Confession: I am a closet Christian Fiction lover. A lot of people consider this genre to be "fluff" or "feel-good" type books. It may partially be true, but there are some very enjoyable, compelling novels to be found in this mix, and I love it when I stumble across one (or, even better, when one comes to me!). I was so excited to receive a copy of the newly released Still by Eniola Prentice, who recently finished medical school AND published her first novel (wonder woman, perhaps? I can't fathom completing two such awesome accomplishments at the same time!).
When the tag line
of a novel reads, "A broken soul, an alcoholic, a certifiable genius, a
Christian man and a secret that will destroy the bonds of their
friendship"...you can guess that there will be a good plot line with
some great twists!
The summary from the book jacket: When self-proclaimed atheist Fadesola, gets into medical school she believes that it’s a fresh start of sorts for her. Until she discovers her class mate is charming and handsome Tayo Smith, a man she encountered in a violent moment years ago. This revelation shatters Fadesola’s already fragile emotional state but hope comes where she least expects it. A seemingly innocent friendship with Tayo’s friend, Ladi, slowly develops into a smoldering relationship with both afraid to acknowledge their mutual feelings. Things get even more complicated when Nikky, Fadesola’s classmate and friend, ignores her desperate warnings and decides that Tayo is the man she is meant to be with. However, within the complexities of this friendship these flawed individuals will experience God’s redemptive grace in a setting each believed his love would never find them. Still, the first book of a four part series is a coming of age story about navigating through medical school in the first year, complete with hilarious hook ups and breaks ups, legendary parties and incessant studying, and experiencing the triumph of success and disappointment of failure.
There are very few books that I’ve found about medical school that are close to reality (not an over-glamorous "Grey's Anatomy" type novel) . While there are of course differences in every medical school experience, the school-related aspects of Still were comparable to my husband's experiences during his first year of medical school. However, there were quite a few aspects of the novel to which I couldn't relate (aka the party/relationship side of things). I do know there were more than a few medical school relationships that blossomed during orientation and beyond (several of which have culminated in marriage!), so it is not far off base in that arena ;)
I was drawn in quickly to the story line, and found myself thinking about it when I wasn't able to read it, like when I was working on fun projects like washing windows. The characters are well-developed and intriguing, and there is enough mystery to balance out the drama well. There were a few frustrating aspects to a few of the characters, but that is just like real life. The plot was quick moving and the novel was an easy yet interesting read.
The faith component of the book was not as critical as I would have thought it to be, but I'm assuming it will play a larger role in the subsequent installments. I also appreciated the
taste of Nigerian culture that is woven throughout the book. I'll be
the first to admit that I knew nothing about it and it was fun to learn a
bit along the way!
While Still may have not been a very close representation to our personal medical school experience, it was still enjoyable and has left me wanting more! I'm quite excited to read the next book in the series already. If it comes out during Eniola's intern year I will be totally impressed!
To celebrate the release of the novel, there is a three week giveaway of a signed copy of the novel, a $40 dollar Amazon gift card AND a mystery gift! Please enter the giveaway below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the author:
Eniola Prentice was born in Lagos, Nigeria, where she began to pen her
stories as early as nine years old, inspired by an eclectic group of
writers. Her budding writing career was put in the back burner as she
pursued her dream of becoming a medical doctor, completing her
undergraduate degree in Chicago, Illinois and her medical degree in
Washington, DC. However in the third year of medical school inspired by
the holy spirit or the voices in her head (she would prefer to blame God
for this one) and the unique and inspiring stories of friends that
became her family in medical school, she began to write her debut novel
and series, Still. She hopes that her writing compels challenges,
inspires people and draws people to the Christian God’s redeeming love.
Connect with Eniola here: Twitter | Blog | Facebook | Google+ | Get Still here
Many thanks to Eniola for the opportunity to read and review the first of the series Still. Best wishes for a smooth transition to residency and as you continue on in the series!