“My mind was ready to speak, but my mouth was reluctant.”
Whatever you’re doing right now, stop. Put down your cup of coffee, step away from your computer screen and just listen for a moment.
Maria knows how to keep a reader hooked!
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve spent my evenings reading The Metanoia Phases: The Change of Heart written by the very lovely Maria Thomassen. (Give her a follow!)
Now, I’ve made it a bit of a ‘thing’ that whenever I do a book review, I do a little background research on the author, purely from a curiosity point of view. I like to see where writers have come from and how they worked towards their goals. While browsing, I found one particular fact about author, Maria – one that shocked me to the max.
English is not her first language.
Wait, hold up. What?! English is not Maria’s first language, yet she has created a full English novel which is really well written. What an amazing achievement! This little fact should be a motivational boost for all writers out there, and something I just had to mention first off. You go girl! 😍
Okay, to the Metanoia Phases!
I honestly had no idea what to expect from this book – the title was intriguing and made me think a character was about to have a huge dilemma on their hands. The book cover just breathes all things magical and mysterious, and to be honest, I wasn’t that far off! (Well done Maria for the great first impression!)
I found The Change of Heart very easy to get into. You get the gist of what’s going on early in the book without giving too much away, which really is a great talent. It can be so easy to spill all your ideas into the first chapter, but it’s a great skill to leave a reader’s imagination wondering and asking questions. Before you say it – yes, your questions do get answered as the story develops!
Again, as with a previous book review I did, (the first book of the Meet Clara Andrews series) I noticed that this book wasn’t my usual go to novel as I started the first chapter. Yet again, I was very pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. Never did I ever think these genres would be suited to me, but I’ve loved reading them! It’s always nice to expand your comfort zone and try out new genres.
The novel is very involving. We follow a girl who seems very confused about her life’s direction, so much so that it’s affecting both her physical and mental being. Without spoiling the story, she also has a rather peculiar special ‘power’, something that seems relatively difficult to keep under control in the beginning. Some people know of it, but her power seems confusing to her at first. Finding out the right information proves difficult and she’s desperate for answers.
It must be extremely difficult for any writer to intertwine two different stories into one. By this, I mean the fact that our protagonist here is quite obviously torn between different men, and is also discovering more about her hidden power. There’s so much to think about; making sure these different areas of the novel come together and actually fit in with the story line takes a lot of planning and commitment.
I love how the main character’s special power can eventually be controlled in any way she wants. My own story is similar in a way, although my protagonist can’t really control her power! It’s great to see a writer stick with an idea like this and ride it out until the end. It gives me hope that I too can make my own story fit together well. However, it also brings me back to reality with a crash; I have so much to plan! We’ll get there one day…
Throughout the story, there are scenes a lot of us will be able to relate to, the things that we may have experienced throughout our lives – the amazing things that give us endless joy, and the things that are really quite disheartening to the core. Either way, Maria explores these emotions in detail – so much that you feel you’re in a character’s shoes. I found myself getting so involved in some scenes that I quickly lost track of time and awareness of my surroundings. I felt so immersed in The Change of Heart, something that can be extremely difficult when writing something lengthy. Keeping a reader interested for more than a chapter takes skill and I’m so happy Maria has managed to pull it off. It’s difficult!
If there was one chapter that pulled on those heart strings a little, it’d be Chapter 8; it ended up being a shocker! You know that feeling when you read something that you totally don’t expect to happen? Then when it happens, you just pause for a moment and think, “Goodness me, now what?!” This was that moment! This part was also a prime example of how quickly you can change sides. You feel a certain frustration for some characters early on, and then your whole perspective changes. Again, another technique that blows my mind!
Allow me to now skip through a few chapters and get you up to speed with the end of the story and my verdict. Talk about cliff hangers! The final chapter holds a lot of information and is definitely one to concentrate on. It brings together the mystery and secrets that have been building up throughout the novel and really sets you on edge. Then all of a sudden…where’s the next page?! (Thankfully, there is a sequel!) I feel Maria ended the story in the right place; there’s so much more that can be explored and I feel our character’s lives are definitely in for an unexpected turn very soon!
The book is well written and explores the topics of love, mystery and the uncovering of a well kept family secret. Can we really trust those closest to us? How do we know what to believe in when we don’t even believe in ourselves at times? Oh, the excitement of a new novel!
Thanks so much to Maria for sharing your story with me. It’s given me the encouragement and support to get on with my own novel and to pay attention to detail and the overall plot. 🙂
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