An intriguing supernatural story of life and love.
The premise for this story is one I’ve not seen before. Kudos Kellie for such an original idea! And it’s a series so the story doesn’t stop with book 1 – which is always great. I typically read Christian fiction, and while this is not, it is a clean read and even has the bonus of great moral lessons.
I love that Kellie isn’t afraid to tackle some serious issues and in a way that will not be too harsh for most readers – well done, Kellie! She brings to light the harsh realities of abortion, the ideas of what is “normal” in society, and the dangers of dating with no rules.
All in all, an entertaining and difficult to put down read! Excited for the next installment!
Most people search for decades to find their soulmate; Rachel Masterson was born with hers. Sharing her body with another soul has had its ups and downs for 15 year old Rachel, but there’s no one she’d rather share her life with than her soulmate, Rider. Fiercely devoted to him, Rachel has ostracized herself from most of her peers and gained a reputation as someone just a little too far gone on the wrong side of crazy.
Her family’s sudden move, however, gives her a chance at a fresh new life, without the stigma of her “imaginary friend.” Hit with the triple-whammy stress of trying to make new friends (and her first boyfriend) in a new school, in a new town, far away from the only other person who has ever understood her, Rachel’s relationship with Rider is strained by the choices that she makes, choices that ultimately lead to their separation.
When a tragic accident tears them apart, can Rachel learn to live and love again?
And not a book my kiddos are interested in either unfortunately.
Not much of a surprise though – my daughter is much more interested in Princess stories and my son has such a high reading level, it’s difficult to find young adult books on a high enough level for him.
I do believe that many middle grade students will enjoy the story though. It highlights the type of things many kids deal with in their school career and amazingly enough, even I related (and I was in middle school… well more than a few years ago).
The irony is this; my son’s imagination is every bit as active as the main character’s… but he didn’t recognize it. Perhaps that’s normal for someone with an overactive imagination. It feels perfectly normal to them, so they don’t see where they’re different.
Of course, in Atticus’ case, his classmates have pointed out just how different he is so there’s no doubt in his mind. WHY it is acceptableto make someone feel like a freak when they’re clearly exceptional… I will NEVER understand. OK… OK… I won’t go off on that tangent now but you get the idea.
Here is a brief synopsis from Zondervan:
Atticus Hobart couldn’t feel lower. He’s in love with a girl who doesn’t know he exists, he is the class bully’s personal punching bag, and to top it all off, his dad has just left the family. Into this drama steps Mr. Looney, a 77-year-old substitute English teacher with uncanny insight and a most unconventional approach to teaching. But Atticus soon discovers there’s more to Mr. Looney’s methods than he’d first thought. And as Atticus begins to unlock the truths within his own name, he finds that his hyper-imagination can help him forge his own voice, and maybe—just maybe—discover that the power to face his problems was inside him all along.
In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info about this book:
Charlotte came to Amish country to find answers. What she never expected to find was peace.
Charlotte Dolinsky is not above playing dress-up and telling a few lies to find out what happened to her only brother. In fact, that is exactly what she’s come to Lancaster County to do. Now, calling herself Mary and slipping on a kapp, Charlotte will lie her way into the confidence of anyone who knows why Ethan had to die. Unless she gets found out first.
But when Charlotte befriends a quiet Amish man named Isaac Miller, she begins to rethink her motives. And with a little help from a friend back home, Charlotte might find out that love comes packaged in ways she couldn’t have foreseen.
Isaac’s been caring for his cancer-stricken father and sympathizing with his frustrated mother for three difficult years. And that means he hasn’t been dating. He believes Hannah King is the woman for him, but Hannah is still grieving the loss of her fiancé, and Isaac has all he can handle on the farm. When Hannah’s family plays host to a woman named Mary, their new cousin shakes things up for all of them.
As Charlotte digs deeper into the mystery of Ethan’s death, she finds more than she’d bargained for in the community he once called home. But will she ever learn the truth? And what will the community—and her new family—do if they learn the truth about her?
In the meantime, you can click the links below to find more info on this intriguing NEW book:
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:
During her Bible Study picnic this morning, my daughter was singing the children’s song that inspired my post title.
I would just like to take this opportunity to remind reviewers everywhere how important it is to be careful what you put in your reviews.
Yes, we know you are excited about the book!
No, we know most of you would NEVER spoil a book for readers on purpose!
