Ruffles and Grace Blog Party – Bookerly Fun – My Top 12 Summer Reads

with 32 Comments



I am very privileged to be apart of a blog tour – not just any blog tour – the blog tour of my lovely friend, Victoria Lynn for her lovely blog, Ruffles and Grace – which is now celebrating reaching over 200 subscribers!!  Congratulations, Victoria!!  ‘blows kiss’

And now – onto Bookerly Fun!

 A Sidekick’s Tale:  Elisabeth Grace Foley

Elisabeth Grace Foley is rapidly making westerns become my new favorite thing.  I am extremely particular about Westerns as a rule and only like them if they are ‘unusual’ – not your standard sheriff comes to town sort of story – and this authoress NAILS IT.  The story is more like a Shakespearean comedy-of-errors – my mouth was literally open with surprise and laughter by the first few pages.  Characters were zany, hilarious and human but best of all THE VOICE; the turn of phrase in this book is hysterical, unique, period – it oozes Western in the most wonderful way – I was actually chuckling out loud as I read it; something that rarely happens.

2.  The Scarlet Pimpernel:  Baroness Emmuska Orczy

I flew through this one (yes it was the first time I read it); I do love the old style of writing–it’s like slipping into warm, still water.  NO ONE can do removed POV like the old authors.  ‘Head-hoping’ and yet the emotional impact was palpable.  It was beautifully done; they just don’t write like this anymore.  And then of course there’s the story–spies, French Revolution, a league of noble gentlemen, daring deeds, charming heroes, brave heroines, dastardly villains – any complaints?  I don’t think so.  Plus Percy understands how important fashion is.  😀

3.  In His Image:  J. Grace Pennington

I read this book in one sitting – it was the perfect length and kept up a relentless pace that kept me saying:  “Just one more chapter.”  I was reading far into the wee hours.  The authoress did a good job providing all the fun and intrigue of ‘meeting aliens’ but kept the Christian message and the truth clear as a bell in a plot twist that was not only unique but plausible.  A clean, entertaining read.

4.  Anomoly:  Krista McGee

I loved the cold, controlled feeling of this book; capturing the horrors of it’s socialist / communist culture and the apathy and ignorance of one of its citizens in a chilling but enthralling way.  Krista McGee really captures that ‘brave new world feeling’, which of course is, in fact, a horrible new world.  But she does it all in a way that isn’t too dark or depressing, which is very rare for dysoptian fiction.  I have read a lot of Christian books that ‘preach’ to their readers in a very unnatural way, but the Christian theme in this book, instead of being shoe-horned in, was a natural part of it and well woven into the strands of the story in an emotional way.

5.  Rose In Bloom:  Louisa May Alcott

Ah, I do love Louisa May Alcott – there’s a reason she’s one of the greats.  I had glanced at this book years ago but never actually sat down to read it.  I picked it up again recently and spoiled myself and was so shocked by the fate of a certain character that I set it aside once more.  Finally I picked it up again and third time was the charm.  Reading LMA was like slipping on a comfortable and soft old sweater; I love her writing style and it was so wonderful to revisit my ‘old friends’ from Eight Cousins.  A lovely classic.

6.  The Screwtape Letters:  C. S. Lewis

If anyone wants to understand Christianity, the world, life – and especially what makes humans the way they are, C.S. Lewis is a great place to start.  Lewis’ insight into humanity is astounding.  I have read The Screwtape Letters many times but I never grow tired of reading it, every time I do I feel empowered and enriched.  Life is a battle, not a playground, and if I have to fight every day I want to be armed to the teeth.  There’s few better weapons to arm yourself with then The Screwtape Letters.  “Know your enemy.”  And I can guarantee you that C.S. Lewis will give you an eye-opening view that will change how you think about and deal with the enemy.

7.  Icefall:  Matthew J. Kirby

This is one of the most beautifully poetic writing styles I have read in a long time (similar to The Book Thief), each sentence structured like an individual work of art, creating images that we can see, touch, smell. I could feel the suspicion inside me, smell the scents of the stead, hear the moaning of the glacier.
The lovely cadence of this book are like snowflakes, soft, enchanting, perfect, one melting into another. A book that is a true tribute to readers who want to relish words and rythmns.
And Solveig is one of the best female characters I have read in a long time; In that end scene, made me murmur: “Wow.” under my breath.

8.  Aways Neverland:  Zoe Barton

When I first opened this book, I had a little trouble getting into it—iPods and Polaroids in Neverland? But after the first chapter I found the story and myself slipping smoothly into a magical getaway. This book hit all right feels that you expect to find in a Peter Pan story, and instead of leaning on the modern setting as a crutch, she using just a sprinkle of it to create new gags and fun twists. This book was one long, golden stream that ferried me along into the wee hours of the morning as I stayed up way to late to finish it, with a persistent grin on my face and the warm, nostalgia of a three hour return to innocence. Utterly delightful.

