Book Review: The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Title: The Forgetting

Author: Sharon Cameron

Genre: Dystopian/YA

My Rating: 4 of 5


Thanks to Gabrielle for recommending this book to me! ūüôā

I’d been dying for a good dystopian book to read when I finally got my hands on a copy of The Forgetting. It didn’t take more than reading a few chapters to decide I was going to like it. The writing felt intentional and thoughtful, not shallow like in a lot of YA books. The premise was unique and intriguing. The protagonist was likable. I didn’t want to put The Forgetting down.

In¬†The Forgetting, Nadia lives in Canaan, a city where every twelve years everyone forgets…everything. Who they are, who their family members are, what they do for a living–every person in Canaan forgets everything. Except Nadia. At the last Forgetting, she didn’t lose any of her memories. But like everyone else in Canaan, she writes the details of her life down in a book. Needless to say, things aren’t quite right in Canaan, and Nadia is determined to find out what.

One of my favorite parts of The Forgetting is how unique the premise was. I’ve read my share of dystopian novels, and so it’s rare that one stands out from the rest. But The Forgetting certainly did. There was something very fresh about it, not to mention there were some pretty shocking plot twists that took the story in a direction I didn’t expect.

I liked Nadia as the protagonist. She was also a little different from most YA heroines. She wasn’t the overly-tough warrior girl with an attitude problem; she was more of a clever thinker than a fighter. I appreciated how she looked after her family members, even when they didn’t always treat her right. Family was a big theme that I enjoyed.

My biggest complaint with¬†The Forgetting¬†is that I was a little passive about the romance (no love triangle though, thank goodness!). I enjoy a good love story, but for some reason the one in this book just didn’t work for me.¬†Not to mention some of the kissing scenes got a little more intense than I usually prefer. I’ve definitely read worse, but I still wish it had been toned down just a little bit. I also wish the author hadn’t made one of the minor guy characters have a crush on one of the other guy characters.¬†It wasn’t necessary at all and I ¬†wish that part had been left out.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot! Some of the content could have been left out, but I still thought The Forgetting was an exciting, well-written, on-the-edge-of-your-seat read. I look forward to the sequel that comes out later this year, I think.

Have you read The Forgetting? What did you think?

 

 

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Book Review + Giveaway: Flummoxed by Kristin Spencer

Hey, everyone!

I’m super excited that today I’ll be posting a new book review…and doing a giveaway! ūüėÄ Keep reading to the end of the post for giveaway details.

(For some reason, I can’t get the picture to load…I’ll try to add one later!)

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of¬†Flummoxed,¬†the sequel to her middle grade contemporary novel,¬†Newfangled¬†(you can read my review of the first book here).¬†This was a really fun sequel!¬†Flummoxed¬†continues where¬†Newfangled¬†left off, but with new challenges in Olive’s life. A family friend is getting married, Olive awaits to hear back on a writing contest she entered, and Olive has some boy drama of her own.

As I mentioned in my review of the first book, Olive is a likable and relatable character. She may not always go about it the right away, but ultimately she wants to help others as best she can. I loved reading about a character who wants to raise awareness of certain¬†issues through writing. ūüėČ She has a good support group of friends and family who help her out along the way.

Flummoxed¬†deals with controversial issues, like refugees and racism, as well as some other hot topics among Christians like if it’s okay to date a non-believer and the dangers of social media. I may not have agreed with the conclusion the characters reached on every single one of those issues, but the author’s heart was easy to see. I appreciated reading a book (like¬†Spin by Darcie Gudger) that wasn’t afraid to address difficult topics. All are addressed in a manner appropriate for younger teens, though!

Overall, this series has been a lot of fun and definitely points the reader to Christ. I think late middle-school and early high-school age readers are definitely the target audience, but I still enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing what direction the series takes in the third book!

Now, I’m super excited to announce that I’m giving away one¬†paperback copy of¬†Flummoxed.¬†To enter, just sign up for my blog e-mail updates¬†(which can be found on the right-hand side of the screen, beneath the “Welcome to My Blog” box). All you need to do is enter your e-mail address and follow the instructions in the following confirmation e-mail. Then you’ll be entered for a chance to win the book! ūüôā

The contest will be open from April 6 through April 20. The winner will be notified via e-mail after that.