However… when writing up your review, it is always a good idea to have the book handy. A good rule of thumb is this: if it’s not in the back cover blurb, don’t reveal it in your review.
There are times when authors will also reveal bonus scenes – especially in a series or a long-awaited release – but again… that is up to the author, not the reviewer.
And if the author reveals bonus info, it’s fair game. You can even quote the author and link back to their post. They’ll love that because it’s like double exposure.
If you’ve read many of my reviews, you’ll know I once had a book spoiled for me.
If that reviewer had mentioned they had spoilers in their review, I NEVER would have read it… and it was all I could do to finish the book.I was glad I did because there was so much more to the story than what was revealed in the review but it was not the same.
… and the experience has had two unfortunate side effects:
1 – I don’t read reviews anymore until AFTER I’ve read the book. This means I don’t find new books to read often – unless it’s from a person I trust not to spoil it for me.
2 – I don’t often share others reviews – which is sad because there are some really great ones out there – but since it bothers me to even read reviews until after I’ve read the book, and I don’t usually NEED to read them by that time, I miss out on the good with the bad.
This movie touched me so deeply – I’m not even sure there are words to describe it.
Years ago, a story was shared with me about an abortion survivor – something that I was not even aware was possible. This movie brought every bit of that raw emotion right back to me.
I know a little bit about being unwanted… I was not a survivor of a failed abortion but I was a survivor of a failed marriage – and a child unwanted by her father.
Even now, thirty-five years later, my father and I only have a relationship at all because of my children… and – while I am thrilled to say that I have forgiven him – he will most likely never admit there is anything that needs forgiveness. For myself and my children, I have let go of that bitterness and our lives are so much better because of it.
I CHOOSE LIFE!
Every Life is Beautiful and we live in a society that seems to have forgotten that. It’s easy to proclaim yourself as pro-choice… but remember that YOU ARE HERE so clearly your parents were PRO-LIFE!
Aside from that, the movie itself was beyond amazing – absolutely believable, excellent flow and pacing, superb acting, spectacular staging and filming. How can I give it 10 stars… 20!
A MUST SEE Movie!
DON’T MISS the special features! There are some AMAZING extras included that just may elicit an emotional response that rivals the movie’s.
“You saw me before I was born.” Psalm 139:16 (NLT)
As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her theatrical debut in college. Yet before she can utter her first lines, Hannah-unscripted-collapses in front of the stunned audience.
After countless medical tests, all signs point to one underlying factor: Hannah’s difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to what she then learns from her parents: she was actually adopted … after a failed abortion attempt. Bewildered, angered, and confused, Hannah turns for support to Jason, her oldest friend.
Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah joins his group of friends on a Spring Break road trip, embarking on a journey to discover her hidden past … and find hope for her unknown future.
In the midst of her incredible journey, Hannah finds that life can be so much more than what you have planned.
Anyone who follows my book blog, knows that I review books… A LOT of books! I LOVE to read and I love to share my thoughts on these books with my followers.
Along this journey, I have been blessed to join several different street teams.
Recently I was forced to leave one of those street teams (on my own… NOT by the author). And, given some drama that has trickled through blogger circles of late, I felt the need to make mention of something that tends to be misunderstood…
A REVIEWER is someone who reads books and then posts reviews on sites like Christianbook.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc…
Some of these reviewers are sent books by publishers or promotional companies or the authors themselves.
Along with this “gifted” book comes the requirement that the reviewer gives an HONEST review… not just a positive one.
An INFLUENCER is someone who is part of a selected group of people who are chosen to help launch a book. Most authors ask the members to post reviews but they require them to be positive. In the case that a reviewer can not post a positive review, they are asked to post none at all – or at least to wait until a month or so after the book has released.
But the main job of an influencer is to help get the word out about a book’s release. They are responsible for splashing notifications across social media, requesting the book at local libraries and passing out promotional materials like bookmarks and pens.
A STREET TEAM is a combination of the two above.
The street team members’ job extends beyond a book’s release. They notify their followers and friends about sales on the author’s books, special giveaways and more. They also hand out promotional materials (when the author has them to pass out), and they are usually required to read the author’s books and review them.
Typically, an honest yet positive review is no problem in these groups because the members are generally fans of the author’s work. However, most authors do not require a positive review – simply an honest one… in order to have lots of reviews up – to encourage sales.
