Monday, February 13, 2017

Early Review Tour: LUNA RISING by Selene Castrovilla

by Selene Castrovilla
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Published by Last Syllable Books
Pages: 450
Source: JenHalliganPR
Purchase Amazon | Barnes & Noble    


Life begins at thirty-eight for Long Island mom and writer Luna Lampanelli, when she kicks her secretly gay husband to the curb. She's got her freedom, but what she wants is love.

Luna knows she doesn’t need a man to exist, but try telling that to her heart. Against the advice of Sunny, her snarky best friend, and Jiminy, the cautioning voice in Luna’s head that just won’t shut up, Luna sets course to find a mate.

Luna speed and on-line dates her way into several short-lived, surreal relationships. There’s Ari, the humorless Israeli who refuses to assimilate – to America, and to humanity. There’s Alex, the young and handsome ex-crackhead who informs Luna he doesn’t want to be monogamous while they’re in bed. There’s Memphis, the wild-eyed sadomasochist. There’s Red, angry and crippled, who becomes the catalyst for Luna to join Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.

But before Luna can proceed to recovery, she meets the elusive but oh so appealing Trip. He’s emotionally unavailable and has the Madonna-Whore Complex, but how can Luna (aka “whore”) let him go when she enjoys his dry wit so much, and his naked body even more?

Humorously haunting and packed with unspeakable truths, Luna Rising follows a woman's funny and heart-breaking struggle to relate with un-relatable men and an un-relatable world, and to figure out something even more un-relatable: herself.

My Thoughts

I jumped at the chance to read the adult novel LUNA RISING by Selene Castrovilla. I discovered her books when I first read MELT, the first of her Rough Romance Trilogy, and fell in love with her writing. 

What I liked:

  • The "stats" on the characters as they are introduced. It was a quick way to know about a character, and I especially liked finding out  - what they read (or don't read) says a lot about a person.
  • Her friendship with Sunny - they are at similar places in their lives, but take different approaches to relationships. Their interactions add a lot of humor to the story.
  • Her relationship with her Aunt Zelda. The love between them is evident.
  • So much Chinese food - by the end of the book (or maybe even the middle) I was craving some Hot and Sour soup
I thought it was just crazy how quick Luna was to jump right into relationships. She was seeking connection and companionship, and comfort, and oftentimes confused that for love. She was starved for love. She needed it as much as she needed air.

Some of my favorites scenes are when Luna visits her chiropractor for adjustments and some enlightenment and "therapy" instead of seeing a therapist. There she gets centered and finds balace - in her body, and sometimes in her mind. I wish some of my experiences seeing my chiropractor were like hers. And like her chiropractor, I believe "Everything always works out." 

Memorable Quote:
"Sometimes you have to clear your path before you can continue down it."

Luna experiences a lot of personal growth and self-realization that a lot of readers can relate to. We are always changing, always observing, always learning, and always growing. We don't always recognize when it is happening,  but when it does, it can make us feel powerful. And when Luna experiences it, she is happy with just being.

LUNA RISING is an enjoyable read - filled with humor and wit. I'm looking forward to reading more adult novels by Selene Castrovilla.

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from JenHalliganPR in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

About Selene Castrovilla

Selene Castrovilla is the award-winning author of multiple narrative nonfiction picture books and young adult novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons and too many cats. Visit her website:

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  1. Interesting. I've never read her, going to have to check this out. Sounds amazing. Thanks!

  2. The synopsis sounds really good!Looking forward to read :)
    Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Hey Joli,

    Thanks so much for this beautiful review, and for taking the time to not only read but deeply consider my book. I read this review when it came out, and thought I'd commented, bit apparently not. So sorry. Know that you're awesome! XO Selene


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