Tag: Reading

10 (#not) Books To Read This Summer || If Your TBR Kills You Don’t Sue Me

Well. It’s time. (High time. After all, it’s only the END of July. -_-) If you have too much time on your hands this (or, the rest of this) summer, here are 10 books to add to your TBR pile! *bookworm cheering that slowly becomes muffled as their tbr falls on them*

Summer TBR

Photo via Google Images, Editing mine, feat PicMonkey (yes, that is an actual pile of books and it hurts my eyes to see the mutilated books too)

This blogpost is mildly influenced by Olivia and Grace Anne. Their books are more of the classic/historical fiction genre (more of what I like), but I’m a weird reader that reads all sort of weird stuff, while still being really picky about the genres that I like, so I’m going to be writing about more ‘modern’ books in my post.


I’m going to divide this post up into several categories and list several books in each category. These books, instead of being my TBR for the summer (because my TBR literally changes every other day, as it depends on what book I have at the moment), are books I’m forcing suggesting you to read over the summer! They are all my FAVORITE FAVORITE books, and I 100% recommend, with the exception of two, which you’ll see in the blurb. 🙂

Christian Fiction

  1. This is the A Time of Grace trilogy by Alicia Ruggieri, and it’s an absolutely BEAUTIFUL series, with a story of God’s grace and redemption, following three different point of views of a continuing story. It’s SO WELL WRITTEN. I SO HIGHLY recommend!!

a-note-yet-unsung

2. I’ve actually reviewed A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander already on my blog! It’s a great story about an extremely talented woman musician trying to find her place in a world where male musicians dominate. As a musician, I LOVED reading it! (BEWARE, though, the romantic scenes are a *bit* much at places, and there are some mentions that are not as appropriate for younger readers. More details here)

3. Andora’s Folly is an Pandora’s Box retelling by Abigayle Claire, and it’s releasing July 29th! I’m on the Launch Team for the book, which means I’ve already beta read it, and Y’ALL SHOULD READ IT!! Also, you can preorder the book here!

Contemporary

4. I really haven’t done enough flailing over this series on my blog. The Serena Jones Trilogy by Sandra Orchard is a modern Christian suspense/murder/FBI story trilogy, featuring young FBI agent Serena Jones. They’re all fast paced mysteries, and often I can’t keep up (which is a good thing!) with the mystery. There is also a light romance (it’s the sweetest), and the characters are witty and well-defined and the love triangle is the most effortless one to read! THIS COULD WELL BE MY FAVORITE CHRISTIAN FICTION EVER)

5. I actually haven’t read The Color Project, partially due to the fact that it’s not releasing for another month. However, there is already an INSANE amount of hype on twitter (the author’s twitter generating a lot of it), and the reviews for the ARCs that I’ve seen have all been positive!

Dystopian

6. But really, if you haven’t read The Hunger Games, can you say that you’re well-read? (I don’t necessarily recommend the other two; they’re not as good as The Hunger Games itself.) And if you’ve been living entirely under a rock, The Hunger Games is a YA dystopian book that is, in my opinion, THE foundation for all YA fiction.

7. The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry is another dystopian series, but it’s less gory and violent, making it suitable for younger readers (starting age 11ish). The storyline is so well tied together AND THE FIRST BOOK AND THE LAST BOOK. OMGNS. YES. My favourite out of them is Gathering Blue, so basically I RECOMMEND ALL OF THEM OKAY?

8. The Blood Race by Kate Emmons is another book that hasn’t been released yet. I’ve had the privilege of receiving an Advanced Reader Copy, and I’m so excited for its release!  (If you’re interested in winning a free copy, head over to Kate’s Website and subscribe to her newsletter!) Basically, it’s basically a secular Christian A Wrinkle in Time meets The Giver meets The Raven Boys! SO YES READ IT WHEN IT COMES OUT.

Historical Fiction

9. These two books by Ellen Klages are about two girls living during World War II on the New Mexico base when the United States was trying to develop the atomic bomb. The science talk and the friendship and World War II and AHH YES.

10. What can I say? If you haven’t read The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, what have you been doing with your life? These are MUST READS. They follow the life of Laura growing up in the developing United States, living the pioneer life. These were my FAVOURITE books growing up, and definitely a set I’m bringing to college, because YAS.

