Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston Book Review

Hey, bookish friends! Today I’ve got another book review for you. Lately I’ve been enjoying YA contemporaries so I thought I’d finally give my review for my absolute favorite YA contemporary— Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston!

This book is amazing! I read it last August and fell love with it. The entire trilogy is awesome. In fact I’ve got a review of the entire trilogy right here on my blog but I decided to leave my review for each individual book. They definitely deserve it!

I wrote this review right after I finished the book so my feelings and thoughts for it were fresh.

Synopsis:

Emily Curtis is used to dealing with her problems while under the hood of an old Chevy, but when her mom dies, Emily’s world seems shaken beyond repair. Driven from home by hospital bills they can’t pay, Emily and her dad move in with his wealthy sister, who intends to make her niece more feminine—in other words, just like Whitney, Emily’s perfect cousin. But when Emily hears the engine of a 1970 Dodge Challenger, and sees the cute gearhead, Zander, next door, things seem to be looking up. But even working alongside Zander can’t completely fix the hole in Emily’s life. Ever since her mom died, Emily hasn’t been able to pray, and no one—not even Zander—seems to understand. But sometimes the help you need can come from the person you least expect.

My Review:

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars

I loved this book more than I ever thought I would. I finished it in a day and that rarely happens with me. There’s so much I loved about it. Honestly, it was the book I needed at the moment and those always are so special to me.

I related to Emily on so many different levels. She was one of those characters that I feel kindred spirits with. She’s a big introvert, she’s different from other girls her age, and she has her insecurities. She’s not perfect. She has her doubts and her struggles. She feels misunderstood, like no one “gets her”. She feels like a misfit and unknown. Sometimes she just needs her time alone to sort things out and realize how she’s feeling. And I felt that a lot! My heart went out to her and I sympathized her so much because I honestly can’t imagine what that would be like to go what she went through. I just really liked that Emily isn’t perfect but she’s flawed. It was feels so good to be able to relate!

The side characters really captured my heart too— Zander was such a great guy. Plus I really like his name!. At the surface you think he’s just one of those popular guys but he’s so much more than that. He was so sweet. Chelsea was such a fun, caring character and a really good friend. She reached out to Emily and really went out of her way to show how much she cared. Whitney was a character that I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like at the beginning but as the story progressed, I really started to like her and see her in a different light. She became one of my favorites!

There’s a lot of aspects to the story that I liked a whole lot. Zander and Emily’s love story was my favorite kind, best friends to falling in love. 🙂 Their relationship was so good. It wasn’t shallow but was meaningful while also really fun. I also really like that the romance isn’t what the entire story revolves around. There’s a lot more to it. It’s the perfect balance.

For me, this was just the story I needed right now. Just a story about a seventeen year old girl trying to find her way in the world and figure out what it’s all about. Being a teenager can be really confusing and hard at times and this story really captures that. I could relate in so many ways and the whole message really touched me in a way I didn’t know it would. God is there even when we don’t realize it or feel His presence. “There Was Jesus” by Zach Williams is a really good song for this book.

This story really impacted and inspired me. It also made me think a lot. I teared up not just once but many, many times in this book because a lot of stuff hit me. But, I also found myself smiling and snickering a lot too. I think it’s just really cool how you never know which books will speak to you. You never know whenever you pick up a book that it might just be something in it that will touch you. You may read a dozen or more books and not feel or think much about it but then you’ll randomly pick up a book and it’ll become special to you because it spoke to you in that time in your life. And one book might touch one person but another person won’t think anything about it. We’re all on our own journeys, facing different things, on different walks of life. I just find it neat. 🙂

Anyways, I’ve rambled long enough!! I loved this book and I wanted to document these late night thoughts before I forget them. I also want to remember how I connected with this book!

I recommend this book completely, especially to teen girls!!! It’s clean and inspiring. We need more books like this in the Christian YA genre. 🙂

Conclusion:

I read this trilogy a year ago and I still think about it so often. The characters and story have really stuck with me.

