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?

My Overly Ambitious June TBR

June TBR

Good Evening Bookish Peeps!

I am here today with my overly ambitious TBR for the month of June. I recently got a new shelf to house all my TBR books and I realized how many I have and how I just tend to read whats new. So from now on I am making a 10 book TBR and for that month I have to pick from those. Here is the criteria for my ten picks:

1. A Book I have started but haven’t finished: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys
2. A Book for the Lectio Award List (I am on the selection committee for this award list for 4th through 8th grade books): Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

Last Day on Mars
3. A Book Subscription Box Book: Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (from the May Owlcrate Box)

Ace of Shade s
4. A Next Book in a Series or 1st Book in a Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo

Stalking Jack the Ripper
5. Book Jar Pick #1 (I put all my TBR on slips of paper in a TBR jar): I”s Volume 1 (manga) by Masakazu Katsura

is
6. Book Jar Pick #2 – The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

The Lucky One
7. A Library Book – Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

furthermore
8. An ARC of a Book that has not been released – Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh 

Thank you so much to the publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers and to Renee Ahdieh for giving me an ARC of this book at the Texas Librarian Association Conference in April!

smoke in the sun
9. A Book That Was Give to Me (author, publisher, or gift) – Dragon’s Bane by Melody Jackson which was given to me by the author for review. Thank you Melody for gifting your beautiful book!

Dragon's Bane
10. Book of the Month Club Book – The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

(Click on the Book of the Month Club link to get a free book when you subscribe to their service, I get a free book too!)

The Astonishing Color of after

 

Leave a comment below if you have read any of these books and if you liked it or not! Tell me what is on your TBR too!

 

My January Book Challenge

So this year I am working on a number of challenges all at once.

I am trying to complete the Popsugar challenge for 2018 which can be found here.

I am also working on the A to Z challenge posted by a Goodreads group.

And for both lists I am reading from my current TBR pile which contains over 300 books. YIKES. This is part of #TheUnreadShelfProject2018 which you can find out more about on instagram.

There are also 20 bluebonnet nominees that I need to read found here. And my group of librarians will be picking 20 books for nominees for the Lectio Awards sometime soon. So I will need to read all 40 of those.

So I am breaking things down month-by-month and trying to read as many books as possible and cross referencing them to as many challenges as possible. This month, on instagram, @FoxandWit posted a fun January challenge with prizes if you finish.

FOXANDWIT

On the first of this month I finished Cruel Crown which is the novella Prequel to The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. That was before I had found this challenge and it didn’t really count towards anything. I picked the last challenge to complete first and finished This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab next. You can read my review here. 

This Savage Song

Next, I decided to just go ahead and make my list so I knew exactly what I was going to read.

I have been buddy reading the Lunar Chronicles with a group of bookstagrammers and have been loving it. The first half of this month they were reading Cress so I decided to read that for “A Retelling of a Fairy Tale or Legend You’ve Never Read. I had to order that one, so while I waited I picked up Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld for “A Steampunk Fantasy”.

Currently, I am about halfway through Cress so I still have three more categories and books which means I am about to start binge reading.

A Book with Snow in the Title: Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgewick 

A Book Published by an Independent Author: James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing by G. Norman Lippert

A Book that Sounds Interesting but has an Ugly Cover: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan

January 3rd 2

I also need to read one middle grade novel for school this month and I started back to classes. I have 13 more days to read. Do you think I can do it?

Have you read any of the books I mentioned above?

Next month I am participating in Read-a-thin February hosted by the lovely Jessica. You can find information on her Youtube Channel here.

I have also been asked to join a Texas Writer’s Blog Group so look for information on that soon!

 

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song

This Savage Song takes place in a world where violence breeds monsters. August is one of the rarest form of monsters, created by only the most violent of acts. August desperately wants to be human and tries to force the monster in him to hide. Kate Harker is the daughter of a man who is scarier than the monsters he controls within the city. Kate has been getting kicked out of every boarding school her father has sent her to, trying to prove to him that she can come home and be a daughter he can be proud of.

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I love that this book ended with a clean wrap-up so that you wouldn’t HAVE to read the Sequel, but you definitely will want to.

Our Dark Duet

Victoria Schwab is a genius. Her writing style is so easy to follow and this world she has created is dark, demented, and bloody. I couldn’t wait to go to bed each night so I could just pick up this book and continue to turn the pages of it.

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The characters in this book are so relatable. Although August is a monster who eats the souls of people tainted with violence, he acts desperately human for the majority of the novel. Like any teen, he wants to fit in and be good. He has a hard time giving into his monstrous appetite.

Kate’s story, though she is human, is much darker than August’s. I enjoyed her story line more just because she knew how cruel and relentless she could be, yet she was desperate for attention from the one parent she had left. I also enjoyed her more and more as the story went on and she started to remember more about her childhood and what really happened the night her mother died.

Would recommend this to readers of dark YA fantasy novels or dystopain YA readers. Solid 5/5 stars for me!

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