This page is solely dedicated to informing Christian’s about books for their family and children. It is Starred reviews. However, I give detailed descriptions of what my thoughts are based on a Christian-Jesus-focused foundation! I also note what genre I think it should be classified into and what age group it should be for.
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Dystopian YA | Thunder (Stone Braide Chronicles #1) by Connie S. Calhoun
Though I like the writing style and plot, this book doesn’t do it for me. I love Selah – somewhat – and the little girl. But the other characters just fall flat for me. I also don’t like some of the relationship aspects or views on relationships that are displayed here without a proper balance. The whole thing kinda felt directionless and that was a big problem for me. I wasn’t compelled to pick up the next books, though a part of me was so hoping to like it more because again, I loved the concept and plot ideas. 😦 Unfortunately, this was a hard one for me to like and rate well in the end.
Recommended as a non-Christian Dystopian Novel
Mystery & Romantic Suspense Adult Christian Fiction | Without Warning (Elite Guardians #2) by Lynette Eason
Another Elite guardians mystery that had me pacing for the next clues!
Welcome Katie to this incredible team of tough, no-fear, yet truly imperfect ladies. Lynette had a well paced suspense throughout the plot which picked up in the intensity towards the end. I enjoyed the character arc in Katie and watching how, with the help of Daniel, she was able to grow in her relationships as well as from her past and dealing with PST. I am so happy I read this before Remembrance Day… a time to reflect on how important our soldiers are!
And poor Quinn. That is all I am saying there…
Thankfully, there is more to come with this series and I am so glad to see cameos of a few different Elite Gaurdian crew members developing. Seriously looking forward to MOVING TARGET in 2017!!!
Christian Adult Mystery/Romantic Suspense Fiction Novel. I was given this book by Revell in exchange for my honest review.
Christian YA Fantasy Fiction | Unblemished by Sara Ella
We officially had our live show!!!
And the review I have been dying to give, is now in order 😀
Unblemished is a layered world where a regular girl is tainted by a mark that changes her life, her friends, her reflection and what she thought life was about… forever!
I would relate this debut author to the works of Lisa T. Bergen’s Remnants series and its inky writings, C.S.Lewis’s wardrobes becoming mirrors and Divergent-like scenes making you pause with intensity. The characters are simply AWESOME! Sara did such a compelling fantasy story with great character arcs, allegoric meaning and messages lacing throughout the pages.
When people think of love triangles they may associate it to a negative experience. You can’t go into this book without anything more than high expectations regarding this crazy geometric phenomenon you will definitely experience!
This fantasy world is so similar to ours with different reflections casting their own hue and readers will easily relate to. Though some of the world aspects can feel a bit complicated due to the different Callings, etc. It is so imperative to understand them to fully appreciate the ending of this book!
The age restriction is bumped up to because of the slight issues relating to nudity, references to nudity and the women’s body, tattoos, as well as language used in similar context to “our” worlds in the sense of cussing. Due to that aspect, I will need to up the age limit for this book.
All-in-all, I can’t wait to read the next book and get off the cliff hanger I found myself screaming from! Thank you Sara for the other-worldly geometrically inspired, adventure!
Contemporary New Adult Christian Fiction | Chasing Sunsets (Angels Walking #2) by Karen Kingsbury
Karen Kingsbury writes her version on Frank Perretti! That is how I would sum up this book. There was a lot or Realism here which I so appreciated. It tells of the raw realities that teens have to face and the thin veil of how God tries to work within our own will. It was very interesting for sure!
I had to give this book a higher rating because of the relationship issues. I was hoping for a more clear christian response from some of the christian characters represented in the book. There was kissing before dating even, which I found odd. There was also no accountability for some of the new relationships forming and some sensitive descriptions to intimacy. Because of that, I rated this lower and raised the age restriction.
Though, I have to say, there was a clear message of Christian faith and coming to Christ! As well as at the end of the book she clearly states her heart for Jesus and the ministry and I love how she gives away free Bibles for those who need them. She details also how this book was written from her own “Angels Walking” experience, which I can relate to.
Recommended as a New Adult Contemporary Christian Fiction Novel
YA Historical Romance Fiction | A Spy’s Devotion (Regency Spies of London Book 1) by Melanie Dickerson
If Julie Klassen would write YA Christian Regency… this would be it!
Building the story for Julia and how different and unique this book is from her fairytale retellings is something else! I am utterly impressed. The main characters are classically, and wonderfully crafted by Melanie with side characters playing crucial roles.
Loved the intrigue and suspense later on in the book. The elements of Julia as a spy were priceless lol! She was so innocent. I also liked the many dances which aren’t typical to Melanie’s books, but something I enjoyed.
The Faith aspects were more on the shier side of things yet prevalent too.
I simply can’t wait for the next books to The Regency Spies of London Series!
Recommended as a Christian YA Regency Novel
Christian Romantic Suspense | A Lesson in Love and Murder (Herringford and Watts #2) by Rachel McMillan
Another cute and quirky book by Rachel McMillan.
This one felt a little less mysterious and more focused on real-life issues of that time… in the sense of family or domestic issues that were represented, along with survival. Some elements were hard to digest and the struggle of love and friendship were absolutely prevalent. The ending was very shocking and I am interested in knowing where Rachel will take this story.
One of my favourite quotes was:
“But I want you to upset me if it lets me understand you a little more.”
Recommended as an Adult Romantic Christian Suspense Novel
Christian Adult Mystery & Romantic Suspense | Missing (The Nikki Boyd Files #2) by Lisa Harris
Murder, Mystery and Suspense is what Lisa Harris is good at!
