I am an immigrant.
16 years ago today, I arrived in Buffalo and was detained at the border...
This started an adventure I never thought would be told.
What better day to release my new novel, "The Immigrant?"
Get it now!
People think they like smart people...
Most "smart" people are very much lonely, in fact.
Truth is, no one likes to feel dumb by comparison.
Well, I promise you, there is no such thing as a smart (or dumb) person.
We are all human.
Sure, we have different sets of skills, but who says that being good at math trumps manual or social skills?
Be the best human you can be.
And shoot me an email.
...But particularly if you want to rant about books, music, science, movies, or feel so lonely it hurts.
I will email you back.
Book card at a glance
OVERALL RATING: 🍪🍪🍪🍪 4/5
GENRE: Sci-fi, introspective, space novel
TITLE: 🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪 5/5
COVER: 🍪🍪🍪🍪 4/5
PREMISE: 🍪🍪🍪 3/5
VOICE: 🍪🍪🍪🍪 4/5
PLOT: 🍪🍪🍪 3/5
CHARACTERS: 🍪🍪🍪🍪 4/5
WORLD: 🍪🍪🍪🍪 4/5
PACE: 🍪🍪🍪 3.5/5
ENDING: 🍪🍪 2/5
This is a MULTI-POINT-OF-VIEW novel following three astronauts, Helen (American), Sergei (Russian), and Yoshi (Japanese), and some other the people in their lives.
The PREMISE is that the three astronauts have been selected for a 15-month simulation to train them for a potential trip to Mars. Should they succeed in this more-real-than-life simulation, they will become the first humans to walk the red planet.
While the PLOT is rather simple, with one big, if a bit clumsy, surprise, the strength of this book lies in the CHARACTERS. The characters are complex and multi-faceted and the novel is a pretext for the exploration of human nature as much as space. The only reason I gave characterization four cookies rather than five is that all the characters shared a common sensibility and were not as distinct as I would have liked.
The main THEMES, in my opinion, are those of reality and identity. If you act as a perfect astronaut, aren't you a perfect astronaut, even though your thoughts are subversive? Same goes for the perfect wife, daughter, etc... The theme is weaved throughout the narration touching on sexuality, loneliness, guilt, loss, self-discipline, and many more aspects of life easy to relate to. Interestingly, one of the characters is an actress who walks the fine line between controlling and being controlled by her emotions. Though in the eye of your community you are what you do, there's always a secret inner life that is not necessarily shared and that is just as important for individuality.
"The Wanderers" is the perfect TITLE, since it historically refers to planets, whose motion was observed by our ancestors to be different from that of stars, but it might also apply to the characters, since all of them wander about life, emotions, and their connection (or lack thereof) with others.
The COVER is appealing, though not mind-blowing, and does an excellent job of conveying the mood of the novel, targeting to the correct readership.
Though not particularly original, I loved the VOICE. The narration is smooth, alternating lyrical moments with humor and witticisms. Having ESL (English as a second language) characters slip in grammar mistakes when tired or distressed was overplayed and not necessarily realistic in my experience as an ESL, though everyone is different.
Howrey did an excellent job of developing the astronaut's WORLD: the training, psychology, simulations, the environment, and the space experience. I am not an astronauts, so I cannot witness to the authenticity of the narration, but it sure felt authentic and well-researched. I also enjoyed the hints at the different cultural backgrounds (American Japanese, and Russian).
The PACE was okay, but the book did feel long (it's about 400 pages of rather small print). Even though it was going nowhere, I was engaged and looking forward to read more, but toward the end I was getting tired.
The ENDING was rather disappointing to me. I like novels with a well-wrapped, cathartic ending, while this one belonged to the category of whimsical, who-knows type of endings except for one of the characters (Dimitri) who has a coming-of-age moment. All the other characters, though many have various degrees of realizations, do not act on them.
At the end of the novel I felt like I had LEARNED a lot about space and astronauts, and the book made me wander (pun intended) about the themes discusses.
