Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Quick Hello

   Hi! I thought I should just write a quick note letting you know that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Between my two part-time jobs, I've been working 50+ hours a week, which doesn't leave a lot of time to write. I also haven't been getting enough sleep either. {I had to be at work at 5:45 this morning!} Or enough time to read! I'm hoping I'll be able to blog more in the new year.
A picture from this summer

   I'm planning on blogging about an upcoming book to movie adaption, my Chicago trip, and my favorite Gilmore Girls guy sometime within the next few weeks. I'll let you know when I do post them through my social media sites!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

86 Bloomberg Place Book Series Review

   I stumbled upon this series a year or two ago when I purchased the third book in the series at a used book sale. It ended up on my giant to-be-read bookshelf, and I forgot about it. I recently tracked down the first book of the series and decided to read the series ASAP.
Warning: There may be a *few* spoilers contained in this post, but I tried my hardest not to give too much away.

Series Synopsis
   This series centers on four post-college girls who are trying to make sense of life. The books are I Heart Bloomberg, Let Them Eat Fruitcake, Spring Broke, and Three Weddings & a Bar Mitzvah. In the first book, Megan, Anna, and Lelani apply to live at Kendall's (grandma's) house. They become roommates and start to form friendships even though Kendall is a narcissistic drama queen who keeps threatening to throw them out.
   In Let Them Eat Fruitcake, the girls plan for an upcoming Christmas party while dealing with various curve balls thrown their way. The Christmas season seems to bring the girls closer as they learn more about each other. Anna has to choose between her ex and the current guy she's dating. Megan is trying to survive her first holiday season without her dad. Kendall is obsessing over an unattainable guy, while Lelani's trying to figure out whether or not she should go home for Christmas.
   Spring Broke follows the girls as they make plans for spring break. Kendall is officially broke so she (with the rest of the girls' help) decides to host a garage sale. Lelani considers going home to see her parents and daughter. Anna is trying to convince her family that even though Edmond isn't Mexican, he is still a great guy, and she is old enough to make her own decisions about her life. Megan is still struggling with whether or not she should be dating the cute non-Christian Marcus. The girls, along with Marcus, Edmond, and Gil, all end up in Maui where there is a lot of drama.
   The last book, Three Weddings & a Bar Mitzvah, details the time leading up to a crazy weekend in June. Megan's boyfriend takes off for Africa, and she contemplates their relationship. Kendall is working through her pregnancy and her long-distance relationship with Killiki. Lelani is balancing work, taking care of Emma, and her relationship with Gil and his (sometimes difficult) family. Anna is trying to retain her freedom from her family while trying to figure out if her and Edmond have broken up. All of the girls are also stressing about the fact that two of them are to be married on the same day!

My Favourite Quotes
   "...the Queen B (as in B rhymes with witch)." I Heart Bloomberg page 179. I found this to be very funny and a perfect explanation of Kendall in this book, even though this quote isn't referring to her. This is how Christian authors bypass swearing! ;)
   " 'Amelia is such an idiot.' Of course, she smiled as she said this, giving a dainty little finger wave to Amelia as they drove in opposite directions down the street." Let Them Eat Fruitcake page 85. This is the perfect summary of Kendall. Plus, this whole scene made me laugh and shake my head. Kendall is so clueless for most of the series.
   " ' It's like you're a designer original,' Megan said finally. 'God designed you perfectly and paid top dollar for you.' " Spring Broke page 174. This quote just got to me. Sometimes, I forget how precious we are as God's children. I love books that have a good story line, but also subtly remind me of God's love.
   "He [God] had truly knit their hearts together." Three Weddings & a Bar Mitzvah page 294. This is a perfect end to the series. It makes me think of that one song about friends by Michael W. Smith.

