Melissa’s Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

Small Admissions

Small Admissions
written by Amy Poeppel
published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I loved it! Poeppel’s characterization is fantastic (if a bit over-the-top), and I thoroughly enjoyed the slow reveal. I LOL’d (for real) several times, and I spent some quality time comparing Kate’s friends and family to my own. Small Admissions is a lot of fun–I binge-read it in a day. Keep writing, Ms. Poeppel! You’re delightful!

 

GOLDEN LINE

“So–for the record–you’re encouraging me to work with a young, unqualified, troubled, sweaty person?”

 

 

Would I recommend it: This is a lovely, lighthearted book. Read it.

 

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads: 
For fans of The Nanny Diaries and Sophie Kinsella comes a whip-smart and deliciously funny debut novel about Kate, a young woman unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat world of New York City private school admissions as she attempts to understand city life, human nature, and falling in love.

Despite her innate ambition and Summa Cum Laude smarts, Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. After being unceremoniously dumped by her handsome, French “almost fiancé,” she abandons her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch, watching reruns of Sex and the City, and leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it. Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews.

Miraculously, and for reasons no one (least of all Kate) understands, she manages to land a job in the admissions department at the prestigious Hudson Day School. In her new position, Kate learns there’s no time for self-pity or nonsense during the height of the admissions season, or what her colleagues refer to as “the dark time.” As the process revs up, Kate meets smart kids who are unlikable, likeable kids who aren’t very smart, and Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

Meanwhile, Kate’s sister and her closest friends find themselves keeping secrets, hiding boyfriends, dropping bombshells, and fighting each other on how to keep Kate on her feet. On top of it all, her cranky, oddly charming, and irritatingly handsome downstairs neighbor is more than he seems. Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary—including the truly unexpected.

 

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Melissa’s Review: Hindsight by Mindy Tarquini

Hindsight

Hindsight
written by Mindy Tarquini
published by Sparkpress, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
It’s a cool concept, but Tarquini struggles to keep the (many, many) story lines straight. This book fights entropy the whole way through. I mean, I understand why–no doubt it’s difficult to look at every person and see not only their current incarnation, but also their entire collection of past lives–but I could have done with a few, um, fewer layers, as it were. I like the writing style–it’s delightfully irreverent–and I must say the back-and-forth between Eugenia and Mary made me LOL more than once. Plus, I mean, Chaucer. So. Epically cool idea, fun writing, but a bit more (too?) confusing for me to fall completely in love.

 

Would I recommend it: It’s worth the read if you keep all the story threads organized.

 

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads:

Tarquini’s innovative concept is paired with realistic characters and sparkling wit, making this enjoyable novel a keeper.”
–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Finalist, General Fiction — 2016 USA Best Book Awards

Redbook Magazine, Best Books of 2016

EUGENIA PANISPORCHI LIVES WITH HER MOTHER, TEACHES CHAUCER, AND REMEMBERS ALL HER PAST LIVES. SHE IS DESPERATE TO CHANGE HER FUTURE

Born this time around into a South Philadelphia Italian-American family so traditional, she and her siblings are expected to marry in birth order, Eugenia lives a simple life―no love connection, no controversy, no complications. Her hope is that the Blessed Virgin Mary (who oversees her soul’s progress) will grant her heart’s desire, the option to choose the circumstances of her next life. But when a student reveals he shares her ability, Eugenia suddenly finds herself setting up a Facebook page and sponsoring a support group for others like her, an oddball odyssey, during which she discovers she must confront her current shortcomings before she can break the cycle and finally live the life of her dreams.

A layered contemporary fable, Hindsight reminds us to live this life like it’s the only one we’ll have.

 

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EFC Promotions Blog Tour: The Wolf Mirror by Caroline Healy

 

The Wolf MirrorThe Wolf Mirror
written by Caroline Healy
expected publication February 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and as part of an EFC Promotions Blog Tour Event. 

