Book Bites: Five Books You Probably Have Not Read (and that you totally should)

Good evening, Cyberspace! As you all probably know by now, Smudged Thoughts is basically a Writer’s Resort where I scream and yell at you all with spittle flinging from my snarled teeth about how to be a better, more productive (bahahahahahaha) writer.

Well, today I’m going to be doing something a little bit different. (as usual)

Today, we shall be venturing into the world of books.

As in books that are actually and physically available to buy, and not just sitting on a hard-drive in your computer looking like the soggy, half-finished cookie that it is.

You see, back when I first began Smudged Thoughts, I wanted to not only talk about writing, but to also give out book recommendations for people like me. Or, more specifically, people who are terrified to buy a book because every single book in the history of books has…things.

Because something that seriously irks me (and has been growing exceedingly worse over the months) is that I cannot just waltz into a brick-and-mortar bookstore and snatch up ALL OF THE BOOKS without going home to find out that, “Oh joy! They’re cursing now. How lovely.”

Or saying or doing any other unmentionable things that make me want to throw said book across the room and scream like a curdled banshee.

Finding a good book to read is a constant struggle for people like me, which is really quite depressing. Reading is my absolute favorite hobby, but it seems like I’m slowly being shut out of that world with every new book I pick up.

And this, Cyberspace, should not happen.

So, starting today, I’m going to begin a quest to search for all of the books that are both A) clean, and B) interesting, fun, unique, dark, and all of the things that teenagers and adult readers want to read.

Because I don’t want to read the Berenstain Bears for my entire life, thank you.

So without further ado, I would like to present to thee–

Book Bites: Five Books You Probably Have Not Read (and that you totally should)

Number One– Foundlings (Book #1 of The Peleg Chronicles by Matthew Christian Harding)

Peleg Chronicles Book Cover

The Peleg Chronicles is literally one of my favorite series, guys. It’s got everything you’d ever want in a Historical Fiction/Fantasy-type trilogy: dragons; creepy bulging eyes; demented priests with snake-like tattoos; and hilarious, super quirky characters with kind of weird names like Lord McDougal and Fergus Leatherhead.

(not to mention that McDougal is an adorable idiot)

Oh. And there’s also a wolf pup. Have I sold you yet?

Now, The Peleg Chronicles is a Christian series, and while the Christian element is rather evident throughout the entire trilogy, it’s not necessarily a ‘hit you over the head with a bible’ type thing. Foundlings is the first book in the trilogy, and not only is it a wonderful beginning to a beautiful story, the ebook is also free on Amazon. So, if you ever find yourself in the mood for a unique Christian fantasy, I would highly recommend checking Foundlings out.

And then promptly buying the entire series because it is amazing.

Number Two– Lost Girl (Book #1 in the Neverwood Chronicles by Chanda Hahn)

Lost Girl Cover

For those of you who don’t know, Chanda Hahn is a self-published author, whose stories I absolutely adore. She also wrote the Unenchanted series, which is where my initial love of fairytale retellings originated.

(you can get the first ebook, Unenchanted, for free on Amazon)

Lost Girl is a Peter Pan retelling that follows the story of Wendy as she tries to recover from an extremely traumatic (and slightly terrifying) childhood.

When she was locked up in an experimentalization facility.

Not only does this book have literally the softest cover of a paperback that I have ever felt, but it also includes a bookstore with a huge St. Bernard named Nana, a sassy inventor Tinkerbell, an adorable band of misfit boys, and–of course–shadow beasts that haunt Wendy’s nightmares.

And there’s also that flying kid named Peter. #overrated

Lost Girl is book one in the Neverwood Chronicles, and I believe that book two, Lost Boy, is set to release later this year.

(which I am uber excited about, by the way)

Number Three– Implant by J. Grace Pennington

Implant Cover

Oh my word. I literally fell in LOVE with this book. I read Implant last summer whilst swinging rather uncomfortably in a hammock out back, and I immediately became a fangirl of both science-fiction and time-travel.

*initiate love of Doctor Who*

Implant was one thrill of a read for me. It has time-travel (which I already mentioned) a weird smoking dude named Doc (he’s a doctor who smokes????), and also an implant (thus the name) that has completely eradicated all human disease.

