Book Spotlight & Interview Post For: Sanctuary

Sanctuary By. Zainab T. Khan book cover photo

Sanctuary
by Zainab T. Khan
Release Date: December 19th 2015 (Pre-order Now Available. )

Genre: Young Adult, Short Story

Synopsis:

Sanctuary (n.) the protection that is provided by a safe place.

“And Sanctuary was the right word to describe our small town with its mouth-watering Pakistani fruits, Spain’s bullfighting, Italian pizzas, French artists, Indian spices, Korean kimchi, and Turkish delights. Because to every single one of us – a Pakistani, Spanish, Indian, Korean, French, Italian, and Turkish – it was a sanctuary. Our own safe haven. Our home with its different cultural styles yet with a culture of its own.”

A Prelude to The Interview:

One of the main reasons I am so excited for Sanctuary’s release is the fact that it is built on such a multicultural foundation and, if you know anything about me, you should know how much I love studying, reading, experiencing and talking about all things multi-culture related. As a double plus, plus for this book promotion event, I had the opportunity to interview Zainab T. Khan, the author of this lovely novelette. My quick Q & A is just below, but be sure to check out Sanctuary when it’s released on December 19th and visit Zainab’s webpage.  ^___^

What’s was it that sparked your inspiration to write Sanctuary?

I’m a sociology student so it always strike me hard when I read about discrimination. It’s unfair. And I despise unfair things. So I tried to create a world (a town, basically) which had no discrimination of any kind, but mainly on ethnic grounds.

Were the stories in Sanctuary solo pieces that you put together, or were they always meant to be in a book?

They always meant to be in a continuous novel, despite its short length. It made more sense to have a multicultural town rather than writing solo stories.

What would you say was your favorite story from this book to write?
I loved writing about Italian wedding, Enrique and Giovanna’s. Also the masquerade ball.

Is there a character from Sanctuary, or any other book (that you’ve written or read) that you wish you could be friends with in real life? If so, why?
That’s a real difficult question. I’m not sure how to answer that. Just one person? Aw, man. Okay, it’s a tie, between Fern, from Making Faces by Amy Harmon, and Millie, from The Song of David by Amy Harmon. There is a long list of reasons behind my choice but I’m afraid if I start writing it down, the answer will turn into a lengthy essay.

What were some of the things you had to research before you began creating such a culturally infused town in Sanctuary?

Languages. Names. Their country’s specialties. And some of their traditions.

If different from the book, could you describe your ideal sanctuary?
Home. My ideal sanctuary would be home. It is my home. A sanctuary is described as a safe place. Home is one place where I feel nothing but at ease. So that’s my ideal Sanctuary. It’s all thanks to my parents and grandparents who turned house into a home, then home into a sanctuary.

Zainab T. Khan Author Photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hello, you beautiful person.

The only thing you need to know about is my favourite book boyfriends (Yes, boyfriend(s), deal with it. We all have them.) Jesse de Silva, Maxon Schreave, and Flynn Rider (he’s a fictional character too) and of course Adrian Ivashkov. Oh, how I wish I could resist them. But, David ‘Tag’ Taggert has my heart. Sorry, you four gorgeous guys.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website |Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

Thanks so much for the interview, Zainab! ❤  🙂

And thank you so much for reading. Until next time,

Gia.

 

Book Review : The Mark Of Noba By GL Tomas

The Mark Of Noba  By GL Tomas

YA/Diverse Fiction The Mark Of Noba by GL Thomas

The Mark Of Noba By GL Tomas (Book #1 of The Sterling Wayfairer Series) Cover by: Alice Bessoni Available for purchase on Amazon

In preparation for a slightly long-winded review, I’ve opted to put all the main details at the top of this post instead of at bottom since this story and series has a lot of context to it. I also decided to include the full Goodreads synopsis instead of a short, piecey and inconclusive one below:

