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  • Writer's pictureLaura L. Zimmerman

Book Review: A Time To Die by Nadine Brandes

Anyone who has spoken to me in the past week has heard about this book. All good things, of course. *wink*

A Time to Die (Book 1 of the Out of Time series) has been in my ‘To Read’ pile on Goodreads for months now, ever since I had Nadine Brandes edit one of my manuscripts. (She did a fantastic job, BTW. Check out her editing services here.) I knew that if her books were even half as good as her professional editing skills, then they were something I would want to read. And of course, I was right! Her writing surpasses most fiction I’ve read over the past few years, and I’m super excited to share this book review with you! If you like YA and you like Dystopian, then this series is for you! 

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How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.

In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence.

What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

My Review:

Okay, let’s cut right to the chase: This girl can writeI can’t tell you how many times I stopped just to re-read a passage or (*blush*) how often I took screenshots of her words so I could save them for later. (Yes. I did that. Don’t judge.) If you are a picky reader, or a parent of a teen who seeks quality fiction for your child to read, then look no further. Nadine’s writing style is truly inspirational! 

Now on to the plot. I will admit, it’s possible one of the reasons this book and I connected is because this is about a girl on a journey. A difficult, heart-wrenching, filled-with-loss, God-led journey. (Yes, this is Christian Dystopian, completely clean and appropriate for ages 14+.) Nadine doesn’t shy away from writing about the hard stuff. And I truly appreciate that. The past several months have been filled with all kinds of crazy upside-down unpredictable things, in my life. I’ve struggled with my relationship with God, just like Parvin. The exact same questions this young fictional character asked of God in this book, I myself have asked over the past several weeks. This journey was real, for Parvin and for me. If you’ve ever gone through a difficult time in life, you will identify with Parvin. Read this, okay? You will feel better. Promise. 

Her journey: So, Parvin goes on this big journey to find her purpose in the world and to see if God is really real. Along the way she’s joined by Willow and Jude, who are by her side to aid in the trip. And even though Skelley Chase is a monumental-sized jerk (and that’s being kind), God does use him to push Parvin out of her comfort zone. Her brother Reid and Solomon Hawke are both by her side in spirit, as she faces one challenge after another to find her place in this world.

The end will leave you crying. (Sorry, it’s a fact. If you don’t cry, you have zero heart. Like, seriously, how are you alive if you didn’t cry at this?) But I adore every aspect of what Parvin goes through to get to that final scene. To me it screamed of images of our Christian walk and just how important the Body of Christ is on our way through this crazy thing called life. I cannot tell you how excited I am to read book two (but first I already have another couple books to read, since I ordered them from the library. *winky smile!*) 

And did I mention that the third and final book in this series comes out in October?? It’s available for pre-order RIGHT NOW! (Here’s a quick pic!) 

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So, you’d better get reading! You have a little over 2 months to get these first two books read and your brain prepared for the final chapter in Parvin’s journey west. Be sure to check back soon for my book review on the 2nd installment of this series.

Happy reading, friends!

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