Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird 

715VLP6M-OLRating: 5/5 stars.

Okay. I’m a bit intimidated to review a classic, but I’ve realized: a book is still a book. I can just review it like any other book. So here it goes.

I was expecting to at least like this book. I don’t even think I knew what it was about until I started reading it, but I’ve heard the name of this book over and over. Well this book surprised me and now I absolutely love it.

This is the story of a few pivotal years of Scout’s life in a small Southern town in the 1930s with her father, Atticus Finch, and her brother, Jem. To Kill a Mockingbird conveys the story of her childhood, the crime that was committed, and how the trials to resolve it awoke the town to many things that had been ignored until now. This book shows the innocence of children, but the prejudices that everyone held. It imparts on how devastating racism is, while showing the consequences of it. It tells of the fight of a few against many. Essentially, this book discloses what life was really like in that age and foretells of the changes to come.

The characters brought this book to life. Scout a troublemaker and had quite a temper, but she had a good heart. She was funny and very real. Jem was the older protective brother who should’ve been the more responsible of the two siblings, but he seemed to come up with most of the crazy ideas that got them into trouble. He could be mean and moody at times, but he still cared. Dill was more of a troublemaker that Scout, I believe. Jem and he were so mischievous together. All those plans… Good grief! They’d probably give someone a heart attack. Then there’s wise Atticus Finch whom I would love to quote all the time. He was kind. The few times he put his foot down, you didn’t want to mess with him. There were some surprising things I learned about him and I still think there is so much more to know about him. He stood up for what he believed was right, even when it was hopeless.

This was an unforgettable book. There is a quality to this book (Or maybe originality would be the better word.) that isn’t in any other book I’ve read. I’m not sure what it is. Original? Real to life? Ingenious? I think that’s what made this book so popular. It showed the horrifying aspects of a “current issue” in our society. I don’t think that many people knew the reality of racism and prejudice. We are still dealing with it in different ways today.

It was filled with the richness of new life, but also with the sadness of death. I loved and hated the reality of it. The lies and truths; the hatred and joy. It was all there in full, especially focusing on the dire consequences of such things as racism and prejudice and the innocence of children. Racism and prejudice can really effect a person’s whole life.

I hope that everyone takes a chance to read this book. It is a piece of American history. This book is close to my heart and I hope that it will be the same way for you.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Season of Fire (The Remnants: Book 2)

51sYS+l048LRating: 4/5 stars.

This was pretty good middle book for a trilogy. But there was just something that didn’t grab me as the first one did.

With her power of empathy now seemingly under control, the Remnants continue their mission: to free Kapriel. Andriana and Ronan have shown their love for each other and now must make some hard decisions. But things go array for them when Andriana gets captured by Keallach, Emperor of Pacifica, and his replaced Knight, Sethos. Andriana against all odds believes that Keallach can come back and follow the Maker’s plan. But at some point she might have to choose between escaping from Keallach or falling into Sethos’s trap with him.

The characters were great, again. I wanted more Neiro and it didn’t seem I was going to get that, but the end made up for it. I missed Ronan in this book, badly. Though quiet a few times it switched to Ronan’s point of view and that was awesome. The Remnants kind of faded to the background in this book. It focused mainly on Andriana and Keallach. Oh Keallach. He was one of the most hardest characters to decide on whether I like him or not, though that ending might have made up my mind. I love and hate him at the same time. Then I felt at times he was just a manipulated child.

The plot was intense, but I think it might have been lacking a little bit from something. I’m not sure. It started in the middle of an scene so it took awhile for me to get my bearings. Then it felt rushed at the beginning and at the end. The bad situations felt to easily gotten out of. It was exciting and intense.

Sometimes the romance almost got inappropriate, but it never went farther than intense kissing. It lightly mentioned in conversation a few times some subject matter that isn’t appropriate for younger people. It was a bit violent of course with some fighting scenes.

So I really loved this and I’m recommending it to older teens and up. It is a really good Christian dystopian trilogy and I can’t wait to see how it ends!

