“Insurgent” by Veronica Roth

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I read¬†Divergent last month and was super excited to get my hands on book two in the trilogy. However, I was slightly disappointed ūüė¶ I thoroughly enjoyed¬†Divergent¬†and was unable to put it down – I had to keep reading because I wanted to know what happened next and then what happened after that. Though¬†Insurgent has tons of action, I almost think it had¬†too much. There was so much going on that it was hard for me to keep up at times. You’re introduced to a handful of new characters and at times I had to remember who was who. I would recommend reading it right after reading¬†Divergent so the story is still fresh on your mind. I had about a two-week break in between because I had to wait for¬†¬†Insurgent¬†to be released. It was still a good book and I’ll re-read them both when the final book comes out.¬†Insurgent isn’t lacking in action and Roth keeps you guessing the whole way through but in the end,¬†Divergent won me over.

You can read another review of the book I came across – I was looking for info on the third book but can’t find anything as of yet…

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The War of Art

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In The War of Art: Break Through the Block and Win Your Inner Creative Battles author Steven Pressfield gives apt descriptions of the general blocks most people face in discovering and performing their creative pursuits, and discussing what it takes to overcome those difficulties and truly achieve the goals to which people aspire.

I really liked this book. The description of the mental and emotional aspects of being creative are truly like a war. I also liked the personification of Resistance; it helps to identify it as something that can actually be dealt with and confronted, instead of a vague notion that is always just beyond grasping.

Logically, I understand the whole “mark of a professional” concept that Mr. Pressfield has. However, that must be my own Resistance factor, because I found it sometimes to be a little daunting in that I struggle to write on any regular basis. At times I felt as though, according to this concept, I could never truly be a writer because I am never consistent with it.

Other than that one fly in the ointment, this book is very calming and encouraging, even in the sometimes off-beat way Mr. Pressfield instructs us to face the problem of Resistance. Once I manage to combine my two issues and face Resistance consistently, I’m sure I will start to see some positive results in my own War of Art.

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

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I’m a little late in reading this series but have finally boarded the band wagon. I saw the movie¬†The Hunger Games and I think it helped me with the book. However, I wasn’t crazy about this first installment. I’ve just finished the second book and am soooo curious as to how she ties this all together in the third one – it’s waiting on me to pick it up and read it. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is about the first book I didn’t like but I just wasn’t able to feel a part of the story. I continued to read but it wasn’t in a “I have to know what happens next!” kind of way that I had from the moment I started¬†Catching Fire.¬†I think it was around the last five chapters or so that Collins had finally made me get excited about what was looming ahead.

Comparing this with¬†Divergent – as I’ve heard it done – I liked it much better. Veronica Roth jerked me into the story and I’m super excited about getting my hands on¬†Insurgent! Neither of the female leads appeals to me all that much. I like Tris more than Katniss but they remind me a lot of the other. There were some definite differences between¬†The Hunger Games movie and book but that’s to be expected. Out of the two, I liked the book more because there was only so much the movie could portray. The book gives you more background on Rue and other parts of Katniss and Peeta’s story. I didn’t dislike the book but at the same time, I liked Catching Fire¬†immensely and I’m very curious how it all ends!

“Constantine Codex” by Paul L. Maier

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Image“A few pieces of centuries-old parchment tucked inside a tattered book lead famed archaeologist Jonathan Weber and his wife Shannon to what could possibly be the greatest find in church history – a discarded biblical manuscript whose ancient pages reveal a secret that will change the way the world views Scripture.¬†

Is it one of fifty copies commissioned by Constantine the Great and lost for centuries? Or the most sophisticated forgery of all time?

When the manuscript is stolen, Jon is swept into a deadly race to find it and prove its authenticity before it’s lost forever. Everything hangs in the balance – his career, his reputation, even his life – but he’s willing to risk it all in one final daring attempt to determine the truth.”

