Brittainy C. Cherry – Art & Soul

Synopsis

I had always been the invisible art student in high school.
Passed by. Glossed over. Unnoticed.
Now I was Aria Watson… that girl.

After one bad decision, and being labeled a slut, I was no longer unseen. I was the whore. The ignoramus. The tramp.
I would never be invisible again.

Particularly to Levi Myers. He was the odd boy with the beautiful soul who accepted and understood the broken girl inside me.

Falling in love wasn’t the plan. But how could I resist his promises of hope? Of forgiveness? Of a future I had stopped dreaming of?
We were shattered. We were scarred. We were something strange and beautiful.

We were two lost souls holding on to the only thing that could keep us together.

Each other.

**Full Length, Standalone Novel, Coming Spring 2015.**

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Nagyon tetszett ez a könyv! Kicsit hasonlított Amy Harmon: Different Blue című könyvéhez, sőt ha jobban belegondolok a Loving Mr. Daniels és az Art & Soul pont kiadja a Different Blue-t. 😀 De a viccet félretéve tényleg hihetetlenül magával ragadott ez a történet és nagyon megszerettem a karaktereket is. Ahogyan a Loving Mr. Daniels-ben itt is nagyon fontos társadalmi kérdések és valós problémák merülnek fel, feszegeti a határokat és nagyon szép gondolatok találhatók a kötetben.

A történet egyik főszereplője a 17 éves Levi, aki Alabamából költözik el Wisconsinban élő édesapjához egy évre, mentálisan beteg édesanyjától. Levi soha nem járt iskolába, mindig az anyukája tanította otthon, így úgy dönt, hogy ez az egy év legyen más, beiratkozik a gimnáziumba. Levi és az apukája között a távolság ellenére is szoros volt a kapcsolat, egészen 11 éves koráig. Addig minden évben nyáron ott nyaralt nála, minden szülinapon és karácsonykor kapott levelet tőle, amelyeket egy kis dobozban gyűjtött össze. Aztán valami miatt 11 éves korában abbamaradtak a levelek és az apja azt kérte, ne menjen hozzá a nyáron. Levi most hat évvel később mégis megjelent a küszöbén és szinte rá sem ismert egykori hősére. Kent Myers egy teljesen lecsúszott egyén lett, barátok nélkül, a társadalom páriájaként pazarolva el az életét. Levi válaszokért jött, és újra vissza akarja kapni az embert, akit egyszer a legjobb apukaként ismert meg, de ez nem tűnik túl egyszerű feladatnak.

Az egyedüli, ami lerozzant házban tetszik a fiúnak, az a kert, amihez egy kisebb erdő kapcsolódik. A fák között van az egykori faházikó, amit még apjával építettek közösen, kilenc éves korában. Ezúttal is ez szolgál búvóhelyéül, és minden egyes nap ide vonul el hegedülni. Levi családjában mindig is nagy szerepet töltött be a zene. A hegedűre édesanyja tanította meg, amíg az apja bátyja, Lance egy hangszerboltot vezet és szintén mindenféle hangszeren játszik. Ő és hippi felesége egyébként nagyon jó karakterek a könyvben. Gyakorlatilag ők a „felnőttek” akikre Levi támaszkodhat az apjánál töltött idő során.

Az első iskolanap előtti hajnalban Levi szokás szerint kint van az erdőben, hogy az őzeket etesse. Elhatározta, hogy megszelídíti őket, ezért minden reggel hat órakor kimegy egy marék bogyós gyümölccsel és megpróbálja egyre közelebb és közelebb csalogatni az állatokat. Ekkor találkozik a szomszéd lánnyal, a 16 éves Ariaval.
Aria egy igazi művész. Fest, különlegesen hordja a haját és összességében kicsit avantgárd, de egy gyönyörű lány. Mikor Levi meglátja őt, már nem is bánja, hogy a lány elriasztotta az őzeket, hogy egyáltalán nem is szól hozzá, csak annyit tud, hogy ez a lány mérhetetlenül szomorú és van benne valami egészen különleges. Reggel a buszmegállóban Levi megjelenik a kék tornacsukájában és megpróbál ismét beszélni Ariaval, de a lány ezúttal sem adja be a derekát. Aria elég nehéz helyzetben van, fontos döntés előtt áll és gyakorlatilag csak legjobb barátjára, a kicsit furcsa, kényszerbetegségben szenvedő, de imádnivaló Simonra támaszkodhat.