Thanks for reading!


Do you think authors should address controversial topics in their books? Is there a book that dealt with these kinds of issues that you particularly enjoyed? 

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Book Review: In the Shadow of Denali by Kimberley Woodhouse and Tracie Peterson

Hi, everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted! I had some technical difficulties with my blog, but my hosting company fixed it! I’m very excited to post my review of¬†In the Shadow of Denali¬†by Kimberley Woodhouse and and Tracie Peterson.

(Fun fact: I interviewed Mrs. Woodhouse’s daughter in this post)


Their Future Depends on Unlocking the Secrets the Mountain Holds From the Past

Cassidy Ivanoff and her father, John, work at the new and prestigious Curry Hotel near the foot of Mount McKinley–Denali as it’s still called by the natives. John is the wilderness and exploration guide for the wealthy tourists while Cassidy works in the kitchen as Cook’s assistant. The entire staff buzzes with excitement during the busy days preparing for the President’s imminent visit. His historic trip to dedicate the new national park on his way to driving in the golden spike to officially complete the Alaska Railroad will be the beginning of a new era for all of them and place The Curry at the heart of Alaska.

Allan Brennan travels to the Curry Hotel to be an apprentice to the seasoned Alaska mountain guide, with hopes of discovering the truth about his father’s death on the mountain years earlier. His father’s business partner blames the guide for Henry Brennan’s untimely death, but Allan cannot be at peace until he knows for sure. He finds an unlikely ally in Cassidy, and as the two begin to look into the mystery, they suddenly find that things are much less clear, and much more dangerous, than either could ever imagine.

*Book cover image and synopsis taken from the publisher’s website*


There were so many things about this book I really, really enjoyed.

  • Cassidy was a very likable character. In a time where most fictional heroines are cynical and vengeful, Cassidy’s sweet innocence was a refreshing breath of fresh air.
  • Family relationships played a big role which was awesome! We don’t see very many¬†family relationships–especially child-father relationships–in books.
  • Cassidy works in a kitchen and reading about all the desserts she baked¬†definitely made me hungry.
  • I haven’t read a lot of books that take place in Alaska, so that was cool to read.
  • I could tell the authors put a lot of research into make sure the historical setting was accurately portrayed. I love history, particularly American history, so there were some intriguing facts in this book.
  • The Christian message didn’t feel like an after-thought but a seamless part of the story.

There were a few complaints I had, though:

  • The romance developed way too quickly. At just a few chapters in, the main characters were already thinking about how much they liked each other. They had just met, and I didn’t find this totally realistic. Their relationship was sweet, but it developed a little too fast for me.
  • The mystery aspect felt a little…lackluster. I don’t think it was intended to be very suspenseful, but it fell flat to me.

Despite those two complaints, I still really enjoyed In the Shadow of Denali. I liked the characters and themes a lot. While I may not read a lot of historical romance (you know, space travel, corrupt future governments, and castles are more my thing), I thought this was a really sweet book!

*Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a copy!*


Have you read In the Shadow of Denali? What did you think?

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Series Review: War of Rain by H.W. Vivian

First of all, I would like to thank the author for sending me both of her novels so I could review them!

There are two books in this series:¬†War of Rain¬†and¬†The Goddess. War of Rain¬†is about a teenage girl who is sent on a journey to save her people.¬†The Goddess¬†is about a teenage girl whose world is turned upside down. There are some similarities in the stories–an impending war between people groups due to the protagonist’s actions, a subtle hint of romance, the protagonist wondering if¬†everything they grew up believing is a lie. The plots were quick-paced and both books were fairly easy reads.

The stories had enough differences to be unique from each other, however. War of Rain had more of a fantasy feel while The Goddess felt more futuristic. Overall, I thought the story of The Goddess was more engaging and offered more in the way of plot twists.  I enjoyed the crisp first-person writing in both books. Not too wordy with a decent amount of emotion.

