The Legendary Shiver by J.H. MacAL + Author Q&A

*The author of this book reached out to me on Instagram to let me know about his book and asked me to check out the reviews and see if I would be interested in reading and reviewing it. This book has a 3.98 rating on Goodreads and a 4 star rating on Amazon. I decided that it sounded like an interesting story and I always try to promote indie authors so I did purchase this book with my own money and read it. While the author did reach out to let me know about this book my opinions are my own and 100% authentic.

Publication Date: April 14, 2020

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 219

Genre: Adult Contemporary

Rating: 3.5/5

Why is society obsessed with the rise and fall of celebrities?

Before Ruby became Shiver Magnata, she was just a tormented girl hoping superstardom would numb her pain.

Will, her best friend, has always been her rock. What she doesn’t know is he’s in love with her. And like Ruby, he craves success, but in hopes that it’ll make him worthy of her.

Why is society obsessed with the rise and fall of celebrities?

Before Ruby became Shiver Magnata, she was just a tormented girl hoping superstardom would numb her pain.

Will, her best friend, has always been her rock. What she doesn’t know is he’s in love with her. And like Ruby, he craves success, but in hopes that it’ll make him worthy of her.

In New York, they journey through the treacherous music industry. As Ruby rises to fame, they find themselves surrounded by scandals and shady icons. And when she has to battle her demons under the spotlight, what began as a dream-come-true becomes a dangerous trial to their friendship that raises the questions: how far is one willing to go to protect a friend? What if such friend commits an act that can end up with her incarceration? Finally, how do you find the power to tell someone you feel undeserving of that you love her?

Buy Links

Amazon

Goodreads

Review

This is beautifully written debut novel about two best friends who are trying to navigate the world of celebrity together while also dancing around their feelings for each other. This book turns the drama dial up to 10 and even when you start to think things are predictable you will find the rug swept out from under you. Ruby is someone that is easy to root for and her success and ups and downs of celebrity felt very realistic. It was a little harder to get a handle on Will because even though the book is told entirely from his perspective, his whole world is consumed with Ruby. Once we get to see more of Will and the journey he is on I was more connected to him. Will and Ruby have one of the most frustratingly slow burn romances that I have ever read. It makes sense why everything between them moves at glacier speed and the pay off when they started to confront their feelings had me at the edge of my seat. MacAL did a great job of making this world he created come to life in such a believable way. This book does suffer from some pacing issues, mainly towards the beginning of the story, and it felt at times like we were watching so much fast forward and then we would pause and get reacquainted with the characters. It was easy, though, to get lost into what was happening and I really appreciated all the unexpected turns this book took. There are also a few instances where there were noticeable grammar mistakes but for me that didn’t take away from the story. If you love stories that really delve into the behind the scenes of celebrity then I think you will really like this book. I got a lot of strong The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo vibes from this story so if you loved that book then I think you will also be enthralled with Ruby’s story.

Trigger Warnings: drug & alcohol abuse, depression and sexual assault

Author Q&A

1. How did you come up with the concept for The Legendary Shiver? I have always loved the entertainment industry, having fallen in love with female pop
singers as a teenager. I have deep knowledge of it because I have been studying it for fun for years. Fun fact: When I moved to NYC to get a master of laws degree, I chose to study Intellectual Property, which encompasses entertainment law and is basically known as the
law of the arts. Anyways, I have always known I would write about a female singer and pop music. To be honest, I think I will write more books about singers in the future.

2. Are any of the characters based on people that you know? The four main characters (Will, Ruby, Keysha and John) are actually based on me. Will is me growing up insecure and becoming a confident man. Ruby represents my mental health, Keysha is how I behave in society and with my friends, John is the representation of my sexuality. Most of their personalities are for sure taken from my friends also, but I cannot pinpoint it exactly.


3. I think this book would make a great movie or tv series, what would your dream cast be? I would love for that to happen. Please, Universe, make it happen. But I do not know, I guess I would prefer a newcomer to portray Ruby. I can’t say there’s anyone I actually see as her.


4. Can you talk a little about your writing process? Did you outline the whole story first or did you just let the story come to you while writing? This book I decided to write without an outline, just knowing where I was heading. I knew the end, and I knew some key-scenes, but the rest I just let come to me. Which was great and so much fun. There are some surprisingly great scenes that came to me just as I was writing it. I think those are the best. (However, the last chapter was my favorite to write, given that I had spent the whole book craving to write it).


5. What are you currently working on?  I am working on promoting this book like crazy! It takes a lot of time, but I am also writing my next book.

J.H. MacAL Instagram

~Cassie

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I'm a SAHM of three boys. I was lucky enough to marry my best friend who is totally ok with my book hoarding tendencies. I have been a lover of books my whole life and it has been such a blessing to be able to share that love with my kids.

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