THE LOST ORPHAN BY STACEY HALLS [ARC REVIEW]

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts and review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

LostOrphan

A mother’s love knows no bounds…

London, 1754. Six years after leaving her newborn, Clara, at London’s Foundling Hospital, young Bess Bright returns to reclaim the illegitimate daughter she has never really known. Dreading the worst—that Clara has died in care—the last thing she expects to hear is that her daughter has already been reclaimed. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl—and why.

Less than a mile from Bess’s lodgings in a quiet town house, a wealthy widow barely ventures outside. When her close friend—an ambitious doctor at the Foundling Hospital—persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her young daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her—and will soon tear her carefully constructed world apart.

Set against the vibrant backdrop of Georgian London, The Lost Orphan explores families and secrets, class and power, and how the pull of motherhood cuts across them all.

 

My Rating: 4-Star

This book was an intriguing story and overall was a book I quite enjoyed! It was a beautiful tale of motherhood and shows a fascinating and more in-depth look at London and the Foundling Hospital in the 1750’s. The whole premise of someone having claimed another woman’s child as their own and then searching for that child. Only to then find out you know the woman who has claimed your child as their own! But from there it fell flat for me as it’s then just a story of a child torn between two women! Which is totally fine but I found that I wasn’t expecting more and kept waiting for a bit more than that.  But overall this is a enjoyable historical fiction novel.

 

 

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FAITH TAKING FLIGHT BY JULIE MURPHY [ARC REVIEW]

Hello Lovelies! It’s time for a book review!

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First up I’m just going to let you all know that I received a Digital ARC of this book from Edelweiss from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Everything I share here are my own thoughts and opinions on the book I’ve read.

PLEASE NOTE THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SMALL SPOILERS FROM THE PROLOGUE OF THE BOOK

SYNOPSIS:

Faith Herbert is a pretty regular teen. When she’s not hanging out with her two best friends, Matt and Ches, she’s volunteering at the local animal shelter or obsessing over the long-running teen drama The Grove.

So far, her senior year has been spent trying to sort out her feelings for her maybe-crush Johnny and making plans to stay close to Grandma Lou after graduation. Of course, there’s also that small matter of recently discovering she can fly….

When the fictional world of The Grove crashes into Faith’s reality as the show relocates to her town, she can’t believe it when TV heroine Dakota Ash takes a romantic interest in her.

But her fandom-fueled daydreams aren’t enough to distract Faith from the fact that first animals, then people, have begun to vanish from the town. Only Faith seems able to connect the dots to a new designer drug infiltrating her high school.

But when her investigation puts the people she loves in danger, she will have to confront her hidden past and use her newfound gifts—risking everything to save her friends and beloved town.

 

MY REVIEW

I was so excited when I saw this book was available as an ARC. I really have come to like Julie Murphy’s writing and I really appreciate the normalcy Murphy brings with fat/plus size characters in her books! As a curvy plus size person myself books like hers were something I wish I had when I was a little younger because yes, you see that slight discomfort and such with their bodies (like every human has once in a while) in her stories but most of all its acceptance and loving who they are and not changing that for anyone. Its just normal and I love it. Because everyone has different bodies and thats ok!

RATING: 3 Stars

That being said my overall rating for this book is only 3 stars and here is why.3-Star

I really enjoyed the book but I’m not sure it’s something I would read again. The characters were great (I LOVE Faith so much) and the world setup was well done and believable! The book also had its fair share of intense and even creepy, heart racing scenes (no spoilers on that here). But my biggest issue with the book unfortunately was the superhero plot element in itself. The Prologue drew me in like a mouse to cheese. It  was a case of insta-love with Faith and her adorable, nerdy self. We go from an intense prologue where Faith believes she is being recruited to learn more about her superpowers but in all reality it turns into this scenario where she is stripped of her name and hidden from the rest of the world and is now an experiment! Crazy right? It made me so excited for the rest of the book and excited for what would happen but then it just stopped? The next thing that happens is almost like a genre switch. We get crazy strong superpower beginning then it goes to Faith living her life as a pretty much normal teenager. Which normally yes, cause she doesn’t want people to know about her powers. But that element didn’t just come across right and the plot fell flat because of it. It just unfortunately felt like two stories meshed together and they ALMOST work but it doesn’t quite fit. For the most part the novel is a super cute coming of age story about a bisexual, plus size, nerdy girl in her senior year of high school who meets her celebrity crush and they fall in love. Which is GREAT and super cute but it felt like the superhero element was an afterthought where it was this beautiful coming of age story but then at random points it was like ‘Oh and I can fly but I can’t tell anyone’ and thats it and its not until the last 8 or so chapters that we begin to see a lot of that superhero plot line. We do have some parts throughout filling in gaps about what happened between Chapter 1 and the Prologue but I just wish there was more to it.

