Tuesday, October 11, 2011

There You'll Find Me [book review]

 Finley Sinclair is struggling to keep control of life. Two years ago she lost her older brother Will who lost his life on the mission field. Now Finley is heading to Ireland for a semester abroad, clutching Will’s journal that tell the story of his own visit to Ireland, and in the pages of his thoughts, Finley hopes to find a part of what she lost.
But life after death isn’t a smooth ride when you are faced with the challenges of a teen heart throb who is more than what he seems, a school project that assigns her to a grumpy senior who rejects Finley attempts at kindness and an eating disorder that threatens to break Finley’s last hold of control.
This book is such a good read. Finley is a character that anyone who remembers their teen years will adore and relate to. She isn’t perfect, she is hurting but she wants so desperately to feel whole and worthy again. The author raises the subject of an eating disorder in a way that makes you understand the “why would a person do that?” question and you are right there with Finley when she faces what she is becoming.
A fiction story about a real person is what this feels like. Jenny B Owens has always been one of my favorite authors and this book is just another “must have” of her’s you should be adding to your own reading list.  
Ps. if you're thinking that this character sounds familiar, you might have read the first book, Save The Date. Another highly reccomended read of mine

*I recieved a free copy of this title from the amazing BookSneeze program in exchange for an honest review*

A Sound Among The Trees [book review]

Adelaide is the matriarch of Holly Oak and a committed great-grandmother to the children of her deceased granddaughter Sara but when her son-in-law remarries and brings his bride to live at Holly Oak, Adelaide is torn between loyalty to the memory of Sara or accepting Marielle and sharing with her the secrets of Holly Oak.
Marielle’s world has turned upside down when she married and moved across the country to start a life wither her new husband and his two children. When she uncovers the dark past of Holly Oak’s ancestor, Susannah, she starts to question the existence of ghosts and her own insecurities are heightened by the memories of Sara that haunt Holly Oak. When she discovers letters written by Susannah herself, the past and present collide to bring healing for both Marielle and Adelaide.

My own thoughts:
Ghost stories. Not really my thing so my whole viewpoint is already skewed. This is a rather moody and dark novel about the sins of multiple generations finding them out. The book is written first from Adelaide’s perspective, then Marielle’s and then finally Susannah’s. None of the characters were particularly relatable or even likable to me. Perhaps it is because the overall feel of the book is dark or the fact that each character is bringing pain to another, you can’t really get past feeling depressed. Even with a relatively happy ending, I walked away feeling sad.

Objectively, I think the writing style is excellent. Good amount of detail, well explained events and the ability to give each character their own voice. I just believe that the author could create a much more enjoyable book if the plot had been less spooky and more driven by each character’s own growth through the story.

If you want me to pass this book along to you, just send me an email =)

*I received this book free from the wonderful people at WaterBrook Multanomah's Blogging For Books program, in exchange for an honest review*

Friday, September 30, 2011

Go Big [book review]

The key part of the book's synopsis is this: "Written by one of the dudes himself, Go Big tells their story and unveils their secret: five practical principles for taking your passions, skills, and dreams to the next level"

That is exactly it. The author shares his experience and breaks it down into 5 sections of advice about starting a business.

Go Big is a bit of a quirky "How to start a business" book, written by a guy whose business is trick basketball shots, his perspective is geared toward his experience so it defenitely isn't a guide for the average small business. The best thing about the book, in my opinion, is the "voice" of the author that shows through. So many nonfiction books are either dry, flowery or just plain bad writing so that you get a few chapters in and need a break from the 'drone tone'. This book is the opposite, you feel like you are reading a story with some helpful hints in it. Its an easy and relateable kind of advice book.

I admit, the fact the book was written on the premise of his business being about basketball wasn't interesting to me- I hate sports. But I enjoyed the writing style and the concept of the 5 principles.

