When The Clouds Roll By

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Title: When The Clouds Roll By
Series: Till We Meet Again
Author: Myra Johnson
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Published: September 17, 2013
Pages: 352

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Annemarie Kendall, a potter, is ecstatic when the armistice is signed ending World War I. Her fiancée Lt. Gilbert Ballard can finally come home to Hot Springs, Arkansas and marry her. If only his letters made it seem like he wanted to. So, Annemarie isn’t surprised, but still hurt, when Gilbert ends their engagement. Now Annemarie has to try and become who God wants her to be and try and save Gilbert while managing to save her heart from his friend.

Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary has befriended Gilbert to try and uplift his spirits. When, Gilbert breaks it off with Annemarie, Sam tries to convince him he’s making a mistake but he can’t deny that he feels an attraction for her too. But tormented by his decisions and his mistakes and the memories of war, he doesn’t feel worthy for love by Annemarie or God, let alone grace and he needs Annemarie to show him that he does deserve it.

Caught in the middle and confused, Annemarie must make a choice which man she will give her heart to. She also tries to save two men from themselves and it seems like she’s drowning. With Sam and Gilbert’s relationship destroyed over her and her heart broken by Gilbert, all three of them must try and put the war behind them and cling to the only One who can make things okay, God.

Who will Annemarie choose? Will Gilbert change his mind about Annemarie or will he never regret his decision to give her up? Will Sam fall in love with Annemarie despite his attempt to not or will his attempt be successful? Will Sam be able to leave his demons behind and trust in God or will he be tormented do the rest of his life? Will Gilbert be able to be a peace with his circumstances or will he become bitter and spiral downhill?
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Before this one, I had never read a book by Myra Johnson before and, after reason this book, I’m not sure why. I do know, though, that I loved this book and was surprised at the amount of drama and how emotionally charged it was. I’ve never read a love triangle this dramatic before, shockingly. Myra Johnson definitely captured how I imagine a love triangle would play out.

The romance in this book is kind of fast. Though I enjoyed it, there seemed to be something missing, maybe it’s the doubt both of them feel about their feelings or maybe it’s because of the slight lack of deep emotional connections. However, I do think that despite that it was a nice romance and had some very romantic moments that made me go, “aahh”. This romance wasn’t awful or even bad it just wasn’t the best I’ve ever read.

This story is very emotionally driven. It’s full of tears, anger, love, pain, and forgiveness. It really got your emotions involved whether it be pity, empathy, love, joy. I really had strong feelings towards a few characters in this story and because of that I would love to see Mary and Gilbert again in the next book and hopefully see a resolution to their issues and maybe a romance between them? This story was definitely a heart tugged and engaged me front he beginning.

The characters in this story had son real issues to work through during the course of this book. Particularly Sam and Gilbert. Some characters seemed a bit stuff and cardboard-like and had to figure out but the usually weren’t very important to the story and didn’t hurt the story too much. Annemarie’s struggles seemed realistic to me. I mean if I started falling for a guys weeks after I got dumped I question my feelings too. I think the struggles the characters went through were realistic and heart-rending.

Myra Johnson definitely made me a fan. Though this book wasn’t perfect, it was enjoyable and I did enjoy this read. In fact I devoured it and didn’t want to put it down. I don’t know how many books this author has but I intend to see if I can get my hands on any of them. I think this author has a great flair for drama and great storytelling abilities. This book comes highly recommended by me.

Overall, I loved this book though it did have some hitches. I enjoyed how realistic and gritty it was and watching each character coming to the realization that God loves them just as they are. This book is perfect for fans of love triangles, dramas, or WWI novels. This is best left to the adults. I give this book a four out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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The Invention Of Sarah Cummings

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Title: The Invention Of Sarah Cummings
Series: Avenue Of Dreams
Author: Olivia Newport
Publisher: Revell
Published: September 15, 2013
Pages: 304

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Sarah Cummings has one goal in life – to break free from her job as a maid and be part of Chicago’s high society. She’s desperate to stop serving dinner to members of the wealthy Banning family and to start being served. In her free time, meager though it is, she alters cast-off gowns to create the perfect wardrobe for her future life. So when opportunity knocks Serena Cuthbert is born.

