~No Ordinary Star~ Book Review

Name: No Ordinary Star

Author: M.C. Frank

Rating: 4.5

Synopsis:

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A soldier is summoned to the North Pole, days before the year changes, told to fix the great Clock for a celebration. He has no idea what to do. A girl, hunted for the crime of being born, almost dies out on the ice. She is rescued by the last polar bear left alive. A library waits for them both, a library built over a span of a hundred years, forgotten in the basement of an ice shack. The world hasn’t known hunger or sickness in hundreds of years. It also has forgotten love and beauty. The year is 2524. Inspired by the short stories of Ray Bradbury, this futuristic novel is set in a world where Christmas – among other things – is obsolete and a Clock is what keeps the fragile balance of peace. Written in three installments, this is the breathtaking and sensual story of how two unlikely people change the world, and each other, one book at a time. Immerse yourself into the icy cold world of this scorching hot new novel.

 

My Thoughts:

Ok, so I read Ruined by this author and absolutely loved it. I had high expectations for this book, No Ordinary Star, and they were definitely met! What I loved most about it was the fact that the entire story physically took place in one setting. However, Frank was able to create an entire world through it. The unraveling of the history and current ways of the world kept me on the edge of my seat. (I won’t say too much as not to give away the story!)

The character development of the main two characters was incredible. I constantly needed to know more about them because the concept of their upbringing was fascinating. People were basically mechanical and the development of love being found again kept me wanting more.

Also, I love diving deeper into the meaning of why a story is written. Something that I got out of this book was how humans crave control. And when we take action and feed into that control it can lead to devastating consequences. In the book’s sake, those consequences led to a life of no feelings, no emotions, and no one was allowed think for themselves, etc. That choice was taken away from them. It was a mechanical world. I’ve had many conversations where people question me about my faith in God. They say, “If God is perfect then why did He create sin?” Well, this book is a perfect example of what my answer is to that question. Without good and evil, there is nothing. Without love and hate, there is nothing. A lack of choice makes everything mechanical. And my answer is that God’s love is so strong that He lets us choose our own paths in life. And if He didn’t, the world would be one big puppet. (We just have to be careful not to try and control everything!) 😉

Now that I’ve gone all psychological and spiritual on you, I’ll stop ;P But I love books that make me think and find a deeper meaning. I’m not sure if Frank intended for that to be the message, but that is what I got from it. So I want to thank MC Frank for sending me this copy of No Ordinary Star. I absolutely loved it and cannot wait to read the next installment! Please go check out this book, I promise you that you will very much enjoy it.

~Unwritten Melody~ Book Review

Name: Unwritten Melody

Author: Tessa Emily Hall

Rating: 4

Summary from the back of the book:

Does breaking free require breaking the rules?
Cassie Gilbert lives every day in the shadows of her deceased mom’s rebellion. But now that she’s seventeen, she finds herself longing to break away from her grandmother’s suffocating rules, experience what it’s like to be a regular teenager, and fulfill her songwriting dreams.
James Russo, former American Spotlight contestant, escapes to small town Willow Creek, SC hoping to flee from his tarnished past. When a school project pairs him with the shy principal’s granddaughter, he’s determined to get to know this Emily-Dickinson-obsessed and typewriter-using girl. His plan? Convince Cassie to co-write songs for his demo album.
As Cassie gets to know James over “project meetings” (more like opportunities to match her lyrics with his melodies), she becomes intrigued by his sense of adventure and contagious passion for music. But soon, his past becomes exposed. Cassie’s left to wonder—did she make the same mistake Mom did by falling for the bad boy?
Then, Grandma’s control pushes her over the edge. Cassie must choose between remaining in the chains of yesterday, or delving into her own freedom by completing the melody her mom left behind.

My Thoughts:

I’ll start off by saying that I loved this book! It started out so sweet and the character development was great. I quickly became attached to all of the characters. As the book unraveled and the plot thickened I was surprised at how deep it got. I wasn’t expecting that!! But I loved it because my mind loves delving into topics that are difficult to talk about. I won’t go too much into what the book is about but I will say this. It portrayed the love of a parent/grandparent so well. It’s so tough because as a parent, all you want to do is protect your children from harm. However, sometimes keeping them “caged in” can do more harm than good. I’ll stop there because I don’t want to give away any of the book! You’ll have to get it to find out for yourself what happens 😉

Great job, Tessa and thank you so much for sending it to me for review!! I highly recommend that everyone read this.

~Colleen Hoover~

I want to start off by saying that I’ve now read 5 of Hoover’s books and I have yet to be disappointed. Her writing style is impeccable and you don’t even feel like you’re reading with her books, it feels like you’re actually living the story out. Here are some reasons why I love her books so much:

*Character Development. When reading her books, you feel like you actually know the characters. You learn about the small details of who they are, and you also learn about the major story lines in their life. They are nowhere near feeling like fictional characters; they feel like they are either a part of your life, or you feel like you are the character.