Riddled with curves and interesting leads to what, why, and who has taken Lucy! I enjoyed how Lisa intertwined many details from the recent instalment of the Nikki Boyd Files. I have been super busy lately and with that, sitting down to read books has been harder this month. Even with that, I think Lisa kept my attention vey well. When I was able to read, I picked up the book anticipated an awesome adventure and was not disappointed. She really had layers to this story. Some of it I loved, some of it was alright. Though she wrapped the book up intensely and had me sitting on the edge of my seat, literally biting my nails. Some of the middle felt injected with love. It didn’t quiet feel natural but seriously came together in the end very well…
Yup! Well done Lisa.
This book was given to me by Revell in exchange for my honest review.
Dystopian YA | Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Have you ever had a crazy dream where you were trapped in a maze and couldn’t get out? And there were these clowns and you were the doll… and they were trying to dress you up with evil laughs cackling at one another…
I’m seriously interested to know where Suzanne got her inspiration… where the initial thought or idea came from? Because that dream I described above… that would be my inspiration and the beginning of the Hunger Games for me.
Okay! Enough retrospect.
Let’s get on to my real thoughts 😀
The writing is amazing with such great pacing and intensity!
Suzanne knows how to articulate characters, images and scenes into your brain; Etching them with script for your memory to hold onto. Her characters are likeable and relatable. They are vulnerable.
Unfortunately, so vulnerable. They have to deal with some brutalities that are very real for some people. Hunger is a scary thing. Being forced into a game that is meant to teach a brutal lesson of government dominance, is also scary.
Thankfully Katnis, (that is such a cool name, btw) can wield a bow and arrow. Something I completely relate to. My husband hunts and often for our large size of a family, it has been a great blessing to us. She is able to hunt for food and survive hunger with her family. Well, until the games begin…
Some of the down falls of this book and something that will keep me away from reading the rest of the series is the violence, nudity in parts and language. Also, the lack of hope in Christ. So much death with little hope. Though I understand going into this book that it was written without a Christian worldview, it was still too much for me. Hence the 3.5 instead of 4 stars. I am so glad I got to experience Suzanne’s writing though. She truly has a gift! For that, I am grateful.
Recommended as a non-christian dystopian novel
Historical Christian Adult Fiction | The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd
A determined promise. A valiant Captain. A tangled web of debt, doubt, faith and hardship makes this book an interesting read.
Some of it was slow paced. But, I think it may have been because I read it as an audio book? Well, the end of this book, actually, solidified my rating!
Recommended as an Adult Historical Christian Book.
YA & Adult Christian Mystery/Suspense | Murder Simply Brewed (An Amish Village Mystery) by Vanetta Chapman
Vannetta Chapman has accomplished what many can only dream to…
A succesful Amish Mystery!
Wow, I am so impressed actually. What a great concept that was satisfying and interesting. I mused so much over this book. I loved all the details and tie-ins to the Amish community, yet successfully pulling off a murder mystery. Simply brilliant! Not only that, she also knit in a lovely romance. I am speechless and will be broke because I am getting this whole series, lol!!
Recommended as an Adult & YA Christian Mystery novel
Historical Christian Adult Fiction | The Pursuit of Lucy Banning (Avenue of Dreams Volume 1) by Olivia Newport
A historically relevant romance with disappearing secrets and two women’s struggle to be independent.
So many interesting points were mentioned and was truly an enjoyable read. What was especially neat was the mention of the Ferris Wheel invention and Mr. Ferris himself. All throughout this book were neat nuggets of the like. I found that I liked the audio version of this book a lot. Being busy lately, it was very convenient too!
I did find the romance a bit rushed as well as awkward at times and not very much christian aspects woven throughout the book or in their relationship (which is crucial for any healthy christian relationship). More focus was given to women’s rights instead. Though I think it valid hence the time and the real struggle of that era, I still would have preferred more mention of Christ and/or relationships with Him. Thus, a smaller star rating. However, it was still a nice read and I do recommend it as a clean historical read for adult christian readers!
Recommended as an Adult Christian Historical Fiction Novel
Contemporary Christian YA | In Between (A Katie Parker Production Book 1) by Jenny B. Jones
This book has epic voice. Just saying.
And humour… And tears… And crazy grandmas…
Did I mention humour?
Prepare yourself for obnoxiously embarrassing everyone in ear-shot (as well as yourself) with snort filled, gut crushing laughter!
Plus tears. Good ones and sad ones. Perfect as a Contemporary, summery read. Loved all the characters. Loved the real search for Jesus and a genuine relationship with Him. Don’t totally love the youth pastor having earnings, but you can’t have everything, all the time. *shrugs shoulders*
Absolutely relatable in my opinion. Just because! Well, if you knew the types of books I write, you would understand that comment 😀
Completely need to read the next book in the series. I feel deprived that this was in my Kindle and only now has graced my eyes for reading pleasure. Ugh! Such is life of an e-reader TBR shelf. They’re the last on my list to read.
Besides a few typo’s, this book is great!
Melody Carlson creates a beautiful summer read that makes you want to become a chef and buy a boat all in the same night!
Charm, love and forgiveness is nestled neatly within these lines. When we begin life’s journey as a young adult, we realize soon life has a way of taking you places you never expected to go. So much is true for Tia in this story! She gets an offer of a life-time and gets to be a personal chef on a boat traveling, instead of working at home with her Uncle. Who wouldn’t want that?
There is a bit of a love-triangle that goes on here and I really wasn’t sure how Melanie was going to solve the problem of it all lol! It was quite the predicament. But she made it flawless and I loved how it ended well for all those involved. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing 😀
I am not sure if I love Melanie’s YA or Adult/NA Romances better? They are so good!!!
