Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to the second world war.

Set at a boys boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic.

My Review
First of all, I was forced to read this book for school, and honestly if it had been my choice and I had, for some weird unknown reason, started reading it I wouldn't have finished it.

To be fair, it wasn't terrible. Looking at A Separate Peace from a literary/writing perspective, it's a well written book and I see why it's a classic. Life at the Devon school for boys is a microcosm for the world at war, and there are many literary aspects to it that were kind of genius.

Looking at it from a readers point of view - I kind of hated it. I didn't like the main character/narrator Gene at all. He was academic, calculating, and kind of dark. He looked for the worst in people. Finny was sporty, optimistic, sunny, and naive. He loved sports, where everyone won. He was charismatic and made up rules as he went easily getting everyone else, even teachers, to follow him.

But I didn't like or understand the main character at all. I get that his thoughts and actions show the darker side of humanity, obviously, but I just can't even. I don't know even know how to write about my feelings for this book, so I'm going to leave it at that. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Aimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London

Aimee and the HeartthrobAimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
He never noticed her before, but now she’s all he can see…

Miles Carlisle is every teen girl’s fantasy. His rugged good looks and exotic British accent have helped catapult his boy band, Seconds to Juliet, to super-stardom. But after two disastrous and very public breakups, Miles isn’t interested in dating just any girl; he wants The One. And the only girl he’s interested in is not only his best friend’s little sister―and off-limits―but won’t even give him the time of day…

As a kid, Aimee Bingham had a huge thing for Miles…until he made fun of her for always tagging along. Now that she’s outgrown both him and her pigtails. the prospect of spending two weeks on tour with the childhood crush who broke her heart isn’t exactly enticing. Except now Miles seems interested. Very interested. And no matter how hard Aimee tries to resist him, her crush is definitely making a comeback.

But everyone knows that falling for a heartthrob is a backstage pass to heartbreak…

My Review
To be honest I have mixed feelings about this book. I really liked the basic essence of the story - friend from past turns boy band heartthrob, girl had crush before he was famous, meet again and sparks happen, but they both have their issues and have to work out their relationship, and an overprotective big brother.

I thought they were a really adorable couple, and I loved the wit and humor displayed between them.

Some things really bothered me, though. First of all the text speak was kind of hard to get through at times. I mean, I am eighteen, and I do text, but it just bugged me a little. Most of all, the amount of kissing and making out (I don't normally use that term, but in this case I have to), was a little extreme. They didn't go past that, but between the language in some of their thoughts I was afraid they were going to. They were way to focused on the others looks. I just have really liked to see more talking and less mass kissing, it's like after kissing the first time that was almost the only thing they wanted to do. I just didn't appreciate some of the thoughts processes and such.

If it wasn't for the really sweet moments such as writing songs and going on picnics, and mainly being curious about the end (which I really liked, by the way), I might have put the book down. It did take me a while to get through this one, I just wasn't in a huge hurry to pick it back up instead of watching tv, but maybe that's because I was stressed.

I enjoyed that there were character pov switches, and the sweet romance. I just found some things weren't really my style.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion, and all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Life Updates

This is what I categorize my wandering whims under! My mind may be wanting to write about life, blogging, music, movies, or anything under the sun, and if it doesn't fit into one of my other features then, well, here it will goes!

Today, I think I'm just going to spew out current thoughts and what I've been up to lately.

~ ~ ~ ~
Let's start with what I'm excited about! - I'm going to Costa Rica on a mission this summer with a group from my Church! I went to Romania last year, and I'm so excited to follow God's plan for me and show His love to others!

I'm having a more positive attitude - I don't know why, but a couple of weeks ago I was just kind of down. I was really stressed and irritable, and that made me feel terrible because I like to be in a good mood. So, last week I returned to sunshiny attitude and I've been looking at the bright side of things! I've been trying to hand all of my worries to God, and trust in Him take care of everything for His good, guide me, and write His story on my heart!

