invitation // a book review


Hai gang. It's been crazy. Trying to finish school, birthdays, Mother's Day, end of the year programs, and all sorts of craziness. And tonight I'll be going to watch my coop's production of The Music Man, which I'm really really excited about! :) .... but despite all the stress and losing-my-mind-stuff, I have gotten some reading done *YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY* So here.... we..... gO!!! 

Summary taken from Goodreads:

In "The Call" by Bill Myers, four strangers are drawn together to help a student at the mysterious Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies. His gifts are supposedly being honed to assist world leaders . . . but there are some very disturbing strings attached. 

Frank Peretti's "The Haunted" confronts a supernatural mystery, a case of murder, and an exploration into the darkness of the human heart, all centering around a mysterious house. 

In Angela Hunt's "The Sentinels," animals around the world are mysteriously dying. What could it mean? When the tragedy begins to touch Andi's dreams, she discovers a terrifying theory. 

"The Girl" by Alton Gansky is a gripping tale of a young barefoot girl found holding a scroll in the snowy Oregon mountains. She is sweet, innocent--apparently not of this world--and something wants to kill her.


Um, words? anyone? This was so much fun, man! The book is essentially split into four sections, where each writer would continue the original story, taking the journey to who-knows-where. I mean, that's so cool! Normally, I would think I'd feel disconnected from the characters because of the different writers and their different voices, BUT because each author had their designated character, I think it made the whole thing come together really nicely.

I am very easily spooked by this kind of paranormal material, so I never really read books in this genre. I have read This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti, and I wasn't scared, however I think it had to do with the fact that the angels were very well prominent and present. In this book though, we see mostly evidence of darkness. YA. So I couldn't read this by myself DON'T JUDGE ME, I'M VERY SHELTERED AND I STILL GET THE SHIVERS WHEN I'M WATCHING DOCTOR JIGGLE AND MR. SLY.

I mean, don't get me wrong. This book was WONDERFUL. It didn't glorify any of the darkness, and it wasn't like... brutally graphic. I'm just a sensitive wiener when it comes to paranormal material. Ha.

And now, I'm gonna dissect the book. I mean, I COULD write just an overview of the entire book as a whole... but I want to talk about each of the separate stories because this is my review and you can't tell me how to live my life. Although you're probably inwardly groaning because I talk too much, and you may be thinking of exiting my blog. DON'T. Tell you what. Instead of writing paragraphs and rambling about each thing I loved and hated, I'll just write a list! M'kay? M'kay.

THE CALL- Bill Myers


  • Brenda. OMguac. She's the tat artist, and she's fierce and mean but not and I just really enjoyed her character. 
  • The plot was... yikes. So mind-boggling. So weird. So creepy. I'd say it was a very good introduction to the characters and their involvement with stuffs. 
  • The writing wasn't my favorite, but it's not like I absolutely hated it either. Like, it kept me interested, but not entirely enthralled, if you know what I'm saying. 
  • The attitude. I mean, this is Brenda. She's like... the savage one with dreadlocks in the group. Totally awesome, not perfect-- making the dialogue extra spunky and a fun. 
  • Ummm... that one time when that happened and I just... I was crying and it wasn't fun. Yea. Read it and you'll understand which part I'm talking about. *sniffles*
  • The elements of darkness were very well balanced with the light feels and the awkward humor. Wasn't the creepiest tbh because I knew what kind of darkness they were dealing with, and I knew what it would take to defeat it. It was still really cool and mysterious though. 
  • BABY.
And that's about it for "The Call", it was interesting and fun and scary and I liked the intro to the members of the group. They're all so weird and quirky in their own way, which made the book very enjoyable. 

THE HAUNTED- Frank Peretti

  • the Professor was definitely not one of my favorites out of the characters, but you gotta hand it to him for being such a pain. It made him that guy in the group, which gave him some individuality. 
  • The plot in this book was creeeeeeeepyyyyy man. Like, in the Call there were demons, in this story we have ghosts and stuff and I can't really do that. *shivers* Absolutely not. The story was very much a mystery/thriller and despite not being able to read it by myself, I did enjoy it a lot! 
  • I actually really liked the writing. It was very straight-forward and I was pretty engrossed. 
  • The sarcasm and the arrogance was hilarious. The professor is so smart and yet he's such a pig-head. Even though it was mean, how he treated everyone else in the group was just so funny. 
  • In the end, I felt a but like... What just happened???? But I honestly think that was the feeling Peretti was going for, so that can easily be pardoned.
  • DANIEL. 
I have to say, I enjoyed this one the most. It was exciting, and the writing never bored me. Even though I still don't like the professor, it was interesting seeing things from his POV. There was plenty of weird WHATWHATWHAT moments, which of course I LOVE. So yea, loved it. 

THE SENTINELS- Angela Hunt

  • AWEEE Andi. The weird, crazy, awkward Andi, with the kind spirit and spunky personality. I love her so much. 
  • I honestly don't know how I feel about the plot. I mean, I loved what each of the characters experienced in this story, but I'm not too sure what I think about how and why they experienced those things. In the end, there wasn't really a conclusion. 
  • The writing was pretty good, but like I said the plot was kinda awkward so... idk not too many thoughts on the writing
  • The quirkiness was awesome. Seeing things from Andi's POV was fun, because unlike the professor and Brenda, she was very optimistic.
  • Honestly, the plot was a little but draggy, but I do think the things they did and how they solved some things was pretty interesting. I just didn't find myself really loving the story, I guess. 
  • DOGGY.
I know, this was pretty negative. If I don't like the plot, you can bet your bottom dollar I won't have too much fun with the rest of the stuffs. I mean, yes there was some interesting parts! Like all the visions and all that, it was cool. But... I didn't really get or care why it was all happening. 