So OVERALL. Super cute coming of age story with a plus size, bisexual high school senior who is trying to figure out her life but it just fell flat when it came to the superpowers.

 

 

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson [Book Review]

StormCrowIt has been two whole days since I finished the book and I still have so many feelings and am trying to gather my thoughts because this book was full of so many amazing things I don’t know where to begin! In this moment I’m happy for the ability to highlight and make notes on the Kindle App because I’m honestly going through everything I noted and highlighted hoping I can write a review that describes my love for this book.

The story itself blew me away and my dumb ass didn’t realize until I was nearing the end of the book that there is going to be a second book…I think…I hope… But anyways! I was drawn in with the first page and in that moment, I felt like I too was flying and oh, how I longed to after that. The craft and skill in which Kalyn Josephson wrote this book gave me no choice to be dragged into the story and get invested with it and these characters from the first sentence.

Thia is the main character of the story and as the POV character her voice was established and remained there the whole way. Very strong narration in which I  felt a very real connection with her and I saw a lot of myself in her in that she is feisty and quick to stand up for others even if she gets in trouble for it.

Now let me take a moment to address what I think is one of the most important things in this story. Depression. Yes, you read that right… Depression. Kalyn Josephson has done what so many have tried to do and has taken it and blown it out of the water! It’s safe to say that this is one of two FANTASY books/series in which I have seen an accurate portrayal of mental illness/depression. As someone with depression seeing this accurate portrayal and seeing Thia kick depression in the ass was so empowering to me because throughout the book you see this process on how it really is like living with a mental illness. Some days you feel like you can conquer the world and your mental illness but then others it’s a fight to simply get and stay out of bed and for this I APPLAUD the author because the way she portrayed this is so real and SO. SO important. Everything Thia felt I have felt too and it just felt so real.

Essentially this book was beyond amazing and went above and beyond what I thought and expected from it! (and I expected many great things)

 

**I was provided this book by Netgalley in exchange for my honest review! All thoughts and opinions are my own**

5stars

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Coral by Sara Ella [Book Review]

** I was given a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts/review**

Coral

This book was marked as a DNF at 30% of the book completed – Okay so the whole premise of this book had me beyond intrigued and once I started reading I was really disappointed! Which is sad because I wanted to like it but no matter what I just couldn’t connect with the characters and the situation. I found that from what I had read the writing came across as vague at points, I think the approach was to be that of sparking curiosity in the mysterious (an example being the ‘Red Tide’ which is introduced in the first chapter and not explained until the end (I looked ahead)) but it fell flat.

I do appreciate the author’s approach and intent with the theme of Mental Health discussions and representation in this piece and I feel that Sara Ella did a good job focusing on that in her story but there was just an emotional disconnect with the character’s in that regard which I REALLY didn’t want to happen.

2stars

 

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Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill [Book Review]

Hello Lovelies!

I have another book review for you today so lets get started!

WTL18I don’t even know where to begin with this review. I fell in love with it from page one. This book broke and repaired my heart only to then break it again moments late. It’s a beautiful and moving piece of fiction by Stephanie Morrill. I have to say that I simply adore how this book not only navigated a beautiful, precious and tedious relationship between an Italian-American girl and Japanese-American boy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. A time when racism and injustice against the Japanese living in America occurred. I just loved this story of Evalina and Taichi. Two young people in love in a time where it was illegal in most states for them to be married, a time where they were both at risk because of their relationship but still they pushed through.I was rooting for them the whole book! Just couldn’t put it down because I NEEDED to know what happened next .

