Top Ten Tuesday – First Ten Books I Reviewed

This is my current favorite blog meme! It is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, so check it out! I love her blog!

Today’s top ten is: First Ten Books I Reviewed! Which are all on Goodreads. BUT I am going to do the first 5 books I ever reviewed on Goodreads then the first 5 books I ever reviewed on my blog!

Goodreads book reviews (ones I actually said something and not just rated):

  1. Stuff Christians Like – I remember this being funny. But other than that I don’t remember this book at all. I reviewed it in 2014
  2. The Help – I read this for my book club and I loved this book! Hmm I might need to reread this.
  3. Gone Girl – I remember liking it okay!
  4. The Shack – Ah. One of the few books I have ever one starred. I hated this book.
  5. Belle: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast – I love Cameron Dokey!

Blog book reviews:

  1. The Gone World – I liked this one but it was kind of a creepy Sci-fi! It was weird for sure! But cool!
  2. A Curious Beginning – I LOVE this series!
  3. A Perilous Undertaking – The second book to A Curious Beginning! I read the first three right in a row!
  4. Meldoy’s Key – An indie contemporary that I liked!
  5. Blood and Sand – I really like this book! I really want the second book to hurry and come out!

Whew! Have y’all read any of these?

Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman – Review

Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company 

Publication Date: August 18, 20015

Genre: Non- Fiction, Christian

Adventure Rating: 5 Stars

| Amazon


“Our obsession with bigger and faster is spinning us out of control. We move through the week breathless and bustling, just trying to keep up while longing to slow down. But real life happens in the small moments, the kind we find on Tuesday, the most ordinary day of the week. Tuesday carries moments we want to hold onto–as well as ones we’d rather leave behind. It hold secrets we can’t see in a hurry–secrets not just for our schedules but for our souls. It offers us a simple bench on which to sit, observe, and share our stories.
For those being pulled under by the strong current of expectation, comparison, and hurry, relief is found more in our small moments than in our fast movements. In “Simply Tuesday,” Emily P. Freeman helps readers 
– stop dreading small beginnings and embrace today’s work
– find contentment in the now–even when the now is frustrating or discouraging
– replace competition with compassion
– learn to breathe in a breathless world 
Jesus lived small moments well, slow moments fully, and all moments free. He lives with us still, on all our ordinary days, creating and redeeming the world both in us and through us, one small moment at a time. It’s time to take back Tuesday, to release our obsession with building a life, and believe in the life Christ is building in us–every day.”

What’s Christian Non-Fiction doing here? Well, I decided to really review every book I read. Non-Fiction takes me the longest to read, over 3-4 months, so I don’t read very many books like this. I am always glad I do though! Especially because I went through a traumatic experience while I was reading this book and it absolutely helped me with the anxiety that I have because of my experience. I used so, SO many page markers for this book. I want to make sure I remember the things that really stuck with me while reading.

This book helped me to just live today. Not tomorrow, not yesterday. Today. This hour. This minute. This second. This breath. I truly cling to that. I love that in today’s culture, which is fast moving and you always have to do more, more, MORE, someone wrote a book that just says, stop and breath. God has you where you are for a reason. Stop and listen, there you will find contentment. You CAN be happy where you are. You can find joy in every life circumstance. I have/ am learning to love this small moment. This in- between waiting time.

I loved her ideas of just finding a bench somewhere and sitting and talking with God, or your neighbors, or just breathing. I love that she says that it’s more than okay to dream and ask God for those dreams, but to just know He has something better for you than you could ever imagine. I’m not just talking about Heaven, I’m talking about right now in this lifetime. I have tried to apply some of the ways Freeman walks out her life. From her journaling suggestions to how she sees a situation. I really loved this book y’all! I plan on reading all of her books now!

Yeah, yeah, I know, what a mushy gushy post. Don’t worry, I will be back to posting regular nerdy reviews on my next one. This book was just really important to me not to share!

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Raven Books

Publication Date: February 8, 2018

Genre: Historical Mystery with a Sci-fi element

Adventure Rating: 5 Stars (Or a million)

| Amazon


“At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (The American title) is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.”

I 100% recommend this book to anyone who loves smart, clever mysteries. I reminded me a bit of Inception or Shutter Island! Inception because of the plots within plots within plots, and Shutter Island because you have no idea what is going on at all until the end! I want Leonardo DiCaprio to direct this movie (if it becomes a movie). I literally cannot say enough good things about this book.

Aiden is a smart, witty character in a situation that he doesn’t understand. The reader figures it out along with him, as time goes on. It’s amazing to see what he conquers and what he doesn’t! Each time Aiden repeats a day he loses a bit of himself and you fear it might be too late for him. I mean, he doesn’t even know who he is! It’s a really crazy ride that I didn’t want to get off of. I really can’t say much more because any little thing would be a spoiler.