Number Four– In Between (Book #1 in Katie Parker Productions by Jenny B. Jones)

In Between Cover

This one actually might be something you’ve already read, as I think I’ve seen it floating around Cyberspace in the past; however, I’m going to include it because as soon as I read it, it was instantly a favorite.

The narrator of this story, Katie Parker, is absolutely hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud while reading it, which is not really something that happens all that much for me.

I know. How odd.

But this book really was amazing. It does have Christian elements, but again, they are not at all preachy. Instead, they’re really quite inspiring and leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling. I haven’t gotten around to reading the rest of the series yet, but they are currently on my TBR. In Between is a definite, definite recommend.

And did I mention that the ebook is free on Amazon? Because the ebook is free on Amazon.

(I bet your wallet really loves me right now, eh? [your TBR, not so much])

And lastly–

Number Five– Waking Beauty by Sarah E. Morin

Waking Beauty Cover

This. Book.

If you glean even one tiny crumb of information from this rather odd and abnormal post, it is that you MUST. READ. THIS. BOOK.

Trust me.

First of all, it’s a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. That in itself should be enough to get you to read it; however, if you desire more information, perhaps I can persuade you.

Waking Beauty follows three main characters–Prince Arpien, Brierly, and Nissa–and each and every one has their own distinct personality, voice, and are just so loveable and adorable that I couldn’t help falling in love with them all.

Nissa is a bookworm. (#relate)

Arpien is an adorable doof. (#relateagain)

And Brierly is a wise, ancient young maiden who has a penchant for getting herself into deadly situations. (#me)

This book also includes spicy grandmother pickles, fairies, and a deadly spindle. It also has sassy horses, a sword with a mind of its own, and tornado seeds.

And finally, if you are still not convinced, allow me to share with you the very first line of the book–

His princess was dusty.

And with that, I shall leave you.

Lots of love and cookies,

Kenzie :)

So this was obviously not my usual post, was it? What do you guys think? Would you like me to continue this quest for clean fiction? Do you think I’m a loser for not reading more bravely? Have you read any of the books on this list? (or are you going to?) Let us squeal and chat and fangirl about all of the bookish things down below!

Also, as a slight side-note, I’m considering starting to write book reviews on the books that I’ve read more recently, so if that is something you’d like to see in the future, be sure to let me know down in the comments. Oh, and while you’re at it, make sure to tell me a series you’ve read (and loved [or hated?]) that you don’t think anyone else has ever read before, because I can’t be the only one who’s read weird books, right???


*flings cookies in the air and disappears*


34 thoughts on “Book Bites: Five Books You Probably Have Not Read (and that you totally should)

  1. Ah, great books, Kenzie! These all look like my style and they all look really intriguing BUT THOSE COVERS ARE MAKING ME SQUINT. But I’m not judging!!! Maybe a little though. A SMIDGE. (Or should I say a smudge. :))) )

    I’d love to read some of your book reviews, Kenize! And oh, innocent you. YOU MUST KNOW THAT BOOKS ARE NOT CLEAN. Lol I remember reading my first ever cuss word in a book… “Oh my gosh there’s a BAD WORD in this!!! Should I tell the librarian so they can cross it out???” And now I read books with quite some language. XDD I will never cuss myself, though! At least the super super bad words. XD (Okay so I might cuss??? But like maybe if I accidentally stab myself with a knife while cooking. XD )


    Liked by 1 person

    • Eeek! I’m so glad you think they look fun!!!

      And ACK! I’m so sorry! This laptop’s screen is literally ginormous, so I think it probably bloated them a bit for me. I returned them to their original size, so hopefully that’s better? (I’ll have to check on my Kindle later… XD ) Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention! I’ve never done this before, so I’m really bad at it, lol!!! XD

      UGH!!! But I WANT them to be clean, haha! Bad words sort of punch me in the gut when I read them, but I suppose that I can’t expect every single book in the universe to be clean. (yet I do… [I like to set myself up for failure, bahahaha!])

