Melissa, a shy teenage girl, feels lost in a transnational high society world that drives her to the depths of despair. But her attraction to the very human Kasho, who has snippets of philosophy to impart, eventually enables her to develop her own strengths. But Kasho doesn't dwell physically on Earth. Melissa's realistic story traverses class, gender, and power dynamics. She is expected to walk, or is bullied into walking, a certain path required of her class, including marrying a certain man. It's only when she connects with Kasho, a native man whose values are in-line with hers, that she finds a kindred spirit who truly sees her. In an age of bullying and teen suicide, the resonating lesson throughout the story is "There is always a way of making your life better." But how will she and her best friend, Daisy, find it?
It is 1958 and Melissa is in Florence, Italy at a finishing school. We follow along as she navigates school but also as she remembers her parents and their brutality. Her parents believed they were high class and trying to mold Melissa into the perfect high class girl. The problem is Melissa is too much of a free spirit and individual. Of course this behavior is not acceptable so her parents abuse and terrorize her to follow their direction.
They finally have enough and decide to ship her off to a finishing school. There she meets Kasho, a spirit that she has a connection with. Kasho gives Melissa the love she longs for and helps encourage her to be herself. He also helps her create a friendship with Daisy. But no matter how happy Melissa is, her parents decide to send a suitor to Florence. The plan is for him to seduce Melissa and bring her back to the high society that she has escaped.
This is a wonderful story. Melissa has been terrorized by her delusional parents for so many years. As a kid, she had her brother Kim for a short while to help her deal with their mother. But he disappears to school never to return. Melissa is not alone, she does find Kasho, a spirit that has a connection to her. He is a spirit guide that helps her grow into a strong woman. And when things get very tough, he even stands up to shake some sense into her.
This story is touching, sad, and inspirational at the same time. Melissa has risen from the destruction of her parents to find herself just to be trapped by them once again. But thankfully she has someone to help her break free to become everything she desires. It’s a wonderful story that is not one I would normal pick but is a great read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Outstanding book. Despite a historical (1959) setting, this book speaks to young women of today with topics ranging from classism, parental abuse, sexual abuse, rape, suicide, and ultimately a young woman's spiritual and personal growth. It's all set in a fabulous story replete with a ghostly spirit in the form of Kasho, an indigenous man who crosses time and space to love and aid Melissa. Friendship, faith and that touch of paranormal romance, taking place in a private finishing school in Florence. It stands at number 1 (and has done for a month) at https://fupping.com/natty/2018/06/16/...
I was offered a copy of this book to review on my book blog and whilst it is not a book I would normally choose – science fiction fantasy. However, I was intrigued by the blurb and I found this to be an inspirational story for young adult readers.
The author, Camilla Chance, has created a story with a strong message. The writing is creative, realistic and expressive with memorable characters.
The book is set during the late 1950s and is a moving coming-of-age story which remains relevant in today’s world.
There are a wide range of topics covered including friendship, abuse, suicide, spiritual and personal growth.
Thank you to Camilla Chance and Sherri Rosen for the opportunity to read and review this book. This review is my own opinion.
I was happy to receive an ARC of Melissa and Kasha for review purposes and found author Camilla Chance to be a very talented and gifted writer. Her style of writing was compelling and while I am not usually a fantasy genre reader I found myself enjoying this novel with each page.
The theme throughout was a strong message for women and young women alike and could be quite an encouraging book to be gifted to a young woman. Melissa and Kasho find one another to be soulmates and the message is loud and clear throughout the novel --there is always a way to make your life better.
Author Camilla Chance has a great story to tell and her story in this book is one that is of encouragement and belief in oneself. I can not think of a better message for anyone to embrace in these days.
I would like to thank Booksprout, the author, and Austin Macauley Publishers LLC for allowing me to read this book.
I was immediately drawn to the beautiful cover of the book, which features Melissa and her best friend Daisy on the back.
It features the shy young teenage Melissa who feels lost in the world of high society. She is swimming in despair. She is attracted by a human: Kasho who wants to transmit one of her passions : philosophy. But there's a snag, he doesn't quite live on Earth. It is only once their love is bound that he will see in her as in an open book who she really is. Melissa and her best friend Daisy will try to find him.
A book read in one go, so much so that I immediately hooked on the story, so moving in some passages, captivating, addictive, full of suspense and twists and turns with endearing characters.
I love this book! A vivid and moving coming-of-age story that takes place in the 1950’s but is still very relevant today. Sent to a finishing school in Florence, Italy, by her controlling parents, Melissa connects with the spirit Kasho who helps guide her to new possibilities in life and friendship. The characters are memorable, the storytelling expressive and compelling. A great read for young girls and their parents. I was routing for Melissa all the way.
Not a fan of science fiction or fantasy, I was a little uncertain how I would get on when invited to read and review this book. I should not have woried unduly. Melissa & Kasha proved a compelling read, encompassing the full gamut of emotions, as well as a range of complex issues with which young, as well as the not so young, may have to grapple. The writing is vivid, descriptive and very imaginative. One is soon caught up in the journey of awakening of the sensitive soul portrayed by Melissa. As I said, not a book I would have chosen for myself, but I am sure it will appeal to youngsters and some adults who enjoy this genre.
