Tag: #book

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! It is strange not to be with family or in church this morning. I took a little bit of time to read over some Easter verses and I wanted to share them. It’s going to be a short post today, but it’s on my heart!

John 11:25-26

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

1 Peter 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Luke 24:6-7

He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

Romans 6:8-11

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Luke 24:2-3

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.


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My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

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Sometimes you just know a book is going to stick with you long after you read it. My Dark Vanessa is one of those stories that just gets stuck in your mind. I found myself thinking about it several days after reading it. I will be shocked if this doesn’t end up being my favorite book of the year. I have a lot of thoughts so grab a cup of coffee. This is going to be a long one.

2000. Fifteen year old Vanessa Wye longs for adulthood. She feels that she can’t relate to the kids her age. Vanessa finds herself attracting the attention of her charming forty-two year old English teacher, Jacob Strane.

2017. During the wave of sexual allegations brought on by the Me Too movement Strane is accused of sexual assault by another student. She also reaches out and wants Vanessa to share her story. Vanessa is faced with a hard choice. Should she confess or should she stay silent. She strongly believes that she was not sexually abused. She believes that Strane was her first love. Why would she rat out a man who transformed her life and worshiped her? Could the man that she loved be different from what she believed?

I am not sure where to begin, so lets jump in. We start out in 2017 right after the article about Strane is released. The thing the shocked me is that Vanessa is still in contact with Strane. That’s not a spoiler I promise. It is on the first page. They discuss how he is handling the allegations. He asks if she plans to tell and she says no.

The next chapter starts in 2000. We begin to see Vanessa on her first day at Browick Boarding School where she meets Strane for the first time. He is a Harvard graduate and an English teacher. He grabs the attention of Vanessa who loves to write.

The book continues to alternate between timelines. We see the aftermath first and then we get the story build up. Strane starts to flirt with Vanessa. He is subtle enough that she begins to wonder about his intentions. She begins to crave and seek out his attention. As time goes on and a relationship develops we see how manipulative Strane is. At one point he tells Vanessa he doesn’t want to ruin her. He said if they got caught she would be expelled and that Child Protective Services would take her from her parents.

His manipulation is disgusting. There were times I wanted to scream. From my perspective it was easy to see what he was doing, but Vanessa thought he worshiped her. He preyed on a lonely self-conscious girl. He told her so many times how he tried not to love her. He had her convinced that he was brave for loving her. She was honored he put his trust in her.

Eventually, the giddy excitement of the new relationship turns negative. Vanessa starts getting jealous of a female teacher. She is jealous to the point that she reads Strane’s e-mails. Even if you take away the underage aspect their relationship is still toxic and unhealthy. The manipulation and lying continues to show up even in 2017.

My Dark Vanessa is a dark read. It is not an easy read. It deals with topics that are hard to talk about. It could be triggering to certain people so please read triggering warnings before picking it up. It is such a haunting, thought-provoking book. I have never been more impressed by a debut novel. Kate Elizabeth Russell’s talent is astounding. I can’t wait to watch her career grow.

My Rating: 5/5

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The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

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I think I am beginning to burn out on fantasy. My mind is begging for something new. So when Dutton Books gave me the chance to review and arc of this thriller I jumped on the chance.

Eve Taggert’s daughter is found murdered and she need to find who did it. Sometimes it is better not to know the answers. Sometimes you have to face horrible truths. Set in the poorest part of the Missouri Ozarks, justice is rough cut. It isn’t always left to the justice system. Eve learned that from her crude, cunning mother. Eve tried to find a life for herself outside of her mother’s trailer, but sometimes, in the face of tragedy, you return to your roots.

A thing I noticed that I found different than most thrillers is that it actually deeply discussed grief. Grief will completely change your life and this does a great job depicting that. We watch Eve spiral into her grief. She lost everything that she had worked hard for and she wants to make the person responsible pay for it.

Eve digs up the town’s dirty little secrets, but the truth shatters what is left of her world. I did guess the person behind the murders, but I did not guess how it would end. It left me speechless. I read this in a day. If you love thrillers you need to read this!

My Rating: 5/5

Thanks again to Dutton Books for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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The Conference of the Birds Review by Ransom Riggs

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I have waited on this one for a while. It was satisfying to finally get it. It was great to be back in this world.

Jacob Portman has just saved the peculiar world but his troubles are not over. When he goes on a mission to save Noor, an uncontacted peculiar, his life gets even more complicated. We follow the peculiar children into the frontier of American Peculiars to keep a prophecy from coming to pass.

This series is fun. It is a great mix of fantasy with time travel thrown in. In the past books, the pictures were included to enhance the story. This time there were fewer pictures and they were scattered out. They didn’t feel as connected to the story.

The introduction of Noor changed the entire plot line. It introduced a prophecy into the story that I did not expect. I really liked Noor as a character though. I like the route the books are taking, but this novel felt like it was a building block for the next book. It moved the story along but did include some action. I am interested to see where the story goes next.

My Rating: 4/5

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The Summer of Guinevere by John Madormo

The Summer of Guinevere

Since this is marketed as romance I was not sure that I would enjoy it. Being set in the past is the only thing that hooked me into reading this.When I jumped into it I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I devoured it in one day.

The Summer of Guinevere follows Paulie Passero in the last weeks of summer before his Junior year. When his father finds out that his mother, who disowned him twenty years earlier, is dying they set out on a road trip. Paulie doesn’t understand why he has to go. The prospect of driving from Chicago to the small town his father grew up in is the only thing that interests him. At first, Paulie is bored by small town life until he meets Guinevere Thompson. He wants to get to know her despite the warning that her father and brothers are dangerous. Paulie gets wrapped up in her life and wants to help her escape her abusive father.

This is a great coming of age story. Paulie gains confidence in himself through events of the story. He learns to speak to girls and handle tough situations through Guinevere. Another important character is Uncle Buddy. He helps Paulie gain interest in reading and current events. He motivates him to do his best in school. I think Buddy played more of an important role than Guinevere. He helped Paulie learn to stand on his own two feet. I will say I did not like Paulie’s father. He was less than helpful with the Guinevere situation and he didn’t really encourage Paulie in anyway.

The romance was cute and I enjoyed it, but this is a hard hitting story. It is raw and brutal. However, it does show you can grow and change your situation. I highly recommend checking this one out!

*Disclaimer- I was provided with a copy in exchange for my honest review.


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Meet the Blogger

Since I have been doing this a while now I thought now would be a good time to tell you a little more about me. My name is Megan. Obviously, ya’ll know I love to read but there is a bit more to me than that. So today we are talking all things not book related.

Hobbies

Camping– I have been camping since I was born. It is a big part of my life. Off course I love to read while camping. It is part of the reason I named my blog Reading in the Wildwood. I love to read anywhere, but reading outside is my favorite.

Cooking– I come from a family of good cooks. Actually, I am pretty sure if I didn’t love to cook I would be kicked out of my family. My husband is also a great cook so we love to cook together.

Bullet Journaling– This is a new hobby but I really love it.

Favorite Movies

Phantom of the Opera

Gone with the Wind

Grease

Matilda

Nightmare Before Christmas

Corpse Bride

Hocus Pocus

Lost Boys

The Craft

A Few of My Favorite Bands and Singers

Nirvana

Fleetwood Mac

Dolly Parton

Waylon Jennings

Alabama

Let me know a little about yourself in the comments! I would love to get to know you.