Posted in Book reviews, God's Lessons, Random babblings, reading

“Irrelevant” ~ A review and post about Autism

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I am going to talk about why I loved this book.
Mallory.
The plot itself was great, and I can’t wait to begin book two to find out what happens, but what made this book special to me is main character, Mallory.
I have definitely identified with characters in the past. And I feel like as we grow as people, our character-choices grow too. With Mallory, I felt like I found a character just like me. Yes, I’ve felt this way before regarding other characters, but as I read “Irrelevant” and got to know Mallory more, I related more than before. Because most of the characters we read in books are primarily “normal”. They can act and react in the world normally, and handle what comes with ease (and that’s good too). But that’s not my reality, and it wasn’t Mallory’s either. She is labeled as Autistic. And I am too.    My…”quirks” were always assumed to be related to what was diagnosed when I was young which is sensory-integration-dysfunction. But as I learn more and more about Autism, I find more about me that makes sense.
I don’t care to live under labels. Labels do not define who we are. Who God has created to be. It is not “Who am I?” but rather, “Who HE IS”. I firmly believe that. But learning how to cope in this world, I think, is also important, and I am thankful that God has allowed me to find so much information about autism, and then proceed to give me the opportunity to read “Irrelevant” and discover Mallory. She is my kind of normal. She sometimes gets overwhelmed, she doesn’t feel ‘normal’, she cries a lot. All of these things that I can relate to. Oh, and she loves dragons. I was so excited when I found that out. :)
Another thing that made me attached to Mallory was that her character wasn’t written as ‘odd’. Who she was didn’t make her any less of a person. Sometimes I think there is some sort of stigma surrounding the word Autism. People think that only the most severe cases are Autistic and that makes them different. Accepted, but still different. High-functioning Autism is still a thing, though. It can get swept under the rug. We’re not so Autistic that we can fit under that assumption in people’s minds, but we’re also not so normal that we can be defined as, well, normal. But with Mallory…she…well, she was unique and accepted, and she made me feel normal too. What is normal, right?! A word I get caught up on. :) There is no normal, really, because God made us all unique. But I think you know what I mean when I say all this. And all this has become quite the long-winded post! But I just wanted to share why I probably won’t stop talking about Mallory. Because she has become a friend to me, in my mind. ;)
Another thing I am learning is that autism is what I have. It is not what defines me. My identity is not autism, my identity can only be found in Christ. No matter what we battle, or have, or deal with, it is not solely who we are – who were are is solely rooted in Christ. It is He that lives within us, not we ourselves, for we have been crucified with Christ.
I don’t mind saying I have autism – I am not ashamed of this. But I want to be clear in that only God matters. “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” He defines me, He makes up who I am, and as long as I keep my face turned toward Him, I will be radiant and no shame shall be found on my face (psalm 34:5).
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My “official” review of “Irrelevant” by Sarah Addison-Fox:
If there ever was a cliffhanger ending, this book has it. “Irrelevant” is the second book I’ve read by this author, and I love her writing style. It is so captivating that I can hardly put the book down. I wanted to get to this book even sooner than I did, but life events happened that challenged that. However, the author was so kind and understanding about that, for which I am very grateful! <3
This story is action-packed. Not exactly in the way that I would think of when using the words ‘action packed”, because there isn’t a great deal of fighting or fleeing involved (though there is some!), but everything that happens – it all happens quickly and seamlessly, and as I said, I really did have a hard time putting it down.
I want to focus on the characters. They are what drew me to this story in the first place. Mallory is Autistic – and oh my word, the author wrote her character SO well. I absolutely fell in love with Mallory, and could relate to her so much.I am on the Autism spectrum as well, and do I was just really able to relate and understand her so well. It felt really good for me. Everything about her was so realistic and believable, and spot-on. She is so unique, and loveable. One of the things that stuck out to me was that Mallory cried a lot. I cry a lot too, and I don’t know…I just found this added detail comforting to me. And how Cristan (the hero) handled her, especially in her tears – I loved that. He didn’t like to see her cry (not many men like tears at all…), but he knew how important it was for her to let her emotions out and he was so gentle with her. I just absolutely loved and appreciated that. He was so…respectful as a whole. Yes, he has some problems. He has anger issues, and he doesn’t deny that. But his respectful manner really stood out to me as well.
I want to know more about them, more about their story and their backgrounds – that cliffhanger was just cruel! XD
But really, the characters are brilliant. Mallory won the whole novel for me. She is priceless, and I just have to thank the author for writing her so well.
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As in all my reviews, I do like to give content warnings – this isn’t a Christian book, per-say. There was only one or two references to religion and God (and to be honest, one comment Cristan made about God/faith made me sad. Maybe we’ll see a turn around in the following books?), but it is not an overall theme in the book. There are also several swear words spoken throughout. Nothing too terrible or shocking, and it did fit the characters who spoke them. Personally, i am not a fan of swear words, but I was able to pass over them in this story.
There were some innuendos, and one scene at the end that was a little too close to a sex-scene for my particular comfort, but again, respect won out, and I appreciated that.
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All in all, I quite enjoyed this book, and again: loved Mallory!! Looking forward to the rest of the series.
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Pssssst. There’s also a paperback giveaway for Irrelevant happening! Enter HERE.
Posted in Books, Random babblings, update

