Review: Unfolding by Jonathan Friesen

Unfolding
Jonathan Friesen
Blink
Available January 31, 2017

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Jonah’s been in love with Stormi pretty much since the day the twister plucked her up from her home and set her down unhurt in his neighbor’s yard. Mysterious, beautiful, and a gifted mechanic, Stormi often senses things before they come to pass. When one of her premonitions results in a girl’s death, the town rallies against her. Jonah follows her, determined to clear Stormi’s name. In the process, he uncovers a dark secret the town has kept for most of his life.

Friesen has this ability in his writing to craft guys you can’t help but root for. His heroes have all the odds stacked against them, … Continue reading

Review: One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

oneparissummerOne Paris Summer
Denise Grover Swank
Blink / Zondervan

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Anyone would be thrilled to spend the summer in Paris, but Sophie dreads it. Meeting her dad’s new wife and stepdaughter? Leaving her friends behind in the States? Not fun at all. When Sophie arrives, things only get worse. Her dad promised her a piano but never follows through. Her stepsister Camille torments her constantly, and even recruits her friends to help make Sophie miserable. Then one of Camille’s friends reaches out to Sophie. His charm and sweetness are the lifeline Sophie needs to get her through the difficult summer. The two grow closer, but if Camille finds out, she’ll do everything within her power to ruin Sophie’s happiness.

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Review: A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund

A Daring Sacrifice by Jody HedlundA Daring Sacrifice
Jody Hedlund
Zondervan

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The mysterious Cloaked Bandit lives in the forest of Wessex, robbing its nobility to feed peasants displaced when the current Lord usurped the lands. Now he combs the forest seeking the identity of the Bandit, unaware that in fact, she is the rightful heir to Wessex.

When the Cloaked Bandit robs a neighboring noble, Lord Collin recognizes the girl as his childhood friend. Concerned for her safety, he convinces her to stay a week in his home, far away from Lord Wessex’s soldiers. As he learns the terrible truths that led to Juliana’s impoverished circumstances, he vows to do something to help her. Her compassion for … Continue reading

Review: An Uncertain Choice by Jodi Hedlund

An Uncertain Choice by Jodi HedlundAn Uncertain Choice
Jodi Hedlund
Zondervan

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As Rosemarie’s eighteenth birthday nears, she prepares to fulfill the sacred vow her parents made and become a nun. She struggles to accept this role even as her kingdom is in turmoil at the hands of a sheriff who enforces cruel punishment and unexplained plagues that ravage the poorest citizens. Then, one month before her birthday, an old family friend rides into her kingdom with news: Rosemarie may have another option. If she can find and marry her true love before midnight on her eighteenth birthday, she will not have to enter the convent. Three knights accompany Rosemarie’s advisor. She must find out if one of … Continue reading

Review: Game Over by Andrew Klavan

gameoverGame Over
Andrew Klavan
Zondervan

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Rick awakes from a nightmare with scratches on his arm, scratches he knows came from the nightmare itself. A nightmare in which he’s trapped in The Realm, a video game world created by a terrorist that Rick has been tasked with destroying from the inside. Only now it seems Kurodar, the creator of The Realm, has Rick in his sights and is using his mind to further his plan for destruction. Rick must find a way to destroy The Realm before Kurodar overtakes him.

I was a little nervous about reading this book since it’s the third and final tale in a series I hadn’t read before. Turns out, I had nothing … Continue reading

Review: Curio by Evangeline Denmark

Curio by Evangeline DenmarkCurio
Evangeline Denmark
Blink YA/Zondervan

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In a world in which women are of little value, Grey tries to remain beneath the notice of the ruling Chemists. To draw attention to herself risks her very life and the lives of her family and her best friend Whit. When Chemists punish Whit for protecting Grey, she abandons hope of escaping notice and vows to help others like Whit, no matter the cost to herself. When the Chemists realize what she’s done, her family protects her by spiriting her away to a world within her grandfather’s curio cabinet. There, among a strange world of clockwork people, Grey must find a hidden ally and a key … Continue reading

Review: Faithgirlz Best Hair Book Ever!

Faithgirlz Best Hair Book Ever by Kelsey HaywoodBest Hair Book Ever!
Faithgirlz (Kelsey Haywood)
Zondervan

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Best Hair Book Ever! is packed with tips on classic and new hairstyles as well as recommendations for hair care and styling products. Each section shows full-color pictures of various styles and steps that are easy to follow. The book also contains how-to instructions for making hair accessories and DIY hair products. The earlier pages recommend different hair styles for different face shapes and some helpful information on how to blow dry while minimizing heat damage.

Many of the styles are simple enough that an older child can manage them solo. My daughter is ten and has devoured this book almost from … Continue reading

Review: Never Said by Carol Lynch Williams

Never Said by Carol Lynch WilliamsNever Said
Carol Lynch Williams
Zondervan

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In the midst of her devastation over a break-up, Sarah realizes something isn’t right with her twin. Annie has been withdrawing from the family for some time, but her behavior seems to be escalating. She chops off her hair, gains weight, and gives up the beauty pageants she once lived for. Though shy and socially anxious Sarah has always been jealous of the way her parents favor Annie, she begins to worry about her sister. Sarah pushes toward her sister, and finds that in return, Annie reluctantly opens up to her.

The writing style was the first thing that captured me in this story. The voice is … Continue reading

Review: Shades of Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Shades of Doon by Corp and LangdonShades of Doon
Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Blink YA/Zondervan
Published: September 1, 2015

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As Vee embraces her role as Doon’s Queen, she looks forward to the day she and Jamie will be able to rule together. Her best friend Kenna still searches for her own place in the kingdom. Just as Kenna begins to feel she’s found her niche, a dark force boots both girls from their beloved land and drops them back in the real world. As if facing the shock of their old, broken lives wasn’t enough, all signs indicate that this is just the beginning of a new threat. Together with the MacCrae boys, they’ll have to face … Continue reading

Review: Summer by Summer by Heather Burch

Summer by Summer by Heather BurchSummer by Summer by Heather Burch
Blink YA/Zondervan

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After tragedy turns Summer’s life upside down, a summer in Belize caring for a charming young boy seems like the perfect escape. Then she meets her charge’s older brother, Bray. His smooth talk and good looks only remind her of everything she wanted to leave behind.

Bray doesn’t get Summer. He doesn’t understand why she hides herself beneath miles of ugly flower print dresses and avoids fun like it will bite. He resents her assumptions about him, even if some of them may be true.

When a boat tour and a terrible storm leave the two stranded on an uninhabited island, they have only each other to … Continue reading

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