Reintegration (Reintegration #1) by Ashley Bogner – Release Day And Review

Hullo, friends! I’m super excited to be sharing a book review with all of you today! I was given an eARC of this to review, and I enjoyed it spook much! Up until lately, I’ve been reading a lot of good books, but Reintegration is the first book in a while that’s made me fangirl and really really enjoy reading it.

As mentioned above, I received a free ARC of this book, but all thoughts are my own, and I wasn’t required to give a positive review (I just loved it!).

Oh. My. Goodness. Where to start with this review????? There are so many things I loved!

Plot

I loved the plot of this book! It was super exciting and kept me reading, but there was also a lot of slower spots where there was a lot of character development, which was sooo good. And just the whole idea of a dystopian society like this (I’m trying to fangirl without spoiling!) and trying to erase someone’s memories to make them fit into society…. It was so good, and such a fun ride!

I also loooooved the plot twists, too. I saw some of them coming, but it was the kind of “seeing it coming” that was really satisfying when I was right.

Characters

I absolutely have to do this in list form. XD

  • Katherine: I usually tend to like side characters more than main characters, but I actually really liked Katherine. She was multi-layered, and her doubt over everything she’d been taught was portrayed in a realistic and believable way. I loved her progression from perfect student to doubt and beyond. You can tell from the blurb that she begins to question things, but it wasn’t done in a cliche or forced way, and her inner conflict was portrayed SO WELL. There were a few times I didn’t like things Katherine did (there was some tension at one point where all I could think was “just ASK HIM!!!!”). Despite that, I really liked her!
  • Matthew: Oh my goodness, I loved Matthew! He was so sweet and innocent, especially post-Reintegration, and I loved his reaction to Chelsea flirting. Also, his morals were great and I loved how they were portrayed as something natural and normal. Also he is adorable and I want to hug him. ❤
  • Chelsea: At first I thought she was just going to be a foil to Katherine and a side character, but I like what happened with her. Without spoiling anything, I have to say that I loved her role in the plot twist that I did not see coming.
  • Haynes: I knew her role in the story as soon as we first met her, and she was sooo good! Honestly, she was very chilling and a good villain, although she did fall into monologuing/revealing evil plan mode a few times.
  • Thompson: AHHHH THOMPSON. Basically he is awesome and I very much want to hug him and protect him. That is all.

All of the characters were so we’ll developed, and I loved all of them (except for the evil ones). I think the only thing I didn’t like was that some of the characters (Haynes and Thompson, for example) were referred to by their last names most of the time, so I don’t even remember their first names. It’s mostly a personal preference because last names seem more distanced to me, but that didn’t really bother me much at all when I was reading it. 🙂

Theme

I don’t usually talk about themes much when I review books, but this book… The terms were at the root of the plot, so I can’t really mention one without mentioning the other. This dystopian society was so realistic because their views on tolerance we’re so similar to those of our society today–these people had just taken this to the next level. I loved the portrayal of right and wrong as absolute (in spite of what society said). Plus, the way guilt was described without being called guilt was just amazing!!! Overall, this book portrayed its theme so well, and I immensely enjoyed it! 

Theories

So I want to talk about my theories soooo much, but I don’t want to spoil the book for those of you who want to read it but haven’t yet. I’ve put them in spoiler tags on my Goodreads review, and you can check them out there if you want to. 🙂

Overall, I immensely enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it. It’s a fun, clean story, with great Christian themes and an awesome plot. You can check it out on Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads, and follow Ashley Bogner’s blog. You can also read more about the book in my cover reveal post.

Do you want to read Reintegration now? (Do it, do it, do it!!!) Have you already read it? Comment below!

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Samara’s Peril Blog Tour | My Thoughts on the Ilyon Chronicles and Resistance

Hullo, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted! I meant to take a small hiatus, and then accidentally took a quite long hiatus. Whoops. Never fear, I’ll be posting another part of Twinepathy tomorrow. Until then, I have a special post for today. Jaye L. Knight’s newest book in the Ilyon Chronicles has just been released! I’ve really loved this series, and I’m very excited about Samara’s Peril! In fact, today I was supposed to do a review of it… but since I haven’t finished reading it yet, that would be very difficult. 😉 Instead, I’ll be telling you about my introduction to this series and posting my original review of Resistance, which… well, I must admit, it involved a lot of fangirling. 🙂 Hopefully this will convince you to give the series a try if you haven’t already!

I had seen the Ilyon Chronicles around quite a bit, and seen a lot of fangirling about it. I actually had the books on my Kindle for a while before I actually got around to reading them. And here’s a fun fact – Resistance was the first fantasy book I read after reading The Lord of the Rings. Surprisingly enough, I enjoyed Resistance just as much as Tolkien’s classic, only in a different way. Resistance had amazing characters and awesome Christian themes, and now this series is one of my all-time favorites. I was very pleased to hear that there are quite a few more books in the making. *rubs hands in happy anticipation* On to the review!!!

(This review is from past me, but I’ve added some more current thoughts in italics.)

