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Chasing Athens Paperback – April 5, 2015
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- "The beauty of Greece comes alive in Tejada's well-crafted debut novel, a heartwarming tale of a recently-divorced woman struggling to figure out where she belongs." - International best-selling novelist and author of The Sweetness of Forgetting, Kristin Harmel
- "Chasing Athens is a fantastic story of heartbreak, self-discovery and finding love again. I really loved how Marissa depicted Athens so that it came alive for the reader." - Award-winning women's fiction novelist and author of Maybe Baby, Kim Golden
- "I had the privilege of an early peek and was captivated by the beautiful - yet not simplistic - descriptions of Greece. This book is set to be a big hit." -Author of Saving Saffron Sweeting and quarter-finalist for Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award, Pauline Wiles
- "When was the last time you searched for a new book only to find yourself drawn into it so quickly that you could not put the book down?... Somehow I have a feeling this will become a classic traveler story." - The Affordable Entrepreneur, Mark McGuire
- "Chasing Athens is a great story. While there are some truly fun comedic moments, there's a realistic weight of subject." - The Rabid Readers Reviews
- "I'd definitely recommend it to those who are feeling a little wanderlust." -Annabel and Alice Chick-Lit Reviews, Annabel Krantz
- "The character, Ava, had me laughing in the opening chapter. To be hauled off to the police station in a foreign country only adds to Ava's misery, but the way Miss Tejada describes the situation I could only laugh. A book that combines humor with the pain of self-growth." -Award-winning romance novelist, Lizzie T. Leaf
- "It is more than pristine white buildings and water so blue your eyes mist over. Nope, she gives us the real Athens that Ava had to contend with including protests, riots and general political unrest. This adds more than a hint of authenticity and it makes Ava's new life more admirable than the simple vacation glimpse into Greece." - Readers' Favorite Reviews, Natasha Jackson
- "Humor, fun and "real life crisis" are woven into the fabric of the plot. The characters are well defined, displaying a vast array of personalities, blending the many cultural differences. The protagonist's character is portrayed with heart-felt emotion; she is daring, yet afraid, as she strives to find herself. The imagery of the setting is lavishly graphic, from the blend of ancient and modern architecture, crystal blue waters, and breath-taking island views to the tumultuous streets due to economic distress." -- Readers' Favorite Reviews, Cheryl Rodriguez
About the Author
Born and raised in New York, Marissa Tejada is an author, freelance journalist and travel writer loving expat life in Europe. You can find out more about Marissa by following her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads or through her blog and website at http://www.chasingathens.com.
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When we meet Ava, she is lost, trying to figure out what went wrong in her marriage as she navigates the beauty and chaos that is modern-day Athens. The Athens Ava encounters is not the picture-perfect version on the glossy pages of a travel magazine--it is a city roiling in chaos thanks to the dire Greek economic crisis, a city of violent protests and random strikes--yet even with all of the unrest, Ava and her friends Nikos and Eleni go out in the evenings for bouzoukia, dancing and drinking into the wee hours and enjoying their lives. All three are trying to find someone--Nikos is always on the lookout for pretty exotic (for him) girls whom he tries to charm with the foreign phrases he's learned, Eleni puts on a hard-to-get facade as she weeds out the men who don't meet her standards and Ava tries to find away to forget Greg, the husband who has left her.
As Ava explores Athens and the Greek islands, she also begins a journey of self-discovery. Her entire life has been a series of other people setting sail for her--she has never been the captain of her own destiny. Now, with Greg out of her life and her overprotective mother across the ocean in Ithaca, New York, Ava has the chance to make her own choices and mistakes and learn from them. As she traverses the dating world with many love in translation moments,
Chasing Athens is a fantastic story of heartbreak, self-discovery and finding love again. I really loved how Marissa depicted Athens so that it came alive for the reader. I haven't been to Athens since the late 1990s but reading Chasing Athens rekindled within me all those memories of the city, of Piraeus and the islands. What I also loved about this novel is how real Ava's struggle felt. She is not a two-dimensional character and her honesty and naiveté after so many years of having others dictate her life ring true. She struggles, she is frustrated, she does dumb things without becoming a character we pity. Instead, we empathize because we've all--at some point or another--slept with the wrong man, been embarrassed on public transportation or dealt with a catty rival who tramples on our self-confidence.
Ava's friends are another plus for Chasing Athens. Nikos and Eleni's spontaneity and optimism (even in the face of the looming political and economic crisis in Greece) keep Ava buoyant, especially in the early days of her separation from Greg. And their unwavering support makes me wish I had them in my life too! :) And then there is the Greek George Clooney...well, I won't give anything away, since I think you should read the book.
I also love that Marissa delves into the cultural differences Ava encounters and shows us how her horizons are expanding for every day she remains in Athens. This is an American Abroad novel that really shows us what everyday life is like for an expat as they try to learn a new language, a new culture and its unwritten rules. And as a fellow expat, I can relate to Ava's predicaments and the worries she has while trying to live in Athens.
So if you're looking for something to read this autumn that will instantly transport you to Athens--no passport required--and you love chick lit and romantic fiction as much as I do, then you should add Chasing Athens to your To Be Read List on Goodreads. Better yet--buy it and read it now to keep that summer feeling strong within you. You may find yourself wondering why you haven't taken the chance and moved to Greece to have your own adventure!
Like Ava, I found myself in this overwhelming metropolis without having a clue about the language, the people or the culture. It felt so difficult at first due to that freakin' language, but I soon fell in love with all the aspects of life there. Unlike Ava's, my marriage stood up to the test and 5 years later we're taking it all the way from the beginning at our new destination.
This is a book for anyone out there struggling to find their destiny and a must read for all who share my passion for the Greek sun, islands, frappe and people!
The daily life details are so impressive, if I close my eyes I feel like I'm still in Kolonaki, listening to the background city noise, smelling the gyros from my street corner souvlatzidiko, orange blossoms and coffee while watching the sun set over the Acropolis from my polikatikia balcony! I wish this book existed before I had moved to Athens, it is an amazing insight into the real life real people live there, written by an author who clearly has tasted Greece from within.
On top of that, it's such an easy, witty and funny read, spread with useful Greek expressions, I think it's worth buying instead of a conversation guide :)
Can't wait to see how Ava's story will turn out!
Yes, as a guy myself, it is kind of sappy in some places but not that sappy. Sure you may have to honk into your hankie here and there and claim allergies but in the end, even guys should read this book. Just a terrific colorful description of present day Athens and two of the isles of Greece.
I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to 'travel' not only to two different countries and familiarize themselves with the different cultures and mentality, but also 'travel' through emotions that make us grow and mature.