This is not your grandmother’s kind of girl power.
To Best the Boys is one of those books that young girls, and young teen girls need today! It’s not some ridiculous novel that keeps shouting “girl power” at you. It’s the kind of story that SHOWS you girl power… and still shows human weakness and imperfection.
Mary mentioned on social media the other day that she struggled with this novel more than a little bit. I tend to think that is part of what makes this such a compelling read. That struggle is embedded in every word on the page, shining through the characters’ words and actions!
There’s also adventure, and danger, and MAGIC!
Don’t miss it!
Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University.
Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.
In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.
With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.
I actually read a few other reviews for this book, and the ones that said it was not as good as the first, I wondered at.
And then I read it, and WOW! I do not get those reviews! Because I thought Evermore was every bit as good as Everless… maybe even better. It pulled me in, and every time I had to put the book down, it was all I could do not to snap at whomever was the reason for it that time. It was AMAZING! The ending was not at all predictable. The story was so intriguing, I found myself racing ahead, just to find out what was going to happen. I actually had to make myself go back and read what I had rushed through several times because I was so excited, I missed things.
It was just that GOOD!
The highly anticipated sequel to New York Times bestseller, Everless!
Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: not only are the stories true, but she herself is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.
The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Jules must delve into the stories that she now recognizes are accounts of her own past. For it is only by piecing together the mysteries of her lives that Jules will be able to save the person who has captured her own heart in this one.
TAKING HOLD OF HOPE, BEAUTY, AND LIFE IN A HURTING WORLD.
Bestselling author Stasi Eldredge shows readers how to choose a joy that stands against the tides of life’s real and often overwhelming pain.
We are called to live.And, miraculously, to live with joy.
We all spend a lot of energy reaching for happiness, but we are never quite able to hang on to it. Real life happens, and our circumstances take us on an emotional rollercoaster ride. So the Bible’s call to “be joyful always” sounds almost crazy—and out of reach. But it doesn’t have to be.
Joy is meant to be ours, a joy that is defiant in the face of this broken world. This joy is not simply happiness on steroids; it’s the unyielding belief that sorrow and loss do not have the final say. It’s the stubborn determination to be present to whatever may come and to interpret both goodness and grief by the light of heaven.
In Defiant Joy, Stasi Eldredge invites us with courage, candor, and tender vulnerability to a place beyond sadness or happiness. She shows us how to maintain a posture of holy defiance that neither denies nor diminishes our pain but dares to live with expectant, unwavering hope.
We are called to live.
And, miraculously, to live with joy.
Those are words written with the intention of changing lives!
Why defiant joy? Why not… simply joy? … In this world where we find ourselves living, having joy often feels both crazy and out of reach.”
Those words say it all. This world is not one where any of us can find joy without being defiant… without “standing against the tide, going against the flow…” without making the tough decision to grab hold of joy and refuse to let go.
This is a book that everyone needs in this hopeless, miserable world we exist in, this world where joy is quickly sought out and squashed by the enemy on a daily basis.
I can see this is going to be a year of stunning reads!
Have you ever been so enthralled with a story, so immersed, so desperate to get to the conclusion that is dangling oh so tantalizingly out of reach… that you actually miss part of the story and have to go back and re-read?
THAT is precisely how intense the pull was for this reader at multiple points of the story. I literally had to put the book down, remind myself to breathe, and then pick it up and read again the story I had just read.
Everless is one of those stories that will pull you in and refuse to let go. Long after you release the last page, the haunting story will hold you in its grip and you’ll have to remind yourself that it’s not real… that the words are just a fictional creation that was given birth by a mere mortal from this little blue world we inhabit.
Yes. It’s that GOOD! And how fortuitous that we do not have to wait for book 2. Evermore is already here, released into the world to wreak a similar havoc among readers such as me.
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
CJ Redwine was 100% spot on it when she said this book was “Brilliant, fascinating, and utterly impossible to put down.”
I picked this book up at the library yesterday and only put it down early this morning, nearly breathless with the absolutely exceptional ending.
Whether you enjoy fairy-tale retellings or just refreshingly exciting fantasy, this is a book you should immerse yourself in immediately!
You won’t be sorry!
I picked it up at the library on the recommendation of a friend and now I will be buying not one, but two books, because I have to have both books in the series and I dearly hope Miss West will grace us with another!
