Sunday, September 27, 2020

Book Review: Fade to White by Tara K. Ross

 

  


Fade to White is an exceptional young adult novel. Author, Tara K. Ross has a beautiful writing style that drew me in from the first page. I love her character’s humor and honesty in relating the difficult topic of living with a mental illness.

Aside from the typical teenage insecurities, Thea has severe anxiety issues, panic attacks, and pulls her hair out to release stress. Her anxious thoughts multiply after reading about the death and suicide of a classmate. Thea deals with irrational fears, anticipating the worst and causing unnecessary inner turmoil. She struggles to feel normal, but she also has a gift of empathy and compassion for anyone hurting.

Thea is a regular at her favorite coffee shop where she gets her usual, two London Fog teas. One for her, and one to give to someone who could use some cheering up that day. She is someone I would want as a friend.

Through the support and understanding of her friends, especially Khi who met at her at just the right time, Thea comes to accept who she is and see the light in her gift to help others. This story inspires hope—even if life isn’t perfect, there is always a way to get through tough times, especially when holding onto faith.

I highly recommend this book for teens and adults too.

 Amazon / Fade to White


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

24th Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards ... Book Review

 


(On sale at Amazon)
Amazon / Randi's Steps


Randi's Steps did not win the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards,

BUT...the judges wrote a wonderful review that I'm thrilled to share.



"Randi’s Steps is a beautiful, bittersweet story told by Francie, the little girl neighbor who befriends Randi when she moves in next door. Judge captures a wonderful narrative voice, real and warm and very human. Francie loves having a best friend like Randi, who is different in seemingly tiny ways, like being Jewish, but who loves enough of the same things that Francie loves to make her the best of best friends. I liked the description of Randi’s Tinker Bell laugh with the occasional snort (13). Right away, Randi is described as being subject to headaches, which of course adults will understand. I think Judge conveys a progress of Randi’s illness perfectly. For all that Francie loves Randi, Francie is healthy and in need of healthy friends. She reacts with joy to happy playtime and reluctance to having to endure hardship. When she is called upon to accompany Randi to the hospital, her deepest thoughts reveal she is not having a great time. Judge uses wry humor and perception, on her narrator’s part, to demonstrate the misery suffered by children with cancer. She also uses deft strokes to show that Francie, being healthy, needs to live, and is in many ways as doomed as Randi to experience weakness insofar as Randi’s illness is concerned. Francie tries to be the best of best friends and fails, just as Randi fails to survive. This is a brilliant story told by a talented author. The cover art is simple and fetching, revealing a sub title that doesn’t show up as much as it might. Red letters might have been better, as in the title itself!"


In their judging system, 1 = Needs improvement; 5 = Outstanding 

*Note: I redid my book cover since this review


Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5

Production Quality and Cover Design: 4

Plot and Story Appeal: 5

Character Appeal and Development: 5

Voice and Writing Style: 5


(Judge, 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.)


 
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