Simon Tewell is director of St. Andrea’s Orphanage and knows Sarah from her past as an orphan who loved there. Simon wants to get Sarah involved in working inside the walls of he former home, but Sarah’s reluctance to do so baffles him. He finds her interesting and and wants to possibly pursue something with her, but she doesn’t seem interested, making him think it might be best to just leave her alone. But for some reason, he can’t.

As Sarah juggles being a maid and Serena and her full social calendar, she can’t seem to get Simon out of her head, even though he’s everything she wants to avoid in her life. With two men pursuing her, Sarah must decide which life she wants and what is worth more to her. Her lies and duplicity can only be juggled for so long before everything crashes around her, but will she be standing on top or crushed underneath her lies when that happens.

Can Sarah have the life she always dreamed of or is the cost of it too much for her? Can Simon show Sarah that life doesn’t mean fancy things or will he lose to shiny and sparkly things? Will Sarah realize that her drive to be rich and famous might be the ruin of her or will she crumble in the wind? What will Sarah decide to do with her life? Who will she choose and what life will she have?
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The sorry of Sarah Cummings was one I was greatly looking forward to. After seeing her in Charlotte Farrow’s story and seeing her attitude towards service, I desired to see her change into a character I could love or at least understand her. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get the opportunity to see that. Sarah Cummings’ story was a great disappointment for me because the entire time I tried to read this book, all I felt for her was dislike. This definitely wasn’t the best I’ve seen from this author.

The romance in this book doesn’t fully exist nor does it make a lot of sense. Simon is interested in Sarah even though she snubs her nose up at everything he holds dear and ignores him. Sarah is chasing a dream that will never come true because it’s built on a lie and completely ignores the best man to come into her life. The whole thing is confusing and the whole time I was wondering what Simon saw in Sarah because I sure didn’t see anything. Not to mention that Sarah has a mild interest until the end and then all of a sudden she loves him? I’m so confused with this one.

Sarah wasn’t a lovable character to me. She risked everything and hurt a lot of people all so she could have a chance at being rich. I didn’t like how she felt she was too good to serve and deserved to be served instead. I didn’t see any dramatic improvement to these qualities as the story progressed. I was disappointed with the lack of conversion and humility that Sarah showed and overall just thought she was an uppity and unlikable character.

The storyline was a good idea but not the execution. I felt that the author should’ve focused more on the real romance and the alterations to her character than the parties and fake lifestyle Sarah crafted for herself. I was gravely disappointed in this book and didn’t feel like this was the best ending to this otherwise good series. This storyline definitely wasn’t a hit with me and I don’t think I’ll ever read it again.

Though I appreciate this author’s work and so far have enjoyed her work, this book didn’t really strike a chord with me not did it make me like Sarah any more with this novel. This author captured me with Charlotte Farrow’s story but Sarah Cummings’ fell short for me. I intend to read more from this author because I know she can do better. This author but not this book come recommended.

Overall, I didn’t like this book much. I didn’t feel a connection to Sarah at all and just plain didn’t like her character or her character development. This book is good for those looking to finish up the series. I don’t recommend this for anyone other than adults. I give this book a two and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

When A Secret Kills

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Title: When A Secret Kills
Series: Deadly Reunions
Author: Lynette Eason
Publisher: Revell
Published: May 1, 2013
Pages: 352

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Jillian Carter has spent the last ten years on the run from a murderer. When the man’s accomplices find her all the way across the country with a new name, she knows it’s time to put the past to rest. She’s tired of looking over her shoulder, letting a killer go free. Jillian is no longer the scared kid who changed her name and disappeared, and she’s ready to fight and find the truth and expose it.

Colton Brady has spent the past ten years trying to get over Jillian and thought he had done so successfully until she comes back into his life. But the reasons why she’s here are dangerous and he doesn’t want to believe that his uncle, Senator Frank Hoffman, committed a murder. What he can’t deny is that whoever did commit the murder wants her dead and he’s going to help her stay alive and get proof. He needs to prove his uncle’s innocence or step aside and let someone else arrest him. But the road to get there won’t be easy.