Ebben a félévben a művészeti kurzus rendhagyó módon van megtartva, ugyanis a képzőművészeket és a zenészeket összeterelik egy nagy csoporttá és párokba osztják őket. Levi egyből kihasználja az alkalmat és természetesen lecsap az Aria melletti üres székre. 🙂 A közös feladatuk az, hogy a félév végén egy közös projectet kell bemutatniuk, amely az Art & Soul nevet viseli, és a lényege az, hogy közösen bemutassák a zene és a festészet találkozását. A project során egyre inkább megismerik egymást és szépen lassan kialakul közöttük egy nagyon erős kötelék. Azonban mivel a lánynak elég sok gondja van pillanatnyilag, úgy érzi, muszáj ellenállni a kék tornacsukás, folyton mosolygó, déli akcentusos Levi ostromlásának, de kérdés, hogy sikerül-e neki?

Imádtam ezt a könyvet! Brittainy C. Cherry nagyon magával ragadó stílussal és nagyon sokrétű és szerethető karakterekkel dolgozik. A szereplőknek olyan dolgokkal kell szembenézniük és olyan kérdésekre kell választ adniuk, amihez úgy gondolom egy 16-17 éves még túl fiatal. Mindkettejüknek más-más démonnal kell megküzdenie, és én magam sem vagyok biztos, hogy én mit tettem volna a helyükben. A borító nem igazán tetszik, de ezen kívül ismét egy csodálatos, csillagos ötös kötettel ajándékozott meg az írónő.

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My Review in English

I really loved this book! It was a little similar to Different Blue by Amy Harmon, moreover it is really funny but if you think about it and put together Loving Mr. Daniels and Art & Soul, you get Different Blue. 😀

Okay, speaking seriously, this book was amazingly stunning and I loved the characters so much! Like in Loving Mr. Daniels, there are important social questions and beautiful thoughts in this book, too, and this story sometimes pushes the boundaries.

The main character is the 17 years old Levi, who moves from Alabama – where his mentally instable mom lives – to his father to Wisconsin. Levi was homeschooled in his all life, but now he wants to attend to high school. Despite the distance, Levi and his father had a really strong relationship with each other. Every summer, he visited his father and for every birthday and every Christmas he got a special letter from him. When Levi became 11 years old the letters and cards stopped, and his father didn’t want his visits anymore. After six years, Levi is here again on his father’s porch, but he hardly recognizes the man who was his hero someday. Kent Myers became the pariah of the town, without friends, wasting his life as an outcast. Levi came to get answers and he wants to get beck the man who was a good men and a good father long time ago, but it is doesn’t seem easy.

The one thing that he likes about the wrecked house is the woods in the backyard. His secret place is the old treehouse which was made by Levi end his father when Levi was 9 years old. This is the place where he goes out every day to play the violin. In Levi’s family music always had a big role. His mother taught him to play the violin, and his uncle, Lance, has an instrument store in the town, and he plays music, too. Lance and his hippie wife were really good characters of the book. They were the “adults” Levi could turn to if he had a problem while he lived with his father.

In the early morning of the first day of school, Levi is – as usually – out in the woods to feed the deer. Earlier he decided that he will try to tame them, so he goes out every morning about 6 am to feed them with berries. This is how he meets with the girl next door, Aria.

