V.E. on March 20, 2018
Lake Girl by Cynthia Kumanchik gets off to a strong start when the protagonist of the story is killed off rather quickly. Lily works at a local place called the Shorebird where locals and tourists alike hang out. Lily has other things than work on her mind though, and goes down to the water to meet someone. Instead of meeting her dream crush of a man, she dies. When she dies, she seems to enter a limbo land, suspended above the day to day action of her town. This is fascinating to watch, and this is how we learn more about her character. This is a YA novel that is effectively written in language that is both down to earth and engaging. Lily is a strongly written character, and her mother Rose, whom Lily has never known, is now looking into her daughter's death. As an investigative reporter she now has a personal connection to the mysteries that are taking place in the lakeside community of Lakeview Shores. Well written with an easy flow and suspenseful story, this novel will please young adult readers with it's good plot and solid characters.
By Katherine York on March 8, 2018
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ditch your identity, and reform yourself into a whole new life, just because you assumed a new identity? A fantasy for many, to be sure, and this exciting novel by Cynthia Kumanchik explains what could happen if such technology really existed. Moving, dramatic, and capable of running chills down your spine with this tale of volunteers for a radical new science of identity engineering. Some found the world of their dreams, some discovered a darker dimension of themselves that they never knew existed, but all of them did what they could to accept and control their new, amazing worlds, and survive. A book that will keep you turning the pages, as it employs a classic literature strategy: what happens next. A definite winner!
Lake Girl is my new YA novel soon to be released in March. Check Amazon for details!
Review: iDENTITY by Cynthia Kumanchik
iDENTITY by Cynthia Kumanchik brings the reader into a future that feels like it could be any town, state, or country around the world. Set around 2040, a time when science can make you whatever you would like to be, iDENTITY follows a group of hand-picked citizens through their journey of becoming their ultimate self with the help of a little green pill and some sketchy scientists, who don’t seem to be telling the whole truth abut the project.
The reader is introduced to a handful of wayward souls early in the book who attend a meeting at Optimal, a company that has promised to change their lives, with unpredictable results. Jasmine/Jaz in particular finds out the hard way just how bad the side effects can be when she fails to maintain her pill regimen. Having morphed from a “homely” young woman into a beautiful well-known model, she finds herself transforming back to her true self while on a photo shoot, and while she is able to get everything under control in time it hits a bit too close to home that underneath it all she really is just that homely young woman essentially playing dress-up with the help of science.
Further into the story, as we continue following Jaz and the other characters, we see things start to unravel. Ex’s and old relatives clamor for attention, old friends put new relationships in jeopardy. Transformations start to take drastic and unwanted turns. It seems like the perfect life is falling apart for the participants that attended the meeting at Optimal, and it’s only a matter of time before they realize what they’ve gotten themselves into.
The premise of the novel is phenomenal, and wholly thought-provoking. It makes the reader continually think about going through this kind of life-changing transformation just by taking a pill. Is it cheating, and will it change the true nature of the self? Is it worth the possible consequences? These are questions that the characters ask themselves, and for some the answers are unclear.
While the characters are well-developed and interesting, iDENTITY is structured in such a way that it can be hard to follow at times. Within each section of the book there are multiple characters being followed along their journey, and it can be difficult to keep them straight at any given time. Once the characters have obtained their new identities, many of the characters choose to change their names, which adds another layer of confusion to who is who in the storyline.
The electric premise of iDENTITY makes up for these faults, and keeps you turning the pages, though most certainly it could use some work to clear up these issues to make the novel everything it could be. The book poses such interesting scenarios for each character that you struggle through these problems to see what happens next. With an ending that leaves you wanting more, iDENTITY will have readers eagerly wanting to find out what happens to the group, and how they reconcile their old lives and “ultimate selves.”
Overall, iDENTITY is an entertaining novel filled with romance, science, and suspense, while posing some fascinating questions about the nature of identity. This is a novel to check out for the premise alone, and Cynthia Kumanchik is definitely an author to keep an eye on.