11. Yet another CLASSIC FAVOURITE. Cheaper by the Dozen follows the story of a family of a dozen children headed by a motion study expert and the hilarious adventures that ensue. Belles on their Toes, the sequel, is also hilarious and the writers, two of the kids, are AWESOME.

Fantasy

Princess Academy

12. Princess Academy is one of the only fantasy books that I really, really liked. The storyline is so well connected and tied together and ASADJHKGFDL YESSS. I also did a review on Princess Academy, and I highly, highly recommend that you read it! There are two other books in the series, but I don’t really recommend it as much as Princess Academy.


SPEAKING OF WHICH, I actually have a [sort of] Bookstagram! It’s actually my blog instagram, but because this is The Summer For Books, I’ve been posting book photos there.

And that’s it! #sorrynotsorry for adding (much more than) 10 books to your summer TBR! Please tell me if you read any, or have read any, or want to read any! I really, REALLY recommend each of these books, and you won’t regret them, I promise

Have you read any of these books? Which one looks the best to you? Do YOU have any book suggestions for me?

Book Review: True to You by Becky Wade

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About the Book

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with am inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.

John enlists Nora’s help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?

My Review

First of all, LOOK AT THAT PRETTY COVER. It’s so cute! I love the dress, I love the cover scheme, it’s adorable!

Nora is literally me. She doesn’t know how to dress cute (me), she reads way too much (me), and look at this quote:
“She’d picked up the Silverstone Chronicles, sunk two hours into reading, visited her favorite fiction blogs, updated her progress on goodreads.com, and switched out her winter wardrobe for her summer wardrobe. She never did make it to the gym, yet here she stood in her yoga pants, Hogwarts Alumni t-shirt, and sweatshirt”
^ MEEEE
(Also speaking of which, I need sisters that do The Enhancement Of Hanne on me bc we all know I sorely need it)

I like how the Bradfords were so close to each other: the close family feel and the Bible/God references were a plus! (Usually the most “Christian” in a Christian fiction book is two prayers and maybe a church mention).

I didn’t really like how the Bradford sisters approached/described men in general. Fine, a couple of small descriptions, but nothing about “a delicious masculine scent” or “a male torso that had about as much give as a fir tree” please. (There were also some PG13 kissing scenes that could probably have been a lot less detailed.)

As for the writing style, I LOVE how the grandma is portrayed: she’s hilarious! There are also several fun points that made me smile. It just really clicked with me. In addition, the contemporary feel was really present in the book. Sometimes, when reading “contemporary” books, I feel like some stuff is outdated (eg instant messages, booting up a computer, etc). There was no such feel in this book. There was Facebook, there was GoodReads, there was Netflix, there were smartphones, and it just felt really “in time.” (of course, this is going to change in a year, but for now it’s really relevant)

In addition, I really like the small changes of perspective: “the quote emblazoned across Nora’s purple pajama top” or “typed by John Lawson into the Reminders app on his phone” or text messages from Nora to her sisters. They add a nice perspective and an extra depth to the book.

As a caveat, there are some topics discussed in the book that I can’t give away (because spoilers, see below), but they do deal with violence and, er, adult stuff. Nothing descriptive, but they are mentioned quite a great deal.

The story of redemption and forgiveness and love in this book was portrayed very well. That story was amazing. I also really enjoyed the God-moment/coincidence and John’s mother’s letter was beautiful.

My Rating

6/10

Points earned:

  • Cute story that ends well
  • Witty and humorous
  • Small changes in point of view
  • Characters 👌
  • Family/God bonds
  • Redemption and forgiveness and the storyline in general

Points lost:

  • Lovey scenes (some may like them, I personally felt they were both too stereotypical and overvividly described)
  • Descriptions of guys’ bodies
  • Adult topics (every third letter, SPOILER: akrfjadlpxle and almwduqprvkdkveajr and fjacjlwuceiocnhsmofjlqvipasvjm) that do tell a beautiful story but are not recommended for audiences below at least 15
  • The romance progressed a little too quickly for my liking? I felt like that made it feel less realistic.

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.

Rant: Every Christian Novel Ever

Yes, I know I’m stealing this from Katie Gregoire, but GOOD HEAVENS, JUST BECAUSE SHE DID IT DOESN’T MEAN I CAN’T DO IT TOO! (her much more coherent video will be linked at the end)

Also another disclaimer: I’m not this angry in person. I don’t rant this much. Just incidentally these couple weeks I’ve had a lot to rant about. Just ask my friends. or not, because I rant way more to my best friends XD

In this blogpost, we discuss* components of a Christian novel, lovingly titled Every Christian Novel Ever™, and what makes up a good Christian novel.

