Book Review: Becoming Nikki by Ashley Elliot

9781492877349_p0_v1_s192x300I had been wanting to read Becoming Nikki for a long time…ever since I saw the author’s interview on Homeschooled Authors. The plot intrigued me, as did the fact that the book was about sibling relationships.

But wow.

This book totally took me by surprise.  

 

Plot/Storyline: 5/5

I was completely riveted by this book from the first page. The entire plot was so well executed and realistic.

 

Characters: 4/5

I loved the characters…well, except for the ones I didn’t like. But I’m pretty sure those ones were supposed to be disliked.

My only gripe is that I wish Nikki and Alec’s dad had been a more significant part of the story.

 

Writing: 5/5

It was amazing. Absolutely unheard of for a debut novel.

 

Dialogue: 4/5

Sometimes, it was hard to understand what the characters were trying to say. Elliot used real-life lingo/slang, which made it sometimes hard to comprehend. But, it is how most people talk these days, I had just never seen it written on paper.

 

Want-to-read-ability: 5/5

Absolutely couldn’t put it down, it was so good. I had a day off and read the book in about six hours. I wish it had been longer.

 

Writing Book Reviews

(Yeah, that’s a terrible title. Sorry. It’s late, and I’m tired.)

I’m certainly don’t claim to be an expert in the area of book reviews, but I enjoy reading and writing book reviews and have learned a few things along the way.

Book reviews are touchy things…not only can they benefit the author, but they can gratefully influence prospective readers as well. A review can be the difference between someone buying or not buying a book. Here are a few key areas that I look for when reading and writing book reviews.

1. The Storyline.
How did you like the story?  What particular aspects of the plot did you enjoy/appreciate? Was the plot predictable or full of twists? Did it keep you reading or were you having to make yourself read?

2. The Writing.
Was the writing style engaging or just so-so? Were there so many little misspellings, incorrect punctuation, and grammar mistakes that it drove you crazy?

3. The Characters.
How personable were the characters? Were they real? Did you feel like you knew them by the end of the book?

 

When I am reading reviews, I try to look for the aspects of the review that has these key items in them, as those are generally the most helpful. I want to know why somebody liked the book and what they liked about it…not just that it was absolutely amazing. :)

What about you? Do you like reading reviews? Writing them? I want to know!

 

Book Review: A Different Kind of Courage by Sarah Holman

51OplPfEXoL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_A Different Kind of Courage is a book that was full of surprises. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I began reading, but needless to say, this book now ranks high in my top 10 historical fiction books.

 

Plot/Storyline: 5/5

Not only was it historically accurate, but extremely engaging. And, I felt like I learned a ton about the Revolutionary war era.

 

Characters: 5/5

One of my favorite 1st person stories ever. Somehow, Sarah was able to write it so that even though the readers are in William’s head, it feels like you are living in the other character’s heads as well.

By the way, Selah is awesome. I want to meet her.

 

Writing: 4/5

Prose could have been tightened in some places, but no huge complaints.

 

Dialogue: 4/5

Sometimes a bit jumpy and hard to understand, but that was mostly as William was listening to others talk.

 

Want-to-read-ability: 5/5

I couldn’t set this book down. It was SO good. I stayed up WAY TOO LATE finding out what happened to William and Selah.

 

This is an amazing story. Any history lover will appreciate the little details thrown in here and there, and even if you don’t love history, I bet you’ll like this book.

Book Review: It Took a War by Emily Ann Putzke

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I have been wanting to read this book for a good long while, so when I was given it for Christmas, you can guess at my excitement. I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

 

Plot/Storyline: 5/5

The internal/external conflict was perfectly played out in all the characters.

 

Characters: 5/5

I really liked all of them. And I want to know what happens with Coralie and Levi!!!

 

Writing: 5/5

If I didn’t know that this was the author’s debut novel, I never would have guessed it. The writing style is beautiful and I was completely drawn in from page one.

 

Dialogue: 4/5

Well done.