Thank you so much Melanie!
Recommended as a Contemporary Christian Romance Fiction Novel. This book was a Revell Review book and all opinions are my own.
Christian Adult Mystery Romance | The Bachelor Girls Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan
A solid 3.75 stars!!!
A quirky and romantically cute Sherlock Holmes-y read!
Let me just say that the layout design was very nice inside the book. Superb!
It took me a little bit to get into the story. Once I did, it was a cozy read. I really loved Jem. I thought the characters to be well thought out and the voice to be very distinguished between Jem and Merinda. Having the setting in Toronto was brilliant. And who doesn’t like secret tunnels in Canada! I loved the issues around immigration during that time too. Great awareness.
I adored the quirky humour in this story. I also actually thought more could have been written. I would have loved more information to the scenes and some of the characters. Rachel McMillan sets scenes very well (especially in the end) and I was hoping for more of it throughout the book, even in the beginning. Also, I think I would have preferred her quotes on the bottom of the page to be within the paragraphs. Though having notes on the bottom was fun at times. However, it brought me too far out of the scene and I had to re-read the lines prior. No biggy, just lots of backtracking. This book was more of a romance than a mystery book. Though, I would prefer more about their faith, it was alright. Too subtle for me, a bit.
The P.O.V’s were a little off in the beginning, but that could be hard to catch in the editing process, which I don’t fault the author for, or anyone for that matter. Everyone who works on the books, works hard to perfect it. It’s a learning curve and needs to be caught early on. Recently, in my book editing process–on the third pass–I forgot to make the switch in one small area. Two editors and myself never caught it. Thankfully I caught it before printing. Being an author and thinking in so many heads can be tricky when writing their actions out. But, due to this, it had me backtracking again.
Despite those little hiccups, I’m SO happy I got to journey with these lovable characters, cute and entertaining moments, some great settings and a fresh new writing style to read.
Well done Mrs. McMillian!
Reluctant people find love wriggling its way into their heart, unexpectedly!
These characters also wriggle their way into your heart and make a lasting impression.
One you can’t quiet.
Every single character is truly unforgettable.
Mammi and Ruthie are the most outspoken. For some reason, I love that. They speak their mind and it makes for great reading 😀 Abigail is wonderful!!! Simply wonderful. She is so naive and yet so as-matter-of-fact type of girl. A great organizer and the scene where she fixes Dane’s office had me in a gut roar of laughter. Her character speaks to me the most, because I think like her often! Dane like rain was great too. David is a sweet soul. A sweet father. I appreciate him. A very well written character and I could imagine him (actually all of them) so well. I don’t know if we needed 3 P.O.V’s. But, it wasn’t too distracting and I am assuming it will play out in the next book to come. Or, so I am anticipating!
I LOVE genealogy. It is a new passion for me, one that plays a great role in my next book and played a crucial key role in this book, which of course was a wonderful highlight for me!!
Recommended as a Christian Historical Romance Fiction Novel. This book was a Revell Review book and all opinions are my own.
YA Contemporary Christian Fiction |Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Cocker
Grab the tissue box my friend and prepare yourself for some tears.
This book has it all, friendship, love, family, faith! A coming-of-age story perfect for a summer nights read and a slice of peach pie 😉
It’s real-to-life and deals with the struggles of coming into adulthood. As well as overcoming the changes that tragedy and family frictions bring. I can’t believe Rachel Cocker was a mere teenager when she wrote this book. I’m utterly impressed. The character’s were so wonderfully portrayed. So perfectly mastered and memorable. Oh, Cliff. He is my favourite! And Mrs. Greene too.
This book had such beautiful, timeless moments that had me so moved. It was set in the 60’s. A time of political change and struggles which Cocker captured with ease. Scarlett had to carry a lot on her shoulders and it made me flash back to when I was her age and going through something very similar. I wish I had a Mrs. Greene to talk to and minister to me then. Scarlett was very fortunate.
Recommended as a YA Christian Fiction Novel
Adult Mystery Christian Fiction |Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon
A CSI-style Mystery.
With evidence sparse and a brilliant villain willing to do anything to keep the past buried, this was an incredibly, intriguing read for me!
A clean adult book with a faint focus on God or any kind of relationship with Him. It left me wanting a bit more in that aspect, but still good!
It wasn’t a thriller and it wasn’t super suspenseful. If you like CSI or solving cases, playing clue *wink*, then you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did. The plot was easy to follow. Irene did an amazing job at writing her villain. Getting into the phycological behaviours and thoughts were fascinating–An area in writing that I struggle with and now, very much admire in Irene Hannon’s writing. As well as all the research that must have gone into writing this book. Wow. So good.
Also note, this was realistic in the realm of sin and the life surrounding it. Consequences and hardships that are hard to deal with in these life style choices. It talks about alcoholism, smoking, plotting murder and child abuse. The main characters do not involve themselves in those activities, but they are mentioned. As a caution, if you have spiritual weakness in those areas, please do not read this book. The contrast in Lisa and Mac’s life was a great focus for me and highlighted the blessings of pursuing a christian life where Jesus is who we strive to be like.
The relationship between Mac and Lisa wasn’t emotionally drawn-out. So I didn’t feel completely connected to them, but I was routing for them throughout the book. Squeeky-Clean besides a few adult comments that wasn’t overly outright, but you know the idea or intention as an adult. Not ideal for YA.
I ADORED the close family relationships on both Lisa and Mac’s side. I can’t wait to follow the series. Though I felt that it could have almost been Book 2 in a series, it was only Book 1.