*Romance. I love a good romance book. Not the trashy kinds, but the kinds that make you feel like you’re falling in love for real. That’s what her books do. They MAKE you fall in love…and feel so many ranges of emotions for the characters.

*Plot Twists. Just when you think you have the book figured out, you don’t. Trust me. Hoover deals with some pretty heavy topics in her books so it could be very difficult to read. However, she makes it so that you can’t put the book down because you need to see how the story unfolds. So amidst the very intense plot unfolding, she throws in twists that absolutely blindside you and leave you with your jaw hitting the floor.

These are just a few reasons why I have come to love Colleen Hoover. I definitely will end up owning all of her books and she will be an auto-buy author of mine from now on! If you haven’t read anything by her yet, please do. You can thank me later 😛

~Countryside~ Book Review

Name: Countryside & The Tears of Adina

Author: J.T. Cope IV

Rating: 5

Summary from the back of the book:

Countryside:

“You have a power within you, one that is within everyone…It’s the same power that fills that building, that keeps that tree alive…and the same power that has attracted your attention…I know it’s all a bit strange to you, but I assure you it is quite real…”
Eleven-year-old Luke Rayburn has never seen a skyline without skyscrapers or fallen asleep to anything but the sound of traffic. But his life is about to change in ways he never imagined. When his father leaves for a year of military service, Luke and the rest of his family move into their grandparents’ home in the remote town of Countryside, a place like no other. Reachable only by a mysterious traveling tunnel and horse-drawn carriage, centaurs roam the landscape and shadowy wraiths slip among the trees.
There, Luke will be drawn into a centuries-old quest for an almost-forgotten book whose secrets will determine the fate of the world. He will have to reach deep to discover the power within him as he battles the forces of darkness and an alliance of sinister men who seek to destroy any who get in their way.
Luke’s only hope is to find the book before they do, but to do so he’ll need help from someone he never expected as the forces of evil come to bear on the magical world of Countryside.

Tears of Adina:

Luke Rayburn has spent summer vacation running up and down sandy beaches with his family. He’s explored hidden coves, learned how to write invisible letters, and even met an ocean nymph. But his friends write to tell him of strange happenings in Countryside and he’s anxious to get back.
When Luke returns, he finds that much has changed. Mischievous gnomes are spreading chaos across the valley, a lone wolf haunts the forests, and Mayeem, one of Luke’s new teachers, just happens to be a mermaid. And then there’s the hunter, a man with golden eyes, only part of a soul and the belief that Luke has hidden something he wants—something he’s willing to destroy Countryside in order to get.
Hounded by blackhearted men and soulless creatures and with darkness luring him in, Luke must gather his wits and ferret out his true friends. But as he draws close to finding what it is the hunter seeks, he will learn that there is more at stake than he understands. He’ll learn that it’s not the hunter he should be afraid of and that, once done, some things cannot be undone.

 

My Thoughts:

First off, I want to say how refreshing it was to read a series that has morals behind it. There were underlying lessons throughout the two books that taught respect, on a very noticeable level. As someone who teaches young children (dance, but I’m still around children on a daily basis), it is rare to see respect anymore and I would be more than willing to have any child read this series even just for that aspect! It is an exciting story and I loved that not only would it be safe for young ones to read, but it would actually be teaching them on multiple levels as well.

Now onto the actual story-line of Countryside…I cannot stress enough how much I loved it. The first book was very much about character development and introducing the whole plot line. The friendship that was formed between the main characters was fun to follow and it only strengthened throughout the book. It was fantastic. The second book did an even better job of character development. There are a LOT of characters but it was very easy to follow. Cope did an amazing job of introducing each one and giving them their own specific traits so it didn’t get confusing between any of them. Also, the suspense of what was developing in the plot kept me flipping through the pages!! There is a strong sense of good and evil throughout the story and I just loved the Biblical-spiritual parallel. (It’s not an in-your-face Biblical parallel, but I did see it and it was awesome and inspiring!!)

As a person in her late 20’s, I highly recommend this series – to older and younger readers alike. If I’m correct, there is a plan for it to be a 7 book series and I am anxiously awaiting for the rest of them to be written 😉 Cope has such a gift because to create the world of Countryside takes some major talent! If you are a fan of Harry Potter, Narnia, and/or Percy Jackson this series is definitely for you!

