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Award winning author Tahlia Newland writes contemporary fantasy and magical realism with a metaphysical twist. When not reading, writing, reviewing or mentoring authors you may find her being an extremely casual high school teacher or making decorative masks. Tahlia began writing full time in 2008 after twenty years in the performing arts and a five-year stint as a creative and performing arts teacher in a High School. In 2012, she set up the Awesome Indies List to showcase quality independent fiction. She has had extensive training in meditation and Buddhist philosophy and lives in an Australian rainforest south of Sydney. She loves cats but doesn't have one because they eat native birds.
on July 09, 2012 :
This book is well-written and engaging – but it's also brave, because it addresses a tough subject while other YA books are content to pursue vampire romance and zombie infestations. Don't get me wrong, those topics are fun. But if someone is bullying you, Edward isn't going to show up to toss the bully's tookus across the schoolyard, and the chances of getting bitten by a radioactive spider and developing superpowers are pretty slim. You need good advice.
I'm impressed by Tahlia's use of Zen Buddhism as a way to find the inner harmony you need to deal with the psychological abuse that's the worst part of bullying. People who abuse others don't just want to hurt them physically – that's frosting on the cake. They're really engaged in psychological warfare, in order to gain power over people.
I like her idea that you don't have to be passive about what kind of life you're going to lead. You can write yourself. Who do you want your character to be? What do you have to do to become that person? That, along with Tahlia's message that you don't have to accept being a victim, makes this a book worth reading. And for those of you who prefer romance – theres plenty of that too. If you've ever been bullied (and who hasn't?), give this book a try. It could change your perspective.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)