Book 3 Forever Love

Books I Read This Week

Book 3 Forever Love

Book Cover: Forever Love by Jessica Nelson

I am trying to reach my 50 book goal for the year on Goodreads, and the books are calling me. I wanted to share the books I read this week! Both authors kindly gave me copies of their books in return for my honest reviews; they found me through The InvieView. I provide this review service free of charge because I like to read and contribute to the Indie community.

The first book was Forever Love (The Women of Manatee Bay Book 3) by Jessica Nelson. Forever Love is a romance book that is the third book in the Manatee Bay series but is a stand-alone read. I have not read any other books in the series. The main character in this particular book is Maggie, who has a reputation in her small town for being a bit of a wild woman. She wants to build a place for unwed mothers to stay but needs to buy a property to build it. It turns out her dream property is owned by the local Pastor Joe who doesn’t want to sell the land.

When Joe expresses a desire to court Maggie, she wants nothing to do with it. She is still dealing with hurts from the past. Fairly soon into the book the reader is told that Maggie has had abortions, and she has clearly not dealt completely with what happened. This is a sensitive issue for many readers, and so it will not be a suitable read for everyone. I did find that author Jessica Nelson dealt with the subject in good taste.

That being said, I found the romance between Maggie and Joe was drawn out and a little corny. I could tell soon into the book that they would get together, so I already knew what was coming. In other words, it was predictable. As well, the title of the book is not very unique. In addition, I thought that the relationship between Maggie and her sister could have been fleshed out more in this book. Mind you, there might be more details about them in the other books in the series.

I think the sensitive subject matter may make some readers uncomfortable. I do think that the message of being able to forgive someone for their past is an important message that is underneath the storyline of Forever Love. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. To find out more about Forever Love by Jessica Nelson, you can find it at Amazon.

♥✩♬♡►♪☺

The Girl With the Half and Half Face Book Cover

Cover of the book The Girl With the Half and Half Face. Photo courtesy of Leslie Miller.

I also read The Girl With the Half and Half Face by Leslie Miller. This is a young adult dystopian adventure book that has a good beginning with setting up its world and the main character Kayli-el. What I enjoyed about the book was the way it developed the relationships between Kayli-el and the twins brothers who help her.

I thought that the concept of Kayli-el having a way to tell what is truth or not by checking her “core” with a single movement of the hand was great. The boat that travelled underwater was also well described, and I admit I would like to have tried out the technology described by author Leslie Miller. Anyone have a submarine for rent? Okay, different blog post, I know.

On the other hand, the book The Girl With the Half and Half Face, for me, missed the mark in one fundamental way. I was totally interested in learning what this “half and half face” was all about, after all! I mean, wouldn’t you be? It’s a very cool title, and the cover is awesome. So then I was like, well why does she have a different face and what exactly does “half and half” mean? Well by page 100 I was still without answers. I mean, if it’s the title shouldn’t it have a major place in the book? Then I realized I had already been told what the half face was about but I had simply expected something more. Well, here’s a spoiler (sorry, I had to!), the half face is full of tons of freckles.

Yup! It’s not something else; it’s freckles! So that was a letdown for me as I did think there was more to it than that. Overall, I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. I did like the sort-of magical internal force Kayli-el had within her for guiding her through dangerous situations, helping her figure out what to do. We all have our intuition but this power was taken to the next level and for that I thought it was a cool idea. To find out more about The Girl With the Half and Half Face by Leslie Miller, you can find it at Amazon.

♥✩♬♡►♪☺

What are you reading this week? What books have you read lately?
 
 
© 2015 Christy Birmingham

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108 thoughts on “Books I Read This Week

  1. Billybuc

    Thanks for the short reviews, Christy. I just finished “Light of the World” by James Lee Burke, my favorite mystery writer. I’m happy to report that after countless novels spanning thirty years, this man is only getting better.

    Have a great weekend!

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  2. DG MARYOGA

    Most enlightening and constructive reviews dear Christy;you so tactfully highlight your likes and dislikes,the positive and negative aspects.Have a great weekend too,my dear frirnd 🙂 ღ ღ ღ

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Thank you for appreciating the way I take care to write them, Doda! I understand the hard work that the authors have gone to with their books and so want to do them justice with honest reviews. You are very kind to notice that 🙂 HUGS!! I hope your weekend is going well!