Did I enjoy this book: I liked everything about this book but Cassie. Actually, I didn’t like Lady Cassandra that much either. Don’t get me wrong–I really liked the story, and, you know, Mr. Charles Stafford. Yum. It’s a fun twist on a familiar plotline, and I enjoyed the read. I knew going in that both girls needed to do some serious growing up (it’s in the teaser blurb, for goodness’ sake), but, I don’t know, I guess I’m a bit too old to enjoy the company of teenagers. If I’d have read this book twen . . . um . . . ten years ago I’m certain I’d have given it five stars. I’m old, though, so I was mostly on Judge Miller’s side.

 

Would I recommend it: Yeah. It’s got its moments. =)

 

If you would like to review this book, please email us at efcpromotions@gmail.com.

 

About the book – from Goodreads: Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.

Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.

With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.

Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.

Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.

Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.

Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.

Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.

 

Interview

Describe your ideal writing space?

I was once fortunate enough to win an award to attend a writing retreat at Cill Rialaig in Ireland. It is a very special place in County Kerry in the townland of Ballinskellig.

Ballinskellig, historically, was a secular settlement for holy men and women who wanted to live a quiet life. They grew food for monks who lived on Skellig Micheal, which is a World Heritage Site and the location where they filmed the most recent Star Wars film.

This place in Ballinskellig consists of eight tiny cottages dating from the medieval period. The cottages are bare and only contain the essentials for visitors. No television, no internet, no distraction, lots of gale force Atlantic wind, sea swell and squawking seagulls.

This place was the most magic of places, a really beautiful setting. I was stranded here for two weeks. At the beginning I thought I was going a bit mad because it was SO quiet but I managed to write a huge amount because there were NO distractions. My ideal writing space.

What are your five favorite words?

I love the word actually. When I was a kid I used to add the word actually, actually to every actual sentence I actually said. It used to actually drive my brother mad. Actually.

Cretin is always a good word to have handy. Most cretin’s can’t really understand that you are insulting them when you use that word to their face.

Starlight (is that two words or one?) I love this word because it makes me smile when I think of it. I saw my first shooting star this summer and it was magic. So Starlight makes me think of magic and that always makes me smile.

Unicorn (see reasoning above).

Pajamas – who doesn’t like that word and all it brings to mind.  Every now and then I like to decree that it is Pajamas Day . . . a day where I loll about in my pajamas drinking tea, reading, eating cake . . . in fact . . . I now declare . . . Today Shall Be A Pajamas Day!

Please tell us why we should read your book. Use one sentence only.

You should read this book because it is about young women learning to be strong, to be independent, to kick-ass.

Why did you did you decide to write The Wolf Mirrror?

I wanted to write a historical romance for young adults, a take on the classic that includes modern influences. In The Wolf Mirror, there are corsets and carriages but there are also mobile phones and Snapchat.

Do you have a favorite character in The Wolf Mirror? A least favorite?

It took me blood, sweat and tears to write every book so a character, even one with flaws is close to my heart. Every character is necessary in this book and so all have a role to play, there is no lesser or greater.

What is your process? Do you plan everything out before you begin writing or just go for it?

I learn from my mistakes and I once spent six months writing a project with no plan, no breakdown, no chapter outline…needless to say it went in the bin because it was totally disorganized and manic. I get an idea and I plan in stages of three, a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Then I work to chapters with beginning, middle and end and I build characters that start from one place and progress to another (in terms of character development).

Computer? Typewriter? Pen and paper? What is your favorite way to write?

I plan in paper and ink, and I complete with keyboard.

Coffee or Tea?

Tea.

What kind of background noise do you prefer when you are writing?

The sweet sound of silence.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Historical. No fantasy. No wait, mystery. Actually the classics . . . ahhhhh, it’s really hard to decide.

Who is your favorite author?

That’s a question right up there with picking favourite child or pet. It is not possible to answer.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?  Jane

What did you want to be when you grew up? An archaeologist

Tell us three things about yourself that cannot be found on the Internet.