Recommended as a Christian Adult Mystery Fiction Book
YA Action, Adventure, Thriller, Christian Fiction |The Truth Of The Matter by Andrew Klavan
NA Historical Romance |A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund
I REALLY thought the characters were amazing. Very much so. Actually, Collin and Juliana are so much like my husband and I, it was seriously amazing for me. LOVED it!! Brought me back to when I first met my husband and his comments about my wild red hair lol! Great stuff 😀
The realization of our actions, though we think they may be right but are wrong, was also great.
A Daring Sacrifice is an allegoric-type message for the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus truly gave to us;
Laying His life down for the sake of our freedom, while we were yet sinners!
So touching! In that sense, this book was very moving for me.
But if I wasn’t a Christian with a christian world-view, I would have seen it as merely a true love fairytale that likens to Robin Hood and of course were christian-like… it was the time frame… everyone was religious to some degree back then.
I also didn’t really appreciate the unsure decision for marriage after so much kissing… I think that sends the wrong message.
I wouldn’t say this is a YA book. Maybe NA (New Adult)? Because of some of the relational aspects to the main characters, I had to up the age restriction. Also, there was some real aspects to torture that were mentioned. Understandably so and appreciated for historical’ sake, but may be too much for some of the younger readers.
Recommended as a NA Historical Romance Fiction
YA Christian Historical Retelling |The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson
Melanie Dickerson works wonders in her new Medieval Series!
This is the second book of her smash-up fairytale retellings set in Thornbeck! This one is a Beauty and the Beast intertwined with the Princess and the Pea. Though it has a different feel to it, it is similar in writing style and nothing short of what we are used to for Melanie’s beautiful story telling.
Some action and defiantly a lot of drama comes through the pages. There was interesting topics brought out in this books as well; Importantly, was the idea of a women’s role. Aveline was a bit like the mistress in distress… and disguise. She wasn’t very strong physically but she made up for that in character and that proved courageous, and dangerous at the same time.
Of course, the relationship with God was prevalent in both main character’s which I absolutely adore in Melanie’s books yet, wasn’t as strong in this book as in others I’ve read. Still good though. A couple of expressions were confusing for me when referring to “saints”. Though, I’m sure it was common in the 1300’s and not at all offensive. The comment at the back of the book is simply beautiful regarding faith and our relationship with Jesus. Such an encouragement!
I LOVED this book and Melanie Dickerson will forever have the place of favourite author in my mind!
Recommended as a YA Christian Fiction Fairytale Retelling
Adult Christian Romantic Suspense Fiction | Silence in the Dark: A Novel by Patricia Bradley
Intriguing Realism and Missionary Suspense!
This book kicked off the first chapter as seriously good. Not a super page turner afterwards… but still very good!
The story developed layers. It drove deeper and deeper as the I read and the plot thickened. Some scenes didn’t feel “threatening” enough to warrant any major intensity. Not sure if that was the writing, POV’s, or if it was because of the many character’s we were trying to follow… but it did fall, a tiny bit flat, in that regard.
It was sad that a child was stuck in the midst of the chaos, but such is life most often. Great realism is portrayed though out the entirety of the book. Being a missionary and the dangers which lie there. Also, the struggle of survival. Money. Greed. Trusting in God through the bad times. Everything was well written.
Though, I did enjoy the reality of Bailey and Danny’s relationship, Angel and Solana’s felt a little bit like “insta-love” which wasn’t as enjoyable until further into the book. The voice of Joel felt a little too much like the others’ voice, though I liked having that point of view experience for the situation!
All in all, a great read and one I did very much enjoy 😀
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest review!
Recommended as a Christian Adult Romantic Suspense Fictional Novel
This was an interesting story. At first it was slow, but I kept going and finally, half way through, the story picked up. I detested Cora, I had a hard time forgiving her lol! But, eventually, I did. I loved the idea of her writing fiction stories, as well as her heart to serve and please God. In the end, I was happy with how everything turned out. It was just a bit slow… in the beginning and some bits after the middle.
This would be a perfect read after a slump! Easy read and Christ centred.
Recommended as an Adult Christian Historical Fiction Book
YA Action, Adventure, Thriller, Christian Fiction |The Long Way Home by Andrew Klavan
Who do you think you are?
Who does your friends think you are?
Can they be trusted?
This book starts with the throttle fully engaged and catapults itself into questions of trust, faulty answers, true friendships and outlasting love. Of course, I couldn’t put this book down! Life happened and it took longer to read, but if it wasn’t for that, it would’ve been read in one sitting!!!
Though it starts out as a fast read and quick adventures, it does slow a bit in the middle and towards the end. However, it is the perfect pace for well written characters and is such an awesome change of pace! We dive into Wests’ friends–whom I LOVE! They are so real-to-life–hilarious! I didn’t want to see them go. Also, the realistic faith is great to read and see in Charlie’s life. It dictates him, even in confusion. It’s hit rock and I am thankful for that aspect.
The plot thickens and again we are left with a classic Andrew Klavan cliff-hanger! Surreal! I am now onto Book #3 and can’t stop this madness for the life of me! What have you started Andrew… what have you started? lol!
Recommended as YA Christian Fiction
YA Christian Dystopian/Apocalyptic |DEFIER: The Girl Who Stood (Defier Series Book 1) by Mandy Fender
Who do you decide to follow?
In the end…
Will you be brave enough to stand for your faith in Jesus?
Or will you choose fear?
A world of choice, not too different from our own at the moment. A very relevant yet, futuristic story. I loved Lennox and Sky. Her struggle was very tangible and her character arc was well written.
I also loved Kira, and Clover, and Oliver. I truly admired the bravery and strength that sprung into my heart as I read through the pages.
