My Favorite Books For First Half of 2018

favorite christian books so far in 2018

It's already July next week. I can't believe it! This year is going by so fast. July marks the middle of the year. Instead of posting my favorite books for the entire year at the beginning of January, I am going to be splitting it into two posts. This will help prevent the post from being so long! 

What makes a book be on my top favorite book list? 

  • The book sticks with me long after reading it. 
  • The story and characters are developed well. 
  • It makes me want to know what happens to the characters after the story ends. 
  • I feel attached to the characters. 
  • The story progresses well and not slow. 

Here are my top 8 books so far in 2018: 

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

This book was an emotional roller coaster ride. This book actually made me cry! There were moments that were hard to read, but that is what made it memorable (in a good way). Francine has a talent for developing characters perfectly. It felt like I knew the characters well by the end and wanted to know what happened to them past the ending! 

Synopsis:

A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want―money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist―an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship―and both their lives―forever.

Read my full review ---> HERE

Where We Belong by Lynn Austin

At the end of this story, I knew one thing, I wanted to be like the two main girls in the story. I want to travel the world and see the places they saw in the story. This story inspired me to follow my dreams and to not be afraid to. I absolutely fell in love with the characters and could imagine being good friends with them. 

Synopsis:

In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules for Victorian women are strict, their roles limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents has brought them to the Sinai Desert--and into a sandstorm. 

Accompanied by Soren Petersen, their somber young butler, and Kate Rafferty, a street urchin who is learning to be their ladies' maid, the two women are on a quest to find an important biblical manuscript. As the journey becomes more dangerous and uncertain, the four travelers sift through memories of their past, recalling the events that shaped them and the circumstances that brought them to this time and place.

Read my full review ---> HERE

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

3 Biblical stories made my favorite book list so far. Land of Silence had a rich story that grasped me from the beginning. The story was inspiring and I aspire to be as faithful as Eilanna. 

Synopsis:

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul?

Read my full review ---> HERE

Counted With the Stars by Connilyn Cossette

A unique perspective of the story of Exodus, from the eyes of an Egyptian. I found this story to be rich and just beautiful. Exodus is my favorite story in the Bible, and Connilyn recreated it perfectly. 

Synopsis: 

Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she's only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she's ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

Read my full review ---> HERE

A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette

Another book by Connilyn that made my list. Connilyn just does a good job at grabbing the reader's attention from the very first page. She has a talent in recreating Biblical stories in a rich and engaging way. 

Synopsis:

Seven years ago, Moriyah was taken captive in Jericho and branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods. Now the Israelites are experiencing peace in their new land, but Moriyah has yet to find her own peace. Because of the shameful mark on her face, she hides behind her veil at all times and the disdain of the townspeople keeps her from socializing. And marriage prospects were out of the question . . . until now.

Her father has found someone to marry her, and she hopes to use her love of cooking to impress the man and his motherless sons. But when things go horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee. Seeking safety at one of the newly-established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face, and the enemies--and unexpected allies--she will encounter on her way.

Read my full review ---> HERE

Joey by Jennifer Marshall Bleakley

You all know this book had to make the list. I love animals and I absolutely adored this story. Based on a true story about a rescued horse named Joey. I fell in love with Joey soon as the story progressed. It was hard emotionally to read the story in parts but I enjoyed this beautiful story. Warning- it's a tear jerker! 

Synopsis:

At the height of his show career, this beautiful Appaloosa’s majestic stature, strength, and willingness to work made him the perfect partner. But when an injury cost Joey his show career, he moved from one owner to the next, ultimately experiencing severe abuse and neglect. A rescue group found Joey nearly dead from starvation—and blind.

Then he came to Hope Reins—a ranch dedicated to helping hurting kids who had been abused, emotionally wounded, or unwanted. By teaching these children to care for rescued animals, the Hope Reins staff were convinced they could reach kids with love and hope and show them that we are never forgotten by God.

But could the financially struggling ranch afford to take care of a blind horse that no one else wanted? Could Joey somehow learn to trust people even though the world had hurt him so badly? And what would happen—to Joey, the kids, and Hope Reins—if they failed?

Read my full review ---> HERE
 

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky

I absolutely adored this historical romance set during the early 1900s. I appreciated that it was much more than just a romance. There was also an adventure and a mystery amonst the English countryside. If you love Downton Abby you will adore this book! 

Synopsis:

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don't approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson's new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson's newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella's heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella's faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

Read my full review ---> HERE

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

This story reminded me so much of Big Little Lies. I think what makes this book unique, as that anyone can relate to at least one of the characters. The story was developed well and grabbed me from the beginning. This is one not to miss! 

Synopsis:

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray--the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser--faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones--the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge's top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she's stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as "this" or "that", when such complexity exists in each person?

Read my full revew ---> HERE

 

Which books have been your favorite so far this year? Share in the comments! 

the caffeinated bibliophile