The Book of Secrets Book Review + Interview With Author

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Today, I have the privilege of featuring M.L. Little and her debut novel, The Book of Secrets on my blog! The Book of Secrets released last August, but I wasn’t able to get my hands on a copy until I won it in a giveaway along with the beautiful bookmark art of Gabriel. ^_^ See picture above.

But anyway, before I get ahead of myself, I will share my review of the book. Fun fact: The Book of Secrets was the first book I read this year!

4/5 Stars

I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this book as much as I did. The beginning was confusing with all these names thrown at me and the world-building was very difficult to get used to as it was a mix of various types of fantasies that I had trouble following. Took me forever to get through the first couple of chapters.

That being said, once past that hurdle, the rest of the book was a breeze. Much like the blurb states, this book is indeed unapologetic. If I had to describe it in a word, it would be blunt. The author does not hesitate to get down to the root core of her characters or her world, and manages to present it in a clear light that the reader can relate to and understand.

I couldn’t stand Ren; I still don’t really care for her, but I liked her character arc in the end. Gabriel seemed much older than he was, which was a bit confusing at first. All in all, the story is very enjoyable and hard to put down once you get into it. Great work!

~~~

Now, as I have to be somewhat acquainted with the author as she is the best friend of one of my best friends, I am pleased to say that I was able to have an interview with her to share with you all!

My questions will be bold and her answers in normal type.

 

1. What inspired you to write Book of Secrets?

So I’d written this piece of crap fantasy awhile back that was 95% overused tropes. The other 5% was really, really weird things that were the result of my suppressed imagination bursting free in small spots. Then like a year later I was working in a library and there was this self-help book called The Book of Secrets and it gave me the idea of what if you found a magic book with that title. So I decided to take the characters out of that awful story and give them a new world and story, and this time I let my imagination go totally free and I did whatever I wanted to do and worried about logic during the editing stage.

 

2. How long have you been writing?

I started writing on March 1, 2006.

 

3. What is a favorite memory of writing Book of Secrets?

I was writing it in the summer of 2017 while working at the library, and my coworker was also writing a story at that time, and we would exchange portions of our manuscripts. That was really fun.

 

4. How did you get published?

Within three months I submitted to 32 publishers and 3 agents and then one of them said yes which honestly came as a total surprise. And I got like seven rejection letters, I think. Two of the letters came after I had signed a publishing contract so that was kind of hilarious. And the rest just ignored me.

 

5. Name one favorite quote.

If I’m angsty I would say, “Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.” Which comes from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a book I read last year. And if I’m not feeling angsty at all, the answer is, “Is it so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun, to have lived light in the spring, to have loved, to have thought, to have done?” I reworded that quote in a way in my unpublished third book. I don’t know who wrote it because it’s just in a book of quotes I possess. And I think those two quotes say the exact same thing but in totally different ways.

 

6. Who are your favorite authors?

Kate Dicamillo has first place in my heart. Neil Gaiman never disappoints. I LOVE anything W. Bruce Cameron writes. I love Shel Silverstein, I love a lot of children’s books authors. Maybe because I talk to a lot of children’s books authors.

 

7. What are your favorite books?

My favorite book is The Everlasting Story of Nory. I love the Harry Potter books (especially four and seven) and Flora & Ulysses. I think everyone should read Cry the Beloved Country. My favorite 2019 release was The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise. I revisit Room and The Help a lot as well as the Little House books, which I grew up with. I love James Herriot when I can’t fall asleep at night. The answer is different depending on the situation and who I’m talking to. Just like how I tell adults my favorite movie is The Florida Project and I tell kids my favorite movie is E.T., and both answers are equally true.

 

And lastly, 8. What is something you would tell your younger writing self?

I would tell my 9 and 10 year old self to keep going and that one day I’d love looking back on these stories. I’d tell my 11 and 12 year old self to tone down the angst. I’d tell my 13 year old self, “Your story is crap,” because I really needed to hear that at that age.

 

Thanks so much again for agreeing to this interview! Links to the author’s social media and Amazon links for the book are below!

 

I hope you enjoyed and feel free to check out the book! It won’t disappoint, I promise!

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