To the Moon and Back by Karen Kingsberry
Brady Bradshaw was a child when the Oklahoma City bombing killed his mother. Every year, Brady visits the memorial site on the anniversary to remember her. A decade ago on that day, he met Jenna Phillips, who was also a child when her parents were killed in the attack. Brady and Jenna shared a deep heart connection and a single beautiful day together at the memorial. But after that, Brady never saw Jenna again. Every year when he returns, he leaves a note for her in hopes that he might find her again.
This year, Ashley Baxter Blake and her sister Kari Ryan and their families take a spring break trip that includes a visit to the site to see the memorial’s famous Survivor Tree. While there, Ashley spots a young man, alone and troubled. That man is Brady Bradshaw. A chance moment leads Ashley to help Brady find Jenna, the girl he can’t forget.
Ashley’s family is skeptical, but she pushes them to support her efforts to find the girl and bring them together. But will it work? Will her husband, Landon, understand her intentions? And is a shared heartache enough reason to fall in love? – from the Publisher
To the Moon and Back returns the reader and fans of Karen Kingsberry’s to the Baxter family. The story revolves around two young characters who are tied together by the tragic event of the Oklahoma bombing. Ashley Baxter brings them together, bringing the Baxter family into this sweet romance. Readers of Ms. Kingsberry’s other Baxter stories will feel familiar and welcome the little updates on the family. New readers are able to jump right in since the story revolves around new characters, Brady and Jenna. Ms. Kingsberry has included at the end of the book, a nice genealogy of the family to inform new readers. To the Moon and Back is a quick and enjoyable romance that will be welcomed by seasoned fans and new readers alike.
I received an ARC ebook from the publisher, Howard books in exchange for an honest review.
The Air I Breathe by Louie Giglio
Worship is more than singing on Sunday morning. While that’s part of it, worship is the essence of what makes us truly human. God sparked this desire within our hearts from the day He first breathed life into Adam and Eve. Since then, every single human who has walked this planet has participated in this God-given ability, and divine quest. While many have squandered their gift, there are those who find the wonder-filled life of communion with God no matter the time or place.
True freedom comes when worship flows through us as naturally as the air we breathe, when the words and actions in our lives resonate with our Creator so deeply that every inhalation is full of meaning. When we understand the holiness of the God who knows the stars by name—and His overwhelming love for each one of us—how can we offer anything less? – from the publisher.
Louie Giglio begins the book by talking about that we as humans are designed to worship. Throughout the rest of the book, he challenges the reader to question what they are worshipping. Each chapter digs deeper into the concept of worship. Beginning by defining worship, to personalizing worship to corporate worship. Christian readers will find themselves challenging what their previous thoughts on the concept of worship. This book is very readable but challenging at the same time. Recommended to any reader which wants a challenging but readable book to digest. Readers will be coming back to reread this title to continue to challenge their Christian walk. There is no specific scripture cited during this work so if the reader is looking for a more scripture grounded read, they will be disappointed.
I received an ARC ebook from Netgalley and the publisher, WaterBrook and Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.
Live Fearless: a call to power, passion and purpose by Sadie Robertson
Sadie Robertson, bestselling author and star of Dancing with the Stars, has an important message for her generation: you don’t have to be held back by fear, anxiety, or loneliness anymore. In Live Fearless, Sadie takes you on a thrilling personal journey toward power, passion, and purpose as you live at the center of who God created you to be!…From Publisher
Sadie uses her personal journey to share how she has learned to live reducing her fear. The first half of the book, seemed preachy or didactic to this reader. The bible verses shared were helpful and enlightening and her sharing of her experience with Dancing with the Stars was interesting. The second half of the book was much more readable and was easier to pull out the nuggets Sadie shared. Although the pulling out of the “note” helped the reader understand what Sadie felt important, it broke up the flow of the reading of Live Fearless. Examples of prayers when applying God’s word will be helpful to those teens who are still new to their faith. This book should be given to both believers and nonbelievers alike, giving them a roadmap or an alternative to living in fear. Recommended to any young adult, especially young ladies who can relate with Sadie and her fear.
I received an ARC ebook from Netgalley and the publisher, Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.
If I Live by Terri Blackstock
Casey Cox is still on the run after being indicted for murder. The hunt that began with her bloody footprints escalates, and she’s running out of places to hide. Her face is all over the news, and her disguises are no longer enough. It’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes her.
Dylan Roberts, the investigator who once hunted her, is now her only hope. Terrifying attempts on Dylan’s life could force Casey out of hiding. The clock is ticking on both their lives, but exposing the real killers is more complicated than they knew. Amassing the evidence to convict their enemies draws Dylan and Casey together, but their relationship has consequences. Will one life have to be sacrificed to protect the other?
