Sunday, May 31, 2015

Book Review: The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Back Cover:
“Not to be Chosen would yield a cruel fate of my own making.”
Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for—her Choosing ceremony—would end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.
But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. The whispers contradict everything she’s been told; yet they resonate deep within.
Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, but she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.

The Positives:
I have never read a dystopian novel. (I've never read the Hunger Games. Don't judge.) So this was my first glimpse into this genre. And I have to say I really enjoyed it.
The beginning pulled me right in and quickly explained what was happening and why. I wasn't left hanging or trying to figure out what was happening.
The whole ceremony of The Choosing was really interesting. It reminded me of very historical balls and ideas.
I liked the tidbits of history that were put in every so often. It really explained about the history of how the Authority and the city came to be.
The characters were awesome. Carrington was very realistic and was scared, but brave at the same time. Remko was very sweet and even though he couldn't talk very well, he did get his message across.
I loved the sections where you saw things from the villain's perspective, but there was no name or anything alluding to who he might be. It gave a sense of mystery to the book.

The Negatives:
The author didn't really explain about the story world. I mean, what technology did they have, were there any other people outside of the city? What about the rest of the world? Where there any other survivors after the outbreak, besides the one in the city in the book?
Technology was generally explained and shown, but not to the degree I wanted.

Even though I don't much experience with dystopian novels, I did think this book was very good and I would totally recommend it! I can't wait for book 2!

Q&A with Rachelle Dekker
About the Author . . . The oldest daughter of New York
Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle
Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth
through storytelling. She graduated with a degree in
communications and spent several years in marketing
and corporate recruiting before making the transition
to write full-time. She lives in Nashville with her
husband, Daniel, and their diva cat, Blair. Visit her
online at

1. How did you come up with the story for The Choosing?
This is a hard question because it has many answers. I wanted to write a
theme-based novel about identity. I wanted to write a dystopian novel. I
wanted to write in a world that was familiar, but in a setting where I could
change the way the world worked. It actually is several ideas I’d been toying
with pulled into one story. Once I landed on Carrington’s core revelation and
story arc, I simply fell in love with her as a character and drew the rest of the
story around her. That’s usually how it works for me. I come up with a
character, good or bad, and create the story from there.

2. You based your main character, Carrington, off of your younger
sister. In what ways is Carrington like her?
It’s more the beliefs that Carrington struggles with that remind me of my sister. The idea of
worth, of not feeling like you’re enough, or questioning whether anyone would choose you.
Carrington came about as I spent time with my sister and her college-age friends and saw
that a large majority of them were searching for significance, searching for worth—none
more than my sister at the time.

3. Throughout the book, Carrington struggles with understanding her identity and
worth and what is true. Why did you decide to write about the theme of identity?
Someone once asked me, If you could leave one message for your younger sisters, what
would it be? The answer was always the same: I would pray they knew what they were
worth. Identity is everything. There isn’t a theme that doesn’t start with identity, or circle
back to identity. Knowing who you truly are is the greatest journey we face. Am I enough;
am I worth it? I believe everyone faces these questions, and I sought out to explore them
through this story. 


You can read the full Q&A HERE.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review: As Love Blooms by Lorna Seilstad

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Back Cover:
Tessa Gregory is nothing if not tenacious. Denied a position as a horticulturalist at prestigious Como Park in Saint Paul, she is not above a little benevolent deception in order to get the park superintendent to change his mind and hire her. She plans to infiltrate the world of wealthy and influential people in hopes of drumming up financial support for a world-class conservatory. But before she can put those plans into action, she meets Reese King, a handsome gardener at Como Park--and a major distraction. Still, Reese might be the key to achieving her dream. But is his goal to help her . . . or to capture her heart?

Against a lush backdrop of early twentieth century Saint Paul, Minnesota, Lorna Seilstad weaves a sweet and sassy story that is sure to please. Tessa's young romance opens like a rose, stealing readers' hearts and filling their senses with the intoxicating fragrance of dreams come true.

The Positives:
This book was so sweet! Tessa is so feisty and a bit reckless, but she is brilliant. Reese is amazing and the way he loves Tessa is just awesome. I loved that she tried many different things before settling on gardening as a career. Too bad, she would have been great as a Pinkerton detective. *wink*
I have never read a book where gardening was the main theme. So, it was fun to learn more about gardening.
Tessa is creative and super smart. But, she does sneak about to get things to go her own way. Later, she does repent and she comes clean in that regard.
Reese is smart and kind. He's the kind of guy that every girl adores. He's steady and helps Tessa with her plan. He seems a bit more reluctant about sneaking around than she does, and he comes clean of that as well.
And of course, everything does work out in the end. All's well that ends well.

The Negatives:
There was no clear introduction to the characters and setting. The action began too quickly.

This was an awesome book with a very sweet romance. I completely recommend it!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Book Review: The Pharaoh's Daughter by Mesu Andrews

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Back Cover:
“You will be called Anippe, daughter of the Nile. Do you like it?” Without waiting for a reply, she pulls me into her squishy, round tummy for a hug. 
I’m trying not to cry. Pharaoh’s daughters don’t cry.
When we make our way down the tiled hall, I try to stop at ummi Kiya’s chamber. I know her spirit has flown yet I long for one more moment. Amenia pushes me past so I keep walking and don’t look back. 
Like the waters of the Nile, I will flow.

Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt’s good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. In order to provide Sebak the heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile.
     When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.
  As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants, the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?

The Positives:
This book was amazing! It pulled me in from the beginning. I've only read one other book that's based in Ancient Egypt, so it was interesting to read another one. I love how the author wove the the characters together. It was something I never thought of that Tut could have been Pharaoh at the time of baby Moses and he was the one that ordered that the baby Hebrew boys be killed.
Anippe was one of those main characters that's very vulnerable, but she was strong when she needed to be. Her story was incredible. She saved Moses because she was afraid of bearing her own children and she had to go to great lengths to make sure no one everyone figured out that he was not her child.
As in the movies, Moses was just a Prince and not really doing anything important with his time. But I think books are much more accurate than movies. Moses was literally trained to be Pharoah one day.
I think is very historically accurate. I never really thought a lot about what really happened to Moses and his adopted mother. It is fiction, but something like this might have happened.

The Negatives:
Nothing for me!

I loved this book! It was well written and the story was compelling. I would definitely recommend it! I cannot wait to read book two!

More Info 
Author Bio