Toroa is Erik Hofstatter’s debut novel and it soars! On the surface, this book focuses on a girl named Mahi. Mahi does not know her dad, her mother is the opposite of ideal, and she just met a fire-breather at a local festival who turns her world upside down in a sense. All we know up front is that her dad is from a small island in the Pacific and that her mother had a one-night stand with him. Things start to get troublesome, tragic, and crazy for Mahi and she ultimately goes on a mini-quest to find her father. Is she prepared to learn the truth of it all?
Toroa was a quick read for me, partly because it is somewhat dialogue-heavy. And the dialogue came across naturally and real to me. I enjoyed the back and forth between characters and how their conversations just seemed so real.
My favorite parts of the book upon reading were the beginning and the end. What about the middle, you say? I got a little bothered in the middle due to a HUGE twist in the plot that we were exposed to (which I will not go into here; you will need to read it to find out for yourself!) I just could not believe the way a couple of characters were reacting to what was happening! As I kept reading and got closer to the end (THAT ENDING!!) it all made sense and I was no longer irked by what bothered me mid-way.
Ok. That ending! We get hit with a big sack of truth bombs in the face at the end and I am still recovering. There was so much revealed… and then that last paragraph and those final sentences are chilling and haunting to me. I love when a book makes me visualize how I would experience the story as if I was watching a movie… I start imagining what music would be playing, the cinematography and setting, the character facial expressions… all of it… and this book did that once I got to the end! The ending just changed me. Still reeling…
A huge thanks to Sinister Grin Press and Erin Al-Mehairi for this copy in exchange for a read and review! Always great things happening over at Sinister Grin Press! 4.5 out of 5 stars for me!