Opposing Book Review: A Time to Die

A Time to Die

Title:  A Time to Die

Author: Nadine Brandes

Genre: Christian, Dystopian

Series?  Book 1 of 3

POV: First person, present tense, one narrator

Cliffhanger? Yes

My Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Author’s Website

About the Book (from author’s website)
How would you live if you knew the day you’d die? Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.

My Thoughts

Sierra has a very different opinion on this book.  You can read her review by clicking here.

Here it is.  The long awaited review.
I know some of you are really curious to see my thoughts, especially with my two stars on Goodreads.  Truth is, this review is nearly impossible to write.  This book is definitely a “it’s not for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for you” kind of book.  And I don’t say that too often.

On that note, I’m not going to soften the aspects I didn’t like.  I stand by the fact that these made me dislike the book.  I may be overly critical because I don’t feel like I was in the right mood for a dystopian when I read this.

Let’s start off with the negative, so we can end on a positive note.

THE NEGATIVE

Plot Driven
Uuuuughh.  Seriously, so many of the events in this book are plot driven.  Sure, God could be pushing Parvin into situations so she can grow, but it seemed too convenient.  There was one time where Parvin prayed, and a tidal wave came down upon her shortly after.  Was I worried?  Nope.  Why?  Because Parvin just prayed.  Of course God sent the flood to help Parvin out/prove a point.  I’m fine with prayers being answered in unexpected ways, but the plot moved too fast from one thing to the next, and this happened too often to take it seriously.

Cliff Hanger Chapter Endings
I do NOT have a problem with a book ENDING in a cliff hanger.  Okay, yes I do.  I’ll complain, whine, and get over it.  It does not effect the enjoyment of the overall book.  Ending EVERY SINGLE chapter in a cliff hanger DOES effect the enjoyment of the book.  I don’t believe I have read a single book that uses this device that I have liked.  I find it distracting.  Sometimes I’m sure something happened just so the chapter could end in a cliff hanger.  Plus, on repeatedly recovering from whatever just happened, I no longer worry about anything happening to the main characters.

Parvin was Useless
And I’m not talking about her wasting her life, which she has done.  Parvin is soooo annoying and stupid naive.  She makes emotional decisions without thinking first.  For so much of the time, she was just being erratic.  I wanted to slap her.  She also had many lengthy inner dialogues that could have been cut down.  Towards the end I started skimming them.  Oh, and I did think Parvin had grown by the end of the book, so I could not believe when she brought up dying unkissed again.  I quit reading for a week when this was brought up near the end.

Now to counter this one.  Parvin reminded me a lot of Tris in Insurgent.  When I read Insurgent, four years ago, it was one of my favorite books.  Have I changed that much?

Reid’s Journal
She also had abundant time to read her brother’s journal, which became the only interesting part of the book for a while, but Parvin didn’t read it until it was too late. I WAS SHOUTING AT HER TO READ IT; WHY DIDN’T SHE LISTEN TO ME???????

I Thought the Characters Already Know the Big Plot Twist
THIS SECTION IS TOTALLY SPOILERY – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!
(highlight to reveal spoilers) I knew Jude and Hawke were brothers.  (I also knew that deleting Hawke’s contact information was the stupidest thing to do – just another one of Parvin’s erratic desisions.)  I seriously thought the characters already knew this.  I’m not sure how Parvin missed it.  Then, while Jude is dying, Parvin finds out Hawke is Jude’s brother.  It was a BIG SHOCK because I thought she already knew.  Talk about ruining a character death scene….
(end spoilers)

Other “What was the point?” Moments
– I didn’t get the point of the preacher.  At all.  He may be explained more in later books, but for such a big build up, he was so non-essential to the plot. (other than that thing that Jude did for her that hurt him in the end)  And why did Parvin still want to see him after hearing some things that proved he was not the smartest guy after all?
– I’m sure I’m suppose to feel warm fuzzy feelings for Willow…..
I cannot pinpoint what happened here, but I’m quite indifferent to her.


THE POSITIVE

Interesting Concepts
The premise of the book is very interesting.  The start of the book was promising.  I was really into learning about the world and life with the clocks.  The first 50 pages went by really fast.  The technological concepts were very neat to read about.  The nonobook charging with solar power was the best.  Why hasn’t someone come up with a solar charged phone??

The writing (other than my qualms about plot/style listed above) was good.  While I will not be continuing this series, I may pick up a future book of Nadine Brandes’.  And her blog is most entertaining!

Notable Quotes
This book, despite all my complaints, is very quotable.  I have many highlights in my ebook.

“As I still my own nerves, the restless dragon scratches against my lungs, urging me forward.  It builds like a halted breath, growing, pushing.  The dragon needs air- it needs action.”

“I can’t comprehend the full emotion in his wrinkled brow and grinding jaw, but his eyes hold deeper sorrow than I’ve ever witnessed in my short life. In this moment, I realize how very different sorrow is from pity.”

“Mere survival holds no purpose. I refuse to believe God created us to just get by, so where does that put me?”

“I am on a pilgrimage. As Jude said: a quest to something sacred. A quest to shalom.”

