21 August 2015

Review with Giveaway: Riding by Cassia Cassitas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” 

----Molière, a French playwright and actor who is considered one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature

Cassia Cassitas, a Brazilian author, pens her latest book, Riding that is about a para athlete braving all obstacles to compete in the Paralympics. This is his story about his fight, his hard-working training and his goal and determination to reach the end.


Amidst real events and landscapes, men and women like us wander the cities we inhabit, rehearsing happier lives in the pages of this motivational novel. From each one, destiny took a part to make them perfect.

When he is born, André propels his mother’s life in a new direction, shifting her focus away from her professional aspirations. His father, an executive who organizes Olympic competitions around the world and doesn’t know when to come back home, strives to make him a worldly citizen. Cycling, his life acquires purpose: becoming an Olympic para-athlete.

Together with his friends, he experiences disappointments and new beginnings. A doctor that builds robots, the daughter of a lonely teenager, and a retired athlete teach André how to overcome his limits and live his dream.

Set in Curitiba with breaks in Los Angeles, Seoul, Johannesburg and Soweto, Barcelona, ​​Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London, the narrative ends in 2012, in Rio de Janeiro.

As a tribute to all those who choose to sign the next episodes of their lives, this book is about overcoming one’s self amid achievements, obstacles, love and heroism, written behind the scenes of life.

André and his mother, Elizabeth, is settled in Curitiba and his father, Mario works for the Olympics handling installations thus visiting many countries. After André's birth, his mother devotes her whole time to him, and while growing up, through André, the stories about their family dynamic is told which is bit shaky in the beginning and then shifting to André's tryst for participating in the Olympics with his doctor friend.

The book is short, yet it has a very slow pace and this story is told from all the three characters' perspective, thus giving the readers a different opinion of this featured family. The narrative is free flowing with an articulate writing style, the story will manage to keep the readers glued into the story.

The story is set across many countries and through many timelines. Although Olympics is the center of the story but it revolves around this family's shifting dynamics. The various cities in this book are vividly depicted. And the readers can get to experience so many beautiful cities of the world with their picturesque landscape and striking cultures.

The characters are all strongly developed and with their backstory, the author tries to give insight into their characterization. The supporting characters are strikingly developed and they all have some sort of realism in them.

Overall, this is an inspiring as well as motivational story that shows places and tells various stories ultimately with the aim to show how determination can finally lead a human being on the road to success no matter how hard the struggle is.

Verdict: An enlightening inspiring story which is strongly recommended.

Courtesy: I received the book for a blog tour. 

Author Info:

Cassia Cassitas made her career in technology. She has remained in academics both as a teacher and a student, working on innovative projects including those that involve prospects.

She specialized in philosophy and existence, information engineering, and college didactics. Currently she studies French, due to her husband’s influence, and English to enlarge her world.

Mother to two adolescents who devour books, Cassia published her first work, Domingo O Jogo (Brazilian digital best seller) in 2010, Sunday The Game in 2011, Fortuna A Saga da Riqueza in 2012, Saga of Wealth in 2013.

Cassia Cassitas lives with her family in Curitiba, where her dreams prosper under the eyes of her readers.

Author Interview:

Me: In your book you make a reference to Parathletism. How did you come up with this idea?

Cassia: The beauty of Paratletism is to see people doing what seems impossible. I wished to write about the will to live. I wanted to know what awakens the best of human nature and puts us in motion.

Me: Could the reader expect to find the answer in this book?
Cassia: Yes, in many ways, as long as they open their eyes to observe other lifestyles. I reminded myself of situations that aroused strong feelings in me that never faded. Furthermore, I decided to write as an ex-student of mine: clinging to life, hugging it tightly. Even with her serious cardiac deficiency, she taught me how to move on.

Me: How did you do research for your book?

Cassia: The main character was the starting point. Some disabilities are visible, others aren’t. In my search for the ideal scenario, I realized that the difficulties could be anywhere, from Seoul to London, from the slum to the luxury condominium. The turning point is when people decide to take what life has given them and use it to get where they choose to be. This is what it means to become a champion. Acceptance, love, and effort. Without these elements, there is no future, no medals for athletes nor parathletes.

Me: What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

Cassia: Disregarding a paragliding jump from the Gavea Stone at Rio, it was facing the challenge of starting to write and publish by myself. When my characters come to life in the pages of a book, they are as restless as my thoughts, and a part of me is unwittingly exposed. On the other hand, I have learnt more from books than anywhere else, and I like to share ideas as they come to me.

Me: Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you overcome it?

Cassia: Sometimes. Then I read different things and walk in the streets. It’s funny to say this, but I like to talk with unknown people. In a way, these things enlarge my world and make me grow.  Ultimately I have done as André and “turned to the pedals to find a solution to my [his] life.” In the novel, he wonders “if he faced the wind blowing on his face, he could try to reach a new outcome - as if that dusty path could, suddenly, have the power to convince him not to give it another thought to something that had seemed to important, turning into dust those sentences he was trying to get rid of.” Surprisingly, it works just as well in real life.

Me: If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?

Cassia: I would be an athlete. Despite the fact that I was not born with the right gifts, I deeply admire people who undertake a journey of surpassing themselves every day. For me, it is a way of loving life: the secret that brings humanity closer to perfection.

Connect with Cassia on: Website    Facebook    Twitter

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1 comment:

  1. I have seen this one around quite a bit and it does sound like a slow and easy going character driven read.


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