My Review
   I loved all of the books in this series! I wish it could have been longer, but the ending was really great. The first book was more of an introduction to all of the characters. I liked getting the majority of their background info from this book, but still being surprised by revelations later on in the series. The second deals with the stress of the holidays and how the girls are affected. We also see more of Kendall's idiosyncrasies, which get her into a lot of trouble. Anna dealt with some really hard stuff, and I think it helped her grow up a bit more too. There was a lot more going on in this book than there was in the first one. The third book is all about planning and going to Hawaii. There was a lot of shuffling regarding who was going to Hawaii, and who was staying behind. In the end, everyone went and they all had a part in supporting Lelani's confrontation with her parents. Mrs. Potter was atrocious. She made Mrs. Mendez (Anna's mom) look like a saint! The forth book was a really great conclusion for the whole series. We meet most of Kendall's immediate family, which really explained Kendall's previous (spoiled) outlook on life. Most questions were answered, and there was a teary goodbye. Overall, this series was very captivating.
   My favorite of the four books would have to be Spring Broke, the third book in the series. It was also cool to see everyone in a different setting supporting one of their friends. I think everyone really grew on this trip, especially Kendall! Like I've mentioned before, up to this point I found Kendall to be insufferable, but by the end of this book, I actually liked her.
   This series was amazing, and I can't wait to read it again. Are there any new adult series that you love?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Darkness Reigns by Jill Williamson

   I follow many authors through Facebook, Twitter, and their own blogs. Through one of those, I found out that Jill Williamson was looking to put together a launch team for her upcoming series. I applied and found out a few weeks later that I was accepted! I read the book, Darkness Reigns, as soon as I could, and I couldn't wait to share my thoughts on it with you!

   The god of the soil is furious. Volcanic eruptions, sinkholes, earthquakes--everything points to his unhappiness. At least this is what the people of Armania in the Five Realms believe.
   Amidst the unsettling state of the world around them, the princes of Armania live their lives focused more on who will claim the throne after their sickly father, King Echad, dies. That is until Prince Wilek's concubine turns up dead--beside her, a bloodied message that seems to have come from the mother realms.

My Review
   This book is a must read for anyone who like clean, fantasy reads. It was extremely hard for me to put down. The plot was enchanting and easy to follow. It was fast-paced and interesting. There was action right from the beginning. The characters were very well-rounded and real, even though this story was on the short side. I often have trouble keeping track of multiple characters, but that was not an issue with this book. Jill Williamson did an amazing job of making the characters easy to follow. Plus, the character list in the beginning of the book was extremely helpful as well. One of the reasons I love this book is because it's hard (at least for me) to find clean fantasy novels. I love books that deal with various mythologies and different realms. There is even a bit of magic in this book as well. One of the best parts of the book was all of the detailed descriptions. "A face like a cabbage" (found on page 136 of Darkness Reigns) was just one of the more remarkable descriptions found in the book. There were only two things that confused me in this book. It often mentioned first sleep, but it was never explained what it is. I'm assuming it meant a nap time, but I wasn't entirely sure. The second thing it mentioned was morning bells. I didn't know if these rang at dawn or a specific time every morning. Other than that, this book was straightforward and a lot of fun to read!
   My favorite character is definitely Mielle. I love heroines who have a lot of spunk and think for themselves. She is not a damsel in distress. Plus, she easily sticks up for Lady Zeroah, even though they literally just met, which shows true loyalty. She is also not afraid to stick to her moral beliefs. I can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead for her in this series.
   This book is set to release on December 1st of 2015. 
   I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Book Review of "The Pastor's Daughter"

   I was contacted through Twitter by T. K. Ware asking if I would like to receive a free copy of his new book! I quickly accepted and was impressed enough by The Pastor's Daughter to share my thoughts here.

   An ill-advised relationship with a married man in the church sent Ebony down a path of regret, which led to an unplanned pregnancy. When the pressure of being the pastor's daughter and carrying a married man's child weighs upon her, emotions flare. Shortly afterwards, she threatens to publicize the entire affair, deciding to bear the consequences of the matter. Once her emotions settled, she saw from a different light.
   But the unexpected happens ...
   Because of shame and unprecedented conviction, Ebony is forced to confess as she battles with thoughts of betrayal to God, the church, and herself.

