5.0 out of 5 stars Crept up on me, this one, and it was amazing.
Wow. Okay, so this book caught me by surprise. It started off as a simmering pot of water, which started boiling way before I'd realised. When I noticed how good the book had become, it had me by the throat and I was already doing all sorts of rude things like walking around with my head in my eReader, narrowly missing walls, people and conversations. I don't mind that I...
Published 13 months ago by Rebecca Berto
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read, something a little different.
***I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ***
Castles on the Sands is Madison Lukas's story. I liked Madison she was genuinely a nice person, and saw the good in everyone, but at the same time I found her to be a little naïve, a bit of a pushover, and she had low self esteem which was understandable when you see the relationships...
Published 3 months ago by MISS D H D FEARON
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4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5-4 Unusual but Addictive Stars,
This review is from: Castles on the Sand (Shattered Castles) (Kindle Edition)*I was given this book by the Author in exchange for an honest review*
This book covers Madison, a quiet late-teens teenager who goes to School, goes to Work in a Library and hangs with her best friend Kailie. That is her life - normal, quiet, simple.
Her Brother, the one she didn't know existed.
Her Brother, the Mormon.
This throws Madison's life into a bit of disarray. No, it turns it upside down.
Madison is very grown up for her years, she raises herself as her mother is a wreck of a woman. Ignorant, hurtful, indignant, self-absorbed and just plain mean.
Kailie, Madison's best friend, has a horrible home life. Her family is torn apart due to her Fathers need to control everything.
In the mix of everything is Alex - Military Jacket Wearing, Sexy Looking, troublemaking delinquent who's mother is the local Looney.
This book covers some difficult topics - Child Abuse, Religion, Mental Health Issues and the age old issue of Growing Up. Emily covers these beautifully.
This book made me:
I very much enjoyed this book - my only criticism is the angst and immaturity of Kailie and the irritation of Madison's mothers actions. I got to the "ARRRRRRGH I have to put this book down or I'm going to throw my Kindle away" moment. I do, however, understand why this was needed to make the story believable.
Does not end on a cliff hanger but there is a second book - Love in Darkness
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read, something a little different.,
This review is from: Castles on the Sand (Shattered Castles) (Kindle Edition)***I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ***
Castles on the Sands is Madison Lukas's story. I liked Madison she was genuinely a nice person, and saw the good in everyone, but at the same time I found her to be a little naïve, a bit of a pushover, and she had low self esteem which was understandable when you see the relationships or lack of one she has with her mother. Her mother was just mean, and I did feel sorry for her.
The storyline was certainly not predictable; It deals with some serious problems such as abuse, neglect, bullying, and mental health. Emily Mah Tippetts covers all theses in a sensitive way. There is also a religious aspect of the story, and I was concerned that it was going to be overpowering, but I have to say it wasn't it was played out objectively and wasn't too preachy. By the end of the book, I had a greater knowledge of Mormonism.
This book has some interesting secondary characters. I had big issues with Madison best friend Kailie, and I really disliked her. She was awful to her so many times, and I couldn't understand why Madison continued to be her friend. I understand that she had a horrible home life, but that didn't excuse her actions.
Jean Pierre, Carson and Alex all three very different characters whom all liked Madison in very different ways. It was interesting to see the dynamics of their friendship play out. I knew which one I liked, and I was pleased that she picked him. I loved Siraj, too funny; he made me laugh so many times loved his dry sense of humor.
Overall I would say this was an interesting read based on the synopsis I really didn't know what to expect when I first started reading it. I did think it was a little slow to start with, and it took a while for me to get into, but that being said I did like it. It made me, smile, laugh, the romance side was sweet, but I did get frustrated often mainly due to Kailie.
I'm looking forward to reading Love In Darkness that next one in the series.
Castles On The Sands gets 3 stars from me
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise,
This review is from: Castles on the Sand (Shattered Castles) (Kindle Edition)*This book was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*
I liked this book more than I expected. I don't know why I wasn't expecting much, I think I may just be grumpy because I have a cold. Anyway, I liked it. It didn't blow me away but it was a pleasant surprise in that the characters and plot were not your average copycat NA and it covered some tough topics without being overdramatic.
Madison was such a sweetheart. I mean she was completely lovely, she was nice to everyone and always helped other people but didn't see what a great person she was. She didn't do it for praise and in fact took a lot of kick back from it. She was taken advantage of by everyone but she was very strong actually. It wasn't that she didn't know how she was being treated, but that she could see through it. You could tell why everyone loved her, she was so selfless and not at all self righteous.
