My Latest Reads

Trema's bookshelf: read

Gathering Blue
Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood
The Giver
Child of Grace
The Silent Girl: A Novel
The One Who Waits for Me
Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy
The Blind in Darkness
Haunted Kids: True Ghost Stories (Haunted Kids)
Like the Willow Tree: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce, Portland, Maine, 1918

Trema's favorite books »

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Book Review: Taken For English( Valley of Choice~ book #3)

Taken For English
By~ Olivia Newport

Quote: "You underestimate yourself, Annalise. Look at what you have already accomplished in your life. How can you think there is anything you could not do?"~ Elijah pg. 156

Started: September 1, 2017
Finished: September 12, 2017

paperback 368 pages

From the Cover:

Annie joined the Amish church based on prayerful conviction, not romantic dreams.
 And yet, she can't deny she'd hoped to share her new, plain life with Rufus. Neither can she deny that his ways are nothing like the fast-paced culture she left behind- Rufus is obviously in no hurry. When he makes unexpected choices about his work, Annie wonders if he has lost interest in the love that sparked between them.
While arson threatens trust in the peaceful southwestern Colorado valley near Westcliffe, Annie resolves to keep a confused Amish teenage girl from decisions that could jeopardize her future. Ruth, Rufus's sister, is Annie's temporary roommate while she navigates the muddy waters of shifting family relationships, career choices, and an irresistible romance with the persistent Elijah.
Family history clearly shows it's never been easy living a plain life in the English world. Will the changes and challenges Annie now faces as a young Amish woman test her newfound faith in good ways or bad? And how long will Rufus test her patience?

My Review:

My first thought in starting this review is..."Shwooo! I finally made it through this series. I'm done!"
I am a stickler for seeing things through to the end and this was no exception. Although, I admit, I did struggle.
I found myself almost dreading my "reading time" and I hate that. That is my time to do something I enjoy!
I just couldn't with this whole series. I held out hope in book two but was disappointed yet again.
There just wasn't any part that really grabbed me and made me want to continue.
And, I really tried!
I wanted to at least like the characters,but they never seemed to develop. And the ones that did make it into all three books just seemed...fake or vague.
Annie, claims to be truly Amish and not "in it for love", BUT that is all we hear from beginning to end, in all three books!
She is waiting on Rufus to make his move.*SPOILER*(Which he does in the last 30 pages or so)
Ruth wants to be All things English, nurse, drive a car, go to school, have a cell phone, wear English clothes, yet she keeps going back to everything Amish! And is still in love with her Amish beau.

Once again, there are new characters thrown into this book. Some that had no place or purpose, some were just annoying and then with that history, genealogy, past Bieler/Byler stuff again that made no connections to the present day story.

I'm sorry Ms. Newport, but I was not impressed. 
I only gave this book 2 stars. Mainly for effort. I definitely felt, as the third and final book, there should have been so much more!
Where was that... "Aha!" moment?? 
The big finale!?
It just never happened for me.

Has anyone else ever had this happen? 
Did you finish it out or give up? 
Am I being to harsh?

As always, Happy Reading! 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Book Review: In Plain View: Valley Of Choice(Book #2)

In Plain View
By~ Olivia Newport

" What do you know about Karl Kramer's missing fertilizer? Or what do your friends have to do with it? ~ Annie pg. 187

Started: August 21, 2017
Finished: August 31, 2017

Paperback 361 pages

From the Cover:
Choosing the simple life has never been so complicated...
Nearly a year after her successful but unsatisfying high-tech life, Annie Friesen wonders if she can truly succeed at being Amish. A lucrative job offer, a red dress, and the shadow of an Amish woman looking for a husband create a vortex that clouds Annie's choice. Her parents seem determined to sabotage her efforts, and Rufus Beiler, the Amish carpenter who captured her heart, leaves room for doubt about their future. When an explosion brings Annie under suspicion, she wrestles with how her new values will manifest in her efforts to clear her name.
Meanwhile, Amish parents Eli and Franey Beiler struggle with their daughter Ruth's decision to live away from the Amish settlement and pursue higher education in Colorado Springs, and the attentions of Elijah Capp bring Ruth's path to a crossroads.
Facing decisions that can change their own  futures as well as the futures of generations, both Annie and Ruth unravel the past in order to bring the future into plain view.

My Review:
This story continues with Annalise(Annie) trying to simplify her life and herself along with continuing on her path to becoming Amish. She has given up her career, her car, and her modern technology and easy communicating with her family. She has moved into a small home and had all electricity removed. She is living simpler, but it seems her life is anything but simple.
She is struggling with the Amish ways and language. Trying to pretend that she isn't doing this all for a man, Rufus. She now has Beth, one of the Stutzmans' daughters who are staying with the Beiler's until their house is finished, to make her jealous and cautious around Rufus. She is competition. 
Her sister is in town for a visit and insists on tempting Annie to stray back to her old ways.
Annie still has her suspicions about Karl Kramer and now with the explosion a whole new set of problems between the Amish and English people.

This story is just spinning out of control in circles. I cannot get a grasp on what this story is about or how it is supposed to play out. 
This is book # 2 and it is the same as before. Too many "mini stories" trying to fight for a place in this one book.
again, there is the historical, genealogy aspect with the first set of Bylers. Annie has kind of dropped off on her research in this book, yet the chapters still keep flipping from present to past.I honestly would have preferred the entire series to be solely about the post Revolutionary War Bylers. It seems to have more character and believable story line.
I am finding the "Annie story" to just drag out and never really go anywhere!

I have actually already started the third and final book and it pretty much seems the same.
And now, they have added yet another Amish family who have moved into the town and already seem to be bringing trouble with them. As I've said before, I will stick it out and finish this trilogy.
Hopefully, the conclusion will finally bring some answers to this puzzling saga!

Happy Reading!


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