Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Story of Grace - My Review of The Prodigal

Written by: Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett
Published by: Zondervan

I enjoy reading contemporary fiction, and I am really into focusing on - reading about and further understanding - grace right now, so I was excited to dig into The Prodigal.

This is the story of Jack Chisholm, a pastor who loses everything when he has an affair with his assistant. He must find a way to put his life back together, and learn the power of grace and forgiveness.



Who the book is for:

Christians. Men and women. Those who need to better understand grace.

What I liked:

The fact that this book focuses on grace.

Good read.

Interesting and unique.

An emotional story at times.

What I didn’t like:

Casual mentions of drinking and driving after drinking.

Something just seemed to be lacking, like it could have been better.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a pretty good read, and you should check it out.

I give The Prodigal 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from BookSneeze. 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.

A Novel of Breaking Free from Drugs and Pain - My Review of Against the Gates of Hell

Written by: Mylow Young
Published by: Lift Every Voice Books

I enjoy reading contemporary fiction, especially when it includes a bit of suspense, so I was happy to read Against the Gates of Hell.

This book tells the story of twin brothers who are each struggling in their own ways after some very painful losses. Kerby is facing his pain by turning to drugs for help, while Herby struggles to deal with the change that his brother has made in his life.



Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy contemporary fiction that is a bit dark.

What I liked:

The story was interesting.

I enjoyed reading about the various relationships between the characters in the book.

Realistic in not making either man’s struggle look easy.

What I didn’t like:

Randomly switches between past and present tense.

There is a small amount of focus on “obedient” and “submissive” wives, which I found hard to agree with and read.

Lots of preaching and prayers that make the book a little boring.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was an interesting and unique read.

I give Against the Gates of Hell 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from MPNewsroom. 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.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Not Something I Would Read to Children - My Review of The Turtle's Shell

Published by: Lionpen Publishing
Written by: Vincent Eke
Illustrated by: Vincent Eke

I am always interested in reading children’s books, and that is why I chose to read and review The Turtle’s Shell.



The story:

This book tells the story of a group of animals who are hard up for food. When a turtle family discovers a new food source, they keep it a secret, despite the group’s agreement to share all the food that they find. Eventually, the turtles are found out, and this leads to a lot of trouble for them.

The illustrations:

Are interesting and kind of fun, but I don’t understand if this is supposed to be a coloring book? The pictures are simply black outlines, appearing ready to be filled in with markers or crayons.

How strong is the book?

This book seems extra flimsy compared to other paperback books, and I believe it might be because of it’s large size.

Who the book is for:

I wouldn’t recommend this to any children because of content issues mentioned below, but I believe it was written for ages four through eight, or so.

What I liked:

The story is written in an interesting way.

The story is divided into sections, sort of like chapters, so you can pause when reading it.

What I didn’t like:

Talk of “the gods” is, to me, inappropriate and confusing in a children’s book. I would never want my nephews or nieces reading this book just because of that.

The story is a bit violent and dark for young children, as well.

The story is really long for a children’s paperback book, with a lot of words on each page.

My conclusion:

Overall, I have to give this book a negative review.

I would recommend The Turtle’s Shell for children, and I give it 2 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from the author. 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, November 20, 2013

Finding Freedom in Your Salvation - My Review of Letting Go of Your Limitations

Written by: Sandie Freed
Published by: Chosen

I was excited to read Letting Go of Your Limitations because I thought it would help me to find more freedom in God… I was a bit disappointed, though.



Who the book is for:

Christians. Those who need to learn to let go of their pride, their efforts to please God, etc..

What I liked:

This book includes a lot of scripture passages, rather than just references. I found this nice because I usually don’t look up the passages when a book simply tells you where to read in the Bible, but this way I read them as part of the book.

The last chapter was really good. I liked how the author shared about our freedom in God, our sure salvation. We don’t have to do good works or live a good enough life to be saved.

What I didn’t like:

This book seems to jump around, and there isn’t too solid of a message proclaimed in it.

The chapters are long and hard to get through.

I didn’t gain anything from the book until I reached that final chapter.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a fairly boring read, and I’m not a big fan.

I give Letting Go of Your Limitations 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Chosen. 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, November 19, 2013

A New Take on Scrooge - My Review of A Marriage Carol

Written by: Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman
Published by: River North

I am always interested in reading any kind of fiction, and A Marriage Carol was no exception, despite the fact that I am not married, myself.

This book tells the story of a couple who is on their way to get a divorce - on Christmas Eve of all days - when they get into a crash. With a twist on the story of Scrooge, the woman learns just how important their marriage really is.