The beginning was tough to weed through at first–A tiny bit slow paced. It didn’t help that the actual paperback book was held at the border and couldn’t get to me too (usually read faster this way) 😦
BUT, soon it was in my hands and I had my specs on to devour it 😀
I am so glad I did! This book is a solid 3.5 stars!
The elements of faith are truly a delight to read and follow. Mandy did an incredible job at bringing out genuine faith and standing for ones faith. If the beginning wasn’t slow to get into and if some aspects seemed a tiny bit more realistic throughout the rest of the story from how it started, I would have rated it a 4!
The middle and the end make up for it though and Lennox destiny makes its mark as she is thrown into the future with an incredible task to do! It was such a great read for me! One that makes you think and is a story worth reading if you are christian anywhere!
Recommended as a Christian YA Dystopian/Apocalyptic Fiction Book
YA Christian Historical Retelling |The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson
A cute and adorably funny read!
This is a retelling of the Princess and the Frog. Such a terrific tale for Margaretha, the eldest daughter of Wilhem and Rose. I’m always fascinated by how Melanie Dickerson will pull off the elements of each story she re-tell’s and yet, she brings great characters that are new and exciting.
This one was so adorable because of the characters. Margaretha is chatty and yet, tries to be a spy-knowing full well she probably will get her and Colin killed. And Colin appears to be a madman at first, after he got so badly beat up and is raging over a murderous killer!
Somehow Melanie, in her brilliant talent, turns this initial concept into a beautiful story that unravels a fairytale retelling in a medieval era. Then, to top it all off, there is splendid romance and a battle of adventure and justice! Truly spectacular, I say!!
Again, she still stands to be my favourite author. There is faith elements in this story, though not was strong as her other books. A definite clean read and one I will read again 😀
I can’t wait for the next books!!!
Recommended as a YA Christian Retelling
YA Christian Historical Retelling | The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
This cover is so pretty by the way and truthfully, I wanted to read this book first. But, I was recommended by Melanie Dickerson to read them in order and I am SOOO glad I did 😀 Valten is the eldest son of Wilhem and Rose (who I absolutely adore) and his betrothed fell in love with another. Now, he is forced to find a wife. The problem is, he isn’t very good with women, being the strong and silent type of man that he is. Plus, he has scars to show for his strength. And enemies too!
The story captures the “Cinderella feel” and the medieval time perfectly. I am so happy that they had Daniel, the Frier, in the end too! I just loved that aspect! Plus, we got to see all our old character’s being brought together. So nice. Again, we get a beautiful story that radiates true Faith in Jesus and His salvation! Brilliant. That is why Melanie Dickerson is my favourite author!
A splendid and captivating story indeed 😀
YA Christian Historical Retelling | The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson
Oh, the feels!!
Yes, I cried, I laughed out loud and I even wanted to put the book down! *Gasp* It was such an intense scene at the end of the book and I was like… NOOOOOOoooooOOOOOooo!!!! I had to just get up, finish my coffee and then go back to reading, lol! I am so glad I did. Thank you for hard things like wood. *wipes sweat off brow*
So, for the actual review…
Wilhelm and Rose’s two boys find out that Valten’s betrothed may be still alive. But, she is danger and Valten’s leg is broken. He can’t go to get her. His brother Gabe decides to go instead – without permission!
The book is larger than the rest in the Series and took a bit more to get through. Yet, it didn’t feel like it was too long. It was perfect, I feel, for the story! I really thought this book did well in the whole “Snow White” feel. Melanie truly captures the original fairytales yet, bring you to a whole new level in History, while still having adventure and romance. I absolutely ADORED the Cottage of Seven when they finally arrived there. Just adored each one!!! I don’t even know which one is my favourite yet.
Ahh, Sophie. Sweet, little Sophie and her carelessly brave rescuer! This book is a picture of redemption and coming into oneself, or taking responsibility. Too bad some chose the wrong path. But, true to Christianity itself, it was offered to all – but the choice is only in the person to accept it or not. That is their responsibility. What a great story. I kept singing the song “Priceless” by For King and Country through it. It is PRICELESS!
Melanie never fails us in another classic retelling!
YA Christian Historical Retelling | The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
LOVED LOVED LOVED this!
A story of persevering love; importance of honour, keeping your word and family, personal calling, along with true chivalry, makes for a lasting impression on your mind and heart.
Rose is a beautiful and tender character. Though it was hard for me to like Rupert and how he constantly was trying to win her, I related to her very much. She just wants to do what is right and have a loving family… is that too much to ask for? And Wilhem is the perfect gentleman. Sleeping beauty is my favourite fairytale story and this brought out that aspect while still being true to the christian faith. I had a feeling of who the evil snack was – yuck! Great plot twists and turns making it a fast read 😀
The first in her Medieval Retelling Series, which catapulted us into her superb writing, touching stories that are clean and truly wonderful!
A must-must-must read for anyone who loves classic fairytale stories!!
Annabel captured the heart of what they thought was a beast.
And he had captured hers!
Oh, so lovely.
She was so-so lovely.
The reading together was incredibly lovely.
Oh! How beautifully Melanie intertwines genuine faith in Christ, the Bible, and a heart for God in her stories. I adore her and her books for that!
But Annabel was a true reminder of Belle and was so sweet and tender. Ranulf – though I don’t know how to pronounce his name – was such a good character too. Also, the Head mistress. Wonderful story telling. I didn’t want it to end… *sighs heavily*
I wanted to learn more about Ranulf. Did he ever show her those paintings? What of Beatrice? Her family? I just wanted to stay in they’re world for so much longer… Alas, 3am came. It was done and I had to go to bed. Such it is with a good book. Thank you once again Melanie. Written right to my heart!
