Loving Grace Tour – Review

loving grace blog and review tou

Welcome to the Loving Grace by April Smith blog & review tour plus giveaway, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

loving graceTitle: Loving Grace
Author: April Smith
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: March 20, 2018
Genre: Christian Fiction, Young Adult Romance

Grace Summer lands herself in a melon load of trouble when she becomes torn between the boy of her dreams and the boy almost next door.

As the newly crowned Watermelon Queen, she is thrust into the spotlight, meets the dreamy Warren Hartley, and continues trying to get over an accident that rocked her world. Mix in working with Beau Baron who Grace happens to fight with just about as much as breathing and the metaphorical sparks fly.

Like most things in life, Grace must learn to take the good with the bad. While the good is the handsome and fun Warren Hartley, the bad is Beau Baron—or at least being around his annoying and rude self way more than she would like. For Beau, Grace is nothing more than aggravating and an irritating reminder from the night of the accident.

Tensions soar as Grace and Beau fight to love themselves and maybe, just maybe, each other.

PURCHASE A COPY: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | CBD


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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April Smith grew up spending summers working on her best friend’s family watermelon farm and she was one of those watermelon queens she writes about. She has her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching.

CONNECT WITH APRIL: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

My Review: I thought Loving Grace was a sweet Christian YA novel and I enjoyed the plot line and interactions between the characters, especially the boys : Beau and Bennett. The author brought Christian aspects into this book without it being overbearing or taking over the entire plot of the book. The writing was well organized and well thought out. I honestly had no idea that there were such things as Watermelon Queens or pageants in the farming world. The only thing that truly bugged me about this book was the fact that the main character Grace, was so naive and so painfully fit the stereotype of a pageant queen. She was oblivious to the fact that her best friend was in love with her and oblivious to the fact that the guy she liked was an outstanding jerk. She seemed to be flighty with her own emotions and was more focused on her outfits and hair style and impressing boys than she was with dealing with her emotions, caring about the people that loved her (she was more annoyed with them than anything), and being a successful business woman. I don’t need to love the main character in the books I read, and Beau’s character made up for Grace’s in my opinion, so I ended up giving this 3.5/5 stars. I would recommend this to young Christian teens because I do remember feeling like Grace at that point in my teen years, maybe I am just too old now to appreciate her character. I would also recommend this to anyone who enjoys Christian YA contemporaries, especially those who can appreciate a rural setting.


loving grace blog tour giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

Ambassador International is giving away:

(1) JustRead Summer Fun Book Box, which features Loving Grace as well as at least 4 quality items which complement the story. Find out more here.

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 16, 2018 and last through 11:59pm July 23, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


tour schedule

Check out the tour landing page at JustRead for the full schedule!

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June Wrap Up

I had an amazing reading month and amazing buy-all-the-books month. I haven’t indulged myself on book buying sprees in a long time but with it being my birthday month I went a little crazy.

Here is what I read:

  1. IS
    Is” by Masakazu Katsura – A Manga obsessed with a girl and having perverted daydreams about her. I didn’t care for it, but I loved the majority of the illustrations. 2/5 stars
  2. Last Day On Mars
    Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson – This middle grade sci-fi is now one of my favorite sci-fi novels. I cannot wait to read book 2. 5/5 stars
  3. The Lucky One
    The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks – I liked it as a typical Nicholas Sparks novel. This may be one of my favorites of his books. I listened to half of this on audiobook 4/5 stars Candle from Little Mouse Bookshelf on Etsy
  4. FURTHERMORE
    Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi – This middle grade Alice in Wonderland retelling is amazing! I thought it was well done being different and whimsical in its own way. 5/5 Stars
  5. Nevermoor
    Nevermoor and the Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend- This middle grade fantasy blew me away. On the back it says “For fans of Harry Potter” which made me interested, but it truly was magical. An absolutely delightful novel that reminded me of the magic in the HP series and some of the whimsical agony and humor of A Series of Unfortunate events. 5/5 Stars and my favorite read this month!
  6. The Raven Boys
    The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was so magical. I felt like I was friends with Blue’s friends. I cannot wait to read The Dream Thieves this month! 5/5 Stars
  7. She Walks in Moonlight
    The last book I finished was She Walks in Moonlight by Jennifer Silverwood. I wrote a full review of this for the author which is posted below. I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

