Ah, we’ve reached the end, dear readers, and how bittersweet it is. Let’s focus on the sweet parts, yeah? Back Cover Summary: T...

Ah, we’ve reached the end, dear readers, and how bittersweet it is.

Let’s focus on the sweet parts, yeah?

Back Cover Summary: The remnant of Glenrock has been scattered. But they are not beaten.

The Safe Lands have long kept the true meaning of Liberation secret from their people. But after being sentenced to Liberation themselves, Mason and Omar soon discover the truth.

Levi watched his brothers’ public sentencing and tries to hold out hope they are still alive. He is forced to focused his attention elsewhere, however, when his new wife, Jemma, is captured and made the Safe Lands’ newest Queen. His only choice to save Jemma may be to take up Omar’s old role of undercover vigilante, leading the rebels in their quest to overthrow the government. But will Levi’s new role be enough?

Meanwhile, Jemma’s sister, Shaylinn, is ready to give birth to the “Safe Lands’” children... but not even Ciddah is sure they can be delivered safely in the midst of a rebellion. And Mason must face the fact Omar’s illness could be fatal.

If they can all unite their efforts, together they may be able to expose the Safe Lands’ lies to the people. But if they fail, they will all surely die.

Review: 4 1/2 stars out of 5. As with Captives and Outcasts, the plot of this book was well-developed, well-paced, and just plain wonderful. The various threads of action and mystery built beautifully on the former novels, winding up, then down, to a perfectly epic ending.

That ending, though. The climax was downright, straight-up AMAZING. And it wasn’t because they had some kind of crazy-awesome major battle. In fact, relative to other dystopians, the ending of Rebels was almost peaceful. Not to say that it wasn’t deliciously gripping and full of suspense, only that in comparison to the gun/arrow-blazing battles of series like Hunger Games and Divergent, there was barely a shot fired.

While I like an epic battle as much as the next fantasy nerd, the change was pretty nice. As I said about Shaylinn’s character last week, I found the uniqueness of it refreshing.

Besides that, the ending made sense for the series, because they’d never had a lot of big, bad battles anyway. Their war was always a lot closer to home, with more covert, almost spy-like missions. So yeah. I think Mrs. Williamson did a brilliant job bringing her brilliant series to a brilliant close.

Now for the charries.

Zaaaane!!!! He was amazingly awesome as usual, and I loved getting to learn a little more about his past, though, sadly, he didn’t get quite as much page-time as he did in Outcasts. Alas, my favorite person is not the main character, so his presence must be limited. Maybe in another book he can be the main? Please, Mrs. Williamson? I really wanna see more of him! And get a bit of clarity on certain events in his life that I cannot mention now, because... well, spoilers.

Speaking of spoilers, there might be a few as I go into my other favorite characters. You have been warned.

Shaylinn had strong spiritual roles in all the books, but even more so in the last two, as she portrays a vibrant Christian view of forgiveness, redemption, and unconditional love. Not to say that shes perfect or anything, but, you know, she does pretty good. 

My favorite part she played, though, was that of encourager. Her messages were super sweet and so powerful, they helped me sometimes. Like I said in my last post, Shaylinn proves that you do not have to be a butt-kicking queen to make an enormous difference in the lives of those around you. Shaylinn is a hero, as much as Levi is for stepping up, for becoming the leader Glenrock needed; as much as Mason is for always being there, ready to do whatever his brother asked of him, regardless of his own feelings; as much as Zane is for sticking with the people of Glenrock even when he really didn't have to; as much as Omar is for

Oh wait, I’ll get to him later.

Anyways, I love Shaylinn. Adore her. She’s just... she’s wonderful, you guys. Just wonderful.

Ahem. Now to talk about it Omar. As if I’ll fangirl less there.

And 3... 2... 1...

I am so proud of Omar, it’s insane! He was just... I mean he just... Ahh! There are no words for this, but I must try to find some because I am a writer and I promised you guys a review.


So, admittedly, it took Omar long enough to pull himself together, but once he did, the sweetie was flat-out fantastic. I’m just so glad that he is where he is, that he is genuinely trying and succeeding at moving past his old addictions and insecurities. The boy’s been through a ton of crap (and a good deal of that he brought on himself), but he came through a better man for it. I am so terribly proud of him and very, very pleased with his development.

Though I immensely enjoyed the book, there was one thing that bothered me. Before I start I’d like to say that I’m not sure if the series is technically Christian fiction or not. If it’s not, feel free to discard all of the following. However, if it is, I have a bit of a problem with this: the main boys’ relationships with God.

By the end of Rebels, none of the brothers (except perhaps Mason) seemed to have a truly solid relationship with God. I mean they would pray every once in a while, stuff like “Please, God, don’t let us die,” (which to be fair, sometimes you do just have to roll with that). But it seemed almost like trusting God and having a real relationship with him was a “girl thing;” most of the boys experience with Him was almost second-hand. I’m pretty sure that’s not how Mrs. Williamson meant for it to come across and maybe that was just me... but it’s how I felt. I mean, it was Jemma and Shaylinn who did all the spiritual leading and showed pursuing the Lord best, though Mason seemed like he might have had the real thing going, and Omar, towards the end, may have, too.

