The Great Good Thing

27840638.jpgThe Great Good Thing by Andrew Klavan

Rating: ★★★★★// Fantastic story! 

Favorite Line: “I had them all now, all the pieces I needed. The five revelations that were really one revelation: the presence of God.”


The Great Good Thing by Andrew Klavan is an extraordinary tale of a writer searching for his soul in every stage of his life. This search takes him across the country, even across the ocean, on an epic tale of trial and error, loneliness and joy. This search for the soul would be truly unbelievable, even laughable at times, if it was fictional, but this story isn’t fiction, it is the memoir of the author and he bears his soul to you in this page turning, drama that is his life.

The story starts off with Klavan describing growing up in New York in a tight-knit Jewish-American home. He describes his disregard to authority, which started at a young age and grew as he grew. He talks about his indifference to religion, beginning with his own Jewish heritage, and having it change into an agnostic viewpoint and then an atheistic one.

Reading about all these changes in Klavan’s life is troubling, or at least concerning. In this memoir he tell of some crazy choices he’s made and the less than stellar philosophies he adapted, but yet, it is relieving at the same time. Seeing his conversion process step-by-step forces you to reevaluate some of your choices in life and examine your own path a little closer than you usually would.

“Every evil weaves itself into the fabric of history, never to be undone. Yet at the same time—at the very same time—each of us gets a new soul with which to start the world again.”

Klavan is extremely open in this book about his struggles, and while he doesn’t really justify some of his actions, he explains them and it makes you remember the human experience and the human struggle we all go through on a daily basis.

The Great Good Thing is terrifically written. It has humor in one line and a mind-blowing revelation in the next. It plunges into deep theology all while describing life like one long John Wayne story. His story is truly an adventure in itself and the reader has no choice but to get swept away by it.

This story brings back hope because so many times in the story you think all the hope is gone and then you see a glimmer of it appear for a split second and it makes you believe it’s all going to be OK in the end.

“Even the lowest form of humor—maybe especially the lowest, the most basic form—suggests that we were intended to be something higher than ourselves.”

This story is for anyone at any stage of his or her life. Whether you be a devout Christian, born-again, or completely uninterested in religion, I’m convinced you will find something worth-while in this book, and if not, you will at least be entertained by Klavan’s sarcasm.


* I received this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.


The Carnelian Legacy

17453523.jpgThe Carnelian Legacy by Cheryl Koevoet

Rating:★ ★ ★

Favorite Line: “Never forget that it is by choice that the ordinary person decides to live a life that is extraordinary.”


The Carnelian Legacy by Cheryl Koevoet follows the adventures of a Marisa MacCullum as she is thrown into a world unknown after her own has fallen apart.

On the evening of her father’s funeral, Marisa takes her horse for a ride in the Oregon countryside to clear her head and settle her nerves. While riding, a strange occurrence sends her horse into panic and her to the ground, where she hits her head and is knocked unconscious.

Marisa wakes to two strange men staring down at her and speaking a language totally unknown. She soon finds out that not only did she get knocked out, but she also got knocked into an entirely different realm and is no longer on Earth.

Unsure of what to do, Marisa takes advantage of the men’s hospitality and she tags along on their journey, which she soon discovers is one of utmost importance regarding the politics of this new country.

Marisa soon becomes more involved with this adventure and gets caught up in tense situations, all while trying to adjust to living in a new world, and also trying to find a way to return home.


This book was better than I expected. I didn’t have the highest expectations because I’m not the biggest fan of the Young Adult genre, and this one was clearly that, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with what I got from The Carnelian Legacy. While the story didn’t take total control over me, I did find myself not wanting to put it down at times, especially toward the end. It is exciting and adventurous, and has quite a few plot twists to keep you engaged.

This book follows the classic guidelines for a good YA novel: unexpected heroine, fun sidekick, charming, yet secretive hero, monsters, royalty, romance, betrayal, etc. It really hits them all—which is ultimately good, because that is exactly what many YA readers are looking for and expecting.

I enjoyed the characters, especially the main three, Darian, Marisa, and Arrie, however I did find them very predictable at times. I was hoping for a little more character development, but the author did give us enough to build upon and create a solid image of these three in our minds. I’ll be honest, at times I found myself completely annoyed with Marisa—she was whiney, she overreacted to little things, and she read way to far into things that were not that big of a deal. However, when I reflected on this, I realized that I was probably all of those things when I was 17/18 and it made me less annoyed with her behavior—but I did have to remind myself of that several times in the book.

The plot was fantastic. It was set up nicely and flows easily throughout the book—not once did I find myself confused about what was going on. I don’t want to go into what worked and what didn’t for me, because that would probably ruin the book for everyone, but I did think the plot was very exciting.

My biggest critique of this book is actually the use of the God figure in it. I don’t mind that a God figure was used, but what I minded was how quickly she took on the God of the new country. Now, to be clear, it wasn’t a different God as our own, but it did have a different name, and Marisa uses it almost immediately upon learning it in this new land. I had a hard time with this because if I went to a new world and they told me God was called Garon (which it is in the book), I would still pray to God, not Garon, so I was a little perturbed that she took on this new name right away—it just didn’t seem natural to me.

I give this book 3 ½ stars because I did think it was good, and I do want to read the other books in this series, but I didn’t think it was fantastic.

I would recommend this book to people who are looking for a fun YA novel, because it really is that and I don’t think you will be disappointed.

*I recieved this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange to a fair and unbiased review.

I review for BookLook Bloggers