ATTENTION: This is not an Automated Post

Howdy y’all!

It’s been a long time! I am back, and I am so excited to get into the swing of things again!

As some of you may recall, from January 2017 to June 2018 I was serving a full-time proselyting mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Utah Provo Mission. It was the most amazing experience, and I am so grateful for the people I was able to meet and the things I was able to learn. To learn more about what I was doing, visit lds.org. 

 Since my return home, I’ve been readjusting to normal life. I was a nanny all summer (seriously the best job ever), and now I’m halfway through my first semester of Junior year at Brigham Young University – Provo. Yup, I fell in love with Utah while serving here, and so now I’m back! It’s great, because I get to visit people that I helped and worked with while I was a missionary here.

Since I already have my associates in science, I’m currently working on my bachelors in economics, and then I’ll be going to law school! I want to work as an attorney to fight sex trafficking. My life goal is to work for Tim Ballard of Operation Underground Railroad.

I really want to get as involved as I can in the book blogging world while still staying on top of my studies, so I would love to get caught up! What have I missed? What do I need to know about and get involved in! Unfortunately, textbooks have overtaken fiction novels as my primary reading nowadays. My college #Shelfie is kinda sad, but check out the cute bat halloween lights!

To my beloved authors: If you have sent me a book to read and review, please know that I have not forgotten you! Feel free to shoot me a reminder email (escapingrealitybookreviews@yahoo.com) if you would like, but I promise I am trying my best to get things done! I am so excited to read your work and share my thoughts about them!

I’ll be updating y’all more soon!

Love,

Lynette 💛

Attention Horse-lovers! Review: Wednesday Riders — By Tudor Robins

Cover image from author, summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.
Cover image from author, summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.

Title: Wednesday Riders (Island Trilogy, #2)

Author:

Goodreads.  Amazon.

Summary: 

The island.
Meg can’t wait to get back. She’s excited to see her new mare kick up her heels in Salem’s old paddock. She’s impatient to run on country roads between breeze-blown hayfields.
Mostly, Meg longs to be back with Jared again.
It’s going to be the perfect summer.
But can real life live up to Meg’s huge expectations?

When Jared makes a heart-wrenching confession, Meg has to re-evaluate everything. If perfection’s not possible, can Meg find a way to build happiness for herself?
Fans of Appaloosa Summer will welcome the return to familiar places and characters, with the chance to be captivated by more of the beauty, romance, and dreaminess of Meg’s summer island life.

Pages/Genre: 181/Equestrian Fiction

Rating: ★★★★ (5 of 5)

My Review: You may recall the not so distant past when I was gushing to you about Appaloosa Summer, the horse book that restored my faith in equestrian fiction. And not to long ago, I was claiming that I believed that Wednesday Riders would be just as much of my “Happy Book” as Appaloosa Summer had been. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Probably no more than two or three chapters in, I was sobbing and throwing things.

So, thank you to the incredible Tudor Robins for sending me a free copy of Wednesday Riders!

I could just cut this review short and say “OHMYGOSH I LOVE TUDOR ROBINS SO FREAKING MUCH SHE WRITES THE BEST BOOKS IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD I CAN”T EVEN ASDFGHJKL”, but that really wouldn’t be professional, so I’m going to write a “real” review.

Hero/ine: Meg: In my review of Appaloosa Summer I gave a pretty good overview of all the things I loved about Meg. Appaloosa Summer was a happy book. It had conflict, yes, but it was happy. In Wednesday Riders, Meg was faced with horrific circumstances that would change anybody. Meg became a little bit of a whiny teenage girl in this book, but that wasn’t a bad thing. It didn’t make me mad like it did when characters like Tris or Katniss did it. Because it was different. She was incredibly complex and deep – she was a real character, with real feelings, emotions, and reactions. She was utterly relatable and therefore utterly lovable. Remember Amy Fleming from CBC’s hit family drama Heartland? (if you haven’t — BEST. SHOW. EVER.) Though the characters are each very different and unique, and I’m not saying that Ms. Robins ripped off Heartland by ANY stretch of the imagination, but the two women are very alike in a few ways. I love it. I think they would be best friends.

Jared: Without giving anything away, I can say that Jared was colored with an unfavorable light from the very beginning. And it broke my heart. Because I adore Jared. But even though he was not as physically present in Wednesday Riders as he had been in Appaloosa Summer, I still absolutely adored him. He was still very real, complex, and engaging. That’s what I loved most, actually. He wasn’t forced into the Male Love Interest YA Fictional Novel stereotypes. He wasn’t perfect and he wasn’t terrible – he was a real person. Good things, bad things, perfectly romantic and adorable things, ALL of those things are what make me love Jared so freaking much.

