Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Little Boy Lost by Urcelia Teixeira


Genre: Adult, Christian, Suspense
Source: This was a free download to introduce the author's work

This novella will keep you on the edge of your seat.  All Michael Tanner wants is to see his son Archie. The problem is his ex-wife has not shown up for the second week in a row.  Living in this small town brings another problem for Michael. As the person in charge of safety at the fish manufacturing plant, he is blamed for an explosion that took the lives of several hundred people, including his wife's father and brother. Injured in the explosion with no memory of it his wife leaves him.  Now it seems she has left town with their son.  He goes to her house, even though there is a restraining order against him and discovers she has moved.  He knows he can't trust anyone in this town so he goes to the next town over. The sheriff believes him even when he is told that Michael has some major mental issues.  But how deep and sister will things get?

This was a great book that was not overly religious. We have characters that demonstrate their faith  through prayer. We have a believable main character that comes across as genuine and believable. Then we have Sheriff Hutchinson who give you that vibe that there is more to him than meets the eye and you'd better watch out for him.  The tension was perfect for this novella. Can't wait to get into the restt of her books.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

40 Lives in 40 Days by John MacArthur

Genre: Christian, Inspirational, Informational

Source: I purchased a copy

The author takes us on a trip through the lives of forty different Biblical people. He starts with some of the disciples and continues to other important people. I found his description of Thomas, also known as “Doubting Thomas” funny. He said that Thomas was a worrier. It was pointed out that he was so connected to Christ that he would rather die with him than be apart from him. The author compared him to “Eeyore” from the “Winnie the Pooh” book.  He speaks of Abraham’s wife Sarah as an example of what happens when we try to take matters into our own hands. It never works out right.  Rahab is an example of how God reaches down to the lowest of the low.  I was surprised by how many women he spoke about. This is a wonderful book that can be applied to all of our lives.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Easy Target by Tim Shoemaker

Genre: Young Adult, Christian, Realistic Fiction
Source: I own a copy

There is nothing better in my opinion than a book with a great story line that also promotes Christianity.

Tim Shoemaker is a master at crafting such books.  The characters are always relatable.  As a teacher I have seen many homeschooled kids begin regular middle school. For many it is not much of a social jump as they attend church or other activities that have them fitting in socially. Then we have those who have been out of the loop socially and struggle with going to a regular school.

Hudson Sutton is one of the first types of kids. He was homeschooled, raised as a Christian and adjusted fairly well in the school. That is until the bullying starts. He tries to protect his new friends from the bullying going on.  He comes up with a wonderful plan only to realize that he himself has become a bully. Since he is so open about his faith he is like many teens who think they are doing the right thing, only to discover that what they are actually doing is not what God would have us do.  One thing that kept going through my mind was the scripture, “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay.”  I guess a part of me remembers a time that I was so fed up with something that I thought I could help handle it. I then discovered that I had become a part of the same bad decisions. I justified my actions “because I prayed about it.”  There is a difference between praying and actually listening to what God is trying to tell us.  

All of the characters are well developed.  The setting was nicely done. The messages are clear. It is great that Hudson wanted to help his friends with the bullying issue. How far is too far? What happens when the bullied become the bullies?  A great question to end on and a recommendation to read this book. It is so worth is.


Saturday, July 29, 2023

Astray by J.F. Rogers


Genre:  Young Adult, Christian,  Fantasy

Source:  I received a copy from Bookfunnel to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I love books for teens, especially if they have a message of faith to them.  Fallon is struggling since her mother disappeared and her father died. She is depressed and self-mutilates.  Her friend keeps trying to convince her that all she needs to do is have faith. When she goes through a portal into another world, Fallon finds what she has been missing. However, like so many teens, she is stubborn. Her journey in Ariboslia is one she must go through to learn who she is and grow her faith. This is a book about finding your faith among all the troubles you’ve had.  I really enjoyed the characters in this book. They reminded me of the type of characters Kandi Wyatt created in her “Myth Coast Adventure” series. Maybe that is why I liked this so much.  I also enjoyed the way the ending left room for a sequel. Must read book.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