As Colton and Jillian struggle to stay alive and gather enough evidence to prove someone guilty of murder, they’re confronted with countless murder attempts, doubt, and the past. And the more they’re shoved together, the more they begin to realize that they never really stopped loving each other. However, a past mistake as teens means Jillian has news to share that will be hard to swallow and Jillian wonders whether he will think the result is a mistake too.

Will Jillian be able to prove that Frank Hoffman committed the murder or will new evidence prove otherwise? Will Colton find that his uncle is innocent of murder and isn’t trying to kill Jillian or will he find shocking evidence to prove that he was involved after all? Will Jillian’s news tear a rift between them that can never be repaired or will it draw them even closer together? Will they be able to survive murder attempt after murder attempt or will the killer succeed burying the truth forever?
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When this book was given to me to review I jumped at the opportunity, because I had read the previous two and was more than anxious to finish this series but also because of the fact that this author has given me incredible books every time I’ve picked one up. This is another incredible one. In fact this is my favorite in the series not just because it’s the conclusion and all my questions are answered but also because this one was an incredible suspense. This book is a huge hit for me and I loved every second.

The storyline of this book is tightly knit together with the first two but can be read as a stand-alone though I don’t really recommend it. The tension was so thick in this story that I literally couldn’t put it down and I actually finished this book in about six hours total time, which for me is incredible. I loved the never ending suspense and tension as well as the questions about who is involved and how much. It kept me guessing and I just couldn’t put it down.

The romance was pretty good. The problem with romantic suspense is that one subject has to be the add-on and take a backseat. In this case, fortunately it was the romance. However, because there was some past history between the two characters and a few other added details I won’t divulge, it didn’t feel too out of place. Also, the suspense distracted me for most of the book so my main concern wasn’t the romance but the killer. It was a pretty good romance particularly for a suspense novel.

For over a year now I have been not so patiently waiting for this book and the conclusion to a trilogy that has ended on a cliffhanger every time. In my review of the first book in this series I expressed that I hoped that the end would be worth the wait and let me tell you that it was completely worth the wait. Not only was this a fantastic conclusion to this trilogy but it was just an overall great suspense and it was completely worth the long wait to see it become published.

Lynette Eason hooked since the first book of hers that I’ve ever read. That happens to be the first book in this series. I’m a huge fan of her ability to write nail-biting suspense blended with good romances and a smooth storyline. I look forward to what’s coming next and will be wondering if it will be a continuos series like this one or a standalone series like most series’. Either way I want to read it. This author, series, and book come highly recommended.

Overall, I loved this book. It was well developed and is definitely one of my favorite’s of all time. This book is perfect for fans of romantic suspense, suspense, or this author. I highly recommend that you read the other two first, I think you’ll appreciate this one more if you do. This book is perfect for adult and maybe teenagers but I don’t recommend it for younger readers. I give this book a five out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Poison

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Title: Poison
Series: Bloodlines Trilogy
Author: Jordyn Redwood
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Published: January 23, 2013
Pages: 312

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Keelyn Blake is still haunted from the tragedy five years ago when her stepfather took her family hostage, raving about Lucent, a being who forced him to commit unspeakable acts. Some of the family made it out alive, the rest didn’t. Now, Lucent is back and this time he’s no hallucination. He kidnapped Keelyn’s niece and despite the fact that she’s estranged from her sister, Raven, she feels compelled to save what little family she has left. If only that was the end of it.

Lee Watson was there the day Keelyn’s life changed forever and even being the best hostage negotiator the FBI has couldn’t stop a madman from taking the lives of his family. For years he’s lived with the guilt of not being able to stop the standoff that day and trying to bury his past as deep as he can. He now must also protect his fiancé and face the possibility of having a ready-made family, something he never wanted. All while trying to keep his past buried when it seems like someone’s determined to dig it back up again.

