What am I reading this week? #Reading #AmReading #BookLovers

Because I’m not reviewing very much right now, I thought I’d do another post highlighting what I’m reading this week.

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Last week I finished Depravity by M.J. Haag and shared my review on Friday. I enjoyed the book (despite some niggles) and went right on to book two in the series titled Deceit. I DNFed the second book about half way through and won’t be finishing the trilogy. It became too weird for me. I normally don’t DNF books, but I just couldn’t handle this one. I liked that the characters were developing more and the beast was more understood, but the details were too much for me. I’m not going to tear the book apart though, and I didn’t rate it because I didn’t totally finish it.

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I’ve decided to finally read Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which is now a movie releasing on Friday. I bought the book from Barnes and Noble and will be starting it today.

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Continue reading “What am I reading this week? #Reading #AmReading #BookLovers”

Book Review: Depravity (Beastly Tales #1) by M.J. Haag #Retelling #2019ReadingChallenge #BeautyandtheBeast

Depravity (Beastly Tales, #1)

By M.J. Haag

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My thoughts:

While searching for retellings on Amazon, this book popped up: Depravity by M.J. Haag. I love Beauty and the Beast retellings, and this being categorized as an adult romance pulled me right in. I was able to get the ebook on Amazon for free and ended up purchasing the Audible version as well.

The story begins with Benella, a teenage girl living with her father (Bernard) and two sisters (Bryn and Blye). Her mother has passed away and the family struggles to make ends meet. Her father works as a teacher, and one sister as a seamstress, but they still have little money or food to eat. The sisters try to save as much coin as possible, even if it results in the family starving. The girls are coming of age and old enough to marry, but depsite their father’s hope’s, struggle to find suitable husbands that they approve of.

Benella forages for food along an enchanted estate, finding crops to either share with her family or trade for other goods.  She eventually encounters the beast who lives at the estate. The beast is angry and has been known to capture people, but he allows Benella to go free, yet consistently asks her to stay with him at his estate. The beast perplexes Benella as she strives to care for her family, and tries to stay safe from two village boys who are relentlessly trying to beat her up.

It’s been mentioned that this is an erotic and seductive tale; however, I surely didn’t think it was very erotic at all. When the story first began there was a sexual scene, but it was vaguely described. As the book went on, it wasn’t until the last third where some other sexual scenes came about (one very uncomfortable one including a sexual encounter with a wood nymph), but most others were on the light side in my opinion. I expected romance here between Benella and the beast to eventually develop, but instead the ending was left wide open, resulting in me feeling compelled to read book two and three.

As far as the worldbuilding and character development, I found it just okay. There really wasn’t much imagery at all. Naturally, I wanted to know more about the beast, but hardly any information was given besides him being extremely angry, and of course having a tail.  He’s not well understood, but maybe the characters will flesh out in book two and three. With that said, I did find it unique how the author wrote scenes in her own way, making this retelling stand out from other Beauty and the Beast retellings. I was also on the edge of my seat during a few parts.

I did enjoy the author’s writing, but wish the story was more of a romance as labeled, and that it had more detail. As a retelling as a whole, it was enjoyable, and the Audible narrator was great.

I’d rate this one 3.5 and round up to 4****. My plan is to move right along to book two to discover what’s to come of Benella and the beast.

Continue reading “Book Review: Depravity (Beastly Tales #1) by M.J. Haag #Retelling #2019ReadingChallenge #BeautyandtheBeast”

Book Review: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly #BookReview #Stepsister #ReadingChallenge #2019ReadingChallenge #Retellings

Stepsister

By Jennifer Donnelly

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I read Jennifer Donnelly’s Lost in a Book which is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and I truly loved it, so Stepsister was highly anticipated. There’s a special place in my heart for fairy tales, especially Cinderella. To be honest, I haven’t read that many Cinderella retellings.

Will my review spoil this book? Not totally…although I do mention the plot and certain themes which lead into the ending.

Stepsister begins right at the end of Cinderella as the prince seeks the girl to fit the slipper. Isabelle and Octavia–the evil stepsisters–will do whatever it takes to get the slipper to fit, even if it requires cutting off parts of their feet. Once everyone notices what the sisters have done, they are shamed and hated throughout the kingdom, and their sister Ella now sits with the prince.

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Changes Coming and What I’m Reading…

I thought I’d do a quick post to talk about what I’m reading right now and some of the changes that are happening here…

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I’ll start with the changes that are happening with my blog…Those that follow me may have noticed that I recently switched to a wordpress.com account. I chose to downgrade and removed over 300 posts along with tons of media to get to a lower paid plan. After downgrading, I realized that none of my links were working and it was a huge mess. I’ve now gone back to http://www.readrantrockandroll.com and will be staying with that for now. Some posts are still a mess and are missing images. I’m working on it…

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Book Review: A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry #AWolfCalledWander #Middlegrade #BookReview

A Wolf Called Wander

By Rosanne Parry

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I’ve always been fascinated with wolves. A few years ago I read A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans and loved it, so this cover and title got my attention right away.

My kids and I read this over a course of two to three days. We all seemed to have our own opinions about it, but it turned out to be an interesting read for me. Continue reading “Book Review: A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry #AWolfCalledWander #Middlegrade #BookReview”

Book Review: Breakthrough: The Miraculous True Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection #BookReview #Christian #Breakthrough #TrueStories

Breakthrough: The Miraculous True Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection

By Joyce Smith

(Previously published as The Impossible)

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My thoughts:

Talk about a page-turner! This true story is one that had me from beginning to end. My review will likely contain a few spoilers.

In 2015, on a cold winter day, Joyce Smith’s fourteen-year-old son was visiting with friends and was involved in an accident that resulted in death. After being rushed to the hospital with no response, the doctors were ready to give up. It had been nearly an hour and likely impossible that John’s body could live after such a catastrophic accident. The events that transpire afterward are nothing short of a miracle.

John was such a lucky boy with a strong support system, not just from family, but from his church and community as well. There’s a lot of positivity surrounding him, especially from his mother Joyce. I admired Joyce’s strength as she never seemed to lose faith (despite all the negativity), even when some people around her were breaking. Many would agree: It does appear that because of God’s miraculous abilities to heal, her son is alive and well today. Was it all the power of prayer? Did God really heal John? The doctors can’t explain it, and he wasn’t the only one to experience a miracle those few weeks in 2015.

This was actually recommended to me by my local librarian who also ordered the movie which releases on DVD this week. I was compelled to read the book because it seemed like it might involve a near death experience, which is a subject I enjoy studying. This was different from my expectations, but the story still had me captivated. I thought it was written really well too.

I found some parts in the story hard to read when it came to their struggles with some of the more difficult and controlling members of the medical community. After having some of these same problems when my daughter was in a teaching hospital, this book reminded me just how arduous those obstacles were. I also found myself asking the same questions others asked in the end: Why does God answer some prayers and not others? Was John just lucky? You’ll have to read it to see what you think.

This book is the media tie in edition which includes pictures from the movie, but also real pictures of Joyce and her family as well. There are many Bible verses throughout which I enjoyed studying. Even if you aren’t a Christian, the story is one to read, and it may open your eyes. I highly recommend it.

5*****

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