Official Review: Melissa & Kasho by Camilla Chance

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katiesquilts
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Official Review: Melissa & Kasho by Camilla Chance

Post by katiesquilts » 12 Dec 2018, 23:57

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Melissa & Kasho" by Camilla Chance.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Melissa & Kasho was written by author Camilla Chance. It is the late 1950s and Melissa is attending a finishing school in Italy, far away from her home in Australia. Even though she belongs to the upper class and has been raised to act as such, Melissa finds herself suffering under her parents' iron thumbs, forced to hide her weaknesses and unable to stretch herself to fit their mold. For the first time in her life, as she walks the streets of Italy alone, she finds herself able to make her own decisions with no one watching over her shoulder to scorn them.

Although she sometimes finds it hard to get along with the other high society girls in her classes, Melissa befriends an American girl named Daisy whose thoughts and very soul seem to resonate with Melissa's own. Daisy is certain that Melissa is meant to do great things, to bring peace to the world through her calling, but Melissa knows that at the end of the school year, she'll be forced to return to Australia and her awaiting cage, as well as a potential arranged marriage. What complicates things even further is her meeting with a man named Kasho -- a man who does not even exist on Earth, at least not physically. Kasho imparts his wisdom to Melissa through shared thoughts and out of body experiences. With his help, Melissa prepares to face her parents' expectations and pave her own path in the world.

Despite the title, this book deals with Melissa's other relationships more than it does her relationship with Kasho. They are made to be together, so there is little drama or growth in their storyline. He is simultaneously her guardian angel, father figure, and greatest love. However, the conversations Melissa has with him help to shape her decisions and the novel's overall plot.

I felt that this book had a lot of potential, especially in the first half of the book when the author was busy describing Melissa's background and how she had arrived at that point in her life. I was horrified by the way her parents treated her and amazed by how some of the characters around her acted, so I was quickly sucked into the book's worldview. However, once Kasho was introduced, I started questioning things. I had a hard time accepting their methods of communication, as well as the fact that he was, essentially, an alien. Kasho would start to explain their relationship, but usually sidetracked with a, "But that's not important right now."

Although I was dubious of Kasho's character as a whole, I enjoyed how his presence helped Melissa grow as a character and gave her the strength she needed. If she hadn't changed at all by the end of the book despite all of the life-changing events that had occurred to her, I would have been very disappointed. However, both the characters and storyline were very well-rounded, with everything coming to a satisfying conclusion. Although I had to take breaks in the second half of the book because what Kasho was saying went right over my head and made me feel like I wasn't smart enough to get the hidden messages in the story, I enjoyed the book overall. The editing in particular was superb, as I couldn't find a single mistake in the entire book.

Melissa & Kasho is a great story of feminism, rebellion, and love. I give it 3 out of 4 stars, as there were some parts that I didn't understand fully. Chance has a very artistic writing style that changes with the fluctuations in the characters' emotions. It is very unique. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical novels with plenty of drama and a little bit of "mystique" and the unexplainable. It is also full of philosophy and a bit of poetry. I would not be surprised if it becomes a classic one day.

******
Melissa & Kasho
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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Dec 2018, 08:39

This sounds unique. I'm just a bit unsure about it. Who exactly is Kasho? It sounds like it might get a bit too spiritual for me. Thanks for the review, though.
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Post by Zhariah » 15 Dec 2018, 06:46

The fact that Kasho is an alien initially threw me, I was not expecting something like that from the title or book cover. However, it sounds like a great book and a compelling read. I'm glad that Melissa grew as a character throughout the course of the book, that always gives the book a more complete feel to it. Thank you for a wonderful review :)

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Post by Reigny01 » 17 Jan 2019, 00:24

:) As a new reviewer, I am inspired by your detailed, "onlinebookclub"-form review, so thanks for sharing. Also, you are very honest in it, and definitely intrigue me about this poetic author, Chance. Thanks again for your detailed, well-written review.

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Post by Kelebogile Mbangi » 19 Jan 2019, 08:49

Sounds interesting overall, but I'm a bit tired of reading books with alien elements.
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Post by JoLei » 21 Jan 2019, 14:17

This review piques my interest in the book, but also warns readers that they may not be able to relate to certain elements, depending on their beliefs/interests. It is a clear, well-written, and helpful review.

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Post by Kelyn » 22 Jan 2019, 14:40

I am actually intrigued by the communication between Kasko and Melissa in this book. You (and others) seem to assume that just because he's not of Earth means he's an alien. You describe him as a guardian angel. Who's to say that he's not exactly that? Or at least a guardian spirit? That doesn't preclude the "greatest love" element to their relationship, I don't think. Overall an intriguing and interesting review. Thanks!
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Post by Chrystal Oaks » 23 Jan 2019, 14:21

Based on your insightful review, I'm hooked. As soon as I can, I want to read this book.
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Post by Ariel Lynn » 24 Jan 2019, 19:14

Sounds like an interesting read. I am pretty picky when it comes to alien features and historical pieces so I'm not sure if I would enjoy the book. Your review is very well written and did pique my interest despite it not being a good fit for me.

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Post by katiesquilts » 26 Jan 2019, 07:28

Kelyn wrote:
22 Jan 2019, 14:40
I am actually intrigued by the communication between Kasko and Melissa in this book. You (and others) seem to assume that just because he's not of Earth means he's an alien. You describe him as a guardian angel. Who's to say that he's not exactly that? Or at least a guardian spirit? That doesn't preclude the "greatest love" element to their relationship, I don't think. Overall an intriguing and interesting review. Thanks!
Actually it's been a while since I finished the book but I do vaguely remember him saying that his physical body is literally on another planet, but his soul is able to travel to Earth. Melissa evens remarks that his body is very humanoid despite not actually being a human. It's a very weird aspect of the book and something that I felt either needed more explanation or shouldn't have even been mentioned in the first place.

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Post by Jessacardinal » 26 Jan 2019, 13:18

I was sold on reading this book until the mention of Kasho the Alien Man. Bummer!
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Post by gen_g » 31 Jan 2019, 03:11

This sounds seriously intriguing; it's certainly unique that Kasho doesn't have a physical body. I will definitely place this on my to-read list. Thanks for the stunning review!

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Post by Crazyreader01 » 17 Mar 2019, 16:02

This sounds very strange and I can't decide if I like it or not. Thanks for the review! :tiphat:

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Post by Kindwarrior » 05 May 2019, 17:49

I read the book. I love Kasho. He is an 'alien' but he possesses a human heart so pure.

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Post by sursangeet_2000 » 20 May 2019, 10:16

Hmmm ...I'm about to begin reading this book. I love the idea of Kasho communicating from another world. This seems to be my kind of story. Your review has me intrigued me even more. Will let you know more once I'm done reading it.

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