The Story Raiders: A Book Review

The Story Raider (The Weaver Trilogy, #2)

Title: The Story Raider ❤️

Author: Lindsay A. Franklin

Published: 2019

Genre:  Fantasy, Christian, Young Adult

Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:

I fell in love with The Story Peddler from it’s first paragraphs. Lindsay Franklin’s story was interesting, her world building detailed and believable and her characters absolutely wonderful. I received The Story Raider for Christmas and just read it about a month ago. It is a wonderful sequel to The Story Peddler, every bit as enjoyable and interesting.

The Story Raider follows Tanwen as she travels with Mor, her father and the other Corsyth weavers. The purpose of their journey is to find the cure to the weaver’s curse and to save Gryfelle’s life. They travel by boat to several island countries in search of story strands. The story strands were hidden by the Master weavers of old and when put together form the cure to the weaver’s curse.

Mor and Tanwen’s relationship is strained throughout most of the story. They are both tied to others, but they care for each other. Tanwen and mor are also each struggling with things unrelated to each other. Mor is filled with grief over the state of Gryfelle’s health and quickly approaching death. Tawen is scared to realize that she also is suffering from the same sickness that is killing Gryfelle. At times they are able to connect and rekindle their friendship, but each time their journey manages to build walls between them.

Throughout the journey, Tanwen’s story strands’ abilities grow and begin to develop. She is starting to discover what her strands are capable of with and without her direction. Tanwen is beginning to learn about the full scope of the powers of weavers and how knowledge of these powers is largely lost to time.

Back in Tir, Braith is trying to establish herself as queen. There are many who are against her and she struggles to fully establish herself as the leader of the Tirian Kingdom. Meanwhile, Naith Bo-Offraid, the High Priest, is working on a plan with his mysterious and evil Master to overthrow Braith.

The Story Raider is a story of friendship, adventure and determination. It is a beautiful story of sacrifice, endings and second chances with family. You do not want to miss the second book of The Weaver Trilogy.

Have you read The Story Peddler? Have you read The Story Raider? I am I the only one who can’t wait for the release of The Story Hunter!? What have you been reading?

Of Fire and Lions: A Book Review

Amazon.com: Of Fire and Lions: A Novel (9780735291867): Mesu ...

Title: Of Fire and Lions ❤️

Author: Mesu Andrews

Published: 2019

Genre:  Historical Fiction, Biblical Fiction

Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:

Biblical Fiction as a whole is not known for being that great, in terms of actual story lines and writing quality. So many of the books that fall into this genre are uninteresting and not very enjoyable reads. The storylines often all feel like you have read them before and just don’t pull the reader into the story. Many authors simply seem to have trouble breathing new life into their characters from the time period.

There are a few exceptions though. Mesu Andrews is one such exception. I have thoroughly enjoyed each of Mesu andrews books that I have read. Each book has had wonderful characters and an interesting story line that doesn’t move so slowly that you fall asleep while reading it. In fact the stories have pulled me on from the first pages and kept me reading until the last pages. Of Fire and Lions was every bit as enjoyable as Mesu Andrews’ other books.

Of Fire and Lions is about Belili, the fictional wife of Daniel. The books begins when daniel and Belili are in their mid eighties and goes on to tell Belili’s life story. Belili was a young Hebrew girl when she was taken to Babylon with Daniel and many other Hebrew people. Belili and Daniel became friends on the long journey and when they arrived in Babylon, after a short period of time Belili became his maid. After an attempt on Belili’s life, she was sent away from the palace. This is when Belili’s life dramatically and sadly changes course for some time.

Quite a few years later, Belili and Daniel meet again. After each losing their first spouses and growing close to each other through sickness, Belili and Daniel get married. This is in many ways still only the beginning of their story. Of Fire and Lions then goes to tell the story of the time that Daniel spent in the lions’ den from Belili’s perspective.

Of Fire and Lions is a moving story, a beautiful story of love between a couple who has been married for many years and a story of faith and redemption. Belili’s faith and relationship with God grows and develops throughout the story and over the years. Belili finds forgiveness from her sins and peace from her heartache.

I highly recommend this book to older christian historical and biblical fiction fans. It is definitely worth the time spent reading all 400 pages of the story. That said, I would not recommend this book to younger teens and tweens.

