Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Daring Sacrifice: A BookLook Blogger Review

Sometimes I like to read what is coming out for young adult literature in the Christian genre. This particular premis intrigued me and seemed like a promising storyline. After I began reading and felt slightly confused I found out that this is a book in a series by Jody Hedlund. I believe I would have felt more comfortable with the story if I had read the previous novel, but since I hadn't I did my best to grasp the ideas. 

Julianna, the heroine of the story, finds unlikely romance with the one she would at first see as her enemy. Julianna, the rightful heir to the kingdom, has been in hiding for her safety, with all of the people in the kingdom assuming her dead. She has been able to hide her true identity even from the small band of thieves she unites with in order to help save the kingdom from starvation while the evil Lord Wessex does all he can to keep everything for his own purposes. 

While the relationship between Julianna and Collin was intriguing, I was concerned about the amount of physical intimacy and how it was described. Being a young adult book, it will probably be read by teen girls. As a married woman some of the intimate moments made me uncomfortable and I would not want my own daughters reading this as teenagers. If this was a secular novel I don't know that I would have mentioned this, but being in the Christian genre it concerns me. There are many worse novels out there in this regard, but when my daughters read Christian fiction there is a level of purity and prudence which I expect. Whether or not the word sees this as realistic does not matter. I desire my girls to be led in a direction of purity of heart and I will not be giving this particular novel to them to read even when they are of the correct age. 

That being said, the story was well written, but I think parents should use caution with this particular series based on how the physical side of the romantic relationships is portrayed. 

Disclaimer: I received this title from BookLook Bloggers in return for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way. I was not required to write a positive review.

An Elegant Facade: A Net Galley Review

I have found a new author and fallen in love with her tales! Kristi Ann Hunter has captured my imagination and helped me enjoy more about the Regency Era. After reading the forward I realized this is the third in the Hawthorne House series, which discouraged me a little bit as I tend to like to read series in order. I was pleasantly surprised that this novel, although a continuation of the Hawthorne family story, is a stand-alone book in its own right.

This story set at the turn of the 19th century opens with a very spoiled and somewhat bratty Lady Goergina, or so she hopes everyone perceives her that way. The irony of her genuine personality comes through clearly and the reader soon learns all is not as it seems. I anxiously anticipated the answer as to why Georgina so desired to wear the mask she chose and found the answer poignent and compelling. I do not want to give anything way, but the research and understanding the author went to is clear and I have a great appreciation for the deeper aspects of this novel. 

I love that my Kindle App can tell me just how long a book will be. I usually check this after I read the first chapter. I was delighted to discover that I would have over 5 hours of reading this gem. The first words captured my attention and kept me engrossed. My husband found me sneaking in reading time as I cooked, exercised, and even during our school breaks each day! He commented that I must have found a really good one! 

I also am excited that there are two more books in the series, another novel and a novella, about this family. What started out as disappointment and concern I'd be confused has turned into elation that I can spend some more time with the Hawthorne family. I look forward to reading more from Krisi Ann Hunter this summer. 

The Glass Castle: A Net Galley Review

I usually like a rather straight forward novels that give me all the information I need to know where and what is happening. Because of that I tend to stay away from fantasy and science fiction. Every once in a while I like to dip my toes into something different and when I read the excerpt about The Glass Castle I was intrigued. 

This young adult novel feels a bit like a twisted fairy tale, full of mystery, intrigue, and many unknowns. The premis surrounds the mysterious capture of a young girl. All that she has known to be true suddenly evaporates into confusion and fear. Piece by piece Avery, the 13-year-old heroine puts together a mysterious puzzle of clues about her history, which is far different from all she has ever believed. As she is thrown into the world of servitude inside the castle of a deluded king, she must discover who she really is and figure out just what to do about it.  

The Glass Castle was an interesting read. I had a difficult time at the beginning because I was very confused about the setting. As I continued to read I believe the feeling of confusion actually helped understand just how Avery was feeling. The intensity of her misconceptions are clearly felt and while I much prefer a more omniscient point of view when I read, I did like the sense of despair and unrest which the author was able to evoke. 

This unique fairy tale feels like a blending of Snow White and Alice in Wonderland. This deliberately masterful blending left me wanting more at the end and I am eagerly anticipating the sequel! 

Channing O'Banning and the Rainforest Rescue: A NetGalley Review

This sweet little series is now a favorite around our house! Channing O'Banning is a precocious 4th grader who loves art more than anything else in life. She travels with art supplies and journals through art everywhere she goes. My 5th grader has absolutely fallen in love with these books as she too is a budding artist who travels life with a sketch book. 

The Rainforest Rescue is the second book in the series. Written in a funny and quips way, I think this is a great series for kids who also enjoy books like Judy Moody or Junie B. Jones. The wonderful difference about these novels is while they still have the same engaging style, they also point kids back to faith in God. 

This is what Rose had to say...

"I really liked Channing O'Banning and the Rain Forest Rescue because it was funny and taught you a lot. I never knew that there was such a thing as Blue Jeans frog until I read this book. I like that they talk about God. I really liked this book." 

It was fun to look some of the interesting animals, like the Blue Jeans frog, up with Rose as she was reading. She also genuinely means she appreciates that the books talk about a relationship with God. While we read secular books Rose in particular really likes when the literature reflects the faith she has in Jesus Christ. 

We are both very excited to see how this series progresses! 

The Reluctant Duchess: A NetGalley Review

I'm always excited to read new authors and new genres. As much fun as it is to review curriculum and learning resources with the girls, I get rather giddy when I'm able to read a new novel, just for me, and tell my readers all about it! 

The Reluctant Duchess is a novel which opens with an intriguing young woman forced into an unthinkable situation. Set in the Scottish HIlands in the early 1900's Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be an heir to her family estates and title, but she is feels anything but worthy or able. Unloved by her father and betrayed by the man she thought loved her, she must find a way to escape the path her father has planned for her. Her stepmother's pregnancy and possible male heir means her future is unsure as she is also facing a pregnancy resulting from the abuse of the man who has asked her hand in marriage. 

With little hope for what to do or where to go she is forced into a marriage by her father to a man she knows little about. She must find her way as a new bride, fearful of all men, and longing to be loved. 

I really enjoyed this novel. Although it was a light read, it was a pleasurable distraction that transported me to a different place. I very much enjoyed the dialect writing of the author. Scottish brogue instantly allowed me to hear Rowena as she spoke. The dialect felt natural and what I would expect. The time period is one I don't read much about so I enjoyed the various historical and cultural aspects included such as the beginning acceptance of automobiles. 

Roseanne M. White is a new author for me. That is one of the really fun things about reviewing books. Many times I would never know about the authors I come across. This is an author I will thoroughly enjoy reading from now on. 


Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!