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?

 

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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.

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

True-to-You.jpg

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

EveryChristianNovelEver.jpg

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.
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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.

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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.