It's Memorial Day!! What better way to honor those who gave it all on a book blog then to share about a book with the same goal in mind? This is probably one of my top books of the year so far, so without further ado, let's get into it!
Oh, the Fallen
Abigail Kay Harris
May 31st, 2021
Military Romance (Mild)
Recommended 12+ for Understanding
About the Book ||
In the cause of freedom, some will give their all.
When Matt Renicker joins the Army, he's determined to give his best for his country and his Lord, even if it means risking everything he loves most. But when tragedy strikes on a routine patrol, more than one heart is left shattered and lamenting.
In the wake of a terrible loss, will those left behind find the strength to go on? Or will the faith, family, and freedom Matt fought to preserve be broken beyond repair?
Goodreads || Amazon
About the Author ||
Abigail Kay Harris is a daughter of the King with a personal degree in book-nerdiness. A sister to seven, her passionate love of the written word and deeper meanings hidden in normal things leads her to spend her time reading, writing, using sarcasm, and defining obscure words. When she’s not chasing words, she enjoys watching shows, classic romance movies, tea, sunrises, and the outdoors, especially mountains, beaches, and forests.
Guest Post || The Story Behind Oh, the Fallen
Oh, The Fallen is my first finished story over 10,000 words that made it to a final draft. I had nearly given up on ever finishing another story after dealing with writers’ block for a long time.
Oh, The Fallen came from a fun little (and yes, sad) flash fiction I wrote last summer based on the song I Drive Your Truck, it was super short, between 200-500 words and I set it aside after sharing it with some friends.
Well, my family was on a road trip and on road trips I got lots of time to read and write, I had already read like five books and we weren’t even halfway to where we were going. I was chatting with a friend who I wouldn’t be able to chat with again for a long time and I got new ideas for a short story.
The main idea was similar to the short flash fiction I had written so I dug that up from whatever lost doc it had been in, I cleaned it up, broke up the story into parts for a longer story, found a song to listen to on loop (Fallen Soldier by Nathan Fair) and wrote the first draft.
I was thinking I may share it on my blog, write another draft, and by that time I was thinking it may be a little longer than a short story.
Then, at the end of the month, I had a nearly finished short story, ideas to finish it off the story, and talking with a friend about publishing it.
Well, another draft or two and I had more ideas, some characters were taking over the story in ways I didn’t expect, and I had the idea for three other books.
Fast forward a bit more to right before release, I have the first draft of the next book finished and like five more ideas for short stories, flash fiction, a novelette, and a few novellas.
And, that’s the story of Oh, The Fallen.
Except for the flash fiction that started it all, there are about 150 days between starting Oh, The Fallen and release day with the millions of ideas that came into play as I went along. I'm not sure where this will end but I’m trusting God on that one.
My Review ||
A more thorough review is in the works, using my system, but since this post is already long, I'll just cut to the chase. (I read a pre-edited copy of the book as a beta-reader. I received a copy of the book from the author for promotional purposes. All thoughts are my own.)
This book is amazing y'all. At the point in which I was reading it, it was in the process of being edited, so of course I caught a few things here and there and even offered a few suggestions, but honestly, the story blew me away! The author's voice is unique and homey and steeped in patriotic passion for God and Country. I cried through the entire thing and debuts rarely do that for me. Abigail Kay Harris has been added to my list of auto-buy authors!
There is some mild violence and romance, but nothing gory or PG-13. I would recommend a family read it together for Memorial Day. It's the perfect tribute <3
Grab the links above for more release day fun!
God Bless America and God Bless our Gold Star Families...
PS. What are your favorite Memorial Day reads? How do you honor those who have given their lives for us? Tell me in the comments below!
Hello everyone! I hope you are having a blessed Memorial Day. As we pause to remember those who have died to keep us free, please take a moment to pray for their families. They are still living the nightmare of waking up everyday without their loved one. Their brothers and sisters in arms wake up everyday without a text or call from their buddy. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
The parade came, and we had the truck all gussied up, with red, white, blue, and Army green. Hud drove with his BDUs on, and I sat on the back, waving at those who gathered to honor all our fallen soldiers. We got saluted by more people than I could count.
I got a hug from a Vietnam veteran. Another from a WWII Vet. A handshake from a Confederate reenactor. A salute from a Marine who looked suspiciously like Salem Springfield, but I couldn’t be sure.