College Visit and Schedule - Friday I went to Admit Day at the College I will attend next fall. I will be living at home and commuting to the College I've always wanted to go to. Friday I got to meet a few of the teachers/leaders in the education department, and schedule my classes. I'm excited to be graduating high school soon, but I'm also extremely nervous. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me with this next life step. (My classes - English 1108, History, Algebra, Intro to education, Intro to Technology).

Studying - I have a College Spanish final this week, and my AP Gov teacher has been giving a ton of quiz/tests, to prep us for the AP exam.

"Friends" - I'm at a weird place regarding friends right now. The people I thought were my friends aren't really true friends - definitely not like the ones I read about in books. I haven't had a best friend since 8th grade. My "friends" that have been my friends in the past are the ones I eat lunch with and I tune them and their conversations out more than I listen to them, we seem to be becoming more and more different. They are always complaining, have negative attitudes, or talk about their boyfriends (and what they do ...) and I just don't want to hear it so I'll literally pull out my phone book, Nook, or a physical book and completely tune them out. I think they get annoyed with me sometimes too, because I'm (in their words) naive and a goody two shoes. I'm not. I am a Christian, and if I don't want to hear and participate in certain conversations and activities than I am not going to - I'm stronger than participating in a conversation I want no part in. I hardly ever talk, and sometimes it's really frustrating because what if I never have a best friend other than God and my family?

Friends - My College English class is full of people that I am semi friends with, and I feel like they are more true friends than my "friends." I feel like they know more about me and understand more way better than my "friends" ever did. I talk to them and laugh with them way more! To be honest they are the better friends!

Reading - I haven't had as much time to read, therefore I'm not reading as fast. Sometimes I just don't even feel like reading.

TV - I've said before that I've been watching a lot more TV lately. I'm so sad that Scorpion and Good Witch just ended their 1st seasons:( I also think that I'm caught up or almost caught up with the current season of NCIS, but it would be so nice if I could watch the first 11 seasons. 

Stress - As one of the top ten of my graduating class, I have to write a speech to give at graduation. I have tests, babysitting, blogging, etc.

*I'm sorry, I know I rambled, but I needed to get all of this out! I'm also not proofreading this, so excuse all of my mistakes, please. (Just so you know, I normally do proofread, lol)

What about you? Where are you at in life right now?

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman

The Truth About JackThe Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary
Dakota McCloud has just been accepted into a prestigious art school. Soon she'll leave behind the artists' colony where she grew up―hippie dad, tofu since birth, yurt―and join her boyfriend and best friend on the East Coast. It was the plan…until Dakota finds out her boyfriend and best friend hooked up behind her back.

Hurt and viciously betrayed, Dakota pours out her heart on a piece of paper, places it in a bottle, and hurls it into the ocean. But it doesn't quite go where she expects…

Jack Sauvage finds the bottle washed up on the shore and responds to Dakota's letter. Except what if his straight-laced life doesn’t jive with the free-spirited girl he’s only seen from afar? As Jack creates a persona he believes she’ll love, they slowly fall for each other with each new letter. Now Jack is trying to find a way to make this delicate, on-paper romance happen in real life…without revealing his deception.

My Review
The Truth About Jack was a really unique book, and the writing style really worked for me. I loved the setting of the artist's colony, the cafe, and the beach. I enjoyed getting to know Dakota and Jack and seeing them grow and discover what they really want and stand up for themselves - something I seem to never get enough of, and learn something from every time. I loved the artsy and musical aspects and how they understood each other so well.

I loved the conversations between Jack and Dakota, and the fact they TALKED and had REAL CONVERSATIONS instead of spending an obscene amount of time kissing like happens in so many YA books. They were so realistic, earnest, sweet, and perfect! I loved the fact that they came from such different backgrounds yet were still perfect for each other, and I really appreciated that their differing backgrounds wasn't to huge of an issue. The way he knew her and wanted so badly to talk to her, but was afraid to was adorable, and I thought it was nice how she got to know him as both Jack and the guy she wrote letters to (normally has the potential to be really cliche, but it really worked)!