If I had wanted to be mean, I would have written this post as a ‘how to write a Christian novel of your own’ guide, but I know too many authors that work too hard to diss them like that. So thank me. I’m nice, I know.

*by ‘discuss,’ I mean SCREAM LOUDLY AND VIOLENTLY because why be quiet when you could be loud? #goodlogic

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So, what makes up any book?

Setting, characters, backstory, plotline, content, climax, and resolution.

We’re going to discuss each of these.

Setting: Every Christian Novel Ever™ is either set a) in the Amish community, b) in the mid1800s in the Wild West™, or c) in Britain ~1800s/early 1900s. There have been rare sightings set during early 1900s in, like, New York, or even rarer sightings of books set in the modern time period.

Characters: A guy and a girl. (duh). Occasionally, it’s a girl and TWO guys. Never two girls, and a guy…not sure why. (*eye roll*) The guy is always ALWAYS super manly and has lots of muscles, is a policeman etc. The girl may be plain to look at, because of her sad background (see backstory, below), but the instant she puts on a ‘nice’ dress, she becomes the envy of any man in a radius of 50 miles.
no

Backstory: For the girl, she either has SUPER protective parents, or else, dead parents. Sometimes with a dead exhusband/fiance/boyfriend. For the guy, he either has a dead wife/fiancee/girlfriend, or was abandoned when he was little. So basically, dead parents/ex significant other/traumatic past in general. EVERY TIME.

Plotline: The plotline could go two ways. Either the guy meets the girl and falls in love with her at first sight, and the girl doesn’t love him back,  OR else, the girl and the guy don’t have ANY feelings for each other, but then *something* happens that throws them together. And BAM, suddenly the girl sees the guy’s muscles and sees what all she’s been missing out. And they accidentally touch, and electrical sparks fly.
kidding.gif

Content: Every Christian Novel Ever™ contains several required scenes. There’s, of course, the unnecessarily detailed his-knee-touched-her-arm-or-something-and-tingles-ran-down-their-spine-and-they-quickly-pulled-away-embarassed-but-then-thought-about-that-moment-for-days moment, and there’s always that impulsive he-looked-at-her-and-at-that-moment-he-couldn’t-restrain-himself-and-kissed-her moment. In the Amish books, there has to be either a singing or a quilting, and there also must be a beautifully unnecessarily detailed spiel about either the guy’s muscles or the girl’s natural beauty.

Climax: The climax usually involves some sort of realisation of love and/or a marriage proposal. Like, EVEN DISNEY WAS LESS CLICHÉ, OKAY? There usually is also a “okay, God, I guess you do exist, so I’m going to pray” moment, which is the whole “Christian” part of Every Christian Novel Ever™, I suppose. XD

Resolution: A wedding and riding off into the sunset. Oh gee, I’d never would have thought! Nothing ever happens ever again, apparently.

applause

So now, when I review Christian novels, I can say “This book was yet another Every Christian Novel Ever™!” and y’all will know what I mean! WOOT.

And, as promised, here’s Katie’s video.

Leave me your thoughts down below! I know I can’t be the only one who thinks that Christian novels are too formulaic.

The Blue Sky Tag || Tags (umm, duh) || In which I do a bunch of self promo that I didn’t intend to and also lots of gifs

Hey everyone! I was tagged by Abi Leah from Happily Abi for the Blue Sky Tag! Thank you, Abi!

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Rules:

1.Thank the person who tagged you
2.Answer their 11 questions
3.Tag 11 people
4.Give them 11 questions to answer

Questions and Answers!