      Stabbing yourself with a knife HURTS! I’m too busy crying and laughing to actually swear, so I luckily avoid that. Once I sliced myself rather deeply with this giant serrated knife… It left a giant skin flap. It was quite intriguing, actually…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and am very impressed by your blog. I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. I’m going to have to add a few of these books to my TBR list. Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be honest, I’m severely new to the whole book review thingy-ma-bobbin as well, bahahaha! XD This is literally my first ever book-ish post, I believe, but I’m hoping to have more in the future, because it was so much fun to do!

      I think my one and only piece of advice for blogging is to just be one hundred percent, uniquely yourself. There’s only one you in this entire, vast universe, so just be yourself and have fun with it! I know it’s impossible to be 100% original when it comes to writing or whatever, and that’s not what I’m saying, but just don’t worry about whether you sound professional or funny or sarcastic enough, or whether you’re following the normal book-blogger pattern (if there is one?), or whether you’re blogging ‘correctly’. There really isn’t a right or wrong. It’s just you, a blank screen, and the severe anxiety that comes with posting something onto the internet… XD When I started Smudged Thoughts, I had no clue what I was doing, but I just sort of brain vomited things out on the page, and eventually I found my blogging voice. (which is practically just my inner monologue that I use each and every day when thinking) My very first post was EXTREMELY weird, but I think over the months I’ve grown more comfortable with the whole blogging thing, and it’s been a ton of fun! It might take a couple posts or so, but you’ll definitely get the hang of it!

      And I will DEFINITELY check out your blog!!

      This ended up being a lot longer of a response than I initially thought? I’m not sure if my advice is even helpful, but hopefully it is!!! XD Thank you so much for commenting, and I wish you the best of luck on the miraculous spiral into the void of insanity that is blogging! (although it’s more like a void of cookies around here…) XD

      ~ Kenzie


  3. Ahh this was amazing! You should definitely continue recommending/reviewing the books you read, because I’m like you – It’s super hard to find books that don’t disappoint me for one reason or another.

    I just bought Foundlings on Kindle! I’m excited to read it – thanks for the rec!

    I loved Chanda Hahn’s UnEnchanted series too! That ending❤️ I’m definitely going to check out Lost Girl as I have a special weakness for retellings, Peter Pan in particular.

    In Between is only one of my favorite book series EVER❤️ Katie and Maxine never fail to make me laugh!

    I’m definitely going to check out Implant and Waking Beauty too – they sound amazing.

    You might have already heard of this one, but I’ll recommend Resistance by Jaye L. Knight as an amazing Christian fantasy that not TOO many people seem to know about. It’s one of my favorites :-)

    Awesome post!!! – Abi

    Liked by 1 person

    • EEK! Thank you SO much!!! And I’m so glad I’m not the only one!!! It’s so hard to find good clean fiction it seems… I have sort of begun to call my search ‘Kenzie’s Quest’ (yes, I totally just made that up), and I will definitely be posting more of my findings!

      Oh my word!!! I hope you like it!!! I personally loved the series, so I’m hoping you’ll love it (or at the very least, LIKE it) too!!

      Yesssss!!!! The ending for me was sort of cliff-hanger-y, but I just loved the entire series SO MUCH!!! And yes! If you get the chance, definitely check out Lost Girl! It reminded me a lot of UnEnchanted, but it’s not TOO similar. And if you happen to like Lost Girl, I’d also recommend Underland by Chanda Hahn! It’s more of a Greek Mythology type/fantasy creature story, but I really enjoyed it!!! Waking Beauty and Implant are so good, too, though!! (Especially Waking Beauty. That one was just…Ugh!)

      Ooh! I think I’ve read part of that, but not the whole thing… I definitely need to re-read and read the she series, because I’ve forgotten basically everything, and I’ve heard such good things about it… Thank you so much!!! I shall definitely add it to my TBR!!!

      Thank you SO much!! I’m sorry I sort of made this comment super long… This is what happens when I start talking about good books… 😂😂😂


      • The ending was kinda cliffhanger-y, but at the same time it was sastisfying. If that makes any sense at all.