Looking at the characters I loved Evalina’s heart and passion in this story. Her heart for the injustice inflicted on many people. Her heart for the one she loved and the passion she put into raising awareness for what was going on that so many people were blinded to. Seeing this passion and this heart in Evalina, I found that I related to her very much in that sense as I saw myself in her.

This book is an absolutely amazing piece of fiction you should not skip out on getting for yourself.

5stars

 

About Stephanie Morrill

Stephanie-Morrill-Low-Res-227x300Stephanie Morrill writes books about girls who are on an adventure to discover their unique place in the world. She is the author of several contemporary young adult series, as well as the 1920s mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, and the WWII era romance, Within These Lines. Since 2010, Stephanie has been encouraging the next generation of writers at her website, GoTeenWriters.com. She lives in the Kansas City area, where she loves plotting big and small adventures to enjoy with her husband and three children. You can connect with Stephanie and learn more about her books at StephanieMorrill.comInstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

 

Girl Wash Your Face – Book Review

Hello Lovelies! I’ve got another book review for you and trust me, this is a book you do not want to pass up.

[I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion]

girlwashyourfaceI will admit that I was on the fence about this book. I had heard so many amazing things and nearly gotten a copy so many times and let me just say I will be purchasing my own physical copy of this book!

This book is AMAZING and something all women, both young and old, should read! Although it is more directed towards mothers and wives in some chapters, the takeaway can be for anyone. The way this book was written is for both married or single, old and young, as the chapters all have their own point. For example, I did start to read the chapters directed towards motherhood but found I just couldn’t relate so I skipped them but the nice thing about this book and some of the chapters is simply this: If it doesn’t apply to you it’s made in a way that you can either read it or just move on without missing crucial information or points!

Right from the start I knew this book was going to be amazing. How? Well I encountered a quote like this in the opening letter:

            “The truth? You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are. That’s the takeaway.”

I just love that! Getting right to the point before the book has officially started! The way Hollis has structured the book and the chapters is brilliant! I love the whole approach of ‘here is a struggle that I, and many other women, have but this is how to deal with it!’ and at the end of each chapter she provides ways that helped her or would have helped her in these moments in her life!

4stars

 

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Romanov by Nadine Brandes [ARC – Book Review]

romanovSummary:

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

My Review:

I realized that a part of forgiveness was accepting the things someone had done – and the pain that came with that – and moving on with love.” -Anastasia from Romanov

This book was AH-MAZING.

I’m someone who very rarely reads Historical Fiction aside from a few authors and Nadine Brandes is definitely now a part of this list. My issue with so many Historical Fiction books is that they often feel like I’m reading a history textbook, and this…this was NOT one of those books.

This story was crafted so beautifully, and the ending was beyond perfect. Throughout the whole story I was just in LOVE with the Romanov family. I loved their relationships and love for each other. I especially loved the relationship between Nastya and Alexei! It was beyond beautiful. And I love how the story focused more on the love and relationship between a family more than the love interest story line. I knew nothing about the real-life Romanov family going into this story and the whole time I was reading this book I was just rooting for them and my heart rejoiced and grieved with them and their situation over and over and over again. Their small moments of joy brought me joy and their moments of sadness broke me. I was so invested in this story of their amazing family. I love the strength and the voice Nadine brought to Nastya’s character. She was so easy to connect with and relate to. I love that despite everything Nastya and her family has been through, she is so strong and despite her pain and being faced with many difficult decisions she was never selfish. She always thought about her family and those around her.

Whether you read Historical Fiction on a regular basis or not I 100% recommend this book.

5stars

**NOTE: I was given this book (from NetGalley) in exchange for my honest review/opinion**

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Finding Your Voice by Natalie Grant [Book Review]

**I was given this book on behalf of zondervan/booklook bloggers for my honest opinion.**

27840588.jpgIn a culture that praises blending in over standing out, productivity over purpose, and noise over truth, many women find their God-given voice compromised, quieted, or even mocked. We all long to live out our divinely designed passions and unique talents, yet too often it becomes so much easier in the face of opposition to stay silent altogether. What if God is calling you to so much more?