  1. What is your favorite song?
    Um. So I’m pretty sure it’s not possible to only have ONE favorite song, but I really  like True Colors (particularly this cover), Oceans, as well as anything HAMILTON (duh?!), and this Roar/Brave mashup
  2. What new restaurant//cafe//coffee shop have you been to recently?
    Hm. I don’t really go to restaurants/cafes/coffee shops, but I’d love to!
  3. What books do you love to read?
    readsnoopy
    Anything historical fiction! Also non-romance contemprary, and not-too-gory mysteries/crime/stuffs. As for authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Agatha Christie, Beverly Cleary, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (also ps my GoodReads is in the sidebar: follow me there *googles “how to self-promo bc I can’t”*)
  4. What is your favorite type of music?
    musiclistening
    Well, I’m a big fan of classical, because I’m a musician, so I like to listen to talented persons. 🙂 Aside from that, I like soundtracks: the Sound of Music, The Fiddler on the Roof, and lots of stuff like that. My “About” page has a rather comprehensive list of music that I like.
  5. How do you come up with blog posts? IM BRILLIANT.
    imbrilliant.gif
    No, but seriously. I do a bunch of book reviews, so there’s that. I also do Currently posts and Monthly Recaps, and also some Bullet Journal posts, and a bunch of random stuff that I randomly decide to do, like recipes and crafts, and thoughts, and….yeah, just *stuff* that I come up with.
  6. Why did you start blogging?
    Initially, I wanted to make a website showcasing all the things I had learned from doing rocks and minerals in Science Olympiad, so I started a small website (which is still active but which I will not link because it’s so cringy) that included a small blog filled with random thoughts that me as a middle schooler had. (and also thus why my site is called RocksandMinerals4Him) Many of these thought posts are now at my blogger blog (which I don’t really use anymore either).As for this blog, I had to create a WordPress username for a cooperate blog for school, so I made a blog then. I randomly decided to post my New Years Resolutions for 2015 one day, and then just got started “officially” blogging!
  7. What is the best thing to do on a rainy day?
    Stay inside and knit! knittingfuriously

    Or read. Or cook food. Or blog.

  8. How has this month been so far?
    Well, there’s only been 6 days (at the time of writing) so far, so I mean, it’s not been bad. Lots of school, blogging, stuff. The weather’s been pretty nice so far, so I like it.
    snowsun
  9. What do you love to do outside of school//work?
    This question has mostly been answered up above, but I love to play music, knit, read, cook, and pretend I can do artsy things.
  10. What is your favorite comfort food? Hmmmm….I don’t know. I think it varies with how I feel…cookies, ice cream, chips and dip, cheese…it’s all junk, hehe.COOKIES ARE THE BEST THOUGH. HAVE YOU SEEN ME BLOG ABOUT COOKIES YET?
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  11. Where is your favorite place to visit?
    THE LIBRARY. or Barnes and Nobles. Or anyplace with books.
    library

I just realized that I hyperlinked a. lot. of things. Like a. lot. Ooops sorrynotsorry

Tagged Peoples

  1. A Girl Saved by God’s Grace
  2. Gabriella from A Heart Redeemed
  3. Bernie from A Bounce in Your Step
  4. Bonnie from Bonnie’s Blessings
  5. Brooklyn from Brooklyn Writes
  6. Hayley from Flourishing by Restful Falls
  7. Jeneca from Jeneca Writes
  8. Hailey from Now All I Know is Grace
  9. Chloe from Rustling Thoughts
  10. Brooke from Sunflower Soup
  11. Grace from The Girl Upstairs

My Questions

  1. What’s a memory from your childhood that’s particularly vivid?
  2. What is your favorite music artist?
  3. What are your pet peeves?
  4. What takes up too much of your time?
  5. What websites do you visit the most often?
  6. What is something that you’ll NEVER do again?
  7. What’s your favorite drink?
  8. What’s the most illegal thing you’ve done?
  9. What’s your favorite smell (if you have one?)
  10. If you wrote an autobiography, what would you name it?
  11. What place do you most want to travel to?

AAAANNNND that’s it. Thanks again, Abi!

Currently: September 2016

This is another of those “what have I been doing” posts, but I think I’ll do it. Why?

Well, this blog is mainly for me to track my high school years, and for it to reflect my personality. And I love this sort of posts; I love writing these posts, and I love reading these posts…so…let’s go!

Currently is a linkup at Anne at Anne in Residence and a cohost, and it comes out every first Wednesday. This month’s cohost is Beth at the Beth Next Door

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Reading-

Where Hope Prevails.jpgI’m currently reading Where Hope Prevails by Janette Oke, which is the third book in her “Return to the Canadian West” series. It’s really good, and my review on the book will be coming out in a few weeks! Aside from that, I’m also reading Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, as well as The Teacher’s Funeral by Richard Peck and Let the Circle by Unbroken by Mildred Taylor. Obviously, I’m not reading all these simultaneously, but I’m able to read a book a day, and these are the ones that I’ve read once and will have to read again before going back to the library.