My Review
   I really liked how real this story felt. I truly did feel for Ebony and the mess that she was in. Although I liked seeing things from Ebony's point of view, I didn't care for the confessional chapters. I also found that there were a few grammar errors as well. I did like the way her parents and church handled the situation because it was very Christ-like. I'm afraid that that reaction doesn't happen too much in real life anymore. I also liked the sermon and Bible study parts of the story. I learned a thing or two from them and was curious enough to look up some of the verses myself. Overall, this was a nice, short read that was packed with a few life lessons.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Movies: Better than the Book Edition


   There are many instances were I find that the book are just more than the movie version. The books delve more into the characters backgrounds. They just have more details than can be translated into film. But, I have found some stories that work better in movie form than book. Here's a list of the most notable (in no particular order).
1. The Princess Bride
     OK. This is the only one that earned its numerical spot. It is by far my favorite movie. I love the many amazing quotes that are in it! A few years ago, I gave the book a try, since I loved the movie so much. It was horrible, boring, and it was the "abridged" version. There was far too many descriptions. Buttercup is a complete ditz (even worse than Bella, and that's saying something!). The book also seemed endless. The movie was much funnier and just better. Plus, the settings in the movie were gorgeous (except for the fire swamp, which was super creepy). The ROUSs were quite laughable. The princess was gorgeous, Wesley was dreamy, and the supporting characters were perfect. Maybe the book took "to the pain" too seriously.

2. The Nanny Diaries
     This movie was a great romantic comedy. The child "Nanny" was carry for was almost as awful as his mother, who was atrocious. The actress who played Mrs. X was perfect. The book was almost unbelievable. All of the characters seemed to be inconsiderate robots. Even Nanny. In fact, the book never gave "Nanny" a name! Plus, the book had a character, Josh, who kept randomly popping up, but who didn't seem to have a purpose. The book made me want to chuck it out the window a few times. The movie, on the other hand, was great. Scarlett Johansson made me actually felt sorry for Nanny. Plus, the movie was cleaner than the book!

3. Sundays at Tiffany's
     I was sorely disappointed by this book. I saw it before I read it. The book was alright, but the movie did a better job of accentuating the fact that Michael isn't real. The book seemed too long. Truthfully, I don't remember much about this book. I just remember disliking it. I do love the movie though!

4. The Time Traveler's Wife
     The first time seeing the movie, I was annoyed with the sudden disappearances. I could totally relate to the frustration that Clare often felt. The disappearances where even more noticeable in the book, which, for some reason, bugged me. I don't recall crying at the end of the book, but I definitely still do at the end of the movie. I connected with the movie versions of the characters more. I don't really have a good reason for liking the movie over the book. I just do.

5. The Princess Diaries
     To be fair, I only read the first book. And it took all my willpower to finish just that! Mia was obnoxious, the grandmother stiff, and Michael was just...wrong. I loved the movies growing up and am excited about the possibility of a third.

6. If I Stay
     This movie was just...beautiful. The characters were real. Mia was perfectly portrayed.  The book's writing was amazing, but the teenagerness of the characters got really annoying half way through. This wasn't much of a problem in movie form. I also cried more during the movie than the book. Maybe it's just me. The story is amazing, in both book and movie form. The movie is just a smidge better.

   In case you didn't notice, I am fond of some of these books. They just didn't live up to the movies.
   Are there any movies that you enjoyed more than the books? Sound off below!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Nook

   I purchased my Nook almost two years ago. So far, I love it! With it, I have:
  •  downloaded over 380 books,
  •  read about 70 different books on it (a few I have read more than once!),
  •  and taken it practically everywhere I go.
   It has always been a habit of mine to take a book with me wherever I go. I've taken books with me when I shop, travel, and go to school. In the past, I've broken purses because of the weight of my books. This was one of many reasons that I decided to purchase my Nook (I actually just keep it in my purse so I don't forget it). It is much lighter and smaller than physical books, which makes it easy to stuff in any sized purse or backpack. I have used it in one of my college classes, since the e-book was cheaper than a regular book. On breaks at work, I'd use it to pass the time. I don't need to be in WiFi to read. I just choose a book that's already downloaded and go.
   I chose the version I have because I knew if I had access to games and Facebook, I'd use those instead of reading on it. Since it is so small, I couldn't use it to download textbooks, but an app on my laptop from Barnes & Noble lets me download textbooks, which I found I liked more than physical versions.

