In my “ W here is She Now ” post, I mentioned that I had been doing some reading in my absence—and not all of them were picture books. ju...

In my “Where is She Now” post, I mentioned that I had been doing some reading in my absence—and not all of them were picture books. just most of them. I probably will post only Goodreads reviews for quite a few of them, but here are two that I really wanted to talk about on the blog.
Titles link to goodreads
I read—and reread—this at a time when I desperately needed to be reminded that I could (and must!) fight for my dream. Reading it was like he’d pulled the need to write right out of my heart and showed me my dreams in stark detail: everything that I hoped for, everything I feared to achieve, everything I knew I could never reach.

And then, he reminded me to take the jump and go for it anyway.

It was just beautiful and I got chills and I loved it so much, especially the last two sections. Seriously, if you’re having trouble believing in your dream right now, find this book. At your library, a bookstore, somewhere, anywhere. Sit down and just read it, cover to cover, all at once. Remember your biggest dream. And then reach for it again.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Amber, the main character, her voice cracked me up! She had such a vibrant, guileless, honest personality; really, there was like no filter, but her character was crafted so perfectly that I didn’t mind some of the things, content-wise, I normally would have. Also, I adored her completely frank conversations with God, the way she saw Jesus as so close to her, ready to lean on, there to walk with and talk with at any moment. It made the book a really special experience, because it wasn’t that the story was necessarily “Christian,” just that Jesus was such an integral part of her life, that she couldn't not show Him openly, both in her thoughts and her interactions with others. So even with the terrible circumstances in her life and her lack of conversational filter, the open honesty of her character and her relationship with Christ kept me invested and hopeful about the turnout.

And what a turnout it was! This book does a fantastic job of taking you through all the emotions: daring to hope, losing yet again, struggling to hope, losing it all, falling into depression and anger and pain… and then finding that glimmering spark in what seems like utter darkness. Sorta Like a Rockstar is nothing if not honest, and despite the words and the references, I adored it for that. The ending was 100% expected and 1,000% beautiful; truly, it was beyond words. I got chills reading the climax, and the last couple of chapters, my mind was just blown at the magical way that everything came together. All-in-all, this book was fantastic, I would love to have a copy of my own, and it was exactly what I needed to read at the time to get me back into YA books again.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Content Warnings: cursing, intense circumstances (including reference to rape and murder), and sexual references.


So, what have you been reading lately? Have a favorite book from 2018? Have you ever read something that just showed you the heart and the power of hope right when you needed it most? Can't wait to hear from you all, and I'll see you in the comment section!

I gotta say, as pure worship songs go, this has got to be one of my favorites. This song, it just reminds me of all the wonderful, ...

I gotta say, as pure worship songs go, this has got to be one of my favorites.

This song, it just reminds me of all the wonderful, incredible, magnificent, beautiful, indescribable things about God’s love. It’s a light, a fire, a powerful force for my redemption--and so much more than I know how to write.

His love is serious; it’s real. It hangs on every Word He says, and when He speaks a word, you can bet everything that it’s 100% true. When He says He’ll restore you (1 Peter 5:10), He means it. When He says that He’s with you (Joshua 1:9), He means it. When He says He died for your salvation, He means it (1 Peter 2:24, 3:18). When He says you’re forgiven, He means it (Psalm 103:12, Romans 8:1).

When He says that He loves you (Ephesians 2:4-7), He means it.

Because this Jesus God, He doesn’t give His heart in pieces. His love is one hundred and nothing less, the fullness of everlasting, covering every broken part, every anxious heart, every depressed thought, every aching disappointment. His love, His great, incredible, and complete love, it is always more than enough.

Had you ever heard this version of “Pieces”? How about the original song? Have a favorite worship song you’d like to share with me? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!

I’ve been around, lol. Not on my blog of course, though I’ve nearly caught up on a few others, leaving comments in December to posts that w...