Can’t help it…MAY I recap?

Yeah, I know. I should’ve resisted it. Too easy, right? But I just couldn’t. Not when it is just asking for it….I mean, it’s MAY. ;)

Which is now over. The beginning of the month was fair, temperature wise, but towards the middle and end it turned scorching hot…I’m dreaming of winter. ;)

This month consisted of reading, a visit to a park with family and extended family (wherein I remembered the joys of swinging. So freeing!), yard and garden work, and some more reading in between. Besides the heat, it was enjoyable. :) Not without its trials, but what life is?

 

The books I read:

 

The Backcountry Brides Collection by Shannon McNear – I read a couple more stories in this collection.

Judah's Wife by Angela Elwell Hunt   The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck   Quest for Leviathan by Amanda Tero    Dance from Deep Within by D.L. Sleiman   Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren   Storm Front by Susan May Warren   Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall

 

The first three you can click on to read my review, the next two have reviews that will be posted soon, same for “Enchanting Nicholette”, and the SMW books – my reviews are on Goodreads. :)

 

 

 

Books added to my already-too-big collection:

 

 

Three are review books, one is from Tyndale Rewards (where you can sign up to earn points towards FREE books! <3), a couple were book-swaps, and the rest were garage-sale and library sale finds, besides “Ain’t Misbehavin'” which I purchased on a FB group. :)

 

Yep. What else can I say than that I love books?

 

 

May Post Sum Up:

 

Connilyn Cossette AI  Moriyah CI

038    The God Who Sees Me

4-29-18 (5)   a5193-tag

 

And posted about the GDPR news HERE, and also reviewed “Judah’s Wife” HERE.

And a Cover Reveal HERE.

 

 

And here’s to June, right? May we survive the heat. ;)

 

 

 

How was your May, readers? Any exciting news to share? Books read? Feel free to comment and we can chat!

Posted in Questions/answers, Random babblings

Eleven Questions

A while ago, Shantelle at Between the Pages of this Bookish Life, tagged me, and I am now finally getting around to posting my answers. ^.^ Thanks, Shantelle!