~Before I Fall~ Book Review

Name: Before I Fall

Author: Lauren Oliver

Rating: 5

Summary from the back of the book:

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death – and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

My Thoughts:

Wow. That’s all I could think as I set down this book. If I’m honest, I wasn’t sure that I liked the ending at first. I thought there was maybe a chance for a happier one. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized the message the author was trying to send. And it is a powerful message. It’s a message about redemption, sacrifice, hope, and love. It’s a message to readers that life isn’t only about you, that everything is intertwined; that everything you do has an effect.  I don’t want to go into any details of the story because I don’t want to give anything away. But I will ask you some questions:

What if a tragic event happened in your life and you had the chance to redo it? What would you do to make sure it was the “perfect” day? Would you make it all about what you could do for yourself? Or would you do everything in your power to make it about someone else; to help make their life better? This book was so deep and well thought out that I will definitely be thinking about it for quite some time! I wasn’t sure that I would recommend it to the younger crowd, but maybe it would be good for teenagers to read it. It is a very thought-provoking, heavy read and I would be nervous that younger readers would miss the point the author was trying to make. However, I definitely recommend it to adults. It really makes you question how you’ve been living your life and if you’ve been focusing on the important things.

Last, this is being made into a film and I cannot wait to see it! What are your thoughts on this book if you’ve read it?

Instastory!

Were you guys aware of Instastories? I’m still not sure if it’s a major thing, but I’ve come across one and I love it!! This specific Instastory comes from @princess.saltwater on Instagram and it’s so exciting to read. Each post contains a little piece of the story and it has me hooked wanting more posts!!

I don’t want to give too much away because you should read her whole story. But it’s about a princess who ran away from home and it’s her adventure from there. There’s a love story involved and if you know me, I’m a sucker for a love story 😉

If you’d like to take part in an ongoing story please go and check out this account! I’m all for an Instastory so if you’re aware of more, please let me know! I hope you all have a wonderful week and I’ll be back next Tuesday!

Why Do I Read?

Before I dive into this loaded question, I’ll start off by saying I wasn’t always big into reading. I read when I was in grade school because it was required. And in high school, I would read the bare minimum just to be able to finish my assignment. Looking back now, I was clearly missing out!

Believe it or not, the Twilight series got me back into reading. I watched the first movie and thought, I think I want to read this! I fell so deeply in love with the story that it became a slight obsession haha. However, from there stemmed a beautiful relationship between me and books. So a big thank you to Stephenie Meyer for that!!

My favorite genre is…well everything. It honestly depends on my mood. I can read anything from romance to mystery/thriller to YA to classics. I mean how can you only pick one genre?!  Also, I never started planning on what to read in advance until I created my Bookstagram account. (@books_faith_love) In the past, I would always figure out what mood I was in and try to match a book to it. Now I’m planning my monthly TBR (To Be Read) list. I don’t always keep up with it, but it does help me read some books I may not have picked up for a while!

Now, the loaded question: Why do I read? Well for the most part, it’s an escape for me. I can start reading and I am no longer where I was. I am suddenly in this alternate universe where characters are born and major story lines are happening. I can put all my worries aside and let go of my stress. So can I say that reading is technically healthy for you?? 😉

I also read because it keeps my mind sharp and educated. I graduated from college 4 years ago so I’m no longer in a classroom learning. But reading consistently keeps my vocabulary up and imagination vivid. I’m not saying this to praise myself, but I’m saying it because it’s true. Anyone that reads will agree with me! I’ve found myself looking up words in a dictionary while reading because I want to know the definition of that word. I rarely did that for school! Does anyone else do that? Or is it just me?? haha So reading honestly motivates me to become more educated 🙂

Last, I love reading because it’s magical. Words are put together on pages, and an entire world is born. I’m fascinated by that!! It is a true gift to be able to write and I envy authors for being able to do that! I’ve always wanted to write but it was difficult for me to get my thoughts onto paper. So the next best thing for me to do is read what other authors have written 🙂 And I absolutely love it!!

So that is why I love to read! If you have any questions for me, fire away! I’d love to answer any you might have.

Welcome!

Hi everyone! I’ve been debating whether or not to create a blog for quite some time now. So I figured, why not give it a try? 

For starters, I’m Kristen. I love to read…pretty much more than anything haha. I have piles and piles of books and my nose is always stuck in one of them. My family has been calling me Belle for quite some time now 😆 I also love coffee, probably as much as I love reading. You will never see me in the morning without my cup of coffee ☕️ Some other hobbies include crocheting, photography, doing anything crafty, puzzles, shopping (mostly at Target), and some other things I can’t think of right now! I’m a dance teacher and I absolutely adore it. Those kids keep me laughing and definitely keep me on my toes! So that’s a little snippet about me and I’ll probably add some more in my future posts. 

I’m still deciding which road I’m going to take this blog down. But for now I’m just going to see where it goes! I’d love to be able to be a platform for up and coming authors or authors that aren’t quite yet known. So if you have a book you’d like for me to review please contact me at booksfaithlove@yahoo.com. Or you can find me on Instagram under books_faith_love. And if you like what you read here, please let me know! I’m excited to see where this journey leads.