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?

Anticipation 2020// Exciting Releases!

Hey Everyone.

A few days ago Abigail posted a list of her most anticipated releases and it inspired me to put together a list of my own. I had a lot of fun looking at all of the books that are coming out this year! So many of my favorite authors have something coming out, it’s so exciting!

I hope you enjoy this list!


Movies

Image result for emma 2020 trailer

I am really excited to go see this movie. I enjoyed the older Emma movie with Gwyneth Paltrow and the BBC series Emma and so I am really excited to see new adaptation of this story!

Black Widow

I cannot wait for this movie. Many of you may not know that I am a fan of the Marvel Universe, definitely a new and not super hardcore fan, but still a fan. My dad, two of my siblings and I are currently watching the movies in chronological order (we are on Captain America: Civil War). Natasha Romanoff is amazing and possibly my favorite character (I also love Tony Stark and Wanda Maximoff. I can’t wait to see her movie.

Image result for mulan 2020

The trailer for this movie looks amazing! I have enjoyed all of Disney’s live action remakes and I can’t wait to see this one!


Books

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor (Cornwall, #2)

January 7, 2020

The Land Beneath Us (Sunrise at Normandy, #3)

February 4, 2020

Cry of the Raven (The Ravenwood Saga Book #3)

February 4, 2020

My Calamity Jane (The Lady Janies, #3)

June 2, 2020

Storing Up Trouble (American Heiresses, #3)

May 5, 2020

Selah (The Sugar Baron's Daughters, #3)

March 3, 2020

A Portrait of Loyalty (The Codebreakers, #3)

September 8, 2020

Vying for the Viscount (Hearts on the Heath, #1)

August 4, 2020

The Story Hunter (The Weaver Trilogy #3)

May 19, 2020

Love & Olives (Love & Gelato, #3)

July 7, 2020

To Steal a Heart (The Bleaker Street Inquiry Agency, #1)

November 17, 2020

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

February 4, 2020

At Love's Command (Hanger's Horsemen, #1)

May 2, 2020

An Ivy Hill Christmas (Tales from Ivy Hill)

September 1, 2020

Like Flames in the Night (Cities of Refuge, #4)

March 3, 2020


Well…there you have it! A very long list of books that I am excited about that I haven’t read yet and that have been or will be released this year! It’s going to be a good year for reading if this list is any indication. I am so excited for all of these books! Especially A Portrait of Loyalty! I am currently reading On The Wings Of Devotion and it is amazing, absolutely amazing, I’ll be writing a book review of it soon.

What are some books that you are looking forward to reading? are any of these books on your tbr?

BIBPC #7// Category 7

Hey Everyone.

I can’t believe that it is already time for my seventh BIBPC #7 entry! The contest has flown by. I’ve really enjoyed participating, despite the fact that my team has had a very difficult time. It’s really fun to see what everyone comes up with for each category and seeing the range in how each person interprets each category. I’m really glad that I could participate in BIPC again and I already can’t wait for BIBPC #8!

team autumn

As you all are well aware by now I am part of Team Autumn. 😀

And without further ado, Category 7 is………………colorful.

Isn’t this gorgeous and so colorful! My aunt let me use her camera to take a couple pictures and this was one of them, I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

Wouldn’t the world be a far more boring and sad place without color? Can you imagine never seeing the vibrant colors of a sunset or the bright colors of flowers? So much of how we think of things being beautiful is connected to their color or even lack of color.

What is your favorite color?

BIBPC #7//Category 6

Hey Everyone.

We got some snow and quite a bit of ice. I’ve taken a bunch of pictures over the past few days and I’m excited to share them with you, soon, hopefully. Anyway………..it’s time for the second to last BIBPC category! I can’t believe it is already almost over. Time flies when you are busy. (By busy I mean reading every chance I get and probably not doing enough school. Just kidding, kind of.) 😀

team autumn

The sixth category of BIBPC #7 is……………………gentle.

The fog softens everything giving the trees the soothing and gentle appearance. Fog can be scary if you are driving but it has a gentle beauty.

Do you have school break this week or next week? Have you had any snow or ice where you live?

