8/31/15

Chasing Happy - Ann Lee Miller

4 Stars!


ABOUT THE BOOK -
An epic fail with his girlfriend flings Ash from Florida to Arizona and into a war between the forbidden and God. Samma’s childhood bond to Ash startles awake soon after meeting. But she’s duty-bound by idealism and family to marry her long-term boyfriend.


Ash left a career as a marching band director to guide hikes and and fight his solitary battle. Samma plays country starlet and senator’s girlfriend. But their roots dig through dry dust to tangle in the desert heat.


Even if Ash returns to Florida and Samma says yes to the senator, how will they untangle this time?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn't writing or muddling through some crisis--real or imagined--you'll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband, meddling in her kids' lives. 
Visit her at AnnLeeMiller.com.

MY THOUGHTS -
A huge Bravo to Ann Lee Miller for taking on such a controversial subject! I love books like these, books that make you think, contemplate, challenge your beliefs, and make you put yourself in their place.

It says nothing of this in the book's blurb, but - one of the main characters is struggling with their sexuality and the fact that they may (or may not) be bi-sexual. First off I am a Christian, but- I am not prejudice - at all! So the subject matter of this book did not bother me. But it might bother some people. It is not graphic, and there is no actual sex scenes in the book. It just talks about their feelings. 

Hmmm - the person in the book was struggling because they were a Christian and having Bi-sexual feelings. And they felt they had to live a celibate life and not act on their feeling towards the same sex. Well, I guess it can be done. Even Heterosexual people live celibate lives... well nuns do! I can't imagine living your whole life like that. I can't imagine you'd be happy.
"What he didn't know was whether he had the fortitude to live the rest of his life without sex. Homosexuality felt like a death sentence - death to something that wouldn't die.
'A lot of people live without sex - paraplegics, severe diabetics... my grandma hasn't had sex since Harry Truman was in office." 
There were parts of this book that bothered me - She states that Gay men aren’t known for monogamy (where did that come from?) that's like saying all Christians are monogamous and we know that's not true! and one Gay man being a drag queen (of course he was, aren't they all?) I think it would have been better to have left those parts out.  
The book never really says that counseling can cure being gay, but I felt that it did hint at it - that was just my personal take. I don't believe that any kind of counseling can change the way you are! You can go to counseling to talk about how you feel about being gay and it might make you feel better about it (or not) but it doesn't change the fact of who you are in your heart! Being gay or bi-sexual is not a conscious decision. It's not like - Am I gonna have pizza tonight or not? Going to counseling will not change me from a middle aged woman into a young man, it is who I am. Just like going to counseling will not make you less Homosexual, its who you are and its OK! - climbing down off my soap box now.

All that being said, whew, all in all I did like the book! I liked the story-line. It started out a little slow for me but half way through got much better! Also I liked all the characters but at first had a hard time getting a feel for their personalities. Finally, again, halfway through the personalities started shining.
I actually liked Samma's story better! The thought of her possibly marrying a Senator whom she didn't really love was very unsettling. I felt bad for her and her situation. Sometimes women do things like that because it is expected of them or because its the right thing to do or because its what their parents want for them. They feel pressured into it. I am glad Anne covered all this. I liked the way this turned out. I liked Samma.

If you read this book as a work of fiction - its good. Its not a memoir, its not a Bio and its not non-fiction. A lot of fiction books contain feelings that are not my own and a lot of fiction books contain characters that are outlandish and unreal and even stereotypical. So, as a fiction love story/angsty book - it was good!

Thank you Anne Lee Miller for sending me this book for my honest review!

Get your copy from Amazon - HERE 
 

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