I read “SINDROME” by chance. I always buy books while I travel; this time my trip was long and I knew I would have met at the destination my niece Alessia who is a passionate reader so, at a motorway service station I bought this book attracted by the roses on the cover, for her. Alessia is 17 years old, student at the scientific lyceum and I though that Rokia is a writer suitable for her age. But curiosity raised up when I gave the book to her and she said she was busy with many books and homework for the summer and she knew the writer, famous on the web.
I was aware that in the actual digital era the publishing sector is changing accordingly and rapidity, adapting to what can come from the web so I said myself, let’s read it. Let’s see how a girl writing for free on a website called Wattpad can be considered a “writer”. I also checked some info about her. I found a few: she’s 23 years old, her picture shows that she can have an oriental and mysterious family background, non European and I discovered that “SINDROME” is her second book.
On this free platforms those who like writing can write chapters and continue if they see that followers like them or not, they are free to write without any expectations just for the pleasure to express themselves.
There’s a huge phenomenon of emergent young writers coming from the web, using tik tok to promote their books and self publishing.
So I started it instead of giving it to Alessia. I confess… at the beginning I was not sure it was my style.
“This is a fairy tale in reverse. It tells of a witch, a prince, a dragon and a mermaid. Four boys who know pain, searching for a way to heal” (source: https://www.illibraio.it/libri/rokia-sindrome-9791259571809/).
What does it mean a fairy tale in reverse? and these 4 characters… I went through and after the first part I entered into the story without expecting what could have been the developments.
For sure, despite the plot is not conventional, with old style characters in a contemporary narration, the girl is able to write and keep the reader hocked.
We don’t have to underestimate writers who reach you in a new way, not because you go to an important book store or you read an advertisement under the same publisher.
This girl emerged with her strengths and with the power of the stories she invented. Maybe if she would have sent her novel to a published, nobody would have know her today. She also came to Italy with many followers waiting for her, to meet her and get an autograph on her book.
Summary of the plot
Once upon a time there were four boys, fighting alone against their own demons. They tried to face them without asking for help, but the suffering was too much and the battle seemed lost. One day, however, thanks to the intuition of a brilliant doctor, the four find themselves together, competing to build a future in the world of journalism and leave their pain behind. Their characters prepare to react like elements in a chemist’s test tube. Sia is intrusive and unconventional. She is the arch enemy of Derek, an ice prince with a dark secret that makes him distrustful and unfriendly. The hatred that flows between the two has no limits, but conceals an infinite and uncontrollable attraction. Olivia has lost her voice because of a ghost that prevents her from breathing. She broods within herself the desire to dissolve into nothingness. Edgar’s flame is the only one to remind her of the beauty of small things. Untidy, self-deprecating and all too clumsy, Edgar lives between panic attacks and outbursts of rage. Only Olivia’s siren song manages to gently caress him. As their days together add up, their friendship grows until it becomes the key to processing the suffering. Yet, the past does not stop threatening them, the wounds do not stop reopening. But while no one can delude themselves that they will remain unharmed while fighting their demons, love has the power to mend a bleeding heart.
In conclusion, this book is an example of the fresh creativity of a new writer and it has been important for me, as an old fashion reader, who studied foreign languages and literatures, so strongly attached to “classical books”, to enter into a story which can be really considered a black&white fairy take of the modern era.
I didn’t mention the reflection on the title which is very strong, “SINDROME” coming from latin and related to a set of symptoms.
The 4 protagonists as described in the summary are all sick on mental diseases and have a very difficult life, for what happened in their past and for what continues to be their present. You don’t read this book for sure with a “light soul” and it’s not a “light reading”.
Also the creation of the book trailer has not been an easy challenge… I did my best!!!! Enjoy then reading the book and watching my last book trailer.
Article written by Erika Gerardini, JUMP Team