Who the book is for:

Any married couple - or single people like me who just like reading any fiction they can get their hands on.

What I liked:

This is a quick read, and I finished it in one evening.

Inspiring.

Interesting read.

Cute size and look.

What I didn’t like:

I wanted this story to be more realistic and less of a fairytale sort of thing.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a decent read that I felt could have been a little more powerful.

I give A Marriage Carol 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from MPNewsroom. 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.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The New Testament Retold - My Review of The Jesus Story

Written by: Dr. William H. Marty
Published by: Bethany House

I was very curious to check The Jesus Story out, as it tells the story of the New Testament in a modern way… and I wasn’t disappointed.

I have to admit, I was a bit worried that this book would change things up really much, like really modernizing the Bible, but it really just simplifies things and shares stories in an, easy to read, way.



Who the book is for:

Christians who have already read the Bible and will continue to read it. It is a supplement, only… don’t read it instead of reading God’s Word.

What I liked:

It was nice to be able to quickly and easily read a version of the New Testament.

The size of this book was nice - as it was just like a novel, or anything… easy to hold and read.

What I didn’t like:

This isn’t so much something that I didn’t like, but be warned that this book doesn’t cover every single thing that the New Testament covers.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a pretty good read and cool book for Christians.

I give The Jesus Story 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book 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.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Unique Children's Read - In the Hall of the Mountain King

Published by: Samizdat Creative
Written by: Allison Flannery
Illustrated by: Vesper Stamper

So… I know nothing about In the Hall of the Mountain King, the play… I simply like to read children’s books, and that’s why I chose to read this book.



The story:

This book follows Peer, a little boy from Norway, as he travels to the Mountain King’s castle - then tries to escape it.

The illustrations:

Are colorful and fun and drew me into the story.

How strong is the book?

This is a sturdy, hardcover book.

Who the book is for:

I would recommend this book for ages three through six.

What I liked:

The pictures are so fun.

The story is unique.

What I didn’t like:

Might be a bit scary for some young children.

Not a whole lot of message or anything to it.

My conclusion:

This was an okay children’s book.

I give In the Hall of the Mountain King 3 out of 5 stars.


I received this book free to review from the author. 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, November 15, 2013

Nuclear Legal Thriller - My Review of Critical Reaction

Written by: Todd M. Johnson
Published by: Bethany House

I am always up for a suspense - or legal thriller - read, so I was happy to dig in to Critical Reaction.

This book tells the story of a dad and daughter lawyer team and their fight to represent a man who survived a blast at the nuclear facility where he was working. With deception and threats haunting them all, they must find out who they can trust and how to make justice come about.



Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy suspense books or legal thrillers. Men and women.

What I liked:

Had a pretty good story.

I enjoyed the dynamics between the father and daughter duo.

What I didn’t like:

Started out really boring, and I almost gave up on reading it, altogether.

There’s not really a Christian message to the book.

Parts were a bit hard for me to understand - I still don’t know what anyone was doing at the nuclear facility… were they working there, or trying to get rid of it, or…

My conclusion:

Overall, this ended up being an okay read.

I give Critical Reaction 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book 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, November 12, 2013

Family Bonding and Growing Activities - My Review of All-In 2Night

Written by: Lynne Burgess
Published by: Even Before Publishing

I was interested in reading All-In 2Night because I thought it might be something that I could pass on to one of my siblings to use with their family… but I was a bit disappointed.

This book includes ideas for family nights that include lessons on wisdom, drugs, criticism, and so much more.



Who the book is for:

Families who want to grow closer together while also growing in their faith and just overall getting stronger as individuals and together.

What I liked:

The idea behind this book is pretty cool.

Some of the lessons are good.

I like the real life examples used in the book.

What I didn’t like:

I really wish that the ‘lessons’ were written in a way that could simply be read aloud, instead of being written to the parents and then needing to be reworded to share with the kids.

Really simple… I felt this book could have included a lot more depth.

My conclusion:

Overall, I wasn’t really a big fan of this book, and I won’t be passing it on to my siblings. Yet… for some families, this might be helpful.

I give All-In 2Night 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from BookCrash. 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.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Children's Tale of Blended Families - My Review of The Four Seasons of Patrick

Written by: Susan Hughes
Published by: Red Deer Press

As I am working on writing and trying to get published, I am also trying to read as much as possible these days… which is why I decided to read and review The Four Seasons of Patrick.

This is a children’s book, so not really something that is age appropriate for me, yet I thought that the story of the blending of two families sounded interesting.

Nine year old Patrick has a hard time dealing with the fact that his dad is going to get married again, and he will be receiving a step mom and step sister very soon. He doesn’t feel like their house is large enough for everyone and seeks an escape through the building of a tree house.

