Review: Loud in the House of Myself by Stacy Pershall

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About the Book

 

Stacy Pershall grew up as an overly intelligent, depressed, deeply strange girl in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, population 1,000. From her days as a thirteen-year-old Jesus freak through her eventual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, this spirited memoir chronicles Pershall’s journey through hell and her struggle with the mental health care system.

 

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I found this to be a very intriguing and information memoir, focusing not only on the author’s individual experiences, but also going into detail about the way the mental health system works for those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar. It serves as a source of experiential knowledge for those who may not understand these disorders and the hardships involved both for the suffering and for the psychiatric teams who sometimes struggle to help those with BPD due to the very nature of the disorder.

Pershall relates to a quick overview of her life and the instances that defined her as she grew up and moved through the system. It’s relatively short, but I found it to be an interesting, well written work that doesn’t sound whiny or unrealistic or embellished. I would have liked to see a little more memoir that was more in-depth, as many of the scenes are general or just speculate on how medication/doctors work.

Overall, if you’re looking more a memoir based on mental health that’s a quick read and not incredibly triggering, this may be the book for you!

 

Find it HERE

 

Review: Zenn Scarlett by C.J Schoon

About the Book:

When you’re studying to be exoveterinarian specializing in exotic, alien life forms, school… is a different kind of animal.

Zenn Scarlett is a resourceful, determined 17-year-old girl working hard to make it through her novice year of exovet training. That means she’s learning to care for alien creatures that are mostly large, generally dangerous and profoundly fascinating. Zenn’s all-important end-of-term tests at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars are coming up, and, she’s feeling confident of acing the exams. But when a series of inexplicable animal escapes and other disturbing events hit the school, Zenn finds herself being blamed for the problems. As if this isn’t enough to deal with, her absent father has abruptly stopped communicating with her; Liam Tucker, a local towner boy, is acting unusually, annoyingly friendly; and, strangest of all: Zenn is worried she’s started sharing the thoughts of the creatures around her. Which is impossible, of course. Nonetheless, she can’t deny what she’s feeling.

Now, with the help of Liam and Hamish, an eight-foot sentient insectoid also training at the clinic, Zenn must learn what’s happened to her father, solve the mystery of who, if anyone, is sabotaging the cloister, and determine if she’s actually sensing the consciousness of her alien patients… or just losing her mind. All without failing her novice year…

Review

Zenn Scarlett is a novel with an interesting premise and a gorgeous cover. I loved the idea of Zenn, who lived on a colonized Mars and worked for the Cloister helping alien animals. The first part of the book was very interesting science fiction, and reminded me of reading some of the greats.

That being said, after a while the book fell a bit flat. There wasn’t much of a forward-moving impulse to keep me going. It was more of a day-by-day account of Zenn’s life. I would have liked to see a bit more action, or at least some urgency in the mystery, but I didn’t find it.

Overall, it’s a very interesting read and Sci-fi fans will enjoy the lovely prose and the world Zenn lives in, just don’t expect a big adventure, because it just doesn’t arrive in this book. (Probably the sequel).

 

Note: This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Review, Another by Yukito Ayatsuji

 

Another is an interesting and creepy read, and hopefully just the beginning of the release of Japanese Light Novels.

Volume 1 follows Sakakibari, a transfer student with some physiological health issues. He joins Third Year Class 3, and immediately learns that there is something different about this class; a curse which results in multiple deaths of students and their families.

He befriends the strange Mei Misaki, who is ignored completely by her peers. Eventually he unravels the background of the curse and the steps being taken to avoid it, but the true nature of the curse is still a mystery.

Another vol. 1 is an interesting read, with lots of creepy mystery. It also showcases Japanese culture and is just one of many of Japan’s “Light Novels”. It’s a good, quick read, and I’ll be looking out for vol. 2.

Interview with #Author Sharon Sant @sharonsant

I am so pleased to host an interview of author Sharon Sant and promote her novel Sky Song today.

A little about Sky Song:

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Sky song is a novel that brought me immediately back to the excitement of being ten years old and reading the Dark is Rising trilogy. Jacob, a teen with mood-ring eyes, discovers that he’s something entirely different than human, and that he’s tasked with the great responsibility of being the next Watcher. Throw in an adorable since-childhood threesome who start to discover their more adult feelings for each other, and some fantastic other-worldly conflict, and Sky Song becomes a fulfilling, compelling read with the promise of an exciting trilogy.

I had the privilege of interviewing the author, Sharon Sant.

 

What was your inspiration for writing Sky Song?

 

Sky Song started off as a younger children’s tale about a girl whose father watched the skies every night for something.  I don’t even remember now what sparked off the initial idea.  Sometimes it can be a throwaway comment, a song lyric, a seemingly innocuous thing.  Only the other day an idea for a book came to me from a random comment made on Twitter!

 

The little girl in my story didn’t know what her father watched for, but it soon became clear to her that whatever it was, it didn’t belong to the world she was familiar with. As I thought about it, though, the idea seemed to morph independently, into something completely different.  The main character became a fifteen-year-old boy instead of a young girl.  I started to think about what could come from the starry heavens.  My first answer was aliens, but, for me, that was too obvious.  Then I got to thinking about all the various belief systems that have stuck with humanity over the years of its evolution, and the one recurring theme was that the stars are linked with our destinies.  But what sort of destiny could come from the sky?  Cue aliens again!  And what would you do if your destiny called but you didn’t want it?  That’s the story at the heart of Sky Song.