Don’t miss the companion novella; Fields of Fire! That’s my next read. It will keep me enchanted until I get my hands on Realm of Ruins; book 2 in this incomparable new series!
Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting.
An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two – now three – after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors?
She draws on her ability to disguise herself as a man to infiltrate a prince’s band of soldiers, and masquerades as a fairy godmother to shield a cursed princess, but time is running out. As an army of dark creatures grows closer, Bristal faces a supernatural war. To save the kingdoms, Bristal must find the courage to show her true form.
Building on homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular debut.
The story of Beauty and the Beast finds new life in this magical and imaginative retelling that’s filled with romance and adventure.
By the time her sixteenth birthday comes around, Belle feels more convinced than ever that she is being called by the wrong name. Unlike her older sisters Celeste and April, whose names suit them perfectly, Belle knows that she is not beautiful. She begs to be called by her given name, Annabelle—or even Anna for short—but to no avail. Her solace is her wood-carving hobby, and she longs to find the Heartwood tree: Legend has it that, when carved by the right hands, it can reveal the face of one’s true love.
One day, during a fierce storm, Belle’s father stumbles upon the fabled tree—only to become ensnarled by it and come face-to-face with a terrifying and lonely Beast, who will set him free on one condition: that Belle carves the Heartwood. Belle agrees, never dreaming that she and the Beast have the same wish: to be seen not with the eyes of the mind, but of the heart.
There is nothing I like more than an intriguing fairy tale retelling that is fresh and original… even though the story holds more similarities to the original story than the most frequently told story these days.
One of the best parts about a retelling is how much more involved you get with the main characters. In the original fairy tales, the story focused on the middle and the end. With a retelling, you can explore the beginning.
Belledoes that and it’s wonderful. We have a chance to become very attached to Belle and her family, get a look into who she really is and what makes her tick. It makes the middle of the story that much more exciting and intense.
I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the books in this series, and I’m glad to discover that I’ve not started in the middle since most of the books seem to be stand-alones.
If you haven’t read them, you should check them out HERE.
Young women today are constantly told they are not enough for this world—not pretty enough, not smart enough, not exciting enough, not spiritual enough, and just plain not good enough. The barrage is constant. The consequences are real. The damage often feels permanent.
As a young woman herself, Grace Valentine has felt the pressure of trying to survive in a toxic culture, let alone thrive. But she’s had enough. With an engaging combination of honesty and humor, Grace uses her story to confront the lies the world tells us every day—lies such as:
You are beautiful because a guy told you so,
Love must be earned,
You should forget your past,
You will never be enough, and more.
Am I Enough? is a line in the sand. It’s a declaration that we will never be enough for this world because we were not created for this world. Instead, Grace reminds us that we were created by Someone better for something better. We can choose the One who has chosen us—the One who says: “You are enough for Me, My child. Come as you are.”
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this book, is that it could have been so much more.
The author had an opportunity to present positive ideas and affirmation and yet, the majority of the book reads as judgement.
Don’t get me wrong… The writing is humorous. The stories are well told. But the underlying message is judgment, not affirmation.
In 221 pages, the author had ample opportunities to tell the reader that it does not matter whether the world thinks they’re beautiful or not, they are beautiful because God made them in his image.
But she didn’t.
Instead she spent the 221 pages, in the guise of helpful advice, telling young girls that they are not as good a Christian as they should be if they focus too much on their looks or on their abilities.
I do not get the feeling that message was the author’s intention. I feel as if the true message was perhaps lost in translation. Perhaps the author conveyed this message better on her blog. I suppose I’ll have to read it to see.
As for the book, I don’t plan to pass it on to anyone, but you never know… I might run across someone who needs it…
From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn.
With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.
Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.
But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.
I fell in love with Melanie’s books years ago in an intriguing twist of fate that can only be described as a situation where truth is stranger than fiction.
This is just a mother in a long Line of amazing fairy tales written without magic or any actual fairies.
REAL people live out AMAZING adventures in these true-to-life Historical Happily Ever Afters!
Serafina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation – and burden – that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk.
On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother’s hopes.
The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin’s arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina’s darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.