How do you feel about Biblical Fiction? Have you read any of Mesu Andrews’ books? What have you been reading lately?

KOTLC Collab// Kaelyn @Kaelyn’s Life

Hey Everyone.

As you may or may not be aware I love the Keeper Of The Lost Cities series. They are a wonderful series for readers of all ages who enjoy clean, fun and suspenseful fantasy. The reading level might be middle-grade, but don’t let that discourage you from reading the series! Kaelyn also is a big KOTLC fan and so we decided to ask each other some questions about our thoughts about the series. It was really fun to put it together and to spend a bit of time with some of my favorite characters again. 😀

*There may be some spoilers mixed in with the questions and answers, so if you haven’t read the whole series and really don’t want anything spoiled, you might want to skip this post. 😀

*My questions are italicized and Kaelyn’s answers are not.


Keeper of the Lost Cities

Do you like Flashback or was it too slow paced for you? 

I did not think it to slow paced but there was a lot of detail and dialogue but I really enjoyed Flashback.

Stina in Legacy, love her, hate her?

At first, I was  like Stina. whyy?!!! But Stina has slowly grown on me but she can be kind of a bother sometimes. 

Which KOTLC book is your favorite? which is your least favorite?

My favorite book is probably Legacy, Neverseen, or Nightfall. Least favorite maybe Everblaze? I love them all though!! It is hard to pick a least fav! 🙂 

Do you have a favorite KOTLC book cover?

My favorite cover is probably Exile and my second favorite is Nightfall. 🙂 

Keeper of the Lost Cities The New York Times Bestselling Series

How do you feel about Legacy? Did it frustrate you that suddenly half of Sophie’s friends and team were left out?

I loved Legacy!! Some parts I just could not stop reading!!!! Well, it sort of frustrated me but I see why the council did what they did and it gives us a chance to get to know some of the other characters better. 

If you were an elf, what abilities would you want to have?

I would want two powers, to be a telepath and a froster.

Which of Sophie’s friends are your favorite (if you can pick)?

I love Keefe, Linh, Tam, and Biana, and Wylie. 

Were you on Team Keefe or Team Fitz before Legacy?

I was Team Fitz for almost all of the books except at the end of Flashback and into Legacy I was totally Team Keefe!! #teamkeefe4life 

Flashback

Does it annoy you that for the first half of Legacy, while Sophie and Fitz were “dating”, Fitz was a bit of a jerk?

Yeah, it did kind of annoy me. I would have been happy but Fitz was a bit of a jerk and I am totally Team Keefe all of the way now!! Sorry Fitz!!

If you could live at one of the mansions in KOTLC, where would you live?

I love the Vackers mansion and Edalane and Grady’s mansion. Although, I would love to have a design like the Songs house or Keefe’s dad’s house. I would not want to live with them but would maybe want a similar design. 🙂 

Were you surprised or disappointed that Oralie is Sophie’s mom?

YYYEEEESSSS!!  But at the same time, it kind of makes sense!! At least she is sweet and is not like evil or something  but I don’t know, it was really  hard on Sophie. But I was more surprised than disappointed.

Exile

*All of the pictures are KOTLC book covers!


Have you read the Keeper of The Lost Cities books? What do you think of the series? What are some books on your tbr right now?

I hope that you are all staying healthy and are able to enjoy some fresh spring air at least through your windows!

March 2020 Playlist//Crocus Pictures

Hey Everyone.

It is really beginning to feel like spring here. The winter already is starting to feel like a memory (other then the fact that we had snow earlier this week). The crocuses have popped up and they are so beautiful, the first flowers of the spring. I have, of course, taken quite a few pictures of the crocuses in our front yard. I won’t share them all, but I will share some of my favorites.

Music is such a powerful thing, it can affect and at times completely change the mood of the listeners. With this in mind, I’ve put together a playlist of some songs that I think are really encouraging during this difficult time and that are the reminder that we need to trust God. These are all great songs to put on repeat in the background of your life at home right now.

I hope that these pictures are a bit of fresh air to you and that these songs are even slightly encouraging and help to bring you some hope during this intense and difficult time.


