10 unfolds the story of the troubled and impulsive Simone struggling to navigate through the tumultuous years of adolescence. She finds support and guidance through an exchange of letters with the enigmatic Joy, a beautiful and affluent globe-trotter, helpful and wise far beyond her teenage years. As Simone’s life gradually descends into chaos, Joy strives to rescue her, drawing from her life experiences.
10 is a coming-of-age story about friendship, love, depression, and the virtues of life. Simone and Joy build a strong bond through letters as they both, in their own unique and surprising ways, grapple to come to terms with the significance and challenges of living a fulfilling life.
This book both warmed and moved me. The story of two young girls who become pen pals after meeting one another in the hospital. Simone, the troubled teen at the hospital for a concussion, starts off as a rebellious teenager. We watch her character develop and struggle with her mental health, battling it, seemingly alone.
On the other hand, you have the seemingly put-together Joy. Her name spells out what she radiates. She spends most of the story being what appears to be Simone’s one and only loyal friend. You see how she grows to care for Simone and how protective she becomes of her.
It was interesting to watch the two talk about their individual experiences. These two characters were vastly different in their life experiences, yet they helped each other journey through the pains of being a teenager.
There were points in this story where I felt my heart rate quicken in anticipation. Times where I couldn’t help but to smile at myself because of the friendship they forge. Then there were the tears that come throughout the book as it emotionally grabs a hold of you.
What makes this book even more impressive is the fact that the author wrote it while they were in high school. That brought an additional layer of authenticity to the story as the author is living the real-life experiences and is in the mind of her characters.
Tyler Wittkofsky is a multi-genre author, blogger, award-winning marketing and communications professional, and fierce mental health advocate from the southern coast of North Carolina. Tyler has been writing short stories for as long as he can remember. Growing up the grandson of an English teacher, Tyler had a constant fuel to his creative fire in his grandmother.
He started writing poetry in 2012 to cope with his mental health struggles with anxiety, bipolar, and depression. Using poetry as an escape, he developed a unique style of poetry that has left readers saying, “Tyler’s voice is compassionate, even while suffering, and I felt the despair and loneliness seeping out through his words.” His first poetry collection, composed of poems written from 2012 to 2016, was published in March 2020.
He began his first novel in 2019. The novel, (Not) Alone, was a story based on true events surrounding the struggles of living with mental illness. Described by readers as “An Intimate Closure with Mental Illness,” this began Tyler’s revitalized passion for mental health. He decided that his writing would have a focus on mental health.
His next novel, The Seeds of Love: Sunflower Kisses Book One, was his debut romance novel and debut series. Described as “a great job of relaying the realistic emotions of young love and emotional drama that is particularly difficult for young adults…”, his debut romance novel was met with much success.
In 2021, Tyler began writing short stories. He was accepted into several anthologies in mid-2021, expected for publication in early 2022. He also writes supernatural horror and historical fantasy for the online magazines In the Pantheon and In the Crescent. He has work published through Five Minute Affairs as well.
He built his website www.TeaButWithCoffee.com in 2021. On this site, he started his blogging journey. He began writing book reviews, interviewing indie authors, and writing on mental health. This passion sparked a new desire to connect with more people. Tyler is currently in the beginning stages of two podcasts that he hopes to be live by the end of 2021.
Tyler currently lives in Leland, North Carolina with his wife, Grace, and dogs, Dutch and Belle.
You can find him and his works here: https://linktr.ee/wittkofsky
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