Book Reviews

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My edition: Owned Paperback
Pages: 374
Series: The Hunger Games #1
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance
Published: July 1, 2010, by Scholastic Inc.
Rating: 5 star



In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.


No one will forget me. Not my look, not my name. Katniss. The girl who was on fire.

This book came out the year before my junior year in high school. I didn’t pick it up until 2014. I loved it and gave it five stars. Recently, I have been watching people see all the movies for the first time on youtube. It’s been giving me the motivation to pick it up for a reread.

After reading this I have come to the conclusion that the movie has done all the characters dirty. Especially Peeta. I forgot how much I love Peeta and Katniss’s relationship. I think I love this book more now than I did back when I first read it. I forgot how much I love Collins writing in the series. So much detail and world-building that was sadly left out of the movies.

I can’t wait to get into the second book. That book is my favorite. I can’t wait to get more of Peeta and Katniss. Not a big fan of Gale. I think I somewhat liked him when I first read this book, but now looking at it, he’s okay. I am just glad for Peeta.

MCs: 5 stars
Side Characters: 5 stars
Plot: 5 stars

Look Forward

March TBR

Hey, y’all. I hope you had a great February. I am starting to get busy at work, so the reading I’ll be doing on my breaks may get cut short. But I am super excited for the upcoming month.

A possible TBR

I am reading the first Hunger Games book right now. I will finish it before the month’s end and continue the series in March.

I just started the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins. I start book 1 last night and will most likely continue reading it for the rest of this week.

I also have Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews along with an ARC of In Feast or Famine by her as well. I can’t wait to dive in.

The next series I will be trying is The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I go the first book from my library. That way if I don’t like it, I can take it back no harm, no foul.

I might also reread the Twilight series before unhauling the books.


I am in a challenge on Goodreads which is a quarterly challenge. It will end at the end of March. It is another Disney challenge. I might do a monthly challenge but I not sure yet.

But this is what March is most likely going to look like. What do you plan on reading?

Book Reviews

Green: The Beginning and the End by Ted Dekker

My edition: Library book & audiobook
Pages: 392
Time: 14h 59m
Narrator: Tim Gregory
Series: The Circle #0
Genre: Christian Fantasy
Published: Sept. 1, 2009, by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Rating: 2.5 stars


AS FORETOLD BY ANCIENT PROPHETS, an apocalypse destroyed Earth during the twenty-first century. But two thousand years later Elyon set upon the earth a new Adam. This time, however, He gave humanity an advantage. What was once unseen became seen. It was good and it was called…”Green.”

But the evil Teeleh bided his time in a Black Forest.

Then, when least expected, a twenty-four year old named Thomas Hunter fell asleep in our world and woke up in that future Black Forest. A gateway was opened for Teeleh to ravage the land. Devastated by the ruin, Thomas Hunter and his Circle swore to fight the dark scourge until their dying breath.

But now The Circle has lost hope. Samuel, Thomas Hunter’s cherished son, has turned his back on his father. He gathers the dark forces to wage a final war. Thomas is crushed and desperately seeks a way back to our reality to find the one elusive hope that could save them all.

Enter an apocalyptic story like none you have read. A story with links to our own history so shocking that you will forget you are in another world at all. Welcome to “GREEN.” Book Zero.



Let me start off with the fact that I was confused about the world in this book. I think it would have been better for me to start off with Black. I have seen that in many reviews of this book. I will know when I finish the series.

Also, should say I have tried starting this book three or four times now. I always just said screw it and gave it back to the library. Well, I decided to give it one more go and actually finish it so I could move on to Black. I really should have seen the reviews on this to read Black first. Ted mentions at the beginning of the book before you start that this series is a circle. You can either start with Green and end with White or start with Black and end with Green. I can’t say anything about this until I finish the series.

I like the story with Thomas, but when we get the past POV with Billy and Janae I couldn’t care less. I just wanted to know what was going on with Thomas and “the future”. But most of the time, I wasn’t rooting for any character. I didn’t like Thomas’s wife, Chelise. Actually, I don’t think I liked any character, especially Samuel. I just wanted to know what was going on in the other world.

I’ve got a few more library books to read before I take this back and get Black.