The Blessing – Elevation Worship

More Than Enough – Jesus Culture

Waymaker – Passion

I’m Leaning On You – Passion

PEACE – Hillsong Young & Free

Shoulders – For King & Country

Always Good (feat. Rita Springer) – The McClures

Midnight – Rita Springer

Breathing – Elle Limebear

Still in Control – Jesus Culture

My Arms – Ledger


Have you heard any of these songs? What have you been listening to recently?

First Signs Of Spring 2020//feat. Peace – Hillsong Young & Free

You will stay true

Even when the lies come

Your word remains truth

Even when my thoughts don’t line up

I will stand tall on each promise You made

Let the rest fade away

There’s a peace far beyond all understanding

May it ever set my heart at ease

Dare anxiety come, I’ll remember that peace is a promise You keep

Peace is a promise You keep

You will stay true

Even in the chaos

Your word remains truth

Even when my mind wreaks havoc

I will be still

For I’ve known all along

My Jehovah Shalom

There’s a peace far beyond all understanding, may it ever set my heart at ease

What anxiety fails to remember is peace is a promise You keep

You are peace to a restless soul

Peace when my thoughts wage war

Peace to the anxious heart

That’s who You are, that’s who You are

You are peace when my fear takes hold

Peace when I feel enclosed

Peace when I lose control

That’s who You are, that’s who You are

I’ve found peace far beyond all understanding, let it flow when my mind’s under siege

All anxiety bows in the presence of Jesus the Keeper of Peace

And peace is a promise He keeps

PeaceHillsong Young & Free


I hope and pray that you are able to find peace in Jesus tonight, amidst all of the chaos in the world and our lives.

Interview With Amie Anne//Blog Tour and Giveaway//Thoughts On History and Blogging

Hey Everyone.

I am really excited to participate in this blog tour promoting Amie’s new blog Amie Anne: A Girl Chasing The Stars. I have been following Amie for about a year now and I’ve watched her try a few different sites and a couple different titles. It is really exciting to see how her new blog has come together! It looks and is wonderful.

And let’s get to our interview!

*My questions and thoughts are italicized, Amie’s thoughts are not.


What inspired you to change your blog name?

I didn’t fit Crazy A anymore. And from talking to the people around me, they didn’t see me as Crazy A, either. So? It was time for a change.

That totally makes sense, I have recently been feeling the same way about my own blog.

Why do you enjoy blogging? What is your favorite part of blogging?

That’s a good question, one that I ask myself a lot. I enjoy creating content and sharing it with the world, and I also enjoy talk to commenters and other bloggers. It’s so neat to have a community of bloggers and blog readers. (Honestly, my favorite thing ever is collabing with someone. XD)

The blogging community is really wonderful and fun to be part of.

How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging since August 2017. 

Do you have a favorite or preferred type of post?

I really like poetic posts, ones that aren’t exactly poetry, but have a rhyme and rhythm to the way they read. As an example, my posts Dreams and The Earth’s Tears.

Those are both beautiful posts, two of my favorites of your posts. The Earth’s Tears and Dreams both made me want to cry in the best way possible.

Let’s switch topics a bit now. I know that you are a history lover and since I am too I have some questions for you regarding your love for history.

Who are several historical figures who you admire?

Louisa May Alcott, Corrie Ten Boom, Louis Zamperini, Hannah More, Winston Churchill, Alan York, and Queen Elizabeth I.

I find Corrie Ten Boom and Queen Elizabeth I both truly admirable and inspiring. They both were really strong women, and lived interesting and dangerous, especially Corrie Ten Boom, lives.

What historical periods of time are you most interested in?

The 1500s are extremely interesting to me, as well as the 1850s-1950s. England in the 1500s is such an intriguing study, watching an empire build. And then seeing the years leading towards the American Civil war, and then reconstruction, WWI, the Roaring 20s, the Great Depression, WWII, and the aftermath of all of that is so intriguing. 

It really is intriguing. History in general is so interesting.

What is it about this period of time that interests you most?

Oops, I just answered this question in the last question. XD Honestly, it’s just intriguing to see how war effects the world, the economy, the culture, and the mindset of the generations in that time period. 

That’s true. War shapes the mindsets of entire generations, and the effects are so lasting and widespread. It can be easy at times to forget that it was all real people who died in the different wars, but we should not forget. All of those people mattered.

Do you think that it is important for everyone to about the history of their country? If so why?

