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Posted June 15, 2012
What a fun read! I tend to skim books when I'm bored with too much description or too lengthy set-ups... Ann had me from the start with curious names and fun-kept secrets of stories from the past...those missing little pieces that keep you reading. Her descriptive language is amazing, and yet succinct enough to keep my attention! I would love to take a trip to New Smyrna Beach... I must admit, I don't finish every book I start, but there is no way not to follow this to the end. I was excited to pick up my kindle. Perfect for the recreational reader and the young adult (of course I'm over 40 and I loved it too!).. enjoyable read with a few unexpected twists, tension in relationships (some resolve, some do not...just like real life), and captivating language. Can't wait to read more from Ann Lee Miller!
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Posted July 15, 2013
For a good girl, it's hard to resist when a bad boy makes a play for your heart. You feel flattered, overwhelmed, swept off your feet. Ann Lee Miller draws you into the conflicting emotions surrounding Raine; the homeschooled turned Bible college commuter who doesn't have a whole lot of experience when it comes to fending off the advances of a player like Cal. She doesn't want to be duped by false promises, but she can't resist the physical attraction igniting between them. Is he just after her body, or does he want something more?
Miller creates something special with KICKING ETERNITY, a New Adult novel with morals. There is a Christian emphasis in the text that is definitely unique in an emerging genre usually known for its sex scenes, make-out sessions and tantalizing hook-ups. But the religious slant does not take away from the romance. The TITANIC-like scene where Cal paints Raine sizzles. But God is a main character, and even though he never speaks within quotation marks, His influence is evident in the numerous scripture passages and moments of prayer throughout. There's friction between the believers and the non-believers in a coastal Florida Bible camp setting, and there are several moving scenes when conversion inspires a change of heart for those stubbornly clinging to their doubts.
There is a love triangle that expands into a larger focus as new elements are introduced. Drew, the camp's music director, has a thing for Raine, but wants to give it another go with his ex, Samantha. Aly, Raine's bunkmate, harbors an unrequited love for Cal that she yearns to explore. The different pairings are tried and discarded as the characters attempt to figure out what they really want.
The novel aptly questions what factors are necessary in finding the perfect match. Should decisions be made based on chemistry or compatibility? Does having a shared past with someone mean more than an instantaneous spark? How are feelings of rejection dealt with when the one you love is into someone else? They are all strong themes that a New Adult audience can appreciate. Love isn't simple when you're trying to find out who you should spend the rest of your life with. And Miller deals with the complexity of these emotions brilliantly.
Posted March 9, 2013
I'm really surprised by the ratings on this book. I was ready to quit by the end of the 1st chapter. Totally unbelievable dialogue between people who have just met. Christian fiction shouldn't have a lower bar, but I think that's obviously the case. This may have won a Christian fiction award, but I seriously doubt it could make it outside of that arena. Glad I didn't pay for this.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 5, 2013
Raine has been hired to teach Bible at a summer camp, but is unprepared for her attraction to bad boy Cal, or seeing Drew again, a ‘boy’ from her past who is now all grown up. The promise of some interesting developments between the three is almost immediate and I was hooked after only a few pages. The characters are varied and well developed; real people with issues that deserve an audience. It is not a book that I could read in one sitting, however. The story needed to be savored. It is full of rich character development, and pulls the reader closer to God in a way that was genuine and never forced. This is much more than the typical Christian romance and I highly recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2013
Posted December 7, 2012
This is a book that should be read by young adults everywhere. Christian teens are not immune to the temptations of the world no matter how long they have been Christians. This is the story of four people who face challenges in their personal lives and their spiritual lives.Raine decides to teach at a Christian Camp to help earn money to take her to Africa as a missionary. Cal is the son of a preacher. His brother runs the camp. Drew is the camps recreation leader. Both he and Cal are in love with Raine. Aly is Raine’s roommate and sees Raine as a goody-goody. When her father left she felt an empty hole. She tried to fill that hole with guys who didn’t really care for her. She sees that both Cal and Drew care for Raine and that sets the stage for more conflict. In the mix is Raine’s brother who has a drug problem. Sometimes it is difficult to see the problem before us. We tend to cover it up or make excuses until it is almost too late.
I was able to relate to this particular situation. For years I made excuses for my youngest sister and her drinking problems that eventually became drug problems as well. I did this to protect my mother I said. It almost destroyed not only my sister, but also my family. This is a book that should be read by everyone.I believe it can be enjoyed by Christian and Non-Christian alike.I look forward to reading more by this author.