-G. Paige 

To Christian Teens: Having a Positive Attitude 

To Christian Teens_Sometimes I get frustrated (well, maybe more than sometimes). I get mad (quite easily, by the way). I get moody. Sometimes it feels like nothing can ever go right, especially after one thing after another goes wrong. I break down and cry. I give up. Sometimes it is over the simplest of things that I just lose it. Things like schoolwork, baking something that turns out wrong, or maybe just life. Those are the times I just want to stomp around, slam doors or cabinets, and say nothing at all.

Then I’ll remember stories about missionaries who went through torture with joy. Men and women and even children who were fed to lions while praying. People who never gave up. People who were burned at the stake singing. I mean, can you even imagine? Many of these people would have only had to say, “I don’t believe in Jesus.” and they would have been given relief. They would have been free from the punishment of Man, but not the judgement of God.

Then there are the stories from the Bible.

Acts 7:59-60‬

As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.

Stephen asked God to forgive the people who were killing him.

Acts 16:25

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.

These men were singing while in jail. They didn’t know when they were going to die. It could’ve been the next day. They didn’t know if God was going to save them, but they trusted Him anyways.

All these people went through so much. And here I am freaking out over schoolwork or whatever.

Am I the only one who does this? I think not. I know at sometimes it does feel like I’m the only one or you’re the only one and everyone else has their life all tidy and put together.

But that is not true.

All of us have problems. We can never really have a perfect life. No one can. I know we like to think that we can, but it’s truly impossible in a sinful world.

“So are you suggesting tha I should give up?” You might be asking. Well, I’m not. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t strive for the impossible when we already have all that could fulfill us.

Jesus is all we’ll ever need.

How do we get this fulfillment, this peace, this joy from Christ? I think one of the ways we get this fulfillment is by putting a positive spin on things. If we have a positive attitude, don’t you we can have a more enjoyable life?

Well this is exactly what the book Philippians discusses and it all can be encompassed in this one verse:

Philippians 1:21

For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.

Isn’t that a positive way at looking at things? To live is Christ. To die is better. With an attitude like that, it wouldn’t really matter what happens to you. We could have joy whether we’re suffering or living in luxury.

Philippians 1:29-30

For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.

It would be a honor to suffer for Him.

So let’s try to mimic that kind of attitude. Let’s look for the good in life (because there is good in life) even when it seems like all we are surrounded by is failures, frustrations, and shortcomings. There is hope.

There is a purpose for everything we go through. Even when we can’t see it.

I hope that I made it clear that I’m not trying to belittle your struggles and burdens. God allows each of us a fair share of hardships, but He will never give you more than you can bear with Christ in you. He knows your limits (it’s not like we’re all going to get the chance to be stoned or burned at the stake).

Jesus gave his life for us. Let’s live for him.

-G. Paige
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Book Review: Thunder (Stone Braid Chronicles: Book 1)

7c1167b6e6c057934db12bbc22116706Rating: 3/5 stars.

I’m not sure of my thoughts on this one. I really loved the characters and the premise, but there were some writing inconsistencies with it that bothered me.

Selah Rishon Chavez is almost eighteen and hiding, waiting for a boat to crash ashore with a Lander. These Landers come from across the ocean, no one really knows where. They were sold for a great price, if they kept their markings on their foreheads. Everything falls apart after Selah’s brothers take the Lander she caught. The next morning she find the marking of a Lander on herself. Now she is one of the hunted. She must leave everything she knows behind and go after her brothers who took her Lander. Just maybe the Lander will have the answers to questions about herself.

So the plot was great. It was very intense and exciting. There was plenty of action and fighting scenes. I felt like I flew through this book in no time. It was very fast paced and rushed at a few points. There are still so many secrets to uncover. So much that I still don’t understand.

I liked the characters pretty well. Selah, Bodhi, Glade, Treva, and Cheon were some of my favorites. Selah was a strong character, but she had some very realistic fears that I think I would have if I was in her situation. Kind, protective, and sometimes funny fits Bodhi description. He became caring as time went on. Glade I didn’t see much of, but hopefully the next book will be filled with him. He wasn’t much of an open book. Treva was smart, very smart. I really liked her person. At times she felt like an undercover agent. Cheon seems very nice, I need to read more of him. Dr. Everling I liked at the beginning, but I’m definitely not sure of that now. There were many other characters, but I think these are some of the more prominent ones.