*I recieved this title free from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review. Which is good since I can't do a dishonest book review to save my soul =) *

I Review For The Tyndale Blog Network

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cherished *book review*

Offical Synopsis: Kelli London once dreamed of being a songwriter. As crazy as it seemed, she hoped that God would use the lyrics that came to her even while she slept. She dreamed about Brian too, that the love they shared as high-school students would grow into marriage. But choices that still haunt her destroyed those dreams. Until now-when a series of love letters reawakens her hope for the future.
Heather Anderson's life has spun out of control-first, an affair with a married man, then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band has left her devastated. Broken and alone, she cried out to the only One able to save her. He met her there, but it was just the beginning. Because now she must take a different path. And the one God has planned for her looks nothing like the one she envisioned.
As Kelli and Heather awaken to their true worth, they find the freedom to pursue their dreams-and relationships-based on the security of knowing God's unconditional love.

Cherished is a story of two women, Heather Anderson and Kelli London, searching for forgiveness and being cleansed from their past mistakes. Kelli had an abortion and that one choice echoed in her life loudly enough to drive her away from being used by God through her music. Heather is the adulterous woman in Proverbs who beneath the sins strangling her, longs to find a way back to purity and unconditional love.

I loved this book. The author takes on some really hard hitting things like adultery, abortion, spiritual deadness and healing. She doesn't create characters who get it right or even who always mess up. It feels very real, each person's story. Like you sat down and read a glimpse of the heartache we all deal with.

But a new topic for me was the multi-cultural emphasis in the book. There are both black and white characters who embrace their indivudal cultures while being color blind when it comes to friendship. How cool is that?

This is actually the second book, the first is titled "Faithful" and when I finished Cherished I went right out and bought Faithful. I was dying to read more about these characters and their journey.

If you want a real story about messing up and finding God can still forgive you- this is it
If you want a real story about the deep friendships women in Christ need with each other- this is it
If you want a good read that makes you think and laugh and want more- this is it

*I got a free copy of this title from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review. Which is good since I can't be dishonest about my opinions even if you paid me =)

I suggest you order this book today and love it as much as I do.
Order it from Amazon.com because I love them. Or rather I love the free shipping...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

*book review* The Inconvenient Marriage Of Charlotte Beck

Charlotte is a 18 year old girl from America wreaking havoc on England for the first half of the story. Between too tight corsets, a sharp tongue and one escapade on the Wild West show with Bill Cody she has managed to muck up on almost every page. Along the way she meets Alex who is an English astronomer who is struggling with family and money problems. The two intersect and sparks fly- literally at one point.

The story revolves around Charlotte's escapades and encounters with Alex as she seeks to prove to her father that she is capable of running the family business and desires his permission to attend college for mathmatics. When this fails, her father takes advantage of their weaknesses (or desires) and an arranged marriage is planned and executed.

I love historical fiction and independant characters but this book was hard to enjoy. First off, Charlotte is a brat with very few redeeming qualities. Not once did she display mature actions or thoughts and for the majority of the book she is shown as a spoiled young women whose method is to manipulate until she gets what she wants. Not exactly endearing qualities. Alex is a bit more charming but so chauvinistic that by the end when they do end up together, you wish them on each other LOL

I did enjoy the author's writing style and the historical facts she adeptly weaves in the story but her characters were not enjoyable to read about.

*I recieved a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. Please rank the review just as honestly*

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thunder Dog *book review*

 9/11 is my generations Kennedy Assasination. Its a day most of us will never forget and there are endless stories of where you were when the planes hit the Two Towers. When I saw this book pop up as a review option, I grabbed it. I have a sister who loves animals and was a professional dog trainer so not only did I want to read it, I am planning on passing this onto her as well. Admittedly, I might do it as a Christmas gift ;)

This book is about, well, its right in the subtitle "The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog & the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero."

The story is told in a good paced way of Michael and Roselle's escape down 78 flights and then through the streets of NY being surrounded by the debris and dust. But it doesn't just cover that one day, it also takes you back to when Michael was born and the story of his life being blind from infant to how he grew up with a "find adventure" mindset.

This is one book that will make you cheer for not only Michael but his dog as well. I am not a pet lover but I do enjoy the bond that an animal and a human can have together.

*I recieved this book free from BookSneeze in exchange for writing an honest review*