While I am normally all about admitting the truth immediately, and I probably would have found this annoying and/or cliche, I can't really blame Jack for not telling her right away in this circumstance. I mean we girls do tend to take things to the extreme sometimes, and we may not always understand the meaning guys are attempting to convey (don't shoot me for pointing out he obvious, it was kind of hard to admit). Or maybe guys just aren't very good at explaining things - maybe that ability evaporated with memory and hearing?

I must say that I really loved the language and word choice. I really learned some new vocab words, and yes I plan to use them!

This was a semi light novel that was nowhere near fluff. There was a lot of beautiful depth that I wasn't expecting, and while some of the circumstances could have been cliche, the author somehow seemed to avoid all of them, and speak to me, making this a YA novel that I won't soon forget.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This in no way affected my opinions, and all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

View all my reviews

Friday, April 24, 2015

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

Shattered (Alaskan Courage, #2)
Goodreads Summary
5 Stars
A Thrilling New Romantic Suspense from the Genre's Newest Star
Piper McKenna couldn't be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed--but despite the evidence, Reef swears he's innocent. And Piper believes him.
Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth may mean risking Landon's career.

With Piper waging her own search, the two head deep into Canada's rugged backcountry--and unexpected complications. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

My Review
I talked yesterday about feeling repetitive in my reviews, so here is my first more “unique” review!

I loved everything about Shattered! I loved the intriguing mystery and the family loyalty. I loved the characters, and loved spending more time with the McKenna family!

I made word collages of the setting and characters of Shattered. These are words that describe the setting/character, what they liked, what I liked about them, what they "learned/struggled with/came to realize!"

I hope you enjoyed this review style, it's not as detailed, but I think it got most of my points across! I loved this book so much, and I highly recommend it!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Broken Records - Switch it Up!

This is what I categorize my wandering whims under! My mind may be wanting to write about life, blogging, music, movies, or anything under the sun, and if it doesn't fit into one of my other features then, well, here it will goes!
~ ~ ~ ~
Repetitive Reviewing
(keep in mind I wrote this Monday)
I’ve been feeling, especially lately, like I’m being extremely repetitive with my reviews. I feel like I’m always liking the same things about a book, and say how I feel about books in the same way every. single. time. Sure, I’m still going to write reviews like I normally do, probably often, but I’d like to start switching it up a little every now and then.

I want this to be fun and want reading my reviews to be interesting! I don't want my blog to feel like a broken record where I'm basically on repeat but changing names, etc.; I want to be creative!

I will most likely start doing a more "unique" review for the books that I read for fun, and use my normal review style for those I'm asked to review because I feel like that's better to put on Goodreads and Amazon, but I might switch things up a little then too! You'll just have to wait and see!

Some ideas I have for switching things up include letters to the characters of the book or recommending to a friend, poems, casts, collages (online or homemade), guessing games, quizes, and more!

Have you ever felt this way when reviewing? Any ideas or tips that your willing to share?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Week of Wonder

Week of Wonder is what I call my Weekly Wrap-up. I will link up everything that I did on my blog this week - books I read, books I reviewed, what challenges I've added to, what I'm currently reading, all my other posts, etc. I will also let you know about any upcoming events that are coming up on my blog.

Yes, I know this is way late, and that I skipped the week before last.