One of the reasons I love writing book reviews is because I love looking back at them every now and then just so I can remember how I felt the first time I read the book, and what stood out to me. That’s why so many of my reviews include my fangirl gushing. I love remembering those feelings. Ya know, my blog is a lot like my bookish diary! 😂

Thanks for taking time to stop by! I hope you enjoyed your visit. And I hope I inspired you to read this book! It’s an absolute favorite of mine.

I hope you have a great day, friends!

❤️ Emma

With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander Book Review

This book was amazing. I loved it so much! It kept my interest all the way through… all 417 pages! That’s saying a lot. This book was something my special. 

It gave me all of the emotions. It’s a very emotional read. I teared up/ cried multiple times. I also smiled and laughed. In my opinion, that’s the power of a good book. 

I really, really loved the characters. Lizzie was amazing! She was kind and strong. She did what she felt was right, even when she knew there would be hard consequences. Her kindness and strength made her such a remarkable, inspiring character. 
I also really liked Roland. He’s flawed but we all are. I feel like he grew a lot. 
And I love so many of side characters! Oh goodness. I just loved Tempy to death! She was a dear. 

MINOR SPOILER– 
Oh, and James😭 Ah, I loved that boy so much! *all the tears*
I loved little Levi so much. My heart broke so many times in this book but especially during the parts with him. The letters and lists he made really brought on the tears. Ah, the dear, sweet boy!❤️
And I LOVED Towny! Ugh, I was so torn. I’m not sure why I cared about him so much but oh, I did. I was a mess. Really, even the few times he was in the book, he stole my heart completely… which was unexpected. I usually don’t like the “other guy” in stories but I really loved him. Ah, Towny!❤️

END OF SPOLIER

The love story was just beautiful. I loved, loved it! Lizzie and Roland’s story… *sigh*
And the fact that it was real makes it that much better!! Makes me happy.❤️

The historical details and writing was SO good! I feel like I learned so much about the ending of the Civil War as well as the Battle of Franklin. It was very sad but also very interesting. Tamera Alexander is an amazing writer! She weaves real history so beautifully into her novels. There’s so many historical facts in here, and I loved it!

The fact that this was 417 pages and I never felt like it was dragging is saying a LOT! I enjoyed every page and chapter of it. 

Books set in the south are my favorite #southerngirl, and Tamera Alexander does such a good job writing them.

I loved the characters, the love story, the history, the emotion… all of it! It was outstanding. 

I give it all the stars!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my review of this beautiful book! I hope you have a great day.

❤️Emma

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano Book Review

I read this book a few weeks ago— and oh my goodness! It was so good! I figured since I loved it so much, I had to share my review for it on my blog. 😉

Synopsis:

When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance–and perhaps even her father’s death.

My Review:

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- 5/5 stars

This book was AMAZING! So, so good. Honestly, I have no words. What it is about JDP books that leave me speechless? I have now read every book she has published and I can definitely say she is one of my TOP favorite authors of all time.

The writing is breathtakingly beautiful. So poetic and classic. So many quotes I just wanted to muse over. Lines that hit deep. I LOVE her writing so, so much!
Also, I absolutely love that she uses first person! It helps me connect so deeply with the character.

The characters were amazing. Aura was such a great MC. I quickly loved her and identified with her so, so much. I think all writers will be able to.
I love how she always tries to see the good in others, and help them however she can.
Silas was definitely an interesting character. I really grew to love him!
And the side characters! Each so interesting and unique. I usually don’t care much about the background characters in books but each had a purpose in this book.

The romance was very well written,and clean! I love how the focus of this book isn’t solely on the romance but on other things such as the themes running throughout, and the mystery.

Ahh, so many plot twists and turns, and mystery and suspense, and I LOVED it!! It was wonderful. I was intrigued and couldn’t put the book down. My mind was racing, trying to figure out everything but i couldn’t. I was surprised so many times.

The setting was very vivid and I really enjoyed it.

The ending. sighs Soo good.

