Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons by Christie Purifoy

Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four SeasonsRoots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons by Christie Purifoy

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It wasn’t that the book is bad, it’s just that it wasn’t great. It’s just “ok” for me. It felt like I was reading diary entries which lacked substance and gave little desire to continue reading. It was also very heavy on the preaching aspect. This would fit well in a church library where heavy preaching is the norm. Otherwise, the writing is good and the visual descriptions are well done. Overall, I didn’t enjoy the read and wouldn’t read another diary entry format like this one. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, which may or may not mirror your own.

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Love, Lexi: Letters to God by Sherry Kyle

Love, Lexi: Letters to GodLove, Lexi: Letters to God by Sherry Kyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an excellent book aimed at an often forgotten age of readers. Tweens are struggling with so many things it can feel overwhelming. This book offers a character connection while also helping young girls find that connection with God. I wish I had a book like this when I was that young. The entries are very fitting and I love the space for readers to jot down their own thoughts. Writing in a journal, or book like this, can be very beneficial for troubled tweens (and all other ages). Lexi feels authentic and real, which helps bring her story to life. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Summoned King by Dave Neuendorf

The Summoned King (The Kalymbrian Chronicles, #1)The Summoned King by Dave Neuendorf

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m always a bit hesitant when a request comes in for a fantasy book needing a review. I’m an avid fantasy fan and have developed some personal preferences; a checklist of sorts. I try to begin the read with an open mind but that doesn’t always work. In this case, however, I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the read. There were a few minor issues unrelated to the genre but nothing that detracted from the overall experience. I especially like how in this universe the magic system is unique and fits the overall story arc. The characters feel well thought out and developed, as does the plot. Enough time was taken to provide the foundation and world information without slogging down the read. I’d expect there to be more movement in subsequent books in the series and I’m looking forward to having a chance to read them. I received an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion and unpaid review.

Revenants: The Odyssey Home by Scott Kauffman

Revenants: The Odyssey HomeRevenants: The Odyssey Home by Scott Kauffman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Review by Sarah “I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would after reading the back cover with the glowing reviews and high praise. I didn’t find much of Homer’s Odyssey besides a few brief mentions. It didn’t read like a retelling or modern version. I didn’t like Betsy. She felt like she was one of those perfect heroines created just for pushing the story forward. Sometimes when the characters were talking it didn’t make any sense and I had to go back and read the whole section over again. The one thing I did like was how each of the major wars were connected.” We were provided with an ARC through the author in exchange for an honest review.

Dancing at Angel Abbey by Lauren M. Bloom

Dancing at Angel AbbeyDancing at Angel Abbey by Lauren M. Bloom

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a refreshing read and quite the change from my usual reads. I found myself smiling several times while I was reading and having to answer questions as to what was making me smile from my ever curious son (12). I can easily recommend this to the majority of my followers as it is a family-friendly, light-hearted, enjoyable read. There’s no heavy preaching involved, which is a huge blessing. I love the characters and how they evolve throughout the read. They feel well fleshed out and like they could step out of the book and have a conversation with me. I love the plot idea and how it flows through the read. Overall, this is an excellent read for a wide variety of readers with no glaring typos or grammatical issues. I received an ARC through the author in exchange for my honest opinion and unpaid review.

‘Til the End: A Novel of Murder, Addiction, and Lies by Joseph Patrick33

'Til the End: A Novel of Murder, Addiction, and Lies‘Til the End: A Novel of Murder, Addiction, and Lies by Joseph Patrick33

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I wasn’t able to finish reading this book due to the way it is written. For me, it felt like one voice was telling me something without much in the way of inflection or tone. The characters felt one-dimensional and lacked that emotional connection to make me care about them. The plot premiss is a good one but without the rest of the literary elements it’s impossible to say if it would work out or not. I received an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion, which is my own and may or may not mirror your own.

Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional Tales from a Thousand and One Nights, Contemporary Tales for Adults by Clive Johnson

Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional Tales from a Thousand and One Nights, Contemporary Tales for AdultsArabian Nights & Arabian Nights: Traditional Tales from a Thousand and One Nights, Contemporary Tales for Adults by Clive Johnson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading the translations and the afterword sections a lot. I learned things I didn’t know and was able to view the tales from a new angle, through a different lens. That part of this book is really well done and enjoyable to read, and easily earns three to four stars. What I didn’t enjoy was the retelling sections, in a modern voice. For me, this part was flat and unpolished, the characters didn’t feel fleshed out and the dialogue felt unnatural. It was all telling and little to no showing. I ended up skipping over the modern versions and just enjoying the translations and afterward sections. Overall, I feel this would be a better read without the modern versions or with considerable editing and polish but the rest of the read felt very well done. I received an ARC through the author in exchange for an honest review.

Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer by Andrew Joyce

Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom SawyerRedemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer by Andrew Joyce

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s a risky move to take another author’s cherished creations and pick up where they left off to tell tales such as this one attempts to do. Finn and Sawyer were who they were because of the era they grew up in and their experiences. To assume they would be identical as adults is to forget that so much more would have happened to them between the novels. That said, I feel the writing was solid and the western atmosphere felt authentic. I wasn’t pulled in by the characters and felt they didn’t live up to their names. Given different names I feel the novel would have easily earned four stars, but taken as it is served it just squeaks by with three. I wasn’t thrilled with the dialogue, especially for the primary characters. It just felt forced and lacked originality or development. The plot thread was well crafted and held throughout the read. Overall, it’s a decent western read with enough going for it to capture additional readers. I received an ARC through the author in exchange for my honest opinion and review.