We went to the football field for the ceremony, the laying of the wreaths and the gun salute and the singing of the National Anthem done by a member of every military branch, a Capella.
Then came the moment for the music. Becca stepped onto the platform, violin in hand, a mic before her to sing at intervals…while I played her backup…on Stanley’s violin. Becca had written the song, and we had practiced like crazy all Saturday evening and between church on Sunday.
And it was perfect. It was called, Do You Remember, Because I Can’t Forget. Soul-Stirring. And heart-wrenching. I cried all the way through it. But I cried even harder when she said, “Normally a dedication is given before a song is sung. But I’m going to do it now because it’s right. This song is dedicated to two Rangers, SPL Randy Bonner , and SPL Stanley Schnyder. Randy is on deployment right now, and Stanley gave it all taking Baghdad. They are both, one on earth and one in heaven, in the palm of our Savior’s Hand. No matter what, they are remembered. For us, as Christians, whether in deployment or in death, there is no Goodbye, only See You Later. And as both of our brothers have taught us, Goodbye isn’t in the Christian Family’s dictionary. If it’s in yours, please see me afterward, and I’ll gladly show you how you can become part of the Family and get rid of your goodbye. God Bless you for being here and God Bless America.”
I could never be that bold. I was almost afraid Becca would get in trouble for witnessing at a public event like that, but no one said a word to her about it, other than to ask her how to get rid of their goodbye. She led five people to Christ that day. I got three.
That evening, we stayed around and helped clean the stadium, the town volunteers insisting Military and Gold Stars shouldn’t have to, but we insisted on helping. After all, the fallen belong to us too.
As we were finishing, I picked up Stanley’s violin and started to leave, but suddenly, tears rushed to my eyes. I couldn’t see Becca and not wanting to cry in front of a dozen Soldiers, Marines, and strangers. So I ducked into the nearest private place…the bleachers.
By myself in the shadows, I allowed myself to miss Stanley, hugging his violin to my chest and sobbing, trying to shove away the memories of the day I got the news.
After a few moments, I heard Becca and Salem calling for me, and I wiped my face, my moment over, but it was time for it to be over. There was a time for mourning and a time for laughter. And Stanley would want me to choose the latter. Smiling, I called out to my friends, and we walked together to the vehicles.
That Friday started horribly. Becca came flying into the house, dictionary in her arms and tears pouring down her face. I grabbed her and shook her. “Becca! What’s wrong?”
“Something’s happening! I was on the phone with Randy, and then somebody yelled, and he said, ‘I love you!’ and the line cut! Something wrong, Chrissy!”
She burst into tears and clung to me, and we both ended up in the kitchen floor, bawling like toddlers and not caring, praying without ceasing that God would please shield Randy.
I stayed with her all day. We eventually went over to their base house and hunkered down, waiting for the call with eager trepidation. Salem drove up from Cherry Point, two hours away, to be with his family, and we all sat in the living room, waiting and praying.
Jason shattered the silence with a straightforward question. “If God…” he cleared his throat. “If God chooses to…take Randy away…will we still love Him?”
Silence hung in the room. Becca shuddered and rested her head against my shoulder, tears seeping into my shirt. Salem ran his hands through his non-existent hair, and Mrs. Springfield closed her eyes. Mr. Springfield paused in his pacing.
I glared at the DVD case propped on the bookshelf.
All heads turned towards Becca. “Because it’s not the end. God promised we will be together again. I won’t understand why. But I’ll still love Him.”
Salem nodded, his eyes red-rimmed, but as of yet, he was a genuine, stone-faced Marine. Mrs. Springfield sighed. “Yes, I’ll still love Him.”
“As hard as that would be…yes,” Mr. Springfield said.
The phone rang, but no one moved to answer it, staring at it in horror.
So I answered it.
“…Oh! Uh, hello, Miss Christina. Good to hear from you. Is Becca there?”
I squealed and nearly dropped the phone, and I know I’d left his ears ringing. “Becca! Take it! It’s him!”
Becca jumped to her feet, snatching the cordless from me. And with a voice as controlled as if she hadn’t been crying all day, she said, “Randy, don’t you ever scare me like that again! What’s the big idea?!”
I laughed so hard and hugged Mrs. Springfield and Mr. Springfield so hard. We thanked God and cried while Salem called their other son, Timothy, at the Air Force Academy and let him know Randy was all right. It was a beautiful evening.
And we ended it with that movie.
