book review | bitter winter

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There are a lot of things I want to say right now, but since I need to write this post I’m going to try to stay focused and not get side-tracked (God help me).

WOW DO I HAVE THOUGHTS. Let’s just dive right in, shall we?

WARNING: I’m lacking sleep, I quite literally have 99 problems, and I GOT THE FEELS. 

Boy, is this post gonna be huge loads of fun. Actual photograph of me right now:

~Prettymuch Imagines and Preferences2~ - ~Zion~ - Wattpad

Like don’t get me wrong, I loved this book. I missed these characters and this world and their struggles and I didn’t miss all the heartache BUT IT COMES WITH THE PACKAGE  because apparently, Jaye L. Knight loves to torture her readers, which is honestly so cruel (but like, in a really awesome REALLY good way). I just… I have T H O U G H T S. I mean, I love this series, but yeah. I’m gonna stop talking and do the review already (even though I’m gonna still be talking…) (Jazz, where your logic at *smh*)

About the Book

Bitter Winter Cover
Available now on Amazon | Add to Goodreads

Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.

Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

 

About the Author

JayeLKnight Author Photo

Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of

Wisconsin.

My Review 

Image result for image of four star rating

Okay so. My thoughts are… well, they’re kind of a mess right now.

Let me start by saying, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I HAVE MISSED THESE PEOPLE. HONESTLY. I mean, Jace, Kyrin, Rayad, Kaden… like, my core people. I have missed their faces. Not to mention like, everybody else. The entire party was there and it was like this lowkey huge reunion and my heart was smiling so much. Like, shoot, we all together once again as one big happy family… AND THEN THINGS HAPPEN. But I can’t tell you what tragedies Knight uses to break hearts in this book, you’re just gonna have to read it yourself to feel the pain, which of course you do because as bookworms we thrive on the sorrow and tears and laughter and otp’s authors feed us. We need to be honest with ourselves about this.

I really, really loved the message in this book. I love the messages in all of Jaye L. Knight’s books because they’re so so so relatable and applicable in our day-to-day lives. One theme that has been constant in the Ilyon Chronicles has been forgiveness. There is literally so much conflict and so much pain, and there is so much bitterness (hah). And each character has their own battle against their flesh and clinging to their faith in Elom. He gives us so much grace to overcome the hurt and the anger we harbor, so that is one of the highlighted themes that Knight includes in all her books that I absolutely adore.

ALSO. I loved how the focus went a little bit more on Jace in this book. I’ve missed his beautiful heart and soul, and MAN ALL THE GROWTH. I’m crying inside at how strong he has become, but at the same time, he is still so vulnerable. In Bitter Winter, we get to see his spiritual struggle during a tragedy, and it was so encouraging but at the same time heartbreaking because of how hard the whole situation was (trying so hard not to spoil anything right now, not gonna lie it’s really really hard). JACE HAS GONE THROUGH SO MUCH ALREADY AND THEN THIS IS THROWN IN HIS FACE AND IT’S LIKE

But y’all. Elom worked in Jace in so many ways, and it’s so wonderful to see that in his character development. I can still remember what a precious little broken, lost puppy he was in Resistance…….

I can go on and on talking about him and the rest of the characters because honestly, this is one of the most amazing casts I’ve ever come across. Kudos to you, Ms. Knight. You have created killer awesome people.

❤ this pin? Make sure to press on my profile and follow me for more pins 🤞🏾 ATTENTION! I DO NOT OWN THESE PINS HOWEVER, THE SUPPORT GOES TO THE RIGHTFUL OWNER!

BUT WAIT. There’s more.

I want to say that I’m head-over-heels in love with this book. You don’t know HOW MUCH I want to be able to say that because I’m completely and totally in love with the other books. But… I just can’t. Let me explain myself.

While it was amazing with amazing characters and an amazing message, I feel like this book… lacked. A lot. DON’T GET ME WRONG. It was really really fantastic and I still loved it. But the book just didn’t pack the same punch as the others. The characters are so numerous, I feel like they were a bit watered down. The plot was so fast, it felt kind of rushed. The feels just weren’t as intense as the last few books, and it makes me sad that I can’t fuss and whine at how vivid and heartwrenching the feels were like in the previous books in the series because while there were a lot of AGHHHHHH moments, I feel like they just weren’t captured as well. And then there were some moments with certain characters that I just didn’t feel was realistic (not gonna mention no names *couhgKyrincoughRayadcough*).

I enjoyed this book. But reading it took more shove than I would have preferred. Was it worth it? Guac. Of course! What I’m trying to get at, is this book just felt shorter, more rushed, and just lowkey watered down. But that’s me being a picky reader.

Oh and another thing. If y’all know me, y’all know I love me some ships. AND YOU GUYS. THE SHIPS. I have, like, so much love and yet so much indecision about these relationships. I adore #Jayrin. Their romance bloomed in a very lovely and almost unexpected but totally loveable and adorable way. Trask and Anne are just amazing, ’nuff said.

But the others… they just seem almost forced. There are. SO MANY. And I was like, exasperated in the midst of all this looove. Like, seriously, I’m the first to ship people fictional and non-fictional. BUT I JUST CANT. It’s no believable when there are so many going on at the same time. And it’s almost annoying. Idk if that’s just me. Like, I LOVE THEM. But I want to be able to focus and really savor them, and it’s just hard to do that when there is more than three.