I felt lost with this book. I made it halfway and had to put it down to review some others and wasn’t hooked enough at that point to want to see what happened next. I felt like Maier gave me too much information and I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. I just felt like I was having to work really hard to get through it and that wasn’t a good enough reason for me to finish it. Part of the reviewing process is that you might not like every single book you review and that was unfortunately¬†the case with this one. If you’re into history, I think you’d enjoy it but it just wasn’t for me.¬†

I received a copy of this book from Glass Road Public Relations for my honest review. 

“Divergent” by Veronica Roth

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I first heard¬†about¬†Divergent¬†from¬†Reading Teen, where it was featured as a¬†“Reading Clean ¬†¬†¬†Spotlight.”¬†I put off buying the book but whenever I would see it in the store, I’d be reminded that I wanted to read it. I finally caved and picked up a copy last month. It then took me a few weeks to actually read it but after reading the first chapter, I was hooked it – I finished it in a weekend. Yes, there’s some violence – quite a bit – and there’s one choice word, used less than a handful of times. But overlooking that, I liked the book. What makes me even more excited is that the second book is set to come out May 1 so I don’t have to wait long before seeing where the story picks up. However, Veronica was nice enough to include the first two chapters of¬†Insurgent¬†at the back of the book. What I also liked is the playlist for the book she included. I was able to agree with her on almost each song choice and what part of the book it corresponded with.

Though I haven’t read¬†The Hunger Games, I’ve seen the movie and would make the comparison – and have heard it said – that it and¬†Divergent¬†have some similarities – so if you like one, you’ll probably like the other. If you like fighting with a little romance thrown in, then you’ll probably enjoy¬†Divergent.

“The Accidental Bride” by Denise Hunter

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Shay¬†Brandenberger¬†is raising her daughter in the same home she grew up in. Though she fights to keep her home, the bank is threatening to foreclose. She’s doesn’t know what to do – just that she needs a miracle.

Travis McCoy had his fun on the rodeo circuit but back and ready to settle down. Though he left Shay on their wedding day, he’s never forgotten her. He hopes to be able to prove to Shay he won’t leave her again. Can he get past her defenses? Can she trust him?

Denise Hunter is one of my favorite authors. I’ve also read her¬†The Convenient Groom¬†and enjoyed this one just as much! It was a easy read and I had no trouble getting pulled into the story. I found similarities between Kate (The Convenient Groom)¬†and Shay. Both find themselves temporarily married to a man they don’t want to be married to. Despite Kate and Shay’s misgivings, I liked both Travis and Lucas (The Convenient Groom).¬†Both only wanted to help the women they were married to and I thought them both sweet. This is part of Denise’s “Big Sky Romance” series. I’ve also read¬†A Cowboy’s Touch¬†and it was fun to revisit those characters as they appeared in this book. Great read!

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group for my honest review.

You can buy the book from Amazon or learn more from her website.

“The Girl in the Gatehouse” by Julie Klassen

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“Banished from the only home she’s ever known, Mariah Aubrey hides herself away in an abandoned gatehouse on a distant relative’s estate. There she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how – by writing novels in secret.

When Captain Matthew Bryant leases the estate, he is intrigued by the beautiful girl in the gatehouse. But there are many things he doesn’t know about this beguiling outcast. Will he risk his plans – and his heart – for a woman shadowed by scandal?”

I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book but once I did, I enjoyed it! I felt like there were a lot of names at times, making it hard for me to remember who everyone was but it didn’t take away from the story. This was a longer book than most (391 pages) so it gave me the time I needed to get to know the characters and get into it before reaching that point only to have the story almost finished. I’ll admit, my two favorite phrases now are “dash it” and “thunder and turf.” Both struck me as funny and I laughed out loud each time a character said either. I thought Julie did a great job of fleshing out the characters – even those with minor roles. She weaved a few twists into the story, leaving me satisfied when I finally finished the book.

You can buy the book from Amazon and learn more from Julie’s website.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.