At Her Fingertips [by Kellyn Roth]

by - April 27, 2018

AND HEY I HAVE RETURNED.

Long break, I know, but it was badly needed, and now I'm back with a blog tour/book review post about Kellyn Roth's book At Her Fingertips!




I'm gonna be honest here and say that when I agreed to read and review ALL THREE BOOKS IN THE SERIES (so far - there will be more, though I don't know how many) I couldn't remember a single thing about them. I had no idea what I would be reading.

And then the books came and I found out ...

And I was suuuuuper skeptical (no offence to the author).

Because book one was about an eight year old. And I thought, "nope, doesn't look like standard YA to me" (not that I can't read other things, but I was in the YA mood).

And sometimes historical fiction can be ... well ... not very exciting.

BUT REST ASSURED, I WAS PUT AT EASE AS SOON AND I BEGAN READING. Before we dive into my review, take a moment to read the synopses below so that you know what I'm talking about:


The Dressmaker’s Secret 
(Book #1)


The Dressmaker's Secret (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, #1)After a revealing conversation with the first children of her age she’s ever met, curious eight-year-old Alice Chattoway realizes that one ought to have a father … and she doesn’t. Having determined that his absence is making her mother unhappy, Alice resolves to find him and create a family for herself.

However, Alice’s mother, Miss Chattoway, is reluctant to answer any questions posed about a man she’d much rather forget. While Alice investigates, Miss Chattoway tries to balance her own spiritual turmoil with her need to be both mother and provider to her daughters.

Will Alice ever unravel her mother’s secrets? Can Miss Chattoway let go of the past to reach for the future?


Ivy Introspective 
(Book #2)

Ivy Introspective  (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #2)
Trapped in a world where she doesn’t belong, twelve-year-old Ivy struggles to keep her head above water as her simplicity is brought to light by her new position as a young lady growing up at Pearlbelle Park.

After much thought, Ivy’s parents decide to send her to McCale House, a boarding school in Scotland for girls and boys like her. However, scared and worried away from her beloved mother, sister, and nurse, Ivy can’t seem to focus.

Will Ivy ever learn what Dr. McCale is trying to teach her? Or will she remained lost in her own mind forever?




At Her Fingertips 
(Book #3, featured novel)


At Her Fingertips (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, #3)Alice Knight is looking forward to her debut as it means she will be able to carry out her plan. She will have her first Season in London, she will meet her husband, and she will marry him. However, Alice struggles to make her feelings reconcile with her goals.

Alice is sure that, if she can only cling to her plans, she will manage without help from anyone — including God. A childhood friend returning unexpectedly, a charming gentleman who is not all he should be, and an American author with strange ideas about life all make her question the plan.

With the life she longs for at her fingertips, can Alice grasp it?



REVIEW TIME 


I think we can all agree that reviewing a full series is tough because ALL THE SPOILERS THAT CANNOT BE REVEALED but I shall try my best. Prepare to be confused.

About the first two books ...

In my almost one year of  being acquainted with Indie Books, I've learned two things. First, that there are many hidden gems here. Two, that in spite of that, I can understand why some people are hesitant to read them. Some of them just don't stand up to traditionally published books in writing quality.

I find myself scrutinising the writing style in indie books so much more carefully than other books, even though I feel I shouldn't. I just DO. So I went into The Dressmaker's Secret with editor eyes open ... and I was blown away with how good the writing style was. I mean, I've come across books in which the less-than-average writing just distracts from the story. But no matter how I tried, the writing style in here was so good that my attention wandered away from examining it and I JUST HAD TO KEEP MY MIND ON THE PLOT. The writing didn't distract AT ALL. For all the three books - the style was great!

The historical aspect was done well done in all three. I could easily imagine the setting, the clothing, the time period. I did catch a few things in their manner of speech that might have not been a thing back then (such as saying, "I guess") but that was very minor.

I was pleasantly surprised how easily the "Christian" aspect seemed to be woven in. I mean, it felt natural -  not forced or BLATANTLY STARING ME IN THE FACE. In fact, it was kind of sweet/encouraging feel all the way through.

Like I said, I was wondering how Kellyn would pull off an eight-year-old's pov, but WOW I WAS IMPRESSED. I absolutely fell in love with Alice and Ivy and the Chattoways and the Knights and the Parkers. They were all incredibly fun characters to watch.

In book one, we have mostly Alice's and her mom's perspectives. I love how Kellyn  managed to address a serious subject, yet keep the story relatively lighthearted by telling it from a child's point of view. And Alice was absolutely adorable and spunky and I can totally see myself in her shoes XD

In book two, there is Ivy's pov, and again, I was slightly skeptical, wondering how that would come out. Ivy is, after all, a bit more simple minded than others. WELL I NEED NOT HAVE WORRIED. IT WAS TERRIFIC. No less interesting than Alice's.

