Review: Draven’s Light by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

Draven's Light

About the book:

In the Darkness of the Pit.

The Light Shines Brightest.

Drums summon the chieftain’s powerful son to slay a man in cold blood and thereby earn his place among the warriors. But instead of glory, he earns the name Draven, “Coward.” When the men of his tribe march off to war, Draven remains behind with the women and his shame. Only fearless but crippled Ita values her brother’s honor.

Genre: Fantasy

Age Range: 13+ due to hunting monsters and creepy scene.

Stars: 5/5

Ms. Stengl’s writing pulls you into the story and doesn’t let you go. This novella captured me so. I fell in love with the main character Gaho/Draven and his sister, Ita. These will definitely will be some of my favorite characters forever.

Ita cared for her brother through everything. She stuck with him even though their father had disowned him. She was a strong character and wanted to prove that she could do everything , even with a club foot.

Even though Gaho had been branded with the name Draven the Coward that didn’t stop him from being courageous. His love for his sister was evident.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Rooglewood Press) in exchange for my honest review

My Not Book Review

This is not really a book review, but rather my gushings about the book I just read.
Between-shades-of-gray

Monday evening, I bawled through the last pages of Between Shades of Gray.  This is  not to be confused with 50 Shades of Grey.  The latter book I have never read, and never will.  Between Shades of Gray was published first, and, in my opinion, should be more popular.  After reading this book, I found on the author’s facebook page that it is being turned into a movie.  The movie will be titled Ashes in the Snow.  Most likely the title was changed to avoid confusion.  A movie cannot possibly do this book justice, but I’m excited anyway.  And hey!  Movies are basically two hour trailers for the book, right?

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Ruta Sepetys was inspired to write Between Shades of Gray when she was researching her Lithuanian heritage.  During World War II, the Soviets had deported people from Lithuania to work camps in Siberia.

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It is one of the saddest books I have read in a long time, but also one of the most hopeful.  I think that was something that made this book stand out.  Lina, the main character, could find hope even in the darkest circumstances.

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I am not one to write in my books, or mark quotes.  Perhaps this is because I borrow so many of my books from the library.  And Between Shades of Gray is a library book.  I wish it wasn’t.  I wish it was mine and I could write in it!  Instead I resorted to post-it notes.

07606abf82818b1ca57b2d689b790dabThe writing style is just beautiful.  I wish I could write like that!  I was trying to pay attention to why I loved the writing so much.  Maybe I could learn from it.  Ruta Sepetys writes very lyrical.  While I find that I don’t care for books in verse, I do like lyrical writing styles.  Sometimes I try to write like this, but it ends up being too overbearingly descriptive.

Ruta Sepetys had balanced writing.  Not too lyrical, not too simple. Just a perfect blend of both.  I was struck by this on page 124 with the quote, “Blisters wept on my hands.  Our fingers were caked with dirt.”  The first sentence personifies the blisters on her hands.  Lyrical.  The second sentence simply states the condition of the dirt on her hands.  Now, if I were writing, I would have tried to make the second sentence lyrical as well.  But that is not really necessary.  The story needs a balance of both to keep the writing from being too lyrical or too simplistic.  Perhaps this is not the best example in the book, but this is when I realized it.

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The story told here is not an easy one to read.  There were times, especially when I was reading before bed, that I wanted to read something else, and not focus on the hardships these people had to endure.  But it is also a hopeful story.  It is a story about standing together and supporting each other.  Strangers came together to help one another survive the Siberian winter.  I think that is just beautiful.

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Because of the subject matter, I’d only recommend this book to older or mature readers.  The harsh conditions the characters are forced to live in are not easy to stomach.  Other content includes b st rd used less than 5 times.  Brief mention of prostitution and brief mention of alcohol consumption and drunkenness. 

 

Read-A-Thon

I participated in my first Read-A-Thon this last week! A read-a-thon is a time to catch up on your to-read pile, usually with a time limit (mine was the 18th-25th), and you set a certain goal you would like to reach. I was a part of #RYBSAT, read your bookshelf-a-thon. You pick a spot on your bookshelf and read it! I read seven books during the read-a-thon. Super happy with that number. Waaaay more than I anticipated on reading.