Posted November 11, 2012
Ann Lee Miller
This book is in E-Book format
When I first started to read, Kicking Eternity, I was not sure I was going to like it. But I kept reading and was glad I did.
Most of the characters are in their 20's and involved in the "Triple S Camp"
Raine is the main character and she is a follower of Christ Jesus.
She is desperately looking for a relationship with someone, anyone, to just be friends with her. Always asking God fro understanding and wisdom as things and people come into her life. She like most of us, sometimes seems to learn the hard way. She desires to go to Africa to minister to the much needed people there. Though many of those she knows do not understand why she would want to go not only because of the serious dangers there but in every way. She struggles to help her brother and friend that have drug problems.
Many of us can relate to her unfortunately but, life is hard.
The characters are real people that face real challenges. I enjoyed the interplay among them. It has romance, friendships and real life issues.
Enjoyed the ending!
I would recommend this book to teenagers and up!!!
God bless you and keep you always Ann !!!
Posted August 27, 2012
I absolutely LOVED this book! I couldn't put it down! Miller is an
awesome writer who really draws the reader into the story with an
engaging storyline and realistic characters. I cannot wait till her next
book comes out! Kicking Eternity is a great read, and I truly was drawn
into the world of Rainey, Drew, Cal and Aly. Great read - definitely
check it out!
Posted August 25, 2012
Great Read If you are a young adult or young at heart then I think you
will enjoy this realistic look at one young woman's struggle to do the
right thing, follow her heart, and listen to God. But sometimes, as
Raine discovers, those things don't mesh.
Posted August 24, 2012
I loved reading Kicking Eternity! And I read it quickly because it was
so interesting. I loved the main characters in the book; they were
developed well. It is full of realistic challenges that the characters
face. The gradual development of Raine and Drew's friendship kept me
wanting more. I look forward to reading Ann Lee Miller's next book!
Posted August 24, 2012
A friend recommended I read Kicking Eternity a few weeks ago and I was
not disappointed with the outcome!!! I thoroughly enjoyed the book and
am looking forward to future books in the Kicking Eternity series. It
is truly an inspirational book and confirms that God is sufficient time
and time again. It is an easy read that kept me engaged until the very
end. I was highly disappointed when I read the last page and realized I
had to wait several more months before I could find out what happens in
Raine's and Drew's lives.
Posted August 23, 2012
I loved the book. The small town setting was fabulous, such a
"coming home" feeling, even though I still live here! The
characters were so real, I felt like I knew them and didn't want the
book to end, as I knew I'd miss them! I look forward to the next book so
I can re-connect with my new "friends" and enjoy reading about
their lives in New Smyrna Beach!
Posted August 23, 2012
Being the daughter of a Baptist preacher, I spent every summer of my
childhood at church camp. Reading "Kicking Eternity" was like
reliving those days and for a moment I wondered if maybe Ann Miller had
found my diary and turned it into a book! What I loved about it was
that the characters of her book are human... flawed, but true to life.
Struggling with spiritual issues, as most young people are, the basic
Scriptural truths are brought to light and remind the reader that when
life seems to be out of control, it is all in God's plan. Raine and
Drew both found out that surrendering to God's calling in their lives
would not be as easy as it sounded, but in the end they would be happier
than they ever imagined. It's all about choices. Love this book and I
highly recommend it. I'm looking forward to Ann's next book coming out
Posted August 23, 2012
This book was a great summer read. Well, really an anytime read. It had
good things to think about in it as well. However something that took
getting used to for me was the frequent use of brand-names to describe
everything. It doesn't really help out if you're a younger audience and
don't quite understand. HOWEVER, the rest of the story was beautifully
written. The main characters are easy to connect to and you can really
place yourself in their shoes. It's a very believable story, which is
why it hits home so well. I'd definitely recommend it and can't wait for
the second book!
Posted August 23, 2012
Excellent first book by a refreshingly wholesome author! Who doesn't
love a Christian-based novel set at summer camp?? Trusting God and
looking for His guidance was the icing on the cake for me but I find
myself missing the friends I made while reading their story. I look
forward to the sequel to see where they go and with whom they end up with...
Posted August 8, 2012
This is the debut novel from Ann Lee Miller. And I have to say, I really enjoyed it.