Reading Madison's story was lovely, particularly getting close to her brother and starting to trust why other people told her how great she was. I found the romance realistically awkward too and so sweet at the end, so very sweet. The plot played out a nice steady pace and I really didn't want to put it down. It wasn't all obvious either.
I was a little concerned when I gathered there'd be a religious element to the book. Ok so I was christened and educated Church of England, so the whole thing isn't unfamiliar, it's just not part of my belief systems as an adult so I get wary. I'm pleased to report that although it was there I actually found it a nice background to the family dynamic and not at all preachy. There was a definite theme actually of how religion can be a good force and a bad force within a family. I liked how it was handled and how the themes of abuse and mental health were handled sensitively but seriously.
To sum up, this was a pleasantly surprising maturely written book. I warmed to the characters and care for them to the point where I'm anxious to know things will go well for them. So job well done. I'm only going for 4 stars because I just wasn't blown away. The authors books would automatically go on the 'to be read' shelf but I wouldn't drop what I'm doing to read it straight away.
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and enjoyable,
This review is from: Castles on the Sand (Shattered Castles) (Kindle Edition)This is an unusual but very engaging story which I thoroughly enjoyed. Madison is a unloved girl who has a hidden family sprung on her. It's a while before you work out who is going to be the real love interest, but I was glad who ended up being with Madison. It didn't know what to make of the Mormon backstory, it's not really my thing, but it didn't stop me enjoying the story. Off to ready the sequel now!
5.0 out of 5 stars Crept up on me, this one, and it was amazing.,
This review is from: Castles on the Sand (Shattered Castles) (Kindle Edition)Wow. Okay, so this book caught me by surprise. It started off as a simmering pot of water, which started boiling way before I'd realised. When I noticed how good the book had become, it had me by the throat and I was already doing all sorts of rude things like walking around with my head in my eReader, narrowly missing walls, people and conversations. I don't mind that I have no pride left, because I just had to finish this book ASAP and it was well worth it.
E.M. Tippetts is a fantastic storyteller. This is the second book I've read by her and I'm thrilled I have.
This book is hard to define. It's probably best described as coming-of-age as it touches on my many issues of finding your identity. Madison, the main character, is a nice girl, and who some people target as easy to run over. Her long-lost brother, John is over-joyed with love when he finds her after losing her as a young child. I must say that I fell in love with the characters, especially Alex who is by far my favourite, in a way I didn't expect to.
From the character [retracted for spoiler reasons] who targets Madison emotionally, physically and socially; to Madison's confusion about how love and relationshps work when first entering the world of "boys"; to trying to get her mother to notice/love her; to the defined social circles people expect you not to break, there was so much I fell in love with in CASTLES ON THE SAND.
When I finished this book, though, I felt satisfied in a weird way because this wasn't a straight romance book, or a book about growing up, or about mental issues. It had a bit of all of those, that made me really think about life, and that gave me a little bit more in the pieces that make up this world.
The message I took is: some people can't be saved, and not even they or others can see they're drowning, but you have to give your best shot regardless. Sometimes it's the unexpected person who helps YOU in the end.
Recommended reading and 5 stars.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!,
This review is from: Castles on the Sand (Shattered Castles) (Kindle Edition)I previously read, and very much enjoyed, Someone Else's Fairytale by the same author so I was looking forward to reading this.
I really enjoyed it, the writing style was comfortable to read with a storyline that gripped me from start to finish (yes, you've guessed it, another one day read).
I was intrigued right from the start when Madison was chased into the library by a Mormon missionary, this raised so many questions that I couldn't wait to discover the answers to.
My first impression of Madison was that she was a quiet, friendly girl. As I got further on in the book I realised that she had some pretty serious self-esteem issues which were certainly not helped by her mother and so-called best friend. When Madison learned that the missionary who chased her was in fact her long-lost brother, she didn't know what to believe. When it was confirmed she felt even more confused and I can't even begin to imagine how it must feel to have your life turned upside down in that way.
On top of all the family drama Madison also had some trouble with the opposite sex, it seemed that after one boy showed interest in her suddenly lots more came out of the woodwork, declaring their feelings for her. This obviously caused Madison even more confusion, firstly because she had low self-esteem and she couldn't figure out why they were interested, and secondly because she had no idea who she could trust (being a virgin she didn't want someone who only wanted one thing from her).
Madison's mum completely baffled me, just reading about the way she treated her daughter made me feel uncomfortable. I was keen to find out what had happened to make her leave her husband because I was hoping that maybe it would explain why she behaved the way she did.
John (Madison's new-found brother) was lovely, he really wanted to be a part of Madison's life but didn't push her too much. I loved how protective and caring he was towards her, something that I really felt she needed in her life.
