Book Review: If I Live by Terri Blackstock

About the Book-

THE HUNT IS ALMOST OVER.

Casey Cox is still on the run after being indicted for murder. The hunt that began with her bloody footprints escalates, and she’s running out of places to hide. Her face is all over the news, and her disguises are no longer enough. It’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes her.

Dylan Roberts, the investigator who once hunted her, is now her only hope. Terrifying attempts on Dylan’s life could force Casey out of hiding. The clock is ticking on both their lives, but exposing the real killers is more complicated than they knew. Amassing the evidence to convict their enemies draws Dylan and Casey together, but their relationship has consequences. Will one life have to be sacrificed to protect the other?

With If I Live, Terri Blackstock takes us on one more heart-stopping chase in the sensational conclusion to the If I Run series.

My Review:

WOW THIS TRILOGY. This is my exact reaction to my friend at 4 in the morning, after I read book 2 and book 3 in one night.

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First of all, I DEFINITELY recommend you reading them in order (in all trilogies, but I feel like if you didn’t read this one in order, it’s impossible to follow the story). All three books in the trilogy flow together SO WELL, not just physically (the covers match to make a picture!) but also story-wise.

The characters are THE BEST. There are points of view from both protagonists as well as the antagonist, and they all go together to paint the full picture and what goes on in the minds of the characters. (ALSO THE SHIP THAT HAPPENS HERE. ITS PRETTY MUCH THE ONLY SHIP THAT I AGREE WITH IN BOOKS)

All the plot twists in this book are amazing!! Halfway through the book, I thought it was about to end, but then A PLOT TWIST HAPPENED. There were so many but it didn’t feel overdone at all.

ALSO SO MUCH ACTION. There was a lot of legal action (aka, stuff that happens at the police station), but as far as I can tell, it’s very realistic and actually makes sense.

The last thing I liked about this book was all the faith content. The first book (and also a little in the second book) didn’t contain so much faith content (which I get, as part of character development), but there was so much in this one, despite all the action, which I really appreciated.

One thing to keep an eye out for is all the violence in the book. As one might expect with a suspense novel, there is a lot of violence, which I don’t recommend at 2 in the morning, but it might be a little bit much for younger readers or those not comfortable with that violence.

BUT overall? I’M SHOVING THIS TRILOGY AT EVERYONE I SEE. EVERYONE.

My Rating:

8/10

Good things-

  • The characters were well developed (SO SO WELL DEVELOPED. OMGNS)
  • The Point of Views were well balanced between the characters and felt natural
  • A lot of action
  • Seems realistic (in terms of law enforcement and the scenes and stuff…but then, I’m not in that world so I wouldn’t know)
  • THE SHIP. I mean, we all knew it was coming, but like. THE SHIP THOUGH.
  • All the plot twists!!! All the way through the book, I knew what was going to happen (at least, I *hoped* that everything was going to come out okay), but there were so so many plot twists that happened along the way
  • All the faith content and the spiritual talk
  • The coherency between all the books

Bad things-

  • A lot of violence (well portrayed, which means realistic, but there are guns and shooting and death and etc)
  • It feels a little deux ex machina at the end (in regards to the media)

Thank you to NetGalley for a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

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Blog Tour: Sleeping Handsome by Rebekah Eddy! || Book Spotlight and GIVEAWAY!

Hello folks!! Today, I’m part of Rebekah Eddy’s blog tour for her book, Sleeping Handsome! It’s RELEASE DAY!!!

Sleeping Handome by Rebekah Eddy Blog Tour.png

About the Book-

Minnie’s goal was to have a fun, worry free vacation with her best friend Amy. A few weeks spent in their favorite far away place before they both went back to their respective colleges. A visit to the many famous sights across the British Isles has been on both their bucket lists for a very long time, after all.

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However, when a mysterious taxi driver mentions a legend that somehow concerns her ancestral heritage, she decides to dig deeper. After being accused of stealing the famous statue and tourist attraction known as Sleeping Handsome, Minnie and Amy are plunged into a world they would never have imagined existed.
Prince Gregory, after being awakened from being frozen in stone for hundreds of years, finds himself searching for his true love in order to reverse the stone spell on his kingdom and awaken the rest of his people. With his faithful horse Brutis by his side, he sets out to destroy his greatest enemy, release his kingdom from the stone spell, and win the heart of his princess.