You'll Get Through This by Max Lucado


Genre: Christian, Inspirational
Source: Purchased

I read this book at a point where I truly needed it.  Max Lucado took the story of Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers and shows us how Joseph kept hope during the most turbulent and trying times of his life. He breaks the story down into major points and shows us how Joseph's attitude toward God and his faith is what got him through it all. This doesn't mean that Joseph never got depressed, angry, or felt despair. Those are all human emotions, and he was human. However, he chose not to stay in those emotions. I recently went through a trial in my life. A friend gave me scripture. Then another friend mentioned several songs she had heard and told me to look at the lyrics because she thought of me when she heard it. Then I opened one of the sites that makes book recommendations to me and there was Max's book.  The minute I started listening to the lyrics, stepping out of the way to let God take control, I felt relief. Like Joseph I chose not to let my situation define me. I chose to let God show me how he would work it to his good. Sometimes that good is to be worked only in our own life.  I had reached a slump and needed this lesson. I love how god puts things in our path when we need it.  Definitely a must read.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Easter story About Jesus by MamTalk Publishing


Genre: Children's Picture Book, Christian

Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I love these books by Mamtalk. This is the story about why we celebrate Easter. In a day and age where children focus on the "Easter Bunny" and candy, it is nice to see someone who wants to promote the true reason for the Holicay. The story is told in a simple manner so that the youngest child can understand. The pictures are simple, yet bright and colorful. What I love more than anything is that as the child grows older the reader can use the scripture text that accompanies the book. A great way to teach about Easter and a great way teach kids to love reading the Bible.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Kondi's Secret By Sylvia Stewart


Genre: Middle Grade, Christian, Mystery
Source: I own a copy

This is the third book in this trilogy. The author starts us off with a heart-stopping scene. Kondi is trying to cross the street to get to her house. She has just come from school. She sees her young brother in the front yard playing with a stick. She tries to call to him and tell him to go back to the house. Her brother hears her voice and sees her and heads for the ditch. The water filled ditch has a current that whips his feet out from under him. In a panic she darts across the street getting whacked by one car. She dives into the ditch grabbing for her brother. She saves her drowning brother but is injured.  My heart was ready to stop. I was so scared for both Kondi and her baby brother. It was obvious how much she loves her baby brother.

Kondi's best friend from the first book finds herself entangled in the same issue Kondi does. They and their family will need to rely on God when secrets become dangerous.

I love, love, love this series.  I need to see if this author has more.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Kondi's Joy by Sylvia Stewart


Genre: Middle Grade, Christian, Mystery
Source: I own a copy

This is the second book in this trilogy. Kondi has discovered the artist in her father. She openly embroiders and she and her mother have convinced her father to move to the city where he can set up shop and sell his paintings to tourists.  She is hesitant about leaving her friends behind and her church. Upon arriving at their new house she meets Maria a young girl her age who befriends her. We learn just how evil her uncle is and how God protects his own. A wonderful book that is full of hope. The author didn't sugar coat things. Often people wonder why God allows things to happen. Other people think that becoming a Christian means no more troubles. The author handled both of these ideas in her book with expertise. I can't wait to read the third book. These are quick reads and I highly recommend them.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Kondi's Quest by Sylvia Stewart


Genre: Middle Grade, Christian, Realistic Fiction
Source: I own a copy

I actually purchased this book because it was the story of a young girl from Malawi. I have been fascinated with Malawi since I read the book "Laugh With the Moon" by Shana Burg. Her story inspired me to set up pen-pals with a school in Malawi. My students made dresses that were shipped over.  So when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. Once I finished it I found that there were two others and have purchased them. I will be reading them this week as well.

I loved this Christian Fiction book. Kondi is a young Malawian girl. She lives with her Mother and Father. Her father carries around an envelope and is very protective of it. When Kondi accidently spills hot tea on her father and his envelope he becomes enraged and beats her. Kondi believes her father doesn't love her. She keeps praying God will help her father love her. One night he comes in drunk and beats his pregnant wife sending her to the hospital. Kondi shares her feelings about her father with her best friend. She learns she must forgive her father even if she doesn't feel like she truly has. This is a message of hope and God's love for all of us. There are two other books in this series I want to read. Highly recommended.