If a street team requires a positive review, this should always be made clear before the reviewers join. However, lately there has been a bit of drama that has made this point a bit murky.
There are street teams out there that are run, not by the author but by a fan or by the author’s assistant. When the case is a fan running the team, there may be some issues because the fan has their own ideas about the author’s work and if a member’s review does not line up with their own opinion, they may find it difficult to be unbiased.
My caution is this:
Reviewers – be careful about what street teams you join. DO not join simply because the author is high-profile. Join the street team of an author you admire, one you will have no problem promoting!
And be sure to read all of the requirements BEFORE you join!
Authors – be cautious about how you run your team (or who you choose to run the team for you). Any drama that goes on will not be laid at the feet of that person on social media. It will be attributed to your team and YOUR name.
Also… you should be extremely careful about setting boundaries about reviews. 5 stars on Amazon is great but word of mouth still carries a tremendous amount of weight and if a reviewer is unhappy, they will most likely tell almost everyone they know about it.
I would also suggest you watch what works and what doesn’t with your friends’ street teams. Learn by example and never hesitate to make suggestions to friends about their own teams. Just because you see where something doesn’t work, does not mean they do.
Of course it has to be said… some authors do not deal well with bad reviews. But think of it this way… Is it more important to have ALL good reviews or to have a large number of reviews? Whether the reviews are bad or good, having a large number means that a large number of people have read the book.
And… I speak from experience when I say that I have NEVER allowed a negative review to sway me from reading a book that interested me. I have also read more than a few books that received nothing but glowing reviews – which I did not enjoy.
I work very hard on my reviews. I chase down links, insert pictures, include blurbs and craft tweets to make sharing my posts that much easier for my readers.
Sadly, this is not the case for all bloggers. My mother and I both blog, both review books, and we both write. We have also… both had pieces of our blog posts stolen/imitated/paraphrased by other bloggers.
And I’m sure many of you who also follow my author blog – will remember the Fairy Tale Tabloid debacle from about 18 months ago. LINK.
So you can see why I was livid about an hour ago…
However… what other people do is between them and God. It’s not up to me to judge. It’s not up to me to even care.
I’m not going to stop posting or stop working so hard just because other people don’t want to.
but I am going to pray for them.
And I’m going to be very careful about who I let on my own street team when the day comes! You can be certain of that!
The First Principle is certainly what I would call a MUST READ! And I applaud Kregel Publishing for having the courage to stand up with women everywhere over a tremendously important issue!
This story hits home pretty hard for me as I was strongly encouraged by several family members to rid myself of a problem I was clearly not ready to handle – before my son was born.
Now, I was not a teenager and I am so very blessed I do not live in the same society outlined between these pages!
Because if I did, I would probably not have my precious babies – either one of them. And that would be a tragedy!
Now onto my review…
WOW! Just WOW! ~ From the front cover to the words on the back cover, this is just an exceptional book!
The frightening part is that many people could read this book and fail to see just what the problems are with how things work in the present government system…
However, I feel that Marissa Shrock does an excellent job of communicating how different a person’s outlook can be when they themself are in the hot seat.
Vivica’s ideals are a tiny bit shaky from the very beginning – she accepts what is – mostly because she has been told to accept it her entire life, but there is a niggling doubt. And it is that doubt that brings to light just how heinous the system is when she finds herself in trouble!
From there, the story just keeps spiraling deeper and deeper. Do not be fooled – this story is not just about teen pregnancy. There is a web of deceit and subterfuge laced throughout the pages that would impress even the most astute mystery reader!
And the underlying premise – salvation and redemption!
WOW! Just WOW!
I wish I could afford to buy and distribute copies of this book to every abortion clinic in the world. If even one mother changed her mind about what she is about to do after reading it, it would be worth EVERY penny because THERE IS NO PRICE you can put on a HUMAN LIFE!
I am SOOOO excited to discover that Miss Schrock is already busy on a sequel!
Don’t miss this compelling look at what could very well be our future. – Tweet this!
THERE IS NO PRICE you can put on a HUMAN LIFE! – Tweet this!
“Without life, there can be no liberty or pursuit of happiness.” ~ Marissa Shrock – Tweet this!
