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Day 21 – 30 Day Book Challenge

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The creatures sewn onto Snuggle Piggy’s magic blanket, who come alive at night and dance with him in the moonlight, are endangered one stormy night when the blanket is left outdoors after being washed.

Heart warming and beautifully illustrated, this book has the clear message that caring for others is never a bad thing.

The Blue Door by Christa Kinde

Pricilla ‘Prissie’ Pomeroy likes the color pink, lives in a small town, is the only daughter with five brothers and oh yeah she can see angels. Initially amazed, she struggles with accepting her new reality. When the angels show her their world behind the blue door Prissie accepts that God has destined a higher purpose for her. Mustering her strength in God, she continues her life but is always in the presence of angels. Where there are angels there must also be demons and the realm of the heavenly is in danger. This is only the beginning for Prissie, as trouble lurks at every step and she is the key the angels must protect.

A debut for author Christa Kinde, The Blue Door is an interesting read. I gave the book three and half hearts because on one hand, for the Christian market Kinde hit it out of the park. On the other hand I don’t think the story would translate well for the traditional market. I applaud Zondervan for branching out to the Young Adult genre and I hope the series continues. The book is fantastically written for its audience. The Christian aspects are woven wonderfully together within the narrative that even someone unfamiliar to the faith will still get the meaning of the story.

However, there were some issues. I felt that Prissie came off as younger than she was and for nearly three hundred pages it’s mainly setting and character development with a hint of conflict behind the scenes. Perhaps this is due to it being Christian fiction and as the first book of the series I can understand the importance of covering the strength of Prissie’s faith. I just kept waiting for a big event to happen and unfortunately Kinde has saved it for the second book. I’m still interested to learn more about Prissie’s journey and will keep an eye out for the next installment. I think Kinde is a brilliant writer for the Christian genre and it’s a great choice for young adults strong in their faith. I also recommend it for readers that want to stretch their reading by trying something different. Parents can rest easy with this book in their children’s hands and it was refreshing to read an age appropriate book!

This book was an ARC supplied by Zondervan from Net Galley for an honest review. Thank you so much!

Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard

312 pages

Published 2006

USA Publisher: Warner Books (Right)

UK Publisher: John Murray (Left)

Twelve-year-old Veronica Swan comes from a loving Mormon family. Living in Utah she adores taking care of her two little sisters. Witnessing their murder is an event that forever changes Veronica, her family and the entire community.

As ‘Ronnie’ grows up and processes the grief whilst welcoming the birth of a new sibling, she looks to her faith for guidance. As her life begins to regain normality, she plans her future with best friend Clare and falls in love with the tough neighbour boy Miko. Everything she knows and trusts is tested when her parents choose to publicly forgive their daughter’s murderer, Scott Early. Unable to accept what her parents have done, Ronnie carves a path that will shape her life than more she ever expected.

Mitchard is able to capture the true voice of a teen in tragedy whilst able to blend the complex Mormon faith for readers to understand. Although not directly considered a YA novel, I believe due to the age of Ronnie throughout most of the book that it can be placed in this category. Blending adult issues and themes with teenage angst of true love that’s dampened by different faiths, Cage of Stars is a complex story of forgiveness.

Capturing grace and honestly, Mitchard is able to portray intense tragedy and how people move on. At the same time she’s able to keep Ronnie’s voice true. The tone and language used never falters from the teenage context, even as she becomes a young adult. Slow paced but powerful, Cage of Stars is a great novel to nurse the heart through a difficult time. Ronnie’s strength will inspire, whereas her daring will provide an open channel to process those ‘what if’s?’ we all feel when tragedy hits home. Lastly, her resolve creates peace and sets an example that no mater bad things are, it’s important to hang on for just a little longer.