Monday, March 21, 2022

After the Fall by Craig DeMartino

Genre: Adult, Christian, Inspirational
Source: I purchased a copy

I have never had a desire to rock climb. It might have something to do with my fear of heights, or worse yet, my fear of falling.  I will however read books and watch movies about people who do this.

This book is amazing. This is the story of a man who fell 100 feet while rock climbing. By all accounts he should have died that day. A few miraculous things happened that prevented that. First he struck a tree that slowed his descent. Then he managed to twist his body in a manner that when he landed it didn’t kill him, but messed him up big time.  There were several other things that played a part in his fall and rescue. He landed in the one place that they were able to get cell reception. He had his phone on him instead of in his car. The people who came to rescue him were familiar with the area and made it in record time.  This is a book about not just a man’s journey to survive and heal, but more importantly a man’s journey back to God and the purpose God had for him. Before the accident Craig and his wife were Christians, but didn’t live very close to God. After the accident Craig had to rely on God for so much. He started question God as to what his purpose was in all of this. I am a firm believer that sometimes God has to hit us over the head with a two by four to get our attention. The fall was Craig’s two by four. Casually sharing with people how God helped him not only that day but every day after became a first step. Learning to step out on faith when he had his badly damaged leg amputated and then having the courage to begin climbing again is another example.  Yes, we know that this book and climbing could be a metaphor for the mountains we often have to climb to get back to a relationship with God. However, this is just straight forward, ‘look what God has done with my life and  how he has blessed me after my accident. Look how he has taken something I deemed so bad and used it for something good.’  This is one of the most inspirational books I have read this year. I highly recommend it. You don’t have to be a rock climber to enjoy this book. It is inspirational in the fact that it shows us how much we as Christians need to hold tight to God, to keep our priorities in order. It shows us that no matter what terrible thing happens that God is there to walk with us on that journey.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Beyond the Storm by Carolyne Zane

I was on Spring Break this week. One of my goals was to catch up on reading. That didn't go as planned. However, I spent several days reading and below is one of those books. Unfortunately for me, when reading about quilts, whether fiction or not I start thinking about quilts. This is why my reading goal didn't get met.  I got side tracked and planned an entire quilt for my bed and a throw for my mother-in-law. However, I loved this series. See my review below

Genre: Christian, Romance
Source: I purchased a copy 

The idea of this story was great from the beginning. It is the story of a tornado that ripped a town apart. But, it is much more than that. The storm could also be seen to represent the storms or trials in our lives. Through the making of a quilt made from scraps of fabric found by the local hairdresser after the storm. We see how each piece of fabric helps make sense of the tragedy and the part the person played in the lives of those in the town. Creating the quilt, putting it together piece by piece is the way we have to put our lives back together after we weather our own life storms. The center patch belonged to a man who made Jesus a part of his daily life. It is the interconnectedness of those he touched along with the interconnectedness of the quilt pieces that make this such a wonderful book. The book doesn’t come off as preachy. It is a demonstration of a life lived the way Christ would want us to live life. Just another reminder that in life’s storms we need to turn to and rely on God. He is truly the only one who has control. This is the first book in this series and was by an author I was not familiar with. I am looking forward to reading the others in the series.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

To Save a Race by Kandi J. Wyatt

Genre:  Adult, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Christian
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
When Duke Callon divorces his wife and decides on an uncanny way of choosing his next duchess, Arianna's left with little choice. Faced with the intricacies of politics, Arianna struggles to find her place. Just as she thinks she has her footing, a decree, issued with the blessing of her husband, calls for the extermination of her entire race. 

A young innocent girl, a capricious duke, and a decree that will change everything. What will it take to save a race? 

