Saturday, July 16, 2016

Jonas and Olivia | Book Review and Interview

Fourteen-year-old Olivia Wilkerson is left desolate and grieving when her patriot father passes away. Directed by his will to be placed in the care of an old friend, Olivia is forced to venture away from all she’s ever known to make her new life among people who are strangers to her.

Unaware of the new responsibility about to be thrust on him, Jonas Carmichael lives the life of a reclusive in an attempt to ignore the painful memories of the past. His heart has grown hard and bitter over the past thirty years of solitude, and his hatred towards people has only multiplied.

Suddenly burdened with Olivia, Jonas’s only burning desire is to shove the girl off on somebody else. But Olivia, still suffering from her loss, is only looking for someone to love her as her father did--and soon realizes that there is more to Jonas than meets the eye.

With the Revolutionary War pressing closer around Jonas’s secluded bubble of safety and threatening to burst it at any moment, Jonas discovers that there are choices to be made--choices that will not only affect himself but those around him as well.

What happens when a bitter old man has a serious-minded, talkative little girl thrown into his life? What would break sooner? Her happiness, or his crustiness?

Jonas and Olivia was a super sweet story! The writing will probably be best enjoyed by younger teens, but I liked it. 

Olivia made me think of Pollyanna, seeing the good in everything and practically portrayed as a perfect child. In some ways she seemed younger than fourteen, but she was still a delightful character. Jonas and Ishmael were both well-developed characters and I liked them very much for who they were.

Set during the pre-revolutionary era, it didn't quite have a strong historical feel, even though a lot was mentioned of the upcoming war. I realize this could just be my personal opinion.

This was a very clean, Christian, and uplifting read. The main Christian theme was trusting God as a loving father. There weren't any scenes that made me cringe. I would hand it to an eight-year-old without any qualms.

Some favorite quotes:
“If there is a piano," Olivia decided, taking a deep breath, "it will be all right.”

“A broken heart is not easily mended, but a hardened heart has to be broken again in order to mend.”

*I received this book from the author in exchange of my honest review*

TO LEARN MORE about Jonas and Olivia and order your own copy, visit here.
Victoria is having a giveaway on her website for this book!


 Victoria Minks is an everyday teenage MK in Japan, with oodles of daydreams and ideas. She loves historical fiction, chocolate, music, horses, and old books, and firmly believes that there is whimsy and beauty in any day. She was saved at age 5 and desires to write for God's glory.
What is your first memory of the baby idea for "Jonas and Olivia?" It sounds a little strange, but I "met" Jonas, one of the main characters, in my head. I wasn't even brainstorming or anything, he just popped into my thinking like "Hi there! My name is Jonas!" All I knew at first was his name and the basic feel of his character. I liked him so much that I wrote about him in my journal. And the more I found out about him and his story, and how Olivia came into the picture etc, the more I grew to like the entire story. :) 

That's pretty neat! Jonas is definitely an unforgettable character. :) How long did this story take from idea to published? I planned and wrote it in April of 2015. Then it got put aside for a long while till around January 2016 when I started editing. So a little over a year.

What is the most important lesson that you feel you've learned in writing "Jonas and Olivia?" Oh... Well as far as writing goes, probably that sometimes you need to take a step back and actually pay attention to your characters, to dig a little deeper. And for the most important life lesson: To stay dedicated and focused on what God has you doing right now, even when you might want to do other things or you get annoyed with what you're supposed to be working on. 

Very true for both of those. What lesson do you hope your readers will glean from reading "Jonas and Olivia?" I hope that people are reminded of how good a Father our God is to us. That He's always there for us, ready to help us, forgive us, and hold us.

That was definitely a very present theme. :) What is your favorite part about writing? I love planning and then that wonderful part of writing where you're just bubbling with excitement and you're finding out so much about your book, and everything falls into place (even if it's silly and cut out later). 

Totally agree there!
How long have you been writing? It's hard to say. I've been an extreme bookbug my whole life...I've told stories for as long as I can remember. I started writing them all down at around 6 or 7 and haven't stopped since. ;) 

And then the random questions:
Would you mind sharing your salvation testimony? I'd be happy to! :) I had just turned five years old, and Thanksgiving was approaching. Other than that I have no idea when the actual date was...but that's ok because I know the Lord saved me and that's what's important. My dad and I were talking about Jesus and salvation in front of our rice cooker one evening (we live in Japan). I was impressed deeply by the gospel for the first time that night and realized I was a sinner, and that all the verses Daddy was sharing applied to me. But I was unsure about making a choice--didn't realize just how very important it was. So I went to bed and didn't really think about it for a few days more. Then one night soon after, when we were all in bed, I started thinking of it again. I never was afraid of the dark, but that night I kept remembering how Hell is a place with no Light, and I realized in the darkness of my room how awful it would be to go to a place like that--a place without the Lord! That's when I understood that if I died right then, I would be going to Hell, because I understood the gospel and had been raised in it but so far hadn't done anything with it. I was really scared, and definitely crying! I called out to the Lord and asked him to save me and wash away all my sins and be my Heavenly Father. I cannot even begin to describe what peace filled me when I prayed that! I knew I was safe forever, and the Lord felt so very near me. 

The little quirk in my testimony about not knowing the date came because I didn't know I should tell my parents I had gotten saved, so they didn't know till a few months later when we were singing "One Door and Only One" in school and I announced I was a

. :) 

What are three things you love doing? Only three? lol. It's so hard to narrow it down, but I'd say web/graphic/book cover design, singing/playing piano, and travelling. 


Victoria Minks said...

Thanks for reviewing my book, Amanda, and being part of my blog tour! :) I really appreciate it, and I enjoyed reading your review.

Olivia said...

Love the interview...and really sweet salvation message! :) And fun how everyone "knows" everyone through the blogging world. hehe.

Amanda T. said...

@ Victoria - you're welcome! I'm glad to be a part!

@ Olivia - I agree: love hearing about others' salvation testimonies. :) And a big "YES" about the connection of bloggers and authors. :) It's kinda fun!

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