Tag Archives: Nicole O’Dell

Some Great — and Cheap! — Summer Reads

I love a great book and I love a great deal, so when I find specials that combine those two things I’m especially happy. Here are two fabulous YA eBook deals that will give you a great start on fun summer reading material.

Turning Point SetDeal #1 — Turning Point, a set of 7 — yes, I said 7! — full-length eBooks for only 99 cents! The titles include:

By Darkness Hid, by Jill Williamson

Whisper if You Have To, by Staci Stallings

It’s Complicated, by Laura L. Smith

Failstate, by John W. Otte

The Wishing Pearl, by Nicole O’Dell

Mardan’s Mark, by Kathrese McKee

Glass Girl, by Laura Anderson Kurk

The genres run from fantasy to contemporary, with both male and female points of view. The theme that ties them together is that they each focus on a turning point in the main characters’ lives. Click on the links to the authors’ websites to learn more about the books, or you can read full descriptions and buy the set at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Remember — the set is only in digital format. And even if you’ve read one of them (like I have) or aren’t sure about whether you’d like one, it’s 99 cents for 7 full-length novels! That’s a crazy summertime deal that you don’t want to miss. And, you might find a new author — or genre — that you really like!

In BetweenDeal #2 is … the Kindle version of In Between by Jenny B. Jones is FREE for a limited time! I can honestly say that she’s one of my favorite YA authors and that I loved this series (In Between is the first in her Katie Parker Production series). If you’ve never read any of her books, this is a great place to start.

Both these deals will only be available for a limited time and I’m not sure when they’ll end. So — start clicking those eBook links and get your summer reading stash set!

Your turn — If you buy either of these and like them, come back and let me know! I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Book Review: Swept Away by Nicole O’Dell

Kids want to read books that are realistic instead of cheesy, but a lot of parents want to be sure their kids read books that are decent and don’t push them into “too old” things too soon. One author who’s trying to make both groups (parents and kids) happy is Nicole O’Dell. The books in her Scenarios for Girls series offer something I’ve not seen in other Christian YA novels – the chance for readers to truly see the story from both sides of the spectrum.

The books tackle lots of issues facing girls today – cheating, purity, taking dares, dealing with parents or teachers, and more. Each story has you  “along for the ride” with the main character until she reaches the point of needing to make an important, life-changing decision. The main story stops, and readers are asked to decide how they would handle the situation in the exact same circumstances. Then you continue the story, depending on how you answer. Better yet, you can read both endings to see how things might play out in the real world for both options. It’s a great way to help girls think through situations and the potential outcomes before they find themselves in the same predicament. Once a girl finishes reading the book, she has the chance to make a written commitment to implement the lessons she’s learned from the story. A parent or other trusted adult can witness her commitment and help her with accountability.

The stories I read were from Swept Away, which includes two of the Scenarios books – High Stakes and Essence of Lilly. I haven’t read others in the series, but love the whole concept. The stories themselves are interesting and right on target for today’s girls. Letting them become a part of how the story ends will hopefully help girls remember the story and its message, long after the book goes back on the shelf. I applaud O’Dell for writing for these girls in such a real way, and I’ll be passing Swept Away onto some of the girls at church. With Christmas shopping time right around the corner, you might want to look for Swept Away or the other Scenarios for Girls books for a special middle or high school girl in your life.

Ages and reading levels: Swept Away and the other Scenarios for Girls books are marketed as young adult fiction, which means they’re targeting kids in the 13-17 age range (or so). The characters in the books I read are in high school. Some of the topics might be a little more geared toward older readers, but the writing itself is fine for middle school girls and I would be fine letting a middle schooler read Swept Away. It might even be OK for some fifth graders, but I wouldn’t recommend it for girls younger than that because some of the situations might be too old for them.

For more info on Nicole O’Dell and her books and Teen Talk radio program, visit her online.

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