My Thoughts:
I love everything Kandi has written so far.  However, out of all of her books her Bible based stories, set in an alternate time have become my favorite. In her newest book “To Save A Race” we have a steampunk version of the Biblical story of Esther. Arianna is a young girl who had lived with her uncle Marcos. Realizing she needed more ladylike training. For this reason she now lives with Lady Hemma and Lord Praus. Her uncle works for the Duke. She thinks it would be wonderful to be in the castle. The Duke divorces his wife and then eventually decides he wants to get married again.  He decides to screen the eligible women over a two month period. Each girl who passes the screening gets a night of dinner and sleeping with the Duke. This is of course appalling to Lord Praus and his son Kenden.  If a girl is engaged before the Duke makes this decree official then they are out of the running. Lord Praus wants to protect his daughter Pasha and his charge Arianna from such a fate. Kenden is willing to marry Arianna to protect her from this. Her uncle is content to let Arianna make the choice for herself.
If you know the story of Queen Esther from the Bible you will recognize it in this story. Kandi has once again taken a familiar story and put it in a different setting and been successful.  I loved the depth the story line takes. There was all the familiarity from the Bible with a fresh steampunk vibe. She creates characters that you love to hate. They were so realistic that at one point I wished I could grab the Duke by the collar and shake some sense into him. This is considered an adult novel. However, since it is such a clean read this is one I will place on my shelves at school. Young adults are looking for books with a touch of romance that is not so overpowering it makes them want to throw up. There are many themes, the biggest of which is love conquers all. These are themes that teens can and want to explore in a safe manner.  I can’t think of a better book to accomplish this.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Our Good Father Seeing God Through the Eyes of Jesus by Pierre Eade

Genre: Adult, Christian, Inspirational
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

The beginning of this book is wonderful. The author references the late painter Bob Ross. He talks about how Bob would paint these realistic pictures. What the author has done has shown us through scriptures the most wonderful painting of our heavenly father.  I had never seen so many references in one place that paints such a clear picture of everything our father is.  This is not a book you read one time and put down. This is a book you read over and over again because each time you read it you discover something else about our Good Father.  There was one part of the book that I absolutely loved. Yes, I loved all of the scripture references. But that is not it. On pages 178 to 179 the author has taken a collection of scriptures and put them together to create the “Father’s Love Letter”.  It is probably the most beautiful part of the book.  There are so many scriptures taken from different parts of the Bible and put together into a beautiful love letter. 

This is not only a book I will read again and again, but will recommend to friends everywhere.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Remembrance by Carolyn Twede Frank Review and Blog Tour

Remembrance Book Blog Tour
December 1 Carolyn Twede Frank -
December 2 Sheila Staley -
December 3 Susan Tietjen -
December 4 Sandra Stile -
December 5 Christy Frazier -
December 6 Christy Monson -
December 7 Kathryn Olsen -
December 8 Donna K. Weaver -

Genre:  Young Adult, Christian, Adventure
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

It seems that Josh Sawyer finds him even when he is trying to do the right thing. Josh loves his drama class but hates that they are singing in the Christmas Gala. Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus has been sung as part of the Gala for decades.  This year they have been told they can’t sing the “Hallelujah Chorus”.  They have been given permission to choose another song that doesn’t have a religious meaning.  While joking around with the new kid Zane, Josh sarcastically declares they should sing the song he hates the most, “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.”  To his horror, Mrs. Kowalski agrees that is the song they will sing.  Then she takes her frustration out on the class by assigning them reports on classical musicians.
Josh’s girlfriend Ester invites him to use her Uncle’s Literary Loom to research the musician. I loved the idea of the literary loom Ester’s uncle invented a way to live a book, to travel through it through the character. This trip to learn about Handel is just the inspiration Josh needs to spur him into action to try to save the traditions of the school’s Christmas Gala. There are so many story lines throughout this book. We see a young man who is searching for the meaning of God.  We learn the secret Zane had been keeping. As Josh travels through the Literary Loom several times, he learns more about the meaning of Christmas. He questions why more people don’t celebrate the real meaning of Christmas.

This is a fabulous book to read at any time of year. It was perfect for right before Christmas. This book really hit home with me. I see more commercialism each year. I had a student ask me a couple of weeks back if we could have a Christmas party. I teach in a public school. I told him we didn’t have parties in middle school. He said, but it’s a Christmas party we need to celebrate Christmas. I told him we weren’t allowed to celebrate religious holidays in the classroom. He still didn’t get it. I told him we were not allowed to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  He said, “What does Jesus have to do with anything? I want to celebrate Santa.”  It is books like this that allow me to introduce kids to God’s messages.