And I’ll likely find more books then to buy! No big surprise there! Me walking into a book store nearly always leads to me leaving with a stack/bag/arm/box-full of new books to stack. . . and read. . . and photograph. . . and then find a place for on one of the many shelves and bookcases in our home.
At any rate. . .
This series caught my eye because it had a Mermaid on the cover!
So, of course, it caught my attention and my daughter Macy‘s too!
Then we discovered that it was a 4-book series! WHAT!
Well, obviously we had to have all of them! Book Market had book 1 and book 3, but not 2 or 4. TRAGEDY! And thus began a three store journey to find ALL of the books! Spoiler alert: we found them all! YAY US!
Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.
Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.
But what if death finds him first?
Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.
The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.
The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.
No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.
I am sad to say, I didn’t even hear the door when the UPS man arrived yesterday, but I am sure everyone in the house heard my shriek of excitement when I opened the box and found this book that I have been waiting for – for what feels like FOREVER!
Seriously, the cover image above does NOT even begin to do justice to the breathtaking cover!
And THIS is why some of my books are steme-themed. I LOVE the historical aspects; balls and intrigue, fancy clothes and cool masks. Awesome to find other authors who enjoy the same elements I do in Fantasy fiction!
An exciting premise! A daring adventure! An intriguing story!
If you enjoy Nadine Brandes’ books, don’t miss this one!
OK… I finished with Marissa Meyer’s ASTONISHING Lunar Chronicles and I had to go back and reread her NEW triumph (that I’m still hoping someone talks her into expanding into a series) Heartless!
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times-bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Continuing on my feature of Marissa Meyer’s incomparable Lunar Chronicles, this week’s feature is book 4: Winter! WAH!!! It’s over. . .
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.
It’s available in Paperback now so I can finally complete my collection! I’ve been waiting forever because I LOVE having all of my books matching (of course, I’ve had the eBook all this time so I could read it!)!
Continuing on my feature of Marissa Meyer’s incomparable Lunar Chronicles, this week’s feature is Fairest: the story of that most wretched of all evil queens!
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.
Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.
I detest stories that try to excuse a villain’s abhorrent behavior–and I was thrilled to find that this is not one of those and that is all I’m going to say because I simply refuse to chance spoiling it for anyone!
Continuing on my feature of Marissa Meyer’s incomparable Lunar Chronicles, this week’s feature is book 3: Cress! HELLO Thorne!!!
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
Thorne reminds me of the clever and inventive reluctant hero from a certain NEW movie about the long haired fairy tale Princess. . . and I am not the only one!
Oh my, Captain Thorne! Who doesn’t love a devious scoundrel!
Last week I featured book 1 of the Lunar Chronicles series. This week, I want to talk about book 2.
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Too often, a sequel just does not live up to the original. Not so with Scarlet. This is an exceptional second installment! BRAVO Marissa!
This week I am thrilled to present a personal favorite: CINDER
I read this book for the first time about eighteen months ago. I missed the boat when the book released initially, but I finally caved and read book 1. Thankfully, books 2 and 3 were already out at that point and I didn’t have to wait very long for book 4.
A forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .
CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.
This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.
I highly recommend this story for anyone who enjoys fairy tales, fantasy romance, steampunk, technopunk or dieselpunk, futuristic cities, or cyborgs
Rescued from the streets of Ticswyk by esteemed inventor Lionel Cogg, she has been fitted with implants to enhance her natural feline abilities. When Lionel is kidnapped, Cali must put her skills to the test to free him.
Dark schemes are in the works—a plague of tiny clockwork spiders are wreaking havoc on the city’s inhabitants. Only Cali, with help from her trusted mouse friend Emmit, can get to the bottom of it all. With a criminal mastermind planning a major heist, Cali must race against time to unravel his plot before he escapes with the city’s greatest treasure.
I received the book free in exchange for an honest review.
Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below. I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.
Before I begin, let me just say – I really really like this cover! The one that is wrapped around my advance paperback is pretty, sure, but the one I’ve used below really catches the eye!
OK . . . now to what is between the covers.
I LOVE . . . LOVE LOVE LOVE . . . the Harry Potter series.
I even love the movies.
In my personal opinion, the 8 HP movies are a bright and shining example that once in a while . . . a long while . . . a movie (in this case, movies) can be made right!
Yes I know – I got distracted again. I do that.