Aria is a true artist. She paints, she wears her hear differently, altogether she is a little eccentric but she is beautiful. When Levi sees her he doesn’t mind that she scared away the deer, and that she doesn’t say a word to him, he just knows that this girl is really sad, and she is something special. A little later Levi shows up at the bus stop in a pair of blue Chucks and he tries to make a conversation with the girl again, but Aria still doesn’t want to give in. Aria has a hard time nowadays and she has to make a hard decision soon about an important thing. The only one who is beside her is her best friend Simon, who is a little weird, but truly lovable character with a little OCD.

In this semester the music class joins the art class for a project. Everybody has to pair up with a partner and Levi of course uses this opportunity to sit beside Aria.  🙂 The name of the project is Art & Soul while they have to show the collusion of art and music in a presentation at the end of the semester. During their project they start to learn each other and this slowly forms a strong connection between them. Because Aria’s problems, she thinks that she has to resist the boy with the blue Chuks, the big grin and south accent. Only on question remains ­– is she able to do so?

I loved this book so much! Brittainy C. Cherry is really talented. This was a stunning book, with lovable and complex characters, who have to face really tough questions, with answers too serious for 16-17 years old. They have to fight against different demons, but they both are very tough, and I truly don’t know what I would do if I were them. To tell the truth, I really don’t like the cover, but despite that this author gave me an amazing 5 stars book again.

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My Favorite Quotes From the Book

“A person who never truly lost themselves could never truly find themselves, either.”

“The world was often ugly and painful, filled with hate, sadness, and despair. But Aria? She made sense in a senseless world. She was the rainbow to my everlasting thunderstorms.”

“My mind started wondering how much of Levi had been nothing more than a dream. All I wanted to do was fall back asleep and find him again.”

“Maybe it wasn’t about fixing the broken hearts.
Maybe it was about loving the broken pieces the way they were.
Maybe when someone you loved was hurting, all they needed was someone to hold their pinkie as a reminder that they weren’t alone.”

“There were over six hundred thousand words in the Oxford Dictionary. That meant there were six hundred thousand definitions of different words with a million and one meanings. Some words were
silly while others were heartbreaking. Some words were happy while others were angry. So many different letters came together in different ways to form those different words, those unique meanings.
So many words, but at the end of the day there was only one word that stood out among the rest. One word that somehow meant both heaven and hell, the sunny days and the rainy days, the good, the
bad, and the ugly. It was the one word that made sense when everything else around you was messy, painful, and unapologetic.
Love.”

“We grew tired together, creating our own kind of art. We became the masterpieces of the loneliest souls. The colors in both of our eyes bled out, knowing that sometimes the most beautiful pieces of art were created from the darkest of souls.”

“That’s the thing about the future, and the past even. They don’t exist in this moment. We only have the here and now. If we focus too much on the past or too heavily on the future, we miss out on our present desires, the things we want right now.”

“Sometimes it was so easy to forget that adults were just kids in bigger bodies, and their hearts broke just like ours.”

“She was the only one who could call me a dork and make me feel like Superman at the same time.”

“We were trying our best to live in the here and now, in the darkness together. We were so broken. We were so worn out from the lives we lived, but tonight we kissed with the broken pieces. We kissed with the fear. We kissed with the anger. We kissed with everything we had inside of us. And then we kissed some more. We grew tired together, creating our own kind of art. We became the masterpieces of the loneliest souls. The colors in both of our eyes bled out, knowing that sometimes the most beautiful pieces of art were created from the darkest of souls.

“Love openly,” my heart whispered. “Love unconditionally,” my heart begged. “Love the struggles,” my heart taught. “Love in the moment.”

“Levi Myers, ladies and gents. The biggest oxymoron of them all.”

Six- Oxymoron- Stars

6 stars

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Author Bio

Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing–poorly of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in! Brittainy lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family. When she’s not running a million errands and crafting stories, she’s probably playing with her adorable pets.

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