Absolutely. I think it’s important that everyone learn the history of the WORLD, not just the history of their country. If we don’t learn history, we’re bound to repeat it. As Ecclesiastes said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” It’s the same with people’s heart. We’re going to make the same mistakes as our forefathers, unless we are wise and learn from their mistakes. 

It is important to know the history of the world you live in. Some days it can be so frustrating how history repeats itself.

Do you think that women should have had the vote from the very beginning in our country? Do you think that it is surprising that it took so, relatively, long for women to get the right to vote in our country?

What a good question. I want us to pause and consider the world in 1776. The mindset of the culture of that time. We read historical fiction books where the females are longing to be out there with the men. We read books about Molly Pitcher, who took her husband’s place. But how many of us have read Abigail Adams’ letters to her husband? What about Eliza Lucas Pinckney? Women were working behind the scenes, and so I think at the time, no. Due to politics, due to culture, due to many things, there wasn’t even the idea of “letting” or “not letting” women vote. There was strong Presbyterian beliefs in the new country, where the man is the head of the household, and his wife should agree with him.

 Those are all good points and true. We should not forget how hard the women worked at home to help make it possible for the men to go and fight. I have to say that I can not support or agree with that view of a woman having to agree with her husband, father or brother’s political views, but that was what the view of the time was.

Is it surprising that it “relatively” took a long time for us to be granted that vote? No. One, I don’t think it was all that long. In looking over history, a 143 isn’t all that long. I think it’s surprising that it took us so long to see that people with a different skin color than us are just as smart, just as human as we are. I do find it surprising, though, that it went on for how long it did. Women showed dedication, which is something we should be proud about each time we go to vote. 

Another good point, sometimes I forget how truly young our country is is. Our history is rich and full but quite short. It is shocking how long it took for African Americans to get the right to vote and to be recognized as complete and fully intelligent human beings!

Thank you for letting me interview you, Amie! I really enjoyed doing this.


And there you have it, my interview with Amie. I hope that you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed doing it. Be sure to head over to Amie’s blog to check it out! And don’t forget to enter her giveaway!

Do you already follow Amie or are you just hearing about Amie and her wonderful blog? How do you feel about history? Do you have a favorite historical period of time to learn about?

Liebster Award//Random Photography

Hey Everyone.

I hope that you are all well and healthy amidst all of the current craziness with the coronavirus. I am excited to be sharing an award with you all for the first time in forever! Kaelyn from Kaelyn’s Life (thank you!) nominated me for the Liebster Award and here I am.

Let’s jump right in!


The Rules

  1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you
  2. share 11 facts about yourself
  3. Answer the questions the blogger gave you
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers
  5. Create questions for your nominees to answer
  6. Comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated


11 Facts About Me

  1. I love big dogs, as long as they don’t lick me. 😀
  2. Dull pencils drive me crazy, they have to be super sharp!
  3. I am the oldest kid in my family.
  4. History is one of my favorite subjects to learn about.
  5. Reading is one of my favorite ways to spend my free time.
  6. I find how different systems of government work fascinating.
  7. Nature photography is the type of photography that I do the most (as is obvious by looking at my blog). 😀
  8. I love dark chocolate, especially with toffee chunks.
  9. I really enjoy reading biographies (be on the lookout for a few posts about about women who I’ve read about).
  10. Dried mango and pineapple are my favorite dried fruits.
  11. I drink hibiscus tea almost every day.


Questions From Kaelyn

What is your favorite creative outlet?

Singing, coloring and writing. I love singing, absolutely love it. Writing is still pretty new to me, although I have been journaling for years.

What is your favorite brand?

Chaco and Old Navy. I love my chacos and Old Navy jeans. 😀

Do you have any siblings?

Yes! I am the oldest of a bunch of kids.

What is your favorite song (at least right now)?

That is an impossible question to answer. I love musical soundtracks, I have been listening to some of the songs on the (clean) Hamilton soundtrack and of course the Greatest Showman soundtrack. For Christian music I have been enjoying Riley Clemmon’s newest single and Elle Limebear’s album.

Do you like to read?

I love reading! Books and stories have kept me sane through many difficult seasons of my family’s life. Books and stories are a huge piece of who I am.

Are you homeschooled, private schooled or public schooled?

