5 out of 5 stars.
Today I’m bringing you a review of World of the Innocent by Nadine Keels. I absolutely fell in love with this book, hence the 5 star rating. Below the review is also an interview with the author!
Jhoi: she’s poetic. She’s guarded. And she couldn’t imagine having much to do with a guy like Marcas. Sure, Marcas is a brilliant fellow artist, admired by plenty of fans. But he’s so remarkably…strange.
Still, Marcas touches Jhoi’s soul. And through the counsel of a shrewd old neighbor, Jhoi will discover a link between intimate friendship and becoming a steward of an era.
A tale of love, enduring belief, and the meaning of innocence—based on a true story.
WOW. That’s the first thing I said when I finished this book. Just WOW. This book totally blew me away. It’s in my top five of “the most romantic books I’ve ever read”, especially considering there wasn’t much physical intimacy. Plenty of emotional intimacy, just not much physical. And yet, still one of the most romantic books I’ve ever read.
Our main characters, Jhoi (pronounced Joy), Marcas, and Nathan are all wonderful. They’re complex characters and very well-rounded considering it’s not a very long book. I just love Jhoi. She reminds me a lot of myself with her reluctance to get involved with anyone or even casually date.
The plot line moves along steadily. I felt the pace was just right. It wasn’t too fast but not so slow that it wasn’t believable. The twist at the end made me breathless. In hind sight, I wondered if I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. I won’t say any more because I don’t want to spoil it for the rest of you.
I highly recommend this book. I think it was fabulous and I think you will too!
Interview with Nadine Keels
Before we get into the questions and Ms. Keels’ answers, I first just want to say thank you to Ms. Keels for asking me to read her book and for being willing to answer these questions for me!
Q1: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically?
Ms. Keels’ Answer: Ah! Well, I’m not at my computer every day, pounding out words, and not all my time to write is “set aside.” But do I write every day? Yes. Because writing isn’t only something I do. I am a writer, and my whole life factors into what eventually ends up on the page. Living is all a part of my writing process, so in essence, I’m always writing.
Q2: Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?
Ms. Keels’ Answer: Oh, yeah, I give my manuscripts time to “marinate” before I get more technical with them. Have to just let a story resonate for a while, make sure the journey is complete and my characters have truly spoken their piece.
Q3: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional?
Ms. Keels’ Answer: Ha! I don’t know if there’s even a such thing as a truly—or perhaps I should say “wholly”—fictional character. All character traits are going to come from somewhere, from some part of the author’s observation or experience. One way or another, whether it’s intentional or not, or whether or not it’s even noticeable, the people in an author’s life are going to end up in that author’s books.
Q4: What are some great books you’ve read recently?
Ms. Keels’ Answer: Might be an unusual answer, but I’ve been rereading the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary. I mean, I loved the books when I was a little girl because I saw so much of myself in Ramona. Revisiting the books now, I can see how wise the stories actually are and how much Cleary truly has an understanding of human nature, from children to adults.
Q5: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work?
Ms. Keels’ Answer: Yup, I read my reviews. Most of them, anyway. I thank the reviewers, if they’re people I personally requested a review from. But I don’t comment on reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. Book reviews are posted in those places for readers, so I don’t think a reader’s message to other readers is the place for an author to step in and have his/her say.
I do think much can be gained from authors actually listening to the folks they’re writing for, though, so I pay attention to how my books are affecting the people reading them. I have taken into account concerns from reviewers on technical points, but when a reviewer’s concern or dislike is simply a matter of different tastes, I’m fine with their being entitled to their taste, and my being entitled to mine.
Q6: Do you have any hobbies? What are they?
Ms. Keels’ Answer: Is it lame for a writer to say her hobby is writing? Teeheehee. One of this bibliophile’s biggest hobbies is writing about the books she reads. That is, I absolutely love book blogging! Also, because stories are my passion, whether literary or visual, I’ve become almost as much of a cinephile as I am a bibliophile. I so enjoy watching films and discussing them with folks who appreciate them as much as I do.