Four Seasons of Patrick

Who the book is for:

This book has been written in a way that would appeal to children aged seven to ten, I would say.

What I liked:

The story is interesting and entertaining.

The story didn’t move along too fast.

The characters seemed very real to me.

I live the size and shape of the book.

What I didn’t like:

There is one big problem that I have with the book… it mentions that the dad is getting married, and then it goes on to say that his fiancĂ©e and her daughter will be moving in before the wedding. As a Christian, I have a problem with this… but I also feel that it is just overall inappropriate for a children’s book. There is no reason the couple needed to live together before marriage, so why even mention it. I thought this was a poor example for children, and it really messed up my opinion of the book.

My conclusion:

Overall, I found this book interesting, but also disappointing. Because of the content, I feel that I can’t really recommend it to any children.

I give The Four Seasons of Patrick 2 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from the author. 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.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Review of There Once Was a Man from the USA - 50 State Limericks

I received this book from the author, to read and review.

I thought that a book of limericks about each state would be entertaining, but... There Once Was a Man from the USA was disappointing, to say the least.

Most of the poems have nothing to do with the state that they are about.

Some of the poems are a bit inappropriate.

This book isn't really for children, and it's not for adults... I don't know who it's for.

I don't like the pictures in this book.

Overall, I am not a fan of this book.

I give There Once Was a Man from the USA 2 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

*Giveaway and Review The First Christmas Night

Published by: Ideals Children’s Books
Written by: Keith Christopher
Illustrated by: Christine Kornacki

I enjoy checking out new children’s books, including new Christmas-y children’s books.

The First Christmas Night tells the story of Jesus’ birth while parodying T’was the Night Before Christmas…



The story:

This book is a parody of T’was the Night Before Christmas, turning it into a Christian story of Jesus’ birth.

The illustrations:

Are detailed, realistic and beautiful.

How strong is the book?

This is a sturdy, hardcover book.

Who the book is for:

This book would be a great read aloud for families, and is also appropriate for babies through grade school children.

What I liked:

The illustrations are beautiful.

The story is simple and cute.

What I didn’t like:

There is nothing in particular that I didn’t like.

My conclusion:

Overall, this is a fun, Christmastime read.

I give The First Christmas Night 5 out of 5 stars.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



I received this book free to review from Fly By Promotions. 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.

Monday, November 4, 2013

My Review of Bible and Prayers for Teddy and Me

Published by: Lion Hudson
Written by: Christina Goodings
Illustrated by: Janet Samuel

I am always interested in reading more children’s Bibles, so I was happy to check out Bible and Prayers for Teddy and Me.



The story:

This book includes many “classic” Bible stories that are told in more unique way than some…

The illustrations:

The pictures in this book are cute. Not really as simple as you would expect for a baby book, but still fun.

How strong is the book?

This is a padded hardcover book which seems relatively sturdy.

Who the book is for:

I would recommend this book for baby boys aged newborn to two. It’s interesting that they choose to make the cover so blue and also include a picture of a boy, ‘cause that makes me think that it wouldn’t be a good gift for a girl.

What I liked:

The stories are told in a unique way.

Some of the “prayers” are cute.

What I didn’t like:

Some of the punctuation and grammar is a bit off.

Some of the “prayers” don’t rhyme but some of them do…

My conclusion:

This is a cute, little Bible book for babies, but with a few flaws.

I give Bible and Prayers for Teddy and Me 3 out of 5 stars.

*I will be gifting this book to my youngest nephew.


I received this book free to review from Kregel Blog Tour. 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, November 1, 2013

My Review of The 5 Love Languages of Children

Written by: Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
Published by: Northfield Publishing

Through my sister, I had always heard a lot about The 5 Love Languages book, but had never read it. Then, I heard about The 5 Love Languages of Children and knew that I needed to get it for my sister for her to use in raising her children. When I got the chance to read and review it for free, that sweetened the deal.



Who the book is for:

Parents - or others, like me, who love children of all shapes and sizes. This book isn’t really a “Christian” book, so it’s good for all types of people.

What I liked:

This book is eye-opening! I learned so much through it.

Just by reading this book, I feel like I have already changed in the way that I react to my nieces and nephews, and others around me.

Easy to read and includes a lot of examples.

Such a meaningful book.

There is absolutely no endorsing of corporal punishment, something that I look for in every parenting book that I read.

What I didn’t like:

There is nothing in particular that I didn’t like about this book.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a very informative read.

I give The 5 Love Languages of Children 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from MP Newsroom. 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.