I guess I should go ahead and review this before I finish The King’s Scrolls. 😉 This book was absolutely AMAZING. I adored every single part of it (except the parts I wasn’t supposed to, of course) and I just WANT ALL MY PRECIOUS PEOPLES TO BE HAPPY! *squeezes everyone in a giant group hug*

The Good
Oh oh oh, where to start? I absolutely loved all of the characters. I really, really, really love Jace. He’s amazing. I also love Tyra. ❤ I desperately want a wolf for a pet now. Or maybe not. A very tame wolf, thank you very much. As in, my dog. And then Trask and Tane and Kaden and Kyrin and Rayad OH RAYAD and Kalli and Aldor *sniff* and Lenae… I can’t find room to list everyone!!!!!

AND THEN THE PLOT! I love the switching third person POV, and all of the tension. These poor characters are getting tortured. *sniff sniff* Now that I look back on it, it’s not quite as bad as that. And I do the same thing in my own writing… But I also love all the faith themes and the introductions of different races.

And then Ilyon. Although I don’t have all the place names and their relative positions memorized like I do for some books (*cough* Middle Earth, anyone?), I really enjoyed all of the thought that Jaye had put into everything. Basically this book was one big treat that I gobbled down. (And don’t tell anyone, but this is almost as good as LotR… shhhhh.)

The Bad

*cough*
*blink*
*scratches head*
Um.
I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like… AT ALL. (Except Daican. And Davira. But I’m not supposed to, so…) I do wish there was more of Jace than Kyrin, though…

The Ugly
Several executions, and many people get injured. Nothing too graphic. No other questionable content.


And now I have more! When I wrote this review for Resistance, I was already pretty far into The King’s Scrolls, and now I have Samara’s Peril. And speaking of Samara’s Peril, let me introduce you to the star of this blog tour!

About the Book

When news arrives that Emperor Daican has been in contact with his chief war strategist, it signals potential doom for the country of Samara. Determined to intervene, the resistance in Landale, headed by Lady Anne, embark on a covert mission in hopes of unearthing further information. However, a shocking discovery leads to complications no one could have foreseen. Armed with their newfound knowledge, they set out for Samara to warn the king. War is inevitable, and they must face two desperate battles—one on the walls of Samara’s great stronghold, and the other on the battlefield of Jace’s heart, where victory might only be achievable through great sacrifice.

Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!

Add to Goodreads

Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!

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About the Author

Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy.  Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.

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Check out the full tour schedule and the awesome Rafflecopter giveaway on Jaye’s blog!

SMAUG1

The Hills of Innocence Trilogy Blog Tour

Hullo, everyone! Today I’m participating in the blog tour for the first book in the Hills of Innocence Trilogy by Willowy Whisper, The Innocent. I picked this book up on Amazon almost right after it was published, and I was so excited by how awesome it was! I’ll stop rambling and get on with the review… although I may or may not ramble in the review. 😉

The Innocent 2

I have never been a big fan of Western books.

I’ve figured out that this is because most Western books I’ve read fit into one of two categories: school-ish historical fiction or romance. Neither of those are my type, and most of the ones I’ve read are horribly cliché, as well.

But this one… sure, it has some romance, but it’s a Western mystery! And that, my friends, was what hooked me from the start.

The book jumps right into the action. While our main character, Harvey, is investigating, Willowy gives us little hints to unravel ourselves. If you pay attention, you can figure it out before the characters do! I sort of did, although it was more like a very, very strong guess. 😉 And I was right!

The Innocent had me hooked from the very beginning, and I seriously only put it down once. I found the characters memorable and intriguing, and the plot was absolutely wonderful. I really enjoyed all the twists and turns, and I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, fast-paced read!

Add it on Goodreads

Buy on Amazon

See the rest of the blog tour participants

Book Review: Our Intrepid Heroine by Ness Kingsley

I believe this is the first fantasy book I’ve read since Ashlee Willis’s The Word Changers… which, yes, I will be reviewing soon. I need to reread it first, though, since it’s been so long, and I might as well review this book while it’s fresh in my memory. 🙂

ourintrepidheroinecover

 This book was awesome. The prologue was wonderful… I’m not the type who skips over prologues, and I certainly would not skip over this one. I really liked Ness’s writing style.

When I began to read the first chapter, I was a little annoyed because the narrator kept interrupting the story, which made it take a while for the story to get started. But I really got to like the narrator and didn’t mind so much. She – I assume it’s a she – added some awesome irony and just helped add some extra zing to the story. Zing. What a fun word. Just like the story. 😀

Back on track. Our Intrepid Heroine (which is how I must refer to her) was a really good character. All of the characters were nice. “The Female” was appropriately annoying, I must say. 😉 But somehow I still liked her a little.

This plot… *sigh* Just the idea behind it was enough to pull me in. A girl going to kill a dragon… which she’s never done before. I could tell the story was going to be funny just by reading the summary. “And a frog” is now going to be my go-to funny line when listing things off. 😉 I was definitely not disappointed. Ness Kingsley has a wonderful sense of humor. The situations, the characters, the narrator, and Our Intrepid Heroine’s dragon-killing instruction book… all just wonderfully crafted. (And I’ve found myself referring to her book as the How To Kill Your Dragon book since I can’t remember the title. 😛 )

I can’t wait for the sequel to this book to come out! Go check out Ness’s blog, and go get Our Intrepid Heroine! You’ll love it, and it’s totally worth it! 🙂

Book Review: Under God by TobyMac and Michael Tait

Under God Cover

I just finished reading this book, and it is amazing!