The faith was soo beautifully woven into this story. I love how Aura prays for specific people in her life, and the time she spends with God, going to Him when she is lonely and overwhelmed. It was truly inspiring.
I could take away a lot from the messages. It’s okay not to fit in. It’s okay to be yourself.
I really loved the verse and C.S. Lewis quote at the end. Really wrapped up this beautiful work of art!

The content was clean, something I appreciate so much!

Honestly, I can’t give adequate words for this book but I’ll just say, it was so good. I loved it.

Thanks for reading my review! It’s my goal to review all of Joanna’s books because I have loved them all. I can’t wait until her next release!

I hope you’re having a good day! Happy Hump Day, friends. 😊

❤️Emma

Shadow by Kara Swanson Book Review

Y’all, I have waited for this book for what seems like FOREVER… and it was so, so hard! Well, I can confidently say, it was SO worth the wait!

First of all, I want to give a huge thank you to Kara Swanson for sending my an ARC of this beautiful book. She was so kind, and completely made my day! So thanks to her, I’m here to give you an early review! 😊

Note: Before reading the synopsis, you’ll want to read Dust first so you won’t be spoiled.

Synopsis:

Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.

Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.

Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.

To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.

My Review:

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was immediately immersed back into this world of mermaids, pixies, pirates, and Lost Boys— and it was wonderful.

The writing is stunning. GOODNESS. I absolutely love it. The descriptions are so colorful. I truly felt like I was in Neverland. It’s purely magical, and sprinkled with pixie dust. The way it’s written evokes so much emotion in me! It’s truly beautiful.

There’s so much imagination and thought given into each and every detail making it brilliant. So many things just sparked my imagination and the childhood wonder inside me!

The characters. OH my stars I love these character SO blooming much (as Peter would say. I’m telling you, I’ll probably be talking like Peter for a week!)

I have SO much love for Claire and Peter. These two are literally two character who have wholly taken my heart. They’re so real to me. They feel like friends. Goodness, someone take me to Neverland please!!!

Peter. I’m so stinkin proud of Peter. I love him so, so much. He grew so much. His character arc is one of the best I’ve ever read. It takes time for him to grow in a realistic way, and it made him so amazing. He’s hilarious. I love the way he talks. Goodness. I laughed so much at him. He’s just so great. AHH!

Claire was amazing. I love her so much. She has struggled and she has overcome. Her character is so beautiful. I want to be her friend and give her a hug.

Lily was incredible and the Lost Boys have my heart.

Conner was such an interesting, heartbreaking character. Same with Paige. I never liked her but I did find her interesting.

Peter and Claire *squeals, fangirls, grins like mad, tries to calm down* Ok, so these two are the best. I love them SO much. I shipped them in Dust, I shipped them in Shadow, I ship them FOREVA. They make my heart so happy. Their love story makes me wanna cry and smile and AHH, these two!!! Y’all!!! Pretty sure every love song I listen to in the next month will be about Peter and Claire. A Lost Boy and a Pixie Girl!! My heart!!

SO much happened in this book. It was an emotional rollercoaster. Twists and turns. I never knew what was gonna happen and it was epic.

The messages and themes in this book almost brought me to tears. It was beautiful. The light, the Hope, the beauty!

It reminded me that we can’t escape reality. We have to face it. We have to face our shadows. And when we do, we realize there is Light and Hope to be found. Not in ourselves but in One far greater. I find that in God and this book really made that hit home for me. For that, I’m so grateful.

This book was magical and beautiful, filled with light and hope. Yes, there were some dark times but in the end, the light shines all the brighter for it.

This reimagining of Peter Pan was absolutely incredible. I so highly recommend both Dust and Shadow! As I rarely read fantasy and am quite picky when it comes to it, these books swept me off my feet and reminded me that I do love fantasy.

