Monday, May 4, 2020

Check It Out: Carnival of Heaven

Carnival of Heaven by Ryan Patrick Olson
Young Adult Fiction

Carnival of Heaven is a combination of memoir and fiction, rooted around my true story of surviving T-cell leukemia.

"For weeks Ryan has been feeling fatigued, dizzy, and confused. The doctors say it’s just the flu, but for some reason, his mom isn’t convinced. It’s hard to blame her; he’s been sleeping so often lately that Awesome Waters, the world of his dreams, has become more real than the one in which he lives. Yet, even Awesome Waters isn’t the cheerful escape it once was. Ominous clouds have taken over the luminous skies of his imaginary theme park, ushering in a masked, sinister ringmaster who’s dead set on rendering Awesome Waters to ashes.

Back in reality, Ryan finds himself in a hospital, where he and his family receive a far graver diagnosis than the simple flu—cancer. Ryan has T-cell leukemia. Mom, Dad, his brother, and Grandma: they all do their best to help him through the chemotherapy and operations. But despite their love, Ryan’s light begins to flicker. The ringmaster explains how he will fall entirely into that darkness unless Ryan can solve the mystery of the ringmaster’s appearance. If Ryan can before time runs out, then the strength to fight for his future will be his to command."

5 out of 5 fairies

Carnival of Heaven might be for young adults but it absolutely captured my heart. It's vivid, gut wrenching, and beautiful. The strength and struggles in and outside Ryan are captivating, and his strength inspiring. I will warn you, you might tear up a bit, and you'll definitely lose track of time while reading this. Reader be warned, set aside hours once you start, because you won't want to stop reading this epic journey.

Where to buy: Amazon

Add to your TBR list: Goodreads

About the Author: My debut novel, 'Carnival of Heaven', was the novel I needed to write. Initially, I had no intention of making the project more than a love letter to my family, but it transcended before long into an outlet for conquering the demons which had plagued me my entire life. My family sacrificed so much for me back then and I could think of no better way to honor them, then through the creation of this narrative.

It might not make sense to some that I had darkness to overcome in the first place. After all, I survived--right? I wish that were enough, but to be honest, it never was. Ever since I entered remission, I had been searching for a reason to substantiate why I survived in the first place. So many others fell (many friends), so why me? What made me so special? After rewrite three (or was it four?) I found my answer. I realized there was no one true meaning to life--only whatever we ascribe to it. And when the clock stops for me, I can only hope I made a difference in someone's life through my writing.

I know how hard each of our journeys are. All of us struggle. All of us fight an invisible war no one else will ever know. But you're not alone. That's the message I hope readers will take away from this novel. If I can get that through to even one person; inspire even one reader to not give up, then the two years of tears and nightmare was worth it. If not, then at the very least, I hope the read was enjoyable.

In closing, writing this novel has meant everything to me. Through sharing it, each reader has helped me to heal. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.


Ryan Olson

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