July Wrap Up

Wrap upHello, everyone! I am going to show you all the books I read in July, which is a total of eight books and one novella.

Let’s get started!

My first read of the month was A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagear. Review here for my full thoughts, I gave it 5/5 stars.

My next read was Dark Halo, sadly, the conclusion to the Angel Eyes Trilogy. I gave Dark Halo 5/5 stars. Hopefully Shannon Dittemore will have more books out soon.

Then I read Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I gave it a 3/5 stars. I was disappointed with this book.. everyone went on and on about how good it was. I found it very predictable and definitely would have enjoyed it more when I was younger. Rebecca wrote a review about it and I agree with everything she says.

After Cinder I read the sequel, Scarlet. I enjoyed Scarlet more than Cinder and I gave it 4/5 stars.

Next I read The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker. Probably one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I gave it a 4/5 star and will have a full review up soon.

After that I FINALLY finished You Can Write 50,00 Words in 30 Days by DJ Mynatt. It was a kindle book, I take so much longer to read Kindle books than paperback! Full review here.

Took a trip to the library and they had The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson in! I was overjoyed! It was the only book by her I hadn’t read. I gave it 4/5 stars and I am super excited for her next book The Golden Braid, which I believe ties in with The Princess Spy.

I was browsing through my bookshelf for a quick read and found Murdered Between Stalagmites by Bethany Macmanus. It ended up being my least favorite book of the month with 2/5 stars. I didn’t enjoy it AT ALL and I was left with sooooooooo many questions at the end.

Then last but not least… A Sparrow In Terezin by Kristy Cambron. Oh.. my.. goodness… By far my favorite book of the month! A Sparrow in Terezin is a sequel to The Butterfly and the Violin, an amazing sequel I might add. It was a book I actually bought FULL price, something I rarely ever do. Totally worth it and if you couldn’t tell I gave it 5/5 stars ;)

Well, there you have it :) All the books I read in the month of July!

How many books did YOU read in July? Are you interested in seeing what I plan to read in August?

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Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

cinder

Title:  Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series?  Yes.  Book 1 of 4

Cliffhanger?  Sorta

POV: Third person, past tense, multiple perspectives

Publisher: Square Fish

Author’s Website:
http://www.marissameyer.com/

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

About the Book (from author’s website)
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Review
I feel the same way about Cinder as I did about Storm Siren.  No, actually I liked Storm Siren better.  A half start better.  :)  Cinder was a great book, but I would have liked it more if I was younger. The writing was great and kept me interested, but it was way too predictable.

Of Robots and Cyborgs
In Cinder, cyborgs are people who need robotic limbs or other robotic parts. They are look upon as outcasts.

There was one problem with this set up, we never knew how much of Cinder was robot and how much was human. I was fine with the limbs and whatnot, but her eyes are robotic, and it appears her brain worked robotically (this is more apparent in the novella Glitches). Yet Cinder was supposed to still be human. This bothered me in the first part of the book, until I read a review that it was never explained. After that I gave up trying to figure Cinder out and just went with it.

Iko was Cinder’s cute sidekick.  Iko is an android with a faulty personality chip that causes it to say things that normally would not be social acceptable.   Again we have the problem of a blurry line between robot and human.  All the other androids in the story were clearly recognizable as robots, but Iko seemed quite human to me.  That aside, he was quite cute, and had the funniest lines.

Cinder
I really liked Cinder as a character. Other than the cyborg part, she was a fleshed out character.  Her motives made sense as she tried to make the best of her situation.  She is a strong, smart protagonist.  I really liked the parts where she was working on something.  It showed that she was gifted with working on the mechanics of the robots in her society.

Plot
The story was really, really predictable. This is one of the main reasons I think I would have liked it better when I was younger.

Cinder has this orange light that flashes in her eye when someone is lying. I kinda felt like I had one too. I knew the moment the author was feeding us misinformation. I also was able to guess lots of things well before they happened.

Despite this, the plot worked.  There were obvious ties to Cinderella, but the story made sense in the futuristic setting.

