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Freeze Frame

Will Horner, a sixteen-year-old boy who loves filmmaking, is beginning a new year at a new school. His parents are anxious for him to settle in and make friends at Pinehurst Academy, an art school. The warm-hearted ‘coreless’ take him under their wing, and Will feels happier at Pinehurst than he has in a while. Working on an end-of-year movie with his friends, he feels more himself when he’s able to film with his camera. However, he hides parts of his life from his understanding friends and takes on the responsibility of working on his mental health by himself.

Freeze Frame by Tyler Beauchamp is a story of teenagers struggling with trauma, mental health, and with the stigma of it all. Beauchamp has perfectly captured the overwhelmingness that is attached to social life as a teenager and how situations can magnify in our heads, as it does in Will when he fears his past at Redboro School coming to light. It’s also a story of lighthearted moments, friendships, belief, and creative passion, and of navigating these along with parental love and concern that manifests as anger. 

Beauchamp skillfully weaves in relevant arguments about creativity, social media, mental health, and reality in a world filled with media and camera lenses. Will loves to make films and loves the power they have to make people feel, but also believes in experiencing the moment. Will is in therapy for PTSD and is making progress with his dissociations between reality and film-like scenes.

Freeze Frame by Tyler Beauchamp is a coming-of-age fictional novel that also explores the psychological mindset of teenage life. It is excellent for talking to teenagers about issues they face and about understanding their points of view. I especially liked the list of mental health resources given at the end of the book. Having understanding people and a good support system along with therapy can truly go a long way in helping mental health, and this book shows that in a very relatable way.

Pages: 258 | ASIN : B0BG6DC9D9

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Utopia? 

Utopia is a city in which everything is based on a system-created hierarchy, where the higher your level, the more luxury and opportunity you would have. George Mason is hell-bent on rising through the ranks while being disgusted by those below him and intensely envious of those above him. Utopia is now ripe for the taking, with the city’s leader on the verge of retiring. Whoever has the most power gains control.

Using their hidden and enormous network of control, the smoking man and the pixelated man are contending for the rule over the city. But unfortunately, George Mason becomes caught in the crossfire and is forced to go undercover to infiltrate the Commune, a settlement outside of Utopia’s boundaries. As he is exposed to ludicrous and foreign ideals, he is drawn deeper into the chasm caused by people seeking control of Utopia.

R.A. Rowlingson’s book Utopia? transports readers to a gloomy universe that is all too familiar. In this terrifying piece of fantasy fiction, horrible forces are developing within the city of Utopia. Many themes of this story resonate with our current reality, particularly the recent global political issues. The author subtly injects bits and pieces of truth into his craft that readers will surely indulge in.

The plot moves along at a steady pace, never dragging and never going too fast. My favorite aspect of Rowlingson’s writing has to be his meticulous attention to detail in character development and world-building. Readers will get to know the characters’ minds, learning their motives and inner struggles. The descriptions of the city and the Commune will have readers feeling like they are in the middle of everything and experiencing the conditions of the dwellers as they follow George.

Utopia? is a sinister and dark reflection of our reality as a whole. This dystopian novel will give readers a look into what could be their own post-apocalyptic world. Science fiction and fantasy readers will find this novel to be engaging, with plenty of unique characters and situations to explore.

Pages: 263 | ASIN : B09HQ43QV9

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Á Deux

At one time or another, we have all questioned our purpose. The story of Job is one of the first recorded instances of humans posing these same questions. In addition, it is likely the most well-known account of an exchange between friends that goes far beyond the standard existential crisis. Job and his friends tried their best to understand the ways of God as they questioned why humans are allowed to suffer. The story of Job contains everything from sarcasm and rhetorical questions to innuendo and what amounts to a battle between God and Satan.

A Deux, by author Alexey L. Kovalev, is a new and fresh take on the biblical story of Job. The dialogue between Job and his friends and God takes on a whole different look in Kovalev’s work. Prefaced by a thorough prologue, this book exists as an exchange between Job and God as it would happen today–quite a modern spin on the age-old tale.

I was blown away by the beauty of Kovalev’s style of writing. What looks on paper like a straightforward narrative is actually a dialogue that reads like the most intricate of poetry. The flow of the text is phenomenally stunning, peppered with modern references and deep, philosophical discussions that read more like an exchange between two strangers seated on a bench waiting on a long-departed bus.

There is almost a comical banter at times between the two main characters. Expecting a more serious tone, I was pleasantly surprised at their familiarity. What could easily have been made into a very difficult read has been shaped into a much easier and more pleasurable read. 

I was expecting a much different read when I picked up this book and ventured into the text. Instead, I was truly overwhelmed and surprised at the unique take on Job’s story. This book, written primarily as a dialogue, will capture readers’ attention and keep them enthralled from cover to cover. In addition to creating a conversational tone, Kovalev has also given readers a trip through history. It’s a truly fantastic read from beginning to end.

A Deux will entertain anyone who enjoys reimaginings of Bible stories. In addition, this modern telling will make the traditional story more accessible to younger readers and more relatable to a modern audience.

Pages: 110 | ASIN : B09MPKZDFK

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Bad Love Medicine

Bad Love Medicine, written by Kevin Schewe, is a pluralistic artwork, within the context of the plot, there are several strands of knowledge, such as: Scientism, Fantasy and historical events. Allied to this, the author has maintained a soundtrack of period music throughout the story. Bad Love Medicine is the fourth book in a series, Bad Love Gang.

The book takes us from the environment of Planet Azur – which is inhabited by several characters, all of whom play important roles in the plot – to one of the most nefarious scenarios in the history of the world, the Holocaust. Within the analysis of the Second World War, the author gives space to facts such as espionage and intrigues involving Germany. The heroes of the Bad Love Gang travel back in time and meet the precursor of the Holocaust himself, Adolf Hitler. With a less attentive look, the genre of the book in question can be understood solely as science fiction, however, with a more attentive look we can insert several genres in the same work.

The aesthetics brought by the author, through the descriptions of the environment, is intense and very palpable, to the point that the reader can feel each environment mentioned, from the terms used and the soundtrack of the book. Time and place is an extremely important and crucial marker for understanding what the author wants to show us, so it is equally important to pay attention to all the markers that are placed throughout the plot.

The story leads us to reflect this context of Europe during the second World War, which was remarkable for humanity and even today leaves us impacted and gives us the feeling of impunity in the face of so much cruelty. Analogously, the Bad Love Gang and its members act not only to avoid chaos, but also to save their friend from terminal cancer, traveling in search of answers for her. The romance is also another outstanding area in this work, which makes it absolutely plural and magical.

Bad Love Medicine is a unique novel that integrates it’s own soundtrack to go with the storyline. Readers of science fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy are going to thoroughly enjoy this riveting auditory experience novel.

Pages: 264 | ASIN : B098TN6GKC

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