The middle of the term means exams and projects that make you want to have a shot of espresso every hour, but what if what you were reading was an escape from reality? What if you picked up a book that took you on an adventure? You are looking for peacefulness and clarity in your free time. Rather than filling hours with mindless television shows, reading compelling and thrilling stories will allow your mind to think in new ways.
If you are looking for such exploration and fantasy in your everyday life, then the time has come to pull out your iPad, e-reader or tablet and download “Dion: His Life and Mine” by Sarah Cate Anstey. This self-published novel, released Oct. 18 on Amazon Kindle, is not one to overlook. This fantasy story has a base in Greek mythology, which creates an interesting contrast of a fictitious story with genuine historical information. The novel tells the story through the steady voice of Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos. Ariadne and her three siblings — Andro, Phaedra and Aster — live on the island of Crete and suffer under the oppression of their father until Prince Theseus of Athens tries to save them from their misery. With the Prince of Athens, Ariadne ultimately crosses paths with Dion, a troubled rock-god. The scenario creates a modern take on the foundation of classical mythology: tragedy.
What I found most interesting about this novel is how the author includes interactive links within the story. These links lead the reader to her website, www.mynovelideas.co.uk, which provides extra information about the celebrity characters, press releases that were written about them in the story and photographs of the different musical aspects, such as the cover artwork of Dion’s album. Anstey said that she likes “the idea that readers can have a different experience or perception whether they choose to read these supplementary texts before, during or after reading the novel.” While the story is enticing and the characters have believable personalities and motivations, the supplementary texts allow the reader to get a better idea of what is happening. The first two chapters of this novel are available to preview on Amazon.
Calling all hopeless romantics and people who love a good love story: Nicholas Sparks is at it again. Hitting the shelves of bookstores everywhere, Sparks has released a new novel called “The Longest Ride.” From the author of so many well-known love stories, this one attempts to do something a bit different. Sparks writes of two separate love stories that eventually intertwine. He tells the story of a 91-year-old man, Ira, who gets into a serious car accident, and the only things keeping him from dying are the memories of his late wife, Ruth, and the lifetime of love they shared together. In the same town, Sophia meets a man named Luke at Wake Forest College in her senior year. His demeanor is different and unique compared to other guys she has dated in the past, but Sparks poses the question: Will they be able to make it work, or is there a secret that will keep them from being together? Although I personally enjoyed the love story and wanted to see how these two stories unfolded, I am beginning to find Sparks’ stories a bit repetitive and overdramatic. In particular, “The Longest Ride” is a slower read than the rest of his novels because it bounced back and forth between the two different love stories. Check it out and see for yourself!
Combining supernatural and romantic aspects, a must-read book in the month of November is by Mitch Albom, the author of “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” and “Tuesdays with Morrie.” Albom is releasing “The First Phone Call from Heaven,” which tells the story of the small town of Coldwater, Mich., that is captivated by calls saying they are being placed from people in heaven. One man in the town, Sully, tries his best to disprove the theory, but could it be true? Check it out Nov. 12. “Dion: His Life and Mine,” “The Longest Ride” and “The First Phone Call from Heaven” are three stories that will capture your attention and pull you from the monotony of everyday life — don’t say I didn’t warn you!