Not all love triangles end with choosing just one side…
For seventeen-year-old Miho, the long war with her own mind is becoming too much to bear. Between the unending nightmares, PTSD, depression, and isolation, the mental skirmishes never end. Those sweet whispers of the dark wisps promise freedom from the pain, and it’s getting harder to say no.
When she witnesses a tragic accident, she catches the interest of her classmates Taka and Shinji, two boys with reputations for being casual playboys. But they let Miho see what no one else bothers to notice, like the regular abuse Shinji hides behind a sweet smile and easy-going laugh and Taka’s barely leashed rage and frustration over his inability to protect his best friend or even control his own destiny.
What starts as a hesitant friendship becomes a deep connection the three can’t ignore, but do they dare dream of happiness when the world around them seems bent on destroying them?
Deviations is an upper YA romance that includes a positive exploration of alternative relationships and a realistic portrayal of abuse and teens battling mental health issues.
Plot: Solid plotting and pacing. Natsu upturns notions about romantic love triangles.
Prose: Natsu offers consistent and solid narration with prose that works primarily in service of the storyline, and which includes explicit sex that may not be suitable for YA readers.
Originality: Natsu puts a novel spin on the love triangle narrative, creating a loving, equally affirming relationship shared between three individuals and in an international setting.
Characterization: Natsu's characters are defined by their individual circumstances, namely the traumas that Miho, who has scars from an accident, and Shinji, who is being abused by his parents, bring to the story. The sexual and romantic relationship of the three represents the apex of their individual development, allowing them to be fully themselves while being equal players in their unique relationship.
Blurb: Natsu's second novel in the Hakodate Hearts series offers a sincere portrayal of a complicated young love that perseveres despite defying the conventions of Japanese society and family expectations.
Date Submitted: April 06, 2017
"Deviations was a powerful and compelling story that dealt with real issues like high school bullying, mental health issues, physical and emotional abuse. The author handled this very unconventional triad relationship with such grace."
"Ms. Natsu does a terrific job of interweaving a story that is tragic and heartbreaking but brings three people together as they learn to love each other and find happiness..."
"Anma Natsu's writing is both poetic and relatable, and she is able to articulate some extremely serious issues and tragic situations quite eloquently."
Deviations is now available in hardback! This new edition features a case laminate cover, slightly larger type face, and a larger 6"x9" trim size.