What I've Been Reading: June EditionWednesday, July 06, 2016
What I've Been Reading
June Quick Lit Reviews
For the past year I have been trying to find a balance on here on how to share the random books I pick up to read for fun, with the books I am asked to review from publishers and authors. It is difficult because I want to share a wide variety with you all. And I also want to give fair reviews even if a book isn't my cup of tea.
I asked around with a few bloggers I know, and am going to try this monthly round up of reviews. This way I can share more books at once, while you all can find books that interest you. There will still be full feature reviews, and I am always up for discussion on any book you see here. So if a book in the list catches your eye, leave me a note and I'll give you more details!
Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
This modern story of a high school girl's desire to help is completely skewed. While her home life is unconventional at best, her school life is embarking on a swift downward spiral as the story begins.
Clearly the story is for teens, and the subject matter is serious, this one is worth looking into because of the conversations that we need to be having with our kids. Parents and kids alike do not like having "the talk" yet it is so important because if parents are there to listen and talk, someone else will provide the information for curious young minds. While this book will not be for everyone, it is contemporary story that could be an essential tool for some.
I have to give this one four hearts because I completely surprised by how much I enjoyed it. While I am quite a few years removed from high school, it seemed realistic enough to use as a conversation starter.
The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
This is a fun, quick paced Teen book with a mysterious twist to it. If you were a fan of The DaVinci Code or even the movie National Treasure this could be a good pick. Avery West seems like a fairly typical teenage girl trying to make it through high school with a mom who often decides to move and start life again. After she sneaks out to a normal high school dance she quickly discovers the reason behind her mother's moves is all because of her own ancestry.
There are some issues with details on the mother/daughter relationship that just do not read realistically, but how else would this crazy adventure happen? This is a trilogy, so be prepared to carve out the time to read it, because Hall ends the book on a serious cliffhanger. No matter what if you read this one, you will have to grab the second book right away!
I only gave this book three hearts, while I enjoyed it, I didn't love it, and won't be reading it a second time.
Map of Fates by Maggie Hall
This sequel to The Conspiracy of Us picks up pretty much where the first left you, thank goodness. As you would expect, the story continues to twist and turn while taking Avery on a wild ride she could never dream of. This book has more action, and moves quickly, even compared to the first.
I cannot say too much more without spoiling the first book... so you are just going to have to go out and get these! Then we can all wait anxiously for book number three to be released! Go ahead and leave your prediction in the comments below and I'll commiserate with you as we deal with the wait.
I am giving this one four hearts, it was even more enjoyable than the first, and certainly hooked me for the final book.
Starflight by Melissa Landers
I'll admit, this book was a bit of a stretch for me, as this is firmly in the class science fiction style of space life. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The characters of Solara and Doran quickly became real, and I had to know what would become of them as they raced toward the farthest edges of the galaxy for completely different reasons.
While the setting demands you let go of reality, the aspect of family and loyalty will connect with all people. It is a wonderful reminder of the human need to be belong to a family, a community and how we have to all for individuality inside those communities. This is a teen book, and is perfectly acceptable for all teen readers, so it might be a little boring or predictable for adults, but then again if you are space science fiction fan, maybe not.
I would give this book four hearts as I was surprised how quick I read this one simply because the characters were so engaging.
For more on this book, check out my sneak peek.
Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making? by Linda Dillow & Julie Slattery
So this is a group Bible study that is for married women - and yes it is specific, and yes it will be a challenge to follow through on this one. I ended up in this study because I do not pay attention to what I sign up for as long as it fits into my schedule. And then I tend to stick to things once I start...
I'll be honest, I wanted this study to be everything it was promising to be. There is a lot of hush-hush on the topic of intimacy even in marriage which results in confusion and embarrassment for many. This was evident in our group discussions each week. Yet this book had some fundamental issues about the Sovereign nature of God. Let me just put it this way, God says He is I Am, and as such He cannot have an opinion... What He says about marriage, love, and relationships must be fact because He is the Foundation of our faith and hope... Overall this was a major disappointment because the topic is needed.
I can only give this book and study two stars and that is generous because I feel the topic is one that needs to be discussed more in Christian marriages.
God's Grand Story by Walk Thru the Bible
Another group Bible study, although this one could easily be done on your own if you are looking for a better understanding of the history and importance of the Old Testament for believers of Jesus. I actually led this study for a small group women, which was a new experience for me. And I often felt a little overwhelmed, but it was good for me.
The study is set up with a quick video that gets each group meeting started. Each day of homework takes you through a part of the Old Testament with a goal to see how each part of the history is pointing to the need for Jesus. The nice part is that if you really want to dig into a section, you can as each day's homework can be done in about ten to fifteen minutes. If you would rather stick with the overview, that is fine too. So this study can be wonderful for new believers as well as those who are really looking to be challenged.
I gave this one four hearts because it is a great study, one that that will impact you, although not really one I would want to do again as the lessons have been taught well.
The Crown by Kiera Cass
This much awaited final book in The Selection series was on my to read list since it was announced. I loved the original, so I had to read this Teen romance. Needless to say it was a flop. It was predictable and even the twists were obvious.
The biggest flaw was Eadlyn. She was a spoiled child, who suddenly matured, only to be selfish in the end. It was crazy. The romance between Kile and her, as well as Erik and her, felt stiff and odd. Clearly this book was an attempt to grab on to a strong audience but sometimes it is better to just move on!
I only gave this two hearts, maybe two and half. I did really enjoy Kile, but the scenes he was in were too limited, and Eadlyn is not a character you can get interested in for long. At least the gorgeous dresses on the covers are still there!
If you want more on this book check out my sneak peek.
Check out what I read in June & let me know what you're reading! #Bookfanatics @Reading_List1