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Cecily Wolfe

Author of That Night

12 Works 47 Members 12 Reviews 1 Favorited

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Throne of Grace is one of the only Christian romance novels I have read. I saw it was free on Amazon, and I decided I might as well pick up a different type of book.

The book is sweet and simple, if I'm putting it lightly. The historical aspect made it seem so much sweeter than I expected it to be, and to be honest I didn't mind the religion aspect of it. I didn't find it to be "in your face", which was a pleasant surprise.

I found the relationship to build up a little quickly, but that is more of a personal comment. Reading other reviews, I've found most people haven't mind this aspect (since I haven't read many Christian romance books, I'm not sure if this is normal or not, but it worked). I also enjoyed the drama and other relationships within this book. It was unique and made the story much more than just a "romance" book. If anything, my only request would be to make the book move faster, but the relationship a little slower.

Overall, this book was a nice, clean book.

Three out of five stars.
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Briars_Reviews | 1 other review | Aug 4, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
This book could have been really great! I am a huge fan of the 'friends to lovers' trope (with my favorite being "Just one of the Groomsmen"). With the set up of two friends exiting high school and both competing for the same job the potential for greatness was there. However the payoff fell a little bit short for me as it turns out that the job they are both competing for is just an over the summer paid position and the complications of carrying on a long distance relationship is mentioned but never addressed in detail. In regards to the temp position at the library I felt the stakes were not high enough for their friendship to have dissolved as much as it did. If say Maya had been wanting the position as a means to switch over to becoming a full time librarian to fulfill some long time dream she had that would have been more impactful. As it stood I couldn't' understand why neither would talk of finding a different job or about potentially splitting hours at the library (since it seemed that the librarian valued both of them equally initially and had expressed sadness that there weren't enough funds for both). If their friendship was really as strong as they said why wouldn't they have talked about different options? Neither of them wanted to be librarians and you can't tell me that there was nothing else in the whole town that couldn't have satisfied either Maya's need for money and Connor's need for teaching kudos.
Jason and Kaylee really ended up getting the short end of the stick in this book too and I will say I got kinda of bored with the repetitious "Oh no I like you, but I set you up with X! Now what ever can I do? I can't tell you that I like you!" over and over and over again that came into play surrounding the addition of the aforementioned characters. Both Connor and Maya were ignoring Jason and Kaylee or otherwise using them as pawns in their dispute. I also felt that this was an un-necessary element that was added in because neither Jason or Kaylee really represented a threat to Maya & Connors relationship (as is evidenced by the ending and their helping throughout). Things that could have been further explored are what a college relationship would mean, or negotiating different working schedules when they had previously been used to working with one another all the time. That would have, in my opinion, made for stronger content.
In short, it had a lot of potential to be greatness as the bones of a great story where there but it got lost in repetition of the same things and talking points and fails to utilize more impactful dramatic themes.
Also, as a note the narration (since I listened to this as an audiobook) in this by the end had me wanting to tear my hair out. The narrators diction is not for me and if I hear the word library pronounced "lie-berry" one more time I think I will have an aneurism!
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Fireformed | Nov 5, 2020 |
Parties are for fun, for hanging out with your friends and escaping your troubles for a while. So what happens when one of your best friends is found dead of an apparent drug overdose at one? That’s the reality that best friends Sarah and Cass find themselves in the center of. For as long as they can remember, it’s been them and Kayla, but now, she’s gone, and they aren’t sure why. They are determined to do what they can to find out the truth of that night, no matter what it costs.

This book handles a myriad of topics and emotions very well. First, grief and loss were handled in a very real, expressive manner. With each character having the chance to voice their thoughts and opinions, it painted a very real picture of what someone’s death can do to those around them, how it can make them question and lose themselves. I also loved the way the story kind of made the point that even people we think we’re close to, we might not know the truth about. Everyone faces their own struggles, and not everyone will be willing to talk about it. Even people we think are fine and happy may be going through personal struggles that no one would ever imagine.

With so many different POVs woven together, this is a complex story, but one that is very powerful and important. This book is targeted for fans of 13 Reasons Why, and just like that famous book, I think everyone should give That Night by Cecily Wolf a read.

Narration was very well done. Each voice had its own little flair, and the emotional scenes were done very well.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
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Kayla.Krantz | 3 other reviews | Feb 14, 2020 |
Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

There is little mystery to A Harvest of Stars. In the synopsis, the author tells us that Locklyn (Lock) Gaines lives with a drunken, abusive stepfather, Bobby Wyatt. Her mother is too sick to help. The townspeople turn a blind eye. There are only so many ways that story can end. Then, there’s the boy obsessed with her, Isiah Parker. That storyline too has limited options. But even with much of the mystery gone, the author keeps us immersed, running our emotions from despair, to hope, to hate … as we wait for the other shoe to drop.

Before getting into characters and plot, it’s worth mentioning to the potentially interested reader that the genre for this book is misleading. At the time of this writing, it was listed as a children’s book on dysfunctional relationships and abuse. To me, this book is adult reading, or at a minimum, advanced teens. The violence is not graphic, but it’s tense and suggestive, especially toward the end.

The author uses a theme – child abuse – that’s virtually guaranteed to elicit our emotions. Lock is in a desperate situation. But for us to fully feel her pain, to despise those that want to hurt her or who look away, the writing needs to be crisp, the characters real, and the plot believable. There are places where the author meets these goals quite well. I liked, for example, the way Lock had romanticized her mother and father’s relationship, when objectively, it seemed little more than a one-night stand. She had little hope beyond her dreams.

But while parts were good, the author could have done better. The writing was a bit muddled, often repetitive, and very slow developing. Many of the sentences were run-on. The characterization of both Lock and Isiah was lacking. Lock, for example, seems almost fatalistic in the final scenes, trusting to the same defensive ploys that had failed her in the past. Isiah, on the other hand, seems the quiet, overly polite friend, until suddenly in the second half of the book, he develops a temper and fighting skills. It seemed a very convenient shift in personality to support the plot. And finally, it’s never clear how Lock’s dire situation is perpetuated, why the townspeople never help. The great grandmother’s haughtiness is blamed, but would anyone really care after so many years? Then, her mother’s poor life choices are questioned, but why does that reflect on Lock? And through it all, everyone knows that Bobby is a vile, brutal drunk, but they still ignore injuries even Isiah as a child noticed. It doesn’t add up.

Overall, the theme – child abuse – is bound to elicit our emotions. But the possibility of making us really ‘live’ Lock’s pain wasn’t fully realized, weakened by some muddled prose, inconsistent characters, and implausible obstacles.
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BMPerrin | 1 other review | Sep 17, 2019 |

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Works
12
Members
47
Popularity
#330,643
Rating
3.8
Reviews
12
ISBNs
15
Favorited
1