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.

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.

 

Nana’s Gift and The Red Geranium by Janette Oke

fiction-books-3 nadine keels

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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Five Gold Stars

Nana's GiftNana’s Gift and The Red Geranium by Janette Oke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

A husband spends years saving for a special gift for his wife, and a family legacy is birthed. A little boy must find a way to bring back his great-grandmother, who seems to have given up on life. Two families will realize how there are expensive gifts, and then there are priceless ones in Nana’s Gift and The Red Geranium, two tales by author Janette Oke.

This duo of novellas is worth checking out for Janette Oke fans. I’d even recommend these stories for reading with or aloud to someone. And the illustrations–oh! Love the charming drawings in this little hardback. They give you that warm and cozy Christmassy feeling, regardless of the fact that these aren’t holiday tales or anything. 🙂

The Red Geranium is my favorite story of the two.

Home by Ginny L. Yttrup

womens-fiction-books-3 nadine keels

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 from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
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Five Gold Stars

Home GinnyHome by Ginny L. Yttrup

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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

I didn’t know what I’d be in for when I met Melanie, a forty-nine-year-old, midlist author who emotionally checks out of life and her marriage, getting wrapped up in her fictional stories in Home, a novel by author Ginny L. Yttrup.

That is, I suspected I’d be in for something normal-but-fantastical like Stranger Than Fiction. So when I got into the novel and found it was pretty somber and wasn’t fantastical, I didn’t think I’d love it. I thought, “Oh, dear, so is this one of those melancholy stories where everybody’s giving each other sad smiles while they’re inwardly rehearsing all the ways their lives are unraveling or burning to ashes?”

Nothing against folks who do like melancholy novels, but I usually need comedy, thrilling twists, or something else more in contrast to balance it all out. Otherwise I feel like a book full of dry gloom is killing me softly.

But this novel, as it dug through dark, tough issues, softly gave me life, after while. Yes, I, a writer, tend to be partial to books and movies that get real about writers. But this novel gets real, period, in a way that isn’t sparkling but is still engaging. Well, I can’t say that I personally found the pages of Melanie’s manuscript the most interesting, since I wasn’t invested in her characters, but the manuscript’s effect on Melanie is so key.

This is a beautifully written story that gave me a “God is here” experience that I don’t get with all books. And, yes, I loved it.