Jackie LearnsToWrite


Book Reviews

Blog Tour: A Time To Rise

Today the final book of the Out of Time Series, A Time To Rise¬†was released!! I haven’t read the last book yet, but I just know it’s gonna be good ūüôā ¬†This series has been wonderful so far! ¬†And here’s 5 reasons why you should jump on the bandwagon and read the series too!!

  1. Creativity:  This author @NadineBrandes has so much creativity in her books.  Her dystopian setting is so unique: cities with tight rope walking, futuristic inventions, and clocks that tell everyone when they will die (among MANY other things!)Village
  2. Writing style: I love the author’s writing style. ¬†Some of her literary devices are so fresh and fun! ¬†I often don’t give much extended thought to these, but hers just stuck out!!writing-1209121_1280
  3. Emotions: I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, it’s great!emoticon-1611718_1280
  4. Characters: Parvin is so human.  She definitely has her weaknesses, but shows such growing strength.  The romances in the story are so pure and sweet as well!
  5. Message: The story has a deeper message about faith and shalomGrowing faith


So, order your copies, get reading, and enjoy this fantastic series!! ūüôā


And don’t forget to come to the Facebook party!! ¬†

#ATime2Die   #ATime2Speak    #ATime2Rise    #OutofTimeSeries


Blog Tour: A Time To Speak

A Time To Rise is¬†the second in the incredible¬†Out of Time Series by Nadine Brandes (@NadineBrandes). ¬†As we await the publication of the third and final book of the series, coming out in October (I can’t wait!!), I am excited to participate in the blog tour! For my piece,¬† I decided to do another photo tour (see Blog Tour: Nadine Brandes’ A Time To Die¬†for the first one) to summarize the key events. ¬†And if you weren’t already interested in reading this series, just look at how this novel progresses from jail to train cars to Antarctica and on! ¬†That’s gotta spark some sort of curiosity, right? ¬† There may be some **SPOILERS** so close your eyes if you haven’t read it yet and don’t want to know what’s coming!

  1. Jail



2. Solomon



3. Urge To Speak



4. The City


5. New Clocks



6. The Train Cars



7. Shipped



8. Antarctica


9. A Plan



10. The West



11. The Wall



12. Captured



13. A Time To Die



#ATime2Speak      #OutofTimeSeries

If you pre-order the book, click on the link below to get some pre-order swag ūüôā

Review: Brainwalker

Title: Brainwalker

Authors: Robyn Mundell & Stephan Lacast

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy; Teens & YA

Rating: 4/5 stars

 Brainwalker was a very exciting and clever book featuring a boy who finds himself in his dad’s brain with the opportunity to save him from his decreasing creativity and mental flexibility.  I would describe the plot as fast paced, imaginative, and adventurous. With both elements of actual brain anatomy as well as fantastical components, the setting for the novel is mostly the inside of the protagonist’s father’s brain, the Brainiverse.  Mundell and Lacast introduce science terms and facts amidst the science fiction throughout the book that could spur an interest in science among their audience.  I could definitely have seen my upper elementary/middle school self having enjoyed this book.  Overall, this was an entertaining read and I rate it 4/5 stars. 
I received a free electronic copy from Netgalley to review

Blog Tour: Nadine Brandes’ A Time To Die

I am excited to participate in the blog tour of Nadine Brandes’ A Time To Die as Nadine Brandes’ (@NadineBrandes)¬†last book of the Out of Time Series series will be released this October! A Time To Die has become my favorite work of fiction and I’m so excited to read the conclusion of the series soon! My post for this work is a photo tour of Parvin’s journey. Thank you to Pixabay for the photos! There may be minor *SPOILERS* as the pictures and titles somewhat reveal the storyline so proceed with caution. Enjoy!!


1. Unity Village



2. Biography



3. Skelley



4. The Wall

The Wall


5. The Cliff

The Cliff


6. Nearing Albino Village

Albino territory


7. Jude


8. The Dregs

The dregs


9. Willow



10. Traveling

Camping and journeying


11. Train 

The train


12. Ivanhoe


13. Sunrise



14. Growing Faith

Growing faith


15. Bridge, Mission



16. CountdownCountdown


17. Assassin



18.  Perseverance



19. Devastation



20. New Purpose

new purpose

#ATime2Die     #OutofTimeSeries

If you pre-order the book, click on the link below to get some pre-order swag ūüôā

Review: Return to the Secret Garden

Title: Return to the Secret Garden

Author: Holly Webb

Genre: Middle Grade, Children’s fiction

Rating: 4/5

Return to the Secret Garden¬†was a beautifully written middle grade/children’s novel which echoes The Secret Garden. ¬†This story takes place in the World War II era, during which children were evacuated from London due to bomb threats. ¬†The protagonist, Emmie, is a disgruntled and misunderstood orphan who is relocated¬†to Misselthwaite Manor with the rest of her children’s home. ¬†Webb¬†skillfully develops and grows her main characters, describes the gorgeous details of the gardens, and cleverly weaves in elements from the original story. ¬† ¬†I would estimate that this is probably about a 4th/5th grade or higher reading level. ¬†I enjoyed this read!


