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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 2 star ratings
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    Well Written YA

    When you pick-up a book with a subtitle about the Eden you (probably) expect a certain amount of religion. I prepared myself for this, as Christianity and I have a tumultuous relationship (to say the least; raised Christian but follow a very different religion today). I was pleasantly surprised that the use of Eden and religion in Songlines was extremely well done. Religion and Eden Yes the Garden of Eden, the Bible and God are all factors in Songlines. But unlike most books with these elements, Carolyn Denman hasn't written a Christian or even overtly religious book. Instead she's taken some well known aspects of Christianity and used them to bring magic into our world. The use of religion here isn't intrusive to the story; and wasn't a problem for me at any point. It's actually a positive point of the story in that it allows our characters to easily accept many of the 'magical' things happening as it's a part of their accepted life long religion. Cheesy YA? For the most part Denman manages to keep things relatively non-cheesy. With one exception regarding a floating sword (all I could think of was Legend of Zelda and Link grabbing spinning swords). However there is no doubt that Songlines is YA. It has many of the typical aspects you'd expect including: awkward friendships and possible love interests, lack of authority/power over situations, and a spunky, stubborn lead gal. As I always say, you cannot complain that when you read a YA book it reads like YA; as that is the entire point. Lead Heroine Our leading teenage girl is fairly resilient. I like how she doesn't immediately give into believing what she is told about Eden existing and she doesn't allow herself to be manipulated by the adults or situations around her the way some YA heroines do. Denman has given us a teenage girl that is easy to cheer for and respect without ever forgetting that she is still a teenager with awkward moments, difficult thoughts and lots of confusion about everything. Overall I give this four stars because it is a really good read for what it is. It's the kind of book where you read the blurb and you get exactly what you are expecting. There's nothing too intense or trigger worthy that I can think of. It's a solid good ol' YA book that is well-written with a clear plot. It's hard to fault a book when all the pieces fit together so nicely. The thing that Songlines isn't is all that special or something above and beyond the average YA book; and for me that's okay but does make it only four star worthy and not five stars. It's missing that special something. I will definitely carry on in the series and read book 2 as it is a good story, I like the characters and while religion sets the basis for the book it's not preachy at all. Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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    Emotional and spiritual adventure

    This is a story of an adventure that is emotional and spiritual more than physical. Wonderful revelations and jarring plot twists pulled me along as I grew to care for all the characters. As the ending broke my heart I had to look up the description of the next book to find out that perhaps not all is lost.
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