As people who were involved in that fateful day start dying under mysterious circumstances, Keelyn and Lee fight to stay alive and together, but Keelyn knows lee’s hiding something and that secret could be the very thing that tears them apart. Also, with Raven missing and Keelyn targeted by a killer, Raven’s daughter faces foster hood and Lee faces losing the woman he loves. But in order to keep her he may just have to tell her his deepest secret.

Will Keelyn be able to forgive her stepfather for what he did? Will Lee tell her his secret or will he lose her? Will Lee end up loving Raven’s daughter or will he give up everything to not have a ready-made family? Where is Raven? Who is killing everybody and why? What are they using? Will Keelyn and Lee be able to solve this before the body count rises too high?
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Having read Jordyn Redwood’s first novel, the first in this series, and not loving it, I started this book not quite knowing what I would get. I was hoping for a better suspense than I got last time and I got it. This suspense is actually really good. It seems like this author took the constructive criticism to heart and jumped leaps and bounds ahead of what I thought was coming. This book is an amazing second novel and a really good well-rounded suspense novel.

The best part about this book was the fact that it kept me on my toes. I never knew, until the end, who really did it because a character was innocent or manipulated one chapter and the next completely ruthless and a murderer. It was exciting and gave this novel an edge. This author is great at surprising me and her medical expertise shines through in the snippets of hospital scenes we get. This book was significantly better than her first and is actually one that I can say is a favorite.

Because of this author’s struggle to establish a solid romance and mystery in her novel last time, I appreciated the fact that this was already an established relationship and instead of seeing this couple fall in love we get to see them grow stronger from the trouble they go through. That was a nice refreshing change from the normal suspense novel. I think this style suit her right now and I think she will do fantastically next time with a romance.

The concept of this book is amazing, yet completely believable. It seems like given the right circumstances something like this could happen. I also gained some knowledge about a horrible little bug that seems to thrive where I live, the black widow spider. Her use of them was genius and the reasons the characters had were just plain maniacal at some points and misguided in others. The characters that were suspects were realistic and had many facets to their character adding much to this story.

This author caught my attention with her first book and captured my heart with this one. This was a great suspense not just for a beginner but for any suspense author. I look forward to reading more from her and am excited to see how she’s going to end this series. This author’s improvement astounded me and solidified my belief that she is a fantastic author and is going to be here for a long time. This book comes highly recommended.

Overall, this is a fantastic book. The suspense is unique and keeps you on your toes. The improvement this author showed amazes me and makes me a huge fan. I highly recommend this on to people who love suspense novels. This book probably isn’t best for younger readers, but adults definitely and teens maybe. I give this book a four out of five.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

The Gate

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Title: The Gate
Author: Dann A. Stouten
Publisher: Revell
Published: April 1, 2013
Pages: 256

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Schuyler Hunt finds himself looking for something to do when a planned getaway with his wife turns into a shopping trip for the girls. An ad for a vacation cottage catches his eye and he sets off in search of a much-needed break. He expects a nice little vacations cottage that he could imagine him and his grand kids loving. What he gets once he arrives is completely different than anything his mind could’ve thought of.

In that cottage he goes through a painful and bittersweet journey that could change his life forever. His weekend is completely different than his wife and daughters’ but way more important. He goes back and remember happy, sad, and angering memories that have held him back and kept him from God’s plan in his life.

Schuyler must make the choice to stay in a strange place with strange people and delve into a painful past that he just wants to forget. But with a collection of familiar guests and the proprietor, who welcome with food, rest, and conversation, he might just decide to stay and find out what can really happen when you find a little slice of heaven.

Will Schuyler’s encounter in the cottage alter his life or will he choose to stay on the same path? Will others believe him when he tells them what happened or will they think he dreamed it or, worse, went crazy? Is this little cottage really a slice of heaven or just a figment of his imagination? Is it possible for us to be visited in a cottage by those in heaven?
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This is another one if those “God visited me in a cabin” books. And when I say visited I mean physically came and talked to this character. It’s very similar to Wm. Paul Young’s The Shack and it’s not really my cup of tea. I feel like it’s unrealistic and isn’t something I would like to assume happens. I’m not saying it can’t I’m just saying that I don’t want to assume that things like that happen when they might not.

