Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"The Journey" by Alleece Balts

About this book:

  “How do you keep moving forward when the path you're on comes to an end?
  At nineteen years old, Ella Parker is a star on the rise. With her vocal training at Juilliard underway, she’s more than prepared for a glittering performance career with the rock band Wicked Youth, and anticipating the prospect of becoming engaged to her billionaire boyfriend… Someday.
  But when she collapses on stage during a summer concert and receives a chilling diagnosis, the promise of someday suddenly slips away.
  Forced to confront her darkest fears, Ella must not only find the courage to go on after her once certain future has disappeared, but also to track down her runaway friend, Lucas, before time runs out.
  More intense and suspenseful than its predecessor, The Journey is an adventure brimming with romance, heartache, hope and grace in seasons of victory and - ultimately - bravery in moments of defeat.

Series: Book #2 in the “The Crowd” series. Review of Book #1 Here!

Spiritual Content- Joshua 1:9 at the beginning; Scriptures are mentioned, read, remembered, quoted, & thought over; Bible reading; Prayers; Talks about God; Most ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Mentions of God; Mentions of prayers & praying; Mentions of thanking & praising God; Mentions of Bibles & Bible reading; Mentions of churches, chapels, church going, a church choir, hymns, & a pastor; Mentions of miracles; Mentions of Christmas & a nativity; A few mentions of those in the Bible; A few mentions of blessings & being blessed; A few mentions of sins; A couple mentions of Heaven; A mention of an angel; A mention of a saint;
             *Note: two ‘Dear God’s are said (in a way that doesn’t sound like a prayer); A couple mentions of personal hells; A mention of going to hell and back for someone; A mention of speaking of the devil; A mention of a guy being like a deity.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a form of ‘darn’, a ‘geez’, a ‘heck’, a ‘sucks’, three ‘dumb’s, thirteen forms of ‘idiot’, twenty-nine forms of ‘stupid’; Mentions of cursing; Sarcasm & Eye rolling; Passing out/Fainted, Pain, Blood/Bleeding, Injuries, & Screams (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of attempted suicides, a school shooting, deaths, being shot, blood/bleeding, & injuries (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of cancer, treatments, & the possibility of dying (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of an accident, death, & body (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of deaths & dying; Mentions of guns, stealing a gun, shooters, criminals, & jail time; Mentions of stealing & thieves; Mentions of homeless shelters’ problems & violence there; Mentions of terrorists, kidnappers, ransom, & almost being held hostage; Mentions of gangs & being mugged and beaten; Mentions of fighting & punching; Mentions of pain & injuries; Mentions of nightmares (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of alcohol, drinking, & drunks/alcoholics; Mentions of drugs, addicts, an overdose, & rehabs; Mentions of lies & lying; Mentions of passing out & throwing up; A few mentions of bullies; A few mentions of food poisoning; A few mentions of jealousy; A few mentions of tattoos & piercings; A couple mentions of con-artists; A couple mentions of threats; A couple mentions of hatred; A mention of a violent home; A mention of an abusive boyfriend; A mention of a bombing; A mention of rumors; A mention of a used diaper;
             *Note: A couple mentions of zombies.

Sexual Content- a hand kiss, four cheek kisses, a forehead kiss, a hair kiss, an almost kiss, eight barely-above-not-detailed kisses, five semi-detailed kisses, and three detailed kisses; Wanting to kiss (up to semi-detailed); Sitting on a boyfriend’s lap & kissing (up to semi-detailed); Touches, Embraces, Nearness, & Smelling (up to semi-detailed); Noticing (barely-above-not-detailed); Blushes & Flirting; a form of ‘hot’; Mentions of being (sexually) tempted & desires; Mentions of Jack sleeping with many, many girls before (Ella says he knows what he’s doing and she didn’t when it comes to that type of stuff) and mentions of him being a womanizer/playboy and notches in his bedpost; Mentions of waiting to have sex (the word is never straight out said, another analogies are said); Mentions of a couple being alone in a bedroom (Ella & Jack, nothing happens); Mentions of kissing, kisses, & a boyfriend never wanting to stop kissing his girlfriend; Mentions of boyfriends, girlfriends, & dating; Mentions of blushes & flirting; A few mentions of kissing & having kids; A couple mentions of seeing couples kissing; A couple mentions of crushes; A mention of prostitutes; Love, falling/being in love, & the emotions;
             *Note: Mentions of backsides & Jack commenting on Ella’s; A couple mentions of a boyfriend thinking of his girlfriend in the shower (but not “like that”); A couple mentions of wearing nothing under a paper-thin hospital gown; A mention of a naked statue not being well endowed; A mention of twerking; A mention of buttering someone’s butt.

-Ella Parker, age 19
                                P.O.V. switches between Ella, Jack, Lucas, & a few others by head-jumping
                                                        292 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
{Add 1/2-1 for those in public school or interested in teen issues.}
Just like the first book of this series, I’m having a hard time rating this book. I like Ella and Jack (his accent, y’all), the singing plot, and the faith content thrown in, but I really don’t like all the kissing and comments.
And I have to look at that content when doing ratings.
There’s still head-jumping in this novel (like the first) that is also a bit distracting, but it’s really all the kissing and comments that I feel were unneeded that makes me hesitate on ratings.
I’d like to give this book a bit of a higher rating because while they do get kissy, Ella & Jack really are a sweet couple. I also liked how dedicated Ella was to finding Lucas—a guy that’s a friend, not a love interest. {Props for that because I don’t see that too often and would love to see more of.}
I didn’t remember everything that had happened prior to this sequel since it’s been a while since I read “The Crowd”. As I continued reading, though, everything started coming back to me.
So far both of these books have read like guilty pleasure books to me and while I’m looking forward to the third, I am cautious in recommending these because of some of the content.

See y’all on Friday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Author for this honest review.

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