cancer, her stepmother Cecilia pulled out an updated will that left everything to her. When Cecilia begins to verbally and physically abuse Nora, she packs up what little of her life is left in Texas to live with her Aunt Jen in Beverly Hills. At a farmer’s market, Nora’s ‘Keep Austin Weird’ T-shirt catches the eye of Eli Evans. The two soon begin dating, but she quickly learns that nothing is how it seems; Eli Evans is also known as Elijah Rosseau, an up-and-coming movie star. Once the media gets wind of this new relationship, Nora is forced into the spotlight and her evil stepmother wants to join her in it.
In Nora, Ginna Moran has built a perfect character for every young girl who has imagined dating someone famous. Extremely grounded and realistic, Nora is very easy to relate to, what with her not-so-perfect past and the way she handles herself in her friendships and relationship. Readers will enjoy that Nora is able to be true to herself throughout her journey and will cheer when she finds a perfect balance.
Nora and Eli’s relationship provides a good look into the perks and the not-so-great aspects of fame. The decisions she makes while dating him are carefully thought out and show a maturity that is inspiring. Along with enjoying a perfectly sweet romance with plenty of adorable and spicy moments, Nora also deals with troubled friendships and an even more troubled step-mother with diligence, care, and grace. Readers also get an inside look into high school and social events in Beverly Hills.
If This Was a Movie is a fast-paced, exciting, drama-filled and swoon-worthy series starter perfect for young adult and new adult audiences alike that gives readers a taste of celebrity romance under the glare of the paparazzi’s bulb.
The iRead Review
We provide professional reviews for Indie and small press published authors.