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 💛

TBR Spotlight: The Last Day of Captain Lincoln — by EXO Books

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Cover image and summary from goodreads.com.

Title:  The Last Day of Captain Lincoln

 

Author: EXO Books (Yup, that’s his pen name)

Genre/Pages: Science-Fiction /  133

Summary: Captain Lincoln’s last day is the hardest day of his life.

An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.

Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.

The End is just the beginning.”

Cover Review: Ehhhhhhhh not so good. Pretty bad, actually. It does a good job of giving the sci-fi feel, but I’m really just not a fan of the art style itself.

Why I put it on my TBR list: This book has a summary that teases an incredible premise and world, but give you almost no information about the story itself.  Deaths that are planned? An effort to save all that is best in humanity? The end is just the beginning? Basically, I’m just confused after reading the summary. Confused, but very intrigued. And since it’s such a short read (133 pages), I’m definitely going to give it a try when I get back from my mission! I have loved science-fiction for a very long time, and I love supporting indie authors, so you can bet that I’ll be reading this one. 

Do you love science-fiction? Make sure to grab your copy of The Last Day of Captain Lincoln!

Attention: This is a scheduled, pre-written, post. I am serving a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Jan. 2017 through Jul. 2018, and will not be checking my blog email, or updating my blog during that time. (I may have some already written posts scheduled go live during that time, but I will not be active on my blog, and these posts are completely my own opinion and are not representative of the opinions or stances of the church). For more information about Mormon missionaries, go to: lds.org or mormon.org.

Any book requests or other communication received in that time will not be responded to until after July 2018.

Review: Appaloosa Summer – by Tudor Robins

Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to goodreads book page.
Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to goodreads book page.

Title: Appaloosa Summer (Island Trilogy, #1)

Author: Tudor Robins

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Meg Traherne has never known loss. Until the beautiful, talented horse she trained herself, drops dead underneath her in the show ring.

Jared Strickland has been living with loss ever since his father died in a tragic farming accident.

Meg escapes from her grief by changing everything about her life; moving away from home to spend her summer living on an island in the St. Lawrence River, scrubbing toilets and waiting on guests at a B&B.

Once there, she meets Jared; doing his best to keep anything else in his life from changing.

When Jared offers Meg a scruffy appaloosa mare out of a friend’s back field, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change both of them by the end of the summer.

Genre/Pages: Fiction/246

Rating: ★★★★ (5 of 5)

My Review:  Don’t judge a book by it’s synopsis. This book was engaging. I would just sit down and read page after page after page, and it would take all my willpower to close the book and be productive. Definitely not your typical horse book, either. Growing up as a horse-crazy girl who was determined to read every book her local library had to offer, a girl who also frequented Half-Price Books… I ended up reading (and owning) a LOT horse books. My reaction to horse literature by now? YAWN. It’s always the exact same plot, same shallow not-well-developed characters, same never-ending series, same Suspense and Mystery (SARCASM). Don’t get me wrong, I loved those books! But after a while, they all bled together…

So, when I saw this book on NetGalley… Well, first off, the cover was gorgeous. Seriously, I would buy this book JUST for the cover. But I had low expectations. Very low. This book blew them away! I LOVED it! I’ve been a bit (okay, a lot) down lately, and this book was perfect. It was a wonderful world and story to escape into for brief snatches of time, and it leaves you feeling satisfied. This may well be my new Happy Book. The only real complaint I have about this book is that it wasn’t longer.

Every once in a while, I would just get lost for a few sentences. Nothing would make sense. Unsure about what day it is, how much time has elapsed, who’s talking to whom, etc. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, it was disconcerting. A brief trip back to the real world as I tried to discover what had just happened. I wish that the book could’ve been longer, that we could’ve spent more time following Meg around at her job, and just… being in her head during the slow, boring, moments of her life.

 

Thank you to Netgalley, for supplying me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! 

Hero/Heroine: The romance was excellently written. It started as a friendship, but nothing was rushed, nothing was pushed, and they were still best friends by the end of the book. The relationship didn’t change that.

❤ Meg: I was terrified that she would be your sterotypical whiny teenage girl. Who, yes, went through something horrible, but then refuses to do anything the entire book except for whine about how horrible her life was. But Meg was different. Her pain was real, but so were her interactions with her friends and her family. She was REAL. She wasn’t a whiny teenager girl, but she still acted like a girl. She knew her horses, she had a job, she’d gone through some awful events, lost those very close to her, and lived in her family’s cabin, but she also knew what it felt like to have a crush on a guy. But it wasn’t unrealistic. The character development was superb.   

