Monday, April 30, 2018

"Porch Swing Girl" by Taylor Bennett

About this book:

  “What if friendship cost you everything?
  Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.
  With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.
  But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.”

Series: Book #1 in the “Tradewinds” series.

Spiritual Content- Scriptures are mentioned, quoted, & remembered; Prayers; Church going, Youth Group, & Worshiping; Talks about God, His will, trusting Him, & Praying; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Olive is mad/bitter at God for taking her mother (and others try to witness/preach to her); Many mentions of God & Jesus; Many mentions of prayers, praying, blessings over food, & thanking God; Mentions of Bibles; Mentions of churches, church going, worshiping, hymns/songs, Bible studies, Sunday school classes, youth groups, pastors, preaching, & sermons; Mentions of a prayer bracelet, prayer warriors, & prayer lists/chain; Mentions of Heaven, Christians, & faiths; Mentions of someone’s spiritual well-being; Mentions of miracles; A few mentions of those in the Bible; A few mentions of contemporary Christian music & artists; A couple mentions of asking Jesus into your heart; A couple mentions of a baptism; A mention of Easter; A mention of being blessed; A mention of gospel tracts;
             *Note: A mention of Hell.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘crummy’, a ‘yeesh’, two ‘darn’s, two ‘what the heck’s, and eight forms of ‘dumb’; Eye rolling & Attitudes; Olive’s mother recently passed away from cancer and her dad leaves (we see the later in the opening chapter & Olive deals with grief and attitudes (remembering up to semi-detailed)); Mentions of cancer & those fighting it and the side effects; Mentions of lies, lying, & liars; A few mentions of a dad that left his family a long time ago; A few mentions of throwing up & blood; A few mentions of hatred; A couple mentions of someone losing their leg & what may happen to it (barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of jealousy; A mention of a nightmare;
             *Note: A mention of a TV show; A mention of a band; A mention of a yoga class.

Sexual Content- a cheek kiss and a forehead kiss; Touches, Embraces, & Blushes (barely-above-not-detailed); Some noticing & smelling; Mentions of dates & dating; A couple mentions of kissing someone (goodbye); A couple mentions of crushes; A mention of a dad that ran off with another woman; A mention of a girlfriend; A mention of prom;
             *Note: Mentions of shorts & tank tops; Mentions of bikinis & girls strutting in them; A couple mentions of a curvy (& flirty) girl; A couple mentions of the covers of typical romance books.

-Olive Galloway, age 16
                               1st person P.O.V. of Olive
                                                        285 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
Well, color me tickled pink, y’all. I just read a great Contemporary YA. :)
This genre is sorely lacking new releases, so when I first heard about this new one coming out, I definitely wanted to know more.
Y’all know I’m a tough judge on books, right? Very rarely do I ever say that I’m impressed and when I do, I mean it.
Between the well-written first-person point-of-view, the true emotions felt by the main character, and all the faith content: I’m impressed. I’m really impressed.
While Olive can come across as pessimistic at times, I think it was completely understandable based on everything that has happened recently to her. Her faith was wavering and upset at everything, a pretty normal human reaction. I love that everyone in Hawaii was witnessing and praying for her, even as some of them have challenges of their own that they’re currently facing.
Overall very clean, it had a sweet, very light romance that was precious to read. Cancer is an major part of this story, so it might be upsetting to some who have been affected to read about (or they might related to Olive better).
I do have to say that I’m disappointed about one thing. The release date of book two being so far off. I’m looking forward to reading it. ;)

See y’all on Wednesday 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.

Friday, April 27, 2018

"Mandie and the Night Thief" by Lois Gladys Leppard

About this book:

  “A visit to their friend Tommy Patton’s home in Charleston finds Mandie and the others in the midst of another mystery. Strange noises from the third floor have convinced some of the servants that the house is haunted. Then Mandie’s jewelry starts to disappear. Who—or what—is in the house?”

Series: Book #37 in “Mandie” series. (To read the reviews of the previous books in this series, click the number to be taken to that review:
#1! #2! #3! #4! #5! #6! #7! #8! #9! #10! #11! #12! #13! #14! #15! #16! #17! #18! #19! #20! #21! #22! #23! #24! #25! #26! #27! #28! #29! #30! #31! #32! #33! #34! #35! And #36!) {There also is the “Young Mandie Mystery” series, (Book #1 review Here and Book #2 review Here!) but they do not connect together well.}

Spiritual Content- Mathew 6:12 at the beginning; A few Scriptures are quoted, mentioned, prayed, & talked about; Mentions of God & the Bible; Mentions of churches & church going;
             *Note: Mentions of ghosts & spirits.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: six ‘shucks’s; Mentions of a thief/thieves, stealing, & stolen items; A few mentions of a (previous) tornado; A couple mentions of lies & lying.

Sexual Content- A couple mentions of Mandie & Joe (possibly) marrying when they’re older; A couple mentions of crushes.

-Amanda “Mandie” Shaw, age 15
                                P.O.V. of Mandie
                                             Set in 1903
                           157 pages (also available in a collection with two other Mandie books.)

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
It’s hard to believe that we’re getting closer and closer to the end of this series! The mystery is wrapped up very quick in this one, but it’s still a fun read. :)

See y’all on Monday 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.