Why Christian Fiction Shouldn’t be Just ‘Okay’

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Do you ever hear, “Oh, that was good… for a Christian movie”? Or, “I liked it… since it was a Christian book”? There are two assumptions at play here. The first is that ‘Christian’ automatically equals ‘inferior’ and the second is that that’s fine.

Both of these assumptions are terribly wrong.

(Side note: I’m going to try to get through this post without referencing Narnia or Tolkien. Wish me luck.)

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The Language of Thorns: The Beauty of Books

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I think writers often get so wrapped up in putting words into their computer that they forget how gorgeous the final product can be. All they see is words and a blinking cursor, no beauty in sight.

But in a finished book, there will be touchable, textured pages, an illustrated, colorful cover, and solid, unmovable words. As any book-lover knows, these things are beautiful.

It can be easy to lose sight of the final product, especially during writing slumps. Sometimes you need a particularly lovely book to remind you of the potential of words on a page. Leigh Bardugo’s collection of short stories The Language of Thorns is just such a book.

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Beaumont and Beasley Book 3: Expanding a Universe

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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The third Beaumont and Beasley has arrived! (Okay, it’s been out for several weeks. I’m a little behind) You can read the synopsis for The Stroke of Eleven on Amazon and check out Kyle Robert Shultz’s website. You can also see my reviews for Book 1: The Beast of Talesend, and Book 2: The Tomb of the Sea Witch.

Does anyone else get stressed when there’s a book with a gorgeous cover, because they worry the story won’t hold up? This is definitely my favorite cover of the series so far (because colors), but that means heightened hopes, which means heightened apprehension.

I didn’t need to worry.

The Stroke of Eleven is just as good as its predecessors, even as it does so much more. Not only is this moving the main story forward, but it also expands the world and hints at further stories.

No spoilers ahead.

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Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi- Complementary Characters

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The newest Star Wars is here! *plays theme song on repeat*

I can’t say I like everything about Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, but there’s enough to love that I’m happy with it. I especially enjoy how well Rey and Kylo Ren complement one another. Their arcs are almost exactly opposite of each other, and yet the characters are much more similar than I’d originally though.

Spoilers ahead. You are warned.

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Treasure Island VS Treasure Planet: Writing Adaptations

51xoi8pww1l-_sx360_bo1204203200_For my intro to literature class, I had to read Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (such a fun book, by the way). Because my teacher is awesome, I could watch Disney’s gorgeous Treasure Planet and write a reflection for extra credit. Through that, I realized how well Treasure Planet adapts (and updates) Treasure Island.

On the surface, they seem almost completely different. Names are changed, personalities are adjusted, and the settings are drastically different.

But upon closer examination, the heart of each story is the same even though the details differ. And in my mind, the heart is the most important part of an adaptation.

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The Traveler: How to Write Opinionated Main Characters

5172bsbicmglThe Traveler is the first book in Lost Empire trilogy by E.B. Dawson (check out her website!).

This book was so good, people. The characters were excellent and unique, the story and themes were captivating, and the world was intriguing. You can’t get much better than that! Check out the synopsis on Amazon.

No spoilers ahead, so if you’re trying to decide whether to read The Traveler or not, you should and here’s why.

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Stranger Things 2: 3 Ways to Balance Multiple Plotlines

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Stranger Things 2 guys. It’s here. And it’s… over, if you’re like me and have finished it (which I would assume so since you’re online and not hunkered down avoiding spoilers at all costs).

I was super impressed by this second season. There were so many plotlines to juggle, but it was all done so well. The world and the cast grew and expanded naturally, while still staying true to what people loved about the first season. There were three specific ways I noticed that they did this. Here’s how you can learn to plot like Stranger Things 2!

Spoilers ahead.

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Themes and Jessica Jones, Season 1

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This post will be less of a lesson and more of a reflection or analysis. I wrote specifically about the theme of personal responsibility earlier, and this post will cover more topics.

What most struck me most about Jessica Jones is the focus given to its themes. Most superhero shows do have a point that, say, killing is wrong, or that compassion is important, but I’ve never seen the themes explored as deeply as this show explores them.

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The Sixth Sense: Symbolism

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It’s that time of year! Pull out the scary movies!

If you’re not big on horror but still want a pleasant scare, The Sixth Sense is a great movie choice. It has its share of spine-tingling moments, but it’s also a clever ‘puzzle’ movie where the end reveal changes everything that came before (after all, it is directed by M. Night Shyamalan). It also employs a great use of symbolism, one that isn’t clear until a rewatch.

Spoilers ahead.

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Heroes of Olympus: Writing Female Characters

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Viria is amazing. All the images are credited to her.

Okay, here we go. Spoilers ahead.

I’m not a fan of the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Honestly, I’m not fully sure why. I had issues with how it expanded the world (for the same reasons as in The Kane Chronicles), how it tied up (or dropped) most of its plotlines, and the lack of lasting consequences (especially with character deaths). Or maybe I was just too old when I read it. But the main issue I’ll address is the female characters. Yep, this is the ‘strong female character’ post every blog needs.

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