Glass Girl

Glass Girl

Blurb:“The ice cold fear I’d felt, not knowing if Wyatt was alive, pressed into the wall with other girls and surrounded by guys who were unspeakably brave, hit my body again in a wave.

“This was trauma – the gift that keeps on giving.”

When Meg Kavanagh finds herself in the unthinkable role of grieving sister, she discovers some harsh truths–parents aren’t perfect, life’s not always sweet, and the dead don’t write back. Her famous artist mom grieves by slowly disappearing, and her dad copes by moving them to a small town in Wyoming.

What she finds in Wyoming blindsides her.

His name is Henry Whitmire and he’s a rancher’s son who pulls Meg into his larger-than-life world and shows her that the best things in life – like falling in love and finding mercy – require uncommon courage. 

The only way to describe Glass Girl by Laura Anderson Kurk is using words like powerful or impactful or — you get the picture. When I turned the last page and set the book down, I was unsettled. This is the kind of journey that requires days to digest. Yes, it was that good.

There were so many aspects about Glass Girl I enjoyed. Initially, what enticed me to the story is that most of it takes place in Wyoming. Having married a Wyoming boy and lived there for five years, I was excited to read a book that took place in an all-too-often-overlooked state and read the viewpoint of a transplant like myself. And I had no trouble slipping into the setting – I pictured the small town of Buffalo, WY until the book clarified that they were closer to the Worland/Thermopolis area. Slightly different scenery but same Wyomingite vibe.   In fact, the only inconsistency I found was a scene where Meg experiences hot springs for the first time. Speaking from my own first encounter, there is no way she would not have noticed and commented on the heavy sulfur smell. Believe me, it’s a shock when you aren’t expecting it!!  😉

If I step back and analyze the book critically, I didn’t love the romance.  If I was a teen perhaps I would feel differently but as a mother… Henry was sweet and kind and, frankly, a little too perfect. My biggest issue was how the two of them were constantly completely alone, one of those times she actually sat on his lap while wearing a bathing suit, and they went on an overnight trip (albeit with semi-competent adult supervision). Meg was foolish at times and exposed herself to several dangerous situations but they were realistic teen scenarios and I don’t think she really had a Christian faith to fall back on at those points in the story. But Henry did and so I found his deliberately exposing the two of them to constant physical temptation disconcerting mainly because he seemed to have no qualms over it.

But the true gem of the story is Meg’s journey in learning grace, mercy, forgiveness and love. In applying them to her classmates, her family, and ultimately herself. It’s difficult to explain but the entire subject-matter is handled so thoughtfully and deeply. It’s powerful and woven throughout the entire book in a growing theme. I think a reader would be challenged to experience Glass Girl and not emerge a better person – a Christian with a deeper faith.

Do you enjoy introspective books?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I won a copy from lisagodfrees.com in a giveaway. I was not required to write a positive review (or any review at all). The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Stealing The Preacher

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Blurb:  On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he’s forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man’s daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he’s haunted

For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna’s outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?by the memory of the young woman he left behind–a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer is a cute, light-hearted, fun romance. I found the situation of an ex-outlaw father kidnapping a preacher as a birthday present for his daughter too funny and the bewilderment both Crockett and Joanna faced was even more amusing. Their relationship developed believably and sweetly and I really enjoyed the elements of faith throughout the story – these are characters who live with their faith permeating their lives and it came across realistically and not preachy. There was a dash of nail-biting tension at the climax that had me ridiculously worried considering I knew there was no way the book could not have a happy ending. 😉 The historical details about painting and artistic-style were really interesting.  Also, I didn’t realize this was second in a series until after I’d finished it and I’m looking forward to reading the others!

What amusing situations have you enjoyed in a book?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced reader copy from BethanyHouse in a giveaway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Storm Siren

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Blurb:    “I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

Storm Siren by Mary Weber grabbed my attention from the first page and I couldn’t put it down after that. Or at least, I didn’t want to. I started reading it aloud to my husband at first but eventually it reached the point where I couldn’t wait for him to return home from work. So while I’ve finished the book, he is stuck about 1/4 of the way through. 😉

I loved the world-building and the mythos of Storm Siren. Everything is familiar enough to not feel too alien but unique enough to make you uncomfortably aware you are definitely not in Kansas anymore. Bolcranes and giant wolves and the definitely unique horses (which totally freaked hubby out, btw! lol)

Nym herself is an engaging character. Her sarcasm and attitude instantly endeared her to me, along with her highly sympathetic circumstances. She’s sunk deep into a self-loathing and despair that is understandable, even while the reader chafes for her to move on. And to me, that was the biggest point of the story. The plot may revolve around Nym learning to control her abilities and deciding how she wants to fit in to her war-torn world but the true crux of the story is her internal journey. And that’s where the incredibly subtle Christian elements come into play. I suspect Nym’s journey may be helpful to young ladies struggling with self-harm and other issues. Or it could be a trigger. The book doesn’t shy away from violence, even while it doesn’t revel in it. I’ll have to get my husband’s feedback on that one (he’s a counselor) as we progress through the story.

I hesitate to delve too deeply into the plot. I think the story has much more impact from the mysteries that surrounds everything (and I do mean everything). But that being said, there were maybe 3 big twists throughout the plot and I saw two of them coming from a mile away and the middle-one I guessed about halfway after the first foreshadowing. I was proud of myself for guessing the first one but after the other two I was a bit disappointed. (Although we’ve passed where I guessed the first twist and my husband is still blissfully unaware so maybe my exposure to makjang Korean dramas has ruined me to suspect such things.)

I also found the romance, if you could call it that, very flat. There is instant connection and chemistry, except we are told about it and I never actually felt it. The fixation on his attractiveness got repetitive and their romantic progress was about as unromantic as you can get. If I were reading just for the romance, I probably wouldn’t finish the series. I found myself more smitten with the secondary not-quite-love-triangle-material guy.

I was warned ahead of time about the cliff-hanger ending and it does indeed end in a place that will make most people rage. But the next book in the series comes out in a few months and frankly, this is the kind of book that takes a few weeks to digest anyway, so don’t let the cliff-hanger hold you back. Share our pain. ;D

How do you feel about cliff-hangers?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through Goodreads First Reads. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.