Mini-Reviews: Above, Heaven’s Queen, Steal the North, and The Plover

Recently, I’ve read more books than I can possibly review. Or that I want to review. So I’m doing another round of mini-reviews. Hopefully this will allow me to catch up without disappointing anyone (mostly myself).

April Mini-Reviews

Above by Isla Morley
One line synopsis: Sixteen year old Blythe is kidnapped by and held captive by a mostly unhinged survivalist in rural Kansas, she spends more than a decade of her life trapped there with no clue what’s going on in the outside world.
Thoughts: The writing itself is nice enough, but the pacing and plot are just a little bit off. The novel has an almost 1970s vibe, as well as a bit of a Christian fiction undertone, even though it was set in modern times. There is an interesting twist towards the end, but not enough to redeem the story for me. 2/5.

Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach
One line synopsis: In the third and final installment into the Paradox series (read the reviews for the first two here), Devi Morris is running for her life – with Rupert by her side – attempting to figure out how she is the key to saving the universe.
Thoughts: I enjoyed all of this series, it’s not perfect, but well worth reading if you have a thing for kickass women (and men) in science fiction. And you know I do. 4/5.

Steal the North by Heather Brittain Bergstrom
One line synopsis: Discovering that her mother has been keeping her family’s past a secret, sixteen year old Emmy is sent to her Aunt’s for the summer to participate in a faith healing – where she discovers a family she never knew she had and a love that will change her life.
Thoughts: I thought this was a brilliant novel. I also think it has great crossover potential between YA and adult readers. It reads easily and coming of age novels are universal. This novel’s subject matter – separated families, death, and young love – are all topic that resonate deeply with me. Highly recommend for people who love a good family drama with a bit of cult-like religion mixed in (even if it’s heavy on the melodrama). 4.5/5.

The Plover by Brian Doyle
One line synopsis: Declan O’Donnell sets off on a voyage across the Pacific and meets a wide range of others.
Thoughts: This one wasn’t for me at the time I was trying to read it. Written in near stream of consciousness, this is not an easy book, although the language is absolutely beautiful. I’d consider reading this again someday to see if I’d have a more favorable opinion, but currently 2/5. Beautiful, but I didn’t find it enjoyable.

Anyone else in a bit of a slump? I know I can’t be the only one…

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