Porch Swing Girl by Taylor Bennett – Book Review, Preview

Posted August 19, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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Far too many people in my life have lost their lives to cancer. And I know quite a few more who are currently battling it, and more still who have been declared to be in remission. It is insidious and appears to not discriminate!

So many people are investing countless dollars and hours into researching how to fight this disease and yet they completely ignore another, even more fatal one.


While cancer eats away at our physical bodies, the death that results isn’t permanent.

With sin, that is not the case. Paul tells us “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) No one is excluded. However, the fact that we are in the same boat as everyone else doesn’t mean it is okay. Again Paul says “the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

This death is separation from God – permanently. And we know from what Jesus taught that this is not just an eternity without God. It is an eternity without God in ceaseless torment. “Where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”

Um. No thank you!

But what alternative is there? Glad you asked!

The rest of that verse in Romans 6:23 says “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

In the most amazing substitution ever made, Jesus took the punishment that we deserve upon Himself and died a brutal death on the cross in our place! God raised Jesus from the dead demonstrating His sacrifice was acceptable to Him. Our salvation (the cure for the cancer of our souls) is simply putting your trust in Christ’s work on your behalf—that He died for your sins and rose from the dead for your justification.

I’d love to answer any questions you might have or put you in touch with others who can answer them. While there is no known cure for the cancer of the body, I hope you look to Jesus for the healing of the cancer of your soul!



Porch Swing Girl by Taylor Bennett – Book Review, Preview

Porch Swing Girl

by Taylor Bennett

Series: Tradewinds #1
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date May 1, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Young Adult, Clean Romance
Setting: Hawaii Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 15-18
Written for: High-School/Young Adult, Middle School
Pages: 292


What if friendship cost you everything?

Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.

With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.

But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.

Also in this series: Barefoot Memories

Purchase Links

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After Olive’s mother lost her battle with cancer, Olive and Macie, her younger sister, were left at her Gramma’s house in Hawaii while her dad returned to their Boston home to attempt to recover from his grief.

The anger and pain that Olive endured and the sense of betrayal were palpable. I was drawn so completely into this beautiful story of grief and the journey towards hope.

I love the way Taylor Bennett didn’t make the journey easy. The hard questions she asked and the insightful answers Olive discovered led her to find so much more than she had ever anticipated.

The characters were marvelous! I loved Jazz, with her effervescent spirit that held tightly to her faith in God regardless of her own struggles. The persistent way she loved Olive even with their initial prickly encounters. She was probably my favorite. Brander was a gem with his steadfast faith and determination to do what was good and right. His willingness to show his love for his friends through great sacrifice was admirable.

This is Taylor Bennett’s debut novel. If you peruse her website you’ll see that it was written when she was seventeen. Yes, you read that correctly! Yet it has more depth and maturity than many books I’ve read by authors far more advanced in years. I’m so grateful she has added her voice to the few who write young adult Christian fiction and look forward to reading many more of her stories in the future!

Taylor's Maui Pinterest Board

(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)
  • Hawaiian Art by Jim Kingwell
  • Dig Me Beach - Jim Kingwell art featuring Red-Crested Cardinal in foreground
  • wow wow lemonade maui
  • A weekend in Maui is definitely always welcomed! With so many things to do in Maui, Hawaii is always a good idea!
  • Travel Guide: 3 Days in Maui Itinerary - Activities, Beaches, Accommodation + more to make your Hawaii vacation worth while! - Maui Travel Tips, 3 Days in Maui, Maui Itinerary, Hawaii Travel Tips | Wanderlustyle.com
  • Fresh Maui Pineapple
  • Iao Valley State Park, Maui: Botanical Gardens
  • Top Secret Maui travel tips. Done a couple of these... Need to do the rest next time!
  • 5 Must Eat At Restaurants in Maui. Everything from fish to pizza to pancakes all with an oceanfront view. Definitely plan to visit these places if you are taking a trip to Maui (especially Lahaina). #maui
  • 10 Things To Know Before The Road To Hana - Things to do in Maui, Hawaii
  • A kayaking excursion with Maui Kayak Adventures is the perfect way to have close encounters with gorgeous sea turtles on this Hawaiian island.
  • 10 Places You Must Visit in Maui, Hawaii - Place to visit Maui, Things to do Maui, Maui Travel, Maui Tips, Maui Things to do | Wanderlustyle.com
  • TRAVEL -The most Instagrammable places in Maui, Hawaii. Instagram photography you can't miss on vacation!
  • Maui itinerary outline
  • 6 offbeat Maui experiences you never knew you wanted to have! Things to do in #Maui #Hawaii
  • Five Musts When in Maui | The View From Up Here Summer Vacation, Vacation in Maui, New Year Vacations, Grand Wailea Vacations, Vacation Planning, Maui Vacation, Couple Vacation, traveling without kids, travel, summer travel, spring travel, visit hawaii, Mamas fish house, snorkeling, maui upcountry, gems maui, restaurants maui, paia Maui
  • Top Things to Do and Eat in Maui, Hawaii: I surveyed over 500 people on Instagram and you delivered! I'm sharing the best places to eat in Maui as well as some of our favorite family-friendly activities on the beach. #familytravel #hawaii
  • Top 10 Things to do on a Maui Vacation, Hawaii! Visit avenlylanetravel.com to explore some of the most incredible beaches, waterfalls, hikes and things to do in Maui. Need help planning your Hawaii vacation? These Hawaiian travel tips will help to make sure you don't miss the best places to see in Maui. #hawaii #maui #islands #usatravel #usa #beaches #beach #avenlylanetravel #avenlylane #vacation #traveltips #travelinspiration #usabucketlist #mauiphotography
  • Planning a trip to Maui hawaii! Here are 13 must try things to do on your next visit! Whether you're going as a solo traveler or for a vacation, there is something for everyone. Anything ranging from going to the beaches, hikes, taking beautiful photography or any other activities #maui #hawaii #vacation #travel #beaches #solotravel
  • On your next visit to Maui, make sure you stop by the beautiful historic town of Lahaina for some fresh seafood, drinks, and fun.


About Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is a dandelion-wishing, world-traveling lover of books, words, and stories. Based in the PNW, she dreams of seeing the world and writing stories set in unique locations.

Although she dreams of traveling to many different places, her favorite destination thus far (aside from her charming hometown in Oregon) is Lahaina, Hawaii. Her love for this tropical hamlet led her to write about it, hence her debut YA novel, Porch Swing Girl, the first in a series of books set in Hawaii.

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