Recommended as a YA Christian Retelling
What lurks beneath the surface?
Blood licking animals?
Adventure?Find out… if you dare.Well, besides thinking the cover was amazing and the real reason I picked up this book… this wasn’t a page turner for me, but the story was very interesting indeed.
I was enthralled with Truck, Annabel Lee and especially The Mute! Those character’s, by far, were my favourite. I was intrigued by The Mute, his story and getting into his head. This character wouldn’t play well on the “big screen” but, that is the wonder of reading- which I enjoy solely and way better. We get to peek inside and see how he “ticks.” That was great!
For Annabel Lee, I spoke with a southern accent out loud and in my head while reading her POV, because Mike Nappa thoroughly wrote those lines well. It was natural. I appreciated the background to this story. I loved the elements of other languages and codes. That was so cool. I was also very taken back-in a good way- at how well Mike wrote the female lead character. Though I didn’t like Trudi at first (and especially Hill and Coffey’s relationship AND issues) but she grew on me. Her comments never did, but she did as a character.A few negatives for me were: one extremely vulgar, extremely derogatory sentence. It was to replace the nasty comment a character made and make it appear lighter for Christian readers. However, it did what it was intended and too much more. Once I wrapped my brain around what he was describing, I realized what it meant and instantly said the words in my head. Not good. Then, of course, like all books do, it also gave me a nasty visual. I wish I could have been spared that moment. I almost stopped reading it al together. So, for those who are sensitive to worldly insults and swear words or vulgar comments, please do not read if this is an area of weakness for you! It is for me and really, I wished it were not in there at all. Also, having dogs eat fingers almost made me loose my dinner! The fact of their relationship (Coffey & Hill) also bothered me throughout the book. Good story line. Unique. Interesting. Wish it lead me more to Christ in the end. But alright.This book was given to me by Revell, A Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.Proceed with Caution* See note above! Recommended as an ADULT Christian Mystery Suspense Novel
YA Christian Historical Fiction | Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren
History in the making…
It’s us or them.
We stand together.
We fight together, all the way through!
I love Gabi and Lia. Just adore them. I love the new character that graced the pages also! Yay for those She-Wolves 😀
This is an epic battle for family, love and loyalty. Although I found it not near as fast-paced as Lisa’s previous writings (Remnants Series), it was just as endearing, or even more so. I noticed a big difference in her voice and style as a writer, with The River of Time Series compared to the Remnant Series. Hat’s off to her for that! Truly great writing. Both compelling for their readership. Great stuff!
I appreciated all of the history in this book. I was completely taken back over the “Plague”. Honestly, you read about these things in history, but thank the Lord we have marvellous writer’s who vividly portray timeless events and make them real for us. If we are not “living” through it, we can easily skim over the sentence that reads, “…and half the population of England was wiped out by the black death…” Now, I can feel it too. Live it. Be a part of history!
This is such a great read. I found it tender also towards a person longing for faith and what God does to draw them nearer to Himself. Heroines, Trust, and honourable men–a book I would re-read over and over again. Actually, planning on it when I have the whole series!
Recommended as a YA Christian Historical Fiction Book
Adult Christian Regency Romance | The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen
This is definitely an adult book. Not YA.
I. Cannot. Even. Deal.
I did not get any sleep. Actually pulled an all-nighter. *hangs head in shame*
Okay, I am over the shock. Now, the review…
Wasn’t what I was expecting lol! And that is a good thing. Such a loving and touching story. I loved it. A beauty and the beast Regency-retelling at it’s finest. I also love how Julie Klassen does her research and always her stories has a touching memento to something tangible–a place–a person–something real to our life. Wonderful character’s… as always! And of course, some of her usual tropes that I have grown to love dearly.
I am happy to read a book that focused on these issues. I absolutely adored the “Captain” and his as-a-matter-of-fact ways. His willingness to be a man! To say how it is and defend a women, in all he has, in all he is–that is a gentleman. Literally, being what the bible tells us and how a man aught to give himself for his wife as Christ gave Himself for the church.
Having said that, there is the reality of sin and sinful natures in this book. Godly-natured ones too. If you are not yet married, I do NOT recommend you reading this… yet! This book deals with mature subjects. Still clean, but personal and can be dangerous. Thus, not a 5/5 book review.
I wanted to give it a 5/5. I did. But, I settled in 4.5 stars instead.
Dystopian Christian Fiction Novel | Remnants: Season of Glory by Lisa T. Bergren
I had to take a few days to process this book. Seriously. It was so good but, so intense for me. There was hidden-underlying scripture verses and moments that relate to the Bible. It was a lot to process. A whirl wind of emotions that, at times, I had to simply do something else for a minute of two. lol! That is really good writing and Lisa T. Bergren does not disappoint us with her writing. She is crafted and crafted well. Her sentences are carefully constructed to bring out everything you need to know and so much more. They are lines of gems and ribbons of inky gold.
I still don’t like drinking in YA and I wanted to know more in the end, but I rated this book 5/5 anyways. And one moment was very intense for “awaking love until it pleases.” However, it was clear in this book the biblical basis, proper boundaries, as well as facing temptations, was well explained and I truly appreciated it!Thank you so much Lisa for a great series!!!!Thank you so much for venturing out of your usual genre… what would we have done without these books in our life, lol!Thank you!