The Painted Castle: A Book Review

Image result for the painted castle kristy cambron

Title: The Painted Castle

Author: Kristy Cambron

Published: 2019

Rating:★★★★

Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction

My Thoughts:

Wow, another beautiful book from Kristy Cambron. I haven’t read anything by Kristy Cambron that I haven’t enjoyed. I love her writing style and how she alternates POVs from different periods of time. She weaves her stories together beautifully.

The Painted Castle is the third Lost Castle novel and possibly the last, sadly. It is every bit as wonderful as The Lost Castle and Castle on the Rise. All three books definitely have a spot on my favorite books shelf and books I wish I owned shelf. If anyone is ever telling you that Christian Historical Fiction is a waste of time, Kristy Cambron’s books are ones that I would recommend to them, and her books might change their mind about the genre.

I loved Kiera, Amelia and Elizabeth, they were all beautiful, strong and unique characters. Other then that they don’t have much in common, but the estate and painting brought their stories together, across several hundred years. Each of the women lost people they loved and had to work hard to end up where they did. These women went through difficult things and came out stronger.

“The sun drooped low on the horizon as they talked, until it’s rays were gone and only an ink-sky and coffee by the firelight remained.”

“Perhaps God whispers my name instead, and gave me an artist’s heart all along.”

Quotes from the The Painted Castle

Have you read this book? Have you read any of Kristy Cambron’s books?

BIBPC #7//Category 5

Hey Everyone.

It feels like it has been awhile since I’ve posted, but it’s only been a week. I’ve had a busy but okay week. The weather has been weirdly warm which is pleasant but slightly disturbing. My siblings have been enjoying the opportunity to play outside without freezing to death. It’s been nice, but I wish it would snow, maybe soon.

Anyway…………Here you go!

team autumn

I am a proud Team Autumn member. Sadly we are having a bit of trouble, I think that we are currently in third place, hopefully we will do better this category. Even if we don’t win, I’ve still been having fun participating in this year’s BIBPC. 🙂

The fifth category of BIBPC #7 is………………..surprise.

I found this rainbow by surprise. I was walking in our hallway a couple weeks ago when I saw it. It’s slightly dizzying because of how bright it is but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s always special when we can capture a rainbow, even if it is only a small one.

How’s your week been? What do you think of this picture?

Wintery Photos//feat. Pieces – Steffany Gritzinger

Unreserved, unrestrained

Your love is wild

Your love is wild for me

It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed

Your love is proud to be seen with me

‘Cause You don’t give Your heart in pieces

You don’t hide Yourself to tease us

Uncontrolled, uncontained

Your love is a fire, burning bright for me

It’s not a spark, it’s not just a flame

Your love is a light that all the world will see

All the world will see, that You don’t give Your heart in pieces

You don’t hide Yourself to tease us

Your love’s not fractured

It’s not a troubled mind

It isn’t anxious, it’s not the restless kind

Your love’s not passive, it’s never disengaged

It’s always present, it hangs on every word we say

Love keeps its promises, it keeps its word

It honors what’s sacred, because its vows are good

Your love’s not broken, it’s not insecure

Your love’s not selfish, Your love is pure

You don’t give Your heart in pieces

And You don’t hide Yourself to tease us

Pieces – Bethel Music


Hey Everyone.

I love this song so much. I been listening to it over and over again for the past couple days. It is such a beautiful illustration of God’s love for us. It always makes me want to cry.

Have you heard this song? What have you been listening to? Do you have snow where you live?

P.S. Hannah is having a really fun giveaway! You should go check it out!

BIBPC #7// Category 4

Hey Everyone.

It’s been awhile since I last posted. I missed the last category because of a busy week of school and stuff. I’m excited to have this picture though!

team autumn

The word for category four of BIBPC #7 is…………….lopsided.

And here is my picture. the pile is sort of lopsided or at least it is uneven. I’m not sure why I’m having so much trouble with this. *sighs*

These are all really great books that I totally recommend. I have reviews coming of several of them! My sister and I got Mark of The Raven for Christmas. It is so good! I’m excited to share (and write) a review of it.

Have you read or heard of any of these books? What is one of your favorite winter activities? (Reading definitely counts!)

Before I go, if you haven’t checked out Jo’s blog yet you really should! This piece of writing that Jo and Clara wrote together is definitely worth reading!