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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Reaching for the stars: Black Crow White Lie by Candi Sary

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, the place to be when the need to read is SO strong, it'd take way more than the armies of Tolkein's wordy world to stop you from devouring one more page.

Today, we're exploring a Fiction novel, which given it's lead character could actually nestle nicely into the Young Adult category as well, that is less fantasy and more power of thought and direction of intention than it first appears.  There is magic despite the lies exposed, but it's more the magic of life than actual mojo.  Ready to meet today's title?  Yay!  ^_^  Without further adieu, today's book of choice is...


About the book...
...the story of Carson Calley, a thirteen-year-old with the curious ability to heal people. He lives in a variety of Hollywood motels with his alcoholic, fortune-telling mother, Juliette Bravo. She tells him fabricated stories about his past life and his hero father, to keep the boy believing in his great gift-- so that he might rise above his true circumstances. Believing his mother, Carson does become a healer, with the people of Hollywood waiting in long lines to see him. He secretly saves the money he earns from healing in the hopes of visiting his war-hero father's grave in Washington, DC., but just before he leaves, one of Juliette's stories is finally exposed. As Carson wises up to his mother's lies, he is faced with rediscovering who he really is. With the help of some unlikely mentors-- Faris, a tattoo shop owner, and Casper, the albino at the head shop on Sunset Boulevard-- Carson sets out to find his own identity on the provocative and colorful streets of Hollywood.

This is a story that's hard to pinpoint, but I'll do my best.  It begins as a magic infused reality blended with an edge of fantasy and ends as a life molded by stories that enabled the magic of the everyday world to shine through with merely a touch of the otherworldly   Confused?  Sorry...but some of the tale will leave you that way and it's purely on purpose because the author is putting you right in the shoes of young Carson.

The life he's lead is a hard one.  His mother is less than able to cope with the world and her heavy hand with the bottle does not make things better.  Her relationships with men are no point of guidance either, nor the man she places above her son.  I guarantee that you'll be screaming bad parenting remarks at her many a time and Carson's anger issues will be written off as a result of that lack of care.  Can't say I blame you.  In the end, she had her reasons, were they good enough?  They never are but unless you're in the situation there is really only so much that can be said...and trust me, you'll want to see the big picture here in the end.  I'm not saying you'll feel sorry for her or forgive all her transgressions, but it'll be a more level playing field for analyzing how and why things went the way they did.  Moving forward...

The characters, my oh my, the characters.  They were a mixed bag as you can see, both those that make a physical appearance and those that are there in spirit.  I admit, my visual aid for Faris was a guy that works at our local bookstore, no lie; doubtful he'd be offended by that connection either. Why?  Simply because the actual written character though not my usual association per se, is actually pretty cool.  He's lived life and it's left his mark on him but he's not bitter for it just "worldly", sharing those lessons learned with those curious enough to lend an ear.  He's got a good soul.  So does Casper for that matter, even if his initial reasons for starting the shop were less an noble and more out of spite.  He gets carried away with "helping" Carson until he finally sees that the true help he needs is not a fan base, but a friend.

In conclusion, a story that is much more than it seems on the surface, filled with grit and strife, and yet able to deliver a male lead that teens and adults alike will cheer for as he seeks to discover his true self and claim his future as his own.  It reminds us that looks can be deceiving, stories are often to be accepted with a grain of salt, and the true magic in life is there...just not always how we pictured it. Change can take place and we can be the means by which it happens for better or worse, but we have to take an action, make a move to set the balls in motion.  How will YOU be the catalyst in the world today?  Will you take the path of least resistance, that which was laid before you like a carpet made of gold or will you forge one of your own design creating a masterpiece the world has never seen?  The choice is all matter what anyone tells you.

Author Candi Sary
Recommended read for older teens through adults due to content; it's not about the language here, more about the anger issues, drug use, drinking and such; a few life lessons younger eyes don't need a gander at too early on.  This book is available now via Casperian Books so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf near you.  Need a lead?  Check it out on the publisher's site, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Review copy received courtesy of author Candi Sary.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as her current/past works, be sure to stop by her official site, or follow along on Twitter.

Until next time...happy reading!


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