“An Italian Adventure” NEW EDITION is 99c for 72h! Lowest price guaranteed in 90 days ^_^
Stock up for the holidays. Perfect gift for bookworms, tomboys, kickass girls, Italy lovers, and gender confused.
By the way, I know I’m posting less and less, but it’s because I am writing books like your favorite kind of madwoman. Below is a picture of me doing some other worthy activities. I love you all, guys <3
“An Italian Adventure” Praise and synopsisAbsolutely delightful.” —L. Dickson, Books Direct
“Wide beyond her years. Excellent job. Side-splitting laughter.” —Angie Readaholic
“Electrifying!” —5 girls book reviews
“Leda has captured my heart! This was a wonderfully fun, well-drawn read.”—D. Munier, Author of “Deep in the Heart of Me”
“A fresh take on realistic fiction for youth. Sociologically relevant.” —J. Hall, Professor of Education
“Insightful and funny, I loved it!” —Paul Schwartzmeyer, author of the Traitor Patriot series
“Touching and skillful, a masterful execution.” —Neil Daniel, author of the Obeahman’s Dagger
“I could not stop reading and can’t wait for more!"— Amy Joslyn, librarian and children’s literacy advocate
“I have never been to Italy but the writing transported me there and moved the story along at the perfect pace. Laced with humor.” —G. Whyte, Author of “Nostalgia from: A City Set Upon a Hill: Memories of Boarding School”
“A wonderful read full of hope! This is a delightful 5-star novel that moves far beyond the play of childhood. Hard questions are posed as the plot unveils the possibilities.” CB Ainsworthe, Author of “Front Row Center”
“Well written, fun, real!” S. Byrde, Author of “Bruce’s Fall”
Italy, the late 80s. Leda is a ten-year-old tomboy and a bookworm. Hanging out with the guys has never been a problem, until shady Nico shows up…
Nico moved north from Sicily and is angry and aggressive, unsettling and unsettled. When the two are forced to sit together at school, fearless Leda won’t let the bully get his way, which sparks in Nico an unexpected gratitude…
The unusual friendship between the two develops in moving ways as they face basement monsters, divorcing parents, school drama, and even a porn magazine, which leaves more questions than answers…not to mention an unhealthy dose of guilt.
Pre-teens and adults alike will laugh and cry while learning about 80s Italy in this coming of age novel infused with humor, friendship, religion, and superstition against the gorgeous backdrop of the serene countryside, the Alps, and the enchanting Island of Sardinia.
Based on the life of the author, professor of Biology, cancer researcher, and novelist GB Amman, this fictionalized series is recommended for fans of emotional, addictive reads with something to teach.
The book is the first in “The Italian Saga” (all four books available, MG/YA) followed by “The Sonder Series” (Women’s Lit, released 2018) following Leda’s adventures as an adult. These books empower girls and women to be their brave true selves.
HERE IT IS!!!!
“Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness” an offbeat, geeky, feminist romance taking place in Italy. It will be released on February 6th, 2018!
PREORDER NOW the paperback to win the whole Italian Saga (4 novels!!) signed by the author (yours truly!.
The sooner you preorder, the more chances you have to win since extractions will be on the 30th of every month (September, October, November, December, and January!). Take a screenshot of your preorder receipt and send it at email@example.com
Kindle preorders will be available from November 5th! (Also eligible for the giveaway)
Are you a reviewer?
Finding Leda is on NetGalley! Apply for an ARC here!
Writing is HARD and I would have never been able to write (and publish!!) six novels without YOU. I am not backed by a big publisher. I did all of this on my own with the support of awesome readers like YOU. Reblog, share, like, review it, pass the word and most of all...
Guys, I am so excited!!!!! My newest novel, “Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness” an offbeat, geeky, feminist romance taking place in Italy, will be released on February 6th! Cover reveal on Thursday but for now just a teaser ;)
My biggest thanks to all the readers who sent me love and encouragement: Writing is HARD and I would have never been able to write six novels without YOU!!!!! <3 <3 <3
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