   One of the biggest reasons that I decided to purchase an e-reader was because of discounted books. Out of all the books I own through my Nook, I estimate that I have paid for 30 of them. The rest I have downloaded for free! The free books have been from varying genres, authors, and time periods.

   While I adore my Nook, I do still buy "actual" books. I love both print and e-books and always will!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October Musings

   Hey! I've been really busy lately, and I'm not going to get to the post I had planned for today. Instead, I figured I'd just post a long ramble about what I've been doing lately! [Please bear with me]
It's a gorgeous fall day here!
   I have made a schedule for this blog. I'm just having trouble sticking to it! All of my upcoming posts are guaranteed fascinating, but it seems I'm more interested in writing certain posts. Which means I don't spend enough time working on others. I've been putting anywhere from 2.5 to 11 hours a week writing! Granted, that is not all for this blog. Some of it's for various stories I have going. {I have yet to start work on my writing contest entry. I do have a solid idea for a story though!} I swear the blinking cursor of death is also giving me writer's block!
   I started a part-time job at Kmart two weeks ago and have started the process of getting another part-time job cleaning. I've been working less than ten hours a week at Kmart, but so far, I really like the job! The cleaning job is going to be a more consistently scheduled job. Yay money!
   Baking is another thing that has been taking up some of my time. I've been experimenting with different gluten free recipes. Homemade bread and pancakes were (successfully!) made this week. I may tackle a soup next.
   As usual, I have also been reading a lot of books, listening to audio books, and watching Netflix. I watched 13 episodes of a series on Wednesday and finished the latest season last night. With the audio books I've been listening to while cleaning and baking, I have gotten slightly ahead of my Goodreads reading challenge. I also visit various libraries throughout the week to browse and write. I've been to four different locations just this week!
I arrived at one library 20 minutes early, so I wandered around for a bit.
   That about sums up what I've been doing. I hope you're enjoying fall!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Opinion of Georgiana Darcy’s Diary

     There are a lot of spin offs, fanfictions, and rewrites of Jane Austen's works.  Some of them are terrible, others are alright, but, every once in awhile, you may find some that are magnificent.  Georgiana Darcy’s Diary by Anna Elliott is one of the magnificent ones.

   Mr. Darcy's younger sister searches for her own happily-ever-after.
   The year is 1814, and it's springtime at Pemberley. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have married. But now a new romance is in the air, along with high fashion, elegant manners, scandal, deception, and the wonderful hope of a true and lasting love.
   Shy Georgiana Darcy has been content to remain unmarried, living with her brother and his new bride. But Elizabeth and Darcy's fairy-tale love reminds Georgiana daily that she has found no true love of her own. And perhaps never will, for she is convinced the one man she secretly cares for will never love her in return. Georgiana's domineering aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, has determined that Georgiana shall marry, and has a list of eligible bachelors in mind. But which of the suitors are sincere, and which are merely interested in Georgiana's fortune? Georgiana must learn to trust her heart and rely on her courage, for she also faces the return of the man who could ruin her reputation and spoil a happy ending, just when it finally lies within her grasp.

My Favorite Quote
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young lady of rank and property will have packs of money- or land-hungry suitors yapping around her heels like hounds after a fox."  ~Georgiana Darcy's Diary page 34 (in the Nook version)  I love this quote because it is reminiscent of the opening line of Pride and Prejudice.  I also like the fact that this quote shows a more sarcastic side of Georgiana.  Plus, the imagery is quite hilarious!
"It's just that it seems to me that what is a terrible hardship to one person may seem trivially small to another, but that does not necessarily make the hardship any the less hard to bear for the one who suffers it."  ~Georgiana Darcy's Diary page 287 (in the Nook version)  I think that this is so true and profound.  I have seen situations where someone is completely devastated by something that I wouldn't bat an eye at.  I guess it just comes down to what each person values in their life.

