I stumbled upon this book and found myself happy I did so upon reading it. The characters and storylines are good and very in-depth. It plays out much like an English drama with a strong faith theme throughout.
Jane is a grieving widow trying to find her way and purpose without her husband, who died much too young. She's spent a year ignoring the fact that her husband left her his coaching inn and hiding out in her cottage instead. But, challenges force her to face the facts head on and make a decision about her future. Her mother-in-law, which is a very challenged relationship, brings its own set of challenges to an already stressful situation.
Along the way Jane discovers she is stronger than she thought and her husband knew exactly what he was doing when he left her in charge. His death is shrouded in mystery that adds a twist to the story and there are many supporting characters and their stories add a nice touch of entertainment.
Content wise, this book is appropriate for 12+, though it would likely be better suited for 15+ based on the story itself. Faith is a large theme in the book, and it is appropriate for all audiences.
Click here, or on the image above, to get a copy.
I understand there are a few other books in the Ivy Hill series that I plan to check out in the future.
This book instantly gets a spot as one of my top favorites. The story was fascinating and very well written. Mostly based during the London Blitz, our characters face many trials. Emme makes choices that plague the rest of her life and survival is a dark path that leaves her scarred. As she grows and tries to accept herself and the choices of her past, she must learn to deal with her mistakes and figure out ow to make a future. There are so many good lessons laced throughout this story about love, loss, grief, and overcoming your challenges. There is an overwhelming theme of choosing hope, no matter what, which if you know me you know I LOVE!!
The story keeps you intrigued and guessing right up to the very end. I personally love stories from this era, and especially enjoyed reading one that takes place in London. The history and setting add to the charm of the story. This is the first book of Susan Meissner's I've read and I plan to read more from her in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style.
I give this book 5 dragonflies and highly recommend it.
Content wise, I would suggest 14+. There is an instance or two of "light" cussing and a "closed door" scene of pre-marital sex. Trigger warning for war and bomb scenes, descriptions of childhood trauma and the lasting effects.
Click here or on the image above to get the book. Look for future reviews from this author as well!
This one was HARD for me, but I knew it would be going into the movie. I intentionally waited until it came to video to watch it. I knew I would be very triggered watching this movie, so I wanted to watch it in the privacy of my home.
For those that don't know, I am a CF mama. I lost my oldest daughter to CF at a little under 2 1/2 years old and my youngest child, Ezra, has CF as well. The details of what happened the day Hayley passed left me with PTSD.
As someone that knows the ins and outs of CF, I was concerned about the title the first time I heard of this movie. For anyone without CF knowledge, the rule of thumb is all CFers must be six feet apart at all times to prevent cross-contamination of bacteria and infections that do not affect most people. I was glad when the trailer showed me there was a valid reason behind the missing foot in the title.
Stella and Will both have Cystic Fibrosis. Stella is very in control of her treatments, she stays on top of them and is very organized about her setup. Will, on the other hand, is rebellious about his own therapies due to the resentment of his health and condition. Stella is on the lung transplant list, waiting for her perfect match to come through. She survives the hospital stays with studying, facetiming friends, and working on coding. Will, doesn't meet criteria for a lung transplant due to a bacteria he's contracted. This makes their budding relationship especially critical. These two, above all, need to stay apart. But their hearts don't want to listen to that reason.
I was extra critical with the hospital and treatment scenes because I am a CF mama. I will not bore you with those details. They did very good overall with staying true to the life of a CF patient. I was disappointed in the lack of parent involvement. I understand the characters are older (Will turns 18 during the movie), so they can care for themselves and even stay in the hospital alone. But, as a CF parent, I felt they should've been around more than they were. I will state that I haven't reached that point of CF parenting as my oldest is only 4 1/2 so I am his advocate and in charge of his care 100%. My thoughts might change on this point in the future when he is old enough to handle some of his own care.
The love story is sweet and not corny, as so many are nowadays. Their connection makes perfect sense. CF is a very isolating disease and only understood by those walking through it. They understand the struggles, the hopelessness, the constant pain, the fear of the unknown, and sharing those emotions and experiences brings them to a relationship they know is forbidden. The missing foot in the title is part of this. Stella decides CF has stolen far too much from her and her and Will decide to take one foot back. Instead of following the standard six feet apart rule, they commit to five feet and use a pool stick as measurement when they are together.
There are two separate scenes with CPR, which is likely not a trigger for most, but it is my biggest trigger. I went into the movie assuming the chances were high of seeing a scene with CPR so I was as prepared as someone with PTSD can be. There were statements by Stella and Will that were tough to hear as a parent of a CFer, but I strongly feel they were accurate representations of the emotional strain this disease leaves on its victims.
Overall, I give the movie 4 dragonflies.
Content-wise, I caution against anyone under 16. There is more cursing than I expected, given the age of the characters. The majority of the movie takes place in the hospital with treatments and medications throughout as well as a few surgery scenes. Given the matter of the disease, there is a good bit of discussion on death and the afterlife. There is a scene with Stella and Will both in only their underwear. There is a character that is openly gay and a few statements/conversations regarding sexual acts. My only trigger warning is if you are sensitive to medical scenes, though nothing is too graphic in that department.
Lost Girl is the first book in The Neverwood Chronicles. It is a Peter Pan retelling of sorts. Peter Pan is, and always will be, one of my very favorite stories. That said, I am very picky about any retellings or reimaginings. Lost Girl exceeded my expectation, and I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The characters were well developed, and I loved the combination of spunky, yet kind, and independent yet still willing to admit she needs help sometimes in Wendy. The character of Peter was perfect, He was imaginative and protective, in charge, yet still a bit immature, sweet and dreamy as can be. All of the supporting characters had individual personalities and stood out of their own accord well.
The twists and turns throughout the story were well laid out and not very predictable. The story was well thought out, and the ending was enough of completion of this story while still leaving you more than ready for the next.
I give this book 5 dragonflies and can't wait to get started on Lost Boy.
Content-wise, this is a young adult, 12+ friendly book.
You may get your own copy of Lost Girl here or clicking the image above.
There is a second book in the series called Lost Boy and the third book is Lost Shadow. I plan to read and review these at a later date.
I had very high hopes for this book! I am a huge fan of Peter Pan and hold a dear space in my heart for anything to do with Peter Pan, even if it is a retelling and not official. I feel that if I ever were to do a retelling of a classic (which I have no plans of doing as of now) it would be Peter Pan and Wendy I would write about. So, I feel that there is a chance that I went into this book with unrealistic expectations.
For one, this story takes place in the real world. It is a dystopian version of the world, set in the future, in a war zone that has caused a government collapse as well as the majority of the adults being wiped out. The lack of magic puts a bit of a damper on a lot of the elements of the classic version of the story, which may be part of the issues I had with this book.
It took a while for me to really get pulled into the story. It wasn't bad by any means, but it never really got to a 'can't put it down' point. I feel like the ending was rushed and there were quotes and iconic parts of classic Peter Pan thrown in random places that didn't make much sense in my opinion. This could be in part due to the non magic aspect I spoke of in the previous paragraph, but it felt cheap to me nonetheless.
Overall, I would give this book a 3 dragonfly rating.
I would advise, as a possible trigger warning, that there is a war theme throughout the story. While there are not any active war scenes in the book, they are in a abandoned warzone and war is discussed thoroughly throughout and the aftermath and devastation is a strong theme.
You may purchase the book here or by clicking the image above. There is a second in the series now entitled Umberland, and a third entitled Ozland. .