Here are all the books I read, and what I thought about them:

  1. moonbloodMoonblood was my first book for the read-a-thon; it is the third book in the Tales of Goldstone series. It is my least favorite so far in the series, and I’m giving it a four out of five star rating because it is still a really good book! I would recommend reading this series in order or else you would be very confused!

About the book: Desperate to regain the trust of his kingdom, Prince Lionheart reluctantly banishes his faithful servant and only friend, Rose Red. Now she is lost in the hidden realm of Arpiar, held captive by her evil goblin father, King Vahe.

2. bound Bound by Guilt is the second book in the Thicker than Blood trilogy. You can read this as a stand alone but you will have a better understanding of the characters if you read the first one. I enjoyed this book and everything I have read by C.J. I give this book 5/5 stars and will definitely read the next book in the series.

About the book:

Roxi Gold has been shuttled from one foster home to another for most her life. She longs for a family and will do anything to fit in even if it’s against the law. Soon she’s traveling the country in an RV, stealing rare books from unsuspecting bookstores. She knows it’s wrong, but if she refuses, she’ll be put out on the streets.

Police officer Abby Dawson has seen the worst of society, and not just at work. Her ex-husband wrested her daughter away from her in a bitter custody battle. The job she once loved has become a chore, the world isn’t any safer, and there’s no joy in her life. One fateful night a man’s innocent blood changes both Roxi’s and Abby’s lives forever.

3. Among the free Among the Free is the seventh and last book in the Shadow Children series. While aimed more toward tweens I really enjoyed the Shadow Children. I was really excited for the conclusion of the series but was sadly disappointed. I felt Luke had gotten stronger, less afraid and more eager throughout, yet in Among the Free, he went back to the coward he was in the beginning. This book was definitely my least favorite, and I give it 3/5 stars.

About the book: Luke Garner is a third-born in a restrictive society that allows only two children per family. Risking his life, he came out of hiding to fight against the Population Police laws. Now, in the final volume of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s suspenseful Shadow Children series, Luke inadvertently sets off a rebellion that results in the overthrow of the government. The people are finally free. But who is in charge now? And will this new freedom be everything they had hoped?

4. Starflower Starflower was definitely my favorite read during the read-a-thon. I will have a full review up soon, and I give it five out of five stars.

About the book: When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps fairest Lady Gleamdren, the Bard Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission…and a race against his rival for Gleamdren’s favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren’s rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?

5.  Cover-with-Blurb-201x300 Angel Eyes is definitely a new favorite! This is the first book in a trilogy, and I am reading the next two books in the series with Rebecca and another friend. YAY! I really enjoyed Shannon Dittemore’s writing, and her characters were very relatable. 5/5 stars from me! (Rebecca just did a review on this book yesterday! I agree with everything she said.)

About the book: Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

6.  Live Live Original was a devotional I read throughout the week. The message Sadie spoke was amazing! She talked about being true to yourself and being confident. She also addresses fear, anxiety, friendships and other relationships! Each chapter starts with scripture and there are verses all throughout the book! Definitely 5/5 stars.

About the book: Sadie lives by a simple list of principles that lead her to personal and spiritual growth and allow the relationships she has with her friends and family to flourish. These values include think happy, be happy; dream big; shake the hate; do something; and many more.

7.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I finished this book right before the read-a-thon ended. I really enjoyed The Hunger Games and can’t wait to read the second one! I gave it 4/5 stars because I felt like some of the parts really dragged, especially toward the end!

About the book: The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

There you have it! What I read doing my first read-a-thon! Hope you enjoyed!

Sierra

P.S. I will be doing a guest post every Wednesday at my friend Allie’s blog! Tomorrow will be my first day if you wanna check it out :)

Book Review: Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

Cover-with-Blurb-201x300Title:  Angle Eyes

Author: Shannon Dittemore

Series?  Yes.  Book 1 of 3

Cliffhanger?  No.

POV: First person, present tense.  Multiple perspectives.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

 

 

My rating: 5 stars

About the Book:

Brielle went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

(from back cover)

 

My Review:

Cannot stop thinking about this book. I actually started re-reading it less than a month after I finished it. I never re-read books that soon!! I just can’t get over the beautiful writing, and the amazing story!!