Kailie was Madison's (so-called) best friend, to begin with she reminded me of a tornado whooshing around in a hyper, teenage way. She was bossy towards Madison but it soon became apparent that their friendship was not very healthy, she did lots of things that shocked me and I began to become quite concerned for her - you'll have to find out for yourself what happened next but I will tell you that it had me on the edge of my seat!
Alex was a very strange, intriguing character - I really wanted to know what his story was and when all was revealed I admit I was quite surprised.
I loved the modern feel that this book had with references to Facebook and a certain Fifty Shades book, the only part of the book that I struggled with was the religious parts - not being a religious person myself I found some of it a bit hard to follow.
This is a real page turner and I would love to read a sequel to find out what happens next for them all.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, compulsive reading,
This review is from: Castles on the Sand (Shattered Castles) (Kindle Edition)*4.5 stars*
I devoured this book in a single afternoon, because I just couldn't stop reading it! I loved Madison's voice, I loved the complexity of all the characters, even the minor side-characters, and I loved the depth of all their relationships. Even more, I adored the romance that builds across the novel.
The only thing I wasn't convinced by was the resolution of the storyline between Madison's mom and Madison's older siblings - without giving any spoilers, I'll just say that I would have needed more time and evidence to convince me that they really would all react in that particular way, particularly the older siblings who are introduced later in the book. However, this was a very small subplot of the book, and the only scene that it actually affected was the epilogue. So, the epilogue didn't work for me...but apart from that epilogue, I just really, really enjoyed the whole book.
Totally compulsive and fun YA reading!
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!,
This review is from: Castles on the Sand (Paperback)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free from the author on a read-to-review basis. Thanks so much to the lovely Emily Mah Tippetts!)
16-year-old Madison lives with her mom in a small town called Pelican Bluffs. Everybody knows everybody in Pelican Bluffs - it's that kind of place, so you can guess how shocked Madison is when a Mormon man called John turns up at her door claiming to be her brother. What's worse is that she knows it's true just by looking at him; he even looks like her mother.
Amazingly enough there are other more pressing matters going on in Madison's life though. Her best friend seems to suddenly have it in for her, and three different boys all seem to want something from her.
I absolutely loved this book. I nearly died when the bulb in my bedside lamp went out and I couldn't carry on reading!
Madison is an average 16-year-old, and she'd never claim otherwise, it's her friend Kailie who's the pretty one. The appearance of a brother that she never knew about takes a lot of time to get used to, and Madison does take her time coming to terms with this, and doesn't commit herself to feelings that she doesn't have.
Madison's main concerns surround her best friend and the people she goes to school with. So many times people ask her why she is friends with Kailie, as Kailie seems to be purposely trying to hurt Madison. Kailie's actions lead to Madison getting physically attacked, but Madison knows Kailie well enough to know that Kailie does these things because she is having a meltdown, and not because she really wants to hurt Madison. Regardless of her reasons though, Madison proves time and time again that she is an amazing friend to Kailie, a better friend than she really deserves.
Madison has problems at home too though. Her Mom barely speaks to her, and the arrival of her brother John just causes more tension at home. Madison's Mom spends all of her time making pottery so Madison doesn't see a lot of her, but now instead of being cold when Madison sees her she is angry, but again Madison has the maturity to realise that her mother isn't just mad at her; she's hurting inside too.
As if Madison hasn't got enough going on, all of a sudden boys are interested in her. First there's Jean Pierre, Chess wiz and super popular, who wants to sleep with her, but isn't interested in having a girlfriend, or even acknowledging that she exists in public. Then there's Carson, a Mormon boy that her mother really doesn't approve of. He's good looking and a really nice guy, but there's just no spark, no matter how much Madison wants her to be. The third boy is Alex. He's been voluntarily mute for years, and spends most of his time flicking his lighter on and off and looking threatening. Everyone refers to him as a `psycho', and Madison walks the other way when she sees him at night. But there's more to Alex than people realise, and for some reason Madison feels the need to help him with his problems.
I love how normal Madison is, and at the same time how mature she is to see through peoples facades and get to the real issues. I loved the storyline in this book and how well it flowed, and whilst putting it down was difficult, getting back into it was a joy. There were several events that I didn't see coming, and I loved the story of how things worked out for Madison and her friends and family in the end.
Overall; I loved this book and will definitely be reading the author's other works! If you like young adult fiction, and like a bit of light romance, you'll love this book.
9 out of 10.
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Castles on the Sand (Shattered Castles) by E.M. Tippetts