Book Reviews

The Nerd & the Quarterback by M.L. Collins

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 230
Series: Jackson High #1
Genre: YA, Football, Sports, Romance
Published: March 11, 2020, by Nancy’s Daughter Publishing
Rating: 3 stars


I had a plan to survive my senior year.
Too bad Jackson High’s star quarterback BLEW. IT. UP.

Last year, I was the most hated girl at my old school.
This year, my plan was to lay low, keep to myself and graduate.

My plan was working. Until the day I ran into Dax DeLeon.

It’s impossible to stay invisible when the most popular guy at school claims I’m his girlfriend.
Did I mention his ex—the head cheerleader and the most popular girl in school—wants him back?


Now I’ve got a fake boyfriend.
And a target on my back. Again.

But what’s scaring me the most…
If this thing with Dax is fake—why does being with him feel so real?

The Nerd & the Quarterback is a *Standalone*clean YA romantic comedy about a nerdy bowler, a hot quarterback, a possible case of mistaken identity, a bunny-napping, ransom notes, a failed ransom drop, thievery, and mean girls being mean.

But mostly about a boy and a girl learning to trust.

*Warning: this book has a romance so sweet you’ll get an urge to call your dentist.*


I needed a cheesy, teen, Romcom to cleanse for a more serious book. I have been reading historical fiction so much these last few weeks that I need something light and airy to be able to get out of a reading slump.

This book contained several of my pet peeves.

  1. “Quirky” or different from other girls (Though I will give Dax credit when he said different from the girls he hangs out with.)
  2. A person who talks in the third person.
  3. The guy’s POV is not as well written as the girl’s POV (While Ali comes off snarky, Dax comes off as annoying.)
  4. No communication

I liked Ali and if this book was told from Ali’s POV alone I would have liked this more. I will say the one thing I didn’t like about Ali was the positive affirmations. I’m not one for affirmations. I know they work for some people but to me, it’s hogwash, and apparently for Ali as well because normally she is thinking something snarky after having said affirmation. The other thing about Ali was how she faked being okay around her dad.

Ali isn’t that nerdy. Like at all. But I still think the banter between her and Dax was cute in some areas. Also, I want to say thank you to Ms. Collins for writing a parent who doesn’t live vicariously through their child. Thank you!!

The beginning of this book was a mess, but the ending was cute. Not going to continue on with the series because it doesn’t have any couples I look forward to getting to know.

Book Reviews

Gods and Kings by Lynn Austin

My edition: Library paperback
Pages: 316
Series: Chronicles of the Kings #1
Genre: Christian, Biblical Fiction
Published: Feb. 01, 2005, by Bethany House
Rating: 3.5 stars


Though born the second son of King Ahaz, Hezekiah is not protected from his father’s perverted attempts to gain the favor of the idol Molech. Terrified and powerless at the foot of Molech’s altar, Hezekiah encounters for the first time the one true God of his royal ancestry, Yahweh.

But his journey to the Holy One is riddled by influence from an assortment of men: Zechariah, a grandfather of noble standing who has fallen into drunkenness; Uriah, the High Priest whose lust for power forces him to gamble the faith he proclaims; and Shebna, the Egyptian intellectual who guides Hezekiah’s instruction.

For the two women who love Hezekiah, the meaning of love–and its sacrificial essence–will direct the course of their lives and help shape the young prince’s future.


Let me point out the obvious here, this book was hard for me to read. I have read two other Lynn Austin books. I enjoyed them and they were nice to read if my memory serves me correctly. This book here dealt with some issues that were super hard.

Disclaimer: There will be spoilers ahead.
Trigger warning: Child sacrifice

The thing about this book is that upon the child sacrifice, there isn’t much gory detail. But it is still hard to read. Ahaz and Uriah are my absolute least favorite of the characters. Uriah, I disliked more than Ahaz. Ahaz didn’t act right from the beginning. Uriah was a priest and not just any priest, the HIGH priest of Yahweh. He was commanded by Ahaz to oversee a human sacrifice to the Canaan god Molech. Uriah does this and doesn’t stand up to Ahaz saying how wrong it is. Then he has the nerve to think Ahaz is a coward for sacrificing his children to keep him alive. Okay, but what does that make you, Uriah? Uriah wanted power and title more than pleasing God. Uriah’s character annoyed me with his hypocritical judgment. There isn’t much mention in the Bible about Uriah other than he did what Ahaz commanded. It was interesting to see a take on what possibly happened to Uriah.