*I received this copy from Netgalley in exchange for review

Review: Applesauce Weather

Title: Applesauce Weather

Author: Helen Frost

Illustrator: Amy June Bates

Genre: Children’s fiction

Rating: 4/5 stars

Warm and poetic, Applesauce Weather recounts a special yearly visit of a story-telling uncle to his niece and nephew. The atmosphere is rustic and homey with a sense of nostalgia. The writing is very poetic, like a form of word art. The perspectives change frequently, and sometimes seemed to change suddenly. I was reading this on the kindle app on my iPad, though, which may have altered some of the formatting (it definitely did for the pictures). Accompanying the book were illustrations throughout in the form of detailed black and white sketches, which really helped one picture the faces of the characters. If I were to guess at a grade-level for this book, I would put it at a 3rd to 5th grade reading level (depending on the child), in order for them to keep up with the frequently shifting perspectives, understand the social nuances, and appreciate the poetic elements. This book was a cozy and well written piece of poetic children’s fiction.


*I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.



Review: A Time To Die

Title: A Time To Die

Author: Nadine Brandes

Genre: YA Fiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Christian Fiction

Rating: 5/5 Stars! My new favorite work of fiction!

I LOVED this book. I literally stayed up until 1:30 am on a work night to finish because I had to know what happened (and even though I was really tired the next day, it was worth it!). ¬†The world created in this novel was incredibly rich and imaginative. ¬†The writing style was eloquently executed, and the literary devices laced throughout to book enriched the experience. ¬†Parvin, the protagonist, was such an honest and relatable character. ¬†It was easy to attach and feel her¬†perspective. ¬†The plot kept me very engaged and the tension built through the book up to a very potent conclusion. ¬†Additionally, there’s a beautiful spiritual message of God’s presence and desire for shalom. ¬†I have decided that this is my new favorite book (of fiction) and highly recommend it!!


Note: This book series came out a couple years ago and the last in the trilogy is soon to come. ¬†A Time To Die is the first one, and I was inspired to read it after looking at another blogger’s review. ¬†This is not one of my NetGalley reviews, but I actually purchased this read. ¬†I just enjoyed it so much that I just wanted to share ūüôā


Review: The Green Umbrella

Title: The Green Umbrella

Author: Jackie Azua Kramer

Illustrator: Maral Sassouni

Genre: Children’s fiction/ Picture book

Rating: 5/5 stars

This book is adorable! ¬†In the description it says that the book is a “charming tale of imagination, sharing and friendship,” and this sums it up perfectly. ¬†The winsome illustrations complement the story and are very well done. ¬†The story is mostly a simple plot with some repetition, but then each encounter also includes some more imaginative thought that may challenge the younger reader to the next level of comprehension.¬† If I had to guess an age range for this book (and to be clear, I’m not a teacher or reading professional), I would classify it as a Pre-K to Kindergarten age level. ¬†If you have or work with children in this age group, I think this would be an endearing and fun book for them.

*I received a free copy from NetGalley for review.

Review: The Dream Protocol

Title: The Dream Protocol: Descent (Book 1)

Author: Adara Quick

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy; Teens & YA

Rating: 4/5 stars

Filled with suspense and creativity, The Dream Protocol: Descent is a book about a teenage girl standing up for her values, friends, and family in a controlling, futuristic world.  Adara Quick had me hooked within the first few pages, and the building tension through the story made it very engaging.  I very much enjoyed the mysterious settlement Quick created which was the backdrop of the story.   I was reminded of elements from The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Giver, and The Maze Runner, yet the world was its own unique place.  Though some of the dialogue and relationships were geared toward teens (this is a novel classified as young adult fiction and is about teens), and though there were some scattered details that I found curious about a society so rigid and technologically advanced, these did not ruin the experience for me. I found this to be a fun read and have already recommended the book to a couple people. I am looking forward to the sequel coming out this Winter 2016!


*I received a free copy from NetGalley to review


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