Another thing about book two. We have the perspective and story of Mr. Parker, who is a family friend/relative, and usually I HATE IT when sequels add a new perspective that WASN'T IN BOOK ONE. But in this case I ADORED IT. Mr. Parker's story was really really entertaining, and it even gave a nice little twist to the "stern and strict headmistress" trope lol

I adore action and suspense novels, and while these wasn't quite THAT THRILLING it was nonetheless a A VERY GRIPPING story because of the characters. The books have a small element of mystery to them - something that the characters don't know or understand that they are trying to find out, and that sure made things rather intriguing (though I do admit that I was way ahead of them most of the time XDD). I liked how the plot took surprising turns and wasn't solely focused on ONLY ONE THING.





A smol list of reasons you should read these books:

- Alice is the most adorable, spunky kid in the book universe
- Ivy is the sweetest, kindest, most innocent child ever
- Alice can sketch!! (This is even more apparent in book 3, but on to that later)
- Ivy has secret talents but that's a bit spoiler-y so ...
- Miss Claire Chattoway is such a strong willed tragic heroine and the kindest mom and gah, she deserves happy endings
- There are a lot of references to fairy tales - ESPECIALLY RAPUNZEL
- ALICE LOVES HORSES
- Nettie is the loveliest maid and governess in existence and her story, while it wasn't really a big part of the plot, is so happy!!
- A lot of these characters are great Christians and have great influence on other people!
- Mr. Parker + Miss Selle were adorkable and absolutely hilarious
- The Knights have such an important role!! #morespoilers
- There are these little mysteries to solve such as ...
- The identity of a father that Alice never had ...
- Or who is the screaming insane student at Ivy's school
- Which is IN SCOTLAND btw YAY
- AND DID I MENTION THE STABLE BOY KIRK MANNING BECAUSE HE IS MY FAVORITE CHARACTER

Ok, so moving on...




BOOK THREE ...

Now, for the entertaining part where I scream and complain about spoilers that I cannot divulge to you.

At Her Fingertips jumps to when Alice is 18, and I said to myself, "Well, this will be pleasantly interesting."

HAHAHA NOPE it was a headache ... in a good way if you know what I mean. It was all about HIGH SOCIETY BALLS and TEASING BANTER and A LOVE SQUARE.

Please. I saw all this ^^ and said to myself, "Well, we all know how it ends," and proceeded to rant to my mom about the same subject for half an hour but ... LOL NO IT DIDN'T GO  HOW I HAD PLANNED.

Which was frustrating and fun and made me pull out my hair (don't look at me, I'm bald now). It's very hard to review this book without giving spoilers.

In essence, great writing, great theme, great setting, and all what I said previously. For the characters ...

Alice was ... GREAT but ... slightly less mature and wise than I'd expected. No worries, though, she goes through  A TON OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Also! The Knights have THIS ADORABLY HUGE FAMILY. 

This one suitor, Gibson, was... frankly, annoying. REALLY REALLY ANNOYING. I mean, I took one look at him, and said, NOPE. Obviously, certain characters were not as wise as I was (not to praise myself or anything.)

The other suitor, WHOM I PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED AS MY FAVE CHARACTER, was ... STILL MY FAVORITE CHARACTER, thank you very much.

The third suitor, was, technically, NOT A SUITOR AT ALL, but ya know ... His name was Peter Strauss and ... haha it was very very distracting for me. Do any of  you know about the relatively well known American actor from the past century called PETER STRAUSS?? Bc I was seeing his face in this book every time I read his name. -_-  Distracting. However, on the plus side, he was  A WRITER. A CHRISTIAN. AN AMERICAN. A JOURNALIST. AN AWKWARD AND ADORABLE PERSON. And yeah ... all that XD 

I cannot reveal the ending. :( I'm sorry. 

Why you should read:

- very intense love square
- some characters have DARK BACKGROUND STORIES
- some characters ARE VERY  MUCH MORE QUESTIONABLE THAN MEETS THE EYE
- ALICE IS SO GOOD AT DRAWING
- She even gets to beta read Peter's book!!!
- (and illustrate it, but ya know #spoilers)
- Alice's siblings are all so sweet!
- KIRK MANNING
- the love square
-THE RIDICULOUS LOVE SQUARE WHICH STRESSED ME OUT FOR THE ENTIRE NIGHT
- also this book ended very differently from HOW I WANTED IT TO
- so ... just so you know ... MY SHIP = DESTROYED
- thanks, Kell #sarcasm
- lovely parent advice/relationships which, honestly, TEENS IN YA COULD LEARN FROM HA
- And Alice has a best friend all the way from BOOK ONE AND HER BOARDING SCHOOL SO YAY
- I cannot remember anything else
- Except that crazy love square which broke my heart
- Just read the book and you'll know
- I gotta admit though, that it stayed true to that era's standards and rules of society


ALL IN ALL ... ALL THESE THREE BOOKS DESERVE A FULL FOUR STARS FROM ME.
***thanks to the author for free review copies***

Please, everyone, put these on your tbrs. You'll enjoy the first two, and probably dies in the third, but that's beside the point.