Uriah is what I call the best example of the saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” The perfect example really. The more his character showed, the more I was saddened by him. But he is a cautionary tale of what happens when corruption takes over. Another perfect example of when a person who was once for God slowly starts turning to the world to appease the world rather than please God. The people of God are called to stay faithful to God even if we are the only ones doing it. Uriah didn’t do that and you can see this battle when Zechariah and Isiah remain faithful, but Uriah has not. Even Abijah the woman Uriah loves was faithful to God until her end which Ahaz ordered because of her faith.

Now I think another reason I wasn’t a big fan of this book is that I am going into a slump. I don’t know what happened but every book just doesn’t sound good. I am blaming Tessa Afshar who gave me my first five-star book. The book is told in two parts. Part one was slow for me but it wasn’t boring or anything. Like I said, I think the slump had something to do with it. Part two really picked up and I think got me out of the slump. I can’t wait to pick up book two. I hope my library has it.

Book Reviews

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar

My edition: Library paperback
Pages: 283
Genre: Biblical Fiction, Christian, Romance
Published: July 1, 2014, River North
Rating: 5 star


Without wealth or family, the widow Ruth left her people and followed Naomi, her beloved Hebrew mother-in-law, to rebuild Naomi’s home in Israel. Provisions gone and starvation at the door, Ruth used all that she had left–a strong back and a willing heart–to gather grain in a field, abandoned after the harvest.

Tormented by others, Ruth is shocked to find the owner of the field watching her. Talking to her. Bringing food to her and Naomi. Boaz tells himself his kindness toward Ruth is repayment for the love she has shown to his cousin Naomi. But his heart knows better.


“If God spared us from the piercing shaft of every sorrow,” she said, “we could never fulfill His best plans for our lives. Sometimes the sweetest things in life rise up out of the worst things in life.”

The book of Ruth is one of my all-time favorite OT books. A true romance with God’s redeeming plans hidden within. Miss Tessa brought this book to life with her characters. While it’s not the Word of God, it is for sure my first five-star of the year.

Boaz is an amazing man. Ruth is so kind. I just love them. I love their story as it grew to the end I knew was coming. Boaz does what is right for Ruth not because he is obligated but because he was very much in love. I have to get myself my own physical copy of this book. I love the start of Boaz’s past. Then the introduction of how a possible version of how Naomi met Ruth, how Ruth married Mahlon, how Mahlon passed… So beautifully written. Also, I have to highly praise a book for making me cry fifteen pages in. FIFTEEN!!! That’s a new record. The characters deal with grief and hardship while learning to lean on God and trust Him even when it all looks bleak.

In the book of Ruth, there isn’t much on the growth of Boaz and Ruth’s love. In this book, we get to read about the growth which just makes the ending that much sweeter.

I will also be getting many more Tessa Afshar books. She was true to the biblical story. She made me love the book of Ruth even more. I wonder if she has a book about David.

Book Reviews

The Selection by Kiera Cass

My edition: KU
Pages: 331
Series: The Selection #1
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance
Published: April 24, 2012, by HarperTeen
Rating: 2.5 stars


For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


When this book came out, I was probably worried about the senior prom and graduation. I avoided this book for a long time. I have seen a lot of hate thrown its way. So why am I picking it up now? That is a very good question. I read a copious amount of books that are a fight to the death to be queen or something along those lines. With such books, they are a hit or miss. I thought I really need to read the book that started off the pageant-like contest to be queen. I stumbled across this on the KU list.

With that being said, on to the review.

I didn’t want to be royalty. And I didn’t want to be a One. I didn’t even want to try.

I have many problems with The Selection’s first book. I do not like her mother. I really don’t like the non-supportive parent trope that is heavy in YA. Also, don’t like the trope that tends to follow it which is the other parent not standing up to the non-supportive parent.

My next problem with this is Aspen. How he entered the book was eh. I did not get a build-up with this character. He and America’s relationship was thrust upon us in the second chapter. I could not buy into their relationship because Cass doesn’t explain any of their relationship until the halfway mark. The little bit of him that was shown was toxic masculinity.

That was my great ambition. Not to be Illéa’s princess. To be Aspen’s

Y’all this was said on page 14 of the book. Now it is said that America has been in love with Aspen for two years. But he is a caste lower than her which is not a good thing. Especially with America’s gold-digging mother.