Peony
Peony is the younger stepsister.  While in the most Cinderella stories we are not suppose to like the stepsisters, here we are suppose to like Peony.  She is more sympathetic to Cinder.  When we are first introduced I thought I might like this twist, but I quickly regarded Peony as only a plot device. Everything that she did or happened to her was solely to advance the plot.  [Spoilers: highlight to view] (Peony got sick so Cinder would be sold off and find out that she was Lunar. Peony entered a new stage of the illness at the most annoying moment, all so Cinder would not find out she was the princess.  She died so Cinder would turn off her comm and not hear from the prince.  And if course, her dress was saved so Cinder would have one without a fairy god-mother.)

What Made the Story Great
Now that I have all that out of the way, I can talk about why I liked this story.  This twist on the classic story was great.  A Cinderella story involving interplanetary relations?  Now that is a great idea!  Seriously, I loved that we heard from Kai, the prince, and learned more about the political situation.  And Kai was just awesome.  He had the pressure of the world (and the moon) on his shoulders.  He wasn’t perfect, but he truly wanted to help his people any way he could.

I also loved how things happened at the ball.  It is just like the original story, where everyone is looking at this strange girl who arrived late, but they are not looking for the reason you think.

In Conclusion
Despite the problems I had with this story, I did enjoy it.  It was a fun, quick read.  I will be reading the next books in the series.

Review: You Can Write 50,000 Words in 30 Days.

You can write 50,000 words in 30 days by DJ Mynatt

you canAbout the Book:

You CAN write 50,000 words in 30 Days takes us behind the scenes of one author’s journey through National novel writing month – also known as NaNoWriMo.

Every year, people from all over the world log in to their NaNoWriMo profile, find a local group to hang out with all month, stock up on snacks, sharpen their pencils, get their playlists ready, and write!

50,000 words sounds crazy, right? Most writers ARE a little crazy!

Read about one woman’s journey and you will see that you CAN write 50,000 words in 30 days!

My Thoughts:

Genre: Non-Fiction
Favorite Quote: “If you must put a label on me, call me a writer!”
Age Range: Everyone!
Stars: 5/5

For those of you who don’t know, I am an aspiring author. So when I was given the chance to receive this book for review I jumped on it!

I loved the way DJ wrote this book. I felt like I was in the same room with her talking about her experiences. She was so encouraging throughout the book, and I loved the many examples from her writing journey.

My favorite part had to be when she blogged her NanoWriMo experience for 2013 and 2014. It was amazing seeing how she had changed in a year’s time. For example, in 2013 she hated weekends because she always got behind on her writing, but in 2014 she said “I love Saturdays!”

DJAbout the Author:

Donna J. Mynatt is a newly-published author, who writes under the pen name “DJ Mynatt“. She lives with her daughter and grandchildren in East Tennessee. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) organization and The Christian PEN.

Most of DJ’s time is spent focusing on her writing, editing, blogging, reviewing books (especially for authors featured on her BookShelf blog) and attending workshops and writers conferences.

Website, Facebook and Goodreads.

A Poll!

I interrupt our weekly schedule to bring you a poll! Vote away :)

Review: A Bride At Last

A new winner has been chosen for the bookmarks! Alisha L. Please contact us at 26countlesspossibilities@gmail.com :)

A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears

A bride at last
About the book:

Silas Jonesey’s life in Salt Flatts, Kansas, has not followed the course he imagined. After his mail-order bride, Lucinda, abandoned him, it was an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices and sour moods. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true; his estranged wife has contacted him after ten years of silence to tell him of her whereabouts.

Genre: Christian, Romance, Western.
Favorite Quote: “Gossip doesn’t make it far through corn fields, despite all the ears.”
Age Range: 15+ for romance.
Stars: 5/5

My Thoughts:

When I started this book I was expecting the usual Christian western romance: Guy meets girl, they fall in love, tragedy strikes, guy saves girl (or girl saves guy!), then they live happily ever after! I don’t have a problem with those it’s just too predictable. Bride to Last was definitely different! But I can’t say much else without giving the book away.


My favorite character out of the whole book was Silas. He was so confused about his life and he was addicted to alcohol, but he knew he needed to stay away from it. He is a strong Christian man who has a messed up past. I loved him and his morals! He is the kind of man I would want for a husband.