OK . . . WOW!
And I really mean WOW!
Nicole Rivera has a gold mine in this wonderful devotional! This book has not only given me a new appreciation for one of my all-time favorite book series, it has shown me a wonderful new look into the story behind the story!
I don’t know if I ever would have connected all of those dots. Of course, I never saw the Biblical significance in the Narnia stories either – until someone pointed them out to me. That is the brilliance of such stories (or rather – parables).
God has truly given Nicole a vision and I am thrilled she is sharing it with the world!
Here is a short synopsis of the book and the opening letter – which will give you some insight into Nicole’s vision.
Finding Unauthorized Faith in Harry Potter.Explore life’s deepest truths. Discover wisdom about friendship, courage, loyalty, and love from the Boy-Who-Lived and his magical friends. Coming December 10, 2015 in ebook and trade paper.
Finding Unauthorized Faith in Harry Potter by Nicole L Rivera, is a Christian devotional especially suited for young adults and all fans of the remarkable series, and for use as in group Bible studies.
Nicole reveals the Harry Potter story as a guide to life’s deepest truths, offering inspiration about faith, friendship, courage, loyalty, love, and other wisdom of the Bible. She advises us about how to live like Christ and the Harry Potter heroes.
The book is not yet available everywhere but it is available for pre-order at the following retailers: SMASHWORDS, B&N, ITUNES, and AMAZON.
WHOO HOO! I have officially gotten in on the ground floor this time!
It feels so good to be here for once in my life.
And YES! I am taking sides.
I LOVE IT!!!! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!
Haters are gonna have their say, but those of us who love it will too.
First a bit of back-story — because I am an author and we all love back-story — haven’t you noticed . . .
I did not discover twilightuntil it was already slated to become a movie. I literally (yes I know it sounds like I am comparing myself to a certain heroine, but I’m not – I’m really that way) stumbled across a discussion on a social site and was immediately intrigued.
I have always been a bit different from everyone else I know . . . slightly odd, slightly off, slightly obsessed with weird and unexplainable things (remember, I write speculative fiction) – and so the idea of non-evil vampires was too exciting to pass up.
So . . . anyway, I found a copy at a nearby bookstore and started reading.
And . . . I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down.
I don’t care what anyone says. Yes, it may have been rushed a bit. Yes, it was Stephenie’s first novel. Yes, there may have been some errors or spots where the writing lacked, but you know what – I am not a natural editor and I do not remember ANYTHING pulling me out of the magnificent story world . . . well, not anything from the book anyway.
I began pretty late in the day and read right through the night. Even though I knew my kiddos would get me up super early, I did not close my eyes until I’d finished the very last page of the book.
Actually, it was probably about a half hour after I finished that last page, because I sat there grinning like an idiot for at least five minutes and then it took a long time to get my brain to shut up so I could go to sleep. I kept going over my favorite scenes and stifling the ridiculous schoolgirl giggles that kept escaping.
Obviously, I went out the next day and hunted down copies of new moon and eclipse, and it’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure I had to wait for breaking dawn – which I’m certain was a special kind of torture, but somehow I survived.
You see, these books had done something for me that no trashy romance novel I had ever read could – they had given me a REAL fantasy about what love truly should be.
And it was amazing!
Speaking as someone who has not had good fortune in the romance department, I was thrilled to read about a young woman who made good choices where love was concerned.
Far too many people look at Bella Swan and pick at her because when everyone around her is doing their crazy superhero thing, she stands there and lets them handle things, but those are people who did not read the scene at the end of the book . . . clearly. Most of them probably never made it through half the first book, much less the second and third and last book – where Bella becomes the ultimate superhero . . . the one they all look at with this crazy awe, the one who most certainly does NOT stand behind anyone else, the one who . . . literally . . . saves. the. day.
Stop glaring at me. That is not a spoiler. Not at this late date.
And now for the painful part.
The movie killed it, absolutely destroyed that beautiful bubble of perfection for me.
When every other female in the theater screamed as “Edward” came on screen, I groaned – yes, out loud. I am quite certain no one heard me because they were too busy screaming and hyperventilating, but I did.