My Review
   This was the second book that I read that was written in diary form, and I believe that it is really well done!  [Although, I find my own diary very dull next to this piece of art.]  There are vibrant descriptions of various characters and of the area around Pemberley.  I found it very easy to imagine the various gowns that were described throughout the book.  The author does an amazing job of sticking to how Austen originally portrayed her characters.  I think she got Aunt de Bourgh spot on!  I also liked that she made Caroline Bingley more relatable, and we got to Anne better too!  Sketches are also occasionally included in this book.  Besides a few grammar mistakes, this is an amazing read!  [Note: the mistakes I'm talking about could just be from the fact that the version I have is an e-book.]  I thought I could guess a few of the twists in the book, but it turned out that I was only partially right.  This book was peppered with the right amounts of drama, surprises, and romance.  The one thing that made me love this book is the fact that it was from Georgiana's point of view.  I loved getting to know her better, and I hope you give her a chance as well!

Note: The last time I checked, this book was free for Nook.  Here's the link:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Easy GF French Toast in a Mug

  I recently found out that gluten was messing with my digestive system, and it was best if I ate gluten less often.  Since then, I have almost gone completely gluten free.  So, I have been coming up with creative ways that I can still eat the food that I enjoy most, sans gluten.  I have previously savored this recipe using whole grain bread, and I found that it works with gluten free white bread too.

What you need:
  • A mug (I use a giant mug)
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 2 Slices of bread (GF or whatever you prefer)
  • A separate bowl
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tablespoons of milk
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon of sugar
  • A few drops of vanilla
  • Syrup (if you wish)
 {One of my favorite mugs.}
  1. Melt the butter in the mug by putting it in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
  2. Cube (or rip) the bread into bite-sized pieces and place in the mug. {The egg mixture.}
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, milk, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla with a fork.
  4. Pour over the bread, and let it sit for a minute so the bread can soak up the mixture.
  5. Put it in the microwave for approximately two minutes.
  6. Let cool.  Add syrup if desired.  Enjoy!

Note: I used 3 slices of gluten free bread since the slices were very small.  Remember: you may also use regular bread for this recipe as well.
Finished product!
I originally found this recipe here:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

5 Books That Would Make Great Movies


   Have you ever read a book and wished that it could be made into a movie or TV series?  I'm talking an in-depth, not leaving anything out adaption.  Of course, that rarely happens.  But I can dream, can't I?  Granted, there are a TON of books that I wish would be made into movies, but I narrowed the list down to my top five choices.

5. The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper
This is an amazing story about Kate, a teenager who gets the chance to spend the summer studying Shakespeare in Verona, Italy. There are amazing costumes, a giant maze, and a dash of romance. It reminds me of Letters to Juliet, but it spends more time talking about Shakespeare and a few of his plays. I would love if this was made into a movie because I want to see all of the costumes and settings that the book describes. Plus, it would be a clean, romantic teen movie, which I don't think there are currently enough of.

4. Cape Refuge by Terri Blackstock
This is the first book of a four book Christian fiction series that is set in the small island town of Cape Refuge. The story follows the Owens family as their small town is shocked by multiple murders throughout the series. I love that we get to see the perspectives of the Owens sisters in this series as they go through various big life changes. I also love books that feature murder in a small town because the narrator normally is friends with the killer. I think this book would have great potential as a movie series!

3. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
Three words can perfectly sum up this six book series. Girls'. Spy. School. Another teen romance book made my list, but this one includes lots of action, secrets, and intrigue. This series is well written, and I think it would easily translate into film. It's reminiscent of Alex Rider, except all of Cammie's friends know she's a spy, because they attend spy school as well. The only teen spy movies I've seen have been about boys. I think this would do well as a movie because it's got a female teen spy who's mother is the principal of said girls' spy school. As far as I can tell, Disney owns the movie rights for the book, and there was talk a few years ago about two producers who were interested in the series. This one might happen!

2. Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones
Yes. I know. Another book by Jenny B. Jones is on my blog. To be honest, she is my favorite author! I would love for this book to be made into a movie because I love stories where the couple is just pretending to be a couple until they realize that they actually DO have romantic feelings for each other. Lucy runs a home for girls who have graduated out of the foster care system. Alex is an ex-football player who wants to run for office. Both are extremely sarcastic and can't really stand each other in the beginning. That's a pretty good basis for a successful rom-com!

