Ending Fear by Deanna Fugett

Welcome to Stop #12!

I’m super excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Deanna Fugett’s debut YA Dystopian novel, Ending Fear, released just yesterday! Check out the beautiful cover and more about the book:

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From L2L2 Publishing:

Fourteen-year-old Fear learns she was a parachute baby, dumped over the edge of the Gliding Lands as an infant. Fascinated by the floating cities in the sky before, now she’s desperate for answers.

But a slave isn’t likely to get those answers.

When her abusive Downer family throws her from their hovel, Fear takes refuge with a family who shows her love for the first time. Surely they can’t be trusted. Years of abuse and molestation has taught her that.

Then her brother discovers where she’s hiding and tries to kidnap her. Fear will never let him touch her again. Her new family conceals her at The Fallen, a ranch that hides parachute babies from the Uppers who discarded them.

Just as she’s beginning to embrace yet another home, Fear’s new little sister, Happy, is kidnapped and taken to the Uppers’ temple harem. Fear must go against her namesake, find a working hoverpod, and journey to the dreaded Gliding Lands before the little girl’s innocence is ripped from her forever.

Can she save Happy in time?

And will she find answers to the burning question of why anyone would throw her away?


My Review:

There is so much to like about Deanna Fugett’s debut novel! First, I love how she used her characters’ predominant trait as their name (Fear, Hate, Courage…) — so creative and unique. And yet, her characters are so much more than just their dominant trait; she’s crafted a collection of characters with depth and fullness that can both frustrate you and tug at your heart.

And she uses the dystopian genre so fantastically. Her futuristic societies of Uppers (who live in floating cities and are slaves to popularity and pleasure) and Downers (who live on terra firma and are enslaved by poverty and propaganda) are an insightful commentary on our own society and what could happen if attitudes don’t soon change. Yikes!

Ending Fear was a fun read: one that kept me up at night, turning the pages, and wondering how Fear would overcome her namesake and glorify Abba. I highly recommend you snag your own copy of Ending Fear and settle in for a great ride.

Many thanks to Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing for the advance copy of the novel for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂


The Rest of the Good Stuff:

Be sure to sign up for the Facebook Launch Party tomorrow from 7-9 pm MST for fun and prizes!

And don’t forget to add Ending Fear to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

If you’ve missed any of stops on the Ending Fear blog tour, be sure to go back and check them all out. They are all filled with tons of great info on the book, on the coloring book, and on Deanna Fugett.  And if you visit all fourteen blog tour stops and collect all of the words of the sentence (from the images like the one at the bottom of this post), you can enter to win a signed paperback copy of Ending Fear and an Ending Fear Coloring Book (U.S. only; outside the U.S., you can win an Ending Fear e-book). Here are links to all of the stops:

 

To purchase your own copy, visit Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing.

And now what you’ve all been so patiently waiting for: the next clue in Ending Fear’s Blog Tour Scavenger Hunt! And if you’re like me (you tend to not do things in order…), and this is the last word you needed, simply click on the picture to bring up the entry form for the Scavenger Hunt. 🙂

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And be sure to connect with Deanna Fugett on social media:

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Google+ // Pinterest // Instagram // Goodreads

Unblemished & Unraveling by Sara Ella

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From Goodreads: Eliyana has always recoiled from her own reflection in the mirror. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world existed where her blemish could become her strength?

Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a hideous birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her as normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird.

Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?

I read this lovely book, Sara Ella’s debut novel, back in February and was absolutely fascinated. She created such an imaginatively unique world in the Reflections, yet managed to firmly anchor the story in the real world at the same time, easily drawing in the reader and keeping them invested.

The story is rife with beautiful emotion, cool imagery, and just the right amount of tension to make you want to keep turning the pages. It’s a fabulous start to a fantastic series.

And Unblemished won the INSPY Award for Literature for Young Adults 2017, and it’s up for awards at the RealmMakers Conference next week!

And, just a note here, the review of the second book in the series, Unraveling, is below, but there are **some spoilers for Unblemished** in the description of the book. Know that, if you choose not to read the rest to keep from ruining the first story, I highly recommend both books, and like the second even more than the first! 🙂

 

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From Goodreads: What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?

Eliyana Ember doesn’t believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what’s right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she’s trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about–like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.

Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua’s finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something–or someone–is missing?

When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections–and keep herself from falling for him in the process?