I’ll just leave off with, THAT ENDING BLEW MY MIND!!!!

If you’ve read this, I would love to talk about it with someone!! I also highly suggest reading this for a book club. It has soooooo many discussion points that would keep you talking for a long time!

This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publication Date: November 13, 2018

Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Thriller

Adventure Rating: 4.5 Stars

| Amazon

” Lindley Hamilton has been the leader of the space station Lusca since every first-generation crew member on board, including her mother, the commander, were killed by a deadly virus.

Lindley always assumed she’d captain the Lusca one day, but she never thought that day would come so soon. And she never thought it would be like this—struggling to survive every day, learning how to keep the Lusca running, figuring out how to communicate with Earth, making sure they don’t run out of food.

When a member of the surviving second generation dies from symptoms that look just like the deadly virus, though, Lindley feels her world shrinking even smaller. The disease was supposed to be over; the second generation was supposed to be immune. But as more people die, Lindley must face the terrifying reality that either the virus has mutated or something worse is happening: one of their own is a killer.”

Kayla Olson is a traditional story teller. It gives me a nostalgic feel whenever I read one of her books. It just feels old fashioned, in a good way. She is also a plot driven, not character driven, writer. Here’s the thing, USUALLY I am a character driven reader, BUT I love her writing and story telling so much AND her plots are suuuuuper well thought out, that I get sucked into the books right away. Her books are a go-to when I need a readers palette cleanse! She has a really unique writing style that sets her apart from other authors.

I didn’t dislike any of her characters by any means, it’s just that you don’t get their full thought processes, you just get snippets of who they are. And in this case, I am okay with that. Lindley was still a well rounded character. The reader still understands why she made the decisions she made. As long as I can understand WHY the character did the things they did, then I don’t complain! The five other side characters rounded out nicely as well. Even though you don’t get their POV, you still SEE them. And understand their choices, even if you don’t agree with them. And boy did they have a lot of really hard choices!

Literally, everything goes wrong. I started getting anxiety every time because it just seemed like they were all going to die at any given moment. And I mean, some did. I kept trying to figure out, who the killer was, AND how they were going to fix their many problems. I never got it right. It was intense. Plus, my knowledge of space stations is next to zero, so, there’s that.

The tiniest bit a didn’t like, and I mean really tiny, half a star tiny, is that the ending seemed a bit rushed. Everything resolved itself, it just seemed really fast.

So, Kayla Olson is one of my favorite authors. She is an autobuy and I’ve never rated one of her books under 4 stars. I am so excited to see what she comes up with next!

*I got positive feedback on my new content addition to my reviews. Again, I am putting the disclaimer of this is for parents who want to know the content of the book without having to read it, to see if it is something they want their kids to read. I LIKE YA! These are NOT my personal views on whether or not a book should or should not have specific content!

CONTENT WARNING: Violence, death, murder, dead bodies, blood, a couple of kiss scenes.

OTHER CONTENT: Courage, dealing with fear, healthy grief, perseverance, how to deal with tragedy, how to be a leader, how to deal with people, friendships, overcoming pride.

A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell, #4) by Deanna Raybourn – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: March 12, 2019

Genre: Historical Mystery

Adventure Rating: 4.5 Stars

| Amazon

“Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker’s brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly’s house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée–much to Stoker’s chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly’s wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband’s mind.

As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker’s help to discover the host’s true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund…”

First of all, thank you so much to Berkley for giving me a finished copy of this book!

This is the series that made me fall in love with Historical Mysteries so I pretty much will never rate it below a 4 star. Fair warning. Even though this is the fourth book, you can actually read them out of order! There are a few minor mentions of the previous books but nothing too spoiler-y!

Let’s dig in! It started out a bit slow with Veronica in a bit of a funk. She takes off for 6 months to get her head clear of Stoker. Did it work? Haha, nope! Their relationship is really rocky in the beginning of this book and it made me miss their usual repertoire. However, the added drama of Stoker’s brother, Tiberius, was a delight to read. Plus it fueled many things that, um, needed fuel. If ya know what I mean.

I really enjoyed Veronica’s character growth in this one. She grew bit by bit in the previous novels, but in A Dangerous Collaboration, she grew A LOT! So did Stoker though. They have a lot of pride. AND I loved that you got to know Tiberius quite a bit. I hope to see him in the future books more too! His and Stoker’s relationship unfolds and it is interesting to see they are indeed two peas in a pod, as Veronica points out.