For Levi, though, it seemed like he’d been trying this whole time, but I don’t recall seeing a real result by the last book. Not to say that he should’ve been perfect, because nobody ever makes it there, but he seemed a bit more like those church kids who just believe because their parents do. They’re all for the faith, sure, but they haven’t truly made the choice themselves to give their lives to God. And, especially since Rebels was the end of the series, I was expecting a little bit more from all of them.

Again, that perception might’ve just been me; it’s entirely possible that I got it all wrong. But this is  my review, so there you have it, my perception.

Overall, though, I genuinely love the series. I think it’s stinking genius, and it’s definitely up there with my favorite books ever. If Mrs. Williamson ever adds another book to the series (pretty please with whipped cream and sugar and whatever else you want on top?), I will be first in line to buy a copy.

Considering the amount of movies I’ve seen, I don’t actually remember many scores. I might recall a funny scene, an interesting character, ...

Considering the amount of movies I’ve seen, I don’t actually remember many scores. I might recall a funny scene, an interesting character, or a few lines of dialogue, but the background music? Well, it generally fades into the background. I’m sure there was something epic playing there, but I couldn’t actually tell you what.

But this one, this one I could never forget.

That’s because this song is perfect. Perfect for the perfect movie in the perfect scene of one of the most perfectly epic battles in an imperfect movie history. Listen to it. Love it. It’s the perfectly unforgettable background for that perfectly epic scene in your head, the one that’s dancing around in your brain, distracting you every microsecond, begging you to write it out already.

So do so. I dare you. Then tell me about it in the comments. I love hearing about other people’s stories!

Do you listen to scores as you write? What are some of your favorites?

Welcome to week two of my Safe Lands trilogy review series! If you’re not sure what all this is about, check out last week’s post where I...

Welcome to week two of my Safe Lands trilogy review series! If you’re not sure what all this is about, check out last week’s post where I reviewed Captives. If you’re already in the know, great! Let’s get started.

Back Cover Summary: Uncovering the truth could cost them their lives.

Since entering the Safe Lands, Mason has focused on two things: finding a way to free his village from captivity and finding a cure for the disease that ravages many within the walls of the Safe Lands. After immune-suppresive drugs go missing in the clinic, Mason discovers his coworker, Ciddah, may know more about the Safe Lands than imagined... and may have an agenda of her own. At the same time, Mason’s brother Levi is focused on a way to free the remaining Glenrock captives, while Mason’s younger brother, Omar, decides to take the rebellion against the Safe Lands into his own hands as a vigilante.

Soon all three brothers were being watched closely and when Mason stumbles onto a shocking secret about the Safe Lands meds, his investigation just might get those closest to him liberated.

Review: Five billion stars out of five.

Okay. Deep breaths. I’ve waited quite some time to do this review and I still can barely even...


First things first, the plot of this book is freaking awesome. The plotlines are brilliantly woven together, with twists and turns of stinkin’ genius that fly at you outta nowhere. They’re the sort of gamechangers youd never see coming, but in the end, they make perfect sense. The whole thing was all just so exciting and engrossing and flipping beautiful...

...And I’m fangirling. Already. Ahem. I’ll try to be professional from here on out, but I probably won’t succeed.


As I’ve said before, characters are a big deal for me, and the ones in this book didn’t disappoint. I really enjoyed reading about all four mains, and even the secondary/minor characters have all touched my heart in some way.

However, there are always some charries I love more than others, and for this series, their names are Zane, Shaylinn, and Omar.

Zane was pretty cool in the first book, but he’s hit an all-new level of awesomeness in this one. He’s smart, he’s funny, and some of the stuff he says is just totally profound. Like, wow, gonna-read-that-again-and-apply-it-to-my-own-life profound.

I’ll say it once and move on before I start fangirling again: I unashamedly adore that flaker.

I love Shaylinn so much. I said in my review of Captives that I really related to her struggles, and, while I relate less now (read the book to understand why ;) ) I still sympathize. She’s grown up a lot since the first one, and she’s so brave dealing with all the crazy complications that have come her way.

While it’s obvious Shaylinn is very mature for her age, the maturity isn’t overdone, her struggles are still very much there, and she deals with them in a real and relatable way. Rather than sitting in her room and boo-hooing all the time (which would actually be pretty justified), Shaylinn chooses to help others, focusing on them more often than herself. She’s a remarkably strong character, and it’s not because she’s taekwondo master or otherwise capable of kicking butt. It’s because of who she is at her heart: a lover and a follower of God.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Katniss, June, Tris, those kinds of girls. But a heroine like Shaylinn, especially in a dystopian novel, is rare and refreshing; she, more than anyone I think, deserves her happy ending.


