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13 Minutes

Becca Crisp used to be one of the popular girls till her best friend Tasha dumped her. At least she had her boyfriend Aiden. He was her world. Becca was glad she had a new BFF. Hannah was attentive towards Becca. She could be a tad clingy, but that was better than having no friends. 

Becca’s world is thrown for a loop when Tasha is found on the banks of the river. A dog walker finds her. Tasha was officially dead for 13 whole minutes. Becca is not sure if she should go visit Tasha in the hospital, but figures since they used to be so close she should at least reach out. For some reason Tasha seems to connect with Becca better than with the Barbies once she gets out of the hospital.

As Becca re-enters the world of the “Barbies,” as Tasha’s clique is called she recalls all the past closeness they used to all share. The other Barbies Jenny and Hayley are cold and cruel towards her. Becca can’t understand where things went wrong, why she was pushed out of their insulated nest? Jenny and Hayley seem jealous over Tasha renewing her interest in her friendship with Becca.

Solving the mystery of why and how Tasha landed in the river is filled with fits and starts. Becca thinks she has it figured out until something shocking occurs that rocks their whole town. Are the Barbies who they portray themselves as being?

This novel goes into depth on the topics of friendship, control, relationships and how they aren’t always as neat as they appear on the outside. As children the status of being Best Friends Forever with a friend is a coveted role. It’s the highest pinnacle of a teen’s life aside from having an official boyfriend or girlfriend. When you gain that status is it truly forever? 

If you enjoy YA that has suspense, mystery, drama, snarkiness then I highly recommend 13 Minutes.  This book sucked me in from the first sentence, though the use of the word shit was a tad overused. I received my free ARC of 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough from NetGalley in exchange for my review.

The Landscapes Of Anne Of Green Gables

Who can’t resist reading about one of your all time favorite places even if you have yet to actually visit? In second grade I got to watch, “Anne of Green Gables,” the Kevin Sullivan production. It was breathtaking and Megan Follows will forever be Anne to me. I have watched the new version on Netflix. I was very negative about there being a new one. I chanced and watched it. It’s easily as fantastic as the previous mini series, possibly even better. Gasp. Very sacreligious I know. When this title became a possible ARC I’d be alllwed to read I jumped at my opportunity.

This lovely book takes the reader on a visual delight of the many wonders of Prince Edward Island. The photos show the island at different seasons. This book also, talks about the author of Anne Of Green Gables,  Lucy Maude Montomgery otherwise known as L.M. Montgomery. If you like reading about your favorite author’s life then this book will leave you craving to read more about her. There are photos throughout of her and also, places on the island that inspired her novels.

If you are a big fan of Anne of Green Gables then this book will be a keeper once it comes out. The photos made me want to book my trip right away. It also, inspires one to want to learn more about L.M. Montgomery. I was provided this ARC for free via NetGalley in exchange for my review. Thank you NetGalley and Timber Press.

The Lives Of Desperate Girls

I didn’t think this book would impact me as deeply as it did. The Lives Of Desperate Girls by MacKenzie Common is a novel about friendship, love, trust and betrayal in a small Canadian town. Jenny is an inconspicuous teen whose life revolves around her childhood best friend Chloe. Chloe is the life of the party while Jenny is her quiet sidekick. Life is chugging along when one day Chloe goes missing. Jenny is determined to find her best friend. Three weeks after her disappearance there is a local murder of a different young woman. The crime is ugly, but it seems to Jenny that no one cares. This young woman was a Native. Is racism still alive and well? With the help of her new friend Tom, both he and Jenny go investigate what may have happened to Chloe, but to also, find out why the young Native woman was murdered. Jenny can’t understand why Chloe’s disappearance is considered top priority when a woman being found murdered gets pushed under the rug.

If you enjoy suspenseful and deep storytelling I highly recommend this novel. I couldn’t put this book down, you want to just keep finding out what happened to Chloe. I was not aware of the racism that exists in Canada between whites and Natives before reading this novel. I received my e-book ARC of The Lives Of Desperate Girls for free care of NetGalley in exchange for my reaction to this book. My reaction is it’s a must read. I think this book would make great required high school and college reading.

