Before I even begin this “book review,” I have to say that I am extremely proud of author Jasemine-Denise’s growth as a writer. Many novelist despise hearing that their current book is better than the one before it, but in this case perhaps better isn’t the way to put it. There has to be a kinder phrase. Her writing has always been superb, but it seems in her newest piece she was able to truly connect us to the characters. Denise has opened new doorways into a (sadly) timeless Chicago tale.
[learn_more caption=”Click Here for ‘Twisted Illusions, Part 1’ Summary”] Twisted Illusions | Part I Of The Twisted Trilogy Summary: How does one find inspiration in a world filled with struggle? All around Camille Harrison, there it was. Struggle to find love, to understand it, to succeed, and to survive. Yet all she wanted to do was write a best seller that would allow her to to escape her dim future. Tethered to a charred memory of the past and the only person who saw the potential in her, she has to write a book that won’t just change her life but the lives of everyone around her as well. For Wayne Douglas, JayVian Publishing gave him the chance to invest his heart into something real. He never would have imagined he’d fall head over heels for a story that he’d have to defend forever and not just because it was his first mistake. As he chased the clouded mind of Camille Harrison through the streets of their city, he watched as the story he fell in love with began to unfold before him. He would never have thought to prepare himself for the truths he was about to face.[/learn_more]
Set in Chicago, “Twisted Illusions” focuses on five key characters: Camille, Wayne, Etheldria, Matthew, and Chris. All of them are married to one another’s memories, yet they exist in the now without awareness of that fact. Denise successfully escorts each character into the other’s world, never introducing the two that know one another until she’s good and ready. When she does, all hell breaks loose. You start to question the reliability and trustworthiness of people as a whole. See, Camille Harrison is a writer dying to make it, and her fiction is all she knows (or wants to know until Wayne comes along). Her best gal pal Etheldria (readers will recognize her as Dria initially) is her party-centric cheerleader. But, there is one all-knowing individual who holds the power to destroy whatever balance is created. He’s presence echoes throughout piece from the get go.
Until Matthew comes into the picture.
*Jumps up and down and slaps “Drama” a high-five* Helloooooo, nurse!
(Okay, so I just semi-fan girled. I’m sorry. Brought in the drama and hit that Animaniacs.)
Avid readers definitely understand what it is like to love a character you’re technically (moally) are supposed to dislike, but loving Matthew is almost guaranteed. Even when he…well…just read Chapter 10. That’s when he reacquainted himself with the world of another main character. He is fighting to get back someone he lost by “reconnecting” with that same someone’s friend. You could say it’s because he’s an addict and he didn’t know what he was thinking, but I’d tell you that maybe you love him a litle to much because WE ALL KNOW WHAT HE WAS THINKING. *snaps fingers* Oh no he didn’t, girlfriend! Hahaha. Still, Wayne disturbed me more than that semi-womanizer Matthew Stevenson. Editor Wayne Douglas proved to be no better than his friend as the novel wrapped, and I imagine it will upset many. Denise knows how to make you love to hate a character as well as hate to love one.
This is an entertaining read. It is like a well-versed fact book for creatives, kids and adults feeling like there’s “no way out”, editors who believe in a book no one else does, students who are trying to find their way. But, regardless of who you are and what you do on the daily basis, this book speaks to the soul. The underlying traces of love and hope play out like a beautiful song. The chemistry that everyone seeks in life is between every line, and once Denise declares that there will be love between two characters, she definitely hits a home run. (Yeah, chapter 19. Real talk. Real talk!) So, romantics and drama seekers you’ve got the perfect read waiting for you.
On a personal level, I love Lipton, Chris, JayVian Publishing Company, the humor. It enriches the storyline for me because of the source of those things. There are some moments where I would smile to myself because it is some kind of remarkable to me. The connection present to fan fiction days.
The bottom line is Denise really out did herself, and I am looking forward to talking with you about Part 2 of the Twisted Trilogy when it is released. I hear it’s going to be long, and with “Twisted Illusions” ending, it only makes sense. Major. Freakin’. Cliffhanger. It’s kind of funny. The same hope the novel represents, despite the disappointment you feel toward certain characters at time, is the same hope you have at the end. You find yourself hoping that the way Denise left things was not final. Suddenly everything goes from wishing Camille Harrison the best, to wishing farewell to a character you still cared for.
For those who are just clawing, struggling and fighting to get that little scrap of the good life that they know they deserve…I know it’s hard. Some days, you question why you’re even doing it at all. Yet, you don’t give up, and you push through another day. You’re almost there.
Don’t give up yet.
I believe in you.