The book is set at a Christian summer camp. For a start, this was fascinating to me as I've never been on such a camp (don't have them much here in Australia). The novel revolves around four characters - all in their early to mid twenties - who are working in the camp (i.e. not the younger camp attendees).
Raine is a home schooled girl with a desire to teach children in Africa - she's convinced that is God's plan for her life. Then there is Cal - a hot surfer guy who throws Raine into a spin. She has to fight her developing feelings for a guy who's denounced God and insists that she needs an education.
Drew, the Rec Director, has to face the heartbreak of his former love and determine what he's planning on doing with his life. He forms a bond with Raine, but nothing can happen for them with Cal lurking around and Drew's mind is still stuck on his first love. I found him to be as cute as anything.
Aly is busy rejecting God and running around with guys. She's forced to share a room with Raine, and the two end up forming an unlikely friendship.
I loved these characters. I found them all so real. I found it easy to identify with Raine - hearing those familiar taunts about needing 'an education'. And it's easy to see how she might unwittingly fall for the hot-but-off-limits Cal. Drew was sweet but not in a sickening way. His and Raine's passion for God are infectious. Aly is flawed, but you just know there's hope for her. I'm looking forward to the follow up book which will continue Aly and Cal's story ("The Art of My Life" - due out 1st September 2012).
In short, the story was engaging, the characters relatable, and Ann captured the internal challenges of young adults of this age group well. It made me want to relive my 20s! I loved the slightly older age of the characters than the traditional teen years for Young Adult fiction. There's just as much drama as the teens, but more substance to the end results since they are at the age of starting to settle down. I think this is a great read, and would recommend it to college age readers and those of us who may be a bit "older" and still enjoy reading Young Adult story lines :)
Posted July 22, 2012
Kicking Eternity is a compelling read with a great assortment of characters and challenges. Growing up in a Christian home, I could commiserate with Raine when accused of being a self-righteous and sheltered Christian kid who didn't understand real life. She also pulled at my heart-strings as she fought off her crush on the rebel art teacher. But I must say my favorite character, by far, was Drew, the Rec Director.
Drew's character pulled me into the story and held my interest. He even caused me to slap my forehead a couple times and accuse him of being dense, always a good thing for a reader to care that much. Ann wrote Drew and Raine's relationship in such a way that I believed in their past and hoped for their future. In fact, throughout Kicking Eternity I found myself hoping for the happiness of both, and it was this hope which kept me turning pages.
The end result for a couple of the characters was a surprise, and contributed more to the reality rather than fantasy of these characters. It also makes me eager to read the next book, The Art of My Life, which focuses on the rebel art teacher, Cal. Caring for the characters is the key to enjoying the story, even if you only truly care about the life of one.
The one qualm with Kicking Eternity falls to the frequency of scene breaks utilized to hop from one character to another. The story might have drawn me in more completely, and sooner, if one character had been the focus for a longer period of time. Instead, I felt a little like a wagon being pulled down a pot-hole infested road.
But overall, Kicking Eternity was a refreshing read. I love finding stories where the characters act more real than imagined, as this gives greater credit to the moral they impart by the end of the book. While I wish there was a clearer sense of the actual main character, I enjoyed the end result of getting to know them.
Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5. I would give the book a 4 but for those pesky, distracting scene breaks.
Would I read it again? Probably.
Would I recommend it to others? Definitely.
Posted July 18, 2012
There are four--no, five--main characters in Kicking Eternity, a contemporary inspirational romance by Ann Lee Miller, a new and up-and-coming author. Please allow me to introduce these sparkling (and not so sparkling) personalities to you. You'll want to know them, because they're about to become your friends--if you buy a copy, that is.
The setting is New Smyrna Beach Surf and Sailing Camp, a Christian summer camp for young people.
First, there's Raine Zigler, sometimes called Rainey. She's the kind of person who inspires you to be better than you are now. She's determined to follow God's will no matter what. Even if it means cutting out her heart, which is offending her and undermining her relationship with God. She is attracted to a guy we can see will lead her away from God. She can see it, too, but the connection to him is so overwhelmingly taut. She can tell he might get between her and her most desired goal--to become a missionary in Africa.
The guy in question is Cal Koomer, a surfer, sun blond, tan, and buff. When his eyes meet Raine's at the meet-the-staff orientation, the connection is instantaneous and euphoric. Speaking of connections, Cal has lost his connection with God. Deliberately. Not that he doesn't think God exists, but Cal doesn't want God--or anyone--ruling his life. He's pretty sure he would want a chance to "educate" Raine in the finer funs of life. Africa? No way.
