The Newstead Project by Melanie Schulz

Newstead Trilogy: (Book #1) 
Publisher: Black and White Publishing Co.
Published: May 1st, 2013
Format: ebook
Pages: 425
Source: I Am A reader, Not A Writer

"the giant.

Joel Cranston shouldn't exist. He just doesn't know that yet. He's lived a pretty normal life for the last sixteen years. If you consider being almost seven feet tall and good at about every sport you've ever played normal. Normal ends the day Newstead shows up with an invitation to come to their school. 

the school.

Newstead is a private school in Central Vermont by the Green Mountains. It's a great place to hide a few hundred people who shouldn't exist while you train them to be tomorrow's rulers, tomorrow's dictators, tomorrow's gods.

the unexpected. 

Rachel Newell thinks she's just passing through. She never stays any place more than four months, and with Newstead so close to Weston, she has even more reason to make this her shortest stop ever. The last thing she expects is to have a reason to stay. 

Together Rachel and Joel uncover the truth behind what is
the newstead project." 


You don't know how excited I was to read a book about giants. Imagine it. Have you ever really read a book about giants that wasn't in a fairy tale? I hadn't and that was why I was so happy to get my hands on this book. Oh and I am so glad that I did. I'm just here with a smile on my face thrilled to have read this story.

Joel doesn't know he's a giant or rather a Nephilim that is which means he is a "son of God". Not really God but an angel which I'm sure you recognized by the word Nelphilim from all the YA angel books around. He's just almost seven feet tall and he just got a full ride to this school for people like him. 

Rachel knows Joel is a giant. She knows that all those from the Newstead school are giants. She discovered this with the help of her cousin Nathan - a shut in 19 year old who's mother isn't all there. He constantly asks Rachel about what happens at her work, Fred's Pizza, where the Newsteaders like to congregate. He knows something she doesn't and is there on a mission he won't tell her about. So Fred's Pizza is of course the place where she would meet quiet Joel who doesn't act like the others at all.

Later on Joel works with her and it's more than a little intense for her but not for the reasons you might think. She becomes appalled by her sudden attraction to Joel that she can't possibly have for someone like him. But it's true, the feelings are there and while she comes to grip with her struggle Joel is fighting his own struggle at school. Others are realizing he's not the same either. Marcus, the popular kid and his roommate gets everyone against him while Steven his other roommate just continues to stare and ignore him. Joel's slow discovery of finding out what exactly Newstead is for and who he is will be when the real battle will begin.

So this book was awesome. I actually want to say I was delighted, delighted to read Joel's story. There were a few things here and there towards then end with the connection I felt between Joel and Rachel but other than that I'm happy how it all turned out. You should always be wary of the quiet ones and Joel is a quiet one who is a strategist at heart and everyone underestimates his cunning. He has a little help. I still don't understand what it is or who it is for that matter... He has someone in his head. Someone to help him out but it's... confusing. It adds a mystery element to the story. Well, a lot of what's happening to Joel is a mystery especially since he doesn't know what he is and his love interest does which was a bit irritating. I felt kind of bad for him because he was so much in the dark but he never acted amiss about anything. He was always calm, collected, and seemed to have everything together despite his situation.

Rachel was always running around everywhere trying to run Fred's Pizza by herself. I think because she had all this pressure and what she deemed as "monsters" in her midst all the time she was always a little peeved. She did settle some towards the middlish - maybe. I liked that the author decided to show her POV too. There were times where there was a replay of what happened in an event with either Joel's or Rachel's point of view. So you know what was going on with Joel's character after what we just found out what was happening with Rachel's character at the same time if that makes any sense. It wasn't as confusing as my explanation was. It took me a minute to get it and it was only a couple of times so it wasn't a big deal. I thought it was a great idea. You see the scheming... There's so much scheming in this book. 

I'm really getting lucky with the books I'm reading now. This is such an original story that can go so many places. From the characters you come across to the varying plot line and to the mystery of what's really going on this book provided me with an experience that i won't soon forget. I can't wait to see what's in store with the next book and where the author is going to take Joel, Rachel, and even Steven from here.


This book has a great original plot line. I loved reading about Joel more than anything because I could kind of relate to his personality. I liked the whole underdog story and the battle strategies towards the end of the book. Joel and Rachel's relationship had a couple of flaws towards the end and there were some things that were happening with Joel at the same time that I was a little confused about but other than that this was an awesome read.

About the Author:

"I live in Upstate New York with my husband and three children, where I’ve pretty much been planted my entire life.  Which is fine, because it’s beautiful here. My only complaint is that most people assume that New York means NYC, which it doesn’t. There. I’ve done my part in exposing the truth.Truth. The truth is I’m not a writer; storyteller maybe, but not a writer. It wasn’t something I spent years dreaming of, or even what I went to school for. I’m a nurse. I love being a nurse. So why write? I don’t know. I do know when it started, though. September 3, 2010. I know this because I nature journal, and on that day Joel made it into my notes. I guess that’s fitting. Someone like him needed to be birthed out in the woods.If you were to meet me, and I hope someday you do, you would not connect me with this story. I’m a wife, a mother, a nurse. The person who wrote this should’ve been a guy, first off, secondly he should be some militaristic strategist; that’s who you’d expect to see if you were to come to a book signing, not me. But I’m there, in every line. So if I don’t have the good fortune to meet you in person, I hope to see you in THE NEWSTEAD PROJECT."

For more info about Melanie Schulz and her book go to:


Thanks to the author and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for this blog tour and giveaway!


  1. I have seen this book around but haven't gotten a chance to read it. It sounds really unique and interesting. I'm so happy that you've enjoyed this one. Great review :)

  2. I love the cover and this book sounds so good. I think it will be a fun read and I really enjoyed this review. I love your enthusiasm for this one! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I really like the cover, it reminds me of After the Snow by S.D. Crockett but a brighter, cheerier version. This one sounds really unique, don't think I've ever heard of a story about giants that wasn't a fairy tale. Glad you enjoyed it! =)

    1. Oh yeah you are right. Never noticed the similarity between those two covers.

  4. This definitely sounds original! I don't think I have read a book about giants before (certainly not outside of fairy-tales, anyway). I'm curious about this Joel now. What you mention about this someone or something in his head... well, it sounds confusing, but I'm intrigued anyway! Thanks for drawing this one to my attention. :)

    1. Sorry for the confusion. Didn't want to give anything away.

  5. Actually, I've never read a book about giants, period. LOL. This one sounds so amazingly original! I also love underdogs :) Great review!

    Alise @ Readers In Wonderland


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