By, Dr. Giovanni Calvarese

Forgotten America informs a historic narrative of a totalitarian regime that
seems unstoppable. Familiar accounts of distorted truth, disinformation,
oppression, complacency, and military state are discovered and re-discovered.
Don’t be surprised to reveal other familiar and unfamiliar themes.

What if everything you knew was erased? A piece of yourself – just vanished. Unbelievable but terrifying. For Carlos, he cannot forget – no matter how much he wants to. How it happened is a nightmare he nervously rewinds in his head – afraid that the nightmare will
happen again. 

Carlos and his newly found friend, Ezekiel, travel uncharted adventures to a place many forgot. Their fragmented memories weave brokenly together after each page. Carlos and Ezekiel perplexedly understand how important the past really is at every encounter.

Captivating but terrifying situations these characters explore from the depths of their observations. They live and relive these events, and yet question whether the events are real. They endure not just their memories of the past, but endure how much alike and dissimilar
the present day.

The author, Gio, as he likes to call himself, not just invites young adult readers, but also any reader to learn how connected our past is to our present-day experiences.

But beware! What might be historic fiction might just somewhat resemble truth today.

@GioCalvarese
ISBN: 9781528905169 $12.0

BOOK REVIEW

Title: Forgotten America: The Untold Adventures of Venezuela 

ISBN: 978-1-528905-16-9 

Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers 

Language: English 

Set against the backdrop of the Venezuelan Red Scare that began in 1992 when Hugo  Chavez appeared on the scene, Forgotten America: The Untold Adventures of  Venezuela by Giovanni Calvarese tells the story of Carlos and his friend Ezekiel. The  novel alternates between past and present timeline as Carlos recalls how he was  essentially forced into service for the Bolivarian National Guard and grapples with his  actions during that time while still trying to embrace his present adventures with  Ezekiel. It is an, at times, gut wrenching novel that takes the readers on a whirlwind  of emotions. It tells a story of Venezuela from a time that the world has forgotten or  otherwise, chosen to ignore.  

The plot of the story seems to be well-developed without any ends left loose. It is easy  to follow and comprehend with excellent pacing. This pacing is effective at keeping  the reader engaged throughout the book. The history within the book will certainly educate readers about the events and government in Venezuelan history. However,  the references to many of the events, people, and regimes occur quickly in the first  few chapters and readers unfamiliar with the terms may need to take the time to look  things up. It could be helpful to provide a brief prologue at the beginning of the book  to introduce readers to this part of Venezuelan history.  

The writing in Forgotten America: The Untold Adventures of Venezuela is  phenomenal. It is rich with imagery and readers who appreciate excellent writing will  really appreciate this book. The mature tone that the author writes in might be difficult  for some readers to follow and this can create a slower pacing for some. The point of  view might also be confusing for some readers, particularly in the first two chapters.  These first few chapters are a stream of consciousness from Carlos’ mind. Carlos’  trauma and chaos in his mind are expertly crafted by the author to create the character of Carlos. The author is very much trying to create this chaotic tone to demonstrate  how Carlos’ mind works jumping from subject to subject. While it definitely creates  that feeling for the reader and is well done by the author, it also can feel very confusing  for readers who struggle to make transitions between subjects quickly. The  manuscript is fairly clean without any major grammatical or mechanical errors. It has  been well-proofread to create a clean and professional document.

Like the beginning of the book, some of the chapters may prove a bit challenging for  those that do not like alternating timelines. The chapters alternate between past and  present and are not labeled as such. The author does let the readers know in the  beginning of the book that the chapters alternate from present to past throughout the  book. Adding a date to the chapter heading might be a helpful remedy for readers who  struggle with alternating timelines. 

One of the treasures of Forgotten America: The Untold Adventures of Venezuela is  the historical aspect to this book. The author has clearly done an abundance of  research to so expertly weave events from Venezuelan history into his novel. The  coup d’état attempt that occurred February of 1992 in Venezuela and the chaos that  ensued are often topics that are not well known by American readers. Armed with  knowledge, research, and excellent writing skills, Calvarese creates a story that, while  fictional, does a fantastic job of providing education about Venezuelan history through  fictional accounts. Readers will walk away not only entertained but also more  educated in Venezuelan history. 

The target audience for Forgotten America: The Untold Adventures of Venezuela is  most likely readers who enjoy historical fiction or excellent fictional literary works.  Calvarese uses his knowledge to incorporate history into his novel. He understands  how to write for the audience that he is targeting which helps readers connect and  engage with the text. 

Giovanni Calvarese’s knowledge, research, and writing talent combines to create a  trifecta of elements that made for an outstanding novel. Forgotten America: The  Untold Adventures of Venezuela easily earns a rating 4.5 out of 5. The change of point  of view and timelines without specific designation and the inclusion of a prologue with  pertinent background information would be a helpful improvement for many readers. 

Overall, Forgotten America: The Untold Adventures of Venezuela by Giovanni  Calvarese is a stunning novel set among historical events that are often overlooked  or blatantly ignored. Carlos’ story and experiences paint a relatable picture of what many communities and individuals face. This book does an outstanding job of  imparting the theme that things going on in one part of the world are often more similar  to happenings in other communities and places that many people realize. It is a  profound and moving story that will leave readers with much to think about and  consider.