ARC Review: Below Torrential Hill by Jonathan Koven

Book Details:

Author: Jonathan Koven
Release Date: 
3rd December 2021
Genre: Coming Of Age, Contemporary Fiction, Magic Realism
Format: E-book 
Pages: 190 pages
Publisher: Electric Eclectic
It’s Christmas, and strange occurrences are plaguing the small town of Torrential Hill: a supernatural comet, undead insects, exploding streetlights, and a presence luring people into the woods. But when the mother of Tristen—a wistful, fatherless sixteen-year-old boy—hears voices from the kitchen sink, all he can think of is running away.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Below Torrential Hill by Jonathan Koven is a well-written coming of age contemporary tale that is full of intrigue and surreal appeal.

I liked reading this book mostly because the story had a great flow and the pacing kept me glued to the pages until the end. I was able to relate and connect to the main character, Tristan, and really enjoyed reading about his journey. The writing is good, the story is great and the execution is amazing. The suspense in the story ran high throughout the pages and I enjoyed the surrealness of the supernatural elements that took the story to an entirely another level.

I highly recommend this book to all readers because this book has something to offer to all its readers. And I can’t think of a better novella to recommend reading so close to Christmas!

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Book Review: Palm Lines by Jonathan Koven

Book Details:

Author: Jonathan Koven
Release Date: 12th December 2020
Genre: Poetry Collection
Format: E-book 
Pages: 53 pages
Publisher: Toho Publishing
These heartfelt poems speak to a transformative journey “to rediscover love as both a question and an answer.” Seeking hope, honoring family, finding love, accepting time’s passage, and understanding gratitude are all major themes explored in this dreamlike collection. 


Rating: 4 out of 5.

A book that’s dedicated to the writer’s family, does a phenomenal job of capturing raw emotions, love, nature and of course family. The book is divided into three parts: Life line , Heart line and Head line. 

The first section of the book gives the readers the nostalgic feeling of one’s childhood and appreciates various other small natural elements. While reading some lines I was so struck at the beauty through which these small nature filled elements were added by the the author. With lines like, “if I focus on the branches, they’ll sway maybe singing” the poet literally tugs on the reader’s heartstrings. All the poems, have this fresh, pleasant aura to them, too many emotions packed that makes you feel love the most. Even though at times the mood of the poems may appear melancholic the end message the reader receives is life is wonderful. 

The second section I feel talks about the adulthood and life’s hardships and the wonderful feeling of loving and being loved. Some poems are filled with longing and hope that makes the readers feel a certain kind of intimacy with the writer. I loved how the poet was able to capture cities and everyday life in his poems and the message at the end of the section again was love and how important family is. Though at times being melancholic, Jonathan Koven does a fantastic job of portraying emotions flawlessly. Inspite of having many emotions throughout all poems, the one emotion that is highlighted and repetitive is that of love. With lines like

"Another and another.
It cannot be denied
there are those who remember,
and those who love." The poet makes it quite clear how highly he regards this feeling of love. 
The line that was my personal favourite was "Love crawls over
your heart. 
Maybe you stumbled into a dream,
and then, into this body." Lines like these made me feel that the book was worth reading. 
The last section dwells on longing and how love can be so painful and fruitful at the same time, while reading, I was so in awe of some lines like,
"I would try to steal it all
as tide fills in, to hold anything
before drowning—but
it is better to let go." 

One word to describe it was simply beautiful. The poetry at times feel like a haunting melody and the raw emotions and memories captivate the reader from the very start. If you are a emotional person like me, then Jonathan Koven’s lines will at times tug at your heartstrings and leave you feeling vulnerable but at the same time you’ll be struck by how hauntingly beautiful and mesmerising the words are. 

Captivating, Raw, Emotional, Melancholic and filled with unconditional love, is how I would describe Palm lines. It’s a very quick read and one can finish it in one go, if someone wants to know the importance of love and family and wants to feel emotions I highly recommend one should pick this one up. 

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