I groaned because that guy was not my Edward. The Edward in my mind was actually flawless – not stupid and awkward and wearing a stinking “members only” jacket – which, in case you aren’t my age – meant you were the ultimate dork . . . or at least it did when I was in school. No. Way. to make that cool for me. E. V. E. R.
Yes, I watched the movies – because in some crazed, desperate way, I kept hoping it would somehow get better enough to fix that horrible, agonizing death.
And in a way, it did . . . a little.
Rob’s makeup and wardrobe got better with the second movie. His acting even improved . . . slightly.
The second movie was done incredibly well and I quite enjoyed it, but . . . it really didn’t matter. The bubble had been decimated and there was no getting it back. All I could really do was hold on to the improvements and try to enjoy the ride.
And I do enjoy watching the movies. I enjoy – immensely – that last scene of the last movie. I enjoy the music . . . well, most of it, and I enjoy seeing Bella be the amazingly awesome superhero that saves everyone – everyone!
But it has never been the same.
OH. MY. WORD!
I refuse. REFUSE! to spoil the new story for anyone.
But I can say that my faith in the series has been restored!
Sitting there, reading about Beau and Edythe, I felt the same delirious, giggly, romantic high that I experienced when reading the original twilight for the very first time.
Somehow, Stephenie has healed the devastation – that movie #one caused in me – with this wildly perceptive idea of hers!
And regardless of what anyone says – ONLY an INCREDIBLY gifted author could have pulled this off!
Only an AMAZINGLY talented author could have had me hearing a guy’s voice in my head as I read Beau’s words . . . knowing many of those words as well as I do from the dozens of times I read the books before I watched the first movie.
Impressive that Stephenie was able to accurately describe how differently a young man would react to things – because, let’s face it; boys do not react to things the same way girls do – not often anyway.
Doubly impressive to see how different Stephenie succeeded in making the few reactions that were essentially the same ones we had seen from Bella . . . feel . . . as if they were actually tailored for Beau, when we remembered that was not the case, because Bella had reacted just the same way.
However, the most impressive part was when I became so involved in the story, that I completely forgot I was reading a story that bore a strong resemblance to another I read nearly ten years ago.
It felt fresh and brand new.
It was amazing and exhilarating and exciting!
And I just may be able to go back and read the original twilightagain and really enjoy it.
Thank you, Stephenie.
By the way . . . just for the record . . . I finished the book on Wednesday. Just thought you should know. 😉
I have never read one of Ted Dekker’s books – I couldn’t get past the covers, so I was hesitant to even consider his daughter’s book. However, I am very glad that I did!
…and that isn’t even the reason this was one of the most difficult books I have ever reviewed!
The Choosingis oneof those books that will grab hold of you and refuse to let you go until it’s finished with you!
And the main focus of the story is something that I have had difficulty with ALL my life!
Looking at pictures of Rachelle Dekker, it is difficult to believe she could know anything about having a low self-worth… but if she never experienced it, she clearly did her research well.
And in reading other reviews, I’m not sure everyone who read the book has truly gotten the point… clearly they have never dealt with low self-worth (or they’re just trying to mask that they have) but as someone who has been there for much of her life, I can tell you that she hit the mark squarely!
And… if you’ve never dealt with low self-worth, it’s a fantastic post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel that will really grab your attention!
Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for—her Choosing ceremony—to end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.
But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. Though the whispers contradict everything she’s been told, they resonate deep within.
Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, yet she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.
In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info on this book:
Well, I have to admit – reading over my initial review was a bit… odd.
Anyone who read it the first time around – knows that.
For anyone who has not read it, you can click HERE if you’re curious.
OK… now, having said that – I’m going to try to do the review justice again.
If you read my review yesterday, you know I came late to this wonderful series and it seems like I had to wait forever to read the next chapter in Nathaniel and Susanna’s romance!”
I was also tickled to find out that this wonderful story will be available in March of this year in a PAPER book with two other wonderful stories in the Year of Weddings series!
Now on to my review…
I am reminded yet again that Rachel Hauck is a GREAT writer! WOW!
You could not have pried the tablet out of my hand! while I was reading A March Bride
Every trial, every misstep, every twist and turn of this amazing story shows you that Rachel Hauck is in tune with precisely how God’s plans work!
We think our own stumbling blocks are just that. And sometimes… maybe… they are – because we have to stumble to look up.