 

What can we look forward to for The Young Moon?

 

At the end of Sky Song, we left Jacob **Sound of a truck roaring past** so, The Young Moon picks up two years on from there. There was always going to be three books and each one continues the overall story arc. Sky Song was as much about Jacob’s dilemma over his life choices as it was about his battle with the bad guy.  In The Young Moon there’s a whole bunch of different dilemmas around loyalties and who gets to choose who lives and who dies.  Jacob gets faced with some really tough decisions and quite often has to deal with the consequences of making the wrong ones. Aside from that, The Young Moon is a quest story, essentially; Jacob needs to find something before Makash does; if you’ve already read Sky Song, you’ll have a pretty good idea what that is!

 

 

Quick! Your top three favourite books!

 

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by good ol’ JK.

 

Ask me tomorrow and they’ll change, though!

 

 What are your thoughts on the current state of books and Indie Publishing?

 

I think it’s the most exciting time there has ever been for Indie publishing.  I think if you’re prepared to work hard and have a little luck on your side, you can achieve things now as an indie that have never been possible before.  The biggest change is the Kindle platform, of course.  I love that because it kicks the backsides of vanity publishers and other system abusers by giving authors a choice. And authors also have a choice now about whether they want to even bother trying to get a traditional deal. I know lots of indie authors who make a good living from self-publishing and are not interested in working any other way.  I have another novel coming out through a fairly small publisher (though they are awesome) in June, so I’m not just saying that as a self-published author with no insight into traditional publishing, I’m saying it because there should be a level playing field for those who are able to play it.   Having said that, I do feel that there has to be a place for traditional publishing as well, the books they produce must be the yardstick by which indie publishers measure themselves.  Indies have to strive to match and exceed the quality of traditionally published books, and that can only be a good thing for publishing as a whole.

 

Advice for aspiring writers?

 

Don’t do it!  But if you must, be prepared to eat really cheap food!

 

On a more serious note, I could spout the usual advice about perfecting your craft and getting used to rejection, but I’m not going to.   Everyone’s journey is different and it wouldn’t do for me to preach.  All I can do is share what helped me along on my journey.  The first thing was to get a good support network; I found this studying creative writing at university.  The people I met there are some of my closest friends today and I can always rely on them to give me a no-bull opinion on something I’m working on. Which leads me neatly to the fact that it was also at university where I really honed my craft.  I took notice of every word the tutors said, even when I was doubtful about it, and every word turned out to be useful somewhere along the line.  Even now, I never dismiss advice until I’ve evaluated it first, no matter how silly it initially sounds.  The other thing I did was to get involved in everything that came my way.  I got my first editing job after working unpaid for a publisher for two years, a job that I offered to do when the chief editor of the company came to visit our creative writing class.  When they needed a new fiction editor, I was already there; I knew their business, I had experience from the unpaid work I had been doing for them, so they gave the job to me. I worked for them for another few years as editor, and when they decided to branch out into young adult fiction, guess who was there with a manuscript in the bottom of her bag?  That manuscript just happens to be the book I have coming out in June.

 

What are you reading right now?

 

I happen to be reading a book by one Lindsay Leggett called Flight, which I’m loving. (You heard it here first, folks! ;))  I’m also reading something else as a beta reader so I’m not allowed to say what that is yet.  I recently finished The Night Circus, which was glorious.

 

About Sharon: 

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Sharon Sant was born in Dorset but now lives in Stoke-on-Trent. She graduated from StaffordshireUniversity in 2009 with a degree in English and creative writing. She currently works part time as a freelance editor and continues to write her own stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes across many genres, when not busy trying in vain to be a domestic goddess, she can often be found lurking in local coffee shops with her head in a book. Sometimes she pretends to be clever but really loves nothing more than watching geeky TV and eating Pringles.  Sky Song is her debut young adult novel. The second book of the Sky Song trilogy, The Young Moon, is due for release March 8th 2013.

About Sky Song

What the man told him was too incredible to believe, yet Jacob did believe it.  On some deep unconscious level he had always known it to be true. He was an invention, a fictional character.  Jacob Lightfoot didn’t exist.

A strange-eyed boy with no memory of his true identity or real parents, Jacob could have no idea of the mortal danger he has been in every day of his fifteen years. Now that danger has found him and suddenly he doesn’t know who he can trust and what is real anymore.  All he knows is that his new identity is almost as terrifying as the peril unleashing it has brought. Caught in the universal power struggle of an ancient race of beings and a destiny demanded of him that he does not want, he must fight to protect his own life and everyone he holds dear.

But when the time comes, will he be strong enough to make the sacrifices that saving them will demand?

 

www.sharonsant.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sharonjsant?ref=hl

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6888220.Sharon_Sant

Twitter: @sharonsant

 

Get Sky Song:

 

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And keep an eye out for The Young Moon,  the next installment of the Sky Song Trilogy!