America… I’m not going to mention my thoughts on the name American Singer. But the character herself, I am not a fan of. It took me twenty-two pages to hate the character. Now did she redeem herself? I would say yes and no. At times she would be funny and other times a whiny teen.

Maxon, I kind of like him. He wasn’t as bad as Aspen. I really liked his relationship with America. America wasn’t as insufferable when she was with him. I was thoroughly enjoying this book until the author brought Aspen back into the scene. Like why? Why do we have to have a love triangle? Can’t we just have a brokenhearted girl finding herself after a break-up and learning to move on in a healthy way?

Is that too much to ask for? I went ahead and spoiled it for myself to see who she ends up with. And since that happened I am done with The Selection.

Book Reviews

Rooted in Wonder: Nurturing Your Family’s Faith Through God’s Creation by Eryn Lynum

My edition: Kindle ARC (provided by Netgalley)
Pages: 256
Genre: Christian, Non-fiction
Published: April 11, 2023
Rating: 4 star


“Masterfully connects Scripture to nature and nature to God.”
–Lori Wildenberg, national speaker, parent coach, and author

For a generation whose eyes are constantly trained on screens, encountering nature at all is increasingly difficult, much less seeing what it reveals about God. How can parents help children reengage with God’s world that is full of amazement, creativity, and love?

Eryn Lynum is a certified master naturalist, Bible teacher, and mom of four who wants to help families encounter and understand the connection between God and creation. She shares her own story of putting her kids in front of nature, and invites other parents to consider a similar journey.

With practical sections that look at nature through the lens of the Bible and activities to integrate faith and the natural world, Rooted in Wonder helps parents instill within their kids an unshakable faith. Through the art of play, the drive of discovery, and the awe of adventure, children will gain a sense of wonder in their Creator that will last a lifetime.

“With joy and practical know-how, Eryn Lynum helps parents connect the beauty of creation with love for the Creator. Rooted in Wonder is a must-read for helping the next generation to get outdoors and get to know God.”
–Matthew Sleeth, MD, executive director of Blessed Earth


Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers from IPG for allowing me to have an ARC of this book. I will definitely be buying a physical copy when it comes out.

At the metronome of God’s pace, creation answers our questions, then teaches us to ask better ones.

My husband and I love the outdoors. If we had more time to be outdoors we would do it. We kayak, hike, fish, he hunts, and I love just sitting outside reading a book or just enjoying the sun. Now that we are first-time parents, I wonder if our son will love the outdoors too. (So far he has shown that he does.) When I saw this book on Netgalley I thought, this could help me not only to encourage my son to be outdoors but how to connect with God through His creation. Maybe even teach me how to as well.

How could I, in a world that often worships creation rather than the creator intelligently and graciously educate others about natural things and, in every detail, show how those facts and wonders point back to the One who so eloquently designed them?

At the end of each chapter, it has a little activity along with scripture to read and questions to ask your children. This book helps to connect with God through nature as well as teaches our children how to connect with God.

I also love when she is talking about the fire that happened in Colorado by her house along with the floods that came after. My brother lives in Colorado so I was able to relate to what she was saying because my brother went through watching the fires and dealing with the floods that came after. I had a personal attachment to what she was saying because my mother and I dealt with the fear and anxiety of what was happening with Daniel. To read her connect that with God is amazing and quite dear to me. My favorite part of all.

I cannot wait until my son J is old enough to do some of these activities. Though I am definitely going to have to make it a tradition now to limit screen time. I feel like my husband might be the worst when it comes to this because he is either on his phone or watching TV, or playing video games. But it will be worth every minute we can spend outdoors.

Book Reviews

Vanished by Irene Hannon

My edition: Library Paperback
Pages: 314
Series: Private Justice #1
Genre: Christian, Suspense, Mystery, Romance
Published: Jan 1, 2013, by Revell
Rating: 3 stars


Reporter Moira Harrisons is lost. In the dark. In a thunderstorm. When a confusing detour places her on a rural, wooded road, she’s startled by the sudden appearance of a lone figure caught in the beam of her headlights. Though Moira jams on her brakes, the car careens across the wet pavement–and the solid thump against the side of the vehicle tells her she hit the person before she crashes into a tree on the far side of the road.
A dazed Moira is relieved when a man opens her door, tells her he saw everything, and promises to call 911. Then everything fades to black. When she comes to an hour later, she is alone. No man. No 911. No injured person lying on the side of the road. But she can’t forget the look of terror she saw on the person’s face in the instant before her headlights swung away.