Before I left, Becca grabbed my hand and said, “Thank God, I didn’t have to say that final See You Later. Not yet.”
I hugged her tight as she cried with relief. “Not yet. It’s not time yet. But aren’t you so glad Goodbye isn’t in the dictionary?”
She nodded and wiped her eyes. “I’m gonna read that page all night…and all the letters. I’m just so grateful.”
“Me too, Becca.” I winked. “See You Later!”
Salem insisted I come with them to pick Randy up since I had been with them for the whole deployment. I agreed, then realized that he had motives, and I might have elbowed him in the ribs.
Randy ran up to his family, hugging his mom so tight he picked her up. She kissed his cheek; her baby was safe and sound. Becca wedged her way past her brothers to get to him next, and that’s when I saw a couple tears shining in his eyes.
He greeted his brothers, and then he looked at me. He thanked me for being there for Becca. Before I could speak, another Ranger walked up and slapped him on the shoulder. “Later, Boots.”
He grinned, “Later, Pickles.”
I stared at him. Tears rushed to my eyes. “Boots,” I whispered. Randy turned and looked at me. I’d have to show him that letter. He needed to see it.
Two Years Later…
Uncle Abel came to my wedding. And he was smiling. Becca was my maid of honor, and Mr. Springfield was Randy’s best man. Salem said he should have been the best man since he fell in love with me as a sister before Randy said anything. But Randy insisted he had fallen for me at first sight.
All I care about is that my soldier made it home. He’s deploying in about three months, but we’re okay. We have each other for now. And we will never say goodbye. Because they are not in the dictionary…neither are good cheer or Good Conduct Medal because Randy covered them up to get his See You Later Note in there…
“HEY, LIEBLING, YOU TOLD ME, IT’S NOT HERE. WHY ARE YOU LOOKING? WE ONLY HAVE ‘SEE YOU LATERS.’ BECAUSE NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, WITH GOD AS MY WITNESS, I WILL SEE YOU LATER, HERE OR THERE. ALL MY LOVE, MY DARLING. RANGERS LEAD THE WAY…AND SO DO LITTLE SISTERS…”
 Note to readers. This is a short story that is part of a WIP. Randy, Becca and a brother named Tim are adopted by the Springfields, but allowed to keep their birth name. That’s why she says Bonner and not Springfield.
So what did you think? Do you like the idea of no Goodbye's for Christians? Did this end the way you thought it would? Who was your favorite Character? Let me know in the comments below!
God Bless America and Never Forget the Fallen and their families.
Hello! Long time no see! I'm sorry about the delay in posts, but this past month has been crazy busy with church and school finals! (My husband is a teacher and I helped with the pre-edits on student papers!) My health is finally improving (vitamin deficiencies can through you for a loop!), so hopefully, I'm back on track now!
I'm excited to bring you episode two of GID! (If you are new, read part one here!) Today, we're picking up where we left off, so let's jump back in!
The following morning the bell rang, and Becca entered, her wallet tucked under her arm, and a book clutched in her hands. She made a bee-line for the counter.
“Hey…can we talk?”
I nodded, knowing this was gonna be hard. “I have an hour left. But if it can’t wait—”
“It can. Cause I don’t want to rush.”
“Okay, here, take this to the corner booth and wait for me,” I said, sliding a lemonade across the counter. She took it and retreated, opening the book and settling in.
At last, the hour was up, and I came to her booth. “I know a better place for us to talk, come on.”
Moments later, we were sitting at the pier out back. “This is where he brought me last night…”
I winced. “Okay, so I blew that one…”
“No, this is fine.” Becca took a deep breath. “Randy told me you were the one who told him how to tell me.”
“It’s…what my brother did for me…before he left.”
She held the dictionary out towards me. “I don’t know what your brother did, but I wanted you to see what mine did.”
I smiled, touched that she wanted to share something so special with a stranger. I flipped to the page where “Goodbye” should have been. And I pressed my hand to my mouth to keep from audibly crying.
In neat capital letters—such an Army thing—he had written and glued over the entry:
“I TOLD YOU, IT’S NOT HERE. WHY ARE YOU LOOKING? WE ONLY HAVE ‘SEE YOU LATERS.’ BECAUSE NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, WITH GOD AS MY WITNESS, I WILL SEE YOU LATER, HERE OR THERE. ALL MY LOVE, SIS. RANGERS LEAD THE WAY.”
“This,” I said, “is true big brother love.”
