We’re so thrilled to be kicking off our tour for Love and Other Sins by Emilia Ares, and we hope you’re just as excited as we are to be celebrating and promoting this book. If you haven’t already, make sure to pick up your copy of the book and check out the hosts that will be posting throughout our tour!
We also have an exciting giveaway taking place on Instagram, so make sure to join in!
Love and Other Sins
by Emilia Ares
Published by SERA Press
Released on October 19th, 2021
Young Adult Fiction—Contemporary, Romance
Mina’s life is going according to plan; she’s acing AP Calc and is perfectly content with her nonexistent social life. Though only a high school junior, Mina knows time is an investment, and she’s putting all her capital into academics. Oliver, a child abuse survivor who grew up in the foster care system, is ready to burn down his old life and start from scratch—complete with a new name and emancipation papers—in L.A. When the two are thrown together through circumstance and develop an unexpected connection, they discover how hard it is to keep the past in the past.
Trigger/Content Warning(s): Sexual assault, recollections of child abuse, discussions of suicidal thoughts, and mention of miscarriage
“A sincere, voice-driven portrayal of teenage life…always balancing a sharp cynicism with tender emotions.” —Booklife Reviews
“Ares displays a gift for capturing the complex inner lives of teenagers through Mina’s and Oliver’s alternating first-person chapters…A well-written and emotionally involving teen tale with fine characterization.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The teenagers in the beautiful, candid romance novel Love and Other Sins face personal burdens, but also have hope that helps them to heal.”—Foreword Reviews
“From the moment the book started my interest was peaked…overall, great book.”—IndieReader
“A story that is impossible to put down…powerfully emotional.”—Readers’ Favorite
“This is a well-paced, intriguing story…a nuanced and slightly dark YA romance”—Blue Ink Reviews
“A compelling and fresh look at teen romance.” —San Francisco Book Reviews
“A touching coming-of-age novel.”—BookBub
“I really enjoyed Love and Other Sins it grabbed me from the start and I couldn’t put it down. Mina and Oliver are two great characters and their story was so captivating…”—Angela Borgo (Librarian)
“My new Book of the Year…”—Gina Viarruel (Librarian)
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Love and Other Sins?
My name is Emilia Ares. I’m an author and actress. I’m best known for playing Princess Anastasia on American Horror Story, Layla on Bosch, Chloe in Falling Overnight, and Viktoria in Follow Me.
My book, Love and Other Sins, is a contemporary young adult novel that evokes the unparalleled rush of first love in all its dreamlike and naive complications. It tells the story of Mina Arkova is a fiercely acerbic Russian-American teenager and her first-generation tough-as-nails mother, Lily. On the other hand, Oliver Mondell’s life is a very different story. He is a child abuse survivor who grew up in the foster care system and is moving to Los Angeles for a fresh start. Love and Other Sins follows the chaos that ensues when Mina and Oliver get caught between a brutal tug-of-war. Oliver and Mina’s distinctive identities are in jeopardy when the overpowering phenomenon—the tidal wave of first love—sweeps over them and triggers a compulsory shift toward codependency.
If you had to choose one scene in your book to see acted out, which would you choose and why?
I’ve actually been acting out the first chapter of the book on TikTok (@emiliaares …check it out to have a laugh) and that was so much fun! One scene that I would love to see is the pool scene when Oliver and Mina finally let go and have their moment of connection under water. That’s my ultimate butterflies-in-tummy moment from the book.
Out of all of your characters, which would you choose to go on a global trip with?
It would be a very close call between Nyah and Lily, Mina’s mom. Nyah is a firecracker and so grounded but knows how to have a good time. She knows exactly who she is and what’s what. Lily is just an absolute no BS love bomb and she would be so much fun to talk to over drinks.
Was there a part of Love and Other Sins that you found yourself connecting with more than others?
I connected the most to the feeling of loneliness and otherness that Mina experienced in middle school and high school. Also, I connected with the close relationship she had with her mother. I was and still am very close with my mom. That bond helped me get through so many tough times. Without her friendship, I would’ve really struggled.
Is there a recurring theme that can be found in Love and Other Sins?
In crafting Mina and Oliver’s story, I rediscovered the madness ignited when the separate worlds of two vastly different young people collided for the first time. It was a stark reminder that yearning to be loved and desired distorts previously unwavering principles. Writing this series reminded me that regardless of the prejudices and microaggressions accompanying the complication of identifying as “other,” there is a deep-rooted significance in preserving your unique identity.
Is there anything else you’re currently working on, and if so, can you give us any details?
I’m currently working on Love and Other Sins Book 2- Love and Other Cages. Mina’s and Oliver’s story continues. We leave things off somewhat resolved between the two of them but there’s a shark in the water and the fin pokes out just as we end in the last book. So, book 2 will explore what/who that shark really is and what this danger will mean for Mina and Oliver’s relationship. There will be a lot more mature content as we move into the real world and away from high school and Mina will have to navigate some very turbulent territory as she struggles to keep her loved ones safe and herself alive.
Lastly, what do you hope readers take away from reading Love and Other Sins?
To me, Love and Other Sins is a candid, emotionally involving, and voice-driven portrayal of teenage life in all its conflicting glory, and all I can hope for is for it to resonate with readers and make them feel less alone. Perhaps it’ll take readers back to a time they felt alone and allow them to realize that they weren’t the only ones.
Emilia Ares is an Armenian-American actress best known for American Horror Story and Bosch, producer and now the author of Love and Other Sins. Emilia graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with her Bachelor’s in Economics and a Minor in Russian.
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