1. The Homelanders Series by Andrew Klavan
Charlie goes to bed one night a normal teenager and wakes up tied to a chair in a completely empty room. And he just heard someone outside the door give the order to kill him! That's one of the many reasons as to why I believe that this would be a great movie (because that is the actual beginning of this series). Also, later in the book, Charlie comes to find out that he's a few years older than he remembers, and he doesn't regain his memories until the fourth book. He's like a teenage Bourne, just with a lot less killing. [Trust me, there are still plenty of scenes that include running from the cops, explosions, and kidnappings.] At one point, there were people working to make this into a movie, but for one reason or another it didn't happen. I still have hope though!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of these books. The books pictured above are all owned by me (Except for Cape Refuge, which was my mom's. My version contains the first two books of the series.). I hope you enjoyed reading this list! Are there any books that you wish would be translated unto film? Comment below!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What I've Been Doing Since Graduation

   Just like my description says, I graduated in May from community college.  What you may not know is that I graduated with three degrees, one certificate, and honors.  I may have only attended for five semesters, but I learned a few things during that time about myself and the world in general.  In case you are curious as to what I've been up to since then, here's a short recap.
My tassel

   Since then, I have worked at (and quit) two different jobs.  One job I left because it was too hectic to work both jobs at once.  The other I left because I was having health issues and calling in sick a lot.  It took awhile to find out what was wrong with me.  Right now, we believe that my health problems are the results of being stressed out too much and gluten.  The stress was causing headaches that felt like someone had placed a vice around my head and was squeezing very hard.  Gluten seems to be something that my body can not process large amounts of.  I currently eat [mostly] gluten free.  The occasional deviance doesn't seem to hurt me too much.  I should know more after I see a specialist in October. 
   There has been about a month and a half between quitting my last job and now.  In that time, I have; filled out numerous job applications, been a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding, finished one series on Netflix and started another, come up with a strategy for my blog, and completely revamped a story that I have been working on for the last few years [I decided to change it from YA to NA].
Summer writing space
   I am currently going through the process of filling out paperwork before starting a new job.  I plan on working through next summer, then going back to college to pursue a major in psychology with a possible a minor in English.  I would eventually like to become a counselor who works with children, but that's just an idea.
   Something else I am currently working on is entering a short story writing contest.  I haven't really written a short story before, but I'm going to give it my best shot.  I have until November, which means I'll be cutting it close.  This will be the third writing contest that I have entered.
Another favorite writing space

   That's a short recap of what I have been doing lately.  I'm going to try to write on here more, but no promises!  I'm honestly more active on other social media sites.
Here's my Twitter:
My Pinterest:
And my Tumblr: 
I hope you'll visit again.  :D

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Made to Last

This is the third time I've read Made to Last, and I thought I would share my thoughts on this cute tale!
Miranda Woodruff, star of the homebuilding show "From the Ground Up," will do anything to keep the job she loves. Due to a painful broken engagement and a faith she's mostly forgotten, she's let her entire identity become wrapped up in the Miranda everyone sees onscreen. So when she receives news that the network might cancel her program, she must do the very thing she fears most: let the spotlight shine on her closely guarded personal life. The only problem? She's been living a lie--letting viewers believe she's married--and now she's called upon to play wife to a sweet, if a bit goofy, pretend husband to boost ratings. 

Desperate to help his family and prove he's not a total failure, reporter Matthew Knox is looking for a breakout story. When he's offered the opportunity to do an online serial feature on Miranda Woodruff, he jumps at the chance, even if celebrity reporting isn't really his thing. But as soon as he meets Miranda, he knows she's keeping secrets. 

When Miranda's former fiance suddenly appears on the scene again, she doubts her life could get more complicated. Juggling three guys, an on-the-rocks television show, and the potential exposure of her deception is way more than she bargained for. Can the woman who makes things look so good onscreen admit it's time to tell the truth about who she is? And if she does, will the life Miranda's built come crashing down just as she's finally found a love to last?

