Ellie and the Harpmaker By Hazel Prior ★★★★★ #bookreview #bookblog

harpmakerSynopsis from Goodreads
A rich, heartwarming and completely charming debut that reminds us that sometimes, you don’t find love–love finds you. Dan Hollis lives a happy, solitary life carving exquisite Celtic harps in his barn in the countryside of the English moors. Here, he can be himself, away from social situations that he doesn’t always get right or completely understand. Ellie Jacobs is a lonely housewife, her days filled with walks and poetry she writes in secret. One day, she comes across Dan’s barn and is enchanted by his collection. Dan gives her a harp made of cherry wood to match her cherry socks. He stores it for her, ready for whenever she’d like to take lessons. Ellie begins visiting Dan almost daily, drifting deeper into his world. But when she accidentally discovers a secret, she must make a choice: keep it from him and risk their friendship, or change the course of their lives forever?

My Thoughts
A single word keep going through my head while I was reading this book. That word was lyrical and it really had nothing to do with Continue reading “Ellie and the Harpmaker By Hazel Prior ★★★★★ #bookreview #bookblog”

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Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone #bookreview

wordThis YA book is about Samantha, a girl with Purely-Obsessional OCD who is persistently consumed by dark thoughts and worries. She is part of the popular girls’ clique in school, but she knows that those girlfriends will turn on her if she does one single thing wrong that would embarrass them, including finding out she has OCD. In a way she feels protected by her circle of friends, but she understands the rules for remaining in the clique, and those rules definitely do not include Samantha’s new friend Caroline. Caroline is carefree, funny, and doesn’t care about being popular or Continue reading “Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone #bookreview”

The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson #bookreview

warriorThis is a retelling of the legend of Mulan – the girl who becomes a soldier to assume her deceased father’s duties in war. This is the 9th book in the Hagenheim series by Melanie Dickerson.

My 15 year old granddaughter suggested I read this series earlier this year. I read all 9 books in the series in the past few months. They are all fairy tale retellings (at least loosely) and they all have a Christian element to them.

I really enjoyed this book. The Hagenheim series started out strong for me, but Continue reading “The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson #bookreview”

Crow Flight by Susan Cunningham #bookreview

crowSynopsis from Goodreads
The curious flight patterns of crows lead a teen computer programmer down a path of mystery and romance. Gin trusts logic a little too much. She even designs programs to decide what to eat and how to spend her time. All that changes when she’s paired with a new transfer student, Felix, on a computer modeling assignment to explain certain anomalies in the behavior of crows. As she enters Felix’s world and digs further into the data behind crow behavior, Gin uncovers a terrible secret. And the wrong decision could equal disaster squared . . .

My Thoughts
The synopsis does describe the book, but it isn’t interesting enough to make someone want to read this book in my opinion. This book is so much more than the synopsis describes! Continue reading “Crow Flight by Susan Cunningham #bookreview”

The Vanishing by Wendy Webb #bookreview

vanishingSynopsis from Goodreads
Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired…and who the world believes is dead. When she arrives at the Sinclairs’ enormous estate on Lake Superior, Julia begins to suspect that there may be sinister undercurrents to her “too-good-to-be-true” position. As Julia delves into the reasons of why Amaris chose to abandon her successful writing career and withdraw from the public eye, her search leads to unsettling connections to her own family tree, making her wonder why she really was invited to Havenwood in the first place, and what monstrous secrets are still held prisoner within its walls.

My Thoughts
As I have mentioned in previous reviews of Wendy Webb’s books, I discovered this author a couple of weeks ago when I had Continue reading “The Vanishing by Wendy Webb #bookreview”

Into the Hollow by Lynn Vroman #bookreview

hollowSynopsis from Goodreads
The hollow as the perfect place to hide. Or so Free’s dad thought. His plan: flee California with Free’s five-year-old brother illegally in tow, hide out in the mountains of West Virginia, make fast cash during ginseng season, then escape to a nicer place where the law can’t find them. Free isn’t thrilled about living in a holler alongside drug dealers and thieves, but she’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep her family safe. Unfortunately, with their father disappearing into the woods with increasing frequency, Free and her brother exist largely alone. Until their neighbor Cole appears with lots of questions. Cole’s spent his entire life in the holler—and his entire life working out a way to leave his druggie mother and incarcerated brother. As the editor of the school newspaper, he’s an expert at getting to the bottom of a story, and he’s determined to crack Free—who seems un-crack-able. When the family she was desperate to protect is ripped apart, Free turns to Cole for help, the only person willing. But while her plan escalates, Free can’t deny the pull she feels toward the boy with too many questions—and who holds just as many secrets. As they become closer, she finds that Cole might need her help as much as she needs his.

My Thoughts
I can’t seem to write this review. I’ve tried a couple of times now and I find myself trying to retell the story and all the great, awesome parts of this book instead of telling you what I love about it. You have to read this book for yourself. It was beautiful.

Since I can’t stop myself from telling you the story, instead I am going to just write up some bullet points about what I loved about this book and some things this book made me think about. Continue reading “Into the Hollow by Lynn Vroman #bookreview”

While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt #bookreview

35478962Synopsis from Goodreads
On a remote Scottish island, the McBride house stands guard over its secrets. A century ago, a young widow and her son died mysteriously there; just last year a local boy, visiting for a dare, disappeared without a trace. For Zoe Adams, newly arrived from America, the house offers a refuge from her failing marriage. But her peaceful retreat is disrupted by strange and disturbing events: night-time intrusions; unknown voices; a constant sense of being watched. The locals want her to believe that these incidents are echoes of the McBrides’ dark past. Zoe is convinced the danger is closer at hand, and all-too-real – but can she uncover the truth before she is silenced?

My Thoughts
Right off the bat I observed that this author crafts exquisite sentences. Beautifully descriptive without being overbearing or verbose. Phrasing and word choices are brilliant. The author turns words into works of art! I actually stopped many times throughout the book to re-read sentences because they were so strikingly perfect to me. Very impressive. Continue reading “While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt #bookreview”