Paige Rewritten by Erynn Mangum

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
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Paige Rewritten by Erynn Mangum

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Accepting a raise at work should be a no-brainer for Paige Alder, right? And when her “prodigal sister” shows up a genuinely changed person, Paige should be happy about it, yes? And what girl wouldn’t be thrilled when her handsome ex-boyfriend shows up a genuinely changed guy, ready to make amends? It seems that as soon as Paige gets on track, everything gets complicated again in Paige Rewritten, a novel by author Erynn Mangum.

Yeah. It still baffles me somewhat that the Paige Alder novels are labeled as young adult fiction, and even categorized as children’s books on Amazon. These books are clearly chick-lit with grownup characters in grownup situations. If any “age” had to be put on them, they’d be new adult novels, not YA, and certainly not children’s ones.

Anyhow, enough about that. For now.

Another enjoyable installment of the series, this is. It’s refreshing to read a story about the prodigal son’s brother, since the brother who didn’t leave home had issues to deal with, too. (Or, I should probably say the prodigal child’s sibling.) I get a kick out of Paige’s humorous take on things, and I laughed so hard at one point, I had to step away from the book for a while to cope with the hilarity.

There were a few things about the story that bothered me a bit. I mean, after Paige spent a whole previous novel learning how to tell folks no, if she now has a low-level stalker who’s annoying her, how come she doesn’t give a solid NO and nip the whole nuisance in the bud? She keeps saying “annunciate” when I’m pretty sure she means “enunciate.” There are places where the story seems to idle or stroll around in circles, sharing no important or new information. And though, after reading the first novel, I was prepared for another cliffhanger ending, I’m still not a fan of the cliffhanger. Endings that hang off a cliff just make a book feel incomplete.

Nevertheless, this novel can bring readers right along into the heroine’s world, whether or not they’ve read the first book in the series. And, as before, since I’d decided early that I wanted to read all the Paige Alder novels, the cliffhanger isn’t the reason why I’ll be moving on to Book Three, which I happily will be.

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Here’s my review of the first Paige Alder novel, Paige Torn.

 

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*UPDATE* May 22, 2017: I did indeed move on to Book Three, which was rather interesting in its own way.
My thoughts are here.

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Paige Torn by Erynn Mangum

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book, for which I’ve given an honest review, through a publisher’s rewards program. I received no monetary compensation.
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Paige Torn by Erynn Mangum

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

It seems Paige Alder is so many good things to everyone. But between volunteering at church, wearing various hats at work, and helping her best friend prepare for an anniversary party and subsequent wedding, Paige barely has a minute to herself anymore. When she’s got no time to eat right, to make crafts, or to spend with Tyler—this great, new guy she’s met—something’s got to give in Paige Torn, a novel by author Erynn Mangum.

I find it unfitting that this book has been officially categorized and more or less marketed as youth/young adult fiction. YA fiction is about teenagers and teenage problems, isn’t it? Given that Paige and her friends are in their twenties, and Paige is dealing with grownup problems, I’d easily classify this book as new adult fiction instead, in all of its chick-lit-ness.

And chick lit it is, with the downright funniness to prove it. I had some good, satisfying laughs while running with Paige through her hectic life, even as her hectic life exhausted me. But I did have some time to breathe. Although I wouldn’t call the story dull anywhere, it’s the kind of read where I can’t recall anything too vital or memorable happening in certain chunks of it, but reading those chunks was enjoyable anyway. And the practical faith message is tied nicely into Paige’s life, doesn’t feel like a lesson unnaturally forced in to make a point.

Now, the novel pretty much ends on a cliffhanger, which I don’t like. Still, the cliffhanger won’t be bullying me into reading on to find out what happens next. I’d already decided less than halfway through the book that I wanted to continue Paige’s series.

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Here’s my review of the next Paige Alder novel, Paige Rewritten.

 

Honest and for True by Jane Lebak

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Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. My honest review comes by way of a complimentary copy of this book that I received from the author.
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Five Gold Stars

Honest and for TrueHonest And For True by Jane Lebak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Brilliant. Simply brilliant. I’ve never read anything like it!

Well, yes, I have. It was author Jane Lebak’s novelette, Upsie-Daisy, in the Where the Light May Lead anthology that first introduced me to a bright and hilarious lady mechanic, Lee Singer, and her bright and hilarious best chum and guardian angel, Bucky. The two of them are in for an adventurous ride in Honest and for True, particularly because Lee has this terrible habit of lying to every man she dates (lying about her job), and Bucky wants her to drop the dishonesty already before it costs her more than she’ll ever want to lose.

As with its related novelette, I found this novel to be quick and clever, imaginative and real, and a downright riot. But even with all of its laugh-worthiness, the story tugged at my heartstrings–once to the point of my having to set the book aside and go flailing off while inwardly wailing, “BUCK-EEEEE!” (*Ahem.*)

This story takes a thought-provoking look at relationships: romantic, familial, one’s relationship with oneself. And that Lee and Bucky have such an entertaining and well-crafted friendship, one of the best you may ever come across in a women’s fiction comedy. I’ll admit some of the language in the novel took me off guard, from “mild swears” to language not allowed on broadcast television, but I didn’t find it gratuitous, and the strength of the story was certainly enough to keep me reading on.

If you’ve got an appreciation for George Bailey and Clarence Odbody’s adventure in Bedford Falls (or, um, Pottersville), go ahead and check out The Adventures of Lee and Bucky in New York City. Brilliant!

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The adventures continue…

Forever and for Keeps

Where the Light May Lead (A Novelette Collection)

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Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Four Silver Stars

Where the Light May LeadWhere The Light May Lead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Well! As a multi-genre ChristFic anthology of novelettes, Where the Light May Lead was indeed a new experience for me, chiefly because I’d never read any of these authors before.

That’s How She Rolls, a rom-com by C.L. Wells, features a humorous heroine who’s self-conscious but also self-aware. Beauty and hotness come in all different sizes, ladies! Leopard’s Find by Kimberly A. Rogers was my first taste of urban fantasy, initially a little tricky for me to follow, but it became endearing pretty quick.

I’ve watched a lot more sci-fi than I’ve ever read, but either way, I’m rather sure Circular Horizon by Bokerah Brumley is the first I’ve encountered with blatant God-consciousness up in space, fitting for a God of the universe. ‘Tis So Sweet by Faith Blum is historical fiction simply told, rushed in spots but big on sweetness and the need for faith–no coincidence there! And stepping into The Quinn Case by Julie C. Gilbert was much like sampling a crime drama on primetime television, which I like to do on occasion.

I usually find a favorite in a collection, and Upsie-Daisy by Jane Lebak is strikingly clever and hilarious, imaginative and real at the same time. Lee and her guardian angel, Bucky, are quite the entertaining duo, unique but relatable, and this glimpse into Lee’s work and romance-related experiences certainly whet my appetite to read more about her.

Whether it’d be a new genre venture (like it mostly was for me) or not, Christian Fiction readers of all tastes should enjoy giving this collection a try.