And then there was the part at the end where THINGS HAPPENED and I literally couldn’t stop grinning like an idiot. Because things. And people. And things. Ehem.

OTHER THAN THAT. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS LONG-AWAITED RELEASE. And I am SO honored to be a part of this tour. I am also very sorry about how late I am publishing this review. Sorry about that, dears. I’m working through some things but I swear it’ll all be good in time. I HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING MY VERY MESSY REVIEW THOUGH. AH.

In Conclusion

This book, along with the rest in this tour are now available for all peoples to read so go get yourself a copy and y’know MEET THE FAM AND FEEL THE PAIN. It’ll be great. We can talk about how much horror we– I mean the characters have to go through.

ALSO! GIVEAWAYS! Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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Be sure to check out the rest of the tour. Check out all the posts because they’re pretty flipping awesome: tour schedule.

AAAAND pretty sure this is the end. Thank you so much, Jaye and Tricia for including me and letting me be a part of this amazing community. You both have created an endless fandom that will live long and strong forever and ever.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you decide to stick around because I might (just might) review the other books in this tour in the next couple of weeks. LOVE ALL OF YOU.

GO READ THE BOOK ALREADY.

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book review | deliver

(disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for my review… bless you, Tricia!!!)

HELLO PEOPLES . . . So much has been happening these past few weeks, I apologize for not posting in what seems like FOREVER. But do not fret. I’ll probably (maybe? hopefully?) have more time in the coming weeks to spend more time on the blog. I have SO much to write about, just not any time to actually write it. Y’know my struggles.

So as you saw in the title, this post will be a Book Review/Launch for Tricia Mingerink’s latest book from her series The Blades of Acktar.

*flails* ASKDJLFSKLFJOWUIKLAFJSDKLFJASLDKJF. *cries* LKASDFHDFJHSERIUWWVNSASFDJK.

English fails me when I think about the book in all it’s awesmazingness. #sorrynotsorry

Where to begin? I can’t breath.

Seriously guys, I CAN’T BREATH. HALP. I NEED HALP. THIS BOOK..

Can something broken ever heal?

Martyn is broken. After torturing his best friend, he doesn’t belong anywhere in Acktar. No matter how far he runs, he can’t lose his guilt.

Leith is broken. While healing from the torture he received at Nalgar Castle, he struggles to find his new role. But can a Blade ever run from his past?

The country is broken. Bitterness divides town against town, neighbor against neighbor.

What will it take to deliver Acktar from itself?

They face their hardest battle yet.

Peace.

// the amazing author 

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Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. 

She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets.

 When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.

You can connect with her on 

// the somewhat mediocre review

CAN I JUST SAY WOAH. That’s pretty much the only word that really explains the book in a nutshell. I cannot tell you how many times I squealed while reading this. It. Just. Ah. But I mustn’t spoil it for you, and it’s driving me INSANE because I want you to know how I feel so we can just squeal together. Bother!

Deliver is the fourth and final book in Tricia Mingerink’s Blades of Acktar. *cries as realization sinks in that it’s over* While the other three books were more focused on Renna, Brandi, and Leith, this book actually features Martyn Hamish, Leith’s oldest friend, and we get to see the story from his POV starting from the end of book three… and that was aMazINg. Like seriously guys, Martyn is my precious nugget.

Ever since they had joined the Blades, Martyn and Leith have always been friends that are more like brothers. But after all the events of the first three books, there is a barrier between them. Leith’s faith is a bother to Martyn’s carefree personality, so following impulse, Martyn runs the opposite direction searching for answers to questions that no one can answer. There was so much war going on inside him, so many insecurities that Tricia definitely described and portrayed impeccably. I loved getting to know Martyn better. His past crushes my heart *cries* and makes me want to just wrap him up in a snuggy and make him my burrito and protect from the rest of the world.

The plot was just as amazing as the rest of the books. Or course, I expected nothing less… but this was extraordinarily fantablous. I loved the message of God’s forgiveness and His hope and redemption, and all the emotions are overcoming my brain. They were intertwined and portrayed so wonderfully, I definitely cried more than once while reading. My heart was a galloping horse one moment, then a shattered piece of glass the next. Aaaaaand I really can’t say too much or I’ll be giving everything away, which is SO HARD BECAUSE DUDE. Duuuuuuuuuuude.

As for the characters, can I just say how much they have my heart? Seriously. How can a cast be SO FLIPPIN’ PERFECT?!?! I love them and each one of them is my cinnamon roll and how they slay my life and slay in general and I love them all so much my heart hurts and aches and ASDJFKSLFJ. Yep (more on them in a follow-up post!).

I very seriously adore this book. Like, there are the books I love… and then there are the books like this one.; they haunt my heart for years and years and the pain of how much I love them never lessens. It’s a wonderful feeling, it really is. One of my favorite things about this series is that it’s not only a good story with heartwarming/breaking characters and events, but it is also spiritually sound with plenty of references to scripture. I love how each of the characters grow in the Lord, and it’s not pictured as, “God’s on my side now, buh-bye problems!” No, they still struggle. But it’s different because in their weakness, they see God be strong for them. It. Is. Beautiful. I definitely experienced a growth in my relationship with Christ as I went through all of these books! Such an amazing series with amazing messages.