Oh my goodness, I have been so busy. I also haven't had any time to write any posts or reviews. I've been kind of stressed with school, high school graduation, I have to write a speech (and I'm not a fan of the topic). I have a terrible case of senioritis (yes it is totally legit). I've been in a TV watching mood, watching a lot of NCIS, and I've been reading some but I just want to read, and haven't felt like writing the reviews. I feel kind of bad because they are books that I really enjoyed. Maybe I've kind of been in a blogging slump. Within the last week I've seriously thought about stopping blogging, but after getting back on and writing this I know I'm not going to. I love sharing my love of books with you guys, I love reading, and I love connecting with this bookish community. My posts are going to be more sporadic for a while though considering my business and mood. I also have absolutely no posts scheduled and ready... but I might work on that today? (It's senior skip day at my school and I have days to miss so why not?)
Now that I'm done with that...

Royal Date by Sariah Wilson
The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall (Blog Tour)

Other Posts
Waiting on Wednesday: Waking Beauty
Robin's Reward by June McCrary Jacobs (Blog Tour)

What was your week like?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Favorite Authors

  Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we pick the top ten things for the topic of the week.  I really enjoy writing these posts, because I love lists, and this is a great way to look back at books I've read and toward the books I want to read!
Topic: Top Ten Favorite Authors

Lisa T. Bergren
Serena Chase
Melanie Dickerson
Desiree Williams
Dawn Crandall
Dani Pettrey
Krista McGee
Jenny B. Jones
Ally Carter
Becky Wade
Marissa Meyer
Julianne Donaldson
L.M. Montgomery
Anne Osterlund

I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but I love these authors because of their amazingly fantastical books!

Who are you favorite authors?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Blog Tour: Robin's Reward by June McCrary Jacobs

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Today I'm delighted to introduce to you Robin's Reward by June McCrary Jacobs!
Book Blurb
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Bonita Creek’s librarian Robin Bennett is heartbroken after being abandoned by her husband, Thomas. The mysterious and handsome Jeff Clarke arrives unexpectedly and touches Robin’s life with his wit and warmth. Then, without warning, Jeff’s harsh words and abrasive actions scare her off, and Robin’s hope of finding true love withers again.

Just when it seems Robin and Jeff might have a future, Susan Stinson, whose cruel taunting has plagued Robin since they met as young teens, decides Jeff should be hers, not Robin’s. Susan’s anger and jealousy escalate dangerously. Her vindictiveness threatens the foundation of Jeff and Robin’s young relationship.
Robin’s journey through the peaks and valleys of her life meanders along the twists and turns of new challenges. Is a relationship which began with both parties harboring secrets destined to survive? Can they move past their troubles and the obstacles in their path to find love and happiness together? When their pasts rear their ugly heads, Jeff and Robin must use their faith to remain strong and true. But will it be enough for them to embrace a life of love, trials, and blessings . . . together?
"Robin's Reward, a sweet romance with great characters, is as refreshing as a walk among flowers."
Author Rebecca H. Jamison, Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale.

Award-winning author, June McCrary Jacobs, was the winner of Cedar Fort Publishing’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest for her debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom’. ‘Robin’s Reward’ is her first full-length novel, and is set in her favorite location in California—the Mendocino coastal region. This book is the first installment of the ‘Bonita Creek Trilogy’.
June’s original sewing, quilting, and stitchery designs have been published in over one hundred books, magazines, and blogs in the past few years. When she’s not writing, reading, or sewing, June enjoys cooking, walking, and visiting art and history museums. She also enjoys touring historic homes and gardens and strolling around the many historic Gold Rush towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills. In the summertime you can find June at a variety of county fairs and the California State Fair admiring the sewing projects, quilts, and handiwork other inspired seamstresses, quilters, craftspeople, and artists have created.

Displaying junemccraryjacobs_author1[1].jpgCONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:
June enjoys connecting with readers, authors, aspiring writers, bloggers, designers, sewers, quilters, and crafters. Please connect with June at the following platforms:

Read an Excerpt

June is giving away two signed copies of 'Robin's Reward' on her website. (United States residents only. No purchase necessary.) The Rafflecopter contest will end on May 31st, and June would like to invite readers to enter for a chance to win one of these paperbacks. Here's the link

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Blog Tour: The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall

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I’m so excited to share The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall with all you book lovers today! As many of you know, I loved Dawn Crandall’s first two books in the Everstone Chronicles (The Hesitant Heiress and The Bound Heart , and this one definitely did not disappoint!