The setting is a cabin somewhere in the woods. And the characters stray from this man’s living wife to his dead mother, uncle, aunt, grandmother, etc. All of the characters show up to give him a key piece of advice that he should take to heart and dinner. They all drove an identifying car, wore nice clothes, and looked thirty to forty years old. The whole premise of this novel seems a bit far fetched but especially the fact that his dead relatives visited him.

The writing style of this book was a mixture of flash-backs, first person, and sermon style. It was kind of annoying for the narrative to switch from Sky to a teaching about life. I think it would’ve been better if it had been one or the other. I’m sure that there is someone who can benefit from this book but the switching of perspective drove me too crazy to really soak in much of the actual teaching.

The storyline of this book is slow and in general is, at least for me, a borderline boring book. It progressed slowly and though you know this book’s purpose is to change Sky’s perspective and possibly yours, I spent the majority of the book waiting for it to be over. I think I’m too young for this book, but it just wasn’t what I’m looking for and I don’t care for the cabin visit stories.

This is this author’s first book and he showed his love of cars and his pastor career in every page. Though some people will be helped and love this boo,k it didn’t do it for me and I don’t really plan on reading more of this author’s work. Depending on topic, you might see more by him on this site, but odds are, you won’t. I definitely don’t recommend this one to younger readers and I caution readers to read at their own risk.

Overall, I didn’t like this book at all. Maybe I’m too young for the book, maybe it’s just not meant for me. U recommend this one to older readers or for people who enjoyed The Shack. I don’t this novel is good for younger readers at all and should be kept for adults only. I give this book a two out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Rebekah

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Title: Rebekah
Series: Wives of the Patriarchs
Author: Jill Eileen Smith
Publisher: Revell
Published: February 15, 2013
Pages: 320

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Rebekah’s life has just been torn upside down with her father’s death and now her future lies in the hands of her conniving brother. She should b married by now but her brother is clearly dragging his feet to wait for a bigger bride price and Rebekah is concerned she will spend the rest of her life an unmarried virgin. But when Rebekah figures that she is going is going to be stuck marrying a horrible man, she is given the opportunity to marry a cousin she has never met before. She has no idea the journey she’s about to go on.

Isaac is the promised child of his father, Abraham. Years ago, his father almost sacrificed him at the request of God and God’s voice was the only thing that stopped him. That day changed his life and the life of his parents. Now Isaac is grown and is ready to find a beautiful girl of his father’s people and marry her. When he sees the woman that was chosen for him, he couldn’t be happier. Little does he know the challenges he will face.

After they wed, Rebekah is scared that she won’t bear him a child and Isaac is trusting that God will follow through on his promises. When Rebekah does get pregnant she sees a vision that tells her that she is pregnant with twins and the younger with be stronger than the older and the older will obey the younger. This is where the hard journey begins as Isaac suffers doubt and Rebekah is determined to make the prophecy come true.

Will Rebekah be able to convince Isaac that her vision was real and not her imagination or will Isaac completely reject the idea? Will Isaac and Rebekah’s pride and stubbornness tear them apart or will they be able to put aside their differences and love each other? Who will Rebekah and Isaac pick? Their favorite child or each other?
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Every now and again I want to read a book that isn’t predominately romance or even a romance at all. This was one of those times and this author fulfilled that desire. This book follows the lives of Isaac and Rebekah and their twins. It was a drama and a in-depth retelling of one of the most well-known biblical stories. This book is great and it gives some emotional depth to a story only telling the facts. It also helped to make sense of why they did what they did.

This book can’t really be categorized as a romance, yet I think that it fits into the category in a more unconventional way. The beginning of the book is technically a romance because you got to see the love between Isaac and Rebekah’s love grow. But the middle and the end of the book is where the unconventional comes in. For the majority of the book you see Rebekah and Isaac’s pride get in the way of each other yet the ending makes the whole romance complete. The end of this book moved my heart and made me long for a love like that (minus all the years spent in conflict die to pride and stubbornness).