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  3. Emily Rose Lewis

    ‘I thought that the concept of Kayli-el having a way to tell what is truth or not by checking her “core” with a single movement of the hand…’

    You didn’t finish this thought and I was just curious as to what you were thinking.

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Emily Rose! Thanks for catching that and I’ve now fixed the sentence. Glad to have you to check that for me 🙂 I liked the way she could check with her core. We can do that with our intuition but sometimes we still try to think ourselves away from following it! With Kayli-el, she had an ‘absolute’ method, if you will, for guiding herself into safety when she checked with her core. I hope you’re having a nice day!

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        1. Christy Birmingham Post author

          Aww! Well you do read a lot of blog posts so you are reading more than you may even realize! For books, you could do one a month 🙂 And you could review it on your site too if you want as another type of post!

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        2. markbialczak

          I used to read a lot more than that. Pre-Word Press addiction. 😉 You are right, a return to the book review would be good. I’ve written them in the past, Christy.

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  4. C.E.Robinson

    Christy, love your reviews! Now I need to get reading the stack of books waiting for me. I bought a blogger friend author Teagan Geneviene’s urban fantasy book “Atonement, Tennessee,” and love her style of writing. Also have author Nicholas Rossis’s Pearseus 4 book Sci-fi series, and I’m spell-bound by his story writing! Both are authors to follow! Christine

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Christine! Nice to see you 🙂 Oh yes I bought Atonement, Tennessee last week and can’t wait to read it too! That’s so cool we’ll soon be reading the same book 🙂 I like both authors’ sites too! Thanks fr the great comment.

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  5. Aquileana

    Great reviews and I can say that you are an advanced reader… I think you are used to edition as you can read so fast!… Well maybe you are well trained right now. 🙄
    Romance is always quite predictable when it comes to books and/or movies, I’d say… Unless there is a third “unfitting” member (i.e love triangle) or a murder!…
    I think the second book would be more my type of reading… at least I like the cover, the title and dystopian books…. But the review is not very promising…
    Do you like to read books from non-indie writers?…. If you do, I’d recommend you “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro…. You’ll love it!.~
    Happy friday and all my best wishes, Chris. Hugs. Aquileana 😀

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Aquileana, you sweet friend you! I am glad you told me about romance books usually being predictable. I hadn’t realized. I know now! I don’t read many of them – almost never, actually. Yes, I like Indie and non-Indie books – both can be amazing! I’m going to look up the book by Ishiguro that you mention here – right now!! Thanks for the recommendation. Happy weekend, with hugs 😀

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  6. Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB)

    It’s great to see you supporting the work of Indie writers with these reviews. My Goodreads goal for the year is 52 books, but I really need to get caught up in the next week or two if I’m going to make it. I just got done listening to Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides on audiobook. It was 22 hours long, but probably hands-down the most beautifully narrated book I’ve ever listened too. Plus, I got it on sale for only $1.99 from Audible.

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Thanks, Jeri. I enjoy reading and if I can help an Indie author with an honest review then it really is a bonus. You can make the 52 book goal, I have faith!! Cool about the Pat Conroy book – I haven’t done audiobooks… yet.

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  7. janecarroll674854527

    Great reviews…well thought out and honest. I just finished reading Playing Charlie Cool by Laurie Boris…an Indie book…and I’m reading The Success Principles by Jack Canfield and The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Buchard. I have to have a mix of fiction and non fiction but I’m heavy on the non. 😉

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  8. balroop2013

    Hi Christy

    I like your reviews as they give a fairly good idea about the book, without revealing much but the freckles part must be quite disappointing, so you had to mention it!
    I am quite amazed at your speed of reading!

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Yes, I don’t want to give too much away in case readers here want to get the books. That’s true about the freckles, I just had to say it! There were a lot of good points about that book though 🙂 Thanks!

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  9. melouisef

    First time I have now read an Elmore Leonard. Different. Quite original in some ways. And then I am busy with The Girl on the train. Is it good? I don’t know but I have to finish it because of the plot, I simply have to know…………

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        1. melouisef

          I did not finish Gone Girl, too farfetched for my liking. But a book that I did enjoy immensely was The Silent Wife. I have forgotten the author’s name for the moment but Google it. It is really a good plot plus well writte.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Christy Birmingham Post author

          Okay will look it up. Not sure if it will hit too close to home from the sounds of the title but will see. As for Gone Girl, I’m making a mental note in case I read it so I can tell you my thoughts 🙂

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  10. Dave Small

    Excellent reviews Christy. They’re honest, easy-to-read, and respectful of the material and author. By the the time I finished the review I know whether I would like to read the book or not. Great work.

