Amy Clipston has written several Amish-themed novels. Her books are Christian
novels, some even include Amish recipes. As a best-selling author, Clipston
writes Young Adult inspirational fiction and Adult inspirational fiction. From
what I’ve read so far, you don’t want to miss any of them.


Reckless Heart is a novel about a 16-year-old Amish girl faced with
challenges that would give many girls pause. Her youngest sister, Ruth, is sickly, then the family finds out it’s leukemia. Leukemia is a daunting disease for the well-insured, for an Amish family it brings extra challenges on the financial side.


As a responsible Amish youth, Lydia takes the added burden of caring for her younger siblings while her mother and Ruthie are battling leukemia. Lydia also works two part-time jobs, as a teacher’s assistant and in the family bakery. She faces challenges of feeling left out as her friends go to the sing-alongs here the bloom of first love begins in the Amish community. She finds out the boy she likes may be seeing another girl, that her friends are having fun, and then meets a new neighbor family, Englishers.


The community interferes with her English friendship, possibly mainly because that family has a young boy the likes Lydia, although he knows and she knows they’re friends and each like someone in their own communities, those not involved in the friendship see danger of outside influences (without merit, I might add). Lydia gives the money she earns to help her family in its time of need, feels the call of two possible professions (until she becomes a wife anyway) between teaching and the bakery. She has normal teenage angst of wanting to be with friends, while needing to stay home and help. Lydia lashes out, mildly according to worldly standards, but it’s rather large according to a secluded community, about her need to be with friends. Her father responds that she’s disrespectful and punishes her.


All through the book I found myself alternately rooting for Lydia, being angry at dad, and hoping for Ruthie. While some of these issues are the same issues all teens face, some are bigger than some teens face and some are smaller than some teens face, I can see how it can be confusing for a teenager. Her responsibilities increase as she shows she’s capable of dealing with them until she feels overwhelmed.


I won’t go further without disclosing the ending. Lydia shows us that, no matter what your background is, there are problems to deal with, some large, some small, and some are simply misunderstandings. No one is exempt. This is a fun read and I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 stars.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.


 
 
Dalya Moon is an independent author with several books under her belt.  The Smart Mouth Waitress is the second book of her Life in Saltwater City Series. Her books in this series have characters that might appear in other novels, but are very stand-alone reads.


Peridot, Perry to her friends or Dottie to her mother, is an 18-year-old young lady that wants a boyfriend. She thinks she’s very individual and off-beat, yet her wants and needs are very mainstream. She finds herself agreeing with things her mom has done or said, which is slightly disgruntling yet normal for a young lady transitioning from teenage crazies to adulthood. Her friend, Courtney, has a new lover that brings a bit of angst to their relationship. Britain (the new lover) and Perry do not see eye-to-eye, yet Courtney thinks they all should be friends. Of course, this brings some scenes  that require Perry to make decisions about their friendship.


Perry’s two possible boyfriends bring different things to her decision making. She finds herself drawn to both of them, and they’re friends with each other. Then, she finds that “getting” a boyfriend is not as easy as she thought. She changes her looks hoping to catch the eye of the first one, only to catch the eye of the second. They go through the come-hither, go-away issues until Perry’s mind is made up for her.


Her work place is a fun place where being a smart mouth is a plus. It brings fun, engaging conversation and embarrassing occasions to Perry. She takes on added responsibilities as her mom leaves town to pursue her career and Perry is left in charge at home. Her younger brother is fun, gets in a spot of trouble, yet we get to see the sibling interaction as realistic. Her dad has some issues with ADD and anxiety yet is still the “dad” for the family.
 

Overall, I’d say The Smart Mouth Waitress is a fun read that is easy to read as well. As an  independent I only found one typo in it, which is a huge plus with indie publishing.

NOTE: I won this book through MemberGiveaways on LibraryThing.