Christian Romance Fiction Novel | On Lone Star Trail: A Novel by Amanda Cabot
I am not a Romance novel kind of person. At least, not just simply romance. There has to be some action, mystery, something else to the story to keep me interested. So, for those who are in love with simple romance novels, you may rate this book better than I have. For some reason, I thought there was more to this story than meets the eye. I wasn’t completely dissatisfied… Maybe disappointed? Maybe bored? I almost can’t make my mind up on how I feel about this book. It took a loooong time to get into the plot and character development. I did like the real issues of Gillian and T.J’s personal struggles going into the book. Some of those struggles seemed unreal to me later on as we learned more about T’J’s past. I thought, for a women not wanting to get married, she sure played with fire a lot on both sides of the fence and therefore I rated this book for a higher age limit just because I don’t want young girls “dating” in the same fashion. However, I did like how the story ended–sort of. I think someone could have stepped up to the plate more. But, that is more of a personal preference, lol!
Besides that, once the plot did start to take off a bit, I felt Cabot’s writing also became more dynamic. No doubt she is a veteran at writing which I completely adore. I think she is a good romance novelist but, maybe just not a right fit for me. *shrugs shoulder’s*Though I was given this book by Revell, this rating and my opinions are that of my own.
Historical Romance Christian Fiction | When Comes the Spring (Canadian West Book #2) by Janette Oke
As much as I adore Janette Oke and her series, I thought this book didn’t have the writing edge as her first one in the series. The story was a bit slow, though still great. As a wife to a “half” native, I completely resonate with this story. I really loved Nimmie and thought the elements of Elizabeth’s faith as such a beautiful aspect to this book. The fact that she could endure certain things through her faith, and ultimately share it in uncertain times, was wonderful! I am interested to know more about the next book.
To me, this book is a classic!Pure and simple.Yes, compared to modern day writing, the plot is a little less riveting. But the love story is all the same endearing. However, her clear craft of writing, to me, is a staple on any shelf and hones the likeliness of Jane Austen. Therefore, lending to me, the “Jane Austen” status for Christian Lit. Yes, it’s that good!
A lovely story with a strong female character now embarking out on her own and trying to battle life on the “West” with her head held high and trying desperately not to get married. That is, until a Royal Canadian Mountie Policeman walks into her life! *Sighs* It is Canadian, what can I say. It is a perfect story ;DA must read for any christian reader.
My three words of the day to describe this book;
(of extreme force, degree, strength, feeling, passion, seriousness)
(Confused, astonished, surprised, going backwards)
(mad, mentally deranged, aggressive manner, infatuated, lunatic, extreme)
“A complete thrill ride with the throttle not letting up”, is how I would describe this book in full. The cover alone is awesome, by the way!
A normal kid is thrown into a life threatening, life altering, life forever-never the same-situation. I loved how Andrew brought us back to the last thing Charlie West remembered and walked us through the day, through each moment. I loved the crazy twist! I can’t tell you for spoiler’s, but yah! Crazy.
Andrew’s voice in this book reminds me a lot of another male writer I read before. It feels like you are living it with him, then being pulled back into the past and then, as if he is talking beside you, to you. It is an interesting voice. I had to get used to it, but it was good 😛
There is violence in the book and talk about some martial arts (which can be spiritual) Though he did it tastefully and with a focus and relation on Godliness, which was nice. There was words like “stupid” in it and “cursing” under ones breathe but, no actual words used. I am always grateful for that. A clean read, in all!
Now, I have to wait to get the next book. Ugh! A cliff-hanger ending leaves me no other choice! I can’t wait for the next adventure to begin 😀
I wasn’t expecting the way it turned out. Maybe, because I didn’t want it to go that way. Maybe, because I wanted Thalli to do more. I was so shocked with some of the things we learned about. I love the fact that Krista thinks so differently than I do. It makes for suspenseful reading!
I was so happy to be back in the State with a plot full of twists and turns… and love triangles that I wasn’t expecting. I didn’t totally ‘love’ that aspect of the book and couldn’t really relate to that portion of the story. Because of some affections before marriage and the back and forth of all of that… I rated this lower than the five that I wanted to give it. Though I was so impressed and I absolutely loved Rhen’s character development, as well as James’.
I was so sad and happy about some things that I can’t say without “spoilers”… That being said, this book gave me ALL the feels and seriously stole my breathe away, along with my words at the end of it all! Well done and great finish to a brilliant book series! Thank you Krista for bringing me to new worlds and new adventures!
Adult Regency Romance Novel | “Tutor’s Daughter, The” by Julie Klassen
A love triangle digs up a hidden family secret in Julie Klassen’s “The Tutor’s Daughter”.
I enjoy reading about old mansions and England. I also enjoy a good Christian book with mystery snuggly fit between each page. This book was more of an interesting romance novel than a mystery. A bit slow paced in that sense for me. Though I enjoyed it, I prefer more mystery. I liked the banter and childish to adult-ish feel to it; How one grows and thinks about the world. For that, the character development was well done. I also loved the first family secret!!
I thought the love triangles ended nicely. I liked the chapel scene… though propriety should have washed up a bit more in it. For that matter, this is recommended as an adult Romance Novel. Yet, I adore how Julie brings her characters to Jesus and repentance. This is always the reason I will enjoy her books. When a writer brings you to the best experience in the world-excepting God as your Saviour-that is good writing!
YA Retelling and Christian Historical Fiction Novel | The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
But what I enjoyed so much about Melanie’s writing was her clear and wonderful descriptions of the bible, scripture, and reliance on faith in Jesus–genuine faith. A beautiful story right through!!! I can forgive the little bit of affection prior to marriage on that merit. Thanks Melanie for such a wonderful retelling of a childhood classic!