Sterling Wayfairer has one goal for his senior year: make his mark. He’s been slipping into the background his whole high school career—distracted by his mother’s mental health, unsettled by the vivid dreams that haunt him at night, and overshadowed by the athletic accomplishments of his popular best friends. But this year is going to be different. He’s going to break a few rules, have some fun, and maybe even work up the nerve to ask his crush out on a date. But things don’t go exactly as planned. Students are disappearing, Sterling starts losing time, and it all seems to center around Tetra, a girl no one else seems to notice but him. When he finally tracks her down for answers, they aren’t what he expects: He and Tetra hail from a world called Noba, and they’re being hunted by a Naga, a malevolent shapeshifter that’s marked them for destruction. Tetra and Sterling have distinct abilities that can help them fight back, but their power depends heavily on the strength of their bond, a connection that transcends friendship, transcends romance. Years apart have left their bond weak. Jumpstarting it will require Sterling to open his heart and his mind and put his full trust in the mysterious Tetra. If he doesn’t, neither of them will survive…

Reading gifs for blog post

I was lucky enough to have received my copy of The Mark of Noba through a giveaway from the authors of the book, GL Tomas. With out a doubt, anyone can sit down with this book and not realize they’ve been reading for six or seven hours without stopping. 0__0 I do not want this to turn into an essay or anything, but there were a lot of things that were so great about this book.

OVERALL:

The GL Tomas duo have fashioned a realistically believable, angsty yet pleasingly comical Young Adult/ Science Fiction story that takes place on an alternate Earth-like planet called Geo. The authors were smart to not only give us First Person POV, but give us the story from both Tetra and Sterling’s POV so the reader is able to immerse themselves in the story from two different angles without any of the mystery or the story being blatantly obvious or ruined. In addition, the reader will not feel ridged or confided to feeling like they’re reading a YA fiction that’s just for boys or just for girls.

I thought it was funny that when I got to the back of the book, the writers ask the reader which team they were on, #TeamTetra or #TeamSterling, but as it goes back and forth between the two of them in the book I found that I couldn’t just choose one side. The writers do a great job at exploring each character individually as well as they do a unit.

Dutch & Johnny From Killjoys Tumblr site

Without giving too much away, I do not want to say that Tetra and Sterling end up as a couple, because they aren’t. It’s just that while reading this book you get to see something so genuine; their relationship and connection is so much more than words. The two of them have this amazing bond {do you see what I did there? 😉 }

If you are the type who enjoys reading/watching a thing/a connection between two people grow, I guarantee you that The Mark of Noba is the book for you.

Moreover, it you are the type of reader who just enjoys reading about characters whose friends, family, or their life in general takes comedic jabs at them, then this is the book for you.

Sterling’s character is clearly the reader/audience of the book as we, like him leave normal, or what we perceived as the norm, after officially meeting Tetra in the book. And although the POV goes back and forth between the two, in Tetra’s POV the reader is not privy to all the answers that Sterling (we) has through out the book. With him, we get to revel in his actions and reactions because he’s basically an average senior at CCI (City Collegiate Institute) that you cannot help but root for while simultaneously laugh at.

Haha, I cannot remember the last time I felt so much second hand embarrassment for someone.  And to be fair, it wasn’t all second hand embarrassment. Reading about Sterling’s life growing up with a Mother whom suffers from schizophrenia is also another enthralling aspect about both him and The Mark of Noba.

Tetra’s character on the other hand is clearly the objective voice in the book  for the reader as she contradicts the social standards and restrictions in Geo that parallel our own.

Needless to say, often reading Tetra’s POV was one of my favorite parts about The Mark of Noba because she strips away and exposes the baseless and fallacious foundations of nearly every reason or excuse Sterling presents to her for ‘how’ or ‘why’ things were the way that they were on Geo, particularly in regards to gender.

Which completely differentiates from Tetra’s home planet, Noba, where its people function in a way that wasn’t rooted with gender barriers, a person—no matter who—is defined by their skill set and their skill set alone.

I am known for my over analyzing things—

but there were a lot of great things about this story.

However, there were a few things about this book that I did not like or felt if-y about but they DO include spoilers, so if you want to continue with a spoils-free impression about The Mark of Noba, then please stop here.

Spoilers for The Mark of Noba Continue reading