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

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Book Review: Mark of the Thief (Mark of the Thief: Book 1)

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Rating: 5/5 stars.

I absolutely loved The Ascendance Trilogy by this author. So when I heard of this book, I was eager to get my hands on it. This book definitely lived up to the standards set by its predecessors.

During Emperor Tacitus’s reign of the Roman Empire, Nic, a slave, is forced down into a sealed cavern, a place full of Julius Caesar’s treasure. He is sent to steal a bulla, an amulet that is believed to be filled with magic given by the gods. Magic, that some people would kill to have. Stealing the bulla for himself, Nic is determined to free himself and his sister from slavery. But instead he gets caught in a power struggle as people race to get him and make him use the magic for their own purposes. Nic is on the run, and he doesn’t know who to trust. There is a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and start the Praetor War which will tear the empire from the inside. Nic must learn to use the magic within himself to defeat the empire’s ruthless leaders if he is ever to be free and save Rome.

This book was awesome. The plot was was so good. There were so many twists and turns, betrayals, secrets revealed, and more twists that brought it to a very surprising conclusion. Just so you know, you’ll want the next book right away. It was that good. I could’ve read it in one day if I hadn’t started it so late in the day.

I love how this author tells the character’s story. The way she does first person point of view gives this kind of dry humor (that doesn’t sound childish) to the Nic’s personality, while also having this seriousness to it too. It is hard to explain, but I do love it.

Nic was fantastic. Oh my goodness! I loved his humor. The way he cared and worried about his sister was so sweet. Aurelia was a no nonsense type of girl that clashed with Nic’s personality. It was so fun to see Nic change from hating to loving her then back to hating her. She wouldn’t ever want to get on her bad side. General Radulf gives me shivers to think about. He was so twisted and evil.

Those who don’t like talk of Roman gods or the use of magic, probably wouldn’t like this much. It wasn’t anything major to me, so I was fine with it. The magic didn’t feel dark, but felt more like powers. It was really cool.

I’d recommend this to teenagers and older. It was a wonderful fantasy and historical fiction mix of a novel. The next one needs to come out sooner!

-G. Paige

Book Review: With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale: Book 1)

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Rating: 4/5 stars.

Again, I mainly read this book because the Kindle version was free on Amazon and a friend on Pinterest put it as one of her favorite books. I thought it might be pretty good. I haven’t read hardly any romance books or that much historical fiction. Anyways. With Every Letter turned out to be a beautiful, lovely, heartfelt romance story. I really liked this book. It was so enjoyable.

Set during World War II, this Christian romance novel has a lot of history put into it. Philomela Blake is excited to soon start training as a flight nurse. She will be one of the first women to do so. But she does not want to write an anonymous letter to a man she has never met as part of a morale-building program. Lieutenant Thomas MacGilliver, stationed in North Africa, is ecstatic to be able to have a anonymous correspondence. He’s been running from his name for most of his life. Soon they develop a unique and close (well, as close as one can get with letters) relationship, but they are still too afraid to show who they are. Will they ever get the courage, the strength to reveal themselves?

It took a bit to really get into this book, but I was soon hooked. I really loved the setting of this story. It was such an dangerous time that everyone was affected by. It took a bit to really get into this book, but I was soon hooked. Philomela (Mellie) and Thomas (Tom) were great characters. I really felt for them. Their hardships, their fears, their joy, their anger, it was so realistic. And the war, it felt so real and there. Very close to the end, I felt like the romance went a little over the top for a moment, but it wasn’t terrible. There was also some strong Christian elements that added to the story in a good way.

Those who love a pretty clean romance story that has some strong Christian themes, I’d highly recommend this book to them. It was a refreshing read.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Summer of Promise (Westward Winds: Book 1)

imageRating: 4/5 stars.

I really really loved this book. I’ve hardly read anything like it. It was so wonderful. If I read it in two days, that has got to mean something good, right?!

Summer of Promise is the story of Abigail Harding. Though wanting to spend her summer in Vermont with her soon to be fiancé. She feels called to go visit her sister who lives in Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Her sister says everything is fine in her letters, but Abigail feels like something is wrong. On her way, her stagecoach is attacked which promises that her stay in Wyoming will be anything but boring, as she thought. After a time, she feels called to stay in this wild land and to one young soldier who is falling for her. But can she find where her heart truly lies, in Vermont or Wyoming?

I decided to read this book because someone recommended it on a blog I can’t seem to remember at the moment. Anyways, I haven’t read much romance novels or a ton of historical fiction. So, I was very surprised to find out how much I liked this book! It was fabulous!!!

The setting in the late nineteenth century after the Civil War was perfect and made the romance so much sweeter. The land was described beautifully and now I wish I could go to that time period… The romance between Abigail and Eathan was sweet and touching. The book switches between Abigail and Eathan’s point of view (there is also one other person’s point of view shown just a few times). There were even a few exciting and dangerous moments which I was surprised to find.

Now, there was a thing or two that was mentioned and was inappropriate but was realistically there in that society. I didn’t feel uncomfortable with it though, because it was displayed in a bad light as the wrong thing to do (and wasn’t described with a lot of details). That said, I wouldn’t suggest this book for kids or young teens.

I would recommend this to those who like clean, Christian romance novel with a little bit of adventure. This was a really good book.

-G. Paige