I will now be dreaming of Neverland, Peter Pan, Claire, and the Lost Boys for a month or so. Not a bad daydream for this summer. The perfect one.☺️

*Thanks again to Kara Swanson for providing me with an ARC in exchange a review. All opinions are my own. 😊

Dust by Kara Swanson Book Review

I read and reviewed Dust by Kara Swanson on Goodreads back in October but for some reason I never reviewed it on my blog. Since I will be reviewing the sequel, Shadow, soon I thought I would review this amazing Peter Pan reimagining that ended up being one of my top favorite books of 2020!

Synopsis:

The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real–since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan–and herself.

My Review:

Note: I wrote this review back in October so I was quite upset and anxious for the second book. Fortunately, July is much closer now!😉

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“You were created for more than to bear the weight of your shadows— but you have to choose to no longer let them define you. You have to choose to let the light shine through the shattered pieces.”

Oh. My. Goodness. This book was everything I wanted it to be, and so much more.

This whole book just felt sprinkled in pixie dust. Everything about it was whimsical and utterly beautiful! It’s just left me in a Peter Pan/ Neverland daydream and I love it so entirely.

The characters in this story were absolutely wonderful.
From the very start, I related soo hard to Claire because she’s a major introvert but she also has that side that she reserves for those she cares about. She was such a complex, beautiful character and I loved her and seeing her grow.
Peter blew me away. I was very curious to see how the author would pull off writing about a character like him. But she nailed it. I LOVED him (even though, yes, I wanted to shake him half the time)
I’ve never fully read the classic Peter Pan but I have seen the movie. I remember that I never really understood him, even if I did really like the story.
I love, LOVE how she crafted him. She made him everything we know about Peter Pan… childish, reckless, irresponsible, cocky, and careless. But she also tells us WHY he’s that way. I just really loved that she gave him a back story. It helped me understand him and see him in a way I never imagined. Also, seeing him as a nineteen year old was definitely interesting. And seeing him grow and change throughout the book was the best thing ever. He’s not quite there yet… but BOOK 2!!!!!!!
Tiger Lily was wonderful in so many ways. I also liked Officer Darling.
The villains were complete villains.

There’s so many other little things I love so much. The whole “Pixie-Girl” thing and the dancing with the pixies heart melts. The magic was beautifully done. The character-development was brilliant. Peter and Claire made me smile soo much.❤️ I could go on and on.

My only complaint? (Not really a complaint, just an impatient fangirl rant) THE CLIFFHANGER. BOOK 2 CANNOT GET HERE QUICK ENOUGH. Uhhhhhh I’m not okay. How can I wait until July??!?!? I don’t know. But I will be VERY anxiously waiting until then.

So to sum it up? This book was a whimsical, magical, golden work of art and went straight to my favorites. There are soo many beautiful quotes in here. I even got teared up because some of it really hit home. The beauty of this book goes beyond the cover.
Kara Swanson’s writing is soo beautiful and whimsical. Oh my goodness. I loved it so very much.

I really, really can’t wait until the next book. I need more of these characters ASAP. 🙂

Castle of Refuge by Melanie Dickerson Book Review

Hey, friends! Today I’m reviewing Melanie Dickerson’s upcoming release for next month, Castle of Refuge. It’s the second book in her series, The Dericott Tales.

Synopsis:

To live an unforgettable life, she would defy all expectations—including her own.

Ever since she was a child, Audrey wanted her life to be extraordinary. But as the daughter of a viscount born in late fourteenth-century England, the only thing expected of her was to marry—until an act of malice by her sister, Maris, four years ago damaged her prospects even further. Though Maris was sent away, twenty-year-old Audrey is still suffering the scars of her sister’s cruelty. So when her father announces his plans to marry off his damaged daughter and bring Maris back home, Audrey decides to flee in search of her true destiny.

However, life outside her home is dangerous, and she soon finds herself attacked, sick, and in dire straits. She is taken in at Dericott Castle to be nursed back to health. While there, she decides to keep her identity a secret and work as a servant in the castle. But she doesn’t count on falling in love with the young and handsome Lord Dericott, who lost his arm several months earlier and bears scars of his own.