“He never would have thought to do it if not for you. I…thank you for giving him the idea. I will cherish this for the rest of my life.”
I hugged her, and she cried on my shoulder. I’m not a heavy make-up kind of girl, but what little mascara I had on was running all over the place.
When we pulled back, I gripped her shoulders. “When can you come back? I’ll show you what my brother did for me.”
“You don’t have to share it. I know it must be special to you.”
“I…want to. Really. Please?”
“I’ll be here Friday.”
“Meet me here at 3:00, okay?”
“I’ll be here.”
She met me there on the pier on Friday, and I handed her a to-go cup of lemonade. I pulled out the book that I had kept beside my Bible ever since I had gotten it. I gave it to her and waited.
She turned to that page. Like her brother, mine had covered the entry.
“GOODBYES AREN'T FOR US. WE DON’T NEED THEM. BECAUSE NOTHING WILL EVER TAKE AWAY OUR HOME IN ETERNITY. CHRISSY, GOODBYE ISNT IN THE DICTIONARY OF THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY. ALL MY LOVE UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN, SEE YOU LATER.”
Big brother love.
Randy deployed the three weeks later. I was there with his family at Becca’s request. I gave them space, letting them say their ‘see you laters.’ He shook my hand before he headed for the plane. “See you later, Miss Christina.”
“See you later, Ranger.”
Becca came to see me every week. We’d drink Lemonade and talk about our brothers, and I was able to heal a little on the inside, sharing about how amazing Stanley was. And I learned what happened to her other brother, the one they almost lost. He had been a prisoner of war at the beginning of the war in Iraq. Celebrated his eighteenth birthday sick from an infected Camel bite. And Randy had been able to bring him home.
She brought letters that Randy had written home, sharing portions and allowing me to lose myself in the Army life I missed so much, all the acronyms and little jokes that are only funny to Army people. I brought some of Stanley’s letters, and we both laughed too hard at the pranks he played with his two buddies, Boots and Pickles. He never did tell me their real names, and I never got to meet them. They came to the funeral, but we were all too much of a wreck to talk. I can’t even remember what they looked like.
We cried over the honesty of our brothers. Both shared that at times, they were scared and didn’t really want to admit it to any of the guys. But then they apologized for telling us. Neither of us had minded.
Stanley wrote home, a few weeks before he died, “I’ve always respected Boots, but today, he made me respect him more. Risked his life to bring back Jerkface, the guy I told you about that pesters the snot out of everyone, especially Boots. Jerkface got hurt up really bad, and Boots nearly got himself killed going after him. J got EVACed, and Boots is going tomorrow. I’m sitting with him, watching him sleep, and…he just looks like a kid… I can easily see him as the kind that would call for his mom, then feel bad for wishing her there to see him like this. But I wish she was here. He’s too protective of us to realize it, but he needs somebody looking after him too. Big puppy if you ask me. Hey, if you ever decide soldiers aren’t that bad…😉 seriously, though, he’s a great guy.”
I rolled my eyes. “He was always trying to find me a husband. He so wanted me to marry one of his guys.”
Becca smiled and squeezed my hand. “Obviously, that’s up to God, but Boots doesn’t sound like a bad guy…I mean, he’s the one who asked if the others would like to do Bible study together, right?”
“Yes, that’s him. Who knows. I hope God does give him a good one. He sounds like he needs a protective wife.”
“Well, God will get her for him.”
We finished our lemonade and chatted a little longer, then I hurried back to work. I was trying to concentrate, but all I could think about was Memorial Day coming up. Me and my younger brother Hudson were supposed to go to the parade this year and drive Stanley’s truck…that was gonna be hard.
Uncle Abel smiled as I refilled the lemonade tank. “We’ll be closing up a little early this evening. So, we’ll see you bright and early Monday?”
I turned to him in surprise. Why it shocked me that he would have the café open on a holiday, I don’t know…but to expect me to be there? To miss Stanley’s parade? “I…I can’t come.”
He frowned. “We have inventory. Everyone will have to be here for us to finish on time.”
“Then let me do my part this evening. Please, I have to have Monday off!”
Uncle Abel frowned. “Is this about that parade?”
I swallowed back a look of defiance. “Yes. I’m going for Stanley.”
I could have kept it together. I could have breathed through it.
But he rolled his eyes and frowned.
I am so excited to share my review of this book with you! I had wanted to read this book ever since I first saw it, and on a whim, I picked it up at our local BJ’s! And I am not sorry at all!