I hate marmite. I have two tattoos and my best friend from primary school is still my best friend today.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?

I am writing two books at the moment . . . (a big no no but can’t be helped). I am working on a middle grade historical adventure called Leonard Moonfinger and the Giant’s Ring and I am also just finished first edit on an adult book called Which Craft?, about a witch.

 

About the author: Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.

In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The BohemythShort Story IrelandShort Stop U.K., Five Stop StoryProle, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice

Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.

She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.

(More details can be found on her website www.carolinehealy.com)

Find Ms. Healy here: Web, FacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramPinterest

 

Tour Stops

Feb 13: EFC Kickoff (review)

A Good Book Can Change Your View For Life (spotlight, interview)

Feb 14: The Desert Bibliophile (review)

Feb 16: Maureen’s Books (review)

Rainy Thursdays (review)

Feb 17: Glorious Panic (review)

Feb 18: CBY (spotlight)

Sip, Read, Love (review)

Feb 19: Bound4Escape (review)

Feb 20: Second Run Reviews (guest post)

 Daughter of Moonlight (review)

Feb 21: Romantic Escapes (review)

Feb 22: A Page to Turn (review)

Feb 23: Zerina Blossom’s Books (review)

Writing Pearls (spotlight)

Feb 24: Underneath the Covers (spotlight)

Feb 25: The Pages In-Between (review)

 

 

 

 

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Gina’s Review: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The NestThe Nest
written by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
published by Ecco, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazon, iBooks, TargetBook Depository, Goodreads


Did I enjoy this book: 
I loved this book. I loved the dysfunctional family as if it were my own. The characters were developed very well, and it was easy to know which chapter was about which sibling. I also liked how some of the secondary characters were brought to the front when the next piece of the puzzle needed to be set.

The one character that never grew on me was Leo. There were times when I questioned what he was doing, but most of the time I wanted to punch him in the face. He didn’t know how to treat someone well, and I don’t believe he was even trying very hard to be part of his family. However, I think that is really what Sweeney wanted you to feel.

I wasn’t bored with any part of this book. I wanted to keep reading and was willing to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to do so. I even ended up crying sentimental tears at the end and texting a friend from book club to share my emotions.

 

 

GOLDEN LINES

“Nothing was a sure thing; every choice was just an educated guess, or a leap into a mysterious abyss. People might not change but their incentives should.”

 

 

Would I recommend it: Definitely! Read this one!

 

Gina

About the book – from Goodreads: A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.

 

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Melissa’s Review: Unexpected Love by Kristy Kryszczak

Unexpected Love

Unexpected Love
written by Kristy Kryszczak
published by She Writes Press, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazoniBooks,Book Depository, WalmartGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
The story is cute, but Ms. Kryszczak has some serious work to do on her prose. I think she must’ve forgotten to read her dialogue out loud, because real people just don’t speak the way she’s written them. For example:

“‘So you know Jason, Inez’s fiance?’ Sam asked. 

‘I’m Inez’s fiance’s brother . . .'”

I mean, I nearly always refer to my husband as “John, my husband,” Um. I mean . . . I nearly always refer to John, my husband, as “John, my husband,” and I ALWAYS introduce myself to people as “Chris’s husband’s sister,” too. It just flows off the tongue, you know?

I’d also have preferred a little less wardrobe description and a little more story depth, but as the Internet would say, it’s still a better love story than Twilight.

 

Would I recommend it: If you have to choose between reality television, a fashion magazine, or this book, then read this book. Otherwise, not so much.

