Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Review of Vicious Cycle

Vicious Cycle

Written by: Terri Blackstock
Published by: Zondervan

I used to love reading Terri Blackstock’s books, but hadn’t read any for awhile before I chose to read and review this one… her writing is as good as I remembered!

Vicious Cycle is the story of the Covington family, which consists of a teenage girl about to “graduate” from rehab, a teenage boy who gets caught with an abandoned baby in his backseat, and a single mom who is struggling to be all she needs to be for both of them.

Who the book is for:

Adults and mature teens who love some excitement in their book!

What I liked:

The story was both touching and exciting and very engaging, perfect in so many ways.

Not only is Vicious Cycle a good story, but is also quite intense in the last quarter of the book or so, which I found really refreshing, because a lot of times when I am reading a book by the time I get towards the end I will be hoping for it to just end, that wasn’t the case with this book.

What I didn’t like:

I loved this book!

My conclusion:

Vicious Cycle is a great book! I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

I received this book free to review from Zondervan. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Review of Goodbye Hollywood Nobody

Goodbye Hollywood Nobody

Written by: Lisa Samson
Published by: NavPress

So, I haven’t quite moved myself completely past teen fiction books yet, haha. I read the first book in this series when I was a teen and read this fourth book in the series as an adult.

Goodbye Hollywood Nobody is the continuing story of Scotty, a teen girl who is trying to do something “more” with her life, trying to do something for Jesus.

Who the book is for:

Teens, adults like myself, females, especially good for those who have read the other books in the series.

What I liked:

The story was interesting and unique.

I liked how Scotty gives of her time volunteering at a home for children.

What I didn’t like:

I found it hard to understand all that was going on in the book, since it has been so long since I read the earlier books in the series - and I don’t think I read the one that came right before this one.

My conclusion:

Goodbye Hollywood Nobody is a good addition to a great series written especially for teens.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from NavPress. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Review of Another Dawn

Another Dawn

Written by: Kathryn Cushman
Published by: Bethany House

Another Dawn is the story of Grace Graham and her son Dylan. Grace has always blamed her father for her mother’s death and that has strained her relationship with him, now her father is in need of her help and Grace must take her son and go stay with him as he recovers from surgery. While visiting her father Grace’s son gets sick and soon the who town is affected and upset with Grace, how can Grace make everything turn out fine again?

Who the book is for:

This is good fiction reading for any adults, in particular women. I also think that you will enjoy it more if you are in support of vaccinating children, rather than if you are not.

What I liked:

The story is interesting and kept my attention.

The story is emotional and really drew me in.

There is a message of forgiveness woven into this book.

What I didn’t like:

The focus on vaccinations and that whole debate was at times a little boring.

I really didn’t like how Grace’s father’s choice to smoke - which ended up leading to his wife dying of cancer - was compared to Grace’s choice not to vaccinate her son - which ends up possibly harming all those around him… Grace’s choice was for the protection of her son, not knowing that it was going to affect others, while her father’s choice was only for his own enjoyment and everyone knows that second hand smoke can harm and kill people.

My conclusion:

I must say that this is perhaps the most unique fiction book that I have ever read, the first book that was completely focused on a single issue such as vaccinations. Despite that fact, I enjoyed this book a great deal.

I give Another Dawn 4 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it.

(Although I enjoyed this book I don’t necessarily agree with all of the pros and cons in it regarding vaccinations, and I suggest that you do your own research and soul searching rather than being persuaded by a fiction book.)

I received Another Dawn free to review from Bethany House. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Review of The First Escape

The First Escape

Written by: G. P. Taylor
Published by: SaltRiver

I was attracted to this book because it looked unlike any book I have ever read, now that I’ve read it I know that it is very unique and unlike the books I am used to.

This book blends a regular style fiction book with pages of the story continuing comic style.

Who the book is for:

The back of the book categorizes it as “Juvenile Fiction”, I would recommend it for teens and adults as the content is a little dark for children and as I found it enjoyable as an adult.

What I liked:

It’s uniqueness!

It kept me interested.

I loved how it combined the two styles of books into one.

What I didn’t like:

Parts of the book were a little random and a little hard to

My conclusion:

This is an interesting book, I am thinking that my older brothers might enjoy reading it.

I recommend The First Escape for ages 13 and up and I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Thomas Nelson. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255,

My Review of God Gave Us You

God Gave Us You

Written by: Lisa Tawn Bergren
Illustrated by: Laura J. Bryant
Published by: WaterBrook Press

I am excited to give God Gave Us You along with God Gave Us Two to my little nephew for Easter, because they are both special, sentimental, books.

The story:

The story starts with the little bear asking the always scary question to parents, “where did I come from?” After that the book is filled with the mama bear answering his question in a beautiful child friendly way, telling of how God gave the little bear to his mommy and daddy, and how excited her and his daddy were for his arrival.