As a working mom, wife, artist, and abolitionist, Natalie Grant has struggled to live on purpose while battling the worldly demands of keeping up the appearance of perfection. Emerging from her own dark spiral of suffocating inadequacy, Natalie found fresh hope in the truth that God has already given women everything they need to live out their God-given identity, passions, and calling. Finding Your Voice offers the heart-rallying, life-giving truth that a woman’s voice is not an uncalled for interference to be silenced, but a gift to be used for God’s Kingdom purposes. In voice lessons as in life, a strong vocal identity requires us to first stand firm, breath deep, and finally, go for it—loud and clear.

With rich scriptural study and personal stories infusing every chapter, Finding Your Voice reveals how to discover your own unique talent, train it according to God’s Word, and start using it for the good of others—without guilt and apology.

 

I finally had the time recently to sit down and read this book and I was blown away by it. I didn’t really know what to expect going into it but found it to be so encouraging. This book really helped me focus on who God has made me to be and that I’m perfect the way I am because God created me. I really loved the fact that she shared her personal struggles throughout the book as well and backing up her personal stories, struggles, and statement with scripture. Natalie Grant being open and vulnerable and sharing her heart was something I really felt through the pages of this book and really helped it hit home for me as well. This book was also one that made me look at my current situation and ask myself questions. Questions about how I’m living my life and If I’m truly following God’s will and plan for my life.

No matter where you are in your walk with God I highly recommend reading this book as I feel that it contains something for everyone.

Rating: 5 Stars

Jesus Called. He Wants His Church Back (Book Review)

I was recently given a copy of Jesus Called: He Wants His Church Back by Ray Johnston to review from Book Look Bloggers.

 

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As early as AD 50, Christians had gotten away from knowing who Jesus really is. Our generation is no different.

In every decade we, as Americans, lost something important that we couldn’t afford to lose: • In the 1950s, we lost innocence • In the 1960s, we lost respect for authority • In the 1970s, we lost love • In the 1980s, we lost values • In the 1990s, we lost faith • In the 2000s, we lost security • In the 2010s, we lost hope in the future

What can restore what we’ve lost? Only Jesus. Jesus gave us His name, His friendship, and a commission to accept responsibility for ourselves and for the world. When introduced to His words and ways we’ll rediscover the Jesus who:

• Wants His enemies won over, not wiped out • Wants you to stop playing it safe • Believed great things were possible no matter what things are like right now • Was full of grace and truth • Unleashed compassion • Believed no one was too far from God to return to Him • Came to seek and to save that which was lost • Loves the church

Pastor Ray Johnston shares the Jesus of the Bible and how we can be Christians without being jerks. He reveals how the radical message of the gospel calls us to love and serve not only our neighbors but our enemies as well. That’s the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

Jesus’ mission is clear—risk everything in order to take care of people, starting in our home, neighborhoods, cities, and those in need around the world. That’s the Jesus the American Church has missed and needs to meet.

 

My Thoughts

I wasn’t entirely sure what this book would entail and I’m still not sure what to make of it. The book wasn’t bad! Just not what I was expecting. I’m unsure if maybe it;s the fact I’m still getting used to reading more non-fiction or what. I’m starting to ease myself into non-fiction books so sometimes I don’t know what to expect. Aside from that fact I quite enjoyed the book. Though for a non-fiction this one was very factual. In this novel the writer discusses how, since the 50’s, the church and Christianity has changed.  The one thing that jumped out to me was the following statement by the author:

  • In the 1950s, we lost innocence.
  • In the 1960s, we lost respect for authority.
  • In the 1970s, we lost love.
  • In the 1980s, we lost values.
  • In the 1990s, we lost faith.
  • In the 2000s, we lost security.
  • In the 2010s, we lost hope in the future.

This was definitely a good read with facts on the church and how it has fallen from God in some senses then this is definitely a good read

 

 

Unashamed by Lecrae

Back with another book review! Wooh! Look at me go. I am on a roll!!   *cough cough* ANYWAYS. Today I’m gonna be reviewing ‘Unashamed’ by Lecrae…and for those of you who don’t know. Lecrae is a rapper/songwriter and honestly … Continue reading