7 books in one month is really good for me. I am hoping to keep this number of books per month up because I actually love getting this much accomplished. This month I am participating in the 24 in 48 read-a-thon. Please let me know of any other July Read-a-thon’s happening so I can get through my July TBR!

Oh and here is a picture of all the books I acquired this month which is abnormal. I am thankful for a wonderful reading month!

June Haul

What did you read in June that you loved? What in this giant stack should I read next?

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!

First off, this is an #ownvoices novel about Lily who is ADHD (like the author) and Abelard, her boyfriend who fits somewhere on the Autism/ Asperger’s spectrum. Lily is your typical teen except she loses stuff, can’t remember things, and her mouth moves as fast as her brain does. She also has impulses, which leads her to kiss Abelard when they are mutually in trouble in the office one day after accidentally breaking a wall.

Let me tell you what I love about this novel:

Lily’s ADHD is spot. on. My fiance has ADHD and I am a teacher who has to deal with the problems in my students like the problems Lily has. Besides having ADHD myself I have seen the effects of ADHD up close and personal in many different settings. For my students, them taking their medicine or not is the difference between an A+ and an F. For my fiance, it is the difference between going to work or skipping. ADHD is mostly talked about in teens and children and this book really puts us to thinking about Lily’s future as an adult.

I got on Goodreads at 2 AM after I finished this book, to rate it, and noticed all the subpar reviews because of the ending of the novel which was so discouraging to me because I thought the ending was kinda perfect.

Here is my take…which gets a little spoilery so if you want to read this book, come back and read the rest of my review later.

SO THE END. A lot of people on Goodreads said the end made it seem like Lily should have to change to be accepted and I don’t think that is what the author intended at all in this book. In the novel, Lily is presented with a surgery that could tone down her ADHD so she could function a little better, and have a better shot at college and a bright future. Her parents and friends and boyfriend all have their own opinions and Lily is spinning in circles because she just wants everyone to be happy, including herself. In the end she decides to do what is best for her, and she believes that that is having the surgery.

Now here is where I disagree with the Goodreads reviews: having a surgery to reverse a disability or to help it out  is NOT CHANGING YOURSELF. In this fictional surgery, an implant is placed in the brain and Lily is told this will not change her personality or even get rid of her ADHD altogether. I kind of viewed this like a prosthetic leg, it helps you out, but doesn’t get rid of the disability completely. People with ADHD are more likely to not be able to hold a job, finish high school or college, go to prison, and live in poverty. Medication helps, but as highlighted in the story IT DOES CHANGE YOU. I watch my fiance take this medicine and it erases his ability to eat and alters his moods. He gets irritated and angry and depressed. If there was a way to tone down his ADHD without the effects of meds, he would take it. The surgery in this novel seems to not exist by the way, I did a lot of research. If you can find the research to show me this surgery exists, please let me know.

Let me put it to you a different way, I suffer from anxiety and depression, as a lot of people do. I also have chronic migraines. These two things combined keep me from work sometimes. I am so weighed down by this that I cannot physically get out of bed and go to work. If someone told me they could implant something to tone all of that down I would be ecstatic. Saying ADHD is a part of someone and to get rid of it is feeling like they have to change is not acknowledging that it is a brain disorder that makes that can make a person suffer. So I don’t think the author was trying to say that Lily needed to change and that’s why she got the surgery, I think she was saying that if you are presented with an alternative future, a chance to better yourself, even if there are consequences, it is your choice to be bold or to play it safe.