The problems I had with this was there wasn’t enough character development, except for Selah. One decision made by Selah I thought was very dumb and put there just to help the plot. It could have been done another way though. Another reason was a character felt just thrown in and very convenient for a certain predicament, though it ended up working out. The dialogue was at times really choppy. Sometimes I was thinking, “What? That person wasn’t given a very good explanation and now he seems to know all the ends and outs of the situation.” The worst thing was when a group of people were given a ride on a wagon from a kind man. All of the sudden the man is gone and it seems the people own the wagon. What happened? I don’t know.

The religion was interesting. I don’t think I really liked it. It didn’t feel very Christian like I think it was supposed to. God was called “the Presence”. I don’t really understand it now, but it seemed you could somehow lose “the Presence” for wrong deeds. Then there were these humans that were immortal. I’m assuming the later books will explain it more.

All things considered, this was a good book. I hope to read the next one soon and hopefully some of the writing issues will smooth out with the rest of the series.

I’m recommending this to anyone who would love to read an unique dystopian book. It was good and different.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Fairest: Levana’s Story (The Lunar Chronicles: Book 3.5)

Fairest_CoverRating: 4/5 stars.

This was a very interesting book on some of Queen Levana’s history before you meet her in Cinder. It was not too long, but definitely not too short.

Queen Levana hides her ugliness behind a veil and uses her glamour to look like the most beautiful person in the world. But who is she really? How did she become this evil person? This short story tells of the events that led to Levana becoming Queen and later trying to kill Princess. It shows how she became who she is now. It is a story full of love and betrayal and…lies.

First off, this is not one of those villain stories that make you end up liking the villain. For most of the book I did not like Levana. Some points I did pity her and feel sorry for her, but I never liked her. Except for maybe liking her for being such a great evil person.

There were some great characters besides Levana. Evret was amazing and I feel so bad for him. Poor, poor Evret. There was also Sybil in this book. So I got to see a little bit more on her background. Channary, Levana’s sister, was another prominent person. She was so mean. She didn’t care about anything expect for having fun and Selene.

Oh, the horrible things Levana did in this book were so twisted. It will definitely make your heart ache.  She tried so hard to find love where it couldn’t be found. She ended up forcing certain people to get what she wanted. It was terrible.

I will caution younger people reading this because there were a lot of mentioned inappropriate love scenes. It was also very bloody.

This wasn’t a boring story, that’s for sure. And since it isn’t too long, I read it really quick. I’ll recommend this to those who have read the first three books in The Lunar Chronicles. It was very informative.

-G. Paige

Abortion

Abortion

Hey ya’ll! I’m starting a new series of posts on current issues in today’s world. Please feel free to let me know what you think!

Abortion has become a big issue for the United States of America since the late twentieth century. At least, for Christians it is an issue. For most other people, the killing of the fetus in the womb is a part of life. In this essay I hope to convey my stand point on this serious topic. I also hope to give a good reason why I take the view point I do. We must oppose this practice and stand up for what is morally right.

So what is my view on abortion? Well, I hope it would be pretty clear that as a Christian I would believe to be wrong. Abortion is murder. The fetus is alive from conception and is a human being. In the Bible there are references to human beings in the womb called children. God certainly must have believed that they were human, not fetuses. The Bible acknowledges that it’s life is worth just as much as an adult’s.

Exodus 21:22-25

Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman’s husband demands and the judges approve. But if there is further injury, the punishment must match the injury: a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.

It is murder to kill an innocent human being. One of the Ten Commandments says the we shouldn’t murder. Now we all are born into a world of sin. We’re all sinful and would be condemned to eternal life in Hell if not for Christ. Murder is murder whether it is an adult or an infant.

