Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Mud Lilies, by Indra Ramayan {ends 7/5}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

I knew a lot of dead girls. That was the cost of my profession. I’d tried to convince myself that Perry’s boyfriend had killed her. It was easier to accept that than it was to believe that there was a psycho actively hunting us. I could put her death in a container and go about my business without fearing every man who approached me. It helped to ease the feeling in my gut that I was always just a second away from being strangled and left by a garbage bin.

I’d met the first of the three dead girls a few days before her murder. A trick had just dropped me off in an alley where she was screaming at a guy in an old Malibu. Turns out, he was her scrawny pimp harassing her for cash. Her real name was Jamie, but I named her You Do the Math.

“I don’t know why it’s so hard to make any cash tonight! Look around!” she’d screamed as she spun around a couple of times with her palms to the sky. “Hmm, ten girls, one car! You do the math!” 

Chanie had little choice in the life she was living, and frequently wanted out. But she accidentally found her way into a program intended to help her make a life worth living.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Mud Lilies, by Indra Ramayan {ends 7/5}
The night fourteen-year-old Chanie Nyrider ran away from her abusive parents, she was saved by an older woman who, after building a friendship with the teen, offers her a new life working as a prostitute. With nowhere to turn, Chanie is drawn into Edmonton’s dark underbelly, where she survives until arrested four years later. At this time she is given two options: jail or a high school equivalency program for troubled youth.

Reluctantly, Chanie agrees to attend the program — but only so she can maintain her freedom and get to know her new love interest, Blue. As she begins to make strides in the program and meets friends who share similar circumstances, her home life, such as it is, deteriorates. Blue becomes unstable, deceitful, and eventually violent. He puts himself between her and her new friends, between her and the promise of a new and better life.

This story felt unique. It wasn’t the story of Chanie’s end of a typical teen-age life (although the history is eventually shared). It’s the story of Chanie’s eventual chance at salvation. She’s a hooker, and doesn’t expect anything different from life. It’s never a question of who deserves what, or if life is fair; it’s just survival, and the life Chanie knows. 

Maybe even more than the life on the streets, this story really illustrates the challenges to getting out. How can a girl who is told she is owned by others find time to study, or uphold a promise to the program to not work as a hooker anymore, or drink, or use drugs? Is any of this a reasonable expectation if that’s all someone knows?

The book told Chanie’s story so powerfully, and probably the story of other women existing on the streets of Edmonton or any other major city. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. I cried along with Chanie and her friends and wanted to reach out and make it all better. The characters were so touching and felt so real. I’d recommend this book for readers who enjoy true struggles for their beloved characters.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley is a Gemini who would love to have a super-power ability to fix the world. You can find her @poshbecki on Instagram.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a copy of Mud Lilies!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Tuesday, July 5th, at 11:59pm ET, and winner will be notified via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or another winner will be chosen.

This one is open to both U.S. and Canadian residents!

Good luck!

Mud Lilies, by Indra Ramayan

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