The Captive Imposter (The Everstone Chronicles, #3)The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
Sent away for protection, hotel heiress Estella Everstone finds herself living undercover as a lady’s companion named Elle Stoneburner at one of her father’s opulent hotels in the mountains of Maine—the one she'd always loved best and always hoped to own one day, Everston. The one thing she doesn't like about the situation is that her ex-fiancĂ© is in the area and is set on marrying someone else. Reeling from her feelings of being unwanted and unworthy, Estella reluctantly forms a friendship with the gruff manager of Everston, Dexter Blakeley, who seems to have something against wealthy young socialites with too much money, although they are just the kind of people Everston caters to.

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer she can't refuse. She sees no other choice aside from going back home to her family and accepts the position as companion to his sister. Throughout her interactions with Dexter, she can't deny the pull that's evidenced between them every time he comes near. Estella realizes that while she's been hiding behind a false name and identity, she’s never been freer to be herself than when she's with Dexter Blakeley. But will he still love her when he finds out she's Estella Everstone? She's not entirely sure.

Drop by author Dawn Crandall’s blog or Facebook page to check out all the posts and giveaways going on throughout the next few weeks! There will be lots of prizes and giveaways!

My Review
I have been impatiently waiting to finally get to read Estella Everstone’s story, and what an intriguing one it turned out to be! Dawn Crandall definitely has a knack for creating likeable characters, inspiring messages, and a mixture of everything that culminates to make a perfectly captivating story.

As the daughter of a wealthy hotel owner, and at the top of the social circles, Estella Everstone struggled with feelings of being unwanted, unworthy, and invisible. People never saw her for who she truly was, and only wanted to befriend her for her status, until Dexter Blakely that is. He sees the real her, know what she loves to do, sees inside her heart, yet he doesn’t know her true name, and that right there is the problem. Dexter Blakely is a man of God, but he wasn’t beyond holding a grudge that endangered the growing feelings between the,. Things were definitely complicated, they both had a lot to overcome - past wounds and insecurities. Can  God help love triumph over their trials?

The setting was descriptive and so easy to picture in my mind. Estella’s pure love for Everston was clear, and I must admit that it found a way into my heart as well.

I truly enjoyed the journey that Captive Imposter took me on. I loved both characters growth, renewed faith, trust in God, and love for each other. Their strength and kindness, and the way they tried to overcome Estella’s obstacles. The relationship between Dexter and Estella was so entertaining, and the moments they spent together were witty and so enjoyable to read. Definitely swoon worthy:) They left me smiling, and rooting for them the whole time! I appreciated how they truly got to know each other, and had such a mutual endearing regard for each other.

The other characters were just as intriguing and fun to get to know. I enjoyed getting to know Roxy, and seeing what happened between Estella and her ex (I really disliked him at many points in this book), then there was Dexter’s mean spirited mother, Estella’s encouraging father, and so many more that I can’t name because that would take the fun out of meeting them for yourself.

I loved every minute of this novel. Dawn Crandall clearly created two more characters that instantly wormed their way into my heart! There was suspense intertwined with the witty humor and romance, and a perfect balance of depth and light hearted fun! The messages were inspiring. You really need to read this beautiful series for yourself to get the full, captivating effect!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion, and all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

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About the Author
IMG_3368 (683x1024)A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he encouraged her to quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing her debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Northeast Indiana.

Dawn is a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.

The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013.

So, without further ado, go check it out! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Waing on Wednesday: Waking Beauty

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we share a book that we are waiting for. This post is so fun because it helps us stay on the lookout for books!