My only cautions will be for the violence. I’m totally not sensitive when it comes to blood, war, etc. but there were a few parts that I wouldn’t exactly let my 8 year-old brother read. Tricia is pretty detailed when it comes to wounds, and I know some people are particular when it comes to that kind of stuff. My other warning would be that YOU WILL DIE FROM AWESOMENESS (wow that was so cheesy). But that’s it! Words really do no justice to how amazing and perfect and AMAZING this book really is… how amazing this entire series is!

In conclusion, just go read the book and become a blubbering blob of happiness and sorrow. It’s life changing.

P.S. Tricia Mingerink is hosting a Facebook party, and YOU’RE invited!! Click the link to get all the info and attend and stuff. It’ll be so much FUN! https://www.facebook.com/events/1369211736448642/

book review | all the light we cannot see

Wow. My mind is blown into smithereens. Like, I seriously just need a moment to comprehend all the thoughts. WOW. 

Summary taken from Goodreads:

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
Dude YAS:

This book, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, was beautiful. The writing was GORGEOUS, and the WW2 elements were raw. At times, the plot felt just a little slow, but the writing made every bit of the journey worth it. Doerr’s words were just…gorgeous! Like, mindbogglingly beautiful. I loved all the different references, the images he created. Everything about his writing was just so pleasant. Like how Doerr used radios and the ocean in the story was WOW. And just all the different things he used in the story to represent different aspects of life, emotions, feelings and AHHH it was all so COOL (i’m at a loss for words, so sorry). 

Now the characters… o boi. How can i do this without loosing it ??? They were AMAZING. Raw, real, totally real, and just. Man. Each of the characters had inward struggles, questions, needs. They were wonderfully crafted. The story is told from multiple POV’s, but the main two character’s were Marie-Laure and Werner. It was so interesting watching the story playout from both sides, Doerr made it possible to empathize with both and all characters wonderfully.

I think one of the main things that first made me interested in reading this book was the fact that Marie-Laure is BLIND. How cool is that?? I mean, I’d read AnY WW2 book anyways, but this just made everything so, so… different! And it was wonderful! I loved her relationship with her great-uncle, how they could relate in so much, how she changed him. Marie was an amazing character with raw emotions and real fears and yet hope and yet no hope. AH. I can’t help but cry for her, her pain, her Papa. 

“She says, “When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?” 

And Werner… eep. He was precious. Literally. Precious. The way his mind worked made him so endearing, I just wanna preserve him from the world and all the pain thereof. He and his sister Jutta, white-haired and curious, just worked themselves into my heart. From the beginning, Werner was just struggling with understanding his goals, his purpose… until he finds it. *smiles as tears fall* He was also a very memorable character, he was strong but lost. Like a puppy. 

“Open your eyes, the Frenchman on the radio used to say, and see what you can with them before they close forever.” 

Meh:

In the moments when Werner would be working on whatever device his professor gave him to work on, the scientific elements started to bug me just a little because… well let’s just say, math is my mortal enemy so I had trouble understanding a lot of it. And like I said in the beginning, the plot felt kind of slow at times, but y’know what. It’s not a YA book, and it was so beautiful who in the world even cares?

Yucky stuff: This IS an adult WW2 book, so there was mature content, including swearing (one character says the F-bomb a few times, but fortunately he is not shown frequently at all, and is only in the second half of the book), taking God’s name in vain, and one very, very vague rape scene, also a couple other mature innuendos mentioned very quickly and easily ignored (all from the guy that cusses the most). But yeaaa. Also, war elements such as wounds, corpses, etc. but that’s to be expected in any accurate war book. 

IN CONCLUSION: I’d only recommend this book to older teens and up because of these elements. In the end, this book was beautifully written, skillfully crafted, and if you don’t include the bad stuff AMAZING. Not for the faint of heart because it is fairly graphic, but absolutely a must read! I enjoyed it very much, still pondering over some things. It’s the kind of book that leaves you thinking about the meanings of everything because it’s SO DEEP. MAN. 

“There are, he assures her, no such things as curses. There is luck, maybe, bad or good. A slight inclination of each day towards success or failure. But no curses.” 

 “Walk the paths of logic. Every outcome has its cause, and every predicament has its solution. Every lock its key.” 

 “The window glows. The slow sandy light of dawn permeates the room. Everything transient and aching; everything tentative. To be here, in this room, high in this house, out of the cellar, with her: it is like medicine.”

 “The brain is locked in total darkness, of course, children, says the voice. It floats in a clear liquid inside the skull, never in the light. And yet the world it constructs in the mind is full of light.” 

Have you read this book?

Are you gonna read it now?

How about now?

What book have you been reading lately?

book review | traveler’s rekindled

I am so hopelessly in love with books, and I cannot lie.

The frustrating thing is when life gets CRAZY hectic, that’s when books summon me. Verbally. As if they’re supposed to do that. *pfft* And I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that they speak to me, or… the fact that I actually listen to them. Either way I’m left seemingly psychologically troubled. And that would surprise neither me or my comrades. *winks* Or thou, dear reader, who has fallen victim to my nonsense.

Getting back into my game here, I’m not supposed to be talking about such idiotic things right now. There will be plenty of other posts for all that madness. Today, I’m so excited to share with you one of the latest short novels I’ve read, Travelers: Rekindled by Dominic DiMaria. So, no more of this trifle business. LET US BEGIN!