With If I Live, Terri Blackstock takes us on one more heart-stopping chase in the sensational conclusion to the If I Run series. (from the Publisher)
If I Live is the conclusion of the If I Run series. This title unlike, If I’m Found can not really be read as a standalone. Ms. Blackstock continues the story of Casey Cox with the same pace as If I’m Found. The reader will be seamlessly immersed in the plot, feeling they never left off from the previous title. The read is quick with lots of twists and turns. A satisfying conclusion for fans of this series. In fact, they will hate to see Dylan and Casey’s adventure end. The wrapping up of Casey’s conversion to Christianity does seem rushed at the end of the book but otherwise the book is thoroughly entertaining and satisfying. Give this to any reader who loves a good mystery and thriller or any Terri Blackstock fan.
Note: I was given an electronic copy via Net Galley and the publisher, Zondervan for an honest review.
More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer
Rev Fletcher is battling his past demons with his loving adoptive parents support. He is an outcast at school but is supported by his best friend, Declan. Rev keeps his demons at bay until he gets a letter from his abusive dad.
Emma Blue lives for her computer coding and game development. She wants to be just like her dad but her home life comes to head with her parents crumbling relationships. They meet at a church property where they begin to share their challenges and find common ground.
This story is a standalone but revisits the characters of Ms. Kemmerer’s first book, Letters to the Lost. The story moves quickly with the reader cheering on both characters to overcome the obstacles in their lives. The romance is sweet and building through out the story. Readers whom enjoy rich characters will devour this read. A glimpse into the foster care system will bring empathy to readers through the telling of the secondary character, Matt. Real life issues such as divorce, abuse and foster care are seen through the characters life and the reader gains an appreciation of what teens dealing with these issues see in their lives. Highly recommended to fans of Letters to the Lost and realistic fiction.
I received an ARC ebook from Netgalley and the publisher, Bloomsbury Children’s in exchange for an honest review.
Out of the Ashes by Tracie Peterson, Kimberly Woodhouse
Collette and Jean-Michel Langelier leave France after World War I and head to America. They are trying to forget the death of their dad and end up in Alaska. Jean-Michel is trying to deal with the aftermath of serving in the war and the lost of his love. They come to the Curry Hotel.
Katherine Demarchis has recently lost her husband. The marriage was an arranged marriage and very abusive. Katherine had given up on life but her grandmother determined to bring Katherine back to the girl she was gets her granddaughter to travel to Alaska with her.
The Curry Hotel is the place where Katherine and Jean -Michel reacquaint themselves after the war and a forced marriage have separated them. They each have their issues to work through before they can work on their relationship.
Out of the Ashes is the second book in The Heart of Alaska series. The book can be read as a stand alone with the story revolving around the new characters. However, the reader will enjoy the story more if they have read the first in the series to fill in the narrative of the other characters. The previous title also gives the reader more background about the Curry Hotel. Continuing the Heart of Alaska series, Ms. Peterson quickly grabs the reader into the characters’ life and fills in the backstory of Jean-Michel and Katherine leading the reader to anticipate their meeting and how the plot will continue. The background and other characters in the book support the historical feel of the novel. Readers of historical fiction will enjoy this quick read. Ms. Peterson’s fans will devour this title and anticipate the next title in the series.
I received an ARC ebook from Netgalley and the publisher, Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
Follow Me by Sara Shepard
It was the perfect night for a party.
That is, until twenty-one-year-old Chelsea Dawson disappeared. The social media star was last seen enjoying a beautiful summer night at the Jersey Shore with her friends. But after an explosive fight with her ex-boyfriend, she vanished without a trace.
When Seneca, Maddox, Aerin, and Madison hear about the suspected kidnapping, they notice a jarring detail about the victim: she looks exactly like Aerin’s sister, Helena, who was killed five years earlier. Seneca is convinced she knows who killed Helena, and she can’t shake the feeling that the same person has taken Chelsea.
Desperate for answers about the two girls, and the truth behind her mother’s murder, Seneca will stop at nothing to find out if the cases are linked. So when Maddox receives an invitation to the Shore from none other than their primary suspect, the Amateurs begin an intense new investigation.
This is the second title in Sara Shepard’s new series following the Pretty Little Liars series. This title can be read without reading the first in the series. Throughout the book, Sara Shephard does a good job in informing the reader information that was revealed in the first book while moving the story forward without confusing the reader. The book was a read with a little mystery of who killed Seneca’s mom but left the reader hanging at the end wondering who is the killer. The book seemed to drag in the middle but did have enough twists and turns to keep the reader forging ahead until the end. For this reader, it seemed a little unrealistic that these teens would have been allowed to go to another town to solve a death mystery. Fans of Sara Shepard’s previous series will probably overlook the teens ability to go solve the mystery without adults and will be drawn to wait for the next title for the series.
I received an ARC ebook from Netgalley and the publisher, Disney Book Group in exchange for an honest review.