This book really surprised me. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I liked it more than I thought I would.  This book gets points for exceeding expectations! :)

The Plot:
I was drawn in right way to this small town. There was an element of mystery surrounding Brielle’s past and the new guy in town. The pacing was perfect. It was nice and steady, but gradually because more interesting as the story progressed.

The Protagonist:
I really like Brielle! She was realistic and her emotions seemed real. She was also very intelligent. She struggled with her belief in the Celestial realm, but as her eyes were opened, she was willing to learn more about it.

The Love Interest:
I absolutely loved Jake! Not the I must have him for myself kind of loved him, but he was perfect for Brielle. The mystery surrounding him made him even more interesting. I also found him to be incredibly patient. He loves Brielle, but is not pushy about it. He seems fine with taking it slow.

Favorite Character:
Canaan!!!! Well, first off, he’s an angel. So of course he is awesome!! There were times I wished we heard from his POV more.

The Writing:
The writing was beautiful. Very lyrical. I’ll admit it took me the first few pages to find the flow and get into the story, but after that I quite enjoyed it. Then there were the cringe worthy pop culture references that seemed forced, and some other clichés, but nothing that can’t be overlooked.

I didn’t want to put the book down, but I also didn’t want the story to end!! I’m glad this is the first book in the series. It does not have to end with the conclusion of this book! :D

Review: An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

An Uncertain Choice

About the book: Due to her parents’ promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father’s enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents’ will left a second choice. If Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow. Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the cloister is the best place after all. If only one of the knights the one who appears the most guilty had not already captured her heart.

My thoughts: Genre(s): Teen, Historical Fiction, and Romance.

Favorite Quote: “Courage can be displayed in many forms, my lord,” I said gently. “Sometimes it’s evident in the knight char going forward with the lance on his steed. But perhaps it can also take the form of a head bowed down before the enemy.”

Age Range: Because of the violence and romance I would recommend this for ages 15+

POV: First person, Rosemarie, 17. main character A couple paragraphs are shown from a Knight’s point of view.

Stars: 3/5

Pros: I loved how Rosemarie wanted to be a kind, strong, leader! It was awesome how she cared for her people and wanted them to have the best. She wasn’t selfish at all and would have gladly given all of her wealth away. And I loved the three knights. They sounded so dreamy, and just ((Sigh)). I liked their courage and loyalty to one another.

Cons: I had my expectations high for this book, and they were not met. I followed the blog tour and was excited about the three knights. All the blogs made who she was going to marry sound like some big mystery, but it wasn’t. Which was disappointing. I didn’t feel like I connected with Rosemarie, the main character. Instead of feeling like her best friend I felt like a stranger on the sideline. You know the books and movies where it is blatantly obvious who the bad guy is, and everyone knows but the main character? That’s what this book felt like. Which it shouldn’t have since it was in first person.

Sierra

An Introduction

Hello everyone!

I am the other author here at 26 countless possibilities.  I’m really excited to be starting my first blog!  My name is Rebecca, and I am a 19 year old book loving Pennsylvanian.  I work at my local library part time, and rely on it as my main source of reading material.  I would be seriously lost without libraries.  I generally read historical, suspense, fantasy, and dystopians.

I just finished my first year of college where I am studying accounting. Other than reading (and accounting), I enjoy baking, competition archery, and photography.  I consider these all to be semi-serious hobbies, though I bake more often then I practice archery or take pictures.

 

This is a picture of me at the state competition last year where I placed third.

And for anyone who is interested, I’m shooting a 30lb barebow recurve.  :)

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/38496373-rebecca-silvan-elf

Get to know me!

Hi guys :) My name is Sierra, and I am one half of  “26 Countless Possibilties.”

I am 17 years old, and I live in a small town in Indiana.

I am a Christian. I love the Lord with all my heart! Psalm 121:1-2

I am a book addict. Seriously though! I own close to 400 books. 150 of them haven’t been read. Yeah, I know I’m bad :/ My favorite genres are Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Dystopian. Right now I am currently reading:

Starflower It is the fourth book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood. It is a great series.  If you love Fantasy, this is a series for you!

I’ll be posting every Tuesday and Friday. So guess I’ll see ya Friday :D

Sierra

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/30959621-sierra-faith

Instagram: https://instagram.com/bookaddict_98