Amazon || Lulu

About the Author-

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Rebekah grew up surrounded by family members who appreciated and read good literature. First, she fell in love with the stories her parents read aloud to her from the Bible and books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Great Expectations, The Hobbit, and Anne of Green Gables. After learning to read on her own, she discovered other fantastic books which helped to build her ever growing imagination.
She completed her first written work at the tender age of eight and now uses it to humble herself whenever the need arises. The story did serve to show her that God had given her a desire to write, however, and from that moment on Rebekah has never looked back or regretted picking up her pencil and becoming an author.
This nineteen-year-old homeschool graduate lives in rainy Western Washington and is currently working on receiving her BA in English in order to further her passion for creating worlds on paper.

Blog || GoodReads ||Pinterest || Instagram

Giveaway!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

There’s going to be a review on Sleeping Handsome coming soon! Go pick up a copy, and check out this super intriguing story!

Book Review: Amish Sweethearts by Amy Clipston

About the Book-

My Review-

I don’t usually read Amish fiction, mainly because I have too many Mennonite friends to really want to read Amish fiction, if that makes any sense? However, I have read Amy Clipston’s Amish fiction series and I have to say, she really does write them well!

This is the first novella collection that I’ve read, and I enjoyed it a lot! In particular, I enjoyed being able to put the book down whenever I finished a novella, instead of reading all the way through.

Each of the stories had a nicely developed backstory, and the storylines also moved very well. None of the stories really felt like insta-love, despite being novellas, which is something I appreciated, since so often Amish fiction straight up feels like a romance novel, where the entire point of the book is for them to fall in love, and nothing happens to prevent that. Clipston’s books don’t do that, and I really like that.

Also, the Amish in her books weren’t exactly your stereotypical Amish: they are more real, and although I don’t doubt that there are aspects that aren’t as accurate as they could be, they are more real than a lot of Amish fiction I’ve read.

Overall, I really really liked these stories! I was very impressed with the pacing of them, and how they didn’t feel rushed despite being novellas.

My Ranking-

7/10

Things I liked-

  • Although they are all novellas, the stories didn’t feel like insta-love–they are all very well paced
  • How the stories tie to other series that she’s written!
  • Cute romance stories!
  • There were all good backstories and not quickly summarized
  • Clean wholesome reads
  • Accurate to Amish lifestyle (modern day Amish lifestyle), as far as I can tell
  • I like reading novellas more than I thought! I liked getting to put the book down after every novella

Things I didn’t like as much-

  • There are some scenes where I was a little uncomfortable with (guy with girl) scenes: nothing scandalous but I wouldn’t be in those scenes myself
  • Like I’ve seen, I’m not always a fan of romance, so I’m docking a point just because of that
  • Slightly stereotypical Amish love stories (but that’s the topic of it all so like)

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Blogmas Day 23: Books I Read in 2017

GOOD DAY EVERYBODY! TODAY, WE TALK BOOKS.

I had planned for 2017 to be the year of books, but between junior year and senior year and working 40 hours over the summer, it didn’t go so well. Well. I got through a little over 120 books, so it didn’t go THAT poorly, but here is my recap of the books I read this year.

Blogmas 2017(2)

First of all, some stats, courtesy of Goodreads. (Apparently I really really don’t like giving 2-star reviews? or poor reviews in general?)

BooksRankings

As you can see, most of my rankings were 4-star reads, and according to GoodReads, my average rating for books is 3.8 stars.

As for shelves (which is kinda confusing, and kinda inaccurate, since 2017-read is all the books I’ve read this year), I’ve read the most books from series, and then historical fiction and Christian fiction (not surprising).

BookStats

As for my page counts, I’ve read BIG books this year! The shortest book I read was Andora’s Folly by Abigayle Claire which has 99 pages, and I averaged 255 pages a book o.0

Page Averages

And now for the books I read if anybody’s interested; they could have literally checked GoodReads oops! The bolded books are my 5 star reads for this year, if you’re interested. The linked books are books that have a review on my blog!