Kate was a very interesting female character, but I am still not sure whether I like her or not! There just wasn’t anything that stuck out to me about her. She seemed kind of a desperate woman who had to have a man. I don’t think the author was trying to portray her as that, but that’s what I took away from it.

Overall:

I really enjoyed Melissa Jagears writing and will definitely be picking up her next book.

I received this book from the author (Melissa Jagears) in exchange for my honest review

Melissa

About The Author:

I am a stay at home mother on a tiny little farm with a fixer-upper house. As much as I love writing and reading about homesteaders, I am so glad I’m a homesteader during an era with modern grocery stores to take up for my slack. I am an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher by trade, and I still work occasionally in that field along with being my church’s financial secretary and writing novels.

Website and Facebook.

Guest Post Thursday!

Today’s guest is my mom Danielle :) She has a review of The Last Con by Zachary Bartels. If you would like to be a guest at our blog, send your post to 26countlesspossibilities@gmail.com.

 

The Last ConAbout the book:
Former con man Fletcher Doyle is finally home after six years in the pen. He’s working a menial job, regaining his bearings in the world, and trying to revive his relationships with his wife and twelve-year-old daughter. No easy feat.But when Fletcher and his family go on a mission trip to Detroit—in the company of the condescending church leader who also happens to be his landlord—Fletcher finds his old life waiting for him. Within hours of arriving in the city, he’s been blackmailed into doing a job for a mysterious criminal who calls himself The Alchemist.A series of relics hidden by the Knights of Malta, as ancient as they are priceless, are in the sights of The Alchemist. What he needs is a gifted grifter with a background in ecclesiastical history . . . what he needs is Fletcher Doyle.

This mystery and suspense novel had a unique setting and engaging cast of characters. From Malta in the late 1700’s to current-day Detroit, the moral dilemmas in The Last Con will get you questioning how you’d respond if forced into these situations.

 

The historical line to the plot is well-explained, and is the basis for the mystery. The mystery, suspense and action throughout the book really made me think and allowed me to follow along and solve a bit here and there. There were several exciting scenes with some mild and some rather intense following action.

 

Bartels didn’t dumb the reader down by over-explaining unfamiliar settings and situations. He did an amazing job of including these in the storyline while teaching the reader at the same time.

 

There is a great variety of characters in The Last Con: obvious bad guys, likeable criminals and many (at first) ambiguous players. I’m not sure there was even one truly innocent soul due to the circumstances they’re drawn in to. I had my opinion of who I liked, and by the end of the book, I had a firm category for each person, based on his or her actions, as either a good guy or bad.

 

This story definitely made you wonder who you can trust in the world and reaffirmed some of the characters’ beliefs in themselves and their friends and family. The characters dealt with giving and earning second chances, as well as forgiveness. There were great conversations with God and pastors by those who were finding their faith, questioning it and/or leaning on it.

 

I would definitely love to see another book with these characters and can’t wait to read more by Zachary Bartels!

 

 

**I received this book from the author (Zachary Bartels) in exchange for my honest review**

The Courtship Book Tag

A new winner has been drawn for the Bookmarks! Proverbs31teen please contact us at 26countlesspossibilities@gmail.com

I saw this tag over at The Library in My Room and really wanted to do it! So here goes…

1.  Initial Attraction: a book you bought because of the cover.

Sword of the six

When don’t I buy books because of the cover?

2.  First Impressions:  a book you got because of the summary.

gjsflgj

3.  Sweet Talk:  a book with great writing.

The Butterfly

4.  First Date:  a first book of a series that made you want to pursue the rest.

waterfall

5.  Late Night Phone Calls: a book that kept you up all night.

Heartless

 6. Always On My Mind:  a book that you cannot stop thinking about.
A Time to Die
7. Getting Physical:  a book which you love the way it feels.
 Curiousity keeper
8. Meeting the Parents:  a book that you would recommend to your friends and family.
Jupiter Winds
9. Thinking About the Future:  a book, or series, that you know you’ll re-read in the future.
Elsie Dinsmore
10.  Spread the Love:  Who would you like to tag?