Monday, July 18, 2016

Sharing is Caring - Books: "First Position" by Melissa Brayden

First PositionFirst Position by Melissa Brayden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before getting into the nitty gritty of this review where I tell you all how amazing it was, I wanted to say that I actually got the insanely awesome pleasure of being able to sit down with the extraordinary Melissa Brayden herself, and though I was secretly telling myself consistently to "be cool" (and the verdict is still out on whether I succeeded or not)

Be Cool

... I can walk away saying that Ms. Brayden is simply amazing in person, end of story.

Which brings me to the point of saying, once again, that anything Melissa Brayden writes is simply amazing as well, end of story.

The love story Brayden has crafted between outgoing and enthusiastic Natalie Frederico (which is SUCH a fun name to say!) and level-headed, no-nonsense Anastasia (Ana) Mikhelson is art all on it's own...and not just because it is a book about dance! Art can be crafted in such meticulous ways, but Brayden has found a realm where, as a reader, you don't even realize how amazing the story is that is being presented to you because of the flawless effort that flows and snakes and weaves its way in and around you and your psyche while reading. These books, many of which (in my experience) have been penned by Brayden, are escapes and outlets all on their own that fulfill such a deep need for so many. And it is all in the name of literary art. First Position does just that.

First Position is another piece of Les Fic gold. Yet, it is very different than the usual fare we are presented with from Brayden. While reading, I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was that had this story stampeding in and out of my brain both while I was reading, as well as the times in between my reading sessions. For some reason, this book made me THINK. Please don't take that as meaning that Brayden's other novels left my mind searching for sustenance. This is not the case. But the levels that were presented with this novel - the deep-dives into emotions and relationships, interactions with the world around us, perspectives both internally and externally for the soul, and so much more - made this novel take up residence right in the center of my normal, everyday thought process and spend more time reflecting on this novel, its characters, and its subject matter, more than I have for any others in 2016.

So what's the big difference in this novel compared to Brayden's others? Well, as many reviews have already stated, there is one addition within these pages that we have not yet seen often from her previous novels.


In addition, there was more a slow-burn to the two characters and their developing relationship. This definitely added to the angst level, but made the encounters between them leading up to the "big moment" all the more sizzling and tantalizing for the reader. I completely endorse the Brayden Slow-Burn, and hope to see it again in future novels.

This review is minimal compared to others that I've written, but it is for a reason. You don't need a review to tell you this book is amazing. Incredible. Riveting.
The fact is, First Position is fantastic, and you should read it.

End of story.

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