Book Review #2- Aurora and God by G.M.J

Happy Monday, guys! I’m back with another book review. Be prepared to see a few more of these. I’m really into reviewing. Who knew!

I’m also working on the sequel for Caged. I’ll post some sneak peeks as soon as I feel comfy. Don’t wanna jinx it. 😉

Alright, let’s dive right in!!

Today’s review is on a book called Aurora and God by G.M.J. This is quite different than the genre I frequent. It’s a contemporary Christian romance.

Aurora struggles with addiction and depression following the death of her boyfriend, Tom. Having distanced herself from her friends and family, she often feels alone and helpless. Aurora was once religious but has since lost her connection with God, because she feel like He has deserted her. Her sister Julia struggles with her new pregnancy and remaining dedicated to her sister even when she has her own doubts about her relationship.

After one night of consuming too many pills, Aurora’s father makes her go see Fr. Sebastian, a local priest and therapist. At once, Aurora is calmed by him. Their relationship is a rollercoaster that would make anyone a little nauseous– in the best way of course! Their friendship blossoms, though, and wonderful things come around the bend.

Picture taken from Amazon.com

I purchased this book in order to review it, and I’m really glad I did. I was so hesitant at first because it’s really outside of my wheelhouse. I don’t read a lot of religious stuff, even though I am religious. To say the least, I was pleasantly surprised.

Style of Writing: The author has a very easy-to-read style. It’s very picturesque and flowy, sometimes bleeding into straight poetic. There were several instances where I had to stop and think about what I was reading to let it all sink in. There are some truly beautiful quotes.

Length: It wasn’t a terribly long read. Once the story really got moving, it took me about five days to finish, only because I work full-time and could only read in the evenings. It read smoothly, though.

Character Development: This is by far my favorite part of this story. Aurora is so relatable. That feeling of helplessness and despair, of loneliness and disgust (for herself and everyone around her). I get that. I really do. She sort of dissolves into her darkness at times, and every single time, I was sympathizing and wanting to help her back up. I celebrated her good days and felt SO RELIEVED when things got better for her.

Julia, her sister, was another AMAZING character. Julia is so full of potential. The complete opposite of her sister, she seems to have it all worked out and it’s so unfair at the beginning. But what the reader quickly learns is that Julia deals with a lot of doubts about her fiance. Rightfully so. He’s a jerkhead. Let’s leave it at that before I spoil too much.

**SPOILER ALERT** I can’t finish my review without discussing the end of this book. So, beware.

Both of these girls really grow out of their darkness and into themselves. It was amazing to watch their transformations.

Lastly, about characters, I freakin’ loved Sebastian and Aurora’s relationship. I’ll go ahead and admit that I really wanted them together– even if he is a priest. I was REALLY hoping things would work out for them. That leads us to my next category.

Plot: Like I already said, it was a smooth story to read. The chapters moved along quickly and there wasn’t really any slow moments as you went. I do have one complaint though. *clears throat*

GMJ HOW DARE YOU WITH THAT ENDING I SWEAR I’LL NEVER BE OKAY WITH THAT

Um… So, I was not happy with the end. After everything Aurora goes through, she loses one thing she really wanted in life, the one thing she freakin’ deserved. I get the bigger picture. I get the whole “she didn’t need a man to be happy in her life” thing, but come on… UGH

From a writer’s point of view, it really felt like lazy writing. The ending was so unexpected and rushed and… unnecessary. I feel like it was a simple way to tie up lose ends. He didn’t need to die, dang it. He could have just left town like he planned to. End rant.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

Overall, I’d give it an 8/10. I would definintely reccommend it, because I really did enjoy it. I just had that one SMALL complaint. 😉 The book can be found here in paperback and ebook format.

I’m baaaack! (With a book review!)

Hi, everyone!! I’ve been gone for a while, and I’m super sorry about that. Work started back up, and with all of the new guidelines and COVID adjustments, things have been hectic to say the least. I’ve been all kinds of stressy and depressy.

But like…

amy ryan | Tumblr

So, I’m back! And with something new for me! A BOOK REVIEW!! Since Caged was published, I’ve been working really hard to boost sales and gather reviews. If you have read it, please consider leaving an Amazon & Goodreads review. Heck, post the same one in both places. It really helps me get the word out and get readers’ attention.

I joined some reader groups on Facebook and Twitter and started exchanging reviews with other self-published authors. I should do a better job of supporting them anyway! One of my favorites that I’ve read over the past few weeks is…

The Cassidy Chronicles by Adam Gaffen!

Picture taken from book’s Amazon profile.

The story itself is set in a post-war United States in the year 2113. The country is split into sections, each being its own true state. They have their own currencies, laws, etc. At first, this was a bit overwhelming for me to keep track of, but as the story continued, I fell into it quickly. Adam includes a very helpful map. I used it often as I forgot what state was which.

The two main characters are every bit as charming as they are well-written. Aiyana Cassidy is a confident engineer working on a concept that will eliminate the need for public transportation (sort of like teleportation, but I can’t think of another decent name for it). Her fiancee, Kendra Foster-Briggs is a gorgeous “sensies” actress with a deadly secret life.

It’s on the day of their wedding that things start to go haywire. As assassination attempt mid-ceremony leads to two brides and their groom– Derek– being on the run. Conveniently enough, Kendra’s double-life is revealed, and every gun in her arsenal will be used to protect Cass.

I adored the entire cast. Ninety percent of the secret agents and scientists are female. Each one was different than the last. They had their own backstories, personalities, quirks, and talents. Mac with her chatterbox and hacking skills, Montana the Wrecking Ball, Stone the butt-kicking Aussie…. It’d be impossible for me to pick a favorite side character.

