What I've Been Reading {August Edition}

Monday, September 19, 2016

What I've Been Reading

August Quick Lit Reviews

What did you think of last month's quick reviews?  Were they more enjoyable?  Did you miss it? Oh, well then, check it out!  



What I've been reading... Quick Lit Reviews... Summer 2016




School officially started for my boys... and we were all super excited... for about a week and a half... and then the novelty wore off and the early routines got slightly harder for my youngest boy, who decided he'd rather stay home with me (he's in kindergarten this year).  And of course the pickup routine is causing some issues with the youngest's napping... but it's a work in progress!

That also means my reading time got interrupted by life.  Isn't that always how it goes?  Well as a result, I'm a little behind getting this collection of quick reviews up...  but again, that's life!

I'd love to hear about the books you've picked up this past month... even if you only got through twenty pages of it before life happened!







No Other Will Do  by Karen Witemeyer



No Other Will Do  a quick review on Reading ListIn this Historical Fiction, we are introduced  to Emma Chandler as she is determined to keep up a woman's colony in Harper's Station, Texas.  She is full of spunk and tenacity as the small colony is subjected to the attacks of an unknown stranger.  In a last ditch effort to keep her colony safe and prosperous, she calls on an old friend, Malachi Shaw, to come to her aid. Somehow she does so without sounding like a weak damsel in distress, it's quite amazing really.

I go back and forth on Christian Historical Fiction.  I enjoy the simple setting, the history part, and I even find comfort in the character's reliance on God.  However I do not want to be pounded over and over with some deeper truth, and I want the love story (there is always a love story) to be believable.  This book lived up to my expectations completely in these areas.  The history was a fun detail that took me away from reality for a short bit, while the action of the story kept up a good pace.  The characters were believable in their relationship with God, and each other.  Overall I am giving this book four hearts because it truly was a fun read... even if it was a bit predictable.

I can recommend this one to any fan of the genre - yes this is a Christian historical romance... and as such is appropriate for any age who might be interested.  For those who enjoy a strong female lead, this one will certainly fit the bill, and yet, she is able to ask for help when needed, which is also refreshing. Also, I am told this will be a series, I am guessing each story will follow a different lady in the colony as many women were introduced, but this book follows Emma.  Enjoy!

For more on this one, check out my sneak peek! 







A House for Happy Mothers  by Amulya Malladi


A House for Happy Mothers a quick review on Reading List
I have to honest upfront with this one, I did not finish this book. I had to stop as it was just too much for me.  But I will share my thoughts on what I did read, and why I stopped just in case you are curious.  So I picked this one simply because it was on the Amazon free reads list for the month.  I figured it would a good way to stretch the genres I read, always important to try something new right?

Well, this story follows two families as they experience different sides of the India surrogacy market.  This is a piece of fiction, keep in mind.  The two women involved, tell the story from the side of the surrogate, Asha, and the adoptive mother, Priya.  Both are unsure how morally acceptable this decision is, but for their own personal reasons (which they go over and over in the book) this is the path they find themselves on.

I quickly decided this book was simply not for me.  I am not interested in the moral debate of surrogacy right now, and the book read like two whiny women to me.  As I have three kids who tend to whine all day, I simply was not enjoying this break.  So I stopped reading it.

Other reviewers have mixed reactions to the book as well, so you will have to do some digging to decide if this one is worth your time.  Then again, some of the best books ever have mixed reviews!


For more on this one, check out my sneak peek.








Of Beast and Beauty  by Stacey Jay


Of Beast and Beauty a quick review on Reading List
Have you noticed I'm on a fairy tale kick recently?  Especially the beauty and the beast stories... well Of Beast and Beauty was one I picked up strictly for my own research, and it was a fun read.  I would probably call this more of a hybrid of beauty and the beast with Romeo and Juliet, but still, it was fun!

This is the kind of fast-paced, fantasy reads that pulled me into the YA/teen genre.  And while it isn't exactly as well flushed out as say the Lunar Chronicles, it is still a great read for fans of the genre.

The story follows Isra and Gem as they both struggle with the evils in the world, the expectations of their perspective societies and their own inner beauty and beast-like natures.  The characters in this book are complex, which makes it a wonderful journey to go on.  This might not be the kind of book you read over and over... or maybe it will... but it is fun for those fans of the genre!