 

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads: 
As a young woman living in the wondrous city of New York, Inez Champlain has always aspired to be like Carrie from Sex and the City, sans the tulle skirts and poor financial decisions, of course. Inez has it all: great friends, her dream job as a notable beauty writer, a studio loft on the Upper East Side, and no messy romantic drama to get in the way. But life takes a surprising turn when Inez catches the eye of the charming and handsome Jason Parkson, who fearlessly introduces himself the moment he sees her. Romance is the last thing on Inez’s mind, but there is something about Jason she can’t resist, and before long she’s hooked—that is, until she’s introduced to his brother, Jimmy, and the two share an instant connection she can’t quite understand. Inez tries to resist Jimmy, but there’s no denying the feelings growing between them. Her mind and heart are at odds—will she stay with the man she thinks she loves, or surrender to a more precarious yet alluring fate? When Inez is pulled away from New York, the balance of her life shifts yet again. Soon she is caught in a web of confusion and heartache while trying to do the right thing. Could the love Inez never set out to find cost her everything she cares about?

 

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Jaclyn’s Review: What’s Left of Me by Amanda Maxlyn

What's Left of Me (What's Left of Me, #1)What’s Left of Me 
written by Amanda Maxlyn
published by Amanda Maxlyn, LLC, 2013

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooksBook DepositoryGoodreads


Did I enjoy this book: 
This book is amazing! The writing is so good–you get pulled in from the very beginning. It is so easy to sympathize with Aundrea, so easy to understand why she’s behaving the way she is and why she’s made the decisions that she has. Parker is written to be the perfect man. So perfect that he borders on being unbelievable–but you want him to BE that perfect, so you willingly ignore it. Even the supporting characters were brilliantly developed. This is a quick read–not because it is short, but because every page leaves you wanting more! And the Epilogue . . . oh, the Epilogue . . .

 

Would I recommend it: Absolutely! This is a real life, feel good kind of book. I loved everything about this book. Plot, characters, writing–EVERYTHING! . . . the only drawback is that I now have to find something else to read on my Kindle for my Monday lunchtime workout! Eep!

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads:

Life works in mysterious ways.

Four years ago I became known as the girl with cancer.

I refuse to cry.

And I refuse to give in.

A relationship with a man is the last thing I’m looking for right now, but one night with Parker changes everything. He is persistent, and he knows what he wants. Me.

He doesn’t treat me like I’m fragile.

But he doesn’t know, and I’m not ready to tell him.

What if it changes everything?

Tragedy found me when I was seventeen.

Love found me when I was twenty-one.

My name is Aundrea McCall, and this is my journey.

 

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Jaclyn’s Review: Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star

Sisters One, Two, ThreeSisters One, Two, Three
written by Nancy Star
published by Lake Union Publishing, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazoniBooksBook Depository, Target, WalmartGoodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
I loved this book! It was an easy read–very compelling. The book is structured so that you read one chapter set in present day and one set in the past. I love this style of writing; I thought it was a great way to unravel the story without giving too much away all at once. The author included book club type questions at the end and I thought that added to the book as well. This was definitely one that I read and loved, then spent some time thinking about and loved even more! It wasn’t clean and it wasn’t always pretty–but I found myself continually reaching for this book.

 

Would I recommend it: Absolutely! This is a great one for any reader. It’s an awesome mystery–not too scary, no overly adult themes, good writing, and good pacing throughout the chapters. I can’t find anything bad to say about this one!

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: After a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard, keeping secrets becomes a way of life for the Tangle family. With memories locked away, the sisters take divergent paths. Callie disappears, Mimi keeps so busy she has no time to think, and Ginger develops a lifelong aversion to risk that threatens the relationships she holds most dear.

When a whispered comment overheard by her rebellious teenage daughter forces Ginger to reveal a long-held family secret, the Tangles’ carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. Upon the death of Glory, the family’s colorful matriarch, and the return of long-estranged Callie, Ginger resolves to return to Martha’s Vineyard and piece together what really happened on that calamitous day when a shadow fell over four sun-kissed siblings playing at the shore. Along with Ginger’s newfound understanding come the keys to reconciliation: with her mother, with her sisters, and with her daughter.

At turns heartbreaking, humorous, and hopeful, Sisters One, Two, Three explores not only the consequences of secrets—even secrets kept out of love—but also the courage it takes to speak the truth, to forgive, and to let go.

