Reading something different

I often post book recommendations on here but they are always books that I’ve found, brought and read by myself. I don’t like the idea of reviewing books and being negative about a book, probably because I hope to be an author myself and I don’t want karma to get me back one day. However, I was emailed the other day about a new book, offering me a review copy. Despite my reservations, I went for it and something very different landed in my lap.

Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley 

Here’s the story from Nicole’s website:

When high school junior Melissa Keiser returns to her hometown of Anna Maria Island, Florida, she has one goal: hide from the bullies who had convinced her she was the ugliest girl in school. But when she is caught sneaking into a neighbor’s pool at night, everything changes. Something is different now that Melissa is sixteen, and the guys and popular girls who once made her life miserable have taken notice. When Melissa gets the chance to escape life in a house ruled by her mom’s latest boyfriend, she must choose where her loyalties lie between a long-time crush,
a new friend, and her surfer brother who makes it impossible to forget her roots. Just as Melissa seems to achieve everything she ever wanted, she loses a loved one to suicide. Melissa must not only grieve for her loss, she must find the truth about the three boys who loved her and discover that joy sometimes comes from the most unexpected place of all.

This book was unexpected for me. It’s a YA coming-of-age story in essence, dealing with a girl who was bullied but has now blossomed and is desperate to fit in with the “cool” crowd and be accepted. It’s about a girl from a broken family trying to forget her problems with her long-term crush but who has to deal with a shocking suicide and face them all head on. It’s about love, friendship and grief. But it’s also about faith. Missy’s next-door-neighbour is someone who believes in God and finds peace in His love and forgiveness. Missy doesn’t believe but she’s searching for peace. And she finds it in unexpected places.

This is the first book I’ve read with Christian undertones but I was pleased that it didn’t detract from the story – religion is there but woven in to inspire and not preach. It’s as much about loving yourself as it is about loving God. If you have faith or struggle with it, I think the story will speak to you and move you. If you are unsure then it may not  do the same. But I found a lot to enjoy in the characters, the setting of a Florida island, and a flawed girl who learns to accept who she is. The writing has a lovely smoothness to it and sweeps you along like the tide. The title I have to say is pretty perfect for this book.

I’m not sure I’d rush out and read more in this genre but I enjoyed reading something different to my usual books. This is YA but not as I’ve known it. And the book has lingered with me since I closed it. With something you might call peace.

Have you ever read a Christian book? How do you feel about messages mixed in with stories?

Victoria

xoxo

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14 thoughts on “Reading something different

  1. Vicky, First I want to congratulate you that people are beginning to seek you out for reviews. It suggests that you are establishing yourself as a trusted resource and writer. Do not feel bad if you occasionally have to write a negative review, that will show that you have discerning tastes and make your readers trust you even more (IMHO).

    I love how you describe the writing here: “The writing has a lovely smoothness to it and sweeps you along like the tide.” Beautiful.

    I have read Christian books before. I sometimes pick one up because the story intrigues me, without realizing it is Christian literature. Sometimes, however, the Christian message does distract from the story, simply because I am unwilling to believe that faith and prayer solve all problems without a little work on the human’s part. I pray, in a way, to a spiritual being or a form of spirituality probably unrecognizable to my upbringing. But, I know that even believing in the impossible requires a little effort on my part. Does that make sense?

    Lisa

    • It does make sense. I think thats one of the hardest things, to work at believing in something and to re-affirm that belief. And that’s why I was so unsure about reading a Christian book, because I can be sceptical about the power of prayer and faith like you and I was relieved that the story also required effort on the part of the mc and that finding peace was as important as finding faith – it was about letting go of the pain of the past and that was a message that stuck with me.

  2. I got emailed about this one too! I haven’t started it (too many others to finish first!) but it really seemed to pique my curiosity! Glad to see a review of it that was positive. Maybe that’ll help motivate me to read it!

  3. I one a copy of The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund which is christian romance, a genre I’d never read before, but I loved it. It was also historical romance and I love history. The story was based on a real couple that crossed the Oregon Trail to work with orphans in the west coast. You can imagine, being christian, it was no 50 Shades of Grey – LOL, but I actually found it more tantalizing. It challenges the writer and the reader to imagine more. Suddenly, the touching of hands became very intimate. A loose curl of hair fallen from her bonnet became so seductive.

    Am I rushing out to buy more books of the genre? No. But I did buy another book from the author. It was something different, and I really liked it.

  4. This sounds like a good book! My ears perked up when you mentioned the setting–I used to visit my grandparents in the summer and they rented a place on Anna Maria Island, FL every year. I have some great memories there, but I haven’t been there in a long time! I’m glad that you were able to make it through the book! I’m a Christian, but even I can agree that many Christian fiction novels can be a bit over-the-top or cheesy. But I think the genre has come a long way, and now they’re able to sneak into mainstream bookstores and be picked up and read by mainstream readers, which is really what many of those authors have wanted all along. 😀 I’ll definitely keep my eye out for this book!

    • I love it when you have personal knowledge of a book’s setting, it really brings it to life! One of my favourite films is A Walk to Remember, which weaves faith and religion in really well to the love story.

  5. I am in the middle of reading Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman, which I won in a blog contest of sorts. I plan to read it and review it. This will be good for me, and probably for the author, too, as this isn’t my usual genre. I didn’t go into it with any kind of expectation, other than hoping for a good read. It’s listed as contemporary fiction, but I would definitely say that there are Christian elements to the story.

  6. Pingback: Melissa Love, author of Holly Suspicion. Contest now! | Yareah Magazine. Arts and writing

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