This new book found its way to me last month. Have you ever had that happen? Where it seems like you read or watch something at the exact time that you need to read/watch it to make sense of life or a situation?
Anyway, I met the book’s author online, D.M. Kenyon, and I enjoyed talking with him so much that I bought his book, The Lotus Blossom. Then it sat on my Kindle for a month while the chaos that is my life swirled around me. Eventually, I’d cleared my plate a little and decided that I wanted to read a book by an author who was new to me. The Lotus Blossom won the coin toss and I read the back cover copy again.
“Madison Albright’s life takes an unexpected detour out of the isolated comfort of her suburban community where teenagers are taught how market their looks and everyone is obsessed with their social credit score when she brutally defeats a classmate who tries to rape her. D. M. Kenyon’s debut novel of a teenage girl’s transformation from texting gossip maven into a deeply aware, compassionate woman of conscience and commitment takes readers on a rare journey into personal evolution and self-mastery.”
Let me add that this is not my typical genre of choice. I mention this only to show how this book came to me, rather than me seeking it out. While the book is not my usual instant grab, I had really enjoyed talking to the author via Twitter, and I wanted to explore his story telling and see if he made me smile as much as on the Kindle page his tweets did. So I started reading and in short order realized that this book was not going to be a quick read. It was long and dense, and I had Christmas shopping to do and present wrapping and a book to finish writing that needed to go to market in just a few months. I really didn’t have the bandwidth for a book like this, but I couldn’t stop sneaking reads.
The story grabbed me out of the gate. The heroine’s viewpoint on school, friends, and society made me grin and reminded me of some of my own thoughts and experiences in high school. I kept reading in spite of everything that needed to be done, and the story sucked me in deeper as Madison’s world began to change. She met teachers who taught her new ways to look at life around her, to put down her cell phone, to turn down her music, and to really see the world. As Madison evolved, I found myself evolving, too. With each chapter I would read certain parts several times to let thoughts and ideas soak in through the “noise” around me. I’d think about how I could try on some new attitudes and find ways to change certain behaviors I didn’t like in myself. There was so much to learn and yet the story still pulled me along, the narrative enthralling. By the end, I had a couple of new mottos for life I put into practice, an altered attitude about strangers and friends, and recharged motivations. It really did wake me up, just like the title says.
I needed this book. Our individual worlds are full of extreme highs and lows. Steering through the waves is often exhausting. Now I have an enhanced boat with more navigational tools to help me stay the course and yet explore new routes.
Have you ever had a book that woke you up? Or watched a movie that opened your eyes and changed how you moved forward with your life? If so, I’d love to hear about it.