My Favorite quote
"Intoxicating, almost giddy energy took over as they slashed and spewed paint at each other.  The paint fumes and Miranda's  nearness conspired to bully his common sense into nothing.  Another river of red paint hit his chest, and he dropped his weapons, circling an arm around Miranda to pry the spray gun from her hands.  She twisted, bumping an elbow against his stomach, her hair sticking to the paint on his face.
'Brad is going to kill me!' Miranda said through a fit of hysterics.  But she'd stopped trying to get away from him, instead standing in place inside his hold, giving in to her laughter, her arms turning to noodles as she lowered the paint gun."  {pages 120-121}  This is one of my favorite funny scenes from the book.  I mean, what else are you supposed to do when someone starts throwing paint at you?! ;)

My Review
   I absolutely love Melissa Tagg's debut novel Made to  Last.  I am fond of the way that her characters express themselves.  While they have flaws, Miranda, Blaze, and Matthew are endearing.  Miranda's the spunky, independent tomboy who's heart was majorly damaged.  Blaze is a humorous, adventurous guy who doesn't let us in on much of his past.  Matthew is trying to decide between helping pay for a surgery that could help his niece hear again or keeping the secrets he's learned about Miranda.  Even the minor characters are interesting, especially Matthew's brother's family.  
   I really like the fact that we got an inside scoop on both Miranda's and Matthew's struggles.  This book was written through both of their points of views, and it was done flawlessly.  I also liked that we got to see the revival of both of their faiths.
   Overall, this book played out like a well-written romantic comedy with a Christian flair.  If you're a fan of contemporary stories with funny, independent handywomen who fall in love with nosy reporters, then this is a book for you!  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Just One Summer Book Review

I recently finished reading Just One Summer by Nicole Deese, Tammy L. Gray, Amy Matayo, and Jenny B. Jones.
Four Best Friends. Four Love Stories. Just One Summer.

Four college girls, best friends since childhood, have found one constant in their ever-changing lives--summer. Every June the girls choose a destination to reconnect, only this summer is different. This year, each one must face life's challenges on her own, overcome fear and failure, and learn the beauty of falling in love for the first time.

My Favorite Quote
I actually found two different parts in this book that stood out to me.

   " do you explain fear to a person who freely runs toward the future?  You can't." (A Summer Remade by Nicole Deese page 129)  I like this quote because I think a lot of college age people feel this way.  We fear what will happen in our futures and if we are currently making the right choice.  I really like reading stories were I can identify with characters on a more personal level.

   "People just like me, but with different shells.  But shells are just that -a personalized way of presenting ourselves to the world-a world that's spinning and moving and changing and filled with so much exterior color that often people forget to stop running and take a second to look around." (A Painted Summer by Amy Matayo page 246)  This quote I found interesting because I've met people who may look different or even scary on the outside, but they turned out to be some of the nicest, most kindhearted people I have ever met.  I also loved that the author used the word "shells" to describe one's outward appearance.

   Note: I'm not pretending to know what the authors meant by these bits that I extracted.  I'm just sharing how each quote made me think about my life and the world around me.

My Review
   I picked up this book because one of my favorite authors wrote one of the short stories in it.  I had previously never heard of any of the other authors, but I thoroughly enjoyed each novella.  Since each story had a different author, all of the girls had a distinct voice and personality.  Joss' passion is interior design, but she's afraid to follow her dreams.  Sydney's trying to escape controlling parents and an ex-boyfriend who won't take no for an answer.  Darby's living on her own and working at a job that she doesn't quite know if she approves of morally.  Avery is unwillingly reconnecting with a grandfather she's never met.  Each girl sorts through her own life's drama while trying to balance her love life and keeping in touch with her other best friends.  I enjoyed Avery's story the most, because stories of families working through their problems and finding redemption always make me tear up, but in a good way.  My favorite male lead was Lennon, Darby's love interest.  I like guys who may look like the bad boy on the outside, but actually is super sweet.
   I also really enjoyed this story because it was about people my own age.  Clean New Adult books are hard to find, but this one is definitely what I've been looking for!