Note, I just realized I have been calling the little bear a “he”, but in actuality the book calls her a “she”.

The illustrations:

Are cute scenes of the bear family.

Pictures of polar bear angels were a little strange to me… but to each his own, I guess.

How strong is the book?

This is a hardcover book that is relatively strong, but my nephew hasn’t gotten hold of it yet.

Who the book is for:

This would make a great gift for a new baby, or for a baby shower. This book is also good for reading to children once they are old enough to start asking a lot of questions.

What I liked:

God Gave Us You is a sweet story of parental love.

What I didn’t like:

As I stated above, personally I didn’t like the polar bear angels.

My conclusion:

This is an excellent book and will make a great gift. I give God Gave Us You 5 out of 5 stars!

I received this book free to review from Blogging for Books, opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Review of Max on Life

Max on Life

Written by: Max Lucado
Published by: Thomas Nelson

I read a lot of Max Lucado books in my teen years, and one in the past year or so, and he has always been someone who can write books that I both enjoy reading and learn from. I thought that this book would be extra interesting in that it deals with all kinds of issues and problems that way face in our lives.

Who the book is for:

Christians, fans of Max Lucado, adults and teens.

What I liked:

I really appreciated Max’s thoughts on forgiveness, as that is something that I struggle with.

Max on Life answers a lot of questions that I have always wanted answers to, and gives me a different perspective to consider on some subjects that I have my own beliefs about.

This book is packed!

What I didn’t like:

I didn’t expect this book to touch on the issue of abortion, yet it did, and I was surprised at what was said. After much talk about how tough it is for those who are facing an unwanted pregnancy, almost sounding like their abortions can be justified, Max states that he believes that “other than cases where abortion saves the life of the mother” we are to “protect the child”. I wish he hadn’t touched on this subject or had left that part out, I could debate with him or anyone who believes in any type of abortion for hours on end, and I could debate with him on other parts of this, but this is a book review not a debate, so I won’t let myself go off any longer.

Often in the book Max seems to just make up an answer without giving any Biblical support to what he has to say.

My conclusion:

Max on Life is a decent book. I would not give it to someone who isn’t a strong Christian, but I do plan on, possibly, giving it to my brother-in-law who is a big fan of Max Lucado.

I would give Max on Life 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Book Sneeze (Thomas Nelson.) The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Review of Vanished

Vanished

Written by: Kristi Holl
Published by: ZonderKidz

I used to enjoy mystery books when I was a kid, and so I read this kid’s mystery book now as an adult.

Vanished is the story of twelve year old Jeri McKane who attends a all girl boarding school. One of her friends goes missing, along with a van full of other girls from the school, and Jeri sets out to find what happened.

Who the book is for:

I am assuming that the recommend age for this book is probably 8 - 12, but I think the content is a little too dark and heavy and - dare I say - scary for 8 and 9 year old children. I would recommend this book for girls 10 - 13.

What I liked:

The story is interesting, even for an adult. It contains many twists and turns and kept me guessing until the end.

What I didn’t like:

Reading kid’s mystery books as an adult now I sort of fear the message that they send, Jeri is fearless and does things that could (in real life) end up causing her to get hurt or killed… not necessarily something that you would want your child following.

My conclusion:

Vanished is all-in-all a pretty decent book, as long as it is read by mature children I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Zondervan/ZonderKidz. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Review of God Gave Us Two

God Gave Us Two

Written by: Lisa Tawn Bergren
Illustrated by: Laura J. Bryant
Published by: WaterBrook Press

My nephew is about to become a big brother, when the baby comes he will be the old age of 15 months. J I know that he doesn’t really understand what is going on and he doesn’t realize that the baby is coming, but he will face many changes once the baby is born. I thought this book was a perfect gift to get for him!

The story:

If you’ve read any of the other “God Gave Us…” books, you already know the bear family that is in them. This family consists of a mom, dad, and little girl cub, and is now going to be extended because the mama is expecting. The little girl cub worries that after the baby is born things will change and her parents won’t love her as much anymore, but her parents repeatedly remind her “God Gave Us You and now God Gave Us Two.”

The illustrations:

Are cute and well done. I love the cover picture of the pregnant mama polar bear.

How strong is the book?

This is a hardcover book that seems to be relatively strong, but my nephew hasn’t started chewing on it yet, so who knows.

Who the book is for:

Children who are about to become first time big siblings, I would think it could be applicable up until about 8 or 9 years old.

What I liked:

The story is precious, this is by far my favorite of the “God Gave Us…” books.

The illustrations are cute.

The idea is great, and I am excited to give this book to my nephew and his parents.

What I didn’t like:

Nothing.

My conclusion:

This is a great book and I highly recommend it.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

I received this book free to review from Blogging For Books (Waterbrook Press). The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.