Today I am joining the blog tour for All Men Love Leah by Ksenija Nikolova. Many thanks Ksenija for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to join the tour.
A gripping, powerful emotional page turner with a heart-breaking twist.
All Enzo wants is a reason to believe it’s all worthwhile. Stuck in a world that doesn’t fulfil him, he meanders through his days feeling empty, lost, and left out of the real world that is moving by without him. He is cynical but gifted, and when he meets the beautiful and enigmatic Leah she turns his universe upside down.
Leah and Enzo are exact opposites, but she is drawn to his darkness just as he is drawn to her light. She is a woman who lives by her own expression and challenges his dismal character down to its most frightening corners, awakening in him something he didn’t know he had the capacity to experience.
But everything is not what it seems. There is a secret that threatens the happiness that Leah represents in Enzo’s life. She is the one who embraces his flaws and uncovers his bravery by teaching him to love, and for the first time in his life he feels like a real man, but in the end, will Enzo survive Leah’s heartbreaking truth?
From reading the blurb and looking at the cover for this book, I was expecting a relatively light read, a sweet romance in the sun. Instead, I found a book that examines how our mental health can affect our entire reality, and that played out like an arty black and white movie in my mind.
I must confess that as I was reading All Men Love Leah, there was a lot that I struggled with, not least Leah’s behaviour with Enzo. He is quite obviously a troubled young man, and at times it felt that Leah treated him unfairly and pushed him too hard to do things he wasn’t comfortable with. Enzo’s transformation from someone who never left his house to someone who was instantly good at everything he tried also didn’t ring true for me, and made him hard to relate to. However, as the story evolved, a lot of the areas I had issues with started to make more sense and became less problematic. The ending really is the saving grace of the book, and I thought the way things finally fell into place was beautiful.
All Men Love Leah is a book with an incredibly clever premise, one that I have never read anything close to before. It had a lot of potential to be an incredibly moving book, and I wonder if some of the depth of emotion that is hinted at was lost in the translation into English. It is a thoughtful and sensitive look at mental health issues, and I hope more of Ksenija’s work is translated into English soon as she clearly has a talent for presenting this subject in new and interesting ways.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ksenija Nikolova is a Macedonian fiction author and she has been writing since she was little. Her books abound with emotions, where characters’ internal lives and battles are deeply described. She uses her voice in her books, to raise mental health awareness and to diminish discrimination and narrow thinking.
She is the author of six books, and “All Men Love Leah” is her first book translated and published in English language. She says she wrote this book in her darkest moments, but also it was this book that brought such light to her life.
To read more about All Men Love Leah, why not check out the other blogs taking part in the tour.