Each trial you have in your own life, whether it is part of God’s plan or not, will help get you on your way to the destination God has in mind for you, and I LOVE that Rachel has that in mind when she’s writing these stories.
In fact, God is central to her novels in a way unlike most others you will read. It’s AMAZING! God has truly gifted Rachel Hauck with such an amazing gift!
The only complaint I have about this book is that there wasn’t more of it!
Whether you enjoyed Once Upon A Prince or not, A March Bride is a MUST READ! – Tweet this!
Here’s a bit more about A March Bride from Zondervan:
Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.
Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna’s heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her.
Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own—right down to her very identity.
When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.
A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.
You can find reviews and links to purchase this fabulous series by clicking the links below!
There is a twist to “The Word Changers” that I did not see coming.
The blurb does not make it clear that the King is also the director/dictator of “the plot”. That’s quite a twist!
And it’s the only spoiler you’ll get out of me…
I don’t believe I’ve ever read this type of idea in a story. They say there are no new ideas – but with this story… I don’t know, it sounds original to me!
What reader doesn’t dream about getting sucked into their favorite book!
Now, when I say I’ve never read about this specific idea – I should mention that I have read/watched other books/movies about getting sucked into a book.
However, in those stories, the characters had no idea they were inside the covers of a book. They just participated in the story as it was written.
This story is very different. The characters in this book are very much aware of the fact that they are in a book. They all act and react according to “the plot”. And that is what makes the book unique.
So I suppose the above statement is at least half true… the story is a new twist on an old idea.
Ashlee does a wonderful job with her descriptions. The settings come alive, the story line is exceptionally vivid – holding your attention to the very end, and her characters are believable, growing with the story – as characters should.
Here is a bit more about “The Word Changers” from Conquest Publishers:
Her parents’ marriage is falling apart. Fifteen-year-old Posy feels her life is falling apart with it. Posy retreats to an old library down the street, where she selects a mysterious book in a secluded corner and is magically drawn into its story.
Posy finds herself in a kingdom ruled by a cruel and manipulative king and queen who have attempted to usurp the role that belongs only to the Author of their story. With the princess having fled and the kingdom teetering toward rebellion, Posy is joined by Prince Kyran as they fight against their slavery to the Plot.
Posy and the prince search beyond the borders of the story for the runaway princess. They encounter mysterious places, horrifying monsters, and fierce battles. They make both friends and enemies as their journey leads them into many dangers. But some of the worst dangers, Posy soon finds, lie deep within her own heart. Will she be able to find the courage and forgiveness needed, not only to save the story, but to heal the heartache she knew in her own world?
You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.
I can not remember when I have ever laughed so hard… Well, yes I can but it had been a while.
This is not a book that you should miss!
Looking for strong female characters – they don’t get any stronger than the Wilde sisters!
Looking for adventure – it’s on the very first page… and then some! The whole book is filled with adventure after adventure, just like the wild west was!
Looking for God – you will find him in this story! He’s there and He’s not just slapped in as an afterthought! Even with such unconventional characters, they live their lives by a very clear Biblical world-view.
Mary Connealy is a masterful writer who had me on the edge of my seat from the first sentence. I was either fearing for someone’s life, cringing at the temper I knew was coming or laughing hysterically.
You won’t be able to put it down. You family will go from being annoyed at you for growling like a grizzly bear fresh out of hibernation to annoyed with your constant outbursts of laughter. Yes, I speak from experience.
Amazing! Absolutely amazing! Historical fiction about the wild west is another genre I never thought I would enjoy but Mary Connealy has made a fan out of me!
Now I just have to find some more of her books! And wait patiently… OK, not so patiently then, for the rest of this series.
I know you don’t need anymore convincing but here’s some anyway…
Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters! Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister–and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It’s a risk–they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as “boys”–but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.
Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?
Another great laugh-out-loud historical romance with memorable characters who have charm, style, grace, and a bit of mischief.
RT Book Reviews on In Too Deep
Connealy’s style is fast-paced and spritely and sure to keep drawing fans.
With her trademark humor, Connealy weaves a delightful tale that is sure to please her fans and win new readers.
Library Journal on Over the Edge
You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.
“Pulled” is a short story in Becca Campbell’s Flawed series and the only complaint I have is that it’s TOO SHORT!
I want more! And I’m sure you will too!