For more on this one, check out my sneak peek.






The Woman He Married  by Julie N Ford


The Woman He Married a quick review on Reading List

Alright, so this is a contemporary story that I reviewed officially on the blog a bit ago, so if you want details, check it out!   The story follows one couple as they go through the outfall of cheating.  The book does a good enough job of showing that there are two sides to every story, and when you cheat in a marriage you hurt many more people than you would guess.

Since this is more of a fiction based on reality (not real life, just a possible real life... fiction...) it is slow. There are not too many big action scenes, and for me, that was a little boring at times.  I cared enough about John and Josie to find out what happened to their marriage, but not enough to stay up late reading it.

And there were some other reviewers that mentioned this one might hit a little close to home for some readers... so maybe a word of caution?

For even more on this book, check out my sneak peek








One Paris Summer  by Denise Grover Swank


One Paris Summer a quick review on Reading List
There is some kind of unwritten law in the booklover's world that says every summer one must pick up a fun teenage love story that whisks you back to your own teenage days. A story that is full of far-fetched reality, and simultaneous reflecting the hopes of a future that all teens have... no?

Well, this was my summer teen flashback read... I have never been to Paris, and have not lived through a divorced family environment, but the idea of finding love in the most unexpected place and then simply soaking it in while the summer lasts, that fits with my teenage dreams...  Throw in a fun addition of piano training and I was hooked.  In fact, I flew through this book in just a few days.

I would recommend this story to anyone looking for a fun read.  It's the typical rom-com meets YA/Teen book.  The biggest plus to this book is that it is clean.  There are still rules and expectations on Sophie from her parents, she isn't just some teen girl having a grand ole time in Paris for the summer. And for that, I am a huge fan of Swank now - it's hard to find clean romcoms for this age group!

I would even give this book five hearts... if I have time I will certainly pick this one up again for a light-hearted journey to Paris!


For more on this one, check out my sneak peek!







Storm Siren  by Mary Weber


Storm Siren a quick review on Reading List
One of my favorite parts of being in the book blogging world is hearing others talk up a book so much that I just have to pick it up.  I remember seeing this particular book in the review circuit a while back but discarded for some reason.  Boy, what a mistake!

Mary Weber has created a world that is full of the mysterious very similar to Tolkien, well sort of... at least when it comes to a different culture, magic, and power struggles among kingdoms. Needless to say, the bad guy, or evil, in this story is what kept it so interesting.  I thought I had figured it out, but that last scene... I will be reading the rest of this series, let's just say that.

The best part about the book, for me, is the fact that this truly is a Christian Teen Fiction!  It beautifully combines the popular themes of fantasy of the teen lit today, with the ultimate truths of scripture, without sounding preachy, at all.  The thing is, most do not want to be hit over the head with the Bible, I mean that is what the Bible is for, not fantasy stories. But fantasy stories, when done with the Truth as the base, leave the reader asking questions. And that is always a good thing when it comes to needing to find the answers with the Lord... no?



For more on this one, check out my sneak peek!






Under a Million Stars  by Rita Branches


Under a Million Stars  a quick review on Reading ListTechnically I already reviewed this book as part of a release promo, but I enjoyed it so much I thought I'd share it again here. Partly because if you are a fan of the Notebook, then you want to pick up this book. Seriously... don't keep reading, just click over and buy it!

Poor Charlotte is entering her most difficult season of teen life, and to face it without her best friend is hard enough, but when her family dies in a horrible accident her life takes a twist that she could have never dreamed.  Needless to say, her new life is full of questions, and not enough answers. Yet she finds a way to move forward...

Overall this is such a sweet story, and the pace was quick enough that I flew through it.  Without giving too much away, I honestly think this is a great teenage read (probably 16+ though for some relationship scenes and heavy topics) and for all those of us who still stop everything to pop popcorn and grab a box of tissues when The Notebook is on TV.




If you want more on this book, check out my review or out my sneak peek





Check out what I read this summer & let me know what you're reading! #Bookfanatics @Reading_List1

What have you been reading?   What caught your eye above?  What should I read next?  



Marissa @ Reading List





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