I’ve just read 898 pages of what I can only describe as “phew”!
The book is PMB: What Dreams Are Made Of, the author is Leleti the Author. A few days after my sister and I started the blog, we received a request from Leleti to read her book. We received such a wonderful email from her about this noteworthy achievement of having written a book and I thought, why not? I was skeptical, but thought, why not?
Because I was in the middle of reading a number of other books, I had to wait until I’d cleared the pile enough to get to Leleti’s book. Bear in mind that the book is only available as an ebook so for portability’s sake, I saved it on my phone so that I would be able to read it anywhere. So I read all 898 pages on my cell phone! I’ve never read anything CLOSE to 898 pages so a pat on the back for me (yay!).
Okay, so what’s this amazing book about you ask?
The book explores the lives of numerous characters that make up part of the student body of the PMB campus of University of KwaZulu-Natal. You remember your varsity years right? [Insert moments of reminiscing here …] Well you might see specks of yourself in some of these characters.
Let me introduce Ntombi, Andy, Nomonde, Hlengi, Nomonde, Zee, Mandy, Nathi, Musa, Bro, Skills, Thembi, Yolanda (who is only every mentioned but we never get to meet her) and the many other characters that I came to fall in love with (and some I hated with a passion but loved anyway!). The majority of the characters are “freshers”/first years. They come to university, packed with dreams, energy, ambition and what they hope to achieve in their first semester as students. There’s also returning students who had their own ups and downs the previous year, some wanting to be better people, others wanting to pick up where they left off. It’s a clean slate. Nothing better, right?
Orientation Week happens. Like, LOTS happens. People hook up, people are finding their feet, friendships are formed and enemies are made too. Hold onto your hats. In this review though I’d like to focus on the two characters who stood out most for me and the two characters that I identified with the most. Ntombi and Mandy.
Ntombi is reserved, intelligent, driven but pretty much clueless about the real world. As the semester goes on, she, with no effort on her part, manages to catch the eye and heart of one of the most popular guys on campus. Their romance is an amazing build-up and a subsequent whirlwind romance. Beautiful #BlackLove that’s indescribable. Then one thing leads to another and …
I don’t want to give it away! Just read the book!
Then there’s Mandy who comes to UKZN with dreams of getting rid of her full name “Mandisa” and becoming “Mandy”, the cool, sexy chick that all the guys want. And she quickly becomes known as ‘Rainbow Eyes’ (that always made me chuckle) because of her constant bright eye shadow that she always insists on wearing! She seems to rise up the ranks and she gets the guys, which come with one night stands as well. But was Mandy every ready for the accompanying emotions, bad feelings and lifestyle that comes with being popular? Was she ready for the Mandisa/Mandy transformation? And what happens when the really hot, popular guy that always set your heart aflutter actually likes you back but you can’t do anything about it because way too much has happened?
Mix in alcohol, parties, backstabbing, jealousy, lies, sex, scandal, sugar daddies, university work, friends, enemies and money, and you have … Well, you have everything that would be there in real life. Just because this is a work of fiction, does not make the stories impossible or ‘out there’. The stories in this book are real. People act like the people in the story. People are shady. People are good. People are bad. People are the full spectrum of human emotion and this book was a great reminder of that.
It is way too easy to judge a character in a book because of their sometimes shady decision-making skills. BUT THAT’S YOU TOO. Don’t even try to front! That’s you and it’s me and it’s the author, the guy you sit next to at work, your sibling and an acquaintance. That’s what I was always reminded of in this book. I would get worked up by what a character did then I’d have to cool myself down and remember that they’re only human. We’re all only human. Who was I to judge?
Then I got to the end and I cried. Those silent tears that catch you off guard and leave you feeling wounded, broken and without hope. But I read on and was reminded that there’s always hope. Always. There’s always the triumph of the human spirit. There’s always someone out there who’s a lifeline worth holding onto.
What I took out from the book is that we’re always having to constantly adjust our ideas about ourselves, ideas about what we want, ideas that we may have of other people. That’s the thing about life. Change is the only constant.
So thank you Leleti for such a whirlwind of emotions that spread over 898 pages that I couldn’t put down! I really couldn’t! There’d be nights when my mom had to come into my room and tell me to go to bed while I was busy reading your book!
The ebook is going for R100 and below is a PDF of the author’s details and further information about how to go about purchasing the book.
Find Leleti the Author on the following social media:
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