I’ve been around, lol. Not on my blog of course, though I’ve nearly caught up on a few others, leaving comments in December to posts that went live in August. Sorry about that. I’ve kind of accepted that I will be eternally late in the blogosphere, but your posts are all so thought-provoking and entertaining and well-written that I have to read them at some point, even if it is when they’re three months (or more) past new.
I’ve actually gotten some reading done, more in the past couple of weeks than I’d managed in the past couple of months before that. If you follow me on Goodreads, you’ll see that I have rediscovered an incredible love for picture books. This is a direct result of my new position at the library, which puts me in closer contact with more than just the YA section (I’m in charge of ALL the displays of new books, so whenever a new book enters the library, I have to deal with it and its display at some point. As a result, my reading list has exploded). Picture books are the bomb, you guys. You should be reading them for their lovely illustrations and adorable childlike purity and, often, really fantastic, really simple life lessons you've already forgotten by the time you're 21. At least if you're me.
I also realized recently that I have not been writing, which is a terrible affront to my future career and must be rectified immediately. I was introduced to Imogen’s blog by a link on a fellow blogger’s site (forgive me, I can't remember who the other blogger was), and discovered her post where she says “never, ever write off the power of a free five minutes. I intend to use that advice to restart my writing career in 2019, writing even just five minutes per day if that’s all I can manage at the time.
I’ve listened to a lot of music, but mostly the same wonderful stuff over and over. Right now, it’s Pentatonix, Riley Clemmons, Imagine Dragons, and Bea Miller. I’ve also discovered that indie music and other genres that are just kind of out-there may be my favorite kinds of music.
I’ve spent a lot of time with my family, especially over Christmas and New Years’: watching TV shows and movies, shopping trips and hanging out at home, playing games and playing with dolls, we’ve done it all and we’ve done it a lot. It’s been pretty fun and pretty full. Much different than I normally like to spend my holidays (sequestered away in my own book world or one from the mind of another crazy author), but it’s been good and I’m glad to have spent it that way.
I’m not much for New Years’ Resolutions; I prefer to simply change my life whenever I come upon the idea that I ought to. But I do hope to blog at least a little more this year than I did in the last months of 2018. We’ll have to see how it goes, because honestly, my life situation hasn’t changed very much, so I don’t exactly know where I’m going to fit it in, only that I will be trying harder to fit it in. Maybe I can be smarter with those spare 5 minutes and see if they can make a novel and a blog post now and again, eh?
Like I talked about at the beginning, I have not written any posts of my own (except this one), but I have read multiple others. Here are a slew of my favorites from the final few months of last year and the beginning of this one.
Spend Wisely by Keturah.  Profound. At the time that I read this, I really needed this reminder: that, just like time, money is meant to spent to the glory of God.
9 Stupid Writing Rules that Aren’t Worth Following by Hanna Heath. I love that she talked about these—and in such a classic, humorous way too! Also, the gifs are on point.
When It All Seems Cliché by Vanessa. “I am what makes cliché original.” I love that quote!
Balanced Writing: Guest post by Jessi Roberts on Rebellious Writing. Very interesting post. It gives you a lot to think about regarding what you should portray as an author and, if you choose to, how you should portray it.
Spreading Hope by Faith. A lovely reminder that even though darkness is real, exists, and must be acknowledged, it shouldn’t be our focus. Our focus must be light.
Live Now So You Can Live Later by Vanessa. I just love the message here! Especially since that’s something I’ve really been trying to focus on lately: living now. Right now. In this moment. Whatever’s going on, don’t stress, give it your best, and live your life right now.
Elements of a Strong Female Protagonist by Imogen Elvis. I absolutely LOVE what she has to say here! It’s not about physical strength and the character can be as girly as she freaking wants and still be a fantastic female character. Altogether, some pretty solid tips in here.
The Language of the Worlds Link-Up-October by Skye. Because the more I hear about Cynfael, the more he intrigues me. Seriously, the characters she creates are just incredible.
When “Diversity” Leads to Bad Writing by Jessi. Definitely a thought-provoking post. Racial diversity is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but if the characters don’t make sense for the story, good writing has got to come first. Nobody likes token characters anyway. :p
Can Erasing Your Social Media be the Solution to Living a Better New Year? By Keturah. Love what she says here! Social media is just a tool—it’s not the devil, and it’s not your savior. It’s just a tool that each of us has to learn how to use properly for our individual lives. 😊
Seven Magic Mirrors Blog Tour—But One Life by Skye. Her review is so good, and this book sounds amazing! I’d love to pick it up sometime.
Mini Reseñas Feat. A List Of Cages (Esp) by Grace. I think it’s super cool that she also does reviews in Spanish! Also, one of these days, I’m gonna get around to at least trying that new Marie Lu series maybe in 2035, but hey, one of these days.
A Review Of Karen Kingsbury’s/Hallmark’s The Bridge by Emily. I’m generally not much for pure romance stories, but her review makes this sound so good! Adding to the reading and watching list!
Smile Every Day, Then Write Down Why by Keturah. This is such a beautiful idea! I plan to start doing it as well, and I hope you’ll join us!
And that’s all I’m going to list, because this is kind of a ton, but I read SO MANY beautiful posts by all of you over winter break! Thank you for being just an incredible, encouraging community with such wise, amusing, informative, and inspirational posts! Love you all, and I’m glad to contribute when I can. 😉
Hope you enjoyed the post, and that you have a wonderful New Year!
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