Love Big, Be Well

If you have been burnt by the church, Love Big, Be Well, just might restore your faith in the body of Christ (family of God) aka the church. This novel is the story of Pastor Jonas McAnn whose decided to get back into preaching after doing a stint working at an insurance company. He receives a letter from one of the churches he’s going to be interviewing at. He’s used to getting a long list of questions, but the letter he gets is down to earth and simple. Does he want to be Granby’s pastor? Pastor Jonas writes back. This starts a tradition of correspondence between himself and the congregation. Him and his wife decide to accept the pastorate at Granby Presbyterian. This novel is the correspondence over the years between Pastor Jonas and his new congregation. 

Each chapter talks about different topics from Advent, to baptism, death, Christian conferences, friendship and a host of other topics. This novel isn’t preachy, it’s not superficial. This book is down to earth and meets you where you are at. You don’t have to be a believer to read this novel. 

I received the e-book ARC of, Love Big, Be Well by Winn Collier from NetGalley in exchange for my honest assessment. This book reminded me a lot of the book, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore,  by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman. Both books are sweet and tackle tough topics in a nonpushy manner. If there is a church out there like the fictional Granby Presbyterian sign me up. I miss belonging to a church family like that.

Still Christian 

If you were a Christian young adult in the 1980’s this just might be the book for you. Pastor and teacher David Gushee talks about his faith journey in, Still Christian ,  from being a new believer in the summer of 78′ to his current life as a grandfather. Mr. Gushee describes what it’s like to be on the Southern Baptist side of the fence and the liberal side of the Christian fence. He has experienced both sides of Christiandom and come away still a believer. If you have attended an ultra conservative Christian college you may be able to relate to his experiences at both Union and Southern Baptist Theological seminaries, etc. Mr. Gushee discovered what it’s like when you stand by your convictions. Damned if you do and sometimes damned if you don’t. When the author took a stand with the LGBT community he found out how standing up for what you believe in can start you on a whole new spiritual journey than from where you started.

I received the ARC of, Still Christian,  from NetGalley in exchange for my honest assessment. I think I was the wrong age range to read this book. If I was ten years older than I might possibly might be able to relate to it more.

Something Beautiful Happened


If you have a grandparent still alive and willing to tell you their life story don’t hesitate to listen. If we don’t listen and write down the rich history we are provided it will be lost forever. Yvette thinks about all the times she could have spent time with her grandmother, but instead chose to do other things. There were so many more stories she could have heard, family history provided. Yvette didn’t even have to ask, her grandmother would have shared with her, but when you are young you think you have next time.

If you like to read about World War II, then I highly recommend, Something Beautiful Happened, by Yvette Manessis Corporon. This memoir is about the author’s search to find out the truth behind her grandmother’s story of helping save a Jewish family during the Holocaust on the small Greek island of Erikousa. Yvette grew up visiting the island and her grandmother during the summer, so she knew the island well. Her grandmother told her that the whole island kept this family a secret from the Nazi’s. Yvette decided she wanted to find the descendants of this family, to find out what had become of them.

Yvette’s journey takes many twists, turns, some of them heartbreaking, yet still rewarding. I’ve read countless memoirs on World War II, but this one packs an important punch.  Yvette writes in such a way  that you feel as though you are actually there on the island, at her grandmother’s house. I have never been interested in Greece before, but after reading this book I would like to go visit the island of Erikousa.

I was provided the e-book ARC of Something Beautiful Happened by Yvette Manessis Corporon for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This book was breathtaking.

Rabbit Hole

David Shurter’s memoir is his journey coming to terms with his nightmarish past. He was raised in a family where his father was a Satanist and a priest within a local Satanic coven. He was raised and groomed from childhood to believe he was the AntiChrist. Some of his memories felt so awful, he wondered if they were merely bad dreams. After talking with his siblings he realized they weren’t bad dreams, but real events he was remembering. I think my mind is still trying to wrap around the events David talks about in his memoir. What Satanic ritual abuse entails is mind-boggling. David’s quest to find answers and healing is intense and filled with hope.

Years ago I discovered an SRA (Satanic Ritual Abuse) survivor, a Christian, who I befriended online. I read her memoir and was floored. When I saw Rabbit Hole as an option to get to possibly read, I grabbed at the first chance I got. The topic of Satanism isn’t for the light-hearted. It is dark, sadistic, demonic, creepy and you might opt to leave the lights on, but to educate yourself about this is subject is very important. Satanist wants to keep what they do in the dark, but the evil committed needs to be brought into the light. I was given an e-book of Rabbit Hole for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. If you are spiritually sensitive this memoir might not be for you, but on the other hand you need to know the truth.