Tag Archive | Surviving Faith

Surviving Faith by Joy Eileen

In August 2015, I embarked on my first blog tour for Breaking Faith, the debut novel by Joy Eileen. Whilst slow to get going, I found myself gripped and heavily invested in Faith’s rehabilitation following the end of an abusive relationship. She falls in love with the lead singer of the JackHoles, a band on the verge of the big time, and is on the precipice of a potential relationship with the enigmatic Killian. I loved this book and was really excited to read the next instalment of the JackHoles series, Surviving Faith.

I had the pleasure of reading this last week and Eileen does not disappoint. Much quicker paced than Breaking Faith, Surviving Faith shows Faith’s reticence in fully committing to Kill, scared to be broken hearted again when Kill inevitably hits the big time. As Faith’s concerns are mirrored through the relationships of her friends, the reader is left wondering if Faith is going to get her happy ending.

Eileen has certainly upped her game in this book. I couldn’t put it down. She takes the reader through a series of trials and tribulations that leaves them championing Faith to grasp her happy ending with both hands. Eileen builds the tension, sexual and otherwise, throughout, which invokes a variety of emotions for the reader, making this s thoroughly enjoyable read.

This novel is also a thriller of sorts and, while I did guess the plot twist fairly early on, it didn’t make me enjoy the book any less. In fact, it encouraged me to spot the clues leading up to the big reveal.

I loved the first book and I love the second book even more. Faith is a wonderfully rich character, as are the JackHoles, Kill, in particular. Eileen has done a brilliant job with this book and I have no doubt that the next instalment will be fantastic too.

Transparent by Joy Eileen

In August, the Segnalibro Book of the Month was Breaking Faith by Joy Eileen. Whilst it had a bit of a slow start, I was gripped and I’m very much looking forward to the release of it’s sequel, Surviving Faith, which is being finished at the moment. I was asked by the author if I would read and review Transparent, her latest novella, with a caveat that I should bear in mind that it was different from Breaking Faith.

Transparent is about Morley, a former art history student who works in local art gallery, Art. After taking home a painting of a 19th Century lord, Alexander Bryne. Morley is woken up in the night by a noise downstairs, and when she hears voices, she thinks she is being robbed. However, it is the voice of Alexander, who has been trapped in the painting by a gypsy curse and he needs help to escape so he can return to his own time, to clear his name after he was accused of theft of a valuable painting. Alexander is convinced that Morley can help him escape. Both Morley and Alexander have to adapt to each others presence and Alexander has to adapt to a modern way of life.

First of all, I want to make it clear that I really enjoyed this book. It was a bizarre plot line and I enjoyed, for the most part, Eileen’s execution of this strange love story. It’s well written, engaging and the characters are really likeable. However, when I put my textual analysis head on, there were things that irked me a little. It didn’t leave me feeling like the book was lacking, just that there were things that could have been unpacked a little more to enhance an already innovative novel.

Alexander is a British Lord from the 1800’s who finds himself in an American home of a single young woman of independent means. Yet, it is very easy to forget the different heritage of the two characters. I’d have liked to have seen Alexander struggle more as he adapts to a highly technological world. Yet, he can text and Google very quickly after leaving the painting. Also, I would have expected a 19th Century Lord to have a little more sensibility when it comes to sleeping with a young woman who is not a prostitute, nor is she his wife. More could have been made of Alexander’s ability to fit in and Morley could have had a harder time getting him to accept modern sexual politics, as Alexander’s 19th Century aristocratic upbringing was ingrained into him. Alexander also finds that cooking comes naturally to him, yet I would imagine that a Lord would have little cooking experience. Little niggles, but niggles nonetheless.

There was one thing that really baffled me. At one point in the book, Alexander goes to a safety deposit box to retrieve his driving license and social security number. As these are both 20th Century items, I was thrown by how this could be possible and if there was an explanation for this, I struggled to grasp it. Perhaps it was a “blink and you’ll miss it” explanation but I  did read that particular section twice to try and find what I’d missed and couldn’t find anything.

Criticisms aside, Eileen captures the reader’s imagination with the unusual plot and manages to explain away most things in a feasible way. I liked Eileen’s writing style, just as I did when I read Breaking Faith. She has an intelligent turn of phrase and you do feel that she has put a lot of effort into selecting just the right expressions and words to use in her narrative. My only real criticism is that, in places, it lacked authenticity for me. Yet, if I put that textual analyst part of me to one side, it is a really nice love story that will entertain any reader who like a romantic tale. I really liked the idea of the plot and I bought into it right from the start, no slow build up like in Breaking Faith. What I’d say is, give this book a read, don’t think too hard about the why’s and wherefore’s, and enjoy it for the pleasant love story that it is.