We as a nation are striving for peace, but there is a war within our very borders. Undeniably it is a war for life itself. Human beings are dying before they even get a chance to see life out of the womb. Life is precious, but we’re constantly destroying it. These children have a right, a right to live.
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More than half the population in the U.S. believes abortion is wrong. But because of a few dissenters, now abortion is legal. We need to stand up against this legal right to murder. We need to support and finance the organizations that are opposing abortion. Let’s vote for and support legislation that protects the unborn. I’d rather face judgement by man man than judgement by God.

Abortion is wrong. That’s what I believe and I hope that is what you believe too. It is clearly murder of a human being and I’m sure we all know what God says about murder. Abortion is legal now, but I know that if we stand together we can change that. Isn’t that what the African Americans did to get full civil rights? Let’s oppose this. It is our obligation to God to do so.

-G. Paige

Just A Fact

tag-wordpress

Hello everyone! Today I’m posting tag that I got tagged in. Thank you Mary Kate for the tag! I love tags! I hope that you enjoy this post and learn a little bit more about me.

A Fact About Me: 

If you saw me in real life, I’d be the person on the sidelines of a group. I’m very quiet and shy (Though, I’m definitely not as shy as I used to be.). I’m not as comfortable in a group than by myself or with a close friend.

But even though I am quiet, I have struggled with self-control. I have a hot temper which pops up very easily. It almost always happens because of problems with my siblings. That is not an excuse, but that is how it usually happens. Unless it is schoolwork. Ugh…I can get so frustrated with my schoolwork.

This is something I still struggle with. Sometimes I think I have gotten better with it, while other times I think it has gotten worse. Either way, I know that only with God can I overcome my faults. I can’t save myself. That is impossible. I need to keep trying to get control of my anger, and I think I don’t always try hard enough. Of course, I can’t just try. I need to trust and pray to God for guidance.

If you struggle with something, remember to not rely on yourself. You can’t overcome it on your own. Pray to God for help and just keep trusting in Him.

Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

Guidelines:

  • Take the banner and paste it to your post.
  • Tell a single, meaningful fact about who you are.
  • Explain this fact as open, and explanatory as you can.
  • Tag at least one other blogger, and give a reason why you think they should do this.
  • Add a Bible verse to close out this tag.
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  • Have fun!

Tagged:

You seems to do a few tags now and then. So this might be a great opportunity to know more about you.

I don’t know if you want to do this, but I’d love to learn more about the author of The Blades of Acktar.

Morgan, I think you would do great with this kind of tag.

You’ve been a great friend. I would love to see what you would say for this!

Your posts are so fun! I think it would be awesome to see you do this.

I love chatting with you on Goodreads and I love the tags you do.

You just started a blog and so I’d love to be the first person to tag you in something.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles: Book 3)

Cress_CoverRating: 5/5 stars.

This was great…and very exciting and stressful.

Cress has been trapped in a satellite for seven years doing Sybil’s, really Queen Levanna’s, bidding. She is an incredible hacker. But after helping Cinder warn Kai of the danger of marrying Levanna’s, she has been ordered to track down Cinder and her accomplice. Cinder and her friends plan to rescue her, but it all goes wrong. Soon they are separated and some are in need of immediate help. While Queen Levanna makes sure nothing gets in the way of her wedding. Can these unlikely people save the world from going through with this union?

Let me just say…Cress was absolutely adorable! I loved her so much! But I still think Cinder is just a little teeny tiny bit more my favorite character. Thorne played a main part in this one and I enjoyed seeing him, but he does seem to have a problem with women. I think Cress will straighten him out though. They were just so sweet and adorable together! Kai was as great as ever and that last part. Cinder is struggling with all these hard decisions. Oh! It was amazing. And, of course, Scarlet and Wolf! I feel so bad for Wolf. It’ll be alright Wolf, it has to be. Then there is a new character: Jacin. He was so mysterious. I need to know more!

This book has the best plot when considering the two that came before this one. There were so many major turn points. So many important decisions. Cinder made some choices for better or for worse. Thorne might just be learning some important lessons. The action was electrifying. Queen Levanna seems to get just more evil. I know that this is leading to an climatic conclusion. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

I’m recommending this to those who love fairytales, dystopian, and science fiction. It is a beautiful mix.

