July Reads and Reviews.

Happy Friday! I can’t believe July is basically over already. What are you looking forward to next month? We will be picking up our school year again after the month long break we had. You would think with a month long break I would’ve read more books than I did, but I got a little caught up in some anime series. I did manage to read eight and a half books this month, though, and today I’m going to share my top three favorites.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

The last thing Ruby remembers about her sister is watching her drive off to begin a new life at college. After that, Ruby quickly got the message that Cora, once her closest friend and protector, no longer wanted Ruby or their mother in her new life. When their mother vanishes, though, Ruby is sent to live with Cora and her husband, Jamie. Now the only thing familiar to Ruby are the rules she’s lived by her whole life: Don’t let anyone get too close and take care of yourself. Living by those rules becomes harder as the truth about Ruby’s life before comes out. For the first time she’ll have to decide if those rules are worth keeping or breaking, especially when it’s her turn to reach out a helping hand or not.

So this book is by no means a new book. It was published in 2008 and you can tell it’s a bit dated. However, the story within it is a great one. Like a lot of Sarah Dessen’s main characters, Ruby has to learn to open herself up and to let others in. In order to do that, she has to face the issues of her past head on. This book does deal with abuse, both from the inside and outside, so be aware of that if you have possible triggers. Otherwise, this is another hit from Sarah Dessen.

White Chocolate Moments by Lori Wick

At the age of eleven, Arcineh Bryant is sent to live with her grandfather, Sam, after her parents are killed in a car crash. For Arcie, it’s the only light in the dark situation. As the years go by, something comes between Arcie and Sam, making it unbearable for Arcie to stay. As soon as she is able to, Arcineh leaves behind the life of luxury, and her beloved grandfather, to build a separate life for herself. However, life has a way of coming full circle and when it does, Arcineh finds that nothing is the same as it was before.

Okay so I first picked up this book for two reasons. The first reason was the title. I love white chocolate. The second was the author. I was introduced to Lori Wick’s books through a friend and have loved every single one of them. About half of this book deals with Arcineh’s teen years and the life she had with Sam, her business tycoon grandfather. She’s able to travel and learn foreign languages, something I personally want to do, and those opportunities actually help her and others later on in life.

However, the rest of the story is all about reconciliation. Reconciliation between Arcie and her estranged family, as well as Arcie and God. I think Lori does a great job addressing the questions that many new believers, especially ones that come to know Jesus later on in life, may have. If you’ve ever suffered a tragic loss, this might be a good book for you as well.

Thrown Alliances by Timothy Zahn

Darth Vader and Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Empire’s most powerful agents, are sent on a mission to investigate a disturbance that has been felt by Emperor Palpatine. Though both individuals are trusted by the Emperor, they do not trust each other. Rivals for the Emperor’s favor, the two seem like unlikely partners, but Palpatine knows this isn’t the first time the two have teamed up. Once, long ago, General Anakin Skywalker and Chiss Commander Miith’raw’nuruodo allied together to uncover the secrets in an outer rim world, and to save the life of a missing senator.

This book wrecked me. I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it was for me to read this book from Vader’s POV. I am such a big Anidala fan, just don’t get me started on it, and I’ve taken to addressing Vader as Anakin. So to be able to see how Vader thinks was great and greatly heartbreaking. Being able to go back and forth between “The Jedi” and Vader…I don’t think I could put it into words without spoiling a few scenes.

As much as I want to hate Thrawn, because he is an Imperial officer, I have to admire his brain. How he calculates things and uncovers mysteries…I only wish I had that level of intellect. He’s like Sherlock level, but he uses art and cultural references to help figure things out. It’s amazing. There were a few times I laughed because you just know Thrawn really knows what’s up with Anakin and Padme, and Vader.

This is the second book in the Thrawn series by Timothy Zahn.

What are some good books you read this last month?

Let me know in the comments!

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