Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bittersweet (Review)



This review is for the book "Bittersweet" by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. I will admit I was thrown off at first with this book. I got it from a website which I thought gave out Christian fiction books to review. So in the very beginning when there was some cursing I started wondering about it. I couldn't wrap my head around the characters or the plot, either. I was going to give up on the book, so I decided to check out some other reviews on it. Once I realized it was certainly not a Christian novel I gave up those expectations, and then when I realized it was going to turn into a suspense novel I decided to continue reading and give it a second chance.

The story follows a girl named Mabel who, by chance, gets a college roommate who invites her into her life of riches and fame. Mabel has no idea the entanglements that are involved in the lives of her roommate's family, though. Unfortunately Mabel gets twisted and tangled right along with everyone else.

I will say that I'm glad I gave the book a second chance. I think it was much more detailed than it needed to be, but the story itself was interesting. Once the suspense part really came around I was more intrigued than I was in the first half of the book.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah and Crown Publishers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

You can purchase your own copy from Amazon here (affiliate link):




Monday, July 14, 2014

Penny Wise (Review)



This review is for the book "Penny Wise" by Neta Jackson and Dave Jackson. This is part of the Windy City Neighbors series, although it certainly stands alone without reading the other books in the series. This story primarily follows the Jasper family in a fairly typical suburban neighborhood.

The thing that struck me about this novel is how much I related to the family in the book! They were so busy. So busy with work, church, and extracurricular activities that all the members of the family were literally passing each other by every day without discussing important events and decisions. We have probably all been there at some point in our lives. By the end of the book, the wife is just reeling from everything going on in her life. But she finds out that although she feels overwhