Monday, December 30, 2013

A Unique Novel Idea but Boring Read - My Review of Jewel of the Pacific

Written by: Linda Lee Chaiken
Published by: River North

I chose to read this book because I thought it sounded interesting. I didn’t realize at the time that it was the third in a series, but I figured it would be okay to just start with it, anyway, when I found out that it was.

Jewel of the Pacific tells the story of Eden, a girl whose life is put on hold when her fiancĂ© is injured. Hurt by the man’s choice to put off their wedding day, Eden sails to a leper colony where her mom is suffering.



Who the book is for:

Those who have read the earlier books in the series.

What I liked:

I really thought the whole story idea was unique.

What I didn’t like:

This book seemed to start in the middle of a story, which I found weird despite the fact that it is the third in a series.

The number of characters - and something about their names - made this book really confusing for me.

This book is a boring read and I could not get into it, at all.

My conclusion:

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this read at all.

I give Jewel of the Pacific 2 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.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Changing Children's Lives - My Review of Just a Minute

Written by: Wess Stafford
Published by: Moody Publishers

I was really excited to read this book, as Too Small to Ignore was a powerful book in my life.

Just a Minute shares about how one minute in a child’s life can forever change their future. Through stories of people, such as Alfred Hitchcock and Adolf Hitler and regular boys and girls, this book changes the way you think about children.



Who the book is for:

Any adults who have a love for children - or, maybe more importantly, those who don’t.

What I liked:

This book shows the importance of “small” moments, times that might not seem important to you, but are to the life of a child.

I really enjoyed all of the real life stories. That is about all the book was made up of, just stories of real kids - famous and not - whose lives were changed from one moment.

What I didn’t like:

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

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a good book and I can’t wait to pass it on.

I give Just a Minute 5 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.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Power of Grace - My Review of Is Sunday School Destroying Our Kids?

Written by: Samuel C. Williamson
Published by: Beliefs of the Heart Press

I was super excited to read this book because I am all about grace and growing in my love for it.

Is Sunday School Destroying Our Kids? shares how teaching morality instead of grace can lead to big trouble. I found myself comparing it to a parenting book that I’ve heard about that teaches the opposite message - and much preferring this book, of course.



Who the book is for:

Christians. Teens and adults. Despite the title, it’s not just for parents.

What I liked:

The message is powerful.

I like the look and feel and size of the book.

Interesting.

Easy to read.

What I didn’t like:

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

My conclusion:

I can’t wait to pass this book on to other Christians, those who focus more on morality than grace.

I give Is Sunday School Destroying Our Kids? 5 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.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Boring Story of an Angry Man - My Review of Guilty by Association

Written by: Pat Simmons
Published by: Lift Every Voice Books

I really thought that the story of this book sounded interesting, and that is why I decided to read it, despite the fact that it is written for African Americans in particular.

Guilty by Association is the story of Kidd Jamieson, an angry man who has never moved past the fact that his dad abandoned him and his brother when they were kids. Now, after moving in with a distant cousin, Kidd must deal with his anger in order to gain the love of the girl who he has fallen for.



Who the book is for:

Men and women, African Americans in particular.

What I liked:

Parts of the book are interesting and enjoyable to read.

Unique characters who grow on you.

What I didn’t like:

Pretty boring, overall.

Took the easy way out in regard to dealing with the issue of Kidd’s dad.

Left some things unfinished in the end.

Somewhat of an antigun message that I found annoying.

My conclusion:

Overall, this certainly wasn’t my favorite read.

I give Guilty by Association 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.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Simple Christmas Devotions for Families - My Review of Seeking Christmas

Written by: Renee Robinson
Published by: Crosslink Publishing
Illustrated by: Veronica Hallum

Since it is Christmastime, I was excited to check out Seeking Christmas, wondering if maybe it would be something that I would want to pass on to my siblings for them to use with their families.

This book was a bit of a disappointment for me, despite the fact that there’s nothing really wrong with it… there just isn’t anything too special about it.



Who the book is for:

This book is for families, particularly those with school aged children.

What I liked:

I like the cover and the overall size of this book.

I like that the readings are divided into seven days worth.

I like the personal stories from the author’s past.

I like that the Bible stories are printed right into the book, so you don’t have to find them in your Bible in order to read along.

What I didn’t like:

I feel this book might get a little boring for children when it is read aloud.

This book is simpler than I thought it would be.

My conclusion:

Overall, there’s nothing really wrong with this book, I just wasn’t a big fan.

I give Seeking Christmas 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, December 16, 2013

An Interesting Novel for Young Adults - My Review of Like Moonlight at Low Tide

Written by: Nicole Quigley
Published by: Zondervan

I enjoy reading teen fiction every now and then, so I was happy to read and review Like Moonlight at Low Tide.

This is the story of Missy Keiser, a high school girl who has returned to the schoolmates who bullied her back when she was in middle school. Through the move, Missy has to deal with her newfound popularity, the attention of two boys, and her mom’s messy love life - plus, her troubled older brother.



Who the book is for:

Teen girls.

What I liked:

The story is interesting.

The characters are so real and I felt like I got to know them, personally.

What I didn’t like:

Felt like it could have gone deeper - both the message and the story of each character.

I would have liked shorter chapters.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was a decent read and a good debut novel from the author.

I give Like Moonlight at Low Tide 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.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Inappropriate and the Weirdest Book I Have Ever Read - My Review of The Hanging Tree

Written by: Michael Phillip Cash
Published by: Red Feather Publishing

I chose to read and review The Hanging Tree because I thought it sounded like it could be interesting. It was interesting, all right… not in a good way, though.



Who the book is for:

While written for teens, I can’t recommend this book to anyone.

What I liked:

There is nothing about this book that I liked. Sorry.

What I didn’t like:

This story is inappropriate.

The grammar is messy at times.

There is cursing in the book.

I really wasn’t expecting to read about witches.

Very random and weird.

My conclusion:

Overall, I was not a fan of this book at all, but I did agree to post a review.

I give The Hanging Tree 1 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, December 6, 2013

Not My Typical Reading, a Mainstream Novel - My Review of Letting Go

Written by: Belinda Tors
Published by: Outskirts Press

I enjoy reading any works of fiction, so I was happy to pick up Letting Go and give it a read.

This is the story of Margery Arturo and her struggle to gain a new life for herself and her daughter after divorcing her abusive husband.



Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy contemporary fiction, particularly women.

What I liked:

There were points in the story where it was interesting and enjoyable to read, but…

What I didn’t like:

There seemed to be no point or message, which was different for me, as I typically read Christian fiction - which this wasn’t.

There is a bit of swearing which might be problem for some.

I have never read about such an imperfect character - she doesn’t want her boyfriend’s sons moving in, even though her boyfriend lives with her, etc..

Talks casually about abuse, not really making it the big deal that it really is.

My conclusion:

Overall, I found myself a disappointed with this book.

I give Letting Go 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, December 4, 2013

For Prodigals and Their Families, a Book with Problems - My Review of Come Home

Written by: James McDonald
Published by: Moody Publishers

I definitely had someone in mind when I first read about this Come Home. There is a “wanderer” who is very near and dear to me, and that is why I decided to give the book a read.

This book is about the “wanderer” or the prodigal, or whatever term you want to use. It is written for both that individual and the loved ones of him/her.



Who the book is for:

This book is for those who have a strong faith in God but are hurting for someone who they care about who has turned from that faith, or the one who has turned away. Readable for both teens and adults.

What I liked:

This book offers hope for those in my position.

I love the advice in the book not to argue the “wanderer” home.

This book encourages forgiveness and embracing the “wanderer” when they do come home.

There is just something about the overall size and feel of the book that I liked.

What I didn’t like:

In the book, James mentions that abuse creates shame… he then goes on to say that the way to get freedom from shame is through repentance. Maybe I was the only one confused by the way he worded things, but it definitely could be interpreted to come to the conclusion that he thinks that you need to repent for abuse that was done to you. I am sure that wasn’t James’ intention, yet it came off wrong.

I didn’t like the putdowns to those who are obese which are used in the book. “Did it ever occur to you that your obesity is injuring your spouse’s capacity to be attracted to you?”

I felt that the book should have been written either for the “wanderer” or his/her family, rather than a little bit for both, it would have been much more effective that way.

My conclusion:

Overall, there was good and back in the book. Because of the two main problems that I found with it, though, I can’t recommend it.

I give Come Home 2 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.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Random Dog Story - My Review of Kurt, Gert, Jazmine, and Bagel

Published by: Outskirts Press
Written by: Irene Dolnick

I enjoy reading children’s books, so I was more than happy to check out Kurt, Gert, Jazmine, and Bagel.



The story:

This tells the tale of a dog who is jealous when she sees two of her friends together. She then decides to “hook up” with one of a friend of her own and travel the country with him.

The illustrations:

Are fun and colorful, and pretty well done.

How strong is the book?

This is your average paperback book, relatively sturdy.

Who the book is for:

I believe this book was written for beginning readers, as parts of words are underlined and highlighted and the reading of them is explained… but I think the look of the book is more for younger children, and the words used are for older children.

What I liked:

The illustrations!

What I didn’t like:

The story is random and hard to understand.

Sort of a love story, in an imaginative way, which seems weird for young kids.

Uses big words that kids can’t understand.

The highlighting and underlining make it somewhat difficult to read.

Not a big deal, but the title of the book includes an extra comma.

My conclusion:

Overall, I wasn’t a fan of this book.

I give Kurt, Gert, Jazmine, and Bagel 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.

Touching Christmas Story - My Review of One Imperfect Christmas

I love reading contemporary fiction, and it's especially fun to read Christmas themed books around this time of the year, so I was excited to read and review One Imperfect Christmas.



Who this book is for:

Those, like myself, who enjoy contemporary fiction - specifically women. Those who are struggling in a marriage.

What I liked:

Positive message.

Touching.

I really felt like I got to know the characters.

What I didn't like:

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

My Conclusion:

Overall, this was a really good read.

I give One Imperfect Christmas 5 out of 5 stars.

Here is the synopsis that I was given through the blog tour:

Graphic designer Natalie Pearce faces the most difficult Christmas of her life. For almost a year, her mother has lain in a nursing home, the victim of a massive stroke, and Natalie blames herself for not being there when it happened. Worse, she’s allowed the monstrous load of guilt to drive a wedge between her and everyone she loves—most of all her husband Daniel. Her marriage is on the verge of dissolving, her prayer life is suffering, and she’s one Christmas away from hitting rock bottom.

Junior-high basketball coach Daniel Pearce is at his wit’s end. Nothing he’s done has been able to break through the wall Natalie has erected between them. And their daughter Lissa’s adolescent rebellion isn’t helping matters. As Daniel’s hope reaches its lowest ebb, he wonders if this Christmas will spell the end of his marriage and the loss of everything he holds dear.


I received an electronic file of the book to read and review through a blog tour with Abingdon Fiction. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Monday, December 2, 2013

An Amish Soap Opera in a book - My Review of For Every Season

Written by: Cindy Woodsmall
Published by: WaterBrook Press

I am not a huge fan of Amish fiction, and there is so much out there, but I will pick up a book on occasion, and that is why I chose to read For Every Season.

This is the story of a young Amish woman, Rhoda Byler, who is torn between her love for two Amish brothers. She doesn’t want to hurt either brother by choosing the other, but must follow her heart.
Rhoda also has the special power of seeing things, knowing things about people that she shouldn’t… and that causes some friction between her and the Englisch neighbors who have taken her in.



Who the book is for:

Those who enjoy Amish fiction, who have read the first two books in the Amish Vines and Orchards series.

What I liked:

Doesn’t display the Amish completely positively, as an Englisch man who works for the orchard explains why he would never become Amish and how he doesn’t think the rules that they follow are necessary - he is a Christian and a good person, just not Amish.

Interesting and enjoyable story at times.

What I didn’t like:

I got so lost in the beginning with the many characters and the fact that I should have known who they were if I had read the first two books in the series. Can’t really start at this book if you haven’t read the rest of the series.

Sudden ending that happened too quickly and simply.

Random thing that wasn’t a big deal… I hate when authors write about children and portray them all wrong for their age. The three year old character in this book acts more like a one year old - or two, at oldest. I’m picky for that kind of thing.

My conclusion:

Overall, this was an okay read.

I give For Every Season 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free to review from Blogging for Books. 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.