Waking BeautyWaking Beauty by Sarah E. Morin
Pub Date: May 5, 2015
Goodreads Summary
The rescue wasn't going at all how he planned. Prince Arpien intends to gain a throne and the sleeping beauty's heart with a single kiss that wakes her from the evil fairy's curse. But kissing the princess is only the beginning of a series of unfore–seen obstacles: man–eating bugs, deadly spindles, talking lapdogs, and fiery pickles. The sleeping beauty is the biggest com–plication of all. Princess Brierly is beautiful and Fairy–Gifted, but also...daft. After one hundred years of sleep imprisonment, Brierly re–fuses to believe this rescue is anything more than a tantalizing but doomed dream. Arpien is drawn to the vibrancy be–neath Brierly's indifferent exterior. Can they reclaim her kingdom? Do they dare trust in the Prince of the old tales to help them battle the evil fairy who cursed Brierly? What is the price of waking beauty?

Why I'm Waiting
This book sounds very intriguing, plus I've always been a huge fan of fairytales!

View all my reviews

Monday, April 13, 2015

Royal Date by Sariah Wilson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary
This Cinderella didn’t plan on a prince . . .

Kat MacTaggart is a girl who has a plan for everything—including her holiday ski trip to Monterra with her best friend. Everything is going according to plan until she finds herself careening out of control down a mountainside and being rescued by a guy who looks like Superman’s hotter Italian cousin.

HRH Prince Nico is intrigued by the woman he saved on the slopes and her refusal to date him. He offers Kat a deal—let him show her his country and he’ll pay her to write articles that will help Monterra’s tourism industry. Kat agrees, but given her past and lingering distrust of men, she has one condition—absolutely no kissing.

Thanks to the claims of a jealous British noblewoman and the schemes of a meddling paparazzo, Kat’s rule doesn’t seem to be a problem at first. But the more Kat gets to know Nico and the people around him, the harder it is to remember her keep-your-distance plan. Should she stick to it or risk everything for a chance at happily ever after?

My Review
I love fairytales, I love princes, I love realistic characters, I love true love, and of course I love humor and wit! Who, in their right mind wouldn’t? Let me just say, right off the bat, that this book had all of that and more!

I was in the mood for something light and fluffy, and had bought this book on sale a week before and really wanted to read it, so I read it. And did not regret it! This book captured me from the first conversation. Let me explain. The book started out with a perfect conversation between studious college student Katarina and Prince Nico (I love their names), and I loved it! It might have been the most entertaining first conversation I’ve ever read between two characters! Then, it just kept getting better!

I loved the characters. Kat was so true to herself and realistic. She had a tough life, but she didn’t let it get her down. It made her into the planning, self reliant, capable, kind person she became. In fact it made her more determined to be a better person and help others, and I really respected her for that. Her will was strong, and she really had a special kindness and strength. Thank goodness for her friend, Lemon, or she might not have even stayed in wonderful Monterra (I need to visit there, by the way)! Nico, Nico, Nico! What a prince - and totally swoony! He was so - I don’t even know where to begin - sweet, handsome, princely, and persistent. Their chemistry was palpable, and I rooted for them the whole time. There was so much wit, sarcasm, sweet and swoony scenes, and real conversation and feelings.

There was so much more to this book than the (clean) swoon worthy romance though! This book dealt with some tough issues, realistically and in a way that wasn’t overwhelming, adding a whole beautiful depth that I just wasn’t expecting. I liked the family aspect - and that Nico’s large family combated Kat’s lack of family, and both of their family issues. I really loved Nico’s family, they were so charming and real, and altogether likeable!

I appreciated that Royal Date avoided many of the ever present cliches typical in these kind of stories (book or movie). The prince’s family was kind and genuine and not against Kat at all. There was no previously arranged marriage, or marriage pressure. Some of the problems that would usually be blown way out of proportion were dealt with by a trust in each other and common sense. There was depth and issues, just not the cliches!

