A review of Life (really!)

Today I am reviewing Life. Not the all-encompassing Life we all live; that would take too long. No, the Life I’m talking about is Rebecca Belliston’s new book: Life–Citizens of Logan Pond.

This story is set in the future after America has experienced a fatal financial collapse. Life as we know it doesn’t exist anymore. Freedoms have been stripped away and citizens are heavily monitored and worked by the government. Carrie is 17 when her parents leave Chicago and head back to Logan Pond to live with their good neighbors who have citizen cards. Five years have passed, and Carrie is part of a clan of about 30 non-citizens who are based around May and CJ Trenton’s home. With the risk of weekly raids by government workers, they’re sole source of safety is Oliver, a policeman who is sympathetic to their clan because of his feelings for Carrie. But when May’s daughter and handsome grandson find their way back to Logan Pond, life changes drastically for the clan and Carrie. Tensions arise, love triangles form, and tempers erupt.

I’ve asked Rebecca some questions about her new book and she has graciously answered them.

Where did the idea for this series originate?

RB: Six years ago, I got stuck on a single question. “What if the end of civilization as we know it doesn’t come from some huge war or catastrophe? What if it comes from the absence of one small thing: the dollar?”  This question wouldn’t leave me alone and has grown into this series. Ironically, six months after I started writing, my husband lost his job (our only source of income), so I got to experience some of this fear firsthand. Before I started writing it, however, I hadn’t thought much about the nation’s collapse, other than reading other dystopians. But I think about it quite a lot now. Not too cheery, but I guess it’s good to be prepared.

Who is your favorite character in Life?

RB: Greg. Hands down. He’s just so angry, and I’m not sure why I enjoy writing that, but I adore him in the same way a mother adores her misbehaving toddler. I can see so much potential in him, and I want to help him reach it. (I know he’s not real. I do. I promise.)

I loved Greg too. When is Liberty–your 2nd book–estimated to be released? (Because I’m anxious for it)

RB: Liberty is nearly finished (on my part). Just a few more chapters to write. I love where the story has gone, so hopefully you–and everyone else–will, too. If all goes well, it will be released next summer-ish.

Rebecca gave me some questions to answer after reading her book: Below are both of our answers to the same question.

  • What’s one non-essential item you would keep? (Char: Book of Mormon) (Rebecca: my computer. It’s my brain. Everything is on it: books, pictures, Google, emails from family, calendars. Unfortunately there wouldn’t be electricity, so that would be lame to keep it, but I probably still would, just in case.)
  • What responsibility would you have in a clan like this? Must be essential: food, clothing, or shelter related. (Char: gardening, teaching kids, basically what the character Carrie does fits me well) (Rebecca: I think I’d be the same. I can grow vegetables, teach a couple of subjects, and babysit little ones. I probably could sew a little, and I know how to cut hair if necessary.)
  • Would you have stayed in Logan Pond or moved back to a municipality? (Char: This is a hard one. I’m so law-abiding that the thought of staying in Logan Pond as an illegal squatter goes against every grain of my being. But with that said, if I had been in Carrie’s parents situation and feared the future for my kids in the municipality—like my young single daughter being taken advantage of in those tight quarters—I might have done the same thing they did and sought refuge out on my own with others I knew would have my same values and morals.) (Rebecca: I think you and I are very similar Char. :)  I would answer pretty much the same. I’d probably head back to the clan just to protect my kids)

Which character of yours  do you relate to most?

RB: Probably Carrie. I have a hard time speaking up for myself when I probably should. I don’t mind being a wallflower in social situations. And my family is everything to me.

Is Logan Pond a real place; do you live close by?

RB: I do live on a pond, and I do live in a subdivision with about 20 families of people I adore. However, my pond is not Logan Pond, and my subdivision is nothing like the one in the book. Different people. Different roads, shape, setup, etc. So in the book, the neighborhood is completely fictional. Even Shelton, the town, is fictional.

How much do you think chocolate would be worth in this new society of bartering…or has it gone obsolete (heaven forbid!)?

RB: Oh man, chocolate? There are so many things I’d miss in a situation like this, but chocolate would definitely be up top. I’ts hard to envision a life without Reese’s. I might even give up my computer for a lifetime supply. Maybe. :)

This book had great writing, awesome characters, and a believable plot and situation. I inhaled this story. I couldn’t stop reading, wondering what would happen next. I found myself asking what I would do in the situation Carrie and Greg are in, and I hope I never have to find out in real life. Scary.

I highly recommend Life. It was a book I couldn’t stop thinking about once I finished. You can find out about all the characters HERE! It’s such an ingenius character map.  And if you don’t know Rebecca Belliston yet, visit her website enter a Rafflecopter giveaway, and check out Life on Amazon. Happy Reading!


Olympic Beauty

DSC02768Before school started, we took a trip to the Olympic Peninsula to relax, see my brother, and pick up my daughter (who’s been working there all summer). I thought I’d share a few of my pics. I absolutely LOVE this area of the country. It’s so green (although they did have yellow lawns this year because of record-low water this summer). Still, compared to Idaho, it’s super green and lush.

Last year, I posted a series of my top 10 reasons I love Washington, so I’ll spare you a rehash. But we did Continue reading

The Reckoning (blog tour)



Only One Can Survive The Reckoning

Erin Radkey has always known the day would come when she would have to personally confront the Triad leader of the power-hungry Emporium. But she never thought it would be with a snake in her head that feeds on her energy. Or that she’d be in the company of an uncertain ally who might turn on her Continue reading

Sink or Float

DSC02460Starting off my summer with a broken arm didn’t lend itself to lots of extracurricular activities, but I did manage to have some fun despite my bum arm.

In July, we took a day trip up to McCall, Idaho to canoe up the river. My arm still was healing, so I had to be careful with it, which meant I didn’t have to row. Yippeee!!! My husband and son rowed me while I sat in the middle like the Queen of Sheba. That was pretty nice. I could get used to having people row me around, although I would demand a more comfortable seat next time.

Wanting to please me (or terrify me, more likely) my son stood and pretended he was a Gondola driver. He made me quite nervous that he would tip our canoe and drown me since I was wedged under the bar…but thankfully Continue reading

Bonds of Loyalty

BondsLoyaltyBannerToday I’m participating in an awesome blog tour for the release of Bonds of Royalty by Jennifer Clark and Stephonie Williams. This is the sequel to Mark of Royalty, which I read in July and loved.

The premise of this story is that Sarah is the firstborn of twins to the king and queen of Kyridian, but a prophesy has doomed her to die if she is allowed to live. Knowing the risk she will be in if she stays in the kingdom, Apollo, the king’s trusted advisor, spirits her away to another country where she is raised as a commoner, not knowing her true identity and purpose. Continue reading

Unconditional Love

Ginger and the Neighbor's dogs002Sad day for my family yesterday. We had to put down my beloved dog, Ginger. I’ve posted about her in the past, so some of you are already familiar with her cute face. She went downhill pretty fast, which was a tender mercy (although super hard). I made this video as a tribute to her life. I never meant to have a dog. I didn’t have one growing up, so I’m not really a dog person. But I’ve never regretted bringing Ginger into our family.

Yes, I’ve complained about how hairy she was or stressed about finding someone to tend her when we left on vacations…but she was an integral part of our family. She taught us about unconditional love and always had a smile on her face. I will love her forever for how she blessed our lives.