Mercy’s Fight by Tammy L. Gray Novel Review

“God never said He would erase our shortfalls, but would use them for His Glory. The magnitude of His mercy rocked me to the core. He wanted all of me, had great plans to use me for His purpose, mistakes and all.”

Mercy’s Fight is the story of Matt and Grace, two people who struggle to overcome the betrayals and pains of their past. As they begin and form a relationship with the other, past problems as well as new problems are obstacles they must over come.

If you have read Splintered Oak by Tammy L. Gray and had the opportunity to see Matt, then when reading his story you see a completely different man. Or should I say, you see the man behind the smiles and jokes. Matt has had to overcome a lot from his childhood, and reading his story shows just how merciful God truly is. Matt is a strong and relatable character that I am happy to learn more of.

I have to say, Grace is a pretty strong woman to come from a place of comfort and security to a place where her safety, or lack thereof, is in jeopardy the majority of the time. (It was about time she started checking her locks) Grace is a character I enjoyed reading about, and I loved seeing why she chose to make the decisions she did in order to help those in need.

If I had to pick, I would say my favorite main character is Matt. He had to deal with so many obstacles psychological and physical just to be the man God wanted him to be. It was a tough and miraculous journey he overcame.

My favorite side character has to be Marcus. Kid has spunk and a BIG mouth to go along with it. But not only is he strong enough to endure all that is going on around him, he allows for Matt to be the friend and mentor he needs.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone struggling with abuse of any kind. To show how God can help one overcome an obstacle such as that. This would also be a good book for those lacking knowledge on what children in rough neighborhoods go through and how to be empathetic towards them. This is a story of mercy, faith, trust, and freedom from guilt. It is a great read that can make one cry, laugh, angry, and finally, happy!

SPOILER ALERT RINGING LOUD AND PROUD!!

My favorite part of the book is when Grace’s “husband” comes back. I jumped from my bed and shouted “no!”. Until he showed up, I completely forgot all about the cheating fiancé. It was a shocker, to say the least, when he appeared all suave out and everything!

Another favorite of mine in the book is when Sam asked why Grace thought Matt did not hit him. Her thought was “You’re alive.” That part just made my day! Anyone else think Sam is just weird, or is it just me?

 

Splintered Oak (Winsor Series) by Tammy L. Gray Book Review

Splintered Oak is a great conclusion to the Winsor Series. I would rate this book four out of five. This last book in the series leaves no story or character unfinished. Each main character from the past books appeared in this book in some form or another.

Jake and Naomi are believable characters, and Gray shows the good, the bad, and the ugly of both characters. The way the two interacted with the other was hilarious and heartfelt. The transformation the two made with the other is beautifully written.

I appreciate how Gray portrays Naomi. Though Naomi is a christian, Gray shows through her that Christians are not perfect but are striving to be like God. Naomi was definitely an interesting character to read about, and it was nice to see how she stuck with her convictions.

Jake was a character I had looked forward to reading about, simply because of what we saw through the other characters eyes in previous books. To say the least, I was not disappointed in reading Jake’s story. His reasoning behind why he did what he did is eye opening and it helps you understand what Jake is actually dealing with.

This novel is definitely a book to read. I enjoyed the main and minor characters, seeing that they all played a part in how we saw the main characters. (By the way, was anyone else creeped out, even just a little, by Jonathon?) I am happy to have seen the characters from the first two books in this one. I liked how each story, old and new, concluded.

This is a story of redemption, forgiveness, self-pity, anger, surrender, and family. I am glad to have read this series by Tammy L. Gray and look forward to reading other books by her.

 

Shackled Lily (Winsor Series) by Tammy L. Gray Book Review

Wow, reading this novel has definitely been a roller-coaster of emotions. The story of Issy and Grant is one of patience, hope, redemption, renewal, and true love. Venturing through the psyche of Issy was very revealing. When starting this novel I knew  that Issy was more than what was on the outside, but as I read through the novel my eyes have been opened, even more, to what neglect, abandonment, and self-loathing can do to a person.

The way Tammy L. Gray inserted other literature into this novel was well done. In doing so, Gray allowed for Issy’s way of mind to be portrayed on a higher level. A level in which the readers could understand what Issy truly felt.

Something I disliked about the novel would have to be the multiple kissing scenes. With certain characters and scenes, the kissing was a vital part to the progression of the story (you know what I’m talking about if you have already read it), but I often wondered if the kissing was just a filler or if something could have been said in substitution of the kissing.

(On a side note) One thing I admire about Tammy L. Gray, she does not soften the punches when it comes to showing the heartaches some people go through when abusing substances. Some people only see alcoholics or junkies, when sometimes there is more to the story than just an abuse of drugs and alcohol.

This was another wonderful read my Tammy L. Gray.

 

When I’m Weak: A Contemporary Christian Epic-Novel (The Grace Series Book 2) By Staci Stallings

I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

When I’m Weak is a wonderful book, focusing on the topics of what true love is, how to change, trust, and surrender.

The main characters, Derek West and Jaycee Lawrence, are realistic characters that help move the story along. The struggles each character went through were as well realistic. And along the novel, you find yourself empathizing with the characters and their lives.

One of the things I love about When I’m Weak was the bringing in of the other characters from the previous novel. I enjoyed seeing what they became and how their lives had played out since we’ve last seen them.

This is another wonderful novel by Staci Stallings that I truly enjoyed.