My only complain was that most of the characters really seemed too perfect. They were all mega-talented gals. I definitely connected with them, but sometimes, it all seemed to work out just a little too well. I would like to see the main girls, Ken and Cass, make mistakes and show weakness.

Now, let’s talk about this PLOT. When I say page-turner, I mean PAGE-TURNER. It was a rather long book, but technically, it’s three books in one. And I could not stop reading. Once I got started, I was done in no time at all because there was no stopping. Every event perfectly led into the next one; the alternating third-person POVs made sure the reader (me) was constantly engaged. There wasn’t a boring part in the entire 500 page book!

There’s romance of all kinds– polyamorous, homosexual, heterosexual… Literally all of it. If you want a LGBT+ inclusive book, this is The One. It wasn’t overdone or overexplained. No detailed scenes; everything PG-13 for the most part. And it wasn’t cheesy! I found myself grinning often as the girls were absolutely adorable together.

I could honestly probably go on forever. I loved this book. It was so well-written. Kudos to Adam!! You can find the book here. His Facebook profile is here. Please, please read this book. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I’ll be back with more book reviews! Thanks for reading!!

xoxo,

Amy. 🙂

Character Interviews (Cyrus)

Happy Monday!! We’re back today with another character interview. I might tear up a little on this one. Eden’s big brother, Cyrus, is here with me, ready to answer some questions. 

(As before, interviewer questions are in BOLD.)

Hey, Cyrus! Are you ready? *grins* Oh, absolutely! Let’s do this! We know your full name is Cyrus Cavalleri, but do you have any nicknames? Sure. Eden and Lin call me Cy. I’m sure the council calls me all kinds of things, but I don’t dwell on their negativity. They’re just a bunch of old sourheads. 

What’s your occupation? I am on The Council here in Druxy. I’m in charge of general health and welfare. I make sure everyone gets fed and that the general populace is taken care of. Is it a hard job? *rubs neck* It can be, well, pressuring. Not everyone agrees with the decisions The Council makes. Heck, we don’t even agree with each other sometimes. Do you like your job, though? *grimaces* No, not really. But it’s what I’m good at. Leading comes second-nature. Plus, I need to take care of my father’s legacy. He was on The Council before me. 

Do you have a motto? Sure. Always look for the silver lining. How does that affect your everyday life? Well, it helps me to make it through a day in this gray dump. Living underground, constantly throwing your baby sister into the lion’s den, fighting to make the best decision… it can all be really depressing. But it’s important for everyone that I remain positive. So, I do. Or, I try to. Things have been really hard here lately. 

You said that your life right now is depressing. How about your childhood? What was that like? *laughs* My parents tried really hard. I’ll give them that. They did their best to make sure I have more good memories than bad. Everything was golden most days. Did they treat you differently than Eden? Of course. I’m the oldest, the one responsible for her now that they’re gone. They were more serious with me when it came to the dangers of the world above us and the risks they were taking every day. I had to be trained harder than she did, even though she’s so much better at fighting the machines than I am. I love them all— Eden included— but I sometimes wanted to kick back like she could. 

When and where are you the happiest? I may have said this a couple times, but I freakin’ adore my sister. So anytime we can be together is heaven on Earth. I have this one memory of a night when we snuck out to the river to watch the sunset. I wrapped my arms around her, and we cuddled up in the shadows so the patrols wouldn’t see. *sighs* I don’t know why that made me so happy… So you and Eden are really close? Inseparable. I’m one hundred percent sure we’d die for each other. 

If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be, and why? I’d convince my parents not to let Eden go on supply runs with them. I’d give anything to have been able to keep her out of that world, to keep her safe. It was too late for them, but if they’d never trained her, maybe she’d… I don’t know… be content with me down here. I’m terrified I won’t always be able to protect her. 

You’re an amazing brother. You know that, right? *smiles* Thank you. I try. Let’s switch gears and talk about some of your opinions and beliefs. Sounds fun! Do you believe in soulmates? *thinks* This might be a little… mean. But no, I don’t. Relationships take work. Nothing really comes that natural. That’s not harsh. It makes sense. So, do you want a relationship? I’m not looking, per say. I think I’m a little picky. Have you ever been in love? Romantically? I don’t think so. I’m sorry to hear that. *laughs* Don’t be! I told you— I’m picky. What are you looking for in a romantic partner? *thinks* Um…. someone smarter than me, probably. Probably younger, because I like to be in charge. *laughs* Looks aren’t really important, but I tend to like darker haired individuals. Tall… gentle… funny… passionate… Cy, it kind of sounds like you’re describing someone I know… *turns BRIGHT pink*

Let’s, um, finish up with some rapid fire questions. Favorite color? Brown. Food? Anything that’s not soup. Ugh. Most treasured possession? My tulip book that Eden reads. What makes you laugh? Linux, really. He’s stupidly funny. Sad? When Eden leaves for runs. Angry? When The Council questions my decisions. Are you spontaneous or do you like plans? Oh, I’m a planner. For sure. Who do you most despise? Ugh. *groans* EMORY.

Alright. That’s it. I’ll let you go back to work now. Thanks for taking the time to come talk to me. Anytime, Amy! 

Cyrus has a special place in my heart… 

Have you picked up a copy of Caged yet? If not, go to the link in my Works tab and buy one today! It’s free to Kindle Unlimited users! If you have bought one, please don’t forget to leave a review! 

Lots of love,

Amy.