9.  My Brother’s Secret:  Dan Smith

Breathtakingly beautiful. This author is amazing; each sentence is like an icicle – perfect, chilling, beautiful, burning a memory in your brain that you will not soon forget. A raw, gut-moving look at humanity in an impossible situation – and the amazing God-given ability for humans to survive the unthinkable and still reach, despite all odds, for Truth.  Moody, intense and unforgettable.

10.  Dragonspell:  Donita K. Paul

I haven’t found a fiction book so rich with allegories since C.S. Lewis.  I literally gasped several times as some of the allegories and analogies unfolded.  Reading this book, I felt like Kale carrying the dragon egg—I was carrying something substantial, beautiful, with wonders inside of it—a story that ‘quickens’ and ‘thrums’ to the touch, hatching its truths inside of me. The wonder of Wulder and Paladin gladden the readers heart. The rest of the characters are original and lovable—the dialogue is natural, the story is compelling. The world-building is phenomenal, enchanting – I was swept into another world.
Also – some squealing must follow – the baby dragons were one of the most adorable things that I have ever read and I desperately urgently want one in each pocket—please? 🙂

11.  The Ordinary Princess:  M.M Kaye

From the authors note at the very beginning I was pulled into the most deliciously whimsical book.  Five gloriously, shining stars for this amazing book – it is one of the sweetest stories I have read in a long time with a beautiful style, delightful characters, and a sweet and funny message.  The beautiful and amazing illustrations are also absolutely charming.

12.  Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters:  Diane Zahler

Absolutely delightful and charming. Sweetly written and with a kind of Jules Verne-esque type seafaring adventure that adding a really unique spin to yet another magical fairy tale offering – adding to that the premise which was both intriguing and humorous (and had me chuckling out loud and flying through the pages) and we have a book that is not only fun – but an absolute treat!


And that wraps up this post!  What have been your favorite reads this summer?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!



Don’t forget to follow the rest of the tour at Ruffles and Grace AND enter the stupendous giveaway!


32 Responses

  1. Florid Sword
    | Reply

    Ahh I loved the Ordinary Princess and Sleeping Beauty’s Daughter when I was a little bit younger! They’re so CUTE and beautiful. <3 And of course the Scarlet Pimpernel was a piece of beautiful genius. <33333

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      OOO! Someone else who’s read Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters! Yes, weren’t they delightful?? ‘high fives’

      They both made such lovely bedtime reading.

      The Scarlet Pimpernel – not so much – because I had to keep reading ‘ONE MORE CHAPTER’. 😀

  2. Rebekah A. Morris
    | Reply

    I really like The Scarlet Pimpernel and Rose in Bloom. As for my favorites of this summer? Um, I”m not sure. I’ve read a lot of books. One of them was probably The Treasured Brides Collection by Grace Livingston Hill. It’s hard to decide on favorite books. 🙂

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      Oh cool! ‘high fives’

      How appropriate! Victoria Lynn loves Grace Livingston Hill! Although, I’m sure you knew that! 😀

      YES – virtually impossible! ‘nods’

  3. Mary
    | Reply

    Awesome book list! I recognize several favorites of mine, and you’re making me want to read A Sidekick’s Tale so much, as well as several of the others.

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      Thanks, Mary!! <3

      Oh - yes - I think you would REALLY enjoy the Sidekick's Tale! I can't wait for that one to come out in paperback.

  4. Angela Watts
    | Reply

    OH MY GOSH YAYY!!!! YOU LIKED ICEFALL!!! 😀 I read that a few years ago and mighty HO IT WAS GREAT!

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      WAAAAH!! I didn’t know you had read Icefall!! Yes, it was AMAZING – gobsmacking!!

  5. Seneca
    | Reply

    YOU LIKED TSP???? I just got back, but the one time I checked in, you seemed to be loathing it… *claps hands in corner*

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      I actually did! Haha – it was the over the top romance bits that I loathed. XD. But the rest of it was good – it’s hard not to like such a setting and story line! Though actually, I liked The Elusive Pimpernel and El Dorado better – but for once, I really think you need to read the first one first – haha!

  6. Kellyn Roth
    | Reply

    The only two of those I read are The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Ordinary Princess. STOP. GIVING. ME. TBR. XD Or I could just read more, and this would cease to be so much of a problem … 😉

    Great post! Love all the little mini reviews. Now I kind of want to do a top summer reads posts … only I haven’t really read enough over the summer … 😉

    • AllisWell
      | Reply



      Thank you, Kellyn! Well, you could do a top reads of 2017 post! Since – ‘gulp’ – 2017 is over halfway over. O.O

  7. Polaris Northstar
    | Reply

    I recently ready Anomaly and really liked it too! I now have Luminary and looking forward to reading it too!

