The Other Side by Zee Monodee

The Other Side (Island Girls, #1)

Reviewed by Desere

In many cultures divorce is frowned upon simply because it is either not allowed or no one else in the community or family has ever dared to even utter the word.

So what do you do when you are one of those outcasts that has dared to step over the fine line between tradition and choosing to listen to your heart in order to free yourself from bonds you never should have been bounded to in the first place?

Annoyance, embarrassment, anger, hurt, despair are only a few of the emotions that the character of Lara has to face, overcome and handle in anyway possible when she returns to her parents homeland , Mauritius. Here tradition and family mean everything and leaves her as a walking scarlet letter for the world to see.

In between all the gossip and matchmaking, yes everyone is on her case in good and bad ways, she finds herself trapped in a different kind of web then the one of just trying to push through each day and  get her work done.

The web is none other than the powerful magnetic pull of her teenage love Eric. Both being adults this time around it seems that it should be easier than the first time around right? Only when the same issues from the past and of Lara's marriage come into play it all seems so much more complicated then a teenage love gone wrong and letting go is the hardest step to take for this couple.

The characters of Lara and Eric were both really well written, the author gave each one their own unique brand of flair, that as reader absolutely thrilled me to bits, for so many times in the past I have reads books where the characters are so much alike as in other reads and only the setting or situation is somewhat changed, driving me to the point where I quickly lose interest and hoping that the author will surprise me with a sensational shocker moment to bring my attention back, which sadly almost never happens!

The secondary characters from this read were intriguing and gave the read a sense of family and friends yes criticising at times but also truly showing that love cannot overcome the need to give support to those around us in need.

The backdrop setting was all romance and described with such emotion that it felt like I could touch the colours and feel the wind in my sails! I loved how the author let the cultural influences play a part in the read, I have not yet seen it done in a book before so it made it fresh and very entertaining.

I am taking away a message of when life gives you a battle that seems bigger than you, stand up , stay strong and push to find your heart's desire.

I highly recommend this read for any fan of romance reads with deep emotion with a twist, you will for sure take away a powerful message and a love story that will stay with you for a lifetime. Hang on for the other side is where you want to be!  Well done Zee!

4.5 star review
" She is falling off the cliff, he is her saviour and together all they needs is their love" 


Reviewed by Nancy Crocker

The Other Side (Island Girls, #1)

In Zee Monodee’s: The Other Side, she paints a brilliant scene in the reader’s mind of what life on the island of Mauritius might be like. We read of beautiful sunsets, to the sound of the waves washing ashore. It had me longing for a trip to this stunning island.

When Lara Reddy doesn’t agree with her husband to start a family, he dumps her and moves on to a woman that will give him what he wants. Coming face to face with her now ex- Roy and his wife Preety and seeing her carrying their child sets into motion a change for Lara. She decides to take a new job offer back on the island Mauritius. The only problem will be dealing with the shame of divorce and an out of control-controlling mother.

Also back on the island is Lara’s first crush Eric Marivaux. Eric is now a pediatrician at the local hospital. He left Mauritius and never looked back. But sometimes things are not as they first appear. And he has never forgotten Lara. And he wants back, that which he once loved … Lara.

I felt the love connection between Lara and Eric. And the passionate scenes were well written, including a quickie up against a wall. I love the second chance story line. And I was happy to see some things cleared up from their past. But will they be accepted into society were Eric and Lara will be seen as a mixed race couple?  I also like the change in attitudes by some in accepting the relationship.

This story also dives into the history of Lara’s mother and how she over controls her daughter’s. She has the best of intentions but she is overbearing in her matchmaking. She demands they do things and it is expected of them to drop whatever and wait on her. I did like that Lara and her mother’s relationship improved later into the story.

The problems I had with this story are as follows.
Throughout the book Lara was always putting herself down, that she was not good enough for Eric. Also the author repeated referred to others with their model good looks. But the most disturbing part for me. It appears Lara has an eating disorder and it is pretty much glossed over. Yes her sister and best friend Sam are there for her, but what about Professional help? Why think that someone goes off the rails and starts vomiting, that friends and family can help clean them up and all is well. Don’t misunderstand my comments please. I still believe this a brilliant story worth the read and would recommend this to any romance lovers out there.  But as a reader I had a couple of problems with it.

Favorite line from the story:

Damn it all the hell. She hated losing control, especially over her own emotions, and Eric made her lose her marbles every time she saw him.

4/5 stars

I received a copy from the Author in exchange for an honest review.