Join Soren on his journey from Oasis, the beautiful realm of the Cosmos, to a physical Dimension of vile men, dark creatures, and a mysterious Master, ordered to accomplish a task that will turn the lives of those he meets, as well as his own, upside down.

So when I first heard about this book, I freaked out. I mean, my friend’s older brother wrote it. How does that not seem legit?? It’s one thing to meet an author, it’s another thing to be friends with the siblings of an author. You’re way cooler that way, trust me. I’ve done the research. Pay attention.

When I saw that it was a short novel, I was skeptical. I don’t like short books. I like long, never-ending books that take me a week to read. This took me one day.

Writing Style + Technique: 5/5 STARS

From the first page, I was enthralled by Dominic’s writing style, and the colors he weaved into each sentence. His word usage was tasteful, and the overall voice was artistically matured. Many elements he used in this book reminded me of another series by C. S. Lakin, which is really cool because I LOVE her writing techniques and styles!

Character + Development: 3/5 STARS

I can be picky when it comes to characters. Nit picky. I really wanted to enjoy the characters as much as the plot and writing, but they fell short. Given, this was a short book and there’s not much you can do within 100 pages for a character. So I’ll be merciful.

The book is based in another world, so the people are going to act a little different, their speech will be a little different. But I can’t excuse the fact that Soren didn’t seem realistic. His struggle was real, but his being? He never seemed to take form before me. He was still almost a stranger to me by the end of the book because I hadn’t gotten to love him. And that did take away from the pleasure in reading such a fine novel.

Setting + Plot: 5/5 STARS

What can I say? I LOVE MADE UP WORLDS. With symbolism and creepy creatures… This book wasn’t a disappointment. The setting was thoroughly constructed and the world was beautifully described.

I LOVE lovelovelove the plot. The plot. Is. Amazing. Soren is taken from the world of peace and quiet and calm to remind the Forgetters. His mission is simple… but not easy.

Lots of history was told, but not in an annoying-looooong-paragraphs-of-boring-stuff way. It was interesting, and kept the story rolling, even if we were jumping into the past.

What I liked:

  1. Honestly, the description was immaculate. Perfect. On fleek.
  2. The character development wasn’t as intense as I would have liked, but I’m making an exception because this was a shorter book. That being said, it was good, just not the best.
  3. All the symbolism is JUST SO COOL. I’ve always had a thing for books like that (Chronicles of Narnia, the Hobbit, The Gates of Heaven Series, and the like), and I know for a fact that my own writing is similar. So, yay for awesomeness.

What I disliked:

There was so much awesome in this short novel, I know I’m being nit-picky here to point this out. But I was never good at hushing my opinion. So, here goes Cheetos.

  1. There was an odd romance between two of the characters. I just didn’t understand it, didn’t like it, I didn’t know what to make of it. I mean, I love a good romance in a book, but this seemed awkwardly thrown in just to appease readers like me. Didn’t feel right. I don’t really know, maybe that’s just me?
  2. Like I said, Soren didn’t feel real to me, and the other characters weren’t any better. I would have liked getting to know them, and seeing their personality. EVERY character has their own special personality, but I just don’t see that in Soren.

In conclusion… 

This was a very well written, enjoyable short read! It was exciting, and kept me entertained through the last page. But it wasn’t just entertaining, it had a well told spiritual underlining. In the end, I feel like I’ve journeyed and grown with Soren, and have gotten a taste of a whole new world… And there’s nothing more satisfying in a book than when they leave me feeling that way. 😉

Have you heard of this book?

Would you be willing to give it a try (if you don’t, you’re a goose with unforgivable fears of good books)??

THANKS FOR READING, FRENS.

Until next time, TALLY HO *winks like Solomon Hawke* (if you know this refrence, give a shout-out for Sol+Parvin in the comments!!!)

book review | between shades of gray

Guess who FINALLY decided to crawl out from under my rock? ME. Hah.

It’s been what? 5,489 years? Mmm, too long my friend. So much has happened, so much has changed, so much to talk about. But before I start a storm of rambles and ship names, let me just jump into today’s post, which is *squeals* a book review on…. “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys!

//introduction (basically me rambling to myself)

So, I’ll admit. I am terrified to write this review. Do you ever get that feeling of inadequacy when you’re writing a review? Right now I’m struggling with words to describe how I feel about this book. It was good.

It was phenomenal.

But even as I type that… I feel like I’m leaving something out. As if I’m belittling the novel somehow. I guess there just aren’t words to describe all books? Some are just left up to you to understand personally. Maybe that sounds cheesy. But you’d get my meaning if you’ve read the book.

actual review ~ 5 STARS

Written with feeling, emotional ties, and unique insight, Between Shades of Gray is a book that not only shattered my mind and soul into a million pieces, but still tortures my heart when I think of it. I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with a book that has stabbed my heart multiple times. HELP ME.

The plot follows a Lithuanian 15-year-old, Lina Vilkas, as she is ruthlessly thrown into the cruelty of World War 2. Although she has her mother and brother, her father is lost in the sea of men being taken to multiple concentration camps. In hopes and desperation of contacting him and reuniting their family somehow, Lina, a very gifted artist, draws portrayals and portraits of the things she sees, where they go, people they meet. Throughout the book, her notebook fills with these drawings, and she’s just hoping and praying that no one, especially not the Soviets, will find them.