  1. Nancy’s Mysterious Letter (Nancy Drew, #8) by Carolyn Keene
  2. Rush Revere and the Presidency (Rush Revere, #5) by Rush Limbaugh
  3. After the War by Carol Matas
  4. First The Killed My Father by Loung Ung
  5. White Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages
  6. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
  7. China’s Long March by Jean Fritz
  8. The Wish by Beverly Lewis
  9. The Perilous Journey by William O. Steele and Jean Fritz
  10. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  11. Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
  12. Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer
  13. The Seventeenth Swap by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
  14. A Note Yet Unsung by Tamara Alexander
  15. Parallel Journeys by Eleanor H. Ayer
  16. The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher
  17. The Outcasts of 19 Schyler Place by E. L. Konigsburg
  18. Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  19. Little House in the Highlands by Melissa Wiley
  20. The Far Side of the Loch by Melissa Wiley
  21. Belles on Their Toes by Frank E. Gilbreth Jr.
  22. The Assassin’s Daughter by Jameson C. Smith
  23. Salt to the Sea by Ruth Sepetys
  24. Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale
  25. The Princess and I by Rebekah Eddy
  26. A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  27. Down to the Bonny Glen by Melissa Wiley
  28. Beyond the Heather Hills by Melissa Wiley
  29. The Rocks Don’t Lie by David R. Montgomery
  30. Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale
  31. Tattler’s Branch by Jan Watson
  32. When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
  33. Shaken by Tim Tebow
  34. A Fool and His Monet by Sandra Orchard
  35. Grace’s Pictures by Cindy Thompson
  36. Mission Titanic (39 Clues) by Jude Watson
  37. Mission Hindenburg (39 Clues) by C. Alexander London
  38. Nowhere to Run (39 Clues) by Jude Watson
  39. Breakaway (39 Clues) by Jeff Hirsch
  40. Good Enough by Paula Yoo
  41. Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek by Jill Osborne
  42. Riley Mae and the Ready Eddy Rapids by Jill Osborne
  43. Riley Mae and the Sole Fire Safari by Jill Osborne
  44. Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan
  45. Countdown (39 Clues) by Natalie Standiford
  46. Flashpoint (39 Clues) by Gordan Korman
  47. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  48. Mission Hurricane (39 Clues) by Jenny Goebel
  49. Mission Atomic (39 Clues) by Sarwat Chadda
  50. For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund
  51. Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Fredrick
  52. The Secret Slipper by Amanda Tero
  53. Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard
  54. Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion (Nancy Drew #18) by Carolyn Keene
  55. The Secrets of Pirates Hill (Hardy Boys #36) by Franklin Dixon
  56. The Black Book of Buried Secrets (39 Clues) by Mallory Kass
  57. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brein
  58. The Double Helix by James Watson
  59. Gifts from Heaven by James Stuart Bell
  60. The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
  61. While the Clock Ticked (Hardy Boys #11) by Franklin Dixon
  62. Jericho’s Journey by G. Clifton Wisler
  63. The Secret of the Sealed Room by Bailey MacDonald
  64. The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket
  65. Under A Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke
  66. The House on the Gulf by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  67. The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook by Franklin Dixon
  68. Outbreak (39 Clues) by C. Alexander London
  69. The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2) by Lemony Snicket
  70. The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3) by Lemony Snicket
  71. The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4) by Lemony Snicket
  72. Sammy Keys and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin van Draanen
  73. Sammy Keys and the Art of Deception by Wendelin van Draanen
  74. Sammy Keys and the Cold Hard Cash by Wendelin van Draanen
  75. The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater
  76. The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward
  77. War of the World Records by Matthew Ward
  78. True to You by Becky Wade
  79. Over Maya Dead Body by Sandra Orchard
  80. The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipston
  81. Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray
  82. The Endless Steppe by Esther Hauztig
  83. After a Fashion by Jen Turano
  84. The Courtship Basket by Amy Clipston
  85. The Election Day Dilemma (Boxcar Children #145) by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  86. The Cherished Quilt by Amy Clipston
  87. Andora’s Folly by Abigayle Claire
  88. It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Cheney Neville
  89. The Sleepwatchers by William C. Dement
  90. Tiny Piece of Sky by Shawn K. Stout
  91. Then Came You by Becky Wade
  92. Dead Cold Brew by Cleo Coyle
  93. The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson
  94. The Ghost in Tokido Inn by Dorothy Hoobler
  95. The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson
  96. Betsy and the Emperor by Statin Rabin
  97. My Brother Louis Measures Worms by Barbara Robinson
  98. More Wise Men of Helm and Their Merry Tale by Solomon Simon
  99. The Good Master by Kate Seredy
  100. The Blood Race by K. A. Emmons
  101. The Hooded Hawk (Hardy Boys #34) by Franklin Dixon
  102. The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill
  103. Third Grade Detective Series by George E. Stanley
  104. Chu Ju’s House by Gloria Whelan
  105. Escape Across the Wide Sea by Katherine Kirkpatrick
  106. The Twisted Claw (Hardy Boys #18) by Franklin Dixon
  107. The Sign on the Door (Hardy Boys #13) by Franklin Dixon
  108. Time Out for Happiness by Frank E. Gilbreth Jr.
  109. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dixon
  110. Operation Yes by Sara Lewis Holmes
  111. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brone
  112. Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles
  113. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  114. Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer
  115. Caravel by Stephanie Garber
  116. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  117. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  118. Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fizgerald
  119. All the Light We Cannot See by Anothony Doerr
  120. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steifvater
  121. A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White
  122. The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston
  123. The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie
  124. Long Drive Home by Will Allison
  125. Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie

Whew. There you have it folks! A comprehensive list of all the books I have read this year.

What was your favorite read of the year? How many books did you shoot for (and did you make it?) What is a book I should read?

 

Blogmas Day 21: #BeatTheBackList Reading Challenge 2018

HELLO FRIENDS. TODAY WE BEGIN WRAPPING UP THE YEAR AND STARTING TO BRING IN THE NEW YEAR. (I have literally 10 wrapup posts. Who’s the most extra end-of-year blogger again?)

Today, we talk about what I’m going to read next year!

Blogmas 2017(4)

I heard about this challenge, Beat the Backlist 2018 through my friend Charley’s blog. Basically, for Beat the Backlist, your goal is to read only backlisted books (or, books that were published before 2018). This isn’t that much of a problem for me, seeing as how I don’t usually read newly released books, but I’ve been getting more into it, and I also want to go through my TBR. You can set your own goal and you don’t need to have a blog (just a social media platform to update on).

If you’d like to find out more about #BeatTheBacklist, check here. It’s slightly more complicated than how I laid it out (bookstagram, prizes, teams, etc) but it’s all on the website if you’re interested so I don’t bore you half to death

So. What am I supposed to be talking about right now? Well, first of all, my goal. My goal for #BeattheBacklist is 80 books (out of either 120 or 150, whichever one I decide to go for) which is very sensible for me.

Next, here’s a list of books that I’m hoping to read this upcoming year-

  • The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
  • Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling (turning 18, folks. yes I’m very homeschooled)
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
  • The Color Project by Sierra Adams
  • The rest of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  • The Hobbit  and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkein
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruth Septys
  • Melanie Dickerson’s Hagenheim series (to get ready for the new ones)
  • The Shades of Magic (series? trilogy? not sure) by V. E. Schwab
  • The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Selection Series by Keira Cass

Mostly series, so there’s a lot more books than it looks like. (Also I get to read Harry Potter because I’m turning 18. WOOO) Also several books that most people read in middle school but I was too sheltered to XD

So. Are you part of #BeatTheBacklist? Even if you’re not, what are some books that you’re planning on reading next year? How many books are you planning on reading?

Blogmas Day 2: Little Women Read Along || Liv K. Fisher

Hi everybody! How are your TBR piles doing? If they’re anything like mine, they’re about to topple over and flatten half of the country. You’re definitely going to thank me, then, because I’m here to ask you to read Little Women with Olivia and I!

Blogmas Day 2 2017.png

Believe it or not, I have never read Little Women! I’ve read most of it, but I never finished it, and I don’t really remember much of it anyhow.

So, here’s what the read-along entails.

  • Eleven chapters per week, which is approximately one-and-a-half chapters per day
  • Book discussions every Friday, from December first to December twenty-second
  • Chats with fellow fans of Louisa May Alcott
  • Reading Little Women for the first time… or again, with new friends to fangirl with!

