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Summary

Faith kept me plain. Science made me complicated.

In Hemlock Hollow, life isn't easy, but it is simple. Things in my community haven't changed much in over 300 years, since the time my Amish ancestors came to what is now the Green Republic. I milk my cow by hand, make fresh bread every morning, and hope to be courted by Jeremiah, a boy I've known since childhood.

When my father falls ill, the English doctor says a hospital outside the wall can heal him. Jeremiah convinces me to go on rumspringa, to experience the outside world as an Englisher in order to be closer to my father during his recovery. Others have gone before me. They claim it's an adventure. But adventure turns to horror as an ordinary light switch thrusts me into a new world, and revelations about my personal history make me question everything I believe.

All my life I've worked to be simple. I can't pretend anymore. Nothing about me is simple.

©2012 Carpe Luna Publishing (P)2017 Carpe Luna Publishing

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 20-03-17

Loved!!!!

This was such an awesome read!! I thoroughly enjoyed it even though it had some of the pet peeves I have.

So we have Lydia, who lives in an Amish community with her father. Her best friend, and future husband, is Jeremiah. Lydia is quite happy to stay in her community and live life the simple way, until her father gets ill and has to go to the hospital in the outside world. Lydia and Jeremiah decide to go on Rumspringa, a year away from the community to find themselves. It's the only way Lydia can see her father. While out there, Lydia finds out the world isn't the way she thought it was, and that she isn't who she thought she was!!

Character wise, I mostly liked Lydia.She is content with her life till her father gets sick but once in the outside world, she gets a taste of freedom and likes it. She was a nice, kind and strong and she came across as a no nonsense girl. I just didn't like the way she was around a person she only met, and how quickly she forgot about Jeremiah!

A big pet peeve of mine is insta love or insta connection, and this had it. I know that she had a connection with Korwin because of who they are, but still. I just felt meh about their relationship and wasn't impressed with it. I wanted a little more time getting to know them both before they fall for each other!!

A big plus for this is the dystopian feel of the plot. The world outside the Amish community is run with an iron fist. People have to earn the use of electricity and only one group control it. There is an underground resistance intent on overthrowing this company and giving the power back to the people. Lydia is thrown into this fight by accident and now is fighting for her life. I loved this aspect of the plot and can't wait to see what happens next.

I also loved seeing Lydia come into her powers and figure out how to use them. I loved how she saw her "gift" at first, before finding out the truth.

In all, apart from some elements of this, it was an awesome read and I'm excited to see what happens next!!

Valerie Gilbert was amazing!! This is the first book that I've listened to narrated by her and she nailed it. She told this story perfectly and gave each character their own tone and personality. She made for effortless listening!!

I was voluntarily provided this free copy by the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Cinda
  • 21-09-17

OMG!! Wonderful!!

I was hooked from the beginning. The story line was original and well written. The performance was spot on. I can't wait for book two!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • AmazonCustomer
  • 14-09-17

Absolutely loved it!

I loved this book. Loved the characters, the story, the plot, everything about it.
Loved the narrator. She 100% captured these character's essence and infused the story with the emotion it needed.

I could NOT put this book down. I was actually looking for stuff to clean around the house, so I could listen to it while doing chores. I know! I couldn't believe it myself.

There was action, a bit of romance, and a story that even though is dystopian in nature and deals with things that are "not possible" in our reality, is so well constructed and filled with real facts, that not for a second I doubted any of it could happen. As a reader, that's what I look for. A story that sucks me in and makes me forget that it is fiction. This book did this.

The narrator made a great story, even better.
I need the next 2 books. Like right now.

Highly recommend it.

*This book was gifted to me and my review if freely given.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • seelk
  • 29-12-17

interesting

I originally picked this because of the narrator, Ms. Gilbert is one of my faves.
I wasn't sure at the beginning, but it turned out to be an interesting story, where the author blends the simple life of the Amish with paranormal, sci-fi flavours, a unique combination. The story unfolds and we find out there is a reason why Lydia lives in an Amish community with her 'father'. As she sets out into the outside world she finds out who she actually is and the powers she wields. Not really a fan of dystopian, but this was worth a credit and I recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lori
  • 26-09-17

Very enjoyable - Great start to a series

Great start to a series. This was a creative, unique and very entertaining story with great narration. The story pulled me in immediately then slowed down dramatically for a few chapters. After the initial slowdown the story picks up once again and from then on is full of non-stop suspense, intrigue, mystery and action with a little romance(clean) as well.