The person she hit had been in trouble. She’s sure of it. But she can’t get anyone to believe her story–except a handsome former police detective, now a private eye, who agrees to take on the case.

From the very first page, readers will be hooked into this fast-paced story full of shocking secrets from fan-favorite Irene Hannon. Vanished is the exciting first book in the Private Justice series: Three justice seekers who got burned playing by the rules now have a second chance to make things right.


Irene Hannon is an author that I was recommended and I had seen her books on my recommendation lists. This is the first book I have read by her. While the writing was good, I figured out a lot of the plot before it really happened. I’m not going to judge that her books are normally like this but for this one, I figured it out.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is a disappointment, I would say that it fell a little short in the beginning. The problems I had with the book are solely on me. I am particular with mysteries due to if I figure it out fast, I lose all interest in the book. I also don’t like when the villain is given away early on in the book. I do like getting their POV but I don’t like knowing who it actually is.

In this book, the “good Samaritan” is revealed early. I get that the mystery is why and what happened to the woman that vanished. This just wasn’t my full cup of tea. I did like some of it. I wasn’t a fan of the romance though. I didn’t feel the connection between the two MCs. But other than that, about the halfway point is when the story started to pick up. The “good Samaritan” reminded me in a way of a Criminal Minds episode. Especially, the ending, that really gave me that kind of vibe the BAU would investigate.

Book Reviews

The Queen Trials by Penelope Wright

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 265
Series: The Queen Trials #1
Genre: Dystopia, YA, Sci-fi
Published: August 20, 2022
Rating: DNF


What happens when The Hunger Games meets The Selection?

I never wanted to join the Queen Trials.

But I’m not a victim and never have been. When a peacekeeper attacks me in a mine shaft, I fight back and win.

Sort of. Because I made a mistake. I let him live.

He knows my name. He’ll come after me and he’ll kill the only person I love, my sweet, clueless brother Shellor. Nobody escapes from Locality Fourteen. There was only one way out that would protect us both: enter the Queen Trials and become a star.

Now, I’m plunged into a competition with dozens of gorgeous women from all over the kingdom. My fame shelters my brother. My beauty protects me. Or is it my luck? Every woman in the arena wants to capture King Ergondy’s attention, but he only has eyes for me. How long will it be before my luck runs out?

I never wanted to join The Queen Trials.

Now, I must win them.


If you want to relive The Hunger Games but also want The Selection vibe, go no further. No, seriously it’s like a splice of the two books plus some other elements from other dystopian novels.

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assult, Slut Shaming, Using the Lord’s name in vain

I have never read The Selection but I know enough of the gist to get where this book got ideas from. Now The Hunger Games is a whole different story. I actually plan to do a reread of this series later in the year. There are many themes and elements from The Hunger Games

1. Come from a mining town
2. Run by a government that lives off those who don’t live in the “Capital” or in this case the Rotunda
3. Volunteers for the trials to save a sibling
4. Surrounded by an electrical fence.
5. Have “peacekeepers” or in this case derigueurs
6. Commentator with flamboyant hair Cartong Fleming or aka Caesar Flickerman

1. Clio has something she calls “luck” which is basically spider senses
2. Only women go into the trials, but a male family member or lover has to speak for them.
3. 98 women volunteered and were chosen.
4. Clio is a miner herself since she was 15
5. The “Gale” character is part of the military.
7. The women also have to be pure in order to be in the trials.
8. Clio is 22

There are more similarities and differences but I’m not going to list them all.

Welcome to Rustonia, where men and women are put in positions that make the gender hate the other. (Don’t know where the author was going with that. It’s hinted at the beginning but never really addressed.) Women from all districts localities volunteer for the Queen trials to marry their old king. (Who is treated like a god but is at the beginning of the book described as an old guy.) Clio volunteers for the trial to save her brother (who is nowhere near the awesome of a character as Prim).

I wasn’t a big fan of this as I continued to read, but my final straw was using the Lord’s name in vain. Also, the medical exam was uncomfortable to read. I’m not a fan when a series does this for the “games”. I’m just going to stick with The Hunger Games.