Manual for the Soul: A Beginner’s Guide. Awaken to Your Enlightenment in Millennium 2.1 by Jordan Finneseth

Manual for the Soul: A Beginner's Guide. Awaken to Your Enlightenment in Millennium 2.1Manual for the Soul: A Beginner’s Guide. Awaken to Your Enlightenment in Millennium 2.1 by Jordan Finneseth

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This might work for someone who feels no single religion or faith fits them, who is easily persuaded to believe what a skilled speaker is dishing out, or who has been lost for a long time. From a writer’s viewpoint I was disappointed in the editing and flow. It felt disjointed and rambling while leaving out anything solid to back up opinions or points and the scattered grammatical issues were distracting. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against those who don’t feel a connection or satisfaction with standard churches and who find an alternate path to their system of faith and belief. Whatever works for them to feel less alone and vulnerable, and keeps them from committing horrible crimes, is great for them and I’m all for it. Personally, however, I found this book to be a rambling mess that occasionally had valid points but completely missed the mark. I was offered an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion with no requirement to post a review, positive or otherwise. This is my opinion which may or may not mirror your own and belongs solely to me.

First Circle Club by Alex Siegel

First Circle Club (First Circle Club, #1)First Circle Club by Alex Siegel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a mixed bag for me and really is a 2.5 star but not quite 3.0. I wish we could give half star ratings. Alas, the read was ok with some high points and some low points. The male characters were nicely developed but the female characters came across rather immature and with a negative lens. The writing was solid except when dialogue was happening, in which case the flow suffered as the dialogue felt forced and unnatural. The plot has a lot going for it and feels unique and plausible. As the author grows and develops his craft there is potential for improvement. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. No other promotions, gifts, or payments have been or will be accepted.

Anthology I: A Collection of 8 Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories by The Novel Fox

Anthology I: A Collection of 8 Science Fiction & Fantasy Short StoriesAnthology I: A Collection of 8 Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories by The Novel Fox

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an ok read. I didn’t find any of the stories above just ok. A few had some dialogue issues that bothered me. The stories are very short and tend to lack much in the way of development which took away from some of the enjoyment. They aren’t terrible plots or poorly written, they just lack that polish and pull. This would be a good book for passing time on trips or in waiting rooms. If the authors continue to work at their craft there is potential for some good quality stories. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Ultimate Reminders for College Students by Gina Delapa

Ultimate Reminders for College StudentsUltimate Reminders for College Students by Gina Delapa

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This particular Ultimate Reminders book is actually worth giving to a college student, regardless of age. As I read through the reminders and wisdom tidbits I found myself nodding and thinking how useful this would be for so many naive or just inexperienced people. Some of the advise traverses multiple lines and applies to more than just college students. This would make a valuable gift, if you can get them to read it. I received an ARC through the author in exchange for my opinion. I was not required to provide a positive review. This is my opinion which may or may not mirror your own.

Ultimate Reminders for Everyday Life by Gina Delapa

Ultimate Reminders for Everyday LifeUltimate Reminders for Everyday Life by Gina Delapa

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This compilation of reminders bring back memories of those motivational sticky notes you found written on your fridge or stuck in your lunchbox. It’s just that, a long list of positive notes printed in a single book. This may come as a great help to some while others will find it a waste of paper. Personally, it’s something I might browse in a library or in a waiting room but it’s not something I’d purchase for myself. It may make a good stocking stuffer or present for someone who could use these little reminders. I received an ARC through the author in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to provide a review or that the review had to be positive.

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

Thin Ice (Men of Valor #2)Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hannon is very good at this style and genre. Her characters feel very well fleshed out and realistic with authentic dialogue and reactions. The plot thread is well woven throughout the read with just the right amount of suspense and surprise. The amount of romance is just enough to provide a realistic relationship situation without going overboard or gushing it up too much. The plot moves at a steady, if not a touch too quick, pace that keeps the pages turning well after everyone else is fast asleep. Overall this is quite the exciting read with no preaching and no noticeable typos or grammatical issues. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Be You. Do Good.: Having the Guts to Pursue What Makes You Come Alive by Jonathan David Golden

Be You. Do Good.: Having the Guts to Pursue What Makes You Come AliveBe You. Do Good.: Having the Guts to Pursue What Makes You Come Alive by Jonathan David Golden

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Two stars is “It was ok” and three stars is “I liked it”, and it was just that, ok. I didn’t like the feel that it was three books blended into one. I didn’t like that it was a bit too preachy. I didn’t like what I assume is the attempt to reach a broad audience by all of the wishy-washy maybe’s. I didn’t like having some good advice separated by what felt like commercial breaks. That said, it was an ok read. It does have some good advice and for some people it may help them finally do what makes them happy. I wasn’t fond of the checklists as they didn’t feel appropriate for any situation I’ve ever felt in my life, much less trying to decide if that inkling was something I was supposed to listen to or if it would be a huge mistake. While this wasn’t the book for me that doesn’t mean it won’t help someone else. We are all unique and very different so it may end up helping others. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.