The character development was impeccable. Each one had their own story, their own strength, and their own way of coping. It was so cool to see that clear transformation of what war will do to people. It pains, breaks, but doesn’t make things unfix-able. And Ruta Sepetys portrays that in such a beautiful crystal clear way.

Even if it was a historical fiction, and very very historically sound, it wasn’t boring at all. All the mentions of the news during that time, what was going on politically, didn’t drive me crazy like other books. It was all very interesting and kept me engrossed within its leafs. However, this book really focuses on the characters and their experience from their POV, not the war as a whole. Like, none of the characters know what’s exactly happening in the war, and Ruta Sepetys doesn’t just say what’s going on. It is all written in a way so that you relate to the characters in a very intimate way; same mind, same fear, same everything. It’s really very well written (I don’t know how many times I’m going to write that haha).

Basically, it was excellent. Beyond excellent. It was breathtaking, heartbreaking, soul-wrenching, tear-jerking, ridiculously gushing with emotions and pain and IT IS ALL ACTUALLY BEAUTIFUL.

//characters ~ 5 STARS

Lina: Oh how my heart hurts for our dear protagonist. When I began the book, I imagined her as any other protagonist that would be thrown into her situation; she was scared, she asked questions, she cried. But by the middle, I really began to know her. She’s not just scared. She’s terrified. So much so, she forgets how to cope with little discomforts, how to communicate her fears, her worries. Every minute during her captivity, she experiences a fear that you and I cannot even try to connect with reality. Her heart, so sensitive, so innocent, was so roughly tossed about and beaten by the Soviets, that by the end it’s completely covered with bloody wounds, white scars, and blue bruises. But through it all, all the heartbreak, all the tears, all the anger… hope lingers. Even if it seemed like just a faded line in the horizon, barely even noticeable, in her heart she never let it go. There is strength in brokenness. And we see her grow in that strength, even if she is covered in scars, she’s not weak.

(Song: Clouds by Before You Exit)

Jonas: My precious little Jonas… where to begin with this guy? Seeing him grow up (emotionally and mentally– dude smoked at 9) was hard. It hurt. But it was realistic. In the beginning, he was a sunshine-y 9-year-old, optimistic like his mommy, always trying to bring the light into his sister’s eyes. And then you slowly just see him become a man. His words are harder, not innocent childish worlds. His actions are all about taking care of his mom and sister, protecting them. It’s adorable and bitter-sweet in a 10-year-old. You want to bundle him up in a snuggie and just protect him and guard him from the ugliness of the world. In conclusion, Jonas was definitely one of the strongest characters in the book. Yes, he did have his share of pain and worries, but he put them aside to care for his family. My little man.  


Andrius: oH My HeAD. This guy. This guy. This guy. I can fangirl about him all day. He’s so strong, so passionate, so discerning… I just love him so much. From the beginning, he displayed a heart that had been hurt, but was still functioning for others. He had this amazing inner strength that served as a rock for both Lina and Jonas. OH. And his brotherly relationship with Jonas? That was the most precious thing ever! And then on a heartbreaking note… we get to see his brokenness on a whole new level in the middle of the book. Even if he’s all confident on the outside, he’s just as scared and angry and broken as Lina, Jonas and the rest of the refugees. He’d just learned to conceal (*sings* don’t feel) his pain and deal with life. I LOVED he and Lina’s relationship so much, it’s hard to type this out because I’m wanting to just let all my fangirl sap to pour all over the keys. But I won’t do that. Because I love y’all. But let’s be serious, hahah. Their relationship is literally the sweetest, sweetest cinnamon roll evers. Literally. You’ll have to read the book, because I don’t want to spoil anything.. okay, I’ll say this: Andrius is every girl bookworm’s dream guy. But that’s it.

Now, this is a war book, and although it’s not too graphic, it does speak of war related things (i.e. dead bodies, and the like). There was a couple uses of the D word, but it wasn’t used any more than that. In one part the refugees have to bathe in the showers and they are ordered to undress in front of the Soviet soldiers, which was disturbing, but again this was a realistic war book based on what really happened. So this can be forgiven. There is also a little romance between two of the characters and they do kiss twice, but it’s short and sweet. And if you don’t want to have your heart broken a million times, you probably shouldn’t read this. Because it will do exactly that. 

In conclusion to my review on Between Shades of Gray, I will say it again: This book can’t be described by words. YOU MUST READ IT YOURSELF, SIR.

So there’s my review! I know this was kind of slightly scattered… bless you if you read through it all xD Here’s a playlist I put together while reading the book. Now, whenever I hear any of these songs, my heart hurts and I have to stop and sigh of sorrow. Once you read this book, you won’t be able to live it down, I promise you!

// let’s talk bruh.

Have you read this book? (if so, let’s scream like idiots in the comments together, kindred spirit!

Have you heard of it? 

Are you going to read it(if not, we need to have a talk…)?

book review | a name unknown

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for my review.

OKAY. SO. I actually read this a while ago, but I loved it so much that I let my friend borrow it … and … yea. 

I just got it back. 

Way to go, friend.

… a couple months later… 

OKAY SO I LEGIT LET ANOTHER FRIEND BORROW IT AND SHE STILL HASN’T GIVEN IT BACK YET… but that’s okay, I’m not bitter at all. Am I weird that way? Like, I always have to have whatever book I’m reviewing right there next to me so I can touch it and flip through it and all that? I’m sure I’m not the only one… *starts singing Sam Smith* 

*coughs loudly* GRACIOUS why can’t I focus right now???