WARNING: Despite the description, there are plenty of swoon worthy kisses! It’s clean! You will most likely find yourself smiling uncontrollably! You will laugh out loud, and you might even giggle! It’s highly probable that you will have to add another book to your reread list. Girlish romance dreams and expectations may arise from hidden depths. You might wish to name your new fish Katerina and Nico.
Just kidding. Kind of!

Seriously, I could go on and on, but then I'd spoil everything and you really just need to read this book for yourself!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Blog Tour: Homecoming by Kate Hasbrouck

Today I am happy to bring to you Homecoming by Kate Hasbrouck!
Kerana is being sent to Earth to begin her duty as an Eldurian. Hers are a perfect people, without flaw and without sin, never experiencing the fall of man. Created by God to shepherd His people on Earth, they remain in the shadows, unnoticed. Kerana looks human, speaks like them, and has been taught to act like them. Above all her mission is to serve the humans.

Arriving on Earth, Kerana meets Eli at school. He is an ordinary human, with a father suffering from alcoholism, and a past that threatens to ruin his life. A star scholarship lacrosse player, Eli has to forget his true passion and live in a shell that doesn’t let anyone in. Until he meets Kerana. They find themselves intertwined in a connection that neither can quite explain. When this connection puts the two of them in danger, they find comfort and protection from each other. When Eli discovers that there is more to Kerana than just her stunning looks and grace, the Eldurians and their home planet                    of Eden may not remain a secret for very long.

About the Author
Kate Hasbrouck has been writing and creating stories for as long as she can remember. She had written several stories by the time she was a teen, but Homecoming was the first full manuscript she had ever written with the intention of sharing it with other people. She attended Houghton College, where she received her Bachelor’s degree with a dual-major in Writing and Psychology where she honed her skills. She lives in Florida with her husband, a youth pastor at a local church, where she spends time writing, ministering to teens, and enjoying the life God has given her. Homecoming is the first book in a trilogy.

My Review
If I had to choose one word to describe this book I would say breathtaking awe! Okay, so that’s two, but you’ll have to deal with it, because I can’t think of any better way!

This story speaks to the soul. It’s Inspiring and true messages wrapped around my heart, and warmed me with their beautiful truth. I could write all about it, but Kate Hasbrouck did such an amazing job that you really just need to go read it for yourself.

This novel is perfect for any Christian, anyone who is struggling with their faith, or anyone that just isn’t sure what they believe. As a Christian, I found this book and its message awe inspiring, and I loved the faith journeys that the characters went through. and how truth was so beautifully written and displayed in the setting and within the characters.

Also, the setting was very intriguing. The descriptions were delightful, and so easy to picture as Eli saw Eden with new eyes. I loved the culture of the Eldurians, and I really enjoyed getting to know them, their special powers, their calling, and their faith.

Now, the characters. I really like Kerana (I love that name) and Eli! They were both very relatable in their own ways. This book did deal with real life struggles, and I appreciated the way that the characters dealt with them. I also appreciated the relationship between Kerana and her parents, they were so close and she talked about everything with them, not hiding anything. We need to see a lot more of that in books!

I could go on and on, but I really think you should read this book for yourself and experience the beauty, truth, love, and grace that makes this book so breathtaking!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This in no way affected my opinions, and all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.

Want to enter the world of Eden? Kate is giving away a SIGNED copy of Homecoming (US only) and an ebook (INT) as a thank you to all who have been with her through her writing journey.

Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, April 6th
Tuesday, April 7th
Review at Lyric & Longhand
Wednesday, April 8th
Thursday, April 9th
Review at JoJo’s Corner
Friday, April 10th
Review at Wonderous Reviews
Tuesday, April 14th
Interview at A Writer’s Heart
Wednesday, April 15th
Saturday, April 18th
Review at Fictionally
Sunday, April 19th
Blog Tour Wrap Up at Crafty Booksheeps