By Pete Hegseth
(November 24th, 2020)
Content: 3 Stars || Quality: 10 Stars || Personal Enjoyment: 10 Stars || Overall: 8 Stars
(Click here to see How I Rate Books)
|| Amazon ||
About the Author ||
Pete Hegseth is a FOX News contributor who regularly appears on FOX & Friends, The Kelly File, and Outnumbered. An infantry officer in the Army National Guard, he is a veteran of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay who holds two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his time overseas. He is the former CEO of the veterans advocacy organization Concerned Veterans for America and former Chairman of the pro-victory organization Vets for Freedom. He is also a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He writes regularly for National Review and FOXNews.com and is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
*From Amazon Page*
About the Book ||
After three Army deployments—earning two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge—Pete Hegseth knows what it takes to be a modern warrior. In Modern Warriors he presents candid, unfiltered conversations with fellow modern warriors and digs for real answers to key questions like: What inspired them to serve? What is their legacy? What does sacrifice really mean to them? How do they handle loss? And what can civilians learn from this latest generation of veterans?
From the skies over Afghanistan to the seas of the Mediterranean to the treacherous streets of Iraq, these brave men and women take you inside the firefight, sharing the harrowing realities of war. Hegseth uses their experiences to facilitate conversations about the raw truths of combat, including the difficulties of transitioning back home, while also celebrating these soldiers’ contributions to preserving our nation’s most precious gift—freedom.
In addition to the oral history, Modern Warriors presents dozens of personal, rarely shared photos from the battlefield and the home front. Together these stories and images provide an unvarnished representation of battlefield leadership, military morale, and the strain of war. This book is the perfect keepsake and gift for anyone who wants to know what it means, and what it truly takes, to be a patriot.
My Review ||
This book! Where do I start? This book is one I’m sure will be appearing on my 2021 Top 10 Books list next year! I’ve never read a military biography that made me feel like I was sitting down talking with a veteran! Mr. Hegseth took their interviews and just printed them mostly verbatim, only adjusting things or adding notes as needed for context. So, in essence, these veterans are sitting down and telling you what they wish they could say to your face if you gave them half the chance.
Themes like PTSD, finding your mission, helping the next guy, adjusting from military to civilian life, and prejudice was dealt with on a level that tugs at your heartstrings. But at the same time, it challenges you to make an effort to better yourself and lend a hand to those around you!
While this won’t make sense in some ways, I felt like I could understand exactly what they had/were going through. I’ve not been in their shoes; I’m a civilian. But when you really stop to listen, to actually try and understand what they have been through, you’ll find we have a lot more in common than we realize.
Among my favorite interviews were SGT1C John Wayne Walding, SSGT Jeremiah Workman, LT Morgan Luttrell (Brother to Marcus Luttrell, the Lone Survivor), Capt. Sean Parnell, and Rep. Dan Crenshaw. Though to be honest, there wasn’t one that I didn’t enjoy!
I did have to censor some language out of this book. It was less than I anticipated, but still a fair amount. So I would recommend a mature adult going through this book with a fine-toothed comb. It will be worth it, I assure you!
Recommended for Ages 21+, 16+ if censored.
Have you read this book? Have you ever gotten to speak with a Veteran and hear their stories? What books have you enjoyed so far this year?
Have a Blessed Day!
I love looking back over the books I’ve read in a year. It’s almost like a journal of all the places I’ve been! Today, I’m sharing my top 10 favorites of 2020! (Click here to see how I review Books!)
#10 || The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin
This one comes with a MAJOR disclaimer. This is not a family-friendly book. I knew it had a pro-life aspect in the story when I borrowed it, but I didn’t know precisely what aspect. It was sad, and I skipped a good portion of one chapter because of the content. I also didn’t agree with two of the marriages depicted in the story because of personal convictions. I thought that since it stated in the blurb that the couple married early in the story, there would be less romantic content. It was true to a certain extent, but it was still a bit more than I prefer. There was also talk of suicide missions, a disturbing serial killer line, and a divorce (it doesn’t happen but doesn’t show how this isn’t biblical). It was also super annoying that people kept using their childhood past and their ethnic group as a crutch for all the hard things in their life. One or two mentions would have been realistic, but this was every chapter. Way overdone.