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        1. Christy Birmingham Post author

          Hi Cybele, you sweetie you! I just wrote you with directions on your latest post (hello awesome!). The comment went to ‘moderation’ – probably because of the link I added to the comment 🙂 Thanks and I hope that helps ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Letizia

    I always love reading your reviews. I haven’t read the second book, but, like you, I was immediately drawn in by the title. It sounds like more could have been done with it but nevertheless it sounds like a pretty good effort. I’m reading a sweet book called “The Odyssey of KP2: An Orphan Seal and a Marine Biologist’s Fight to Save a Species” The title pretty much tells you what it’s about, it’s a memoir. I’m falling in love with this seal!

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      That’s quite the title in the book you’re reading! And I learned about more books when I was over at your blog earlier 🙂 Is it just me or do we need to extend the day to fit in the reading we want to do? hehe!

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        1. Christy Birmingham Post author

          Oh yes, isn’t that a great quote? I remember when I found it and was like YES!! Hehe love books – that’s how you and I met so that’s yet another reason to love them 🙂 Happy women’s day, sweetie ❤

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  12. Debbie

    You read TWO books in one week?? Christy, I’m so impressed! I just finished a writing how-to book, but it took me way longer than a week to do so. Girl, you must be a speed reader — and obviously, you don’t have a “needy,” spoiled Sheltie demanding that you play with him, ha!! Way to go!!

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hehe Debbie, I guess I was really in a reading mood 🙂 Actually I hadn’t thought about it as being impressive that I read two books in a week until I started seeing people write that in the comments here! I make time specifically for it as it’s a fave hobby. HUGS for your Monday ❤ LOVE your enthusiasm!!

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  13. Pingback: My Article Read (3-6-2015) (3-7-2015) | My Daily Musing

  14. JL0073

    I enjoyed these honest reviews. I imagine most people would be disappointed with finding out the meaning behind “half face” since it seems like there would have been more potential there especially within that genre.

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Totally, right! For that genre I would have thought maybe alien? Well, I feel the authors deserve honest reviews just as I would want. That’s how we know if we’re on the right track or not 🙂 Do you have books / are working on a book?

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      1. JL0073

        I’m just working on my short stories and my blog posts about James Bond for now. Eventually I’d like to put together some kind of collection if there is enough interest in it. For now I just want to work on improving my writing.

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        1. Christy Birmingham Post author

          That sounds good. You will know when you are ready. As for “if there is interest” – yes! I am interested in your writing so would be on board wanting my copy of what you release in the future.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Michael

    You read bookS this week? Plural?? You are my new goddess. I used to have the problem of books calling me, except it wasn’t books. It was bottles of scotch.

    Good reviews, C. and a pretty good sounding gig too. Free books for free reviews — can’t be beat.

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  16. Jack Flacco

    The cover to Forever Love is an amazing one. I love how there’s this ethereal feel to the whole concept of the couple in the background. I also enjoyed your review. Corny is what corny does. I guess I like corny. 🙂 And the message of forgiveness is a big one. Not an easy topic to handle. Definitely a good book to read on a Sunday afternoon.

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  17. Resa

    I enjoyed reading both book reviews.
    I’d give both books a shot if I had more time to read.
    Your reviews have such a positive edge, even when you’re criticizing. Writers take a lot of criticism. It can be so painful.
    Love the cover and title on of the second book!

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  18. reocochran

    I just finished an Alex Cross detective book and spent about a month reading a great book with two different time periods depicted. The book was given to me by my Mom who found it at Target, it was signed by the quthor, Tara Conklin. It is a fascinating story about the South during the period when slavery and the underground railroad was going on. The present setting is New York City and a young female lawyer going to help take on the Reparation lawsuit to repair damages for those who have ancestors who were slaves. It is called, “The House Girl.” I liked that the house girl learns how to paint. . . still some very sad parts. Christy, i must have become connected due to your friend, Mark B!