Meanwhile, Edwin—Lord Dericott—is curious about the new, well-educated servant’s identity. When the man Audrey’s father wanted her to marry comes looking for her, each must make a life-changing decision about what to believe and whether or not love is truly worth trusting.

My Review:

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Castle of Refuge was quite exciting. It did take me a little while to get into it but once the action began, it was hard to put down.

It’s a story of two scarred people finding each other and loving each other, scars and all. I find that particular storyline so beautiful!

I immediately felt so much sympathy for Audrey. I can’t imagine being so mistreated by someone who is suppose to be your role model and best friend. Throughout the book we see Audrey deal with the insecurities and scars her sister has caused her. She was such a sweet girl and I wanted only a happy ending for her!

I also felt sympathy for Edwin. We saw him lose his arm in the first book and in this book we watch him deal with the affects of only having one arm. While I felt for him, I also admired him.

Watching these two come together was very sweet. I loved that it was slow-burn and clean.

I really enjoy the faith content included. And again, I appreciate the cleanness of the romance!

There were some pretty intense scenes and suspense towards the end that kept me flipping pages. Overall, I liked this second book in the series! While I’m not loving it as much as I did the Hagenheim series (insert heart eyes!), it’s still good.

If you’re a fan of YA historical love stories, I think you would enjoy this!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham Book Review

I’m so excited to be reviewing A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham, a historical fiction novel that comes out June 1!

Synopsis:

Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel’s real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts’s lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all.

As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can’t help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities?

My Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve been anticipating this book ever since I first saw it coming out. I’ve loved every book Rachel Fordham has written and this one was no different!

First of all, I found it so interesting how unique Hazel’s profession is for historical fiction! I was definitely intrigued when I found out she was a dental assistant (called a lady in attendance at that time.) I’ve contemplated this profession, so reading about what that was like in the late 1800s was so neat!

I loved Hazel and her story. It was inspiring and gripped me. I wanted to know all of it. I felt for her in so many ways and was rooting for her the whole time. Her past was written so well. I was so intrigued by it, and I felt so much emotion behind it. I really love how her past unfolded throughout the novel instead of having an info-dump at the beginning. It left me wanting to read and more to find out what had happened.

Gilbert was an amazing male lead. I’m sure I sighed several times throughout because he was so romantic! Yes, Rachel Fordham successfully made a 1800s dentist romantic. ☺️ I just loved him! He was awkward and shy and adorable! (I feel weird calling him adorable but he really was… in a manly way.)😉 As an introvert, I felt for the poor guy! I loved and admired his loyalty to Hazel. He was just really sweet!

I also love the secondary characters, especially Ina. Her and Duncan made my heart so happy! I even liked Eddie in the end.

The love story was beautiful! It was just the way I like it. It was slow-burn, and wasn’t based merely on looks/ physical attraction. I find so many romance novels focus on the character’s looks and outward appearance when their character and heart is what really matters. Rachel Fordham does a beautiful job at writing a romance with depth. It made me smile and sigh. It made my heart happy!

This was more than a romance novel though. There was mystery and suspense that made the book hard to put down. There were themes of forgiveness, both forgiveness towards others and yourself. Themes of moving on from your past and finding peace. The faith woven in is beautiful. Simple and yet profound.

I loved the humor. I laughed and smiled so much! The banter was so good.☺️

Also, I just have to point this out because I’m such an Anne of Green Gables fan that even a mention of the name Gilbert brings Gilbert Blythe to mind… but Gilbert and Hazel reminded me slightly of my favorite fictional couple ever, Gilbert and Anne. I think it’s Hazel’s “red” hair that did that.😉

I loved this novel! It had a good love story, wonderful characters, and the right amount of suspense. I couldn’t be more excited for her next release. Her books never fail to inspire me! I recommend to anyone looking for a good historical fiction.

A Lady in Attendance releases June 1 and is available for preorder now!

*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC. All opinions are my own.