Here is my biggest complaint: While I was under the impression that the books were Christian, after reading them I decided the worldview does not reflect a Biblical one.¬†War of Rain,for example,¬†wonders why the different religious groups don’t just get along because they all serve the same God. Jesus makes it clear that He is the only Savior (John 14:6). This (short) article also points out that various religious can’t all be true if they contradict each other¬†in their basic beliefs about God. I didn’t notice this view in¬†The Goddess; but both books overall depicted general¬†spirituality, not a personal relationship with the one true Savior, Jesus Christ. While I enjoyed the suspense¬†and the writing, the un-Biblical worldview was a ¬†turn-off for me.

Your turn: Does a book’s worldview affect your opinion of it?

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Book Review: Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig

This Is the Way the World Ends.

Four years after a tragic mission decimated his team, Cole “Tox” Russell has been disavowed by the United States. And that’s fine–he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed, Tox is lured back into action.

Tox and his former Special Forces team regroup to work with FBI deception expert, Kasey Cortes, and fiery archaeologist, Tzivia Khalon, to search the globe for answers–and a cure. As the mission leads from one continent to another, it becomes clear they’re not just fighting a plague but battling an ancient secret society whose true goals remain hidden.

With time running out and the threat for a global pandemic rising, Tox and his team realize their sole chance might be to reach back through centuries of silence to find the only answer that can save them all.

*Book cover and synopsis found on the publisher’s website*


Secret organizations+Biblical history+a dangerous virus=Conspiracy of Silence.

Conspiracy of Silence¬†is very exciting. Wow. The action is nonstop and you’re never sure who to trust. There are tons of twists that resulted in me quickly turning pages to figure out what happened next.

Also, I loved the fact that Biblical history and archeology played a big role in the plot. The book frequently refers to the book of Numbers, and I appreciated reading a book where the Bible events are regarded as history.

I’ve read several¬†Christian mystery books, and I’ve noticed that a lot of them have overpowering romance elements . Not so with¬†Conspiracy of Silence.¬†Romance is present, but it doesn’t dominate the story. I do feel like the relationship could have been developed a little bit better, but overall I was pleased that the actual mystery was given the highest priority.

If you enjoy quick-paced suspense novels, I think you’ll like¬†Conspiracy of Silence!

*My Rating: 4 of 5 stars*

Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a copy of Conspiracy of Silence! The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Do you enjoy books where Biblical history play a big role?

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Book Review: Life after ELE by J.C. Morrows

life-after-ele-jc-morrows-hd-coverExtinction Level Event: An event where all species on the planet can become extinct.

Rule#1: Be inside the gates before sunset.

Eve was born inside the caves. She was taught that rule ‚Äď and many others ‚Äď before she could walk. It should be the easiest thing in the world for her to remember.

But life is not always simple.

Life does not always go as planned.

When a rogue moon was discovered on a collision course with the Earth, we thought we had a solid plan.

We were wrong. And we were lied to.

Now Eve is in a race against time, discovery and danger around every corner ‚Äď to find a truth that has been hidden for more than ten years.

A truth her father died to protect her from.

*Image and blurb taken from the author’s website*


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Book Review: Reached by Ally Condie

The final installment of a trilogy is always bittersweet.

There’s the excitement of finally seeing how the story ends. There’s nothing more satisfying than to come to the resolution of a series you’ve invested time and emotion into. But there’s also a bit of hesitation. What if the series doesn’t end as you hoped it would? There’s the realization that this is the last time you’ll visit the world and characters.

Isn't that cover amazing?
Isn’t that cover amazing?
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Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: Dystopian


Divergent .

One of the biggest fandoms alongside¬†Twilight¬†and¬†The Hunger Games.¬†It has all the elements of the typical YA novel: tough heroine, mysterious hero, a bit of rebellion, and a whole lot of action.¬†All of my friends read it and loved it, so I decided to give it a try. After reading it, I decided it wasn’t the worst thing I’d ever read…but I also didn’t think it was the best book I’d ever read.

Personally…

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Book Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Title: Crossed

Author: Ally Condie

Genre: Dystopian

CRossedPic

In a previous post, I reviewed Matched by Ally Condie, which is one of my all-time favorite books and the beginning of an amazing dystopian series. It’s common for the first book of a trilogy to be good, while the other two books tend to, unfortunately, fall flat. Secular series especially tend to be disappointing, as the inappropriate content often increases with each book.

But what about with the Matched series?

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