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hellllllo! Aw that’s cool we found one another through mutual friend Mark. Sometimes I cannot recall how I found a specific blog, hehe. I like your description of The House Girl book very much. Historical fiction is not something I have read much of but this one with the two different time periods sounds intriguing. I looked it up on Amazon and there is an interview there with Tara Conklin (scroll down to the ‘Product Description’ part). Cool!!

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      1. reocochran

        Thanks for looking up this book, Christy. Also, thanks for telling me about the interview with Tara C. I just finished a short book, only 150 pages, “World of Pies.” It is for those of us who were raised in the sixties, since the story is full of nostalgia. It is called a ‘coming of age’ book, simply a fun (or beach) book to read! I will keep my eyes posted for the romance book series by Jessica Nelson. I would probably like this author and usually like to escape into a romantic story once in awhile. Thanks, Christy!

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        1. Christy Birmingham Post author

          You leave great comments! I think “World of Pies” sounds like a good one, full of the sixties. I would probably learn more about that time (and a peak into what my parents talk about sometimes hehe). Thanks for the wonderful comment!

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  19. Wifey Monologue

    I was reading Constance, a gripping historical novel by Tarquin dela Force. All the reviews in Kindle are quite excellent so why not try to download it aside for the fact that it’s free. I am kinda of torn between to love or to hate the main character – somehow she’s somewhat conflicting to her own persona. However, it’s a good read. Thanks for sharing the book you’ve read.

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hello, my friend! I just looked up the book Constance on Amazon and it’s not free anymore. Perhaps that was a promotion that you took part in? I appreciate your honesty that you’re not sure if you love or hate the main character. Perhaps you love to hate her? Is that a possibility?

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  20. Indah Susanti

    Hi Christy, thank you for sharing the books you read – it’s great to learn the reviews of other books nowadays – gosh so many books are available nowadays! Currently I read The Lupane Legacy – so far so good, I am a slow reader so it may take a while to finish the book 😀 . I just finished From Beirut to Jerusalem from Thomas Friedman..the book is not a fiction but something what I have interest on and I always enjoy reading Friedman’s book.

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Indah, Always nice to see you 🙂 Oh yes about Thomas Friedman, quite the prolific writer. I have not read that title but just looked it up on Amazon and it sounds fascinating. I have his book “The World is Flat” but haven’t read it yet. Your stamp of approval for his books makes me more excited to read it now!

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  21. Elizabeth Melton Parsons

    Hi, Christy. Interesting reviews. I think might would agree about the half face thing. I do love that cover! At present I’m slogging through Flatland and Not Bound by Time. Not in love with either one yet, but I’ll keep going.

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  22. Mahesh Nair

    I must say that “Forever Love” has a different theme. It has a good plot. And I agree, the title is routine. Title is so critical for those wandering eyes walking the aisles of a bookstore.

    The points you raised in your review are vital. Apart from the title, if the story is predictable, readers lose interest.

    But I love the plot. A dream place for unwed mothers by someone who’s had abortions. Pastor refuses to sell the land but he likes the woman. To be accepted by society is a beautiful outcome, though not very reflective of how the society works. Fiction can take up compelling subjects and (try to) change people’s worldviews. The malice in the mainstream must continuously be challenged.

    In the second book review, if you notice one could see some of those “freckles” on the cover page itself. At first it looked like small pieces of rose petals. It will be interesting to know what those freckles (the idea) do in/to the story. But I like what you say: We all have our intuition but this power was taken to the next level and for that I thought it was a cool idea.

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Mahesh, you leave great comments, has anyone told you that lately? I appreciate your reads here and hope you are doing well today. Yes, the “Forever Love” book has a good plot but there wasn’t as much emphasis on building a place for unwed mothers as it might sound. I know it’s part of a series (I haven’t read the rest of the series) so I’m hopeful that it would have more of a presence in the other books.
      You’re quite right, I saw the freckles later on the cover, AFTER I read the book. At first glance I was taken with the brightness of the cover and the red hair 🙂 Oh that intuition – we must depend on it, freckles or no freckles! Sending a smile for your day!

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  23. Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com

    Hi Christy! Great reviews! Finding someone who will read one’s book and then take the time to do a thorough review is such a gift. And good for you for committing to read 50 books this year. If you there is any room on your list for another one, it would be an honor to have you read my novel at some point. Meanwhile I am looking forward to more from you…. ~Kathy

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