 

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Breaking Faith by Joy Eileen

I’m still quite new to this book reviewing lark so when I was invited to review an ARC (Advanced Release Copy – I had to look it up!!) of Joy Eileen’s début novel, Breaking Faith, I was more than happy to oblige. Having recently posted the cover release for the release on 18th August (Breaking Faith Promo Cover Reveal), I was very pleased to receive my copy to read and review. This is the first time I’ve been involved in something like this and I hope it won’t be the last.

Breaking Faith is the first book in The JackholeS series and the novel’s main protagonist is Faith, a college student with a penchant for expensive shoes (my kind of girl!) who has just left her abusive ex-fiancé, Jason. With a restraining order in her hand,she is searching for someone to serve him with it to make it legal. She goes to Ray’s, a bar where one of her best friend’s, Jessie, works, to tell her and her two other friends, Amy, the sugar addict and Trent, the oddball, what she has been subjected to by Jason.

I’ll be honest, I found the first chapter and a half a bit slow-going while we were given Faith’s back story by way of a flashback, all necessary, I might add. This doesn’t last though and I was eventually gripped after the book picks up momentum half way through chapter two when we finally meet Faith’s new saviours, the JackholeS, who are the resident rock band at Ray’s. We are introduced to them through Faith’s eyes as she tries to glean their personalities through their appearance. However, it is lead singer Killian, or Kill to his friends, who has the most impact on Faith. Eileen does a really good job of building up the sexual tension between Faith and the enigmatic Kill. He exudes raw sexuality and it is not hard to believe that perhaps Faith is jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. He has a bad boy image to protect but he fits very nicely into the role as Faith’s protector.  Whether Faith can handle him or not in her fragile state remains to be seen.

Eileen’s initial use of flashbacks provides the reader with Faith’s background fairly quickly so this allows the narrative to flow better once the history of what brought Faith to Ray’s is out of the way. Faith is strong-willed and independent, and having grown up without a mother , she is used to facing adversity. Yet she is unable to get a handle on her emotions and she is no longer able to trust her instincts, having been so physically and mentally damaged by Jason. When her friend Jessie is having troubles, she can advise her of what she should do but she continues to procrastinate with her own feelings for Kill. However, the band, alongside Jessie and Amy, become her new family (a tad too quickly, perhaps) and she is given space to figure out what she wants while avoiding Jason as best she can.

Faith has to face a number of threats throughout the book from sources not always obvious at first. Kill, or Killer as Faith calls him, has to come to Faith’s rescue, not just at times of danger, but as the friend that will be completely honest with her, no matter what. Eileen defies typical stereotypes and this works really well to add another layer of confusion for Faith, when things are not as they seem. There are threats where you least expect them and the reader is able to share Faith’s inner conflict of who will help repair her broken heart and who will damage it beyond repair.

When I read this book, I thought that there were some similarities to the 50 Shades trilogy. Breaking Faith isn’t nearly as overtly sexual or kinky as 50 Shades but there are similar tensions in that there is inherent danger in Faith and Kill’s relationship and they are both characters who intrigue the reader into wanting to know what happens next. Like when I read 50 Shades, I felt like I was championing them, wanting them to become unstoppable as a couple in any given situation. The intensity of feelings between them emulates that of Christian and Ana in that they are so good, yet so bad for each other. Also, who could forget the personified vagina, who instructs the reader of Faith’s sexual feelings in contrast to her emotions,  Eileen’s version of the “inner goddess”, but executed more seamlessly. To those who think 50 Shades is a load of rubbish, please don’t take this comparison as a reason not to read Breaking Faith. While there are a few similarities, this by no means defines this book and in my opinion, this book is better than the Fifty Shades trilogy, so perhaps I should explain a little further.  Firstly, as I have previously mentioned in other posts, 50 Shades is my guilty pleasure despite it’s flaws, as it is for many readers across the world. Secondly, Breaking Faith is written with much more skill and attention to detail than 50 Shades. There are none of the grandiose words to make the narrative sound cleverer than it is and no constant repetition. (The more times you read 50 Shades, the more this grates!)  At no point did I think, “I’ve read this before”, a feeling which is all too common in EL James’s books. Plus, the plot is completely different and a little more believable.

Once I had got past the necessary back story. I found myself unable to put Breaking Faith down. I loved the characters and I really wanted Faith and Kill to get together and for the JackholeS family to kick Jason and any other “doucheboxes” to the kerb. I loved the sneaky peak of Surviving Faith, the next in the series, at the end. I sincerely hope that this will be in the book that is released next Tuesday otherwise readers will be driven mad by the cliffhanger ending of Breaking Faith. I also hope we don’t have to wait too long for Surviving Faith to be released as I am dying to know what happens next. I will absolutely be first in line to promote and review it. That is, if I’m invited!

Pre-order now by clicking on the above link. Released on Tuesday 18th August, 2015