This is a different take on a dystopian society. A world ruled with an iron fist and electricity is a prized and protected commodity. It was creative weaving the Amish and their lifestyle into the story. It was the perfect place to hide away someone with this ability. Everything in the story was well thought out and fit together perfectly. It made sense. In a lot of stories you just have to "accept" this is what happened without much explanation, in this story it's all explained.

Interesting and well rounded cast of characters. Jerimiah was immediately likable. Korwin was interesting and mysterious. There was just something about Lydia that was "off" for me. It took a bit for her to really grow on me. I don't normally care for the instant attraction between two characters but it makes sense here. It's natural that Lydia and Korwin would be the perfect match. They need each other.

Even though this is the first book in the series it can be read as a standalone story. It has an great ending where everything is wrapped up and we are not left hanging on by our fingernails with a huge cliffhanger as is the case with a lot of series. I love that. I'm an however curious to see where the story goes from here and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

Valerie Gilbert did a fantastic job with the narration. I have listened to several books she has narrated and it's always a pleasure. She has a voice that is easy to listen to for long periods of time. Her narration is clearly spoken with a nice smooth pace. Really good character voices and accents. Both male and female. With just a slight change in tone and cadence it was easy to distinguish which character was speaking. She was able to bring the characters, their emotions and the story to life. Very enjoyable

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily provided this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dominique Beland
  • 23-09-17

Electro kinetic Amish

Excellent storyline, Amish girl goes to the city to see her sick father and finds out she’s an electro kinetic. She gets swept up in a rebellion and has to learn how to use her newfound powers.

I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sylvia Dixon
  • 20-09-17

Narrator better than the story

I listened to this book on suggestion, and while not the usual sci-fi that I enjoy, this book was enjoyable. If I was reading it, I probably wouldn't have finished it, but Valerie Gilbert kept me listening. She has a very relaxing voice that makes listening to her a joy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gigi
  • 18-09-17

Interesting Concept

What did you love best about Grounded?

What a different concept. It's a dystopia, it's paranormal, and it has Amish people in the story!

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love the H and the contrast of his relationship with the h and Jeremy. I love how the heroine grows along the story. Proving how strong and independent she can be.

What does Valerie Gilbert bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She just not only narrates but interpreted like an actress. Love even her male voice, and usually, I hate when the female does the male voice!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

no

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • HeatherY
  • 13-09-17

Such a Unique Read!

Lydia lives in an Amish community with her father, hidden away from the rest of the world after an environmental rebellion overthrows the government. Lydia is content to live in Hemlock Hollow for the rest of her life, but her friend Jeremiah urges her to go on Rumspringa with him and live as an Englisher. After her father has a heart attack and is taken to a hospital, Lydia agrees to leave her quiet world to visit him.

When Lydia first comes into contact with electricity, things immediately go wrong. After a power surge electrocutes her, she's captured by the Green Republic and taken to a medical facility. It's there that she meets a boy who has the same connection with electricity that she does. And the Green Republic is chasing both of them.

This was such a unique take on the genre! I was so impressed by how the author wove the Amish, dystopian, and fantasy themes into one addictive read. Lydia was a powerful female lead, her strength came from within and above. I think she'd be a wonderful role model for teen readers. This book was a slow burn, it took time to get to the action, but developed Lydia's character really well before then. I had a hard time putting the book down.

Like many dystopian novels, the villain in this novel is modern science, in this case a group of environmentalists who took animal and environmental protection to an unthinkable level. It didn't feel like it was preaching a heavy handed message on every page. This is the first in a trilogy but it could be read as a standalone as it had a completely wrapped up ending.

The narration was excellent, Valerie Gilbert performed distinct speaking voices for the characters. Her voice was easy to listen to and pulled me right into the story. I requested a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Melissa and Josh
  • 05-06-17

Really good read!

The narrator did a great job narrating. She uses a variety of voices/accents to allow an obvious distinction between the different characters, so it wasn't hard trying to figure out who was talking. I would definitely listen to other audiobooks by her.

The author did a great job as well. She had a unique idea which led to an interesting listen. I'd definitely recommend this story to others and can't wait to get to book 2.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful