Thursday, March 21, 2019

Release Blitz & Review: While I Was Away - Stylo Fantôme

While I Was Away
Author: Stylo Fantôme 
Genre: Romantic Drama
Release Date: March 21, 2019

You were in a car accident.

They say true love can last forever.

You hit your head, which caused your brain to swell.

Can span any distance, stretch across time, last beyond death.

The pressure against your skull damaged your brain.

Which leads one to wonder …

The damage left you unresponsive to most kinds of stimuli.

If you fall in love in your dreams,

And this unresponsive state is what's known as a coma.

Can you find that love when you wake up?

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4 Stars
With a touch of surrealism, Stylo Fantôme  explores the thoughts of a comatose woman and the strange awakening she has. Adele Reins is departing from a party after making a major life decision when she and another are in a car crash. Life continues to go on, but Adele is trapped inside a world in her head filled with brilliantly colored poppies, ever changing scenery, and a man who leaves such an impact that it is he she thinks of her when she finally opens her eyes. While her family and friends have rallied around her, starting new lives in the city of Los Angeles, Adele can't move forward and forget the man. When she sees him again her soul calls for him, but he doesn't know the love she knows. 

"Tomorrow. Tomorrow I start on a new life. A new adventure. Tomorrow I find ... something."

Adele is a vivacious woman with a massive heart, she's so easy to like. Of course, we only know this form of Adele for a short while, as the impact of her dream state changes her drastically. From the moment she wakes up the story gets a bit strange, but in a way that kept me turning the pages, captivated by the romantic notion that soulmates and love can carry over from dreams into reality. Adele's coma world is so interesting and it takes up a large portion of the novel. This allows us to turn her dream state into a reality, with it leaving its mark even after she awakens. In this case, the dream world is unforgettable and Adele is left searching for it and her lover. I found myself loving the romanticism, especially once we finally meet the man in real life. He's far more real than the dream version of him, which keeps the novel interesting and keeps it from being too insta-love and mushy. Of course, there is the drama of Adele's family who have moved closer, her best friend who has grown comfortable with them, and her ex who has stayed close despite their separation.

I did enjoy some of the multiple POVs and I really appreciated that Stylo Fantôme  didn't focus only Adele and the impact her coma had on her just her, but on all the secondary characters. However a miss for me, and it seems like this might just be an "it's me, not you" complaint, was the addition of her brother's POV's, I really didn't enjoy them. It's almost like there might have been opportunity for other novels to come about the brothers, but ultimately it was combined into one. Their spacing comes across as a bit out of place and I did get them confused as their voices were very similar. I do think it took away from the overall story and it distracted me from the main romance.

"'Always,' she agreed. 'We'll always come back to the place where we found each other.'"

While I Was Away is a clever novel that kept me intrigued from start to finish. The premise itself was interesting enough for me, butStylo Fantôme  takes this surreal idea and turns it into a contemporary romance that is impossible to put down. It's the sort of book you finish and you don't immediately pick up another, instead you sit in the feelings she leaves you with. Romance readers looking for something different, particularly those with an interest in the fantastical, will enjoy While I Was Away.
Author Bio

Crazy woman from a remote location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since ... forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball - I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I'm clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.

I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don't trust anyone who doesn't drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there's your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair - both a curse and a blessing - and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can't understand me.

Yeah. I think that about sums me up.

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