Young Adult - Coming of Age
221 Pages
Reviewed on 06/18/2024
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Author Biography

While most kids wanted to be astronauts or firefighters when they grew up, Nathan wanted to be a writer. Ever since a young age, he has been captivated by stories and how they shape us. This passion for storytelling led him to pursue a B.F.A. from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and an M.A. in English at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Since his published debut in 2019, his poetry, fiction, and essays have been featured in numerous websites and magazines.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite

Two by Nathan Nicolau is a riveting coming-of-age novel for young adult fans of drama and mystery. Howl studies business administration at UNCC. He loves to read in Charlotte's Romare Bearden Park. There, he notices a weird girl passionately speaking to a statue in Italian. Deeply impressed, Howl decides to talk to her. The girl, named Ella, explains that she has recited an excerpt from an opera, but she doesn't know what it means in English. Howl wants to learn more about the mysterious opera. He suspects that there is more to it. Soon, it becomes clear that they both hide secrets that cast shadows over their young lives. A fateful day spent together opens up opportunities for an unexpected friendship.

In Two, Nathan Nicolau analyzes the true meaning of friendship and our constant longing to be heard and accepted despite our flaws and past mistakes. The author's innovative approach toward narrative makes the book almost interactive. Ella and Howl are skillfully developed characters. Nicolau gives them clear voices that we cannot ignore. Ella's story will resonate with many readers and evoke strong emotions. Nicolau's prose is deeply psychological. Ella's reflections on art and artists are profound and witty. The bright-minded Howl has a puzzling, complex personality. The author explores the roots of creativity and engages us with insights into the lives of famous artists and composers. The narrative also addresses the topics of guilt and grief. I appreciated Nina Tungjairo's beautiful artwork and the revealing conclusion of this fascinating novel.