Posted in book review, book tour, gifted, non fiction

Book Tour – World’s Apart by Ronan Brady

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Published 2020 by Mercier Press


Hola!

Today is my stop on the tour for World’s Apart by Ronan Brady, organised by the lovely Kelly at Love Books Group. I want to thank everyone for letting me join in on this one – as a budding aerialist, it was great to read about Ronan’s experiences becoming an aerialist  in Ireland even though he does at one point claim that meat hooks are ‘the most basic aerial manoeuvre you can imagine’ … hmm I’ll have to disagree there!


From the Back Cover

‘Ronan is emblematic of how Ireland has changed.’ – Panti Bliss
At just under six foot in his socks and weighing in at fourteen stone, Ronan Brady is a solid slab of rarest Roscommon meat. He has a natural tendency to throw himself about – some would say recklessly, others would say enthusiastically – into whatever he sets himself to. Ronan had a ‘normal’ childhood in Roscommon and knew by the time he was a teenager that when he grew up he wanted to play football for his county and become a teacher. Ronan had achieved his life ambition when he took up ‘Flying’ as a hobby. A hobby that transformed his life and took him to heights he never dreamed of, performing in the smash hit show Riot alongside Panti Bliss, and going on to tour the world. Worlds Apart is an open, humorous account of Ronan’s life journey.


An Extract

There was a house there for him. All he needed to do was show up, reconnect the heating and reconnect the electricity and he could live in his own way, but he could do it near us.
When we did see him, it was hard not to sense a pride emanating from him for having gone this far, for having taken himself so firmly off the grid, for having successfully managed to fall between the cracks and evade the attention of whoever was supposed to be watching him; be that the state, or us, or his own demons chasing him from the past lives he’d lived.

And then he died. And that was the end of all of that. It happened when I was abroad. It shouldn’t have come as such a shock, he’d so obviously fallen so far from anything that could be termed as healthy, but it did. Death is always a shock, and after all, Justin was
only fifty. It didn’t matter that he’d slowly turned into a faintly sighted ghost over the last ten years of his life. He was my dad. I couldn’t believe that he was really dead.
I’d been out on a six-week performance gig in the summer of 2017 for the Islamic Games in Azerbaijan. We’d just done the closing ceremony and were having a wrap party when Michelle rang me. Mammy had been trying to get through to me for hours, but my network reception was faulty, so Michelle had eventually gotten me on a web call instead. I was glad it was her who told me. I don’t know why, but I was glad Mammy hadn’t gotten through first.

The only person that I really knew in Azerbaijan was Aisling, my performing partner.


Mini Review & Some Links

I really enjoyed reading about Ronan’s life and how he managed to turn around his prejudices and really learn about following dreams and achieving those dreams way outside of his comfort zones. Ronan’s words slide of the page with ease, I could hear the Irish accent in my head while I was reading and often his sarcasm made me smile and laugh.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone, it’s only short – about 160 pages but there is so much content that is relevant in society today – how performers are perceived and the fluidity of gender. It really makes for insightful reading – you don’t even need to be interested in the circus!

The kindle edition is only £3.33 and you can find that here.

Ronan’s website.

A Video of Ronan in action.

You can find other tour participants on Twitter and Instagram 🙂

Worlds Apart

Posted in book review, book tour, fiction, gifted, Uncategorized

Book Tour! The Very Real World of Emily Adams by Samantha Rose

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Published by Immortal Works LLC – June 2020


Synopsis

“Be a rebel. In a world of darkness, become light.”

Emily Adams has lost everything. Injured from a fight with her now officially-ex-boyfriend, she’s fled to an unfamiliar city with nothing but the change in her pocket and a broken relationship with her father. As hope slips away, she seeks to put a permanent end to her pain…

Until an enchanting encounter with a magic man in a dress changes everything.

Given a new chance at life, Emily embarks on a journey with her new BFF, a mysterious clairvoyant, and a band of musicians to stop the monsters that threaten the world. And she may uncover something even more impossible-if she can let go of the past and believe in herself enough to embrace it.


Review

Firstly, thank you to Love Books Tours for inviting me on this one and providing me with a copy of the book.

This book was absolutely bonkers. My original thoughts were that Samantha Rose must have had a dream of all this, woken up in the middle of the night and scribbled it all down. I didn’t know where the narrative was leading me at all so it was a complete surprise.  In the beginning I thought I was reading a contemporary novel – here was our protagonist, struggling with her mental health and here was a boy coming to save her but I soon ate my words there were monsters, aliens, mystery and adventure all rolled into one.

Quite quickly into the novel, Emily is involved in the weirdest situation. I don’t think I have ever read a book that flips the story upside down quite like this one. I enjoyed how the characters and narrative kept me guessing and I liked how when it came to saving the world, the human girl didn’t magically get involved and manage to do what the super humans couldn’t. Plus on the opposite side of the spectrum – she didn’t constantly need saving either, sometimes humans need to know when to stay out of the way!

The world today doesn’t make sense and I think that’s the message I got from this story. The world of Emily Adams is that little bit more crazy, but that is what she needed to find herself and settle in a new life. When we first meet Emily, she is lost and looking for a way to end her life. When Lipstick Rick appears and helps her out, she is given a chance and she turns her life around and helps out a lot of people in the process. I think it is just trying to tell us that a little nice can go a long way, sometimes you just need someone to ask if you’re okay.

Throughout the book I was happy with how Emily was represented –  I empathised with her a lot. It is realistic to feel like you’re doing things wrong and it is common to feel like you are always in the way – without shouting and screaming about abusive relationships and how these can cause mental health issues, Samantha Rose uses good descriptive paragraphs to put you in Emily’s mindset, she uses a lot of words to get you there though. It made me a little uncomfortable at times but it was a good discomfort – it gave me hope that Emily would come out the other side and grow as a person now that she had found better people to become part of – I’m sure a lot of us can understand that. The friends that Emily makes in the novel were sassy and I was all for the sarcastic retorts which often made me laugh.

I guess it’s ironic that Emily Adam’s ‘very real world’ is an accurate representation of the actual world. I don’t want to say too much more here and ruin this for anyone who hasn’t read it because while I can admire the strangeness of the story I did feel little bit disconnected at times – the narrative felt like it jumped around a lot – some situations came from way out of left field and I did get a little tired towards the end. Lipstick Rick’s speeches are so long and while it is a joke within the novel, I just don’t think we needed so many words.

I gave this book 3 Stars – it was okay, I’m happy to have read it but I wouldn’t read it again. I am interested to see what Samantha Rose thinks up next though.

Goodreads Rating 3 / 5