That being said, I thought the pro-life aspects of the story were excellently depicted. The message of forgiveness and the lesson of the prodigal son’s brother was profound and well-executed. Lessons on humility, charity, and making yourself useful to society were sprinkled throughout. I also loved how they depict true love as both letting go and coming home. It was very well written.
It was a library book, but I think it would be fixable if I had my own copy. It would take a good deal of time, though.
Recommended for 21+ || Content meter: 2.5 || Quality: 10 || Personal Enjoyment: 6 || Overall: 6
#9 || Resistance by Jaye L. Knight
This is not my usual genre, but it was a good starting book for one not used to “Fantasy” (none magical; I do NOT condone anything with magic). Think persecuted church meets the world before dragons became extinct…only with a super confusing race system that just seems more like a mix of different countries/creatures. That part was weird, and I disapprove of it. Just keep it realistic, people.
The persecution was very real, reminding me of the Roman Catholic Spanish Inquisition. I fear I might have buckled. I was much impressed by the faith of the characters. It was a great encouragement to me. There is a time to be silent, a time to speak, a time to run, and a time to stand.
I was irritated that they never referred to God as God. He was called Elom. I disapprove of tricking people into reading a Christian story by disguising God under a different name. Don’t play games, don’t hide your intentions. Just be honest.
I also didn’t approve of some story insinuations (clothing, behavior, rumors, but nothing too detailed that I remember?). Personally, I was uncomfortable with how often those elements came up. I also didn’t like the alone time between a girl and boy in the story. The situation wasn’t above reproach. It’s not the girl’s place to evangelize or befriend a troubled young man; That is a man’s place. There were also mentions of kissing and hugging before marriage, but it wasn’t a heavy part of the story. Kyrin could have been made a bit more feminine, but she wasn’t your typical tomboy feminist heroine, which I appreciated. In fact, it was nice seeing her learn to give up her forced masculinity and find joy in being a lady.
But the faith of Trask, Kyrin, Kaden, and Rayad was so impressive! I think the book is worth the reading, but only if you are older and mature and don’t mind the editing.
Recommended for 18+ || Content meter: 3 || Quality: 10 || Personal Enjoyment: 9 || Overal: 7
#8 || Untitled by Jesseca Wheaton
Again, I need to start with a disclaimer. This is an excellent book. But there is some language in this book that I do NOT condone at all. My copy is set to be censored as soon as I can get to a reread. Also, this book deals with a sin that desperately needs addressing in our country. It is done well and tactfully. But because of these things, I do not recommend it for young readers.
This book hurt to read. It details the realities of PTSD and how it was viewed during WWII. It’s not a happy-feel-good book. It’s meant to make you think; to make you appreciate the life you have; to make you open your eyes to what many of our veterans face every day. Her example is on the more extreme side of the spectrum, but that doesn’t make it any less real. This is not Hollywood. This is a reality for too many people.
But this story is not without hope! The Epilogue to the story was beautiful, showing that not every story has a resolution, but not every bad thing defines the rest of your life. Y’all know how passionate I am about our troops and that PTSD is a topic that I think is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented. I can give this book a big thumbs up in how the subject is presented.
*I received access to an early edition to this book as a beta reader and happily provided my honest review*
Recommended for 18+ || Content Meter: 4 || Quality: 9 || Personal Enjoyment: 10 || Overall: 8
#7 || Dare by Tricia Mingerink
I promise, not all the books I read require a disclaimer! 😉 This on is for some violence, and a couple scenes where girls were alone with a boy, but everything was kept appropriate. The salvation scene in here was super confusing, and I wondered if it was actually Calvinism, which is heresy. I have fixed my copy to show the truth about Salvation; Everyone gets a chance to be saved, not a select few. God died for everyone!
But aside from that! WOW! This book was powerful! It covers very similar themes as Resistance and even had a heroine that I could relate to! She was nervous, unsure if she could stand up for what she believed in when faced with death. Gives one hope that maybe we could if put in her shoes. Highly recommended for a grounded reader.
Recommended for 16+ || Content Meter: 4* || Quality: 9 || Personal Enjoyment: 9 || Overall: 9
*I would hand this to a 16-year-old, but it does require a little censoring because of the above disclaimer.