        I’ve heard of Underland too! I think I’ve read free sample for both of them, so I need to actually get along and read them.

        And haha that’s fine, I get it😂 Any time someone gets me started on books I can go on for hours😂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes!!! It makes perfect sense!! I loved Ever… She was like my favorite character, I think… (And NIX!!!!)

          Oh!!! That is awesome!!! If you do read them, be sure to tell me what you thought!! I loved both books a lot!

          THANK GOODNESS I AM NOT ALONE!!! It must be the curse of the bookworms. We shall conquer the world someday with our fangirling and squealing…


  4. Waking Beauty looks the most intriguing to me…
    Book reviews would be nice addition to the blog. Though I think I just want them so I’ll be stuck staring at finished books and have to rush off to work on my story again. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • YESSS! Waking Beauty is literally my FAVORITE on this list! It is a must-read!

      And yay!! I’m so glad! There’s obviously still going to be the plethora of writing posts and all that, but I think book blogging sounds like so much fun!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. YAY FOR BOOK SUGGESTIONS! I’ve been looking for lots since I plan to do allll the reading this summer. (so I say, but… time will get ahead of me and I’ll probably read like a half a book. #thestruggleisreal)

    I’ve read some of J. Grace Pennington’s books before, but I still haven’t picked up Implant. I should do that! And I’ve been eyeing Waking Beauty for awhile… I will always love fairytale retellings. <3 <3 <3

    katie grace
    a writer’s faith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am actually planning to do the exact same thing!! 😂😂😂 We shall do ALL OF THE READING this summer!!!! Or fail miserably and drown in the ocean of our tears… (this is highly likely)

      Implant is the only J. Grace Pennington book I’ve ever read, and for some reason I never looked to see if she had anything else??? I’m such a smart person. 😂 Implant is really good, though!!! And Waking Beauty!!!! ASDFGHJKL!!!!!! Seriously, it is amazing!! Fairytale retellings really are the best!!!


    • Yessss! Foundings is AMAZING!!!! I really enjoyed it… Although the priests were a little weird… 😂😂😂 BUT THAT IS A GOOD THING!

      And that series sounds absolutely epic. I am so going to add that to my TBR… You had me at magic, but I must say that the explosions really sold it for me, haha! 😂 Thank you so much for the recommendation!!!


  6. OSDPCHOIHEOPIHSIOCIHEOPRHI! Yes! Thank you! It looks like I know what books I need to find this summer. Especially lost girl! I really like the Peter Pan story, and I’ve only read one retelling of it and I am very willing to read more. I need to bookmark this page. I want to read almost all of these books. (I was hesitant for the sleeping beauty one at the end, but when you mentioned sassy horses, I was intrigued). Thanks again for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eek! I’m so glad you liked this post!!! All of these books are ones that I personally LOVED, so I really hope you love them, as well! Ugh. Peter Pan is the BEST! Gotta love never growing up, amiright???

      No no no, Waking Beauty is a MUST!!!! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed in it! And if you are, I will definitely offer you cookies of apology, haha! 😂😂

      Aww, you’re welcome! Thank you for reading and commenting and also trusting my probably very flawed opinion in literature???? 😂😂😂😂



    MY TBR HATES YOU. My TBR is going to BUUUUURRRRNNNN you!!! It’s going to burn the HEEEAAARRRTTTT out of you!!!

    Fun fact: I named my TBR so that we can be friends. His name is Thedrick. He is a short man with spectacles and he won’t. Stop. Frowning. Gah.

    Ahem. Anyway.

    As you know, I’ve read In Between and it is like my favorite thing ever. (Recommendation for you: anything by Jenny B. Jones OBVIOUSLY but more specifically There You’ll Find Me!!! It is so good!!! REEAAADDD ITTTTT!!! *shoves you to book* *throws book at your face*)

    And… I immediately bought Foundling and Unenchanted. We’ve discussed this. I’m still working on Foundling… the main dude is so hilarious!

    Also I’m adding the (obviously) to… erm, Thedrick. He is not pleased. But I AM?????? So?????

