Dana reviews Cookies by Teodora Kostova (Published on April 17, 2016, 242 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb: I went to war, running away from myself. I came back in pieces to find out who I really was…
It took me nearly ten years, two tours in Afghanistan and losing a leg to come to terms with who I really am.
Two years after coming back from war, I can say that I’m finally content. I’m as fit as ever, my prosthetic leg allowing me the freedom of moving and exercising as if nothing has changed. I own a small bakery in the centre of Cambridge, and I have a loyal circle of friends that I can always count on.
Yet, there’s something missing. A part of me craves the intimacy, the deep connection to another human being. But another – bigger – part of me is terrified of letting anyone in.
My internal conflict didn’t stand a chance when I met Jay. He stormed through my defence walls like a hurricane, wrapping around me with gentle force until I had no choice but to surrender.
Surrendering has never felt so good.
Will Jay want to stay when he sees the real me? When he sees the nightmares and insecurities clawing at my soul?
My name is Amir Gopal and this is my story.
I have read the three books in this author’s West End series and was excited to read and review Cookies. There is an author’s note in the book regarding research and her goal to create a low-angst story. Knowing the story was about an ex-soldier with PTSD and a prosthetic leg, I did find it less dramatic than I thought it might be. It also made me wonder if it would find it boring or hard to review, because I’ll be honest, I am an angst junkie. Surprisingly, I find myself with lots of things to say.
Low-angst doesn’t mean no angst. Amir does have his hang ups regarding his scarred body and missing limb, and flashbacks aren’t an uncommon occurrence for him. I can totally feel for him with each moment of fear and insecurity. He volunteers at and brings leftover bakery goods to a veteran’s support center. Overall it’s a positive place but the loss of important funding could lead to it closing it’s doors. The author creates plenty of opportunities for angst but supplies solutions to those problems. It could have appeared too convenient but I think they were subtle and realistic fixes to the problems.
I really loved the character, Jay. With him, what you see is what you get. He is genuine and sweet. He accepts Amir completely despite his flaws and it seems like he doesn’t even see them. At least not the physical ones. He is having a slightly harder time with Amir’s reluctance to give 100% of his emotions. The two of them seemed so perfect for each other, I could understand Jay’s frustrations.
The secondary characters in this book were awesome, too. Shane from the veteran’s center and Greg, a pilot friend who won’t be grounded. I feel like they are begging to have their story told. Peter, who was scarred and burned when he came back was a huge support to Amir, as well as his best friend Chris. For all the West End fans there was a great cameo from Jared and Fenix.
What I really liked about this book is that there was plenty of highs, a few lows, action, and self-realization for the characters.There was tension throughout the book, and I kept wondering when the the other shoe might drop, when the characters would run into their conflict. Though the ride was smooth, I wasn’t bored or complacent because I always felt something would throw a wrench in Jay and Amir’s path to happiness. That they worked things out together and didn’t hold grudges was a bonus that made me really enjoy the book.
Hi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband and my son. I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job in 2010 when I decided that everything else I’ve tried bores me to death and I have to do what I’ve always wanted to do, but never had to guts to fully embrace. I’ve been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among other things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It’s the only time that I’m truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time – my son has a bigger attention span than me.
When I’m procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Nintendo Wii game by a very inventive kid.
Don’t be shy and get in touch – I love connecting with my readers. Blog:www.teodorakostova.blogspot.com