Trying-sep1

This month, I’m trying to take a Photo a Day. Although this was my New Year’s Resolution, I never actually did any Photo a Day thing, but this month, I found a challenge that looked fun on The Girl Upstairs blog by Grace, so I’m going to try that out! I have a few day’s worth so far, and I’m excited to take pictures for the rest of this month! Here I’m showing you what my Day 1, or September, picture is!

Hoping-kennedy-annotated

Right now, I’m hoping (and trying) to be more organized and for a great school year! I’m legitimately doing online classes this year, and they’re harder than I expected them to be! I’m really excited for the activities I’ll be doing this year (GUYS. ROCKS AND MINERALS IS COMING BACK. I’M SO HAPPY!!!! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s Science Olympiad) I’m also hoping to be able to show God’s light and His grace towards others even more than I have this year! Here I have a picture of my AP Language assignment that I was supposed to annotate and that I thought looked pretty.

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I’m decorating my notes! This year, I want to try to make it a point of making my study notes look pretty. Usually, my study notes are really boring and black and white and all that, but this year, I got a pack of highlighters and I’m determined to make my notes look really pretty this year! I’ve always really loved pretty aesthetic handwriting samples, such as journaling, bullet journals, and study notes.Here’s a sneak peek:

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Weelll…..I could be really boring, and list my to do list, which is about <— that long, but I could also attempt to be interesting. On my To-Do list right now are to a. Catch up on my blogposts, which are severely lacking right now, to b. Find a way to make the bottoms of the knit boots that I’ve just knit waterproof so that I can wear them outdoors, and to c. practice bassoon, because apparently I have an audition coming up next Tuesday, and I haven’t practiced since May 10th…. D:

What do you think of Currently? Do you like them? Would you like to read more in the future?

Linking up at:

Links:

 

 

 

Rant: Books Within Books

Okay, so can we talk about something for a moment?3636576273_1c6b4ed8f0.jpg

That glorious moment when you read a book and find a mention of another book hidden deep within it.

I LOVEEEEE when other books are mentioned in books.

Like in Ramona.

MIKE MULLIGAN AND THE STEAM SHOVEL

Although I don’t even like Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, I LOVE when it’s mentioned.

Also in Project Mulberry. That mention of The Four Story Mistake? ITS AMAZING.

Books within books show that the author has actually read books.

And in the case of The Four Story Mistake, it shows that LINDA SUE PARK has read ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS, and that’s awesome.

Is that just a thing about me? that I like reading books and finding other books? and fangirling because the author has read the same books as I have? and actually liked it enough to put it in a book that I read?

I don’t know.

And I don’t really care either.

But oh, how I do love books like that.


Linking up with Sarah at My Bows and Clothes!

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Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge | Part 3 | Tales of Old

So…I’m back with Week 3 of  Fictionally’s Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge!!! It’s been great so far watching what others are reading, while my books are taking their time arriving from the library…. 🙂

Grimm’s… Hans Christian Anderson….This week’s challenge is to find an old version of a fairy tale, read it, then answer the questions on your blog.
Fantasy Love February Reading 2016
1. What fairy tale did you read?
I read “The Girl Without Hands” by the Grimm Brothers.
2. Did you enjoy it?
 Um. It was very interesting, to say the least! I feel like the story was incoherent, and some points didn’t exactly correlate to the other, and needed a bit of thinking to understand. Also, the story was quite disturbing, involving the devil, and having hands chopped off.
3. If there is a movie version of it, which is better? If there’s not a movie version, do you think there should be an adaption?
I’ve never seen a movie adaptation, and I wouldn’t feel like watching a movie edition either, because of the storyline!
4. Is this the first original fairy tale you’ve read?
No, I’ve read several other original fairy tales before. I’m a storyteller, as some of you know, so I read stories on a regular basis trying to choose stories to tell. 🙂
5. Do you want to read any more original tales now?
Yes! As a matter of fact, I just loaned a Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales book from my friend K, so I’m excited to read that! It’s also the prettiest book I’ve ever seen, so I’m shooting it for my Mini Challenge 2. 😀
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Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge | Part 2 |Art

This week’s mini-challenge from Fictionally is “Art”! Although I’m no artist, Grace thought of that beforehand and noted which things were considered “artistic”…so I did a photo shoot with the books that have arrived from the library, and made them into a collage, and then added a quote. It’s by far not the best piece of anything that I’ve done…but…hey, it’s all for the blog, right?


 

Mini Challenge 2- Art!

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I do like the quote a lot. 🙂

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