THE GIRL- Alton Gansky


  • Oh Cowboy. Tank. Whichever. He's so innocent and empathetic and sweet, he's exactly like a baby puppy. (baby puppy? how?) a gigantic puppy. 
  • The plot was liiiiit. The mysterious girl, the stress, the dreams, the stress. It was all so thrilling and scary and I just wanted to scoop the Tank and the girl up and hug them forever and protect forever. There were so many NOOOOO moments where I was internally screaming and ripping the pages from the book. 
  •  I think the writing was just right. Not too blunt, but not too draggy. The Tank's POV was really funny, just how ignorant he is, and how he's just so translucent. 
  • The passion and compassion and all the feels were so strong! Like... I felt so much while reading this! It was soooo good I CAN'T. 
  • LITTLEFOOT. 
This book/section is actually (now that I think of it) probably maybe almost my favorite out of the stories. It was so exciting! And scary. But not in the paranormal way, but in the NO THIS CANNOT HAPPEN ASDJFDLK way. Cowboy was great, his heart is so pure and so caring and so gentle. Go you. YAY.

IN CONCLUSION:

My mind is pretty blown by the creativity and thought put into this novel. I am definitely keeping this one for a future re-read! Due to some of the themes and the use of A** (only once, but it took me off guard since this is by Christian authors) i'd recommend it for mature teens and up. Otherwise, this is a great summer read! It's fast-paced, especially since each of the stories are only about 100 pages max. Totally something you can read in a day or two. :)

Have you read this book?
Heard of it?
Read from any of these authors?
What are you currently reading?

(disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my review.)

all the light we cannot see // a book review


Wow. My mind is blown into smithereens. Like, I seriously just need a moment to comprehend all the thoughts. WOW. 

Summary taken from Goodreads:

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.


Dude YAS:

This book, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, was beautiful. The writing was GORGEOUS, and the WW2 elements were raw. At times, the plot felt just a little slow, but the writing made every bit of the journey worth it. Doerr's words were just...gorgeous! Like, mindbogglingly beautiful. I loved all the different references, the images he created. Everything about his writing was just so pleasant. Like how Doerr used radios and the ocean in the story was WOW. And just all the different things he used in the story to represent different aspects of life, emotions, feelings and AHHH it was all so COOL (i'm at a loss for words, so sorry). 

Now the characters... o boi. How can i do this without loosing it ??? They were AMAZING. Raw, real, totally real, and just. Man. Each of the characters had inward struggles, questions, needs. They were wonderfully crafted. The story is told from multiple POV's, but the main two character's were Marie-Laure and Werner. It was so interesting watching the story playout from both sides, Doerr made it possible to empathize with both and all characters wonderfully.

I think one of the main things that first made me interested in reading this book was the fact that Marie-Laure is BLIND. How cool is that?? I mean, I'd read AnY WW2 book anyways, but this just made everything so, so... different! And it was wonderful! I loved her relationship with her great-uncle, how they could relate in so much, how she changed him. Marie was an amazing character with raw emotions and real fears and yet hope and yet no hope. AH. I can't help but cry for her, her pain, her Papa. 

“She says, “When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?” 


And Werner... eep. He was precious. Literally. Precious. The way his mind worked made him so endearing, I just wanna preserve him from the world and all the pain thereof. He and his sister Jutta, white-haired and curious, just worked themselves into my heart. From the beginning, Werner was just struggling with understanding his goals, his purpose... until he finds it. *smiles as tears fall* He was also a very memorable character, he was strong but lost. Like a puppy. 

“Open your eyes, the Frenchman on the radio used to say, and see what you can with them before they close forever.” 


Meh:
In the moments when Werner would be working on whatever device his professor gave him to work on, the scientific elements started to bug me just a little because... well let's just say, math is my mortal enemy so I had trouble understanding a lot of it. And like I said in the beginning, the plot felt kind of slow at times, but y'know what. It's not a YA book, and it was so beautiful who in the world even cares?

Yucky stuff: This IS an adult WW2 book, so there was mature content, including swearing (one character says the F-bomb a few times, but fortunately he is not shown frequently at all, and is only in the second half of the book), taking God's name in vain, and one very, very vague rape scene, also a couple other mature innuendos mentioned very quickly and easily ignored (all from the guy that cusses the most). But yeaaa. Also, war elements such as wounds, corpses, etc. but that's to be expected in any accurate war book. 

IN CONCLUSION: I'd only recommend this book to older teens and up because of these elements. In the end, this book was beautifully written, skillfully crafted, and if you don't include the bad stuff AMAZING. Not for the faint of heart because it is fairly graphic, but absolutely a must read! I enjoyed it very much, still pondering over some things. It's the kind of book that leaves you thinking about the meanings of everything because it's SO DEEP. MAN.
 


“There are, he assures her, no such things as curses. There is luck, maybe, bad or good. A slight inclination of each day towards success or failure. But no curses.” 


 “Walk the paths of logic. Every outcome has its cause, and every predicament has its solution. Every lock its key.” 


 “The window glows. The slow sandy light of dawn permeates the room. Everything transient and aching; everything tentative. To be here, in this room, high in this house, out of the cellar, with her: it is like medicine.”


 “The brain is locked in total darkness, of course, children, says the voice. It floats in a clear liquid inside the skull, never in the light. And yet the world it constructs in the mind is full of light.” 


Have you read this book?
Are you gonna read it now?
How about now?
What book have you been reading lately?