Book Review: Belle by Sarah Price

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To most townsfolk, he’s known simply as The Beast. Annabelle Beiler has little interest in gossip, but she’s heard about Adam Herschberger’s scars and his gruff, solitary ways. Though he sounds like a character from one of Belle’s treasured books, the man is real and, it turns out, just as unreasonable as the rumors claim. When a buggy accident wipes out the last of her daed’s money, forcing him to sell their farm, Adam buys it. Then he offers Belle a deal—marry him, and her family can keep their home.

Everyone is shocked by Belle’s decision, but she’s determined to be a good fraa, cleaning Adam’s rundown house and tending the overgrown garden. Breaking through her new husband’s icy reserve will be another matter. Belle’s courage and strength are abundant, but it will take true faith to guide Adam back to the heart of his Amish community—and to the loving marriage they both deserve.

Belle : An Amish Retelling of Beauty and the Beast, was such a unique twist. I love reading about the Amish lifestyle.

It took me a little bit to get into the story but I immediately loved the characters. Belle is such a sweet character, and I knew I was going to like Adam quickly. I think the romance aspect was done nicely, Belle and Adam’s relationship grows over time and through small acts of love and devotion.

Reasons I loved it :

  • Belle deals with her emotions well and helps Adam learn to work through his past.
  • Their couple moments were so cute and precious 🙂
  • The community isn’t perfect and depicts all real life situations and behaviors.

I enjoyed this retelling immensely and considering the amount of retellings I read I didn’t expect to be surprised by Belle ; I was however wrong. Belle turned out to be the perfect retelling.

The ending was perfect! Anyone who has to listen to me babble about books knows I love happy endings 🙂 I can’t wait to try the other books in this series written by Sarah Price.

 

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Book Review: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts

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Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut.

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her.

When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time–and their own

 

I was intrigued by the synopsis for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, I mean come on paranormal activity, time travel = an excited me. I don’t know why but this book just didn’t work for me, not to say others wouldn’t enjoy it.

The problems started for me once they traveled back in time, before that I was quite interested. Once they are back at Castle Creighton, in the bodies of two wedding guests, things rapidly plummeted. All of the characters were in love with someone who loved someone else and I can’t even call it a love triangle because it was more like a octagon. As if that wasn’t annoying enough, I didn’t like any of the main characters. Plus the whole concept that if Kat pretended she didn’t believe in ghosts and chanted a little saying it just made them invisible…….how though?!? I mean she clearly believes in ghosts so it really shouldn’t have worked.

So for me “The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts” didn’t really become what I thought it could but I would recommend that if the synopsis  peeked your interest to give it a try, different books work for different people.

Thank you to NetGalley for the review copy.

Forever & Always,

Emily

Let’s chat. Have you read this book? If so what are your thoughts? Do you like books about ghosts and paranormal activity? What about time travel?

 

 

Review of The Magnolia Arms Chronicles (book 1-3) By Holly Bebernitz

I was blessed enough to receive all three books as a gift from Mrs. Holly Bebernitz.

I love this series so much!! I often find that I can read books and love them but still point out all the flaws (ex. The Divergent Series). I can honestly tell you there are no flaws in these books. The plot, the characters, the descriptions; it’s all wonderful!

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Trevorode The Defender is the first book in The Magnolia Arms Chronicles. In this book we meet Agnes Quinn. The first three chapters are about Agnes’ time in college. In these few short chapters we learn about Agnes dream to publish the book she has been writing. Once she has a “wake-up call”, Agnes decides to put her dreams of publishing her book on hold and become a college professor. This begins her adventures at Brighton Park, where she meets an assortment of endearing and quirky characters.

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Road to Briarwood was my favorite (though all three are wonderful). In book two we find Agnes trying to balance her life. She is going to and from the Magnolia Arms, trying to focus on her second year of teaching, all while making new friends and adversaries. This book takes a deeper look into Agnes’ family and friends lives.

One (of many) things I love about these books is you could read any of them as a stand alone and still be immersed in Agnes’ world. In book 2 and 3 , Ms. Bebernitz does a fantastic job of weaving backstories into current situations. No info dumping or repetivness here.

Road to Briarwood has different characters finding love (I won’t spoil anything but my OTP got together and I’m a happy Turnip), as well as further character development.

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Book three’s focus shifts from Agnes (though she is still a main part) to a new character we get introduced to named Pinetta. In Tea At Kimball Pines new things are taking place in Dennisonville. We meet new characters, while still getting updates on old ones. Description in this book is even more noticeable and it helps distinguish the large cast even further.

 

 

The pacing was perfect and I never got bored while reading these three amazing books. It was so refreshing to pick up an adult book and it be wholesome.These characters are all realistic and flawed but their is no crude humor, foul language, or sexual content. I appreciated this aspect the most!! You will come away from reading these books wishing you lived in a town like Dennisonville, in a house just like the Magnolia Arms. I recommend these books to everyone! You can’t go wrong with well rounded characters, small town life (including realistic situations), a unique plot and appreciation for the arts!