I am homeschooled, always have been and will be until I graduate.

What is your favorite place to go outside of your house?

The ocean, I love everything about the ocean, the smell, the freezing cold water, the beauty of the waves and the salty breeze.

What is your favorite book/verse in the Bible?

Psalms, I love how it talks about God’s unfailing and faithful love over and over again.

What app do you use the most?

Musica and then probably email.



My Questions for My Nominees

  1. Who is your favorite Avenger (if you have seen Marvel movies)?
  2. Have you read the KOTLC series/
  3. How do you feel about the fact that we are destroying our planet? Does it make you angry or do you never think about it?
  4. Who is a person, a public figure, who you admire?
  5. Have you seen the new Little Women? Thoughts?
  6. What is a current issue that you feel passionately about?
  7. Do you have plans for after you are done with highschool or is it too scary to even think about?
  8. How do you feel about dogs?

Nominees

Abigail – Books, Life and Christ

Jo – livsnjotare

Christina – Christina and Camera

Amie –Amie Anne

Clara – Midnight Mind

Enni – The Blanket Burrito



I hope that you enjoyed this post! It was really fun to do an award after not having done one for months. Thank you, Kaelyn!

I’d love to see your answers to my questions! Answer them in the comments! What you are doing while you are at home?

Mini-Reviews: Winter Edition// Part 2

Hey Everyone.

I am excited to being sharing part two of my winter mini-reviews. I sadly have not had much time to read lately, with all of the schoolwork I have had and still have, but I read these books semi recently. It is so hard to see my large stack of books not getting any smaller and several books that I am really excited about reading remaining unread. I was only able to read two books last week! A very small and sad number for me. 😀

Well, I guess we might as well jump in. Hopefully these books will be some you are interested in reading. Nothing is better than a good and interesting book when your life, or the whole country, is messy and crazy.

*Just a reminder, books marked with a ❤️ are not books I would recommend to tweens and younger teens.


Let the Wind Rise (Sky Fall, #3)

Title: Let The Wind Rise ❤️

Author: Shannon Messenger

Published: 2016

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

Let the Wind Rise is the conclusion of Audra and Vane’s story and the third book in the Sky Fall trilogy. I enjoyed the whole Sky Fall trilogy. It sadly did not have the same quality of writing and world-building details as KOTLC but it was enjoyable. Some of the ideas in KOTLC seem to be more sophisticated and developed versions of some of the ideas in this trilogy. Overall, I am glad that Shannon Messenger mostly write middle-grade, that is where she excells.


The Pharaoh's Daughter (Treasures of the Nile, #1)

Title: The Pharaoh’s Daughter ❤️

Author: Mesu Andrews

Published: 2015

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

Wow, what a beautiful historical fiction book! The Pharaoh’s Daughter follows the life of Annipe, an Egyptian princess, from when she was five years old to when she is in her thirties. Annipe is five when she watches her mother, one of the pharaoh’s wives, die in childbirth. This event terrifies Annipe and she decides that she will never bear her own children. Through many events over the next ten years, Annipe ends up married to one of Egypt’s highest military officials. Before long Annipe’s new husband leaves to go to war, leaving her to run their linen business and estate. Right after this Annipe finds a baby in a basket floating on the river, Moses. She adopts the baby and eventually raises him as her son. Annipe’s story is still far from over, but that is all I am spoiling. 😀

This book is fascinating and really beautifully written, my favorite biblical/historical fiction book that I have read.


The Piper's Pursuit (Hagenheim, #10)

Title: Piper’s Pursuit

Author: Melanie Dickerson

Published: 2019

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

This was a sadly disappointing read. I have enjoyed most of Melanie Dickerson’s books, but this one just didn’t do it for me. I had high expectations for this book after reading Warrior Maiden, but…I just could not get interested in the story. That said, the characters were great and enjoyable!


Vow of Justice (Blue Justice, #4)

Title: Vow of Justice ❤️

Author: Lynette Eason

Published: 2019

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

This was my favorite Blue Justice book. I love Linc and Allison! Their story was so interesting and fast-paced. I felt that the mole was a bit obvious, since I guessed the person’s identity about half way through the book. How it all played out was not predictable, though. Allison’s story was very unexpected and heartbreaking.

