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A Review of All Around Grace by Pennie Makela

All Around Grace

by Pennie Makela

All Around GraceI have to let you know right up front that I know the author, Pennie Makela. She is married to my cousin, but I will try to keep this review as objective as I can.

All Around Grace is not aimed at me. I’m not the target market for this book. I doubt that Ms. Makela ever planned that a 65 year-old retired male Steamfitter would be reading and reviewing her book. Her normal audience would be my granddaughters. This is much more their style. But I have read other YA books, so I have an open mind.

There is a definite religious angle to the story, since there are angels and demons, and even a cameo by God himself. But really the story has more to do with a young girl becoming an adult, and learning how to deal with the disappointments that life can bring. It’s all about making the right choices. All Around Grace uses angels and demons, but the basic moral is the same, as you grow up you have to find in the good in life, otherwise you will wallow in the bad.

All Around Grace is one of those indy books, and therefore can cause a reviewer some problems. I have accepted a number of indy books that I am going to be reviewing over the next couple of months, and thought that this would be a good time to bring up a few questions that I have in my mind.

I would like to think that I am going to ignore where a book comes from and just judge it on its merit. Well, that would be all good and fine, except for the fact that a lot of books that I get are Advanced Reader Copies. They state that they are NOT the final version, and any errors will be corrected before publication. Whether that is true or not, I tend to ignore spelling, grammar, and word usage errors in these ARCs. What about those errors in an indy book? That’s one problem. I think that I will ignore most of them, but may comment on it. If it’s too bad, then I will have to say something.

Then the next question comes up. Most indy authors don’t have the editing support that major publishers give their authors. They submit their final draft to the publisher and then spend many months making the rewrites that are requested, sending back the manuscript, getting more edits, making more changes, and so on. Most indy authors are on their own. They have to pay someone to be their editor, so this process is much more abbreviated. So the question is, do I hold them to the same level? Should the book be as polished? On this, I think the answer has to be yes, as much as possible. So I will make comments on the structure of the book.

The last question has to be, will I rate indy books the same, will a 4 Star indy book be as good as a 4 Star book from a major publisher, or do I use a different rating system? The only thing I can do is to rate them all the same. A 5 Star book has to be GREAT! no matter who publishes it.

So after all that, what do I think of All Around Grace? I give it 3 Stars out of 5. It has a few problems that extra editing could have helped, but the story was good. I would recommend it to my granddaughters who are in high school and middle school. I’m going to let them borrow my copy, I think that they will enjoy it. They might even want to have their Grandpa get them their own copy.

 Book Description

Have you ever felt truly alone?

After her family moved her away from everything she knew and loved, Grace did. The gray, dismal winter in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula made things worse. She didn’t know anyone, and no one seemed to care. She fell deeper and deeper into a dark state of solitude: she was truly alone.

Or so she thought. The sudden appearance of beautiful strangers into her life begins to change her mind about friendship, love, and the line between good and evil. As a series of unexplainable events unfold around her, she starts to uncover the hard truth that no one is ever truly alone.

Book Details


Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher:  Tate Publishing (2014)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1633674110
Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.0 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces

Book Description is from Tate Publishing  All Around Grace
You can also purchase the book at that page.