Four women's low self-esteem and poor self-images motivate them to try a life-altering experiment conducted from a secret lab hidden in a futuristic plastic forest, in the spellbinding dystopian novel, iDENTITY by Cynthia Kumanchik. It is almost halfway through the twenty-first century, and privacy is a thing belonging to another era. Nothing about anyone is secret, and life decisions are crucial. With everyone watching and where nothing is hidden, it is almost impossible to overcome personal mistakes and have second chances. Every nuance of every person's life is open to the government and public eyes. After experiencing traumatic blows to their subsistence and self-worth, and believing they have no hope of redefining their lives, Maggie, Jasmine, Lena, and Sydney answer an advertisement that promises to help them transform their identities. They are assured the life they desire is in a little green pill, but what are the drawbacks that come with this magical elixir? Are the answers hidden away in the dark and dank depths of the basement below the laboratory?
iDENTITY by Cynthia Kumanchik is an exciting, brilliant and fascinating women's novel taking place in the next couple of decades. From the beginning, I was impressed by how close the era setting is to present day occurrences and how the scenario portrayed is very possible. It has a captivating storyline and strong plot, which keep the reader involved with the characters. I was enamored with each of the main characters and intrigued with their plights. I was immersed in all four women's lives from the start and eagerly anticipated their metamorphosis. Although the book is separated into each character's point of view, it flows well and never loses momentum. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I highly recommend this unforgettable futuristic novel. It will delight both those who love dystopian books and those who admire women who leave the role of victim behind.
Reviewed By Viga Boland for Readers’ Favorite
Take some Stephen King horror, add a dose of dystopia, toss in a generous amount of science fiction, mix in some fantasy and you have an appetizing bedtime reading snack created by Cynthia titled iDENTITY. Let your imagination soar to a future world, 2040 to be exact, where transporters ferry you over city rooftops in a heartbeat, where you shoot past Mars via a galactic “worm-hole” to a beautiful Hawaii-like planet in just 48 hours, and where by simply taking a regular round of little green pills, you can change your Identity. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Not!
Four young women respond to an enticing hologram that promises them “instant fame without the pain”. Who wouldn’t be intrigued, especially when your life is on a downward spiral or has already hit rock bottom? After each signs on the dotted line, and takes her first green pill, everything about her and her life changes within a few hours. Jaz is transformed into a dazzling beauty who becomes the face of space travel; Maggie’s dreams of being a top author come true in no time; Sydney is the darling of the casinos, winning huge with every pull of the lever, and Lena rockets to the top of her industry, resuming her rightful position in financial management. And as long as these four lucky women keep taking their pills, the world is their oyster. But of course, no good horror story would be complete without a mad doctor who has had to experiment on willing subjects like these women to perfect his formulae. The unfortunate early recipients of what was initially a liquid green serum are now drowning in it as their bodies mutate into hideously deformed beasts. Will this happen eventually to our four lucky ladies? You will have to read Identity to find out!
Cynthia is an imaginative and clever writer who is obviously enjoying herself as she creates this story. She moves the story forward by skillfully switching between each of the four women. Readers are never lost, despite a rather involved plot and a large cast of characters. To her further credit, while Identity is primarily a fantasy, people do come across as very real. Readers are touched by their struggles and joys, and share their hopes that their lives will forever be better than they were. Indeed, who of us hasn’t sometimes wished that we could just take a pill or win a lottery and all our troubles would be over? So, let yourself indulge in the tasty blend of genres you’ll find in Identity. You, too, deserve a break today!
ByRêvvâ Tênâgon October 7, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
A great easy read. I couldn't put it down. I definitely recommend this book! It's not often you find a book that continuously holds your interest. I voluntarily read an adv. reading copy.
By BobTon October 17, 2017
What a great idea! A little green pill that takes away everything loathsome in your life and replaces it with everything your dreams want you to be. All you have to do is volunteer - and that’s what the author’s four main women characters do. It works for them. They leave behind their old unhappy states and – fuelled by green-pills – achieve exactly what they want: fame, for one; beauty for another; wealth for the third; and revenge for the last. You just know it can’t be that easy. After all, they are not alone. Other people start throwing up problems, some maliciously. What should be a road to paradise become increasingly tainted and the foursome find themselves far less free than they had imagined. An evil influence is at work. Someone with a frightening agenda who wants everything their own way no matter whose life gets destroyed in the process.
The story dips into the lives of the four women as they achieve their dreams. It gives us a peep into their fears and determination – and, for one at least, it also shows selfish ruthlessness.
In the context of an unnervingly realistic future world, privacy is non-existent and system abuses inevitable. This all feeds into a heady mix that is bound to explode. When it does, some die and some disappear. That should be the end, but the author hasn’t quite finished. The evil ‘someone’ powerfully survives and they know all about the four women.
This is an imaginative book that makes intriguing reading. Thoroughly recommended