Hey there, fair readers! Happy Saturday!
If you already don’t know, I’m Deanna Lynn and I own Okie Dreams Book Reviews. I’m also, at current, the lead and sole reviewer for the blog. But I’m hoping in the next few months to bring in a few additional reviewers so that whole sole reviewer thing will hopefully change in the coming months. Anyway…
Since we’ve been going pretty strong with a lot of reviews, blog tours, reveals, and promo spots this past year, I thought I’d start trying out a few new book discussion features on the blog. I’ve got a list of a few things I want to try over the next month or so, but I’m also open to suggestions from those of you who visit and want to see more. So, if you have something you’d like to see me start featuring on the blog here, feel free to email me and tell me your thoughts and ideas on it. For now though, I thought I would start with a Book Talk, where I discuss a few books that truly, deeply, emotionally affected me as I read them, in one way or another.
Each one of the books below took me on an incredible emotional journey, a few of which I’ve yet to recover from because I keep thinking about the book at random times. Which is how I know just how amazing I actually find these reads.
So, let’s get to it, shall we?
The following four novels are all books I’ve recently read, within the last six months or so, that completely destroyed me emotionally, in one way or another. The books listed below are in no particular order, but they all affected me in different and highly emotional ways. Up first is…
“War was such a spiteful bitch; she took everything we loved and handed us back a folded flag in return, telling us the honor of their sacrifice was a just and equal payment. It wasn’t.”
~ Ember Howard, Full Measures
This book is a recent read for me and believe me when I say, I was so utterly unprepared for the depth of emotion in this book. Josh & Ember’s love story thoroughly gutted me and I was not expecting that at all, but man, did I fall in love with these characters and the author because of it. And what makes this read even more awesome for me is the fact that it had a follow-up book, Hallowed Ground (released 01/25/2016), that continued Josh and Ember beautiful and emotional love story, and it was just as gut-wrenching as this first book was for me.
In fact, all four books in the Flight & Glory series broke my heart and made me cry, and yet, I fell in love with each and every one of them because they affected me so, so deeply.
If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend reading it. It’s a fabulous new adult series by an extraordinarily gifted author.
Want more of the Flight & Glory series? Check out the books at the links below:
Available on February 15th 2016
I received an ARC (advance reading copy) of Strong Signal last weekend and I have to say, the book was such a surprise for me. I don’t read a lot of m/m romance books so when I do, I tend to choose books that have either been recommended to me by a trusted friend or that has been written by an author I’m familiar with and love. This book was the latter one, as I love Megan Erickson and I was excited to read another gamer related book from her.
I fell in love with soldier Garrett and gamer Kai the first time they appeared on the page. They are both so brilliantly characterized that I couldn’t put the book down, or help but fall in love with each of them both. And though I can’t post my full review yet (it’s coming on release day in a review stop), I will say, I hardcore loved and devoured this book. It’s a phenomenal read and I cannot wait to be able to talk more about it on release day. But just know, this one is special and it’s a keeper, folks, so if you weren’t thinking about it before, give some serious thought to checking it out now. It’s amazing and so well worth the read.
This one isn’t up for pre-order yet, but you can add Strong Signal to your TBR shelf on Goodreads here
“Day one hundred and forty-two of being friend-zoned. Send rations.”
~ Russell Hart, Make Me
There is something incredibly appealing about a man brought to his knees by love and that’s exactly what happens to Russell in the third and final book of Tessa Bailey’s Broke & Beautiful series for Avon Impulse.
In Make Me, Russell has friend zoned himself with Abby and despite his intention to stay in that friend zone out of a desperate and completely misguided need to protect her from himself, it’s that same need to protect her that forces him to break his own rule and step beyond the lines of friendship with her.
Though Make Me isn’t as emotionally gut-wrenching as the previous two books I’ve discussed (it’s lighter, and far more humorous), the characters and the investment I had in them brought me to tears more than once while reading. But that’s mainly Russell’s fault because he’s just a phenomenal character and such a strong man’s man that the angst he goes through and the release from it was also an emotional release for me. It’s such a fascinating, well-written read with an unforgettable hero that will remain on my top five book boyfriend’s list forever. Forever, people, for-ev-er.
Tessa Bailey’s Broke and Beautiful Series
Also, be sure to check out Boiling Point, Tessa Bailey’s latest and newest release in her Crossing The Line series for Entangled Select. It’s another phenomenal book that made me think and tear-up. It also happens to be one of the hottest books I have ever read.
Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun…
Due to the subject matter, This Is Where It Ends was a difficult and highly emotional read for me. It’s hard to say I loved it because it’s not really a book you can love, but it affected me so very deeply. It brought me to tears and broke my heart for all the things the characters in this book saw and went through. Lives were changed. Innocence was lost. Lives were lost.
Marieke Nijkamp wrote a heartbreakingly true-to-life book that kept me up at night and completely took over my thinking for days, for weeks. Over and over, for days on end, I found myself wondering how the shooting in this book might’ve been prevented. If it could have been prevented. How things might have changed if one thing, a hard statement of truth or a frank discussion about consequences for one’s actions, had occurred? If someone had been able to fight their own fears and their own pain to stand up and tell someone that the shooter in this book was not okay, that he’d done things, terrible things, that hurt people around him. Would it have made a difference? Would someone knowing have been enough to get this dark and troubled boy help?
This Is Is Where It Ends is a controversial and important book to read for many different reasons, not the least of which is the cause and effect of our own actions, and sometimes, without fully realizing, our own lack of action. Some people have written reviews about this book not being “haunting” or that it’s a “black and white portrayal of school shootings”, but that’s not the way I saw it. To me, as someone who has a Bachelor’s in Developmental Psychology and a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Law Enforcement, This is Where It Ends is meant to make you think about something that happens in our country, far, far too frequently and what, if anything, we might do about it in the future to prevent it from happening again.
We’ll Never Be Apart is a dark and deeply disturbing psychological thriller that I could not put down or forget about, despite how many days, weeks, and months have passed since I read it. It affected me, and I loved it.
The Escape is another dark and deeply disturbing psychological mystery that I couldn’t put down, but where it differs from We’ll Never Be Apart is the setting and the characterization. In the above book, the setting is a mental institution and the characterization hearkens back to some difficult and disturbing moments in childhood. In this book, The Escape, we start out in the woods with two teenage books and no idea what happened to them there. This book drew me in completely and allowed me to become emotionally invested in the characters in such a way that I couldn’t stop thinking about the book hours and days after finishing it. It was so good and the plot so tightly woven, I was absolutely enthralled while reading it.
To join in on the fun with your own books recs…simply give a book some love by commenting with your favorite teary-eyed or emotionally compelling and thought-provoking reads. We’d love to hear about them, and don’t forget to tell us what is about the books you love that you feel may have affected you so strongly.