She give us just enough of these new characters to whet our appetite and then she yanks the rug out of from under her reader.
Hopefully, we will see the characters again soon in one of the other novels planned for her Flawed series!
You can find this short novella for Kindle and Nook and I’m told it will shortly be available on iTunes as well.
The story is not a continuation of Becca’s first book in the Flawed series, “Empath”. It is a stand-alone side story in that same universe. We meet Juniper, a “runaway” foster child and Becca gives us just enough background to make us want more.
She also introduces us to several other characters who are “gifted” – like many of the characters we met in “Empath”.
It may be labeled YA and it may be a story about an 8 year old girl but Becca caught me with the very first sentence – which would be why I was so shocked at the sudden ending. I’m sure that was part of her evil plan…lol
All told, a most intriguing story and well worth the sticker price of $.99
Don’t miss it! And watch for Becca’s next story in the Flawed series: “Outsider”
What GoodReads has to say about “Pulled :
Eight-year-old Juniper has been labeled many things—troubled kid, orphan, runaway—but none of her foster families have known what she really is: a girl with a unique and brutally inconvenient ability to teleport.
Her spontaneous jumps are not only beyond her control, they get her into trouble. When Juniper disappears, no one believes her wild stories, so she’s stopped trying to convince them.
One day when Juniper gets pulled away, finding her way back is harder than ever. Stranded on the side of a deserted highway, she must rely on her own instincts to determine who is a creepy stranger and who she can trust.
Resourcefulness may get her home, but is getting home enough when you don’t have parents that love you?
Juniper knows something most people don’t: there are others like her with unexplained abilities. Until now, she’s exercised stranger-danger caution, but maybe these people can offer what she needs.
Will Juniper find a family she can share her secrets with?
LINKS: You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.
I have to admit that I only read this book because my 10 year old son (who is now 11) told me that I had to read“The Captive Maiden”.
Now you’re wondering why…
Once upon a time, I signed up to win a copy of Melanie Dickerson’s“The Captive Maiden” and I won. I was surprised because I don’t usually win when I sign up for giveaways. I do it to show support for the author.
But apparently God meant for me to read this series!
I was not impressed when I started reading the book. The cruelty was almost too much for me and I stopped reading. Then my son picked up the book, looked at the cover and read the back. After that, he demanded that I read it. This was such a rare occurrence (usually he ignores the books I buy or teases me about it) that I knew I had to give it a try.
And again, it must have been God’s leading.
These books are the absolute BEST versions I’ve ever seen of what are typically know of as “classic” fairy tales!
I’ve read reviews that complain about the strong themes in these books and I’ve read reviews that say they wish more from the original tales had been incorporated. And I am here to tell you that, in my opinion, they are wrong.
Melanie Dickerson deals with hard-core themes, yes. But she does it in a way that is honest and realistic while maintaining, what some may feel are ridiculously, high standards of modesty and decency – but I find refreshing in a world of bared bodies and brutish language. Our children need to be aware of these things and how to deal with them, especially since they are very much a part of the world we live in today. As much as I would like to shelter them from everything bad or wrong in the world, they have to know that evil exists and they have to know how to confront it!
I feel that Melanie Dickerson presents these harsh issues with grace and discretion.
And as for having more from the original tales, I think it is amazing how well Melanie weaves the pieces of the classic fairy tales through her own stories – using them to help tell the story and reveal the hidden truths slowly throughout.
“The Healer’s Apprentice” is a masterpiece of reality blended flawlessly with fairy tale!
Melanie Dickerson’s characters are simply astonishing – well written, colorful and embodying the very same values and flaws of the heroes and villains that inspired them. And, as much as I would love to say that she always paints the bad guys as bad – it would not be true to life if that were the case.
Evil is deceptive and tricky and it is not always easy to see it for what it really is.
The plot is so well-conceived, it is difficult to believe this is the first book she wrote after fifteen years of not writing. It flows beautifully and there is absolutely nothing I can think that would add to it.
And now I have three more books to look forward to – “The Merchant’s Daughter” and “The Fairest Beauty” right now and “The Princess Spy” releases soon!
Just in case you’re still not convinced…
Here is what Zondervan says about the series
Two Hearts. One Hope.
Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.
When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she’s never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding.
As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.