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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Against All Odds by Aliaa El Nashar (INTERVIEW+ GIVEAWAY+ REVIEW)

The Story revolves around:

-A boy called Damien who seems to have it all. He's rich, good-looking and athletic. He's also arrogant, obnoxious and a major player. Damien is one of 5 children who seem to not get along, until one day Damien meets Alexis and his life is turned inside out.

-A girl called Alexis who has trust issues due to her parents. Her best friends mean the world to her, and she refuses to date anyone that doesn't fit completely in her 'Perfect Guy' list.

They're thrown together a lot and start to face inner demons they've hidden away for so long

I wasn't to sure about this book when I started it, the main issue right off the bat was that there seemed to be some sort of format error and grammatical error's that kept me from really sinking into the tale.
So, as I floated along through the story, I found myself slowly starting to enjoy watching a love story unfold through the eyes of a guy. It is so often we are going through the motions of some great love unfold through the pages in the eyes of a woman, but this was a refreshing change as a self proclaimed player suddenly finds himself at a loss.
When a love came out of no where and soccer punched him, he finds himself reeling and unable to find a steady ground to stand up on. Alexis rocks his world from the beginning.
I like that she stuck to what she believed in, that she didn't just give it away, she made the guy work for it.

I wasn't a fan of how relationships started popping out of nowhere, to the point it seemed like everyone was evenly matched.
But still I enjoyed the book.
4 Raven's
About the Author:

My name is Aliaa El- Nashar. I am a 20 year old Egyptian girl living in Cairo. I am currently majoring in Italian at university after having fallen in love with languages at such a young age. My life revolves around reading, writing and drawing. I occasionally collect postcards and teach Arabic to whoever would like to learn it. I own an adorable cat and share an apartment with my sister in the city. I am prone to rash and spontaneous decisions. I've just gotten published last year and hope to publish more work in the future.

Oh, and I am in love with the Sphinx.


1. What is your checklist for your perfect mate?
That would probably be something like Alexis' I guess. Though he also has to be able to speak more than one language. I am obsessed with them and can barely converse in just one without switching around, so I'd want him to get me without me having to explain what I mean.

2. If someone you loved and were close to died in the family, how would you take it?
I don't know to be honest. I am known in my family as awkward with my emotions, which makes me end up saying the wrong things. When we heard my cousin was really sick my sister told me word for word what to say to him, it sounded rehearsed. When a friend told me she failed the year I accidentally congratulated her. When another friend heard someone had stolen her paper, I was grinning at the absurdity of someone doing such a thing, but it might have given the wrong impression. And 10 years ago when my grandmother died, I couldn't cry, I guess because I didn't know her well enough since we lived in different countries and only met on holidays. But for some reason I cry when I watch ridiculously sappy movies or read an emotional book. So I really have no idea.

3. How does it feel to have a finished work at such a young age?
It feels surreal. I mean, I am always writing or coming up with new ideas, the stories are complete in my head. But, in real life, I never really see any of them through. To have actually finished one feels like a great accomplishment. I can't believe I'd actually managed it!

4. Which of your charachter's do you relate to the most?
I can relate the most to Alexis. She's very friendly and would go through hoops for her friends, but when it comes to romance she's so guarded, I feel the same. I love to draw, and at the time was a huge fan of volleyball, but I haven't played it in years now. I've also always wanted an older brother figure. I grew up with two sisters and years later my brother was born, so it's not like he's the protective 'Edmund' kind of brother

5. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be and why?
 I am not sure there's anything I'd change. My life isn't perfect, neither is my family. I guess I'd love to have gone to a different university, but it all adds up somehow. Yet, everything happens for a reason, and one day it will make sense why, even if it's not clear now. So all I can do is hope for the best.

6. Do you have a favorite sport?
Well, I am not the athletic kind but I have a huge thing for ice-skating. I am not any good at it, I just wonder around, skating on ice. The icy winds and the rush of it all is fascinating. The going to the rink was some sort of hang out with some friends, and also became a family tradition in Eid times. Maybe it's the fact that I've lived in desert countries all my life? It's the closest I got to ice-cold weathers and I loved it.
7. What do you do for writer's block?
Oh, I just had a guest post regarding this! I try to be imaginative and creative. I mean, I am never out of ideas, but sometimes I am just out of the incentive to just write in general. So I form a challenge, like, asking people to give me a random word for me to write a short story on. The harder the word, the better. A friend had given me 'Solipsism' and it was an interesting challenge to write a short story on it!

8. Which language is your favorite?
Language huh? Well that's a tough one. Each language has a specific charm. French sounds so elegant, Italian sounds so romantic, Japanese is fascinating, Arabic is so mysterious, and English is… well easy. I use it the most, when I write, read, think and talk. Sometimes my head feels like it's about to explode with those four languages, but more often than not it's great being able to understand people in their native tongues.
9. What do you do in your free time?
What a lot of people claim they like about me is that I always have something to do in my free time, which is great since I'm never bored - just lazy. I love to read, write and draw mainly. But sometimes I come up with crazy things like teaching Arabic to foreigners, or postcrossing and penpalling, or knitting, or going touring around Cairo. Sometimes I even like to cook and strike random conversations with people online, as well as learn more languages.

10. Any last words you would like to leave with our readers?My last words would be: normal is subjective. Many people claim I'm not normal, but what makes them decide the exact definition of the word? So what if I don't fit in that category? I hate being a grey spot in a society where everything is grey and goes in a specific pattern. I'd like to be the odd bright blue spot there making a difference, maybe add a little color to the whole mix, so you should too! See what makes you unique and go through with it. None of my characters are conventionally normal, and I like it that way. Plus, I am convinced it's much more fun to be considered weird anyway!
I really hope you enjoy the book, and I look forward to writing more stories for each Martinez family member.


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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of numerous Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by the Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*