Camilla Chance is an excellent storyteller writing with a uniquely vivid and creative touch. Melissa and Kasho is a science fiction fantasy that will draw you into a world unlike any other where the feeling that someone is watching you and mystery surrounds every corner. An interesting plot that weaves hidden issues and real life issues into a story that is sure to leave a mark. Overall, this is not a book that I would have chosen for myself and it did not disappoint.
I love this book. It all works. The writing, the characters and fascinating story line. It's a moving and riveting novel
Melissa and Kasho takes place in 1958 in Australia and Florence, Italy. Melissa is the daughter of Australian parents who abuse her emotionally and physically in their effort to break her enlightened spirit and mold her in the starched image of an arrogant, privileged daughter of the ruling class. Thinking to complete her education, they send her to a finishing school in Florence, Italy. At first, she feels alone and an outcast, but then she meets Kasho, a wise spirit whom she loved before birth when they were both in the spirit world.
Kasho's wisdom and zaniness as she travels with him in spiritual space, give her the joy and love she never had and prepare her for a deep friendship with Daisy, an American songwriter she meets in Florence. The girls become instant friends. Daisy opens new worlds for Melissa, but this longed-for friendship is challenged mightily when Melissa’s parents send a suitor to Florence to seduce Melissa and bring her back into the fold. Her will is weakened to the point where Kasho, her teacher in spirit, must intervene energetically.
This moving and riveting novel takes Melissa as well as the reader on a journey into the many kinds of love the strengthen the human spirit. But are these loves powerful enough to allow Melissa to defy her upbringing, heal her break with Daisy, and take her life into her own hands?
I’m a BIG fan of Camilla Chance’s first book, Wisdom Man and was very eager to read her new book, Melissa and Kasho. Although the earlier one is a biographical memoir and this is a young adult fantasy “coming of age” story, set in the 1950’s, I wasn’t disappointed.
This sensitive, deeply spiritual (but not preachy) novel shows the power of parents to crush a child’s creativity, hopes and dreams. We watch teen-aged Melissa, traumatized by years of neglect, abuse, power, control and oppressive class prejudice, struggle with the death of her beloved brother, isolated, away from home, lonely, and vulnerable. Although eager to break free from family beliefs and restrictions, she doesn’t have an easy time. We watch her navigate a life of continued bullying, sexual harassment and even rape. While her situation is potentially bleak, all of these themes are handled gently, with compassion and empathy as we watch her learn to trust her intuition, and not let others tell her what to do as she breaks free from the constraints that have bound her to an untenable home life, seek new adventure and relationships, figure out who she really is—and what she’s going to become.
In this book, we come to think deeply about the redeeming power of love vs. the pull of the familiar and the safety of what’s known, no matter how soul-destroying and abusive.
I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of Camilla Chance's new novel, “Melissa and Kasho”. Clearly the story's mind-expanding message is from and for women...especially ones moving into relationships. They, more than males, suffer in the dark world of predatory abuse.
The possibilities demonstrated in reading Melissa and Kasho not only suggest that we’re not alone but even more that other beings in “other” places may well be watching over us.
Without a hint of doctrine or dogma, and in the style of an excellent story teller, Camilla Chance weaves the supernatural into a story that, in my mind, probably happens…or is regularly happening. Whether or not the reader has experienced child abuse or, far worse, the horrors of pedophelia, it’s a fascinating read to see how one young woman came out of that environment and into a world of love rather than fear.
Better yet was reading about the more eternal nature of life that Melissa experienced by actually meeting a non-physical being with whom she was already (and will continue to be) connected. Here’s a fun course in mysticism in everyday life with a promise that made the reading all the more worthwhile.
I was one of the ones who received an advanced copy of the book.
I'm going to be brutally honest here. There was a couple of times when I found myself struggling with the flow of the book (which can be expected of any author now and again) but I found it well worth it to persevere and sometimes have to go back and re-read it all together again to figure out how it got to where it was going. I found it to be a rather enjoyable experience.
It brings up some brand new concepts about soulmates and such that I had never considered before and found it to be a beautiful concept. It brought out a desire to be a better person in myself.
I think anyone can find themselves re-reading this book on a chilly, rainy day by the windowsill.
This book won't be everyone's cup of tea I'm sure but it's very definitely mine! It's a beautiful story that is part sci-fi, part fantasy, part coming of age story that imparts mindfulness wisdom for us to take on board, not just for us as humans but in respect of other living beings and our planet. It is simply written without being in any way condescending.
The characters are each, in their own way, simply fabulous - even those who depict the deeper of the lessons that are taught throughout. All are relatable and all interweave within the whole easily to give us an image that stays with us long after we turn the last page.
This is definitely a book I most heartily recommend to everyone.
It was a neat idea of mixing historical fiction and science fiction together. The execution didn’t seem to live up to it’s potential. The friendship developed between Melissa and Daisy seemed a bit rushed or unrealistic to go from strangers to sisters almost immediately. Maybe a sequel where it addresses Kasho’s escape from capture or with Kim’s help will make a good follow-up story?