One thing that I appreciate about Lynnette Eason’s books, or at least those of them that I have read, is that although there is a romance thread in the story it does not overpower the rest of the story.


The Bridge to Belle Island

Title: The Bridge to Belle Island

Author: Julie Klassen

Published: 2019

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

This is a wonderful and very original feeling story. In many ways it is my favorite of Julie Klassen’s books. The Bridge To Belle Island is set on a tiny and beautiful island. The characters are interesting and rather complex. The mystery is not easily solved or expected. This is a book I am looking forward to re-reading.


Sons of Blackbird Mountain (Blackbird Mountain, #1)

Title: Sons of Blackbird Mountain

Author: Joanne Bischof

Published: 2018

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

This book is really unique and interesting. Both of the MCs are strong, but very human feeling characters. Thor, the male MC is deaf and mute, he is massive and kind, but dependent on alcohol to dull the emotional and mental pain of being unable to speak or hear. Thor and Aven’s story is beautiful and inspiring. It is different and something that more authors should be doing. Characters who have mental and physical limitations that they have to overcome are characters that readers can relate to.


Are any of these books on your tbr or read list? What book are you currently reading or just finished?

Sherwood: A Book Review

Image result for sherwood meagan spooner

Title: Sherwood

Author: Meagan Spooner

Published: 2019

Genre: YA, Fairytale Retellings, Christian

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

I have read quite a few versions of the Robin Hood legend. In some of them Robin is a young woman and in another the MC is Robin’s daughter. Sherwood is yet another spin on the original legend. Our MC is Lady Marian, a strong, courageous young woman who is an exceptional archer and swordswoman.

Lady Marian loves Robin and Robin loves Lady Marian. Then war comes and Robin leaves to go and fight for his king, a loyal soldier if not a talented one. Marian waits for Robin, but all she receives is the ring that she sent with him, from the hand of Guy of Gisborne. Marian is distraught, an absolute wreck for weeks, mourning the loss of her best friend.

Surprisingly enough, this is only the beginning of the story. Robin returns, or does he? When Marian rides like the wind to the rescue of Will Scarlet, her maid and friend’s brother, she begins her adventures in a way. After Marian is able to overcome her grief she grows increasingly anger over the state of the lands and people in the villages of her father and Robin. This is the inspiration for Marian and “Robin”‘s following adventures.

Throughout Sherwood, Marian matures and grows as a young woman and character. From the beginning of the book, Marian is self-confident and strong, perhaps too self confident. She learns to depend on, trust and care for others and even falls in love.

This story is interesting, although it has a slow start. It is original, but sadly almost predictably unpredictable. The ending is both satisfying and slightly disappointing to every reader who wishes that that the characters did not have to fall in love in the end. Sherwood is an worthwhile and fun read, worth getting through the slow first few chapters and the far too fast moving relationship between Marian and her mystery love interest.

Have you read Sherwood or anything else by Meagan Spooner? What are you currently reading?

Mini-Reviews: Winter Edition// Part 1

Hey Everyone!

I am really excited, as always, to share my next round of mini-reviews. It is always really enjoyable to write these little reviews. Writing them forces me to spend some more time thinking about these books and that is always a good thing. As I am sure you noticed this post is only the part one post of my winter mini-reviews. I’ve done a decent amount of reading the past few months, probably more than I should have, and after writing a bunch of reviews I decided to break them into two posts.

You will notice that some of the books in this post have a ❤️symbol next the title. These books are all books that I would not recommend to younger teens and tweens for a variety of reasons. If you want to know I am marking specific books with a ❤️, please feel free to ask in the comments!

And now, let’s get to it!


Image result for head in the clouds karen witemeyer

Title: Head in the Clouds ❤️

Author: Karen Witemeyer

Published: 2010

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

I have enjoyed all of Karen Witemeyer’s books, some more then others though. This is not my favorite of her books, but it is still an enjoyable read. I love how Adelaide interacted with Isabella. She came up with fun and creative ideas to draw the little girl out of herself and really taught Isabella to use her imagination. Gideon and Adelaide were good together, they really balanced each other out. It was really fun to watch their relationship grow throughout the book.