❤ Jared: I was dubious, I’ll admit. In my experience with books like this, the guy is often thrown in solely as a love interest, with no character, backstory or development to go with him. But Jared was different. He was complex, and deep, and REAL. (Noticing a theme here? Tudor Robins writes wonderful characters!). He was country through and through. Country charm, country courtesy, country loveable! He was quite the gentleman, and even though he wasn’t a horse person, he loved watching Meg work with horses, and helped make that possible. He had been griefstricken, and he carried that with him, but he was just a wonderful guy. And, in his own words, he knew that “Grief isn’t a competitive sport.” ❤ ❤ ❤

Plot: I knew by the first page that I was in love with this story. Tudor Robins has such a way with words — frankly, it’s unbelievable how believable her writing is. I’ve been riding horses for about 8 years, and I was drawn in and enthralled by Robins’ descriptions and writing, especially while characters were riding. It was all so accurate, so real, I knew exactly what it felt like. It was breathtaking.

The plot itself was fairly simple. The spotlight of this book wasn’t on the plot, it was on the characters, their development, and the writing. This is the kind of book I want to buy, just so I can keep it on my physical bookshelf, and pick it up whenever I’m down. I loved this book more than I can possibly describe. Tudor Robins deserves my highest praise.

Content Advisory: Maybe a FEW minor cuss words (5, max). But I honestly don’t remember any. Some kissing. Some traumatic events.

To Sum it Up: This was an amazing book. I wholeheartedly enjoyed it. Ms. Robins knows her horses, creates fantastic characters, a unique and enthralling plot that made it nearly impossible to put down, a sweet romance, and a happy ending.

Something new I’m starting: Using Reenin from Deviantart’s sketch Reading Zone, as a guide, I will determine which Reading Posture I was using during this book. :)

Appaloosa Summer’s Reading Posture: Enthralled Reading. 

Click here to see Reenin's sketch on Deviantart!
Click here to see Reenin’s sketch on Deviantart!

Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it? 

Review: Liberty – By Annie Laurie Cechini

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Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to goodreads page.

Title: Liberty

Author: Annie Laurie Cechini

Summary:

A STOLEN VIAL

Eternigen is the miracle drug that allows humans to travel in deep space. Seventeen-year-old space captain Tabitha “Dix” Dixon has the only vial of Eternigen in existence.

A RELENTLESS ENEMY

Eira Ninge always gets what she wants. She wants the Eternigen, and she’ll do anything-and kill anyone-to get it.

A DEADLY CURSE

Since Dix stole the vial, everyone she loves seems fated to die. When young resistance messenger Jordan Berrett steals her heart, she has to decide if it’s worth risking his life to let him get close. When Dix is involved, even falling in love can turn deadly.

A CHANCE FOR FREEDOM

If Dix can get her hands on more Eternigen, she and her crew can escape the solar system, leaving her dark past behind. But getting the Eternigen won’t be easy, and the bodies keep piling up. In the end, the cost of freedom may be too high.

Genre/Pages: YA Science Fiction/304

Rating: ★★★ (4.5 of 5)

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. When I read the synopsis, I got excited, it sounded like a really great book… I wasn’t disappointed. Liberty went above and beyond my expectations. Want to get your own copy of this book? I highly recommend entering the giveaway HERE. It’s completely free, and open until May 12th.

Let’s start off with the plot. At first I was dubious. A miracle drug that can take you to deep space? I wasn’t sure how that was all going to play out, but I shouldn’t have worried. The plot was great! Fast paced without getting in the way of the story. Debut novel by self published author Annie Laurie Cechini, Liberty was very engaging, and I quickly got pulled into the story, which means a lot. When I get ‘pulled into a story’, what I mean is ‘freaking-out-yelling-at-the-characters-oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-believe-what-just-happened-crying-my-eyes-out’. That is what happens when I get pulled into a story.

All that said, however, it wasn’t a perfect story. There were some scenes that just completely threw me off, that I just couldn’t understand the point of. That said, however, I still absolutely loved this book. The characters were strong, and you really get attached to them. It was really great getting to see the  character development of Dix, she was a really believable character, and one I could totally relate too.  And, oh my gosh, the ending! I can’t say anything, but… Wow.  So amazing.

Content Advisory: There was a fair amount of fake swearing. Multiple deaths, but nothing graphic.

To Sum it up: A great new story, full of action, comedy, excitement, strong morals, and just a touch of romance. Liberty is an emotional rollercoaster, that I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone over the age of 11.

All the views and opinions contained here are my own. Feel free to disagree with them! Comment, and let me know what you thought of the book, good or bad, so long as you keep it polite. I try my best to respond to every comment. Thank you!

GIVEAWAY!!! The Zochtil – By J.A. Dalley

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Picture and Summary from Goodreads.com

  I have some exciting news for y’all… A giveaway!!!

Title: The Zochtil (Almek Manning, #1)

Author: J.A. Dalley

Genre: YA Military Science Fiction

Summary: Jump to the Stars! Join the Solar Fleet!