Real, Not Perfect by Stephanie Coleman Book Review

Synopsis:

Real, Not Perfect is the first book in a series that travels alongside four friends as they deal with teen life in Riverbend, Indiana. The novel inspires girls and young women to deepen their relationships with God and solve their problems in God-honoring ways. 

Tessa has lived a trouble-free life as the only child of two loving parents―she is well-liked, gets straight As, is on the competitive swim team, and is active in her church youth group. It’s a pretty perfect life! That is, until she comes home from swim practice one day to find that her parents are divorcing. Along with that, her BFF has moved to Florida, and Tessa gets stuck in Intro to Drama―possibly the worst class ever!

Soon Tessa’s mom sinks into despair and Tessa struggles with her anger and hurt. Meanwhile, her BFF posts fabulous pictures of her new life on Instagram. Tessa thinks that everyone’s posts show lives that are way better than the one she has. Why does it seem like everyone else’s life is more perfect than hers? Find out how Tessa’s new friends from Intro to Drama and Alex, her true-blue friend, help her discover that real is better than perfect.

My Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 4 out of 5 stars

I was so excited when I saw this new Christian YA series was being released! I feel like there’s not a whole lot of YA contemporaries on the Christian fiction market which is a shame since I love them!

After Tessa finds out her parents are separating, she feels like the nearly perfect life she’s always known is starting to crumble. On top of her parents divorce, her best friend moved away, she’s stuck in a drama class she didn’t sign up for, and the boy she likes sees her as just a friend. While her mom sinks into heartache, Tessa deals with her anger and hurt. She hides her emotions behind smiles and “I’m fine” but inside, she feels anything but fine. There’s only so much pretending she can do. What if she could embrace that being real is so much better than being perfect?

I really liked this book. While it is sad, it also has it’s light moments that made me laugh and smile. I really liked Tessa and found her relatable in so many ways. Her struggle with opening up to people and stop pretending that she’s okay is something I could especially relate to. As for side characters, I really liked Izzy, Shay, and Alex, especially Izzy. I’m so excited for her story! As for Amelia, I think she’ll grow on me. 🙂

I really enjoyed seeing Tessa’s friendship with Izzy, Shay, and Amelia grow. It reminded me that sometimes we’re put in situations we don’t like but a lot of good can come from it, like valuable friendships that can change our life for the better. They were a fun group and I’m so happy they each get their own story! I also really liked watching her relationship with her mom. I was getting all teared up several times at the touching parts.

This book really shows just how social media can affect you. It’s so easy to forget that people are posting the highlights of their life. You don’t always see the side of their lives that’s less than perfect. You only get a small glimpse but it can make you feel like your life isn’t as great as everyone else’s. So much connection yet it can make you feel even more lonely. I think this is something soo many teens can relate to. I know I could! Tessa’s struggle with this was very realistically done. I felt her struggle.

It also touches on some tough topics like divorce and someone you love dealing with mental illness. While this made it a sadder book, it also makes it real and relatable for a lot of people.

Tessa’s struggles with her relationship with God was authentic and relatable. Her hurt and anger along with her struggle to forgive was very real and I felt it. I teared up multiple times throughout this book, something I didn’t expect to happen.

The content is clean is clean in my opinion. There isn’t very much romance besides a crush and talk of liking boys. The reason for her parents separation was uncomfortable and made me really sad. I don’t like to think that it happens but the truth is, it does. *MINOR SPOILER* It also talks about one of Tessa’s friends dealing with mental illness. This might be triggering to some. It made me want to reach out to people more and show them I care, not to always assume everything is always okay.

Overall, I really liked this book! I really liked the characters, and I’m so looking forward to the other girls’ stories! If you’ve ever dealt with the struggle to forgive when someone you love hurts you or felt the pressure to act like you’re okay when you’re really not, I think you can relate to this story. If you’ve went through friendship complications or feeling the loneliness of social media, you’ll understand Tessa’s struggles.

Real, Not Perfect will be releasing on April 6th.

*Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

❤️Emma

The Court of Swans by Melanie Dickerson Book Review

The Court of Swans is the first book in Melanie Dickerson’s new fairytale retellings series, The Dericott Tales. I am SO excited, you guys! I had the honor of reading an ARC of this book and here I am with my review.💛

Synopsis

Where there is wealth and power, there’s always someone willing to do anything to take it.

England, 1381: Delia’s idyllic life as daughter of an earl is shattered when her father dies and his wife accuses Delia’s seven brothers of treason and murder. The youngest is only ten years old, but this doesn’t stop the guards from hauling them off to the Tower of London. There they await a grim fate, as child-king Richard II is executing anyone who poses a threat to his throne. Delia is their only hope for pardon and freedom.

Sir Geoffrey did not expect his first assignment as captain of the guard to be the arrest of boys so young. He dutifully imprisons the brothers, but he can’t ignore the sense, rooted in personal experience, that injustice and treachery are at work.

Determined to rescue her brothers, Delia secures a position as a seamstress for the queen. Her quest is all but impossible as the executions continue. Sir Geoffrey offers to be her ally, but should she trust him in a court where everyone has an agenda?

From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a tender retelling of “The Wild Swans,” where the virtues of loyalty and love face a harrowing showdown with power and fear.

My Review

I LOVE Melanie Dickerson’s books so much and since it has been a while since I last read one, my thoughts while reading this one was “It feels so good to be back into a Melanie Dickerson book!” Her Hagenheim series was AMAZING so when I found out she was coming out with a new series… let’s just say I was extremely happy about it. ☺️

I knew nothing about the fairytale this book is based on, “The Wild Swans”, so I went into this story not knowing what to expect… except for the expectation of liking it because it’s Melanie Dickerson. And I’m so happy to say, I did!

The story gets to the action at the very beginning which I really liked. I don’t always like waiting around for the plot to get going. I like the big plot point happening right away… and this one did that! I was drawn in only a few pages in and I had a hard time putting it down after that… which is my normal when reading one of Melanie’s books. 😉

There were a lot of characters in here as you can imagine since there are seven brothers. I’ll start off by saying, I loved the brothers and I cannot wait to get their stories! I get excited just thinking about it!! Since this story is about Delia, their sister, there wasn’t a whole lot of characterization given to them yet. So, that makes me even more excited to get to know them in the coming books!

Delia was a great main character. She was seriously determined and didn’t give up. Her love for her brothers and their love for her was so sweet. I loved it!

Geoffrey was a pretty great character too. He’s conflicted by what his duty as a knight of the king is and what he is knows in his heart is right. His desire to do right and do as God would have him do was really admirable and that’s what made him a great hero.

Besides our main characters, the bad guys were definitely easy to dislike. I was so cautious of everyone Delia came in contact with that I was giving her serious talks in my head not to trust anyone. 😂

The plot was fast-paced and kept my interest the entire time. Since everything seemed impossibly doomed, I had no idea how things were ever going to make it out alive. Needless to say, the suspense in here was great and kept me turning the pages.

The faith content in here was something I loved a lot. I love how Delia and Geoffrey pray through things and put their trust in God, even when they can’t understand why things are happening as they are. I just really love how Melanie weaves faith into her stories, into her character’s lives. It’s inspiring and makes the books that much better!

The romance was completely sweet and clean, nothing but a kiss. I appreciate that so much!

In the end, I really enjoyed this book. It had a lot of suspense, a sweet romance, and a plenty of action. I’m beyond excited for the rest of this series, especially Edwin’s story in the next book.

This book comes out January 5, 2021! It’s right around the corner, you guys. 2021!!! That’s crazy to me.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Conclusion

After reading this, I now want to go back and reread the entire Hagenheim series. *sigh* I had such an amazing time discovering and reading those books. Funny thing is, I haven’t mentioned them that much on my blog! I find that crazy because I love that series so much. I like to review books right after reading them though… and it’s been a little while since I’ve read them. Maybe that should be my excuse to reread them. 😏

Anyways, I hope you have a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend. 😊

~Emma

Dearest Josephine by Caroline George Book Review

I have a book review here for Dearest Josephine by Caroline George. I had the pleasure of receiving an ARC and I have a lot of thoughts! This book comes out February 2, 2021 which is right around the corner.