However, an obstacle crops up between Cal and Raine. His name is Drew Martin, handsome and a dynamite worship leader/guitar player/singer/pray-er. Drew is the kind of person Raine should fall for. He'd probably love becoming a missionary in Africa. Trouble is, there's this other girl Drew was pretty sure God told him he should marry.
And then there's Aly Logan, Cal's step sister and Raine's roommate. Aly is prickly. She's not about to let a Bible-thumper like Raine close. She'd like to let Cal get close, but he keeps acting like a brother. So she goes around looking for any guy who can fill her need for someone to hold her.
The one we'd like to leave out of the main characters is Eddie Zigler. Raine's brother. Drug addict. Raine loves him but fears him. Why? And he keeps after her for money. She wants him to turn himself over to Teen Challenge, but he'd rather just go get high again. At any cost.
If you mix all these personalities together and bake them under the hot Florida sun, what you get is not a cake. A pudding, perhaps. A stew, probably.
Posted July 17, 2012
Here is a great summer read, Kicking Eternity, by Ann Lee Miller. I believe it is her debut book, available via eBooks on Nook and Kindle and in print form.
It’s about four main characters who are staff members at a Christian camp. One of them is in high school or recently graduated while the rest are in their mid-to-late 20s. The main heroine, Raine, has always felt God’s plan for her life was to be a missionary in Africa. The story takes place the summer before she is to leave as a single missionary. She meets Drew and Cal, who both fall in love with her. With all the twists and turns, the author will keep you staying up late to see how Raine would let God work out His plan for her life.
The author has a candid and honest approach to some of the issues that burden our families today. Those included fear, trust, drugs, and infatuation/love.
This book is definitely one to be recommended. Not only does it help you feel Raine’s emotions personally, but it also takes you to how you’ve dealt with or are dealing with many of those same emotions in your own life.
The author shows how God’s plan is always perfect when we follow Him. At first there was disappointment in how the author left one character at the end of the book until reading her preview for the next book. The Art of My Life has a release date of September 1, 2012. It’s good to see that there is hope for this character!
Lastly, the third book in the series, Aura’s God, has a release date of December 1, 2012. This book is about two of the secondary characters in Kicking Eternity. It will be exciting to see how Ann develops Kallie and Jesse.
Posted July 6, 2012
I really liked this book. It was real to me. Not during any part of this book did I think "This wouldn't happen". It wasn't a candy coated "Christian version". It had all the real elements that people deal with today - sexual temptation, alcohol, drugs, violence, jealousy, making choices, and wanting and hoping to do what is right. I have been to summer camp and I have worked at summer and these kinds of things do happen.
I loved the whole beach scene! Any book that takes place on a beach is alright by me. I also seem to like books that take place around summer camp. This was not so much about the kids at camp but the Counselors and Instructors. There was very good character development! Wow, I really liked Raine, actually I really liked everybody! That doesn't happen so often in books. There is usually someone I can't connect with but I really felt like I knew them all and liked all of them even Eddie, the "bad guy" I felt bad for him and just wanted him to get help he needed.
About the only fault I could find with this book is that the characters seemed younger to me than they were suppose to be. They were all in their 20's but it read like they were teens. I kept comparing them to my daughter who is 23. And for some reason I kept getting Cal and Drew mixed up in the beginning, but that wasn't really the Authors fault. Other than that I loved everything else about this book. It flowed very nicely, was easy to read and kept my interest all the way through.
There were some really great lines -
"Sometimes I'm twelve inside and it bleeds to the outside. Embarrassing."
"Rainey, I wish I could promise you running to Africa would work. But my guess is the pain will go with you. The only thing I know is if you take God into those deep cracks Eddie's made in your heart, you'll fill them with something good. Somehow the suffering won't be wasted."
"Faith is believing what God said in the Bible is true."
"I believe it. I don't feel it."
"Your feelings will catch up. If the emotion was wiped out as soon as God forgave us, we'd go right out and do the same thing again." - I loved that one!
and even a few humorous ones -
"Did you read Harry Potter?"
"I hid it in my closet for a week, but yeah, I read it under the covers with a flashlight and felt like a criminal. I confessed to mom."
This was a really nice Christian book about being faithful to God, but also being unsure about your faith.
Of course - no sex or swearing, so good for any age. In fact I recommend teen read it.