The Solar Fleet faces just two problems: one, the alien blockade that prevents any ship from leaving the solar system, and two, the United Monarchy of Europe, which is tying up most of the Solar Fleet’s resources, thus preventing them from attacking the blockade.

Almek Manning is eighteen and wishes to join the Solar Fleet as a midshipman and train at the Academy. However, Almek has a few problems of his own to overcome before he can go to the Academy, the first of which is to escape from a United Monarchy of Europe detention facility.

Do you like Science Fiction? How about YA adventure novels? Are you a fan of Orson Scott Card? Robert A. Heinlein? Isaac Asimov? Have you been looking for a great new book to read?

If you answered YES to any of the above questions, you’ve come to the right place! Right here you can enter the giveaway for a free copy of stunning debut novel The Zochtil (Almek Manning, #1)– by J.A. Dalley.

All you have to do is create a Goodreads account (if by some insane chance you don’t already have one) go to the link above, and click “Enter to Win”! You will be entered into a drawing for 1 of 3 copies of this book.

My Review of The Zochtil

Author Website

Giveaway

The Age of Amy: Bonehead Bootcamp – By Bruce Edwards

Picture and summary from goodreads.com
Picture from goodreads.com, summary from AgeofAmy.com

Title: The Age of Amy: Bonehead Bootcamp

Author: Bruce Edwards

Genre/Pages: Fantasy/178

Rating: ★★★ (4 of 5)

Summary: Amy is uprooted from the city she loves to the Midwest–and she’s pissed! Miserable in her new home  and unpopular at school, the 16-year-old blasts her parents for destroying her happiness. But when her verbal attacks turn physical, she is sent away to a boot camp for troubled teens. Expecting Bonehead Bootcamp to be a laid-back country retreat, Amy instead enters a frightening fantasy world of altered time and space. Together with three other unruly teenagers, she must summon all her courage and ingenuity to get back home.

My Review: I received a signed (Extreme happiness! I adore/collect signed books. :) ) copy of this debut novel for Christmas, and was very excited to finally get a chance to read it… But before I get into the specifics of the novel, I  just have to say how much I love the cover! It’s so beautiful and captivating. And Amy’s hair? Gorgeous!

Bruce Edwards has amazing potential as an up-and-coming author; he has a way of describing things that really intrigues and engages the reader. His writing style enables you to relate with the  protagonist, Amy, in ways that really make you think.

Now on to the plot… You begin with Amy, a teenage girl, who, like many others, doesn’t get along with her family, and isn’t very popular at school, however, her parents, thinking her disrespectful and out of line, “unjustly” condemn her to a weekend at “Bonehead Bootcamp” a camp for troubled teens. As she arrives… Well, to say the least, it was definitely an interesting, and very unexpected, turn of events that left me with a new outlook on society, and myself. Long story short, I really liked this book.

To Sum it up: A wonderfully thought-provoking tale of discovering yourself and seeing the world from another’s perspective; The Age of Amy: Bonehead Bootcamp was a pretty clean book. Multiple “a**”es a few “B****”es, and a solitary, passing mention of condoms. All that aside though,  solely because it would take a certain level of maturity to be able to understand and relate to this story, I would still recommend this book 11+.

The Zochtil – By J.A. Dalley

Picture and summary from goodreads.com
Picture and summary from goodreads.com

Title: The Zochtil (Almek Manning, #1)

Author: J.A. Dalley

Genre/Pages: Science Fiction/225

Rating: ★★★ (5 of 5)

Summary: Jump to the Stars! Join the Solar Fleet!

The Solar Fleet faces just two problems: one, the alien blockade that prevents any ship from leaving the solar system, and two, the United Monarchy of Europe, which is tying up most of the Solar Fleet’s resources, thus preventing them from attacking the blockade.

Almek Manning is eighteen and wishes to join the Solar Fleet as a midshipman and train at the Academy. However, Almek has a few problems of his own to overcome before he can go to the Academy, the first of which is to escape from a United Monarchy of Europe detention facility.

My Review: Debut novel, The Zochtil, is a military science fiction title placed a hundred or so years in the future. Now, I’m typically not a Sci-Fi kind of person, but I am extremely happy I picked up this book – It was definitely worth the read!

The characters were in-depth, exciting, each with their own gripping story-line, and unexpected twists and turns. You get very emotionally attached to these characters, because they’re just amazing! The world J.A. Dalley has created is unique, intricate, gripping and truly unforgettable.

Now, over time, I have both read and listened to The Zochtil, and have found both to be thoroughly enjoyable. Narrator Nick Sullivan brings a whole new level of excitement and depth to this book. Something else you might want to bear in mind, being a Mil-Sci-Fi novel, there is a fair amount of military jargon, but not enough to detract from the great story this author has to tell.

To Sum it up: Well-written, exciting, fast-paced, suspenseful, I loved this book. However, there is death, though never gory or glorified in any way, I would recommend this book 9+.