    I shall have to check out Icefall!

    Aways Neverland has such a cute cover!

    I MUST read My Brother’s Secret! This is the first I have heard of this book… and I MUST read it now!


    Ooooo! I have never heard of Sleeping Beauty’s Daughter before… but I must look into it now!

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      Cool! Yes do check them out – they are awesome!

  8. Marilyn
    | Reply

    Enjoyed your top 12 Summer reads. Thanks for the suggestions.

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      Thanks, Marilyn! And thank you for visiting!

  9. Tracey Dyck
    | Reply

    The only books on your list that I’ve read are The Screwtape Letters (really thought-provoking) and Dragonspell (WIZARD FENWORTH!!! AND THE MINOR DRAGONS!!!). Looks like a good summer list, though!

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      TRACEY!! <3

      Ah yes, Screwtape Letters - sooo good!!

      And Dragonspell; so much fun - And Fenworth was awesome!! But the little dragons still have to be my favorite....! 'melts into a puddle of warm fuzzies'

      Thank you, Tracey!

  10. Tarissa
    | Reply

    WHAT A LIST! It looks like you’ve been super busy this summer. I’ve read a few… (like Rose in Bloom! I simply adore Louisa May Alcott).

    I’ve seen several of my friends reading Anomaly on Goodreads, but I didn’t realize yet that it is a Christian-inspired novel… so now that you’ve mentioned it, I think I’m more encouraged to try that one out now.

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      LOL, yes I’ve been kind of inhaling books.

      Aha!!! ‘double high fives”. So cool to find other fans! Louisa May Alcott is one of my happy places, for sure!!

      Oh yes! Thank you, Tarissa! I’m so glad my review of Anomaly could help you with that!

      It is intense, and there are sad scenes . . . but I am SUPER sensitive to stuff like that and usually avoid dystopian but this one was exceptional in my opinion and I loved the Christian themes!

  11. Helen
    | Reply

    Hello Allison!

    I found your blog through Victoria’s giveaway. I love these book reviews! Your writing is delicious. 🙂

    I didn’t get to read as much as I wanted to this summer, but I did start Les Mis. I listened to C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces, which was fabulous. (It’s C.S. Lewis…how could it not be?)

    from Hannah & Helen

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      Hello Helen! Thank you so much for visiting! Victoria’a blog is so sweet – as she is!!

      Awww, THAMK YOU, Helen, that’s so kind of you; I’m so glad you enjoyed the reviews.

      Oh, I’m sorry, hope you get more time to read! Ohhh, Les Mis…I’ve heard really good things about that one and keep reading to read it (might try the audiobook)….it’s a monster, though!

      Ohhh, and Till We Have Faces. I’ve heard so many good things about that one too! YES, RIGHT? C.S Lewis never ceases to open windows in my mind!

      BTW…I checked out your blog and really liked it! Following you!

  12. Jasmine Boquiren
    | Reply

    I recently read Exiles by Jaye L. Knight and that was FULFILLING. I’ve waited so long for that book, to read it was… oh so amazing. 🙂

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      Oh cool! I’ve heard a lot about that (obviously :D) and hope to take a gander at it when I get Kindle Unlimited!

      Thanks so much for visiting, Jasmine! BTW – you’re name is gorgeous!!

  13. Karis
    | Reply

    Hey, Allison. What fun books you have listed here. I’ve read at least seven of the ones you’ve mentioned. The Ordinary Princess was a book that I just discovered last year, but I really enjoyed reading.

    And, of course, I’m indebted to you and Sarah Grace for finding me My Brother’s Secret. 🙂

    And, this giveaway! It’s so awesome! Victoria’s so sweet to do this!

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      Hey, Karis! Thanks! Yes, wasn’t the Ordinary Princess fun?

      AWWW – haha – I have a lot of people I’m indebted to for sharing certain books with me. XD


      Yes, she is so sweet to do this!! What an amazing and generous giveaway she’s put together for us! <3

  14. Lilly Shyree
    | Reply

    This is one of the coolest giveaways ever! Your blog is so cute!

    – Lilly Shyree (

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      Thank you, Lilly! 🙂

  15. Kerry
    | Reply

    I’ve been meaning to read the screw tape letters for a couple years now. I’ve never really known what it was about, but heard it was great. It looks like you enjoyed it though! Maybe I will have to pick up a copy. Thanks!

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      Hi Kerry! Welcome to Allison’s Well!

      OH YES, DO!! I highly, highly recommend it!!

  16. Zane Jones
    | Reply

    I love a lot of those books! <33 Especially the Scarlet Pimpernel. 😀 Great post!

    • AllisWell
      | Reply

      Thank you, Zane!

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