Image result for salt to the sea by ruta sepetys

Title: Salt to the Sea ❤️

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Published: 2016

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

Wow. Salt to the Sea was one of those books where I just had to stop for a couple of minutes to process everything when I finished it. It was an interesting story, capturing my attention from the first pages. It was a heartbreaking story, so much pain and beautiful, beautifully written and told.

Ruta Sepetys brought the characters to life. Salt to the Sea is told from four alternating POVs. Each POV is written slightly different, one told in letters, others almost in poetry. The characters were all so different, different personalities and backgrounds. the one similar thing about them was their pain, each carried their own burden, one clearly mentally ill and completely manipulated and destroyed by devotion to Hitler, another pregnant, one on the run. This book is a beautiful story.


Image result for the ladies of ivy cottage by julie klassen

Title: The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

Author: Julie Klassen

Published: 2017

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

This book is perfect for a cold, wintery day when you have time to just relax (like that ever happens 😀). It is slow paced but still interesting. The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is the second Ivy Hill book. All three books of the trilogy are worth spending the time to read. I enjoyed watching the relationships between the different characters grow and deepen. There was restoration of old friendships, new friendships and old and new loves. This trilogy is a thoroughly enjoyable read.


Image result for the writing desk rachel hauck

Title: The Writing Desk ❤️

Author: Rachel Hauck

Published: 2017

Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books where it would not hurt to judge the book by it’s cover. It looks a bit like a grainy, old photograph, which I believe is the idea, and also like a painting. Rachel Hauck is one of favorite authors, not top favorite, more like a middle favorite author. That said, this was not my favorite of her books, for a variety of reasons. Tenly kind of annoyed me for much of the book, eventually she grows and improves as a person but it takes quite a while. Birdie’s story was really interesting, especially interwoven with Tenly’s story. It is definitely worth reading if you are a Rachel Hauck fan.


Image result for oath of honor lynette eason

Title: Oath of Honor ❤️

Author: Lynette Eason

Published: 2018

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

I am new to the whole suspense/ law enforcement genre. I needed something new to read and I’d heard positive things about Lynnette Eason’s books and decided to give them a try. I am really glad that I did. Oath of Honor was a really enjoyable, interesting and fast paced book.


Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge, #2)

Title: Shelter of the Most High ❤️

Author: Connilyn Cossette

Published: 2018

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

Okay, I just have to be honest, one whole star of my rating is for the cover. It is so beautiful, the ocean breeze blowing Sofea’s hair and clothes. I wish it was me standing by the ocean. *sighs, thinking of summer*

I have enjoyed all of Connilyn Cossette’s books and this one was no different. Sofea and Ethan were enjoyable to read about. They both had difficult pasts and carried a lot of pain. It was special to read about Sofea learning to trust people and finding God. Prezi, Sofea’s cousin, is one of my favorite characters, she blossoms into a brave and beautiful woman after finding God. She is a truly inspiring character. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys biblical fiction, Connilyn Cossette is a wonderful writer of this genre.


Verify (Verify #1)

Title: Verify

Author: Joelle Charbonneau

Published: 2019

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

Verify is a good book. It is set about five decades into the future in “crime free”, “better” and “safe” Chicago. Usually I am not a fan of futuristic books, but I enjoyed this one. I liked the characters and appreciated the message of the book. It is important to keep asking questions and to verify the answers and to not follow the government and governmental leaders blindly.


Roadside Assistance (Roadside Assistance, #1)

Title: Roadside Assistance

Author: Amy Clipston

Published: 2011

Rating: ★★★★

My Thoughts:

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Roadside Assistance. It was a really good Christian, contemporary, YA book, a real rarity. The story line was realistic and the characters felt real and easy to relate to. I loved how Emily’s passion was fixing and restoring cars. It was a fun and unusual theme.


Double Take

Title: Double Take

Author: Melody Carlson

Published: 2011

Rating: ★★

My Thoughts:

This story could have been really fun and interesting. I thought that I would enjoy it. Sadly I was disappointed and to be honest I wasn’t shocked because I haven’t had any luck with Melody Carlson’s other books. That said, Anna and Madison were not terrible characters. The idea that two girls can pass for twins and switch lives was fun and pretty unbelievable. I really liked Anna’s Aunt Rachel, I felt really bad for her at first and then ended up really liking her as a character.


What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of these books? What do you think about KOTLC #8.5?