 

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Heather’s Review: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

 

Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4)
written by Diana Gabaldon
published by Delta, 2001

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooksBook Depository, Walmart, TargetGoodreads


Did I enjoy this book: 
Yes, but not nearly as much as the other three. In fact, after reading this one I had to take a break. This book opens with Brianna taking her turn through the circle of stones to find her parents and hopefully save them from a fatal moment. My heart was all for that trip, but the problems and situations that came after just made my head spin. I found a few of them unnecessary, and when Jamie’s nephew, Ian, sacrificed himself–I almost gave up.

 

 

Would I recommend it: Yes, but only if you’re planning to finish the series. And I do plan to–in 2017.

 

 

About the book – from Goodreads: In this breathtaking novel—rich in history and adventure—The New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager. Once again spanning continents and centuries, Diana Gabaldon has created a work of sheer passion and brilliance….

It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past … or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong….

 

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Heather’s Review: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Voyager (Outlander, #3)

Voyager (Outlander #3)
written by Diana Gabaldon
published by Delta, 2001

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Target, WalmartGoodreads


Did I enjoy this book: 
Yes. This is the book that made the long reads of the first two worth it. Claire returns to the stone circle and travels back to find Jamie. Can you imagine a love so strong, so true that you would willingly leave behind your child and take a chance? The two of them struggle with their reunion–after all, 20 years have passed and a lot of water flows under that bridge. But their love survives and flourishes and it’s a great book. And to keep you on your toes, Brianna has a love affair!

 

 

Would I recommend it: Absolutely. ​Definitely worth the time investment!

 

About the book – from Goodreads: From the author of the breathtaking bestsellers Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, the extraordinary saga continues.

Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her… and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her…the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland… and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite or forever doom her timeless love.

 

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Melissa’s Review: Exile (The Oneness Cycle #1) by Rachel Starr Thomson

Exile (The Oneness Cycle #1)Exile (The Oneness Cycle #1)
written by Rachel Starr Thomson
published by Little Dozen Press, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazoniBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I didn’t expect to. It’s marketed as a Christian fantasy series, so I was expecting a sort of Left Behind, over-the-top-Christian vibe, which is typically a turnoff for me. Thomson, though, offers a refreshingly Omnist view of spirituality, and I totally dig it. She blurs the lines between prayer and meditation, good and evil, saints and sinners. It’s fabulous (and, despite the fantasy aspects, more real-life than I’ve found many Christian novels to be).

I will say Reese runs away just a little too often to be believable (hello, plot device!), but other than that my only complaint is that I don’t have the next book in the series yet. Sad.

 

GOLDEN LINES

“Diane had never learned to pray. It was a skill, something to be trained in, and she had resisted. Had refused to learn, in fact. Prayer was a full entering in. It was a flinging wide, a plunge, a total surrender to Oneness, bringing the Spirit surging and then riding the wave like a surfer racing toward shore. One with the wave, the exhilaration, the spray; One with the very ocean. Some were better at it than others.”

 

 

Would I recommend it: As someone decidedly annoyed by cut-and-dry labels, I’m especially fond of the way Thomson describes her book as “genre-bending,” and I think you should be too. It’s a fun, exciting read, and I hope to read more of the series.

 

 

Melissa

 

About the book – from Goodreads: The battle is real. Page-turning, suspenseful Christian fantasy on the border between earth and spirit.
When Tyler fishes the girl out of the bay, he thinks she’s dead.

She wishes she was.

For Reese, life ended when the supernatural entity called the Oneness threw her out. For Tyler, dredging Reese out of the water means life is nothing he thought.

In a world where the Oneness exists, nothing looks the same. Dead men walk. Demons prowl the air. Old friends peel back their mundane masks and prove as supernatural as angels.

The Oneness changes everything.

And getting Reese home, making her One again, will change Tyler—and his roommate, Chris, whose connections with the Oneness have been buried most of his life—forever.

 

 

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