I AM SORRY, DEAR PEOPLE. BEAR WITH YOUR GIRL SHE’S HAD A ROUGH START ALREADY. 


“And the best sort of villain is smart and subtle and so very tricky that you don’t even know he’s the villain because he thinks himself the hero in his own story.” 

So so so. 

Let this review actually begin, shall we? Okay let’s just go before I get distracted again (FOR REAL, my friends literally make fun of me so much for being so loopy, I swear I can focus when I really try to) (ALSO I might be a little bit weird in this post because I just got my wisdom teeth pulled and my head hurts so just… y’know don’t judge me too harshly mkay? It’s all good, life’s great) (OKAY now the review can start). 

A NAME UNKNOWN BLURB:

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered. 

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

– r e v i e w ~ 5 stars –


I honestly do not know how I actually survived before I read this book. In all honesty, this was probably one of the best written historical fiction novels I have ever read. HANDS DOWN, SHE IS ONE OF MY NEW FAVORITE AUTHORS. 

Let’s be real here. [RANT ALERT] How many Christian-his-fic novels will you pick up where that characters are actually this unique, where the plot is actually really thrilling, and where everything is just so bloody perfect??? 

UHM *cough cough* LIKE 0% ACTUALLY.

I have, unfortunately, had a pretty pathetic experience with Christian historical fiction because 1) they’re all so cliche, 2) they always seem to be about the same person, 3) the romance is just overall super-duper cringey and I want to cry now bc I hate how cringey it is, and 4) the spiritual messages protrayed are honestly so preachy and forced, oh, and 5) the plots are almost always centered around the cringey romance (even if it’s not supposed to be, it always ends up thattaway, you get me, Janet?). HONESTLY. These are the vibes I’ve gotten from the majority of the Chris-his-fic novels I’ve ever picked up; sure, there were some good ones, I’m not saying they’re impossible to find. I’m just saying if you wanna find a really good, unique, fantabulous one… you REAAAAALLY gotta look. At least for me. Maybe that’s just my luck, I DON’T KNOW.

But you GUYSSssss. YOU GUYS. I FOUND GOLD. I HIT JACKPOT. I’M A RICH TEENAGER RN + I SWEAR MY LIFE HAS BEEN CHANGED FOREVER. 

I am not exaggerating when I say this book has literally changed my life… because it honestly has. It has given me this hope that not all Christian-his-fic are going to be cringey, WHICH FEELS AMAZING. I fell in love with the cover first, then I read the dedication and fell in love with that, and then the writing, and then the MC, and then the storyline, and then the spiritual message, and the romance, and the people, and just EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK HAS GOT ME SO FIRED UP FOR AMAZING STUFF IT FEELS SO GREAT. [END OF RANT]

I’m sorry for shouting so much. I’m very passionate about this book, can you tell?

b e a u t i f u l – t h i n g s 

  • the characters – y’all know how much these cinnamon rolls mean to me in a story. If an author is planning on including anybody in their story (I mean I guess you’d have to… unless it was a story all about landscape and bushes *shrugs*), they better be warned that they either have to go big and dangerous or go home bc this girl doesn’t do weak little characters with no backbone and no voice, okay? Okay… can we just appreciate HOW PERFECT THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY ARE IN THIS STORY? LITERALLY.

Rosemary is L.I.F.E. goals. SHE’S:

a thief / passionate / loving / arrogant / outspoken / strong / extroverted / and so very, very empathetic (when she deems it a good time to be) / quick to act

The one thing that really drew me into loving her character was her passion. She saw something that needed to be changed, and with all her power she tried to change it; she didn’t just sit back and hope for someone else, more capable to come along and do it, no! There was this energy within her that just compelled her to do things that she didn’t necessarily want to do, but it needed to be done and so it was. Sure, she had her flaws. She’s messed up and mislead… but that’s the beauty of humanity, right?

Her voice was so strong, she was so stubborn it was SO invigorating, it made ME want to step up and do something to change the world, even if it was small… she had this way about her that was just so exciting, I couldn’t wait to see what she did or said next. Everything had a point to it, there’s no such thing as stuff-n’-nonsense with Rosemary. She was straight to the point and hard-headed and IT JUST CLICKED WITH ME BECAUSE I’M SO LIKE THAT.

She’s just that person that will be the first to speak up, the first to act, the first to accuse, and the first to throw a punch (even if it’s with her untamable sass).

Peter was a Cinnabon, allow me to protect him forever amen.

curious / intelligent + simple at the same time / passionate, but not impulsive / introverted / writer / hermit, by all means

Peter was just amazing. He was this precious burrito that was just filled with love and exotic wonder that left people thinking he was loopy. And, Y’ALL, he had a speech problem which made him soooo cute, literally cannot contain how precious and pure he is. Seriously. Can we just take a moment to appreciate his shy qualities, his thoughtfulness, his inability to communicate… gracious, let’s just all build a wall around him and protect from this cruel world who would DARE to speak ugly about my baby.

Being a writer, I can relate to Peter as well. WHICH WAS JUST DANDY. Him being literal gold, I just couldn’t not love everything about him. I mean. HE HAD A BEHEMOTH LIBRARY. CAN I GET AN AMEN???