In the not-too-distant future, the United Regions of America has formed. Governors hold territories instead of states, and while Washington, DC, is gone, the government has more control than ever before. For fifteen-year-old Vivica Wilkins, the daughter of a governor, this is life as usual. High school seems pretty much the same–until one day, that controlling power steps right through the door during study hall.
When Vivica speaks out to defend her pregnant friend against the harsh treatment of Population Management Officer Marina Ward, she has no idea she’s sowing the seeds of a revolution in her own life. But it isn’t long before she discovers her own illegal pregnancy. Now she has to decide whether to get the mandatory abortion–or follow her heart, try to keep the baby, and possibly ruin her mother’s chances at becoming president.
A rebel group called the Emancipation Warriors, who are fighting to restore freedoms once held unalienable, offer her asylum. Can Vivica trust these rebels to help her or will they bring everything crashing down around her? Accepting their help may come with consequences she isn’t ready to face.
Marissa Shrock’s debut novel crafts a chilling story of what may be to come if we allow the economic and moral crises currently facing our country to change the foundations on which we built our independence–and of the difference one person can make when they choose to trust God’s lead.
And you can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.
FSOG IS NOT a Love story! It is a story of manipulation and ABUSE!
This review is going to be quite a bit different from every other one on this blog but please bear with me… I promise I’ll be as succinct as possible!
There is a certain movie opening this weekend that is seeking to DESTROY Valentine’s Day and all that is precious to us about it!
There is a massive facebook/twitter campaign going on right now – against the heinous 50 Shades of… books AND movie! I am using the campaign’s hashtag in my title above – #NoGreyNoWay. You can click on one of the links below for more info…
You should be aware that some of the posts on these sites contain graphic information – as many women and men are sharing their own personal experiences about past abuse.
Please stand with us as we spread the word to our friends, family and even strangers.
If you truly care – you will want to do everything possible to protect others from the damaging and devastating effects of this series!
And that begins with NOT seeing the movie this weekend! In fact, I am going so far as to steer clear of ANY movie theater showing the movie! Putting money in their pockets – even for another movie – is NOT going to make the point!
NO, I have not – and I will not – read the book (or watch the movie)! And that may be confusing some of you who read my reviews because you’re wondering why I’m “reviewing” something I haven’t read or seen…
I know that there are times that Christian leaders feel the need to read or watch what they are begging their followers to oppose – so that they have all the information they need to present a well-argued case.
But in this case… and in my opinion, that is a very bad idea! Exposing your mind to ANYTHING of this nature is just inviting the devil to create a foothold in your very soul – which he will then use to create a stronghold which will push more sin into your life.
Allowing this story into your head allows it into your heart, your mind, your soul!
You think you can handle it. You tell yourself that you need to be able to make an informed argument. You tell yourself that you need to have ammo to feed that argument. You tell yourself that you can’t properly argue against something you haven’t read or watched personally…
But this series is FAR TOO DANGEROUS to adhere to these rationales.
I am here today to ask you to stand with me and millions of others
and put a stop to this movie right now!
We need to send a strong message to the makers of the movie. They HAVE TO KNOW we are serious!
They HAVE TO KNOW that they will not tear down strong women… men… families… marriages!
They HAVE TO KNOW that we will not lay down and let them roll right over us!
We will stand up for our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, our friends! We will not allow someone to tell us that it is OK for a man to mistreat a woman – even if she agrees to it!
An abuser is very skilled at convincing you that you asked for it, wanted it, enjoy it.
IT IS A LIE!
No one has the right to treat you like a thing!
No one has the right to treat you like trash!
No one has the right to degrade you and drag you down!
An abuser will tell you that you are not enjoying yourself because you aren’t submitting in the right way.
The greatest trick the devil ever played on women was to make them think submission equals abuse… and then to make them think that choosing to be abused is not abuse but is instead, empowerment – that it is fun, exciting, sexy…
Choosing it does not make it LOVE!
Choosing it does not make it RIGHT!
Choosing it does not make it ENJOYABLE!
It doesn’t matter if it’s consensual or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s by choice or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s “fiction” or not!
From what I understand about the series, the whole consent situation is murky at best anyway – as miss Ana was under the influence of alcohol at the time she “gave consent” – Men have gone to prison for less!
Abuse and degradation are nothing to take lightly or as something that is OK as long as we’re talking about two adults or even as long as we are talking about fiction!
It is NEVER OK –not in a fictional story, not in a movie, and certainly not in reality!