#6 || Five-Star Spy by Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick
Y’all know how much I love The Accidental Cases of Emily Abbott 😍 I adore these books, and right before I got married, I binge-read the series to my younger siblings. This particular book is my personal favorite! Emily and Brent are hilarious, and I loved all the details in the setting! Who doesn’t want to be an heiress for a day at a lavish hotel?? The 10,000 mystery gets more in-depth, we learn about triage medical care and that Wasabi is super hot! And that Emily is the ultimate expert at handing out insults 😆
There is a reference to alcohol that I removed from my copy.
Recommended for All Ages ||Content Meter: 4.5* || Quality: 10 || Personal Enjoyment: 10 || Overall: 9
*This is a clean book for all ages but may require minimal censoring for little readers*
*I received an ARC of this book and happily provided my honest review!*
#5 ||Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Finally, I have read this classic! I grew up reading children’s editions, listening to audio dramas, and watching film adaptions, but I’d never read the unabridged version! 2020 was the perfect time to indulge in this epic, and I am so glad I did! Although, I’m still confused about the author’s beliefs on suicide. It sounded like he believes suicide would automatically send you to hell, which is not true if you are born again. I am still researching this, as I know some words have changed meanings since the 1600s.
Recommended for 13+ || Content Meter: 4 || Quality: 10 || Personal Enjoyment: 10 || Overall: 9
#4 || A Touch of Purple Paint by Hailey Rose
(See my full review here!) This book. *cries* It was so beautiful! And I loved that it showcased a YouTubing couple? I’ve never seen that done in a book, and I adored that aspect! And the relationship between the main characters was heartbreakingly beautiful. The message was so needed in this day and age, and overall I can’t say enough good about this book! 💜
Recommended All Ages || Content Meter: 4* || Quality: 10 || Personal Enjoyment: 10 || Overall: 10
*This book is 100% clean, but there are references to a movie with magic, social media, and deals with intense medical sequences*
#3 || A Strand of Hope by Amanda Tero
(Read my Review Here!) This book, y’all, is a heart-tugging, soul-stirring, thought-provoking novel that every family should read. That being said, it deals with some mature content in a clean and Godly manner, so I would recommend this for older readers. But the message of this story was so profound! I love books that talk about books and reading and how they can help others, and ah! I just adore this book so much! It’s the best one in the series!
Recommended for 16+ || Content Meter: 4 || Quality: 10 || Personal Enjoyment: 10 || Overall: 10
#2 || Preacher on the Run by Jayna Baas
(Click here for my review!) Everyone here knows that I am a die-hard southerner and a proud North Carolinian. You also know I am a hard-core Patriot. I’m also a huge fan of anything about the Regulators of the 1700s. They are the ones who actually started the War for Independence, not the Sons of Liberty! So when I found out someone was writing on the subject…and asked me to be in her blog tour…how could I say no?? If you want to exactly why we went to war with England (hint, it wasn’t just about taxation 😉) and want to see it addressed from a Biblical standpoint, please get this book!
Recommended 16+ || Content Meter: 4 || Quality: 9 || Personal Enjoyment: 10 || Overall: 10
#1 || Tattered Wings and Stop the Rain by Kassie Angle
(Click here and here for my full reviews!) Yep, I couldn’t pick my favorite of the two! But y’all! These books had me bawling my eyes out! Especially Stop the Rain… I have never connected with a book character on that deep of a level. And I don’t fully understand why I did. What do me and a teenaged soldier with PTSD have in common? Why do I understand him so well? Why he does what he does? I shouldn’t be able to connect with him like I did. But regardless, I’m glad I did. Harley is probably one of my favorite book characters…
If you don’t understand how PTSD works or if you are passionate about the topic—basically, if you are alive and breathing, get this book and read it! You will not regret it! It’s super clean, but because of the honest nature of combat and PTSD, I’d rate this book 14+ for understanding.
Recommended 14+ || Content Meter: 4 || Quality: 10 || Personal Enjoyment: 10+ 😉|| Overall 10
Tattered Wing broke my heart in a completely different way. It was about wounds we can see—broken dreams. A memory itching at the back of your mind, but you don’t know why. A wounded puppy… and red ballons… it’s heart-wrenching. And being someone who enjoys a good run… yeah, it hit home pretty hard. But the ending, though… it was perfect.
Recommended All Ages || Content Meter: 5 || Quality: 10 || Personal Enjoyment: 10+ || Overall: 10
Writing Prompt: What are your Top 10 2020 reads? Have you read any of these?
Have a blessed day, and God Bless America!
Emoji provided free by Emoji One
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
Subscribe for Blog Updates and a Free Short Story!