I enjoyed the first book, but I loved the second! Unraveling made some parts of Unblemished make more sense, because as Eliyana learns more about the Reflections, so do her readers. And learn she does! Eliyana grows so much throughout this part of her story, and I seriously look forward to what adventures we will join her on in the next part of the series. We also get to know what drives and shapes some of the other characters and get to see their various facets shining or dimming as the Reflections change around them.

Seriously, I looked back at the notes I made while reading Unraveling, and they were all along the lines of “Wow!” and “Oooh, that’s a cool description.” Sara Ella’s world-building and character development get better with each installation of this series, which definitely bodes well for the next one!

I do highly recommend you read these imaginatively inspiring novels from Sara Ella. They will add a lovely tune to the soundtrack of your reading life.

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for the digital copy of Unraveling for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. My opinions are my very own! 🙂

And join me on Wednesday as I get to participate in a blog tour to help launch Deanna Fugett’s debut novel, Ending Fear! I’m so excited to be part of the tour and to share the book with you!

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

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From the author’s website:

“In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle’s café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She’s a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.”

Kate Breslin has crafted a lovely story that is rich with both historical detail and an intricate and engrossing plot. She is absolutely marvelous at building tension, throwing in plenty of unexpected plot twists to keep the reader on her toes.

But that’s just the half of it. She has also created a cast of multi-layered characters – the best kind of characters: the ones you both love and want to smack at the same time. Her main character, Evelyn Marche, was even inspired by real historical women from the First World War.

It is a tale of strength and fragility and how both are necessary to survive in the tough times. It is a story of guilt that cripples the soul and the freedom found only in redemption. It is a novel of how love can conquer all, even self-induced heartbreak. And it is a beautiful read. It is heart-pumping, heart-squeezing, and heart-warming.

Do yourself a favor and pick up your own copy of High as the Heavens, then snuggle in for a fascinating read.

Many thanks to Bethany House for the copy of this novel for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

Zachary by Raymond Springer

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From the publisher:

“Two enemy factions race toward a childbirth: The Circle of Benediction, a secret society whose mission is to destroy anyone with supernatural abilities, and the Watchers, an underground group sworn to protect those with powers.

“The Watchers, led by Jacob Pennington- an elderly man of unnatural strength, secure the child just before the Circle destroys him. But, can they keep him alive despite the Circle’s resources?

“Held up at Pennington’s Rampart Industries, the Watchers will make their stand. Will they withstand the assault without the assistance of the child, or the child’s blood?

“The birth of this child changes everything…and so would his death.”

I’m really sorry to say, but it took everything I had in me to finish this book. The blurb was intriguing, but that was probably some of the best writing in the entire novel. The idea for the book was okay, but the execution was barely mediocre — and that description does not even include the horrible state of the grammar and spelling throughout most of the book.

And the “Christian” fiction classification is loose at best. There are a few references to the story of the Nephilim before the flood in Genesis, but otherwise everything else is extra-biblical, not to mention the superfluous and rather explicit sex scene near the end of the book. Seriously?

I rarely say this, but don’t bother to pick this book up. Even if an editor cleaned it up (which would be a huge task), the overall story is not good enough for me to recommend it to you. Sorry. 😦

Thanks to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for the digital copy of this book for review purposes. I (obviously) was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own.

NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible

 

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From the back cover: “The NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible brings the Bible to life in full-color illustrated splendor. Featuring over 700 illustrations, colorful photos, engaging maps and important facts located near the relevant verse — this study Bible is as eye-popping as it is informative.”

Some of my favorite features:

  • “Over 700 four-color photographs, illustrations, infographics and maps throughout” — this Bible, geared for tweens (ages 8-12), incorporates a wide variety of illustrations to help the young Bible scholar, including some of those fabulous charts and drawings from the Quickview Bible.
  • “Book introductions, including important facts and an image to orient the reader” — every book is introduced with a quick list of facts to help young people get an overall view of that particular book, such as who wrote it, what happens, and what are some of the key stories/events/chapters in that book.
  • “One-column format with sidebar study notes for ease of reading” — I really love this feature, because it not only includes notes, but still, usually, leaves some room for the young student of the Bible to write down their own notes and keep track of some of the things God is teaching them through His Word.
  • “The complete text of the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Bible” — yes, this is one of my favorite features. Why? Because I remember that the only “Bible” we used when I was little was a Bible storybook, not a full-text Bible. Sure, it had all the classic stories (Noah & the Flood, Jonah & the Whale, Jesus feeding the 5,000, etc.) and pretty pictures, but it didn’t have everything. When I finally “graduated” to a full-on Bible, I was given a King James Version. Nice, but difficult for my young mind to really understand. This is the complete NIV translation, with those classic stories told in context and with illustrations to help young minds discover what God’s Word is really all about.

This is a Bible that can grow with a kid: the pictures/illustrations/charts/maps can help spark interest in the Word in younger Christians, while the full-text and study notes can draw kids deeper into knowledge of God and His Word.

If you have tweens in your family, I’d highly recommend you get them an NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible. Honestly, even if it’s just for you, it’s a pretty cool Bible with some great reference information that could absolutely aid in anyone’s study of the Word. 🙂 

Many thanks to ZonderKidz and Handlebar Marketing for the copy of this Bible for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review (but I couldn’t help it, because it’s a cool Bible!). All opinions are my very own! 🙂

Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

Well, I missed my normal Monday review date. Sorry… It’s been a rough couple of weeks: between wretched allergies and the sudden loss of my beautiful Aunt Faith, I’ve gone through a ridiculous amount of Kleenex lately. However, the need to stay inside on these too warm, too windy, too pollen-filled days has given me the blessing of time to read (when my eyes aren’t too puffy to see!) and catch up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 🙂 I hope I’ll be back on schedule in a few days. So without further ado, here’s my review of Connilyn Cossette’s Wings of the Wind:

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From the book: Can vengeance give way to forgiveness when one woman’s destiny becomes entangled with the very enemies she sought to destroy?

“Motherless and raised alongside her brothers, Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting. When her father and brothers are killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving.

“Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, has spent his share of time on the battlefield and is shocked to find an unconscious woman among the casualties. Compelled to bring her to a healer back at the Hebrew camp, he’s unprepared for the consequences of what he intended as an act of compassion.

“In order to survive, Alanah must unite with her enemy. But will a terrible revelation drive her toward an even greater danger?”

Wings of the Wind is a sweeping historical drama, covering events from the last bits of the Exodus and the crossing into the Promised Land. Cossette does a beautiful job of bringing the biblical stories into new, fresh life, giving her readers a different perspective on the dramatic events recounted in Numbers 21 (the Bronze Serpent) and Joshua 2 (Rahab and the Spies), among others. I love historical fiction — especially when it makes you look at stories you already know in a new light, makes you really think about the rest of the story. Cossette definitely does just that and masterfully blends a ton of historical research with everything from thrills to romance, thoroughly fleshed and sympathetic characters, and even a giggle or two.

This is actually the third book in Connilyn Cossette’s Out from Egypt series. I have not read the first two (Counted with the Stars and Shadow of the Storm), but that certainly didn’t dampen my enjoyment of this story. In fact, I plan on reading those first two books as soon as I can. 🙂 And I’d certainly suggest you grab your own copy of Wings of the Wind.

Many thanks to Bethany House for the copy of this lovely book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

The Book of Whispers by Kimberley Starr

bookofwhispersFrom the publisher:

Tuscany, 1096 AD. Young aristocrat Luca can see demons invisible to others, but must hide the fact. A powerful book seems to hold the key to their mystery, but he can’t decipher it. In Cappadocia, during a Crusade, Luca encounters Suzan, a girl who can read the book’s cryptic language. Together, Luca and Suzan realize their true quest.

That brief description of the book grabbed me immediately. And the cover is actually pretty cool too, so I thought this might be a good book to try out a new author. Then I read the book…

…and was in no way disappointed 🙂 Starr does a magnificent job of weaving historical fact with demons and magic to create a lush and fascinating tale of the Crusades. I mean, seriously, take a moment in history, add demons, and boom! Way cooler story!

Honestly though, this story, what Starr calls “augmented history,” definitely can make a reader see the Crusades in a new light. There were motivations behind the atrocities of the Crusades, and this story shows that while many of those motivations were impure, there were those who went on the Crusades for true and good reasons as well. If only more of those motivations would have been the driving force, our world may be completely different today. But, as Starr mentions in her author’s note, there are changes we can all make to help create a better world today, and knowing why we do something — knowing that driving motivation behind our own actions and those of the people around us — is one of the most important things we need to have to begin to change the world.

This was a fascinating story and I’d definitely recommend you grab a copy when it is released in September.

Many thanks to Text Publishing and NetGalley for the digital copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