Plot: I felt the agony, I experienced the pain. This was a very pain filled book for me — and quite the shocker, since I’d expected it to be super happy and perfect. But, another PHENOMENAL thing about this book? It wasn’t all about the romance. Yeah, that factored into it, and yeah, it affected the characters, but they still had lives. I loved the plot about the Wednesday Riders, and about Bridget. Tudor isn’t afraid to address the hard issues. Nor is she afraid to resolve them. One thing is for certain, Wednesday Riders does NOT suffer from Second Book Syndrome. I wish I could say more about the specific things I loved, and the character decisions that I didn’t love, and the overall freaking amazingness that is this entire book, but, alas, SPOILERS. :(

Content Advisory: Eesh. This made me sad. I found it largely unnecessary, BUT… There was one scene of a sexual nature, went to second base. There was one scene of an implied sexual nature, but largely it took place off-screen. There were mentions of drinking, smoking, and of having sex. I can’t recall much swearing, so it was probably a relatively small amount of D’s, S’s, and B’s.

To Sum it Up: Though the sex scenes did disappoint me, aside from that I adored this book – almost as much as the first – even MORE in some ways. Appaloosa Summer put the bar ridiculously high, but Wednesday Riders did not disappoint. The complex and engaging characters (I loved the integration of the children!), the emotional and heart wrenching discoveries, and the horses (oh, the horses!) – this book was fabulous from beginning to end. I was crying, I was laughing, I was screaming, (and if I owned the physical copy, I would have been throwing it, as well). This is one of the best equestrian fiction novels you will ever read. I highly recommend it to 16+.

Top Ten Character Driven Novels

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this meme is all about making book-ish lists of your "Top Ten"s!
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this meme is all about making book-ish lists of your “Top Ten”s!

Top Ten Character Driven Novels

(Not Necessarily in the Following Order)

1. Appaloosa Summer — By Tudor Robins. YA Equestrian Sweet Romance. I’ve read a lot of horse books in my day. THIS one stood out as a phenomenal read. The characters were not only real, they were amazing. You loved them, and all of the major discoveries in the book existed in them. The plot was great, but BECAUSE the characters were great. This is basically my happy book. I LOVE THIS BOOK. READ IT. RIGHT NOW.

2. Her Ex Next Door & Corporate Husband — By  Beverly Farr. New Adult Sweet Romance (books aren’t related, but they are both amazing). The plot is fairly predictable, but you fall in love with the characters, and love watching their personal stories slowly unravel.

Okay, so at this point, I realize that I have no idea what qualifies as Character Driven. Maybe I just ONLY read plot driven novels. I dunno… this is a very confusing and conflicting week for me. Does it mean it doesn’t have a good plot? Or just that the characters are SUPER amazing?

3. A Just Determination — by Jack Campbell.  Military Science Fiction. This tells the story of the day to day life on a military spaceship. Sounds boring, right? But it actually isn’t. It is very character driven, and it gives a refreshing look into the everyday. It was totally unpredictable because of that, and 100% realistic.

4. Adventurers Wanted — By M.L. Forman  MG/YA High Adventure

5.  Nobody’s Princess — By Esther Friesner  Historic Mythological Fiction. Retelling of Helen of Troy’s early life.

6. SECOND STAR — By Alyssa B. Sheinmel. YA Fairytale Retelling. Peter Pan. I still haven’t reviewed this just because it’s so amazing, but at the same time — UGH! I can’t even give it a star review! I can’t even tell if it’s a 1 star or a 6 star! This book did strange things to my head. But you will love it.

7. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight — By Jennifer E. Smith — YA/NA Sweet Romance. The plot itself has every trope you could ever imagine in a sweet romance, but the character’s are so wonderful, that you just love it, regardless. This would make a GREAT movie.

8.  Every Jack Weyland book ever — Inspirational fiction. His stories center around one character, and their journey after a crisis of some sort.

9.  The Captive Maiden — by Melanie Dickerson — Fairytale Retelling, Cinderella. Everyone knows the fairytale. So Ms. Dickerson changes it up. The plot itself is MUCH different than your typical fairytale, but the characters are really what stands out about it. Not your typical Cinderella and Prince.

10. HONORARY —  Pawn of Prophecy (Belgariad,, #1) — By David Eddings I haven’t read this book, but everyone I know who has says it is THE MOST character driven book you will ever read. I’m looking forward to it!

What’s your Top Ten for this week?