    Who knows when I’ll actually get around to READING them but I trust your recommendations so I’ll definitely read them at some point in my life. :)

    Also that first line… “his princess was getting dusty” = I need that book YESTERDAY!!!

    Although… I HAVE TO AGREE WITH MAY. Some of these book covers is awkwardly horrible?????

    Liked by 1 person

    • THAT IS A MORIARTY QUOTE AND I LOVE YOU SO MUCH FOR IT!!!!! *fangirls obsessively*

      Oh my word!!! I wanna name my TBR!!! And Thedrick is such a fun name, by the way!!! But your TBR seems grumpy, Kate. I believe he needs more books.

      Ooh! A book recommendation!!! I shall add it IMMEDIATELY!!!! I’ve wanted to read more by Jenny B. Jones, so I’m super excited for this!!!

      Oh my word, I KNOW!! I love the characters in those books!!! They are the BEST!

      Oh! So Thedrick DOESN’T want more books??? Poor grumpy Thedrick…

      Awwww! Your trust is so encouraging and also terrifying because WHAT IF I FAIL YOU, SIR???

      I love that line. That is the first line that I strive to have 😂😂😂

      Umm…well, yes, but DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER, RIGHT???? Ah??? Ah????????


      • Ah, you are welcome!!!! *bows muchly*

        It just…. CAME to me!!! Also he has two other names… His middle name starts with a B and his last name starts with an R but I don’t know what they are yet. I just randomly selected a T name for the first one.

        HE IS GRUMPY BECAUSE OF ALL THE BOOKS. I keep putting them on his head and he doesn’t like it. But that doesn’t make much sense, does it?? A TBR pile should LIKE books. He should be a mischievous imp who runs around finding MORE books to add to the mountain. He should be a GIANT, not a dwarf. WHY DID I MAKE HIM THIS WAY??? Oh well, too late now. Thedrick is what he is…. *siiiiigh*

        OH AND I FORGOT TO SAY IN MY ORIGINAL COMMENT: DUDE I AM SO WITH YOU ON THE SEARCH FOR CLEAN BOOKS. I mean, we have talked about this some, but JUST YES. It is NOT okay. I hate that THAT is the standard now so nobody even TRIES to do better. It’s just like, “Oh, yeah, it’s unfortunate BUT THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT IS!”


        We do NOT have to resign ourselves to such poor writing!!! We can do better!!! We can READ better!!! We can WRITE better OURSELVES!!! I want to see people really fighting for better fiction to read, to be honest. We should not just……. RESIGN ourselves to this!!!

        Like… these words are UGLY. They don’t look nice in print. And not everyone talks that way. The MAJORITY of well-educated people I know DON’T talk that way!!!

        I mean, I’m gonna be honest… PERSONALLY I don’t mind “hell” or “damn” because they MEAN SOMETHING and their meaning is straightforward… other curse words have SUCH disgusting meanings and… I feel like most people don’t even use them KNOWING what they mean and that makes it so much worse???

        Another weird thing is that I don’t mind language in movies that much??? It doesn’t bother me when I hear someone use it IN PERSON. But… in my books????? NO. Another place is bothers me is music. NO! I love music too much for it to be ruined by filthy language.

        You didn’t mention this and maybe it doesn’t bother you (I know people have different opinions on this) but another thing that REALLY bothers me is when books/movies/people use God’s name as a curse word. I HATE THAT SO MUCH. Like… maybe that word isn’t sacred to YOU, but it is really special to some people and just HOW DARE YOU use it that way???? Growing up, that was waaaaay worse than any curse word and it STILL bothers me more than any curse word.


        And, yes, I will not judge them by their covers, I promise. It’s just unfortunate because if YOU hadn’t recommended them and I just saw the cover?????? I don’t know that I’d immediately pick it up?????


        • I wish I had your spectacular knack for randomly naming things! Granted, I named my cockatiel Durachi, and once I named a Koi fish Zaria, NUT OBVIOUSLY I CANNOT NAME A TBR… And oh my word!!! I never even realized that the T was for TBR??? #oblivious THAT IS PURE AND UTTER GENIUS, SIR!!!!