Here is the schedule:

  1. December first: discuss chapters one through eleven
  2. December eighth: discuss chapters twelve through twenty-three
  3. December fifteenth: discuss chapters twenty-four through thirty-five
  4. December twenty-first: discuss chapters thirty-six through forty-seven

No commitment is required. If you’re interested in participating, feel free to pop in and out whenever you please, and if you fall behind or get ahead, that’s totally fine! 🙂

If you’d like to continue the discussion on Twitter or Instagram, you’re more than welcome to tag @oliviakimwrites on twitter and instagram and use the hashtag #WinterWithLouisa.

Have you read Little Women before? Are you doing the Little Women read along? How is the status of your TBR? Are you going to make your GoodReads goal for the year?

Book Review: The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston

About the Book-

When Mattie packed her hope chest, she put away the heartache of her past. But as her daughters begin to unpack it, she discovers a healing more powerful than she ever hoped for.

Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.

But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?

Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache–and it’s past time to share it.

My Review-

The Beloved Hope Chest goes over the story of Mattie Fisher, the mother of Veronica, Rachel, and Emily. The previous three books in the Amish Heirloom series covered the daughters’ stories: how they found love and their husbands, and themselves in the process. Throughout those books, they all alluded to their mother’s hope chest, and all the mysteries are revealed in this book.

In terms of content/romance, there is more visual depictions in this book than the previous books, and it’s a sad story, but full of redemption. Seeing the story all tied up makes it all make sense and I love stories that are all explained up at the end. Although the books are all rather predictable (you know they’re going to get married at the end, pshhhh), the different stories are all distinct and memorable, in their own way.

This story in particular is the most described and the most ‘authentic’ almost, because it feels like it is more realistic, but at the same time, it was the one from the series that I liked the least, in terms of the content. The redemption of the story makes it a very lovable tale and I enjoyed reading it!

My Rating-

6/10

Pro points:

  • Ties up the series very well
  • Redemption story
  • Very well described
  • Memorable stories (all of them)
  • Beautiful portrayal of a family and love
  • SO. MUCH. HOPE.

Con points:

  • A little heavy on the content
  • Predictable story (all of them)
  • Characters are a little annoying at times (stubbornness gets a little frustrating at times)
  • Conclusion feels a little bit rushed

Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

About the Book-

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins who helped her survive as  a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets–instead they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary is beginning to question whether she can continue in this life when she’s offered the challenge of a lifetime–determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. After all how does one steal a family’s history, their very own name?

As Europe moves ever closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown–so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrived on his doorstep pretending to be a well-credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.

When danger and suspicion continue to mount, both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth–about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

My Review-

Ahhh this book!! First of all, the characters!! They were all so distinct and well developed, and they all have such interesting backstories! Rosemary is a orphan who seems to have mastered the ‘art’ of thievery. Master of disguises, she is able to fit into high society in order to steal valuable things. Although she dislikes reading, she disguises herself as a librarian to investigate Peter. She is there to organize his library (which is very soothing to read about!) and they learn to communicate, despite Peter’s speech impediment.

It also portrays friendship very well. Peter’s friends are  his very best friends, and they stand beside him and advise him of everything, and Elowyen is simply adorable. In the same vein, Rosemary’s ‘family’/friends are absolutely to be adored!

This book doesn’t fit the Christian Fiction stereotype at all, and it is very refreshing! There is a romance that happens, but it feels natural and although a bit rushed, it feels like it was meant to be. In addition, the plot twists keep the action interesting. The character development throughout was also amazing to see! The gospel was also very clearly presented, which is not something people usually see in Christian fiction either.

The one downside to A Name Unknown is that it’s over 400 pages, and it’s a little bit slow in the middle, but it is so worth it!

My Rating-

9/10

Points earned-

  • Cute, adorable, well developed characters
  • Libraries and writing
  • Interesting back story to both characters
  • Mystery and suspense
  • Adorable side families
  • Great portrayal of friendship
  • Not too much romance
  • Christianity and gospel very well presented
  • British talk!! *heart eyes*

Points lost-

  • A little bit slow in parts and on the long side

Thanks to Bethany House for providing me with a free physical copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion; I was not required to provide a positive review.