Now, on to the dangers! I really enjoyed the murder mystery! Although it was the saddest in my opinion. I loved the fact that they traveled to a castle on a small island off the coast of England! It was almost magical! The side characters held their own as well, each with their own stories. It made the mystery even more intense because they all had a motive!

And the ending was everything I wanted it to be! That’s all I’ll say about that! Excelsior!

*Just adding here that these covers are my absolute favorite of any books ever.*

Down the TBR Hole (#1)

This is a blog meme created by Lia, Lost in a Story! I have seen almost everyone I follow do this so I thought I would give it a try!

“Down The TBR Hole is a meme that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?”

Sounds fun, right? My TBR on Goodreads is (I think) way out of control! I have 1, 064 books on my to-be-read shelf. Yikes! When I first started Goodreads in 2012, I added books by author. So I am going to skip the first few authors because they are some of my favorites, and go right to when I started adding books at random. I think I’ll start with 10 books!

“Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.


The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.


A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.”

GO. I’ve had this on my TBR since 2012. I have no interest in reading this. To be honest, I added this to broaden my reading scope and to have an “interesting” conversation piece when I talk to “smart book people”. I’ve grown up a lot since then and have since decided that I do not care at all if I don’t read the “smart” books. I just like reading whatever I like reading, if that makes sense.


“Spanning a thousand years, and following the shifting fortunes of two families though the ages, this is the epic saga of Rome, the city and its people.
     Weaving history, legend, and new archaeological discoveries into a spellbinding narrative, critically acclaimed novelist Steven Saylor gives new life to the drama of the city’s first thousand years — from the founding of the city by the ill-fated twins Romulus and Remus, through Rome’s astonishing ascent to become the capitol of the most powerful empire in history. Romarecounts the tragedy of the hero-traitor Coriolanus, the capture of the city by the Gauls, the invasion of Hannibal, the bitter political struggles of the patricians and plebeians, and the ultimate death of Rome’s republic with the triumph, and assassination, of Julius Caesar.
     Witnessing this history, and sometimes playing key roles, are the descendents of two of Rome’s first families, the Potitius and Pinarius clans:  One is the confidant of Romulus. One is born a slave and tempts a Vestal virgin to break her vows. One becomes a mass murderer. And one becomes the heir of Julius Caesar. Linking the generations is a mysterious talisman as ancient as the city itself.
    Epic in every sense of the word, Roma is a panoramic historical saga and Saylor’s finest achievement to date. “

KEEP. I think this sounds super interesting and right up my ally! I love historical novels. I usually hate politics BUT I love it when it comes to Adult Fantasy books (not in YA. It’s too “I have a political agenda”) OR historical ones like this.


“When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s classic tale we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Gregory Maguire just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature.”

KEEP. I really liked the musical so I would like to read the book too!


“Losing everything has Lexi clinging to her daughter. Hell is determined to loosen her grip.

It’s been seven years since disaster struck her family. Lexi Solomon has held it all together since then–just barely.

But now Lexi is losing it. The husband who deserted her is back in town, wanting to see their daughter Molly. Her sister’s shameless murderer is up for parole. An unsavory old friend is demanding payment for debts that Lexi knows nothing about and can’t begin to meet.

And something else is going on–something Lexi feels but can’t explain. A dangerous shift is taking place between this reality and the next. Forces beyond her imagination are vying for control.

A rare novel that will satisfy a wide range of readers, “Never Let You Go” explores the high-stakes decisions played out in the thin spaces between heaven and earth. As the enemy’s grip tightens around Lexi, she will have to decide what’s truly worth holding on to.”

GO. I’m trying to be strict and not keep books that I maybe-might read someday.


“Kelly Jacobs has already paid the ultimate price of loving a warrior; she has the folded flag and the grateful thanks of a nation to prove it. Navy SEAL Joe “Bear” Baker can’t ask her to accept that risk again—even though he loves her. But the man responsible for her husband’s death is back; closer than either of them realize. Kelly is in danger, and Joe may not get there in time.

Uncommon Heroes: Welcome to a world where friendships go deep, loyalties stand strong, and uncommon heroes perform the toughest jobs in the world. Dee Henderson’s military romance series provides a detailed passage into the world of the military and homeland heroes, and those they love.” 

GO. I just literally have no interest in this.


“A strange imprisonment…

Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.

When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, “Cannot a Beast be tamed?”

Robin McKinley’s beloved telling illuminates the unusual love story of a most unlikely couple, Beauty and the Beast. “

KEEP. I am all about re-tellings! Even if this one is almost 30 years old. I can’t help but wonder if that would make it better or worse than today’s re-tellings. I suppose it would depend.


“Celebrated for their courage, vision, hospitality, and spiritual giftedness, it’s no wonder women were so important to God’s plan revealed in the Old and New Testaments. It wasn’t their natural qualities that made these women extraordinary but the power of the one true God whom they worshipped and served.

