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Showing posts from May, 2018

Dandelion Dust by Faith L. Potts // A Modern Parable of Trusting in God

The following review was originally published at Merikthorne Library, on February 20th, 2018.

★★★★★ 4.5 stars
For one small moment, Charity's life was perfect -- until a fraction of a second changed everything.
When Faith announced the release of her debut novella, I was ecstatic. A modern, Christian romance featuring two young adults? With a coffee shop or two, and a dash of four-wheeling thrown in? SO MUCH YES. So when the opportunity arose to review Dandelion Dust, I jumped at the chance... and I was not in the least disappointed. 💕

Charity Grace's life is perfect. Four years ago, a mission trip to Guatemala revealed a newfound friend in Hannah Traven, an Oklahoma native. Now, Charity's off to college... and she and Hannah's older brother are dating, completely head-over-heels for one another.

...And then the phone call comes, and Charity's world begins to crumble. For, "like a speck of dandelion dust riding the tides of a prairie wind, life is fleeting&quo…

Cloaked by Rachel Kovaciny // A Captivating Red Riding Hood Retelling, Set in the Old West

The following review was originally published at Merikthorne Library, on September 29th, 2017.

★★★★★
A story of love. A story of fear. A story of hope. A story of courage.
Have you ever read a book that makes you crave an adventure? Perhaps a story that sparks a desire for travel, or independence? A story that simply sweeps you off your feet, whisking you away and inspiring that sense of wanderlust? For me, that story was Cloaked, by Rachel Kovaciny.

Mary Rose arrives in Wyoming with few expectations; all she knows is that she's to meet her grandmother, an estranged -- and possibly wealthy -- member of the family. But when a striking accountant enters the scene, Mary Rose realizes that her newfound adventure was merely a mirage... and she might just need to flee for her life.

Oh, this book was wonderful! Like the sunrise on a chilly spring morning, this book held such a glow of warm familiarity. The writing style was direct and to-the-point, but also maintained a bit of elegance. T…

Coiled by H.L. Burke // A Sweet, Mythological Romance

The following review was originally published at Merikthorne Library, on June 23rd, 2017.

★★★★☆ 3.5 stars
Greek mythology retold. A giant, man-eating serpent.
A rejected princess with a hideous curse and an astounding gift.
From the moment I first heard about H.L.'s upcoming novel to the moment I saw the cover, I knew this was a story I wanted to read.

A retelling of Eros & Psyche, as well as a Beauty & the Beast retelling in its own right, Coiled is the story of Laidra -- a girl forced into hiding by her own family, treated as if she was the child who was never meant to be, and thrown into political schemes as bait for a monstrous snake.

The characters -- Calen is so adorable! Which is saying a lot, because I hate snakes. But (thankfully!), Calen was no problem for me! He was such a cute, lovely little ginormous guy! 😊

ZEPHIA. She was probably my favorite character in the entire book! A clever, powerful demigoddess, daughter to a wind god? Yes, please!

And Valen. Uhg, Valen…

The Sound of Diamonds by Rachelle Rea // Rogues, Romance, & Redemption

The following review was originally published at Merikthorne Library, on April 21st, 2017.


★★★★☆ 4.5 stars
I love a good rogue romance. Unfortunately, most of those romances I hold so dear rarely come true, so to put it (*coughs* I'm looking at you, Guy and Marian). But this... My dear friends, this was so good.

Gwyneth Barrington is on the path to becoming a nun. Living in a convent in Leiden, the Netherlands, she suffers from the memory of her parents' murders, and their promise for her happy future.

And then the assumed murderer shows up, claiming that Leiden's convent is under attack, and he wishes to bring Gwyn to safety.

If only it were that simple.

I've been interested in The Sound of Diamonds for a while, now. That gorgeous title, that intriguing cover... As Prince Edward from Disney's Enchanted would say, what's not to like? So when a review opportunity came up, I pounced. 😉

The first chapter begins with action and adventure. Gwyneth, a young, headstro…

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine // An Original Reimagining of Snow White

The following review was originally published at Merikthorne Library, on December 8th, 2016.

★★★☆☆

Sequel to the Newberry-Honor-Award-winning Ella Enchanted and a retelling of Snow White, completely its own, Gail Carson Levine's Fairest tells the story of Aza -- a young woman with hideous looks yet a voice to make up for them; abandoned at an inn when she was a child.

I really enjoyed Ella Enchanted, so I had rather high expectations for Fairest. Though the beginning and end were both rather slow, Gail's tasteful writing and curious plot in between helped to make up for it. I greatly admire how Gail can so boldly weave unique cultures and intricate languages into her stories!

The characters, I had a hard time coping with. Aza's battle with discovering inner beauty was certainly relate-able, but I didn't feel like she truly struggled with it -- at least enough to make me empathize much with her.

I also felt no connection to Ijori, Ivi, Areida, or many of the main charac…

Unblemished by Sara Ella // If Rick Riordan Wrote Fairytales

The following review was originally published at Merikthorne Library, on December 8th, 2016.


★★★☆☆

Oh, Unblemished. It seems so long since I've last been completely torn on how to rate a book.

Unblemished tells the story of Eliyana -- a high school senior with a ghastly birthmark that marks her face. She's never considered herself beautiful, and after her mother's death and recurring strange interactions with people she thought she new, her world comes crashing down... and she must be taken to another.

...Don't get me wrong: Unblemished was really good. Sara Ella seems a true wordsmith, and though I'm not a great reader of contemporary fiction (particularly set in a city), she was able to make me like it. It was as if Rick Riordan wrote fairytale-esque novels -- Sara Ella's writing is some of the best I've ever read!

But there were some problems I had with the book. The allegory, for one. I thought I understood it -- it was all rather confusing when I was fir…