I have not yet read the first two books in this series. I can assure you I will.  I will also be purchasing the series for my classroom library. It is difficult to find faith-based messages in books for classrooms.  I am looking forward to sharing this one with my students.  I just really wish the Literary Loom were real.  

Purchase on Amazon
Find out more about the author here

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Light Shining in the Darkness by Karen A. Cooper

Genre: Adult, Christian, Memoir
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Not everyone has a great start in life. For Karen Cooper she lived life with an abusive father. Unfortunately her past problems shaped her adult life. She found herself pregnant and gave up the child, and shortly thereafter found herself pregnant again. Marriage to the baby's father doesn't fix anything, it makes things worse. A few weeks after her child is born he dies of SIDS.  Karen continues to show how she kept a part of her life a lie and hidden while still making the same kinds of mistakes. This seems like such a dark and troubling book until Karen reaches a point where she lets God into her life. Things begin to change. That doesn't mean her life is all roses. She still struggles and forgets like so many of us during trials, to lean on God.

Although this book starts out dark and tragic, the ending is completely the opposite. Karen has shown through her memoir that no matter how low we get, God can lift us up out of the darkness to higher places. This is a definite must read.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Cole's Perfect Puppy by Frances Crossno

Genre: Children, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Christian
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
Cole's Perfect Puppy is a Christian novel intended for young readers who love animals, especially dogs. The story revolves around Cole, his younger brother Caleb, and their new-found friend Rachel who teaches the brothers about friendship, sacrifice, and God’s perfect love.

My Opinion:
I absolutely loved this book. I sat and read it in less than thirty minutes. I liked how the author showed the older brother taking responsibility for his younger brother. She also showed that the older brother could be a little irresponsible when distracted.  All of the characters were believable. The situations such as bullying, standing up for others. Giving to others by making a personal sacrifice are lessons I want my students to learn.  Both Rachel and Cole and his brother Caleb had hardships when it came to their parents. I won't tell what it is because I don't want to spoil it.

I read a review that said this book would be great for a Christian school or library. I find it perfect for a public school because students will be able to relate to the message. I also love that my Christian students will be able to find books their parents will approve of them reading. I loved the Christian message presented, yet not crammed down the reader's throat.  I finished the book and took it in to my mother and told her she had to read the book.  I gave her just enough info she started thinking about who we knew that would love a copy of this book.  I will enjoy putting this on my school shelves and recommending it to all of my students.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Enslaved Series by Katie Clark

This review is for all three books in this series.  This is a must read.

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Christian, Science Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Vanquished Book 1
Imagine a future where society is divided into three classes; Lessers, Middles, and the Greaters. Every dystopian society must have someone at the top who perverts life. In this case the Greaters have control of everything that affects the Middles and Lessers including medicine that could cure people. They have also outlawed religion. In this story we meet Hana who's mother has become deathly ill. She has cancer. Hana's society is so controlled she has a curfew, isn't allowed to date, and has grown to believe everything the Greaters have told her. But, when her mom gets sick and she is told there is no medicine for her mom she begins to open her eyes and look around at what is really happening. A medic named Fischer at the hospital tells her that there is a power higher than the Greaters who can help her mom. He shows her a forbidden Bible and encourages her to seek the truth. Her eyes are opened to so many things that are wrong in her world. She realizes that a lot of what is wrong has been created by the Greaters who supposedly have society's best interest in mind.
This is a great and unique dystopian because it isn't just about questioning the upper end of society, but their forced outlawing of religion.  Unfortunately, it is beginning to parallel our world way too much.  This is a book I would definitely recommend. 

Deliverance Book 2

This book picks up right where the first one ended. In this sequel we get more of a Hunger Games feel. Hana is in the Greater City where the president takes and interest in her, just as President Snow did in The Hunger Games. However, this is not as similar to the previous mentioned series from this point forward. Hana really wants to help. Unfortunately what she does is often inadvertently  at the cost of others. She is now a 'Greater'. This puts her in a position to learn what is truly happening with the government. It also puts her in the crosshairs of the president. He knows she has become a threat. She has found a pocket of Christians that have not let the government take away their belief system. Now she must find a way to let people know what is really happening, and at the same time protect those she loves. The suspense just keeps getting higher and higher.  One suggestion for the reader is make sure you own all three books because you are going to want to read them one after another.