Synopsis

Caroline George sweeps readers up into two different time periods with an unexpected love story that prompts us to reimagine what it means to be present with the people we love.

2020: Chocolate and Earl Grey tea can’t fix Josie De Clare’s horrible year. She mourned the death of her father and suffered a teen-life crisis, which delayed her university plans. But when her father’s will reveals a family-owned property in Northern England, Josie leaves London to find clarity at the secluded manor house. While exploring the estate, she discovers two-hundred-year-old love letters written by an elusive novelist, all addressed to someone named Josephine. And then she discovers a novel in which it seems like she’s the heroine…

1820: Novelist Elias Roch loves a woman he can never be with. Born the bastard son to a nobleman and cast out from society, Elias seeks refuge in his mind with the quirky heroine who draws him into a fantasy world of scandal, betrayal, and unconditional love. Convinced she’s his soulmate, Elias writes letters to her, all of which divulge the tragedy and trials of his personal life.

As fiction blurs into reality, Josie and Elias must decide: How does one live if love can’t wait? Separated by two hundred years, they fight against time to find each other in a story of her, him, and the novel written by the man who loves her.

My Review

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but the synopsis itself completely intrigued me. And now having read it… wow! That was so good.

The format is this book was unique to me since it’s told exclusively in emails, text messages, letters, and manuscripts of a novel. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like that but it worked so well for this book! I actually loved it!

The characters were vibrant and felt so real. I wondered how well I’d get to know the characters considering the way it’s formatted but they were SO well done! They really lived for me. I really felt like I knew them. They were so original and fun and quirky and I loved them!! The character development and lessons learned was really great as well.

Josie was so much fun, quirky, and super relatable! I loved her. Faith was an amazing best friend. I really liked her. Her and Josie’s friendship was great!!

Oliver. OLIVER. Lol, I loved him so much! He was the BEST. Ahhh!! He was so much fun and weird and amazing. He made me really happy. Literally, whenever he entered the story I got really happy.😂

Elias was such an interesting, complex character. Seriously! And as an introvert, I was finding myself relating to him in a lot of ways… I wasn’t expecting that!

The story itself is so intriguing and gripping. There were so many times this book felt pretty much impossible to put down… which is why I finished it in two days, staying up quite late to finish it.

The way this book has both a modern and classic feel to it was so well done. You’re swept away in 1820 then you’re back to now. The texting and email updates between Josie and her friends in between reading the letters and manuscript was something I found soo much fun! It made me feel as if I was reading along with Josie, like we were in on it together. I LOVED that!

There were twists and turns, surprises. I never really knew what was going to happen. I really enjoyed that!

The writing was very compelling. Elias’s writing felt very classic and so authentic. Seriously, I kid you not… I have 222 highlights on my kindle from this book!! There were so many beautiful and thoughtful quotes.

After reading this book, it very much makes me want to move into an old house, specifically an English manor house, where I can explore and dream and possibly find an old love story in letters. Oh, and I would certainly not object to having a neighbor like Oliver.😉 Seriously. Although it sounded spooky at times, it also sounded soo cozy and neat!

The ending. *clutches heart and dramatically sighs* I cannot spoil things so I can’t say anything which is super hard… but if you know, you know!! It made me SO happy and I totally swooned and ahh!! It was SO perfect. Sweetest thing ever. The end.

Haha, so I guess that’s enough fangirling for now.

I think I’d recommend this one specifically to older teens because I think they’d relate to it the most since the characters are around 18 and 19. That being said, the romance is clean. A few kisses. But *MINOR SPOILER* there is an affair that happens in the book. I was afraid this part might be taken too far but thankfully it was not. Still, personally I would recommend this to older teens.

*Thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.😊

~Emma