Book Reviews


October by J. Grace Pennington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For Emily Baxter, life is simple. Her world is made up completely of school, church, and the community in the small farming town she calls home. All that changes one fateful Sunday, when a new girl shows up at Pleasanton Baptist—a girl unlike anyone Emily has ever seen. A girl with long red hair, crystal green eyes, and style and posture like royalty.

A girl named October.

The months that follow are filled with magic—the magic of ordinary things, of finding pictures in the stars, of imagination and a new sense of beauty. But as time goes by, Emily begins to sense that her enchanting new friend may have secrets that could break the spell. Is October really all she seems to be?

It has taken me a while to get my thoughts in order to actually write a coherent review of this book. It was a beautiful book, a melancholy book, and I am so glad I read it!

This book is a relaxing read, in some ways. It is about everyday life; a normal, everyday, sleepy little town. To this town comes a girl. A young lady, really, who is 22 years old. And it just gets better.

This girl, October, is very much like Anne, the character from Green Gables. She finds the magic in life, in everyday, ordinary moments. She has the ability to get people to open up and talk, and finds out things about the townspeople that those who have lived there their whole lives have never known. She is everything that is sweet and gentle and magical. She cherishes each moment, and causes others to do the same.

At the same time, she has a dark side, that you slowly come to realize throughout the book. The author did a magnificent job of causing you to ponder the mystery behind October as the other main characters do throughout. She slowly becomes more and more melancholy, so that when you find out the mystery you could see it coming from a mile away, yet you never had a suspicion of it while you reading up to it…..if that makes any sense whatsoever :D

Then the ending happened, and I was crying. Crying, I tell you, with a wad of tissues in my hand. It was so fitting, so predictable, yet nothing that I ever dreamt of happening.

I can’t say much more without giving away the book, although I dearly wish I could.

I appreciated the aspect of faith in this book. I appreciated how when Emily had a problem, she went to the pastor. How she was so careful not to gossip, and how she eventually opened her heart to her parents. I appreciated how the pastors first response was to send her to her parents for advice, honoring their role in her life.

I did think it a bit weird that a 17 year old girl was so enamored with a girl who was 22. It was a little…odd. I would be a bit skeptical of someone who treated me that way. But in the end, it was fitting with the characters and the story line.

I would caution younger readers, and immature readers, and readers who are easily affected by emotional issues not to read this book. Or to read it with a parent. It is a beautiful book, has a wonderful message, and has caused me to think for many weeks afterwards. But it deals with topics that are definitely for older readers, mature readers. I wouldn’t let my 18 year old sister read it, because the topic would be hard for her to deal with. But I wouldn’t have a qualm about letting my 20 year old sister read it, so I would definitely loan it out to others =)

All in all, I definitely give it five stars!

*WARNING: Contains topics of depression and mental illness.

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I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.

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