So, here we go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rules:
Thank the person who nominated you
Answer the 11 questions they gave you
Name 11 facts about you
Nominate 11 bloggers to do this tag, and let them know
Give them 11 questions to answer
The questions:
1. What did you eat for your last meal? Homemade Pizza, last evening. :) It was delicious, as always!
2. What’s the best part of your average week? Hmm…I always look forward to Saturdays which is our rest-day of the week. :) I also enjoy Monday’s because of the mail ;)
3. Where is the most amazing place you’ve been? I haven’t been to a ton of places, but The Creation Museum is definitely up there, and up north will forever be one of the most amazing places to me. <3
4. One question you’d ask your favorite author? I’m afraid I’d be too much in awe to think of any reasonable question…besides, “How do you write such amazing books?” <3
5. What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer?  I don’t actually like summer. I know, gasps all around. I am a hardcore Winter and Fall fan. I like Spring well enough, but Summer is the season I dread. I highly dislike hot weather, and MN gets HOT. State of extremes. ;) But let’s see…I do like some things about Summer. Like golf-cart rides, and fresh air, and the green grass.
6. Last new author you tried out? (Did you like the book?I actually read a lot of books by new-to-me authors. :D The latest would be Kristin Billerbeck and her book, “The Theory of Happily Ever After” – and yes, I did like the book :) You can read my review for it here.
7. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done? Well, what exactly is the definition of crazy? Because I have a feeling most of my life would seem crazy to other people, but if we’re talking daring, or stupidest thing….let me think. I actually can’t come up with a good enough answer. XD
8. What’s a character trait you admire in others? Genuine kindness and selflessness.
9. What’s your favorite genre (to read)?What draws you to it? Hmm…I waffle between Biblical Fiction and Contemporary Fiction being my favourite. They each draw me in different ways. BF because it adds so much depth to the Bible, and CF because…well, honestly, I love a good (clean!!) romance…!
10. What’s one book that you wish more people knew about? Just one?!!! That’s too hard. I am a hardcore, recommend-everything by Tessa Afshar fan, but also I wish J.A. Marx’s Destiny Series was better known because it is AMAZING.
11. Do you like to cook/bake? No…? Is that an acceptable answer to this? I could lie and say something like “Oh I love it so much!” but…no. I know how to, and I prefer baking over cooking (because, yum. Baking means treats ;)) however, I probably know more cooking-related items…Anyway, it’s not a favourite past time of mine.
Eleven Facts About Me:
1.  I’m terrified of frogs. All kinds. But especially leopard frogs. *Shudders*
2.  I will eat most any vegetable, even if I don’t like it, but green beans are the exception.
3.  I’ve tried to get my nephews to call me the Hebrew name for aunt, which is ‘Doda’, but they only seem to remember to use it when they are being silly. ^.^
4.  I make homemade necklaces and sell them at our local farmer’s market. (You can see the items by clicking ‘Raechel’s Peculiar Treasures’ at the top of this blog)
5.  I have happily, and successfully, gotten my younger sister hooked on one of my favourite book series from when I was around her age. (The Bonnets and Bugles series – so good!)
6.  Snow, Winter, and the cold makes me happy. Very happy.
7.  When I was younger I had to avoid any food containing red-food-dye coloring because it would always cause my sensory-issues to become worse and make meltdowns occur.
8.  I love looking at bookish pictures, but am not so good at taking them myself.
9.  I’ve never been a huge tv-show watcher, but I fell in love with The Middle, and the series finale about made me weep, because what am I going to do now? ;)
10. I don’t like doing puzzles.
11.  I still play polly-pockets with my younger sister (and our games get quite hysterical).
There! I did it. But coming up with the 11 facts was hard. As for the 11 people I tag:
You, that person over there, you, that one person, the other person, you, oh yeah – you, and four other people. XD
Here are the questions:
1. What did you eat for your last meal? 
 2. What’s the best part of your average week?
 3. Where is the most amazing place you’ve been?
4. One question you’d ask your favorite author?
5. What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer? 
6. Last new author you tried out? (Did you like the book?)
7. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done?
8. What’s a character trait you admire in others?
9. What’s your favorite genre (to read)?What draws you to it?
10. What’s one book that you wish more people knew about?
11. Do you like to cook/bake?
Let me know if you do it, because I’d love to read your answers. :)
Posted in Questions/answers, Random babblings

The Ten Random Questions Tag

Hello, today I have another tag to do, this time tagged to me bt Shantelle at A Writer’s Heart. Since random is always fun, I gladly went along with it. :)
Guidelines:
  • Use the header if you want to. :)
  • Answer the questions
  • Take five of the questions you answered and make up five more for the people that you tagged to answer
  • Tag as many people as you wish!