 The dude was mega introverted and it was just so great. And the way he handled situations… he’s such a quiet thinker, but he takes in all the little details he can calculate the entire event with such discernment, he is just SO COOL. And yet everyone in the book was so convinced he was just this dumb person that couldn’t think for himself… and he wouldn’t fight back. I WILL FIGHT FOR YOU PETER, DON’T YOU WORRY MY PRECIOUS CHILD.

And while I can go on about the rest of the characters, I do believe I still have the rest of the review and write and who knows how long that will take if I talk about EVERYTHING I love about this book??? AND SOME? Priorities, my people. We are a civil community here and there will be order.

  • the plot- This was just all glorious. The plot of this book was just… so fun and it was thrilling but not too heavy, and I was kept guessing and wondering, but not frustrated. I have a lot of love for this story, not only because of the characters (although I adore adore adore them too). It felt driven and I could tell that the author had a lot of passion for the story in and of itself.

A group of street rats. A search in a library. A hermit writer with secrets. Political theft.

It’s beautiful, is it not?

IT IS.

  • england- I’m such a sucker for stories in other countries, especially Europe (who doesn’t??), so THIS beaute basically settled so perfectly with me, it’s kind of creepy. Kind of. OH, and how it was showing things that lead up to WW1, that was pretty cool. I’ve read a lot of WW2 books so this was a bit new for me, but y’know what? I loved it so… 🙂
  • the family elements- These characters were hardcore when it came to family. Didn’t matter what kind of family they grew up in, especially Rosemary and her siblings. They loved so hard and were extremely loyal but with a realistic flare of siblings rivalry and it was just so relatable and sweet and I can cry just thinking about them.
  • the sass- Let’s be honest. I probably enjoyed this entire book because of Rosemary’s (and the occasional Peter’s) sassitude. It got lit, y’all xD
  • oh the beauty of luv- the romance. The romance was bloody adorable and I cannot contain myself any longer *squeals* IT WAS EPIC AND SWEET AND JUST GREAT. It was great. Because…. because you have Rosemary, outspoken, determined, hardheaded, and just Rosemary… And then you had sweet, kind, gentle, dear, dear Peter. AND IT WAS MAGIC. It was literally gold. I can’t tell you how many times I screamed because of their cuteness. And it was a pure kind of cuteness that was….. AGH.
  • the spiritual message- THIS MADE ME CRY. LITERALLY. I WAS CRYING. Well, not throughout the whole thing, but more than one part brought me to tears. I loveloveloveeee the message portrayed in this story, especially with Rosemary. I can relate to her SO MUCH, so this really hit core for me. How the Lord just shaped her and guided her, it was so beautiful. So sweet and tender and heartbreakingly beautiful. I’d give this 19,438 stars just for how well God’s love was portrayed.
  • just all the people were amazing. 
  • there were so many leads and elements that just GAH befuddled me in the best way bc mystery 
  • the writing was really really great- This was a HUGE thing for me. I adored the writing, which is weird for me to say about a Chris-his-fic novel. But I’m not kidding you, I could read these books for ages — errrm mebbe — and not got tired of it.

And now I think it’s safe to say that this book was just perfect and you should really just go read it now. Because I don’t have an “Ugly things” list for you. 

Other than it ended, but y’know. 

– c o n c l u s i o n –

This is a wonderful novel that will change your life. It had an epic storyline, endearing characters, a thrilling mystery, and amazing vibes (and a hilarious sass level). I enjoyed this book so much, it will probably always be on my favorites shelf because #perfection. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE REST OF THE SERIES!

GO READ IT NOW OR I WILL FIND YOU AND COVER YOU IN GLITTER (MY WORST ENEMY). 


mkay, thanks for reading :))

book review |the day the angels fell

Should I be worried about the face that despite all the review I’ve done, I still have a hard time deciding how I format my posts? I’m good at this *thumbs up*

can we just appreciate the inner beauty of this book???
Please, have patience with me. Today has been a super long day, and I’m not even close to finishing what I need to get done for school yet (#priorities); just wanted to get this review written because of a deadline that I totally forgot about (how could I forget idek, you wanna tell me, fam?). I had apparently signed up for the book tour for this book on Revell Books, but that totally left my mind (way to go, Jazzy. You and your goldfish memory…), and HERE I AM, half awake but still ready to present to you this book review.

Fingers crossed, hope you enjoy 🙂

(advanced apology for anything that doesn’t make sense… just think: 12am post (and not the romantic, poetic type. No, I don’t even know how this will turn out tbh. Just. Please be understanding. Love y’all!)


Oooooooo! I can gaze adoringly at this cover for days… oh, how it plucks my heart strings *plucks strings*

It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers. The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard. The summer his mother died in a tragic accident. As he recalls the tumultuous events that launched a surprising journey, Samuel can still hardly believe it all happened. 

After his mother’s death, twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers would do anything to turn back time. Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Samuel begins his search for the Tree of Life–the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back. His quest to defeat death entangles him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict and forces Samuel to grapple with an unwelcome question: could it be possible that death is a gift? 