-G. Paige

Where is God in the Midst of our Struggles?

imageLet’s face it. Life isn’t easy. Each and every one of us go through a lot in our lives. Whether it is school, children, work, or whatever, it’s all a part of life. This world use to be perfect and sinless. That was how it was before Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought sin into the world. Life must’ve been easy then. But let’s not dwell on the past. What’s done is done and we can’t do anything about it.

Anyways, now this is a world full of sin. It’s a fallen world. Now we face hard work, danger, pain, suffering, and death. All of these things are pretty common in this world we live in. But sometimes these things bear down on us so much that we lose sight of God. We lose sight of the big picture and can only see the struggle that we’re facing. I get it. It’s like quicksand. As soon as we step in it, we start sinking and the more we struggle the quicker we sink. We all have those moments when we are so down deep in that quicksand that we begin to have doubts. Where is God? Does He even care? Why did He let this happen? We think that maybe we’ll never get out of this sand and that we will just keep sinking. And we will. Without God we’ll always be sinking.

Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

But with God anything is possible.

So where is God when we’re struggling?  Here right there with you. He is always there with you. How? Because God is omnipresent which means he is everywhere at every time: past, present, and future all at the same time! But more importantly, as Christians, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Isn’t that amazing?!

He cares more about you than you will ever know. He love is everlasting. God cares so much about you that He created you. He certainly didn’t have to create any of us. But He did, because He wanted to. He didn’t need to. God went farther than just creating us though. He gave a beautiful world to live in with anything and everything we could ever need. Sin degraded the beauty of the world, but Jesus has bought redemption for us and soon the world will be perfect again when Jesus comes for the second time.

Why? You still might be asking. Well, we can’t ever truly know why. We don’t know how God thinks or what He thinks. But struggles do help us grow in our faith.

Romans 5:3-5

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Clearly, this shows that through struggle we develop endurance and this turn into growth in our faith. Remember that the next time you’re are going through something tough: there is always a reason for it. And always remember that God is with you.

-G. Paige
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Book Review: Red Queen (Red Queen: Book 1)

imageRating: 5/5 stars.

This was great. I loved it so much! I need the next one so badly. The story just can’t be left like that.

Mare Barrow’s world is split into two classes: those with Red blood and those with Silver blood. Reds are commoners and are treated almost as slaves by the Silvers who rule with tyranny over them. Silvers have ruled over them ever since they found that they have superhuman abilities, whereas Reds are normal. Mare is a Red who gets pushed before the king and all the nobles and finds that she has an incredible ability too. To hide that she’s a Red, he proclaims that she’s a lost princess of a dead Silver general and betroths her to one of his sons. While she’s forced to live a lie, she secretly helps a Red rebellion known only as the Scarlet Guard. Only one thing is true: anyone can betray anyone.

This book swept me up into it’s world from the first page. It was a beautiful world to read about. The difference between the Reds lifestyle and the Silvers lifestyle was stark and drastic. It was fantastic world building. I want to know more.

The characters were the best. I loved Mare with all her thieving history and how much she cared for her friends and family. It felt really real. All the men were fun and interesting too. It is hard for me to choose which one I liked best and which one I’d want Mare to be with, but the end of the book kind of made that decision for me. Kilorn was great. I loved his teasing and bickering. Cal was just amazing. He cared, but still put duty first over his feelings and emotions. It was frustrating, but I at times loved him for it. Maven was quiet, but smart and seemed to point his heart in the right direction. There are so many other interesting characters, but I won’t go into talking about everyone.

There was so much intensity in the plot. There was so many jaw dropping plot twists that just kept surprising me. Certainly, this book did not let me go until the end. Though it hurt at points (Oh, the betrayals and secrets!), it was fascinating. I need more! The bit of romance included was sweet, but tough.

I’ll recommend this to older teens who love a beautiful dystopian and fantasy mix. I’m sure you’ll won’t want to miss this!

-G. Paige