 

 

1) What is something you loved to do when you were little?  Play softball. I was a short-haired softball fanatic. ^.^ Not lying. I still enjoy softball, but haven’t played it in a while.
2) If you had to change your first name, what would it be? Hmm…I rather like my name. If I  *had* to change it, I guess I’d go with either something really unique or else my middle name. :)
 3) If you had to dye your hair an unnatural color for one week, what color would it be? Aw, just for one week? I’d go bright rainbow or ombre’. I would absolutely love that! I’d totally die my hair rainbow colours if I could.
4) What book are you reading at the moment? “Destiny Delivered” by J.A. Marx. It’s an amazing book (second in a tightly knit series, so it has to be read in order)!
5) What era would you enjoy dressing up in? Several…The Medieval era definitely, and also the 1940’s, and the 50’s would be fun too.
6) How many siblings do you have? Two :)
7) What’s your favorite type of dance? Oh golly, I don’t really know any dances…The Regency dancing is fun to watch. As for what type of dancing I like to do…um, just dancing from the heart. XD
8) What’s your favorite restaurant? We don’t eat out a whole lot…but I really do love Culver’s. :D
9) What version of the Bible do you read?  The King James Version. :)
10) What’s one hope for 2017?  To grow more in Yeshua, and also to read a lot of my TBR books. :D (That was two! Whoops).
So, there we go. As for who I tag:
You. If you, reader, are inclined, interested, desiring to do this tag, go for it.
Here are the Questions:
1. If you had to dye your hair an unnatural color for one week, what color would it be?
2. What book are you reading at the moment?
3. How many siblings do you have?
4. What is something you loved to do when you were little?
5. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
6. What was the last movie you saw in Theaters?
7. Do you have a favourite kind of tea/coffee?
8. If you could travel to any state in the USA, which would you choose?
9. What do you like best about blogging?
10. Favourite form of chocolate?
Posted in Books, Pinterest, Pinterest favourites, Random babblings, reading

It’s Friday

Which would normally imply that I would be posting the Pinterest Favourites Friday Post, but…well, I just don’t quite feel like it. I have some splendid pins (no, really I do. XD I like ’em! XD), but they are quite comfy on my Pinterest page for now. They told me so themselves. Though this one did happen to volunteer itself up for a blog spotlight:

 

Oh my goodness, I literally laughed so hard at this!! "I can't go back to  jail again!!"

 

Which of course reminds me of this quote: “I can’t go back to jail again!” from Monsters University.

Okay, I’m going to burst into a little bit of randomness here (wait, silly, I already have! Well, here is some more). There is this book (*que romantic sighs*), and I am very excited about it. The book is:

Strong and adventurous Gwendolyn Barnes longs to be a knight like her chivalrous brothers. However, that is not an option for her, not even in the Arthurian-inspired Eden where she dwells. Her parents view her only as a marriage pawn, and her domineering father is determined to see her wed to a brutish man who will break her spirit.

When handsome, good-hearted Allen of Ellsworth arrives in Edendale searching for his place in the world, Gwendolyn spies in him the sort of fellow she could imagine marrying. Yet fate seems determined to keep them apart. Tournaments, intrigue, and battles–along with twists and turns aplenty–await these two as they struggle to find love, identity, and their true destinies.

Available for pre-order online now!
CBD.com
Amazon.com
Barnesandnoble.com

 

 

This isn’t the first, nor the last time, this book has been mentioned on my blog here. So. But it’s just so beautiful, and I love stories about knights and ladies and lady knights! :D It is sure to have a lot of great adventures. If you would like to find out more about the author, Dina Sleiman, and get a little peak at her characters, I encourage you to check out the post linked in the below image. Just click on it, and it will lead you right to her post!

 

 

And prepare yourself for more posts about “Chivalrous” because there *will* be more. And soon! :D