          I actually love how unlike a TBR he is. People say their TBR is going to topple them–you make him a midget. People say their TBR won’t stop growing–you make yours grumpy because he has too many books. I absolutely love how genius it is!

          I TOTALLY agree! It just makes me sick that absolutely no one tries to be different because that’s what everyone is supposed to accept now. I’m sorry, but I refuse to accept that. Something definitely needs to be done about it…

          I’m still a TINY bit cringe-y with those words, but I can usually skim over them and forget they even existed. But other words just make me feel so sick. It’s awful. And I don’t understand why people would put those terrible words in and limit the book’s audience to people who are okay with those words??? Wouldn’t it be better for both sales and everyone in general if the book could be read by pretty much everyone?? And I realize that people are always going to find fault in everything, but still… It just doesn’t make sense to me. And movies don’t bother me AS much as reading, because my eyes can’t just keep flicking back to it, haha! But it still irks me.

          Okay, now I’m a little weird with that one. I HATE it when people use God’s name as a curse word, because YES. It IS sacred, and I would appreciate it if people treated it that way. No one uses any other ‘divine entity’s’ name as a curse word, either, so this really upsets me. But when I’m reading, I can usually skim over this. I know it’s probably terrible of me, but it’s something that EVERYONE seems to do, so it’s almost like I don’t even think about what they’re actually doing anymore. But when I DO think about it, it really makes me upset… The one word that I cannot–no matter how hard–look past is the f-bomb. It makes me so. SO. SO. SO. sick. And if an author is looking for a queue for me to slam their book shut and toss it to the seven winds, it is that word… Just…NO.

          Haha, DEBATING IS FUN!!!

          Yeah… Some of them are kind of…no. XD



            As is Theodore and he is precious and seriously, who needs my talent for naming things when you have YOUR knack for naming things????

            It was accidental genius, then. ;)

            PRECISELY. I am planning a rant to post on my blog soon. (of course I say that but I have 52 posts in drafts right now. 52. send help)

            Ooops. Sorry for writing them in my comment!! But YES. It makes no sense at all!!!

            Huh. I guess I’m the opposite… it bugs me more to READ God’s name than to hear it on TV or in a movie. I’ve pretty much become completely desensitized to bad language in movies, I think. Which is bad of me, I know… but it just doesn’t bother me like SEEING it on the page.

            YES. The f-word… JUST NO. STOP.

            Yes!! I love it!!

            Ha! Very true.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Aww, thank you!

              Oh trust me. My naming skills aren’t THAT great. I just come up with slightly off-the-wall things occasionally. I suppose I could write some killer fantasy names, though! XD


              EEK! I need this!!! I NEED this rant!!!! And oh dear… 52???? That is…that is quite a lot, dear. Do you need a blogging assistant??? XD

              No no, you’re perfectly fine!!!! And I think we’re all becoming more desensitized to it, because instead of us trying to fight against it and putting our feet down, we just roll along with it, and it’s somehow become the cultural norm for every form of media to be spammed with cursing and terrible language. :(((


              • YOU TOTALLY COULD. (I’ve probably asked this before but… is EV fantasy or sci-fi???? Do you ever write fantasy??? Plan on ever writing fantasy???? I need moral support…)


                Ugh. It is not okay. I insist upon demanding BETTER QUALITY.

                Liked by 1 person

                • I don’t think you’ve ever asked that, actually! Or maybe I don’t remember answering it, but I’ll answer it now! XD It’s actually a combination of both. The majority is Sci-Fi, I believe–although why I, the unsavviest tech wizard would EVER consider writing Sci-Fi is beyond me–but there are some fantasy elements woven throughout that HOPEFULLY comes together to form a magical backdrop of twinkling fairy sounds. I’m not sure if I’m doing it properly, though… There’s also some steampunk thrown in there for good measure, though, so YAY!!!

                  I shall send my group of trained snails…

                  I definitely agree. I refuse to let my stories stoop to that level, so I’m holding them up straight and teaching them manners. THEY WILL BE GOOD BEANS, OR MY NAME ISN’T ORVILLE REDENBACHER OR HOWEVER YOU SPELL THAT POPCORN GUY’S NAME.


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