Forever & Always,

Emily

Let’s chat! Do you think you would like the Magnolia Arms Chronicles?  Have you read anything recently that you just loved to pieces?

 

8 Series that I love to pieces

I love series! Don’t get me wrong stand alone books are great and I love and cherish many . Series have the benefit of giving us more time with the characters and can span a longer period of the characters life. I’m that person that wants all the little details about characters that don’t actually matter to the plot but I want them anyway, so meet my unrealistic demands authors.

Below are some of my favorite series, eight to be exact. Why eight, you ask, because my brain functions in a manner like this :

Me: I should write a blog post with 10 series, you know like a normal blogger.

Brain: But, like, what if you didn’t. You should do 8.

Me: Good point in all but nah.

Brain: Funny, like you had a choice, I said 8. For no apparent reason I like that number today.

Me: awesome. 8 it is.

A rare glimpse into my life of weirdness. By the way people who say they don’t have internal monologue running all day, seriously how do you live?? I blame being a writer as to why I talk to myself non stop.

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1. The Heist Society by Alley Carter.

I should probably be worried at the amount of books with criminals that I adore, but I’m not. These books are awesome. I originally “borrowed” Perfect Scoundrels from my sister, she never got it back (sorry hope you’re not to upset about the loss). Reading the third book first had me addicted and needing all the background stories. I love the characters and while some of them are a little cliché , the over all story and family dynamic made up for it.

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2. The Lost Books series by Ted Dekker

These are the best when it comes to being fast paced, action packed, and the ultimate good verses evil. While Chosen and Elyon ( the book on top) are my favorite, the rest of the series does keep pace. I enjoyed these books so much because of the unique story. It’s set in another world, where evil is on the outside in the form of a skin disease (known as Scabs). Believers wash themselves in the pools of Elyon to prevent the disease. The books center around four teenagers who get chosen to lead the forest guard and also get chosen by Elyon for a secret mission- to find the lost books of history.

I own all hardcover except for #6 Elyon , which I ordered used and didn’t pay attention to the fact that it is a paperback, so its in time out for being the oddball.

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3. Little House On The Prairie By Laura Ingalls Wilder.

 These books shaped my adolescence years, I loved her life and more often then not wished I lived in her era of time. I own all nine of the original and then a bunch of other ones , either written about Laura or her family members.

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4. Hattie Big Sky and Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson

I loved Hattie Big Sky, its about an orphan girl who gets passed from relative to relative. Then one day she gets the opportunity to strike out on her own and prove up a land claim. It was awesome and I have enjoyed reading it multiple times.

I was super excited for Hattie Ever After. It fell a little flat of my expectations, but was still an enjoyable read. In this book we see Hattie get to pursue a career and romantic relationships.

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5. Seasons of the Heart by Janette Oke.

I love Janette Oke books, and I haven’t read one yet that disappointed me. However I do realize that some are a might predictable and can have “fairytale endings “, neither of those bother me enough to turn me away. Seasons of the heart is such an adorable series and centers around a boy named Josh, over the course of the four books you get to experience his first love, his disappointments and all that accompanies growing up.

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6. Eagles Flying High series by Linda Rae Rao.

When I was about 16, I found Eagles Flying High at a thrift store. I bought it because it centered around the Revolutionary War, and History was (and still is ) my favorite subject. I devoured it quickly and had to have the rest. My shy self worked up the courage to ask my librarian if we had the others, my library didn’t but the college library carried it. This was important to my 16 year old self, that I got books from the college library, ahhhh the small things in life.

Anyway My favorite’s are Eagles Flying High and Of Eagles and Ravens , but all of them are beautifully written. All the books center around different members of the family. The family dynamic is so awesome, plus the action and history involved are perfect.

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7.  Knightley Academy  series by Violet Haberdasher

My sister bought me Knightley Academy for my birthday many years ago ( or maybe she bought me The Secret Prince, heck if I remember). I love these books because of how Henry in a underdog who takes a chance on a dream and makes it work for himself. The books are wonderful, I loved all the action and mystery. Plus a win for great friendships.

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8. The Ascendance Trilogy By  Jennifer A. Neilsen

These books are pure gold, and if you haven’t read them I urge you to consider what you are doing with your life (the answer is failing, so go read them). I cannot say enough about how good these books are, and it boils down to SASS and SWORDS. Yep those were the main reason I loved this trilogy, because sassy boys who fight with swords and are still adorable cupcakes make my life. All the relationships in these books just worked so well!

So those are my series I suggest you check out all of them to see if they would interest you, because they all have something amazing to offer.

Forever & Always,

Emily

Have you read any of the above series? Any suggestions of some series that I should try? Do you like series or stand alone books better?