The storyline of this book follows the story of the bible and, like always from this author, is historically and Biblically accurate, minus some modern lingo but that didn’t detract from the book at all. For some reason I loved this book and how it brought the story to life even though that story isn’t a pretty one. I usually only like stories that are generally more light-hearted but this book was different and it was so well written I couldn’t help but love it.

I liked the first book in this series. I loved this book and I can’t wait to read the next one. If I had to guess this one would be about Jacob, Rebekah and Isaac’s youngest twin son, and the drama that will ensue when he married two sisters. Whoever this next book is about, I fully intend to read it and any other book I can get my hands on from this author. This book is a gem that comes highly recommended.

I became a fan of this author with Sarai, the first book in this series, but with Rebekah I’m now a full out
lover of this author’s work. I love how well she tells these stories and keeps it accurate as well and I love that this is where her passion is. Her passion for the Bible and the people that make up it come through the pages of this book and all of her others as well. This book, series, and author come highly recommended.

Overall, a great retelling of the story of Rebekah and Isaac. I can’t wait for the next. This book is perfect for Biblical fiction fans as well as drama or historical fiction fans. I think this book is perfect for adult and maybe really mature teenagers. I give this book a four out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Wake Up, Generation

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Title: Wake Up, Generation
Author: Paige Omartian
Publisher: Harvest House
Published: August 1, 2012
Pages: 224

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After a life-threatening battle with cancer at 10, Paige Omartian was compelled to live her life the way God wanted, even if it means she goes into a risky career. Now, with a new appreciation for life, she is compelled to show other young people how precious their lives are and how important they are to God. This is her calling, now it’s time to find yours.

Apathy has become a growing epidemic an has caused many people to sleepwalk through life. They don’t realize that their dreams, mission, and identity are at stake. If you want to be one of the few who want to live their to the fullest and fulfill their ultimate calling, then join Paige Omartian as she shows you why coasting through life can be more dangerous then following your calling.

Follow Paige as she explores the apathy that has taken root in our young people’s minds. She also tells stories from friends and influential people. Stories that are both good and bad and really make you think about what you want. This generation has been asleep for way too long and if your still breathing then there’s a reason you’re still here. You just have to let God lead to that reason.

Do these question scare you? What is my purpose? Who was I created to be? What can I possibly do to make a difference in this world? What does God want me to do? Why should I do anything? Do you want to live your life outside the complacency that too many people have? If so read this book and break the chain of apathy that has taken hold.
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I heard Paige’s story a few years ago and was amazed. A little girl and her life-threatening fight with cancer. Now she’s back and this energetic and inspiring 21 year old is determined to show teens and young adults that their life is worth more than what we’ve been led to believe and chosen to believe all these years and she did it well. The Lord is going to do great things through this young woman.

Normally when you read books like this, the author is usually in their late thirties early forties minimum and I think that this book and the subject matter came great from someone IN the projected audience. Because she’s a young adult too, she knows how we think and what we want out of life and that makes this book great. This book was well written and absolutely perfect for any person under the age of 25. It truly inspired you to do it God’s way even if it’s risky and unconventional.

I think my favorite part of this book was the conglomeration of stories, including Paige’s. I loved each story whether it was sad, anger inducing, or joyfully inspiring. I also loved how the stories were set up. They reinforced the point she was trying to driving home and it made me want to live my life God’s way more than if she hasn’t put in the stories. I loved the stories and what they did for the book.

This book really makes you think and question whether or not you’re living your life and whether you’re following God’s plan for it. I think this is the perfect book for teens and people up to 25. This book inspires teens to turn to God and follow His plan. I think that’s something everyone especially a younger person who doesn’t know what they want to do or be.

Paige Omartian may not be older and may not have a ton of experience but he knows how to reach the young generation and teach them how to be who they were meant to be. I don’t know whether this author intends to write more anytime soon but if she does sign me up because she knows how to communicate with young adults because she is one.

Overall, this is an amazing book for teens and young adults who want a new outlook on life and how to live it. This book is perfect for teens and adults. I highly recommend this one. I give this book a four out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*