In “Twelve Extraordinary Women,” you’ll learn more than fascinating information about these women, you’ll discover-perhaps for the first time-the unmistakable chronology of God’s redemptive work in history through their lives. These women were not ancillary to His plan, they were at the very heart of it.

Some of the women you’ll come to know include:


Ruth (Ruth 1-4) Anna (Luke 2:36-38) Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus (Luke 10:38-42) Mary Magdalene (Matthew 27:56-61) Sarah (Genesis 11-25) Hannah (1 Samuel 1-2) The Samaritan woman (John 4 Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1-2)
You will be challenged and motivated by this poignant and personal look into the lives of some of the Bible’s most faithful women. Their struggles and temptations are the same trials faced by all believers in all ages. And the God to whom they were so committed is the same God who continues to mold and use ordinary people today.”

KEEP. I actually forgot about this book. I want to read this. 😛


“The rise of Sam Childers from violent, drug-addicted biker to a man willing to risk everything to rescue the orphans and child soldiers of Sudan

“”All my life, from birth, it’s been a fight. And it always seemed to be “”another man’s war. I always seemed to be fighting for someone else. But it always came back to me. The Word says we’re born into sin, and sin always comes back to war.” –“Sam Childers

Sam Childers has always been a fighter. Born to a violent father and a mother of great faith, his life was a contradiction. With an affinity for drugs and women, the angry young man grew into a drug-dealing biker. But that was then. Nowadays Sam–along with the cadre of Sudanese soldiers he employs–spends his time in the most dangerous parts of Sudan and Uganda rescuing the youngest victims of war, orphans and child-soldiers. His mission is simple: save the children, no matter the cost. “

GO. Another book I’m pretty sure I added to make me seem more worldly. Dear 2012 Me, Please stop adding books you think will make you seem “cooler”.


“Clayton has just been hired to author a memoir for Lucian, a demon with an extraordinary story to share. The fallen angel chronicles a life of heavenly bliss and rebellion, human creation and salvation, and God’s relentless pursuit of mankind.”

KEEP. I think it would be an interesting read. Also, I love Tosca Lee.


“Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious–and dangerous–asset. 

As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry,Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same.”

GO. It sounds weird, which is why I added it, but after reading some of the reviews it sounds WEIRD. Like, more creepy weird. I don’t do horror.

Okay, y’all this took me down to 1,060 books. It helped a little! I might continue to go through a few more pages and delete a few! This meme is kind of refreshing! It’s kinda like Mari Kondo-ing your TBR.

Top Ten Tuesday – Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

Top ten Tuesday is a really fun blog meme that is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

(Taken from That Artsy Reader Girl) How it works:

“I assign each Tuesday a topic and then post my top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

You’ll find the schedule of upcoming TTT topics below so you can plan ahead. I’ll post a Linky here on the blog each week so you can link up your post (if you want). If you don’t have a blog, post your picks in the comment section below! Have tons of fun talking books and getting to know your fellow bloggers!

NOTE: If a weekly topic is listed as a “freebie”, you are invited to come up with your own topic. Sometimes I will give your topic a theme, such as “love”, a season, or an upcoming holiday. That just means that you can come up with any topic you want that fits under that umbrella.”

Here are my top ten:

I cannot believe I haven’t read this yet. I actually have a horrible admission, I have loved Kristoff since Endsinger came out way back when. But when he became insanely popular (which I am happy about, don’t get me wrong) everyone and their mother loves him. So I feel like raving about him makes me just like the masses now. I told you, it’s a really awful bookish admission. Because really, who cares if I like something that everyone else likes too. Maturity, y’all. Please, please someone tell me I’m not a total snob.

Tracey Neithercott is soooooo sweet!! I actually won this book last year and haven’t gotten to read it yet. This is on my immediate TBR!

Kayla Olson is one of my favorite authors sooooo WHY HAVEN’T I READ THIS YET?!

Again, with Jay Kristoff!

I am hoping to start this bad boy soon! I think I am going to buddy read it with a Bookstagram friend!

Another massively popular series I want to start!

I know this series gets a lot of flak for being cheesy but I LOVE this series. I actually love cheesy. It’s such a fun series!

Brandon Sanderson will always be on my TBR because I want to read aaaalll of his books. It will take me forever! I’ve started with Mistborn and it is one of my favorite books now!

The three other women in my book club have all read and LOVED this series. So I need to read this ASAP!

I am hoping to buddy read this one too! Brent Weeks is highly under talked about! I love his Lightbringer series!

I usually read 3-4 books a month, so I’m hoping to get through more than these 10 this Spring, but we shall see! What books are on your TBR? Do we share any of the same books?