 

 

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

“You can’t touch me,” I whisper. I’m lying, is what I don’t tell him. He can touch me, is what I’ll never tell him. But things happen when people touch me. Strange things. Bad things.

No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Shatter Me was a beautifully written novel filled with brilliant and descriptive metaphors that brings the story alive. When I first began the novel I was so amazed at the interesting way Tahereh chose to write the novel. It’s lovely.

To me this book was more of a set up for the other books. Don’t get me wrong, this book was AMAZING! The characters were authentic and were able to be empathize with. And there were so many twist and turns that I was shouting a couple times. But I have a feeling that things about to get real interesting in the next books.

I am definitely excited to see where the character Juliet will go from here. She has so much potential to be something great (I sound a little like Warner now ;). The ending was a nice wrap up and it leaves you wanting to know where the characters will go from there.

It was a great read. I’m excited about starting the next book!

One of my favorite quotes: “I could love you, Juliette—I would treat you like a queen—” – Warner. (There’s just something sincere about those words).

 

The End of the World by Amy Matayo Review

The End of the World is a story of love, hate, abuse, forgiveness, trust, redemption. Amy Matayo efficiently wrote a phenomenal story that portrayed the lives of to two hurt and abandoned children who grew up with feelings of past hurt, abandonment, and love. With this novel, Matayo brings her readers into a world of unimaginable pains which ultimately evolves into a world of unconditional love.

This story, sadly, is one that happens in real life more than most would like to think. Children of all ages are hurt and wronged intentionally or unintentionally in so many ways when they are put through the system. And unfortunately, some who are assigned jobs such as social workers may not do their job as accurately as it should be done.

I loved though Shaye and Cameron felt abandoned and neglected that in each other they found solace and comfort. They found a confidant in the other.

A part in the novel that stuck out the most to me is how Shaye and Cameron finally found some form of peace and how parts of themselves were pieced back together once they spoke about the things that had hurt and hindered them, releasing them from past burdens and grief. So often, people believe that holding in a secret is what’s best for themselves and for others. But sometimes, what’s best is to speak out on the secrets before they rip you apart from the inside out.

The End of the World now holds a special place in my heart. Honestly, I was wary of this novel. From the reviews I had read, I knew what I was about to get myself into. I knew the topic would be heavy, but I went in anyway. The topic of this novel brings to light so many things that people like to turn an eye from because is a “touchy” subject or “uncomfortable”. Don’t turn from this novel because it may be “uncomfortable” or “touchy”. (But don’t read this if it’ll be some sort of trigger for you). Because when you read it, it may lighten up your eyes to things that were once a tad bit murky. I know one thing that this novel does; it shows not everyone is as whole as they seem to be and maybe they are looking for someone to love them, comfort them, and to simply be there for them as a trustworthy friend.

If you’ve read this book before leave a comment about what you thought of the book!

Shattered Rose (Winsor Series) by Tammy L. Gray

This story of Parker and Avery is one of unconditional love, self-worth, redemption, and forgiveness. None of the main characters are hollowed creatures with no sense of substance. Each character, starting from Avery to Issy are all facing different trials and temptations in life—some hidden and some apparent.

T.L. Gray presents the characters in a believable way, helping the readers to see there are people in life who endure things these characters did. T.L. portrays the unconditional love of God through one of the characters, and it just shows how we as followers of God can love others without being judgmental and condemning. One lesson T.L showed in her writing that really stood out to me; is not to be unequally yoked with another. You and that person cannot move forward in a growing relationship if you two aren’t pursuing the same thing (God).

Shattered Rose is a heartfelt story that at times will make you laugh, highly angry at Avery and Jake (most of the time), and cry around chapter 24. A wonderful read!

Princess by Staci Stallings Novel Review

This novel was heartfelt and genuine. I love how Stallings write characters that struggle with some form of insecurity, because she always writes how they should not feel insecure. Usually, with her characters, when a problem seems simple, there is an underlying insecurity in need of help.

Going into this novel I had no clue racial issues were intertwined into the story-line (although, I do wish it had a more vital part in the novel). Stallings approached the topic well, showing some people truly see interracial relationships as hazardous.

This book is worth the read. It’ll make you laugh, angry, and it may just make some cry right along with characters.

Mirror, Mirror (Grace #1) by Staci Stallings

If I were to describe this novel in one sentence it would be: the image portrayed is not always what lies behind the glossy photo.

The story was laid out beautifully. When Stallings writes, she writes to where it is no longer fiction but to where the people in her novel are real. When one reads this novel it brings to light that there are actual situations and people in the world who hurt this way, feel this way, and live this way and who really needs God’s authentic non-condemning love.

Yes, the story is revolved around Sage and Luke, but once you continued to read you are longer just concerned about those two characters but about all that surround them. Your heart is drawn to reasons why certain characters act the way they act, and you long to see them helped.

The way Stallings invites God into her writing gives the reader a chance to see the author. What she believes and what she has learned from God in the process of writing this novel. There’s a line in the novel that says, “We give from the overflow of what God’s doing in our lives.” I truly believe that is what Stallings does when she writes her books and novels, and I am grateful for her pouring out what God is pouring into her. We are filled only to be emptied.

This is a sincere, heartfelt novel that makes one laugh, possibly cry (Sage cried enough to where I didn’t have to), and shout just a tad bit.