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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Review: They Lived They Were





They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach by Iván Brave 
Coming of Age Fiction

Loyal fans know him as a rising internet star and the resident DJ at one of Brooklyn’s sauciest nightclubs. But one blistering summer day, after relapsing, getting dumped, and winding up at the hospital, Ilya Gagarin awakes in a nightmare. The only way out, he figures, is to finally debut his EP, meaning, to realize a deeper dream.

The process of producing, together with the power of music and an urge to accept his past, is passionately described in his journal—while the larger story follows the weeks leading to his EP launch, his struggle to quit drugs, and his falling in love again to a guardian angel. It is she who teaches him, “Do you know how Russians say Once Upon a Time? Жили были. It translates to They Lived They Were.” Suggesting Ilya might just get his fairy tale ending. Or at least move on. 



5 out of 5 fairies

They Lived They Were is captivating. From the very start, you are drawn into this story. Brave has a unique voice as he narrates Ilya's journey, capturing the reader and spinning around them a vibrant tale. It's like stepping directly into a movie as an observer, instead of just watching it unfold before you. I do have to warn you, it's a very emotional read, and while I won't post any spoilers, I promise it's worth every moment, and every tear.




Where to buy: Amazon

Add to your TBR list: Goodreads


About the Author: Iván Brave lives in Bucharest, Romania, where he writes poetry, reviews and novels, as well as promotes language learning in multinational corporations. He graduated from The New School in NYC with an MFA in Creative Writing, after earning a Bachelor in Philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin. Language, multiculturalism, and love, or anything that connects, are the themes dearest to his heart. In addition to winning prizes, such as the Writing Award from The Vera List Center for Arts and Politics, his writings have appeared in literary publications like The American Scholar and The Acentos Review. Iván’s second novel, They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach, is out June 16th 2020.

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