Under God is a compilation of stories of sacrifice and faith from America’s history. From the American Revolution to the Civil War to the post-Civil-War segregation, this book is filled with touching and inspiring true stories. As TobyMac states in the book: “Knowing the past is crucial to dealing with the present.”

Along with awesome quotes…

Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.

-Adlai Stevenson, American Statesman

“Racism is not a skin problem; it’s a sin problem.”

-Nathel Tait, Michael Tait’s father

And touching stories like the Sand Creek Massacre, there are some great verses pointed out and wonderful commentary. I highly recommend this book. It was absolutely awesome.

Book Review: Invisible by Lorena McCourtney

WARNING: This is book one of the Ivy Malone Mystery Series. So just keep in mind that it’s part of a series if you decide to buy it and read it.

Hello, fellow booklovers. Let me start off by saying that the description for this book ended up being a little misleading, but I definitely enjoyed it in spite of that. Here’s the description from Amazon.com:

She’s not your average crime fighter!

Ivy Malone has a curiosity that sometimes gets her into trouble, and it’s only aggravated by her discovery that she can easily escape the public eye. So when vandals romp through the local cemetery, she takes advantage of her newfound anonymity and its unforeseen advantages as she launches her own unofficial investigation.

Despite her oddball humor and unconventional snooping, Ivy soon becomes discouraged by her failure to turn up any solid clues. And after Ivy witnesses something ominous and unexplained, she can’t resist putting her investigative powers to work again. Even the authorities’ attempts to keep Ivy out of danger and her nosy neighbor’s match-making schemes can’t slow her down. But will the determination that fuels this persistent, quirky sleuth threaten her very safety?

*MINOR SPOILER WARNING: If you want to be completely surprised when you read this book, don’t read any farther. I will not reveal any big spoilers, only a few things that show what was misleading about the description (to me, at least). You have been forewarned.*

So now that we got that out of the way, let us begin. First off, my interpretation of this description was that Ivy Malone finds out that she can turn invisible.

I quickly found out that Ivy Malone was not a teenager, a twenty- or even thirty-something-year-old, but was a… well, she was somewhere between sixty and seventy, I believe. Never figured that out for sure. However, because I had already gotten connected to her as only awesome authors can do, I continued to read, and soon found out she was not literally invisible, she was LOL invisible. No, no, not laugh out loud. Little old lady.

Trust me, I didn’t come up with that myself. There’s a reason I kept reading.

So maybe the character wasn’t what I was expecting, but other than that, this book was awesome! Lorena McCourtney kept me on the edge of my seat with her awesome suspense building, whether it was with the mystery or with the slight bit of romance mixed in. And of course, all that humor… I was LOL-ing while reading about a LOL.

And then the quotable moments, of course.

“…if I had to spend the next three months hiding in a closet eating grits.”

“‘BLOL.’ ‘What?’ ‘Busybody Little Old Lady.'”

“The good Samaritan with a gun. I didn’t stop to ponder the inconsistencies inherent in that.”

There were so many more awesome funny spots and memorable quotes in this book that I’d have to reread it and highlight (on my Kindle) if I wanted to find them all. And Lorena McCourtney has an awesome way with words. There’s also a lot of good messages in this book, and Ivy Malone’s faith is so strong and such a great example. Read it.

There is some mention of blood, bullet wounds, murder, death, uh, Ivy visits a morgue, and she also does some crazy LOL things, like camping out in a cemetery, but no gory descriptions of any of that. And the ending definitely entices you to read the next book. 😉

Oh, and did I mention that it’s free on Kindle? 😉

So go read it! You’ll enjoy it, that’s for sure!

Book Review: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Westing-Game-Cover

This book was amazing.

If you like mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, and (I quote from the dedication) “puzzle-mysteries”, then you should read this book. It was first published in 1978, so it’s kind of old. And it’s wonderful. It makes me think of a huge game of Clue, except… different. Very different. And funnier.

I was taking notes during the story, trying to figure it out before the characters did, but, although I did on a little of it, I didn’t get all of it. There were so many amazing “Aha!” moments while I was reading. The characters are wonderful, and I really liked how we got to step into the minds of so many different characters. There weren’t so many characters that you got lost, but there were enough to keep things interesting.

And the funniness. Yes. There were so many things that were simply implied that just made you laugh. Here’s one of my favorite funny moments and quotes *NOT A SPOILER*:

“…the same male nurse who chased Otis Amer out of the hospital for sneaking up on a nurse’s aide carrying a speciment tray and shouting, ‘Boom!'”

Ah, yes. Just think about that for a while. You’ll get it.

All in all, I definitely recommend this book to everyone. It’s a great mystery, whether you like murder or not, and it’s really, really intriguing. I had a lot of trouble putting it down, and it took me less than a day to read. 😉 So read it, it’s awesome. If I could write mysteries like that… *sigh*

Read it!