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October Wrap-Up and November TBR!

Ello everyone! I am here today with the books I read in October and the books I want to read in November! Let’s get started :D

October Wrap UpOctober first I read The Heart’s Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher, which I gave a 4/5 star. That same day I read A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson, I gave it 3/5 stars.

October 8th I read, and reviewedThe Hive by John W. Otte. It got 4/5 stars :)

October 16th I read and also reviewed A Time To Speak by Nadine Brandes. It’s not pictured because I haven’t received my paperback copy yet!

October 17th I read the novella, This Quiet Day by Joanne Bischof! 5/5 stars and I will hopefully have a review up soon :)

October 25th I finally finished Blink by Ted Dekker! I started this book a month or so before that and set it down. I gave it 4/5 stars.

Sadly, that’s all the books I read in the month of October! I was hoping to read more…

Now on to my November TBR! I have already completed three books this month :D

Novmeber TBR

I have already read The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan and have started The Sea of Monsters. Next I plan on reading A Flying Affair and from there on who knows! But I definitely plan on reading all that’s pictured plus more! I try to keep my list for the month small :)

Hope you guys enjoyed! Also here is a random selfie of me I took after I received The Hive in the mail!

The Hive

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Review: A Time to Speak

A Time To Speak by Nadine Brandes

A Time to SpeakGenre: Dystopian, Christian.

Favorite Quote: “We have to become uncomfortable in our lives to become comfortable in our faith.”

Age Range: 15+

Stars: 5/5

Series: Second book in the Out Of Time Trilogy.

My Thoughts:
Oh my gosh, I am so happy I got the privilege to be on Nadine’s launch team for this book! I missed Parvin’s world so much, and A Time To Die ended at such a horrible cliffhanger!

Parvin has grown physically, mentally and spiritually since A Time to Die. In the first book, she barely survived, but in A Time to Speak she came back stronger than before, ready to tackle all of her problems! She is still nervous and feels like God is calling her to speak, though she isn’t sure about what or to whom. That really spoke to my heart because God tells us to speak and sometimes were aren’t sure what about or if to a specific person. Maybe we are just supposed to speak about our faith to everyone.

I love how strong Parvin’s faith is throughout the book. God is an important part of her life, and it shows. The theme of the first book is Shalom, or peace. Parvin finds her peace with God. She trusts God to bring her through the difficult times even if it takes her out of her comfort zone. That leads into the theme of the second book, boldness.

I am excited that Solomon Hawke is a main character in A Time to Speak. Solomon helps Parvin along throughout this book. I am pretty sure Solomon would do anything for Parvin. I like how he isn’t pulled into all of the technology of his world.  I am really looking forward to seeing Solomon and Parvin’s relationship grow in the third and final book.

Overall: I love A Time To Speak and all the characters! Nadine, you outdid yourself :)

I received this book from the author (Nadine Brandes) in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:

NadineJust got right to Nadine’s bio to learn about her! There is too much important stuff I can’t decide which to use!

Blog, Facebook and Goodreads.

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Interview and cover reveal with Nadine Brandes!

I am very excited to be participating in my first cover reveal! I loved Nadine’s first book, A Time to Die, and am super uper duper excited for the second one!

Time for the interview!

Do you have plans for any other series?

Oh do I! Yes! The next book I’ll be writing is a standalone (at least, it is right now. There’s no telling if I’ll change that once I start writing!) And then I have a fantasy series planned after that. Readers can keep up on those sorts of announcements through my newsletter

Oooo fantasy! My favorite :D What’s your worst distraction from writing?

Editing. I don’t know if I can call that a distraction because it’s my other job. I do freelance editing and sometimes I have a hard time reminding myself that my books are also priorities.
After that, it’s probably reading. :D

 

Reading! The biggest distraction from anything :) What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

 

Black pudding, when I was in Scotland. No, it’s not actually pudding because pudding is delicious. If you’ve never heard of black pudding, then cautiously look it up on the internet. I don’t know that I have the stomach to describe it to you. But if you break it down…it’s like eating a scab. *gag*

 

Oh, my! That sounds disgusting!!

 

Nadine is giving away an AUTOGRAPHED copy of A Time To Die over on her blog! Go check it out!

 

Nadine
About Nadine:
 Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. Her dystopian trilogy, the Out of Time Series, challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by ‘bumbershoot’.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai, editing fantasy novels, or being a Harry Potter super-nerd, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out chasing adventure.

 

Links:
Now for the reveal!
A Time to Speak

 

About the book: (SPOILER ALERT! If you HAVE NOT read a Time to Die DO not read below! SPOILERS!)
How do you live after you planned to die? Parvin Blackwater should have died in her brother’s place. She didn’t. Now she’s the only one who can protect her village, but no one wants to listen. When the Council starts forcing “new and improved” Clocks on the public, those who refuse are declared Radicals and exiled. Having been across the Wall once, Parvin is the only one who can save them. But instead of going through the Wall, she’s packed into a boxcar, loaded on a cargo ship, and forced out to sea.  How will she lead when facing the unknown?  Worse yet, why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out?