Redeemer Book 3
In this book there are so many changes for Hana. She's been stripped of being a Greater. This in itself opens the door for her to truly find and do what she must for the greater good of society.  This book is so suspenseful and full of twists and turns you can't put it down.  The author has done an excellent job of tying everything up. It has a very satisfying ending. This is also a series I would definitely reread. I believe every time I read it I will see something a little bit different, something I missed the first time. Will I recommend it?  You'd better believe it. I will also be looking for other books by this author in the future. She is one awesome writer.

Author Bio

Katie Clark's published works include multiple children's books including A Tour of Your Muscular and Skeletal Systems, Animal Actors, Police Horses, and more. She is available for classroom visits and Skype chats to discuss her books. 

You can find her in the following places:


Book Trailers
Enslaved Series
Beguiled Series

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pieces on Earth by Cathy Bryant

Genre: Adult, Christian Fiction
Source: I purchased a copy

I am the mother of a young man who has been deployed twice. The first time he was able to come home a couple of weeks for his second son’s birth. He spent last Christmas deployed. I applaud his wife. She is a very loving wife and someone I admire very much. It takes a lot of love, patience, and trust to be married to a military person.  This is a book I will definitely recommend to my daughter-in law.

I am sure she could definitely identify with Liv, who wanted so much to spend Christmas with her husband. Life is never predictable when a family member is in the military.  Unlike Liv she has always accepted his deployments. I am sure she didn’t like them. I once asked her about how difficult it was for her and she said she entered the marriage understanding what can and does happen when married to someone in the military. She has two young boys she raises by herself and an 11 year old daughter who spends time with her when her husband is deployed.  God has always been a strong part of our life. I was happy to see how Cathy Bryant placed so much emphasis on relying on God.  This is another wonderful story by a wonderful author. It is a must read any time of the year, but especially recommended during the Christmas season.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Return to Christmas by Kathi Macias

Genre: Adult, Christian, Realistic Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

War does terrible things to people. Some of it the average person can’t see. Those who deal with PTSD just want to find some semblance of normal. When Chet returns  from his second tour in Afghanastan he finds life very difficult. His wife Jeneen does her best to be supportive. Then there is Kevin, their three year old son. The author wasn’t content to have just this one piece of tension running throughout the story. She added several others to the mix. At  daycare  owner and her husband are the parents of a young boy who has an attachment disorder. Chet’s problems are compounded by the fact he has decided he wants nothing to do with God. Somewhere along the way he has put God out of his life. This makes things a lot more difficult not only for him, but also for his family who hold on tight to God. You really must read this book to see how all of these things, and these people work together to realize that the only way to get through these trials is to pull closer to God. I love Kathi’s work because  the story  could have been taken from anyone’s neighborhood. I felt sorry for Jeneen. She worked and tried so hard to hold everything together while her husband was in denial about his PTSD.  It made me wonder how many families go through this.  Maybe it will be what is needed to help one family going through this same situation.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Overcome by Gabrielle Grace

Genre: Young Adult, Adult, Christian, Fantasy: 
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I received a copy to facilitate my  review. The opinions expressed here are my own. This new author has a grasp on what it takes to be a great writer. Her characters are well drawn. Simon the main character is one you cheer on from the beginning. His best friend Derek is one I found myself going back and forth. between loving and hating. In my opinion, anytime a writer can make you love a character that you want to hate for their actions. they are successful.  The action scenes are just that, full of action. The reader goes from one conflict to the next. The tension is kept tight from beginning to end. I had to keep reading once I began it because I needed to know how Simon was going to handle situations. Would he be able to stay strong? Would he be able to keep friendships intact?  What happens when you have to make those tough life decisions?  I have to say I've known the author for several years. I knew this book was within her.  I knew she had talent.  I could never have imagined just how gifted a writer she is until I read this book.