Adult Christian Romance/Mystery Fiction Novel | Always Watching: A Novel by Lynette Eason
A satisfying mystery that wets your palate and rumbles your tummy for more of Lynette’s books. I can’t wait to read some more of her work. I loved that fact that she wrapped up all clues and suspicions. I was stumped by this author and that means, she was good. It was my second guess on who the stalker was, lol! Perfect writing and sensible thoughts on faith, love, danger, and trust.I was very happy that she mentioned foster care and brought a balance to the negative and positive sides of it. As a reality writer, I appreciate that very much!This book deals with mature things and describes death and/or murder. Because of that, I have to make the age restriction higher.Though I received this book from Revell, Baker House Publishing, my opinions are honest and my own!Recommended as a Christian Adult Mystery/Suspense Fiction Novel
YA Apocalyptic/Dystopian Christian Fiction Novel | Pulse (The Pulse Effex Book 1) by L.R. Burkard
Okay, I was shockingly surprised that I liked this book. One, its an adult book. Two, the cover! It’s awful. I almost didn’t read this book because of the cover and that would have been a shame. My husband suggested it and I am glad I listened to my Prince Charming. The cover doesn’t speak to very much within the book and what happens lol, besides the auburn hair! I was very confused at first on what the story was actually about due to the poorly thought out cover. *See my book haul on Booktube: ChristianYABooksandMore*Wow, what a good book though. Kellie Coates Gilbert is an incredible writer and brought me to deep-heartwrenching tears. Masterful plot sequencing and an over-all wonderfully touching story of realism, heroism, family dynamics, love and pain. Pain, I can relate to.
This story took me places I never expected it to go. I loved how Gilbert entangled Faith’s past to her present in such a clever way. I respect this author a lot. She and I have the same vision in our writing and I absolutely admire that!Okay, now for the .25 stars of bad news…
I knocked this out of a complete 5/5 because there was suggestions that drinking is okay. (For me, it is not okay-Matt 18:6) The story of hope and family triumphs where Faith’s relationship with God lacks. Though her circumstance brought her closer to God in the end-a bit. However, I adored how Kellie Coates Gilbert wrapped it up with her personal relationship with God and the reason to why she wrote this story. And, I am so glad she did!I received this book from Revell for my honest review.Recommended as an Adult Christian Contemporary Fiction Novel
Not recommended for YA due to martial relations (though done tastefully in marriage context :D)
Adult Christian Romance/Mystery Fiction Novel | Vendetta: The Nikki Boyd Files Novel by Lisa Harris
Adventure, suspense and intrigue… mixed with heart-ache is a deadly trap!
This book has some good character development to it. But it was simple. Some of the things I felt were lacking or predictable fell flat. For example, initial clues to the mystery were not investigated thoroughly. The gas station surveillance camera’s were never mentioned again and could have been vital to the plot, etc. I have to admit, I was shocked at the end about who really did it. I thought it was someone else for a bit. *No spoilers here* I loved Nicki Boyd herself and the adventure she faces, though still sensitive. I also enjoyed some of the relationship aspects to the story line. Sadness enveloped me at the loss of her sister and brought me to tears a bit in the end. Overall a good book and one that I would read again!!
I rate this book 3.75 stars 😀 Though I was given this book from Revell as a review, all opinions and ratings are that of my own!
Amazing and completely satisfying! Who knew such a story could exist. It twisted my imagination. It threw me into unexpected tricks and hidden gems. It was beautifully creative and utterly sad. A very clean read which I absolutely appreciated! A huge MUST READ for any dystopian and Sci-fi lover! I especially loved John’s character. He was so precious to me and reminded me of God’s true Grace. Thank you Krista 😀 I can’t wait to read Luminary!!
Sci-Fi/Dystopian Christian Fiction Novel |Luminary (Book #2 in the Anomaly Trilogy) by Krista McGee
Okay, that was not what I was expecting lol! The first part was really hard for me to get into-thus the four stars. But half way through the book, everything changed and things got moving 😀 I was again surprised and happy with the plot twists. Though, sad too. It definitely gave me the “feels“…including tears. Another great read from Krista McGee!
Very similar to my book, in that it attempts to shed light on some sad issues faced by teenagers today. I loved Morgan’s grandmother and how timely God used her life. For me, her aspect in the story was very realistic. It was a little frightening to me to hear that this role-model of a boy went to church with the youth who ended up struggling as well. It was a sense in me to really understand those kids who are going to church and the issues they too face. In my next book, I deal with some of these facts (Facing The Grey). It is no wonder we need God. He is our sustainer and our refuge. We need Him daily and this was a good reminder of that for me. The level of reading was not the best for me. But, Melody Carlson is a top-notch writer altogether and the story was worth being told!!
YA/Adult Hystorical Fiction Novel | Stealing the Preacher (The Archer Brothers Book #2)by Karen Witemeyer
YA/Adult Dystopian Fiction Novel | Remnants/Season Of Wonderby Lisa T. Bergren
I’ll-be-it, in a testimony-like fashion, this may be easier to swallow in a sense. But, the thought that humans and not God along can comfort us, reach into our hearts and soothe us without a peace which surpasses all understanding…is sad and even untrue.
Personally, I have: held hands, sung in the ears, prayed with the cancer ridden, watched their smiles and felt the Holy Spirit wash over them as they had their last tears and even last breathes prior to their definite end. I have witnessed this peace in my own very eyes. To neglect that is a choice that they can have or experience, not a thought, is simply that…a choice.
All personal notes aside; On the basis of Christianity and suggestive scenes, I have to rate it as such.
Adult/YA Christian Fiction | This Present Darkness: A Novel by Frank E. Peretti
Adult Fiction | They Called Her Mrs. Doc. (Women of the West Book #5) by Janette Oke