4 out of 4 stars
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The Gym by Lawrence H. Sola is an engrossing and entertaining story of a seriously flawed (yet gifted) man, who is determined to get the next chapter of his life right. This book is a sequel to his first book, The Show. While one may think that this book is another story of finding true love amidst all sorts of wrong women out there, it also focuses on some vital ingredients of life that can enable us to get a grip and enjoy every moment despite the disappointing nature of our everyday life.
After having his career ruined and separating from his wife, Larry (Peter Pan Man) is jaded: he can't help wallowing in his past failures and regrets. He is determined to start a new chapter of life. But then something happens. On one occasion, while visiting a grocery, he bumps into an old man in a red shirt and meticulously neat beard, who hands him a booklet of businesses for sale. As he casually flips through the pages, he notices a beachside fitness club circled in red.
A few months down the line, he purchases the gym. This business opens Peter Pan Man's world; he meets and works with amazing people. Obviously, this is a turning point for his life; however, the drama of his life also doesn't part from him. He has joined a dating site: he is determined to find a true love (one he will be passionate about). Things seem to get worse while juggling between hitting on the woman of his dream and coping with the wicked rumors threatening his business. Will his pixie dust work? Will he find her?
Mr. Sola is a gifted writer with fluid prose and insightful observations using Larry's experiences to tell a magical story about life and love, with a focus on the importance of laughter while wading through this life. He startlingly developed the protagonist, Larry, to be a relatable character, whose personal growth doesn't erase his faults. The earlier chapters of this book present dark moments in Larry's life; he attracts the wrong women from the POF dating site. Despite wasting his time with these women, they left reminiscence that played a significant role in the plot of this book.
Written from the first-person point of view, Mr. Sola hits upon the perfect formula that kept me engrossed with the story while enjoying the sense of involvement in Larry's predicaments. The book is well peppered with enough plot twists and suspense, which will keep you at the edge of your seat. Author Sola's writing style is smart and revitalizing, often comical but just enough to keep you reading. This book is different from other fictional books; the author lets life play out and then writes about his experience using fictionalized characters.
The storyline of this book involves well-developed characters, many of whom you will quickly care about. Allie Valentine (twenty-two-year-old Zumba instructor, also known as Allie Girl) was my most-liked character; she was hard-working and played a significant role in the bloom of Larry's gym business. However, Bob Tillie becomes my least-liked character: he was a professional rumormonger, deeply rooted in envious issues. You can't help but describe him as a terrible pariah.
There is nothing I disliked in this forty-seven-chaptered book. Specifically, my favorite chapters were from chapter twenty-one to chapter twenty-eight; the chapters presented Larry's turning point. My attitude toward the protagonist changed while reading this section. I came to view his past reckless life as meant-to-be events that eventually shaped an adorable character. Mr. Sola flawlessly laces many memorable, timely, and poignant themes (love, jealousy, betrayal, heartbreak, and many more) throughout this book. Potential readers of this book should know that this book involves curse words and explicit erotic content.
Overall, the book was well written and professionally edited; I didn't find even a single error. I can confidently rate The Gym a dazzling 4 out of 4 stars. The storyline was riveting, entertaining, and exceptionally edited; therefore, I couldn't give it a lower rating. I recommend this book to lovers of stories involving suspense and mystery. If you like a good love story, you might enjoy it just as I did.
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