(also, if you happen to see me with my hair on any one of these days, it's because I'm wearing a wig -_-)




Author Bio

Kellyn Roth was born and lives on a cattle ranch in North-Eastern Oregon. Always fascinated with telling stories, she created crazy games to play with her little brothers as a child. Today, she writes Christian and Historical Fiction with a focus on truth and family. Find out more about her and her novels at kellynrothauthor.com





A few questions I asked the author ....

When and why did you start writing The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy?

I started writing it in November 2014 for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The reason? I just wanted to write the first book, The Dressmaker's Secret, while I  was still fresh with ideas.

Are there glimpses of you and your experiences in these books? Can you tell us a few things about you that somehow made their way in there?

Yes, there probably are. For instance, Claire Chattoway/Knight and I can both be very *coughs* private about our emotions. And Alice and I are both fiercely independent and fairly intense when we want to be - though I'm not quite as focused as Alice. And Ivy and I both love books and music. My experiences? Not so much. I haven't lived during the Victorian era or gone through most of the situations described in the book. But I have seen similar things - in the modern day world - happen to people I know. The scene towards the end with Alice and Gibson was inspired by something that happened to a friend of mine, actually.

What is so special about this series that it has kept you writing it for this long?

I suppose it's the characters? Honestly, they're all so dear, and I can't resist writing about them! I also really enjoy the era, which helps. But I think more than anything it's the characters. Alice, Ivy, Claire, Philip, Kirk, Peter, Nettie ... how can I stop writing about them?

How famous are you with this series? Are you able to tell how many readers you have or how many books you've sold? (Just curious ;D)

Confidential. ;)

Really, though, I'm not 100% sure! Not counting free downloads - which is in the thousands - I'd say 50-100 or in that range? Like I said, I'm not really sure, but it's not a whole lot. Under 100, totally. I have no real way of gauging, though, as it's not something I've tracked in the least. I wouldn't say I'm very famous, though I expect At Her Fingertips to take me places!

What do you want your readers to take away after reading these books? Is there a theme or message or feeling of some kind that you were going for?​

"Trust God, live the truth, and don't be ashamed of it."


I used to advertise my books as "truth-based historical fiction," and they are nothing less. I think truth is one of the most important things in the world to me. In fact, I sometimes forget that verse - "speak the truth in love." I hope that my books reflect that - and that they glorify God in the process with me not being to blatant about the things I believe.


Pink cherry blossom flowers on branches against a pale blue sky


So there's also an epic giveaway!

Grand Prize:
 -The first three books in paperback, 
- an ebook copy of the first ten chapters of book 4, 
- a journal and pen set, and 
- various special features!

Second Place: 
- a paperback copy of At Her Fingertips, 
- a set of watercolors and brushes

Third Place: 
- the complete series (ebook) and 
- $10 Amazon gift card


SO GUYS!
GO ENJOY!

Good luck on the giveaway ;)

xx Lisa

So! Who's read the first three books?
Who understood my review of the third book?
WHO MISSED ME WHILE I WAS ON HIATUS?
Who wants to enter this epic giveaway!!??

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10 comments

  1. Sounds like a good story. I like the shifting of perspectives and the age leap. I will have to give these a shot!

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    Replies
    1. YES IT IS!! Mmmm the shifting pov + age leap does make for a fascinating a story :) Definitely do try them at some point!! Thanks for commenting <3

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  2. I NEED THESE NOW PLEASE AND THANK YOU!

    I'm not a fan of HI-FI but your reviews always convince me of reading a book.

    I MISSED YOU! YOUR HEADER LOOKS AMAZING!!

    Adding these to my TBR now. XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ABSOLUTELY YOU DO XD

      well that's splendid if I can convince you to read your least favorite genre lol

      I MISSED YOU TOO. and thanks for always complimenting my headers. Even though I never stick with one for long XD

      <3

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  3. Oooh. I need to add these to my TBR list RIGHT NOW!

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    Replies
    1. HELLO TAVIA *waves* I'm so happy you have been convinced XD and thanks for the follow and your comment <333

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  4. I've been interested in these books for a bit, and now want to read them more than ever! Great review, Lisa!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AWWW so happy you liked the reviews ^-^ definitely give them a shot, they are so worth it!!

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  5. I LOVED THIS REVIEW LISA!!! AAAAAH IT WAS JUST SO AMAZING! :D :D :D

    Thank you so much for participating in my blog tour! <3 It was amazing to have you, and wow, this post! *applause*

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    Replies
    1. AHHHH THANK YOU KELL <3 I had a ton of fun writing it and it was a pkeasure to be part of your blog tour XDD thanks for the comment ^-^

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