Let’s just get this one out of the way: Omar can be dimmer than a dead wyndo sometimes. But he’s also amazing when he’s not being a bonehead, and like I said before, Omar has so much potential, if he’d just wake up and take control of his life (someone’s believing in him now, so it’s all up to that sweet but stupid little man-child). *sigh* I hope Omar pulls himself together. He could be beyond epic if he really concentrated on good and God, instead of seesawing back and forth all the time.

All right done with the charries. I think I’m safe from fangirling now. Probably. Possibly. Maybe not.


I also love the themes of this book. Mrs. Williamson did a brilliant job showing the corruption that comes in society when everyone focuses on themselves, on “finding pleasure,” rather than on God, His love, and His will for our lives.

The only thing I didn’t like (and I hate to sound nitpicky, but it really did bother me) was that some of the Owl’s speeches weren’t as powerful as I felt they could have and should have been. On the other hand, he was just getting started, so I guess I’ll cut him some slack.

Besides, you can’t have all the epic lines at once.

While I wouldn’t recommend this for younger teens (because of aspects like drug abuse and teen pregnancy), I outright command everyone over the age of fifteen to read the entire thing and then, directly following your finish, to thank me for commanding and Mrs. Williamson for writing.

You should probably read Captives first, though. Just saying.

To sum up this review, Outcasts is definitely up there on my Favorite Books Ever List (I’m not giving it a specific place because trying to organize that thing would be a beast). I don’t use the words “must-read” often, but this, this is definitely worthy of them.

This song is so sad. Like heartbreakingly sad. But I still love it. I found Jason Walker during my Obsessed-With-Nico-Di-Angelo days (I...

This song is so sad. Like heartbreakingly sad. But I still love it.

I found Jason Walker during my Obsessed-With-Nico-Di-Angelo days (I’ll admit I’m still kind of in those, but less so at the moment). While searching for some feels, I found this video of Nico pictures set to “Down,” another song by Jason Walker which is actually even sadder than “Cry.” Come to think of it, all of this guy’s songs are sad, at least all the ones I’ve heard. I need to look into his music more, see if he ever has a good day.


As is my custom, I checked out the related videos, and this one was up next. I gave it a listen, and badda-bing, badda-boom, I adored it. At the moment, it’s my favorite song by Mr. Walker, but that’s subject to swift change, since, like I said above, I only just found him and I’m still looking through his songs.

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I do, and I’ll see you Thursday for my review of Outcasts, the second book in the Safe Lands trilogy.


Sorry, I’ve missed some posts, everyone! My mom was in the hospital last week, so things were pretty crazy at my house. She’s on the road t...

Sorry, I’ve missed some posts, everyone! My mom was in the hospital last week, so things were pretty crazy at my house. She’s on the road to recovery though, so hopefully, I’ll soon return to posting regularly. :)

But to concentrate on my reason for this post...

A couple of weeks ago, I won the entire Safe Lands trilogy in an online giveaway. Whether or not you’ve heard of these books, you know getting free stuff is majorly sweet. But, because I had already read the first one and loved it, it was doubly awesome for me.

I pretty much devoured the last books, finished the series nearly two weeks ago, but because of the aforementioned craziness, I never got around to reviewing the final one. So I decided to do a three-week series on my blog in which I review the whole trilogy, using my reviews from Goodreads and expanding them a bit.

So here’s my review for the first book, Captives, which I actually read in November of last year, but still remember as being pretty darn awesome. Just to be clear, though, my review is actually a slightly edited version of what I posted on Goodreads right after I finished the book. So the review is still fresh. In a way.

Anywho, here’s the back cover summary of Captives by Jill Williamson

When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many including his fiancee, Jem taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.

Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands have protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago... and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.

Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls.

Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ facade before it’s too late?

Review: 5 stars out of 5. Where do I even start in reviewing this amazing book? Well, first, I loved every one of the main characters. Especially Shaylinn, because I really related to her, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that so thoroughly delved into the self-image problem that many girls myself included struggle with.

Omar was my other favorite character. Now, if you’ve read the book, don’t hate me. I know what he did and he’s a total moron for it. Still, I feel like his heart is good. Like he’d try if given the chance, if someone just believed in him for once. I can’t say anything more (spoilers!), but I really think this kid has some potential and I hope he gets the chance to unlock it.

Now for the plot: it was awesome. It had so many twists and turns, it kept me glued to my seat, flipping pages, desperate to know what would befall my babies next.

(And you know I love a book if I start referring to the characters as my children.)

I also liked how Mrs. Williamson worked the Christian themes into the book. I mean, they were there you couldn't miss them but they also didn’t drown out the story.

Finally, I LOVED how it ended. Perfect, just perfect. And highly recommended.

So have you read the series? If so, whaddya think of it? If not, do you think you’ll check it out?

(Psst. The answer to the last question is a resounding YES.)

BTW, here are pictures of my two favorite babies (Yes, I have favorites among my children), that I found on Jill Williamson’s Pinterest.

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