I’m planning on this being a short review (hah let’s see that happen, at least once) because 1) me is the tired and 2) I STILL HAVE A STUPID 1,000 WORD PAPER I HAVE TO WRITE FOR ENGLISH AND IT’S DUE ON SUNDAY AND I HAVE BARELY STARTED IT (let’s just hope my teacher and my mom don’t read this post) (I just realized how many parentheses I’m using in this post (and how hard it was to spell parentheses)). I’m sorry you’re seeing my true colors, you guys. They’re ugly.. and weird. But you don’t want to read about colors, you want to read a review because who likes to listen to rambling? (for someone who rambles a lot, I actually get annoyed when people ramble on and on and on and on… I really need to shut up, by the stars!)

OKAY. REVIEW. BOOK. RIGHT. (I’m already losing it, someone HALP ME)

my review – 5 stars

Honestly, why can’t all books be 5 stars? Why can’t I just enjoy every book I pick up and be satisfied in the end? Why can’t all books be as magical and creepy as this one? sOMEOne eXPlain PLeasE *breaks down in tears* *realizes that I don’t actually ever cry* *realizes that I probably don’t cry because #heartless* *feels sad at that realization and doesn’t even want to type that I pretended to break down in tears again* *remembers what I was doing* *stares blankly at screen (but not really because I’m actually typing this out hahah!)* *realizes how stupid I am being* *wishes I never started a blog and just decided to be Pippy Longstockings forever*

I just don’t even want to talk about what just happened up there. Like… no. Let’s just move on.

(YES I AM AWARE THAT THIS POST IS LACKING GIFS… I AM DEEPLY SORRY, BUT TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE (is that a phrase or did my 12am mind just imagine that it was a phrase? idek) SO I APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE)

Okay, let’s just begin with my reaction 20 pages in:

Me: WOW. This is… beautiful.

Me 10 minutes later: WOW. This is so sad.

Me 30 minutes later: WOW. THIS IS SO DEVASTATINGLY SAD ASJDKLFJSA.

Long story short, this book is “WOW.” I could have finished quicker had school not deterred my attentions to boring sociology lessons and weird forensic labs. But had it been my choice, I would have finished in a heartbeat. Because then I wouldn’t have to worry about having to stop at a scary part and go to sleep. I don’t get scared all too easily (that’s a straight up lie, wow I’m such a bad person), but this book. This book. It made me look up from its pages to glance around my room. It was that kind of scary. In many ways, it reminded me of Frank Peretti’s “This Present Darkness,” what with the whole demon and angel elements. It was very cool how the author incorporated Biblical with mythical so tastefully, and I appreciate his courage to brave such ground with so much skill.

Okay, first impressions noted, let’s talk about the other fun stuff.

Our main character, Sam, is grieving the death of his mother; however, he’s convinced it’s all his fault and wants to fix things and make things go back to how they were before the accident. The entire book revolves around his quest to bring his mom back. Complete with ups and downs, good guys and bad guys, friends and enemies, and lots of scary things, this book is totally deserving of 172 chocolate bar. I would love to reread it again eventually (once I finish that paper that I’m still thinking about…….).

Even if the main topic revolved around death, the book did not promote the taking of one’s life in order to inherit this wonderful thing called death, thankfully. Instead, it portrayed it in a way that said, Everything that is has a particular purpose, including death. I think it was beautifully portrayed with masterful words and colors and descriptions and AGH. Just beautiful. 

Another thing that I really loved, was the the Good and Evil shown in the characters. Sam struggled with his own demons and therefore was constantly conflicted with this darkness inside his heart; whereas Abra was like a shining light that scared away that evil. Same with Mr. Tennin (bless this man, shall we) and Mr. Jinn (I CANNOT EVEN TYPE HIS NAME WITHOUT CRINGING AND WANTING TO HIT SOMETHING); they were a clear portrayal of righteousness and wickedness. There was a lot of cool Biblical stuff kind of weaved into the story and each of the characters, but that will take time to fully uncover (time that I don’t really have, I’d like to add). Kind of spoiler??? don’t really know if this would be considered a spoiler or not, but I’m just gonna say it is: (it’s in white btw) Honestly, I was slightly wondering why there was no sound salvation that happened in the book, like I was honestly waiting for this big moment (you know those moments) where Sam comes to the Lord….. but it never happened??? And God really wasn’t someone that was really all too present– I mean obviously He was because angels and creation, but then not really. It was kind of weird, but I mean. The story is still good, because we kind of see those things without the story actually telling us what happens (kind of like a “show don’t tell” thing), but idk. idek where I was going with this.

One last thing I’d like to mention, is the character development. Y’all know this is HUGE for me. And y’know what? THIS BOOK HAD IT. *yes!!!* Well, not like a clean arch from beginning to end, but a satisfying arch that left me greatly fulfilled, yet greatly wondering. But not wondering in a bad way, wondering in a curious way like, “say, I wonder what happens next… *decides to read the next books*” You know the kind. It was like that! And I’m so happy now!! Because I really did enjoy this book. 🙂

I hope this totally unfit review hasn’t discouraged you from reading this amazing masterpiece of magical, mythical, and beautiful words and uhhh paper *scratches head* y’know what, it’s at the end of the review anyways, who even cares???

GO CHECK IT OUT. IT’S WORTH IT. LOOK AT THE PRETTY COVER. GAZE INTO IT’S BEAUTY. NOW GO READ IT. OKAY KTHX BYE NOW.

*hugs* good bye my loyal friends, till next time! (pray for me… the time has come that I must tackle that English paper and not to mention other home work!)

PS. sorry I haven’t been responding to all the comments… i’ll try to asap! x)