 

Want-to-read-ability: 4/5

About halfway through, this story really took off and didn’t let me put it down. It was amazingly good!

 

One thing I really loved about this book is all the little details that the author threw in. It totally made the book. The author obviously spent a lot of time researching for this novel, and it is easy to see the difference it made.

 

Book Review: The Unexpected Request by Rebekah Morris

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The Unexpected Request has been my favorite book of Rebekah’s yet. I loved the western adventure atmosphere, strong sibling relationships, and general edge-of-my-seat feeling! :)

 

Plot/Storyline: 5/5

I kept thinking that I knew exactly what was coming next, and how the book would end, but wow…around ever corner was a new surprise I hadn’t anticipated!

 

Characters: 5/5

Likeable characters that markedly grow and mature throughout the book. In my opinion, character development in this book is Rebekah’s best work.

 

Writing: 5/5

Very good. Few typos (I can’t remember any, actually), strong prose, and natural to read.

 

Dialogue: 5/5

Typical Rebekah Morris. She always does a good job with dialogue.

 

Want-to-read-ability: 5/5

I had a hard time concentrating on anything until I finished this book. All the unexpected twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat. This was a book where my family had to tap me on the head to get my attention. :)

 

Book Review: Rustlers and the Texas Trail by Lauren K Lotter

Rustlers and the Texas Trail was Lauren K. Lotter’s first book to be published.  I had been following Miss Lotter’s blog for quite awhile before ordering this book, as the subject of the book didn’t particularly interest me. When the book went on sale at Amazon.com, I figured I’d give it a try.  I am SO glad I did!

 

Story: 4/5

There isn’t any of your classic plot line (unstable circumstances, rising action, climax, downward action, conclusion) but that’s ok!  This book followed Amy and her friends on a series of adventures that were so engaging I hardly missed the absence of a “proper” plot.  I commend Miss Lotter for doing something different than the norm.

 

Characters: 4/5

There is very little character development.  That said, the characters themselves are lovely and I feel like I know them after reading the book.

 

Writing: 5/5

Miss Lotter is quite a gifted writer.  There was nothing negative that stood out to me about her writing.  I very much enjoyed her writing style.

 

Dialogue: 5/5

Dialogue was amazing.  It flowed very naturally.

 

Want-to-read-ability: 5/5

Even though this book could not be described as gripping, thrilling, or full of twists and turns, it didn’t change the fact that I picked this book up in every spare moment to keep reading.  In fact, I was reading it so much (and zoning out of life) that one of my brothers hid the book so I would do my work!  :)

 

I think readers of all ages will enjoy this book.  I am very eager to read the next in the series!

Book Review: Triple Creek Ranch by Rebekah Morris

(Sorry this post didn’t go up yesterday.  I lost a day somewhere over the weekend. :) )

I suppose this should be called a “series review” rather than a “book review,” as I’m talking about an entire series.  Oh well.

Triple Creek Ranch were the first books I read by Rebekah, and needless to say I was pleasantly surprised!  Any other self-published books I had read were poorly written and boring.  Rebekah’s books are nothing of that sort!

The Triple Creek Ranch books kept my interest all throughout the series.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t hurry through my chores or go to bed early so I could keep reading.  :)  What’s not to like?  It’s historical fiction, the characters are pleasant to read about (except one, but she gets her comeuppins), the relationships between family members are ideal without being unbelievable.

 

Plot: 5/5

Interesting, sometimes a bit cliché, but still extremely enjoyable.

 

Characters: 4/5

One thing that annoyed me a bit was the ranch hands were a bit difficult to keep straight, but it wasn’t overly distracting.

 

Writing: 4/5

There seems to be an overall lack of careful editing (words like “into” are sometimes spelled “in to”,  “anything” is “any thing”).  Some sections of the books are in different fonts, a serious pet-peve of mine, but not the end of the world.  :)

 

Dialogue: 5/5

Rebekah does an amazing job with dialogue.  It felt very natural to read.

 

 

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You can purchase books from Amazon.com.

 

Be sure to check out the author’s website/blog, too!