Making a Difference in the World – Castles in the Clouds {Review}

Posted August 25, 2016 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Making a Difference in the World – Castles in the Clouds {Review}Castles in the Clouds by Myra Johnson
Series: Flowers of Eden #2
Publisher: Franciscan Media (2016 - Aug. 26)
eARC (304 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Rating:
Reading Challenges: Read 2016

Synopsis

The first book in the Flowers of Eden series introduced readers to Bryony Linwood, an orphan trying desperately to provide for her sisters in the shadow of the Great Depression. In Castles in the Clouds, we meet one of those sisters—Larkspur Linwood, a young woman who has a passion for teaching but yearns for something more than life as a small-town Arkansas schoolmarm.
Young and impressionable, Lark mistakes a college professor’s interest for romantic love. When he offers her the chance to join his efforts to start a school in Kenya, she pictures herself bringing the light of knowledge to hundreds of African children eager to learn. But the menial tasks she’s assigned at the school aren’t so different from life on the farm where she grew up. Miserable and deflated, with her fragile heart broken, she gives up and returns home.
Enter Professor Anson Schafer, whom she met briefly in Kenya. Partially blinded from an eye infection he contracted there, Professor Schafer cannot return to Africa. He has come to Lark’s school to recruit teachers like her for a more modest venture—the founding of schools and relief efforts here in the U.S. for those struggling through the Depression.
Still stinging from her experience in Kenya, Lark is reluctant to risk leaving her familiar surroundings, but she knows how great the need has become, and—although this isn’t the exciting life she’d envisioned—she finally agrees. As they work side by side, Lark begins to realize that the deepest satisfaction comes not so much from what you do, or where you do it, but from the attitude of your heart.

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An Epic Fantasy with a Brilliant Plot – Ruined {Review}

Posted August 20, 2016 in Reading, Review / 4 Comments

An Epic Fantasy with a Brilliant Plot – Ruined {Review}Ruined by Amy Tintera
Series: Ruined #1
Publisher: HarperTeen (2016)
Hardcover (368 pages)
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016

Synopsis

A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.
But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.
In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.
Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

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The Basis for Barrie’s Peter Pan – The Real Peter Pan {Review}

Posted August 18, 2016 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

The Basis for Barrie’s Peter Pan – The Real Peter Pan {Review}The Real Peter Pan by Piers Dudgeon
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (2016)
Hardcover (416 pages)
Via: Publisher
Reading Challenges: Read 2016

Synopsis

The world has long been captivated by the story of Peter Pan and the countless movies, plays, musicals, and books that retell the story of Peter, Wendy, and the Lost Boys. Now, in this revealing behind-the-scenes book, author Piers Dudgeon examines the fascinating and complex relationships among Peter Pan's creator, J.M. Barrie, and the family of boys who inspired his work.
After meeting the Llewelyn Davies family in London's Kensington Garden, Barrie struck up an intense friendship with the children and their parents. The innocence of Michael, the fourth of five brothers, went on to influence the creation of Barrie's most famous character, Peter Pan. Barrie was so close to the Llewelyn Davies family that he became trustee and guardian to the boys following the deaths of their parents. Although the relationship between the boys and Barrie (and particularly between Barrie and Michael) was enduring, it was punctuated by the fiercest of tragedies. Throughout the heart-rending saga of Barrie's involvement with the Llewelyn Davies brothers, it is the figure of Michael, the most original and inspirational of their number, and yet also the one whose fate is most pitiable, that stands out.
The Real Peter Pan is a captivating true story of childhood, friendship, war, love, and regret.

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The Adventure Begins with Airport Drama {World Youth Day – Kraków 2016}

Posted August 17, 2016 in Faith, Life / 3 Comments

World Youth Day, Krakow 2016

I have returned! (I am sure you already knew this though from Twitter and what not, but I am back!)

I have had some crazy adventures this summer. This fun one, World Youth Day 2016, all began with a terrible airport experience. First, our group was too large to check everyone in properly.

Second, they had to delete “notes” on our reservation in order to check us in. This means that my gluten-free meal request was CANCELLED! I was not exactly happy with this because this means that I would be without food (except for the snacks I brought with me) on the trans-Atlantic flight from New York City to Prague, Czech Republic.

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A Lunar Chronicles Short Story Collection – Stars Above {Review}

Posted August 11, 2016 in Reading, Review / 2 Comments

A Lunar Chronicles Short Story Collection – Stars Above {Review}Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4.5
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (2016)
Hardcover (369 pages)
Rating:
Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress
Reading Challenges: 2016 Retelling Challenge, 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016

Synopsis

The enchantment continues....
The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?
With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.
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The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….
The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.
The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess
The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...

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