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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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I immediately put this on my WL. then I decided to pre-ordered. Then I received an ARC copy (YAY)
I was intrigued by the story of the H & h from different cultures. I thought that this would be similar to Variable of Love. NO it's not. I checked the author's name. Yep Schiller. Wow this book is SO different from her others. It's been a while since her last book.
The ARC copy that I received seemed like it was typed up & sent to me BEFORE an editor had seen it.
There were words than ran together (an "a" was often attached to the word after it). Words and sentences were spread apart on the page. The next sentence and the next chapter were on the very next line. It took some adjusting, but I was getting hooked on the story.
I really LOVE the character development. I loved Shyla and Nick. Nick is a fairly successful author with writer's block and is a recovering meth addict. OH, that was almost a deal breaker. I do admit I have a problem reading about drug addicts or watching TV show or movies about drug dealers & addicts. I'm not unsympathetic, it's just that the story turns into a viscous circle or it glorifies drug use. Big NO-NOs for me. This book didn't do that.
Nick's been clean/sober for a year. He's been going to his "group " regularly. While trying to get his writing mojo back, he's been ordering sandwiches from an Indian family-owned deli. Shyla has been delivering his sandwiches for a quite a while- when one day she brings a sandwich for herself and asks Nick if she could join him for dinner.
They're attracted to each other, and Nick is fairly surprised that shy Shyla makes the first move.
Shyla is an NYU 4th year college student, studying to be a teacher. She tells Nick that she has an idea for a book. Nick and Shyla start their dating relationship and writing her book. Shyla's book within this book is very intriguing and heartbreaking. It's about a baby girl (in rural India) that was found abandoned in a crate in a stream. She was left to die. A woman whose only son had died, finds the baby girl and brings her home. Her husband wants very little to do with the baby girl. When the girl, Asha is school age, the woman enrolls her in school where a catholic Nun, Sara helps nurture and raise the girl. When she becomes marrying age, the "father" arranges a marriage with a young man that has small farm nearby. The story within the story was so sad. The transition between Shyla & Nick's story was very well done. Nick continues to help Shyla write her book from her notes.
Their romance was very sweet but Shyla let Nick know that she's going back to India to teach the poor . It was all arranged. He scholarship and student visa were ending after graduation.
The last third of the book was a big improvement for me. Shyla is actually very strong and firm in what she wants to do with her life. Nick's own writing comes back also. He continues his own writing career. The twist and the reveal at the end was very good. The characters kept me interested, but the beginning of the book was barely a 3 star read for me. I bumped this up to 4 stars-due to the 2nd half.
There's an HEA that satisfied me. Nick was a fantastic leading man and Shyla turned out to be much stronger than I realized. I would love to buy the edited/published copy and reread this again.
ARC received from Netgalley.
The love story between Nick and Shyla was beautiful and nostalgic, healing and intoxicating, steamy and innocent. I was swept away and didn't want the story to finish. A major twist at the end surprised me--and not even the twist I expected--and it had me speeding through just to find out what happened. Then I had to reread the ending just to savor the moments, the discovery, the forgiveness...the love. This one gets you right in the heart.
Oh, and it had an amazing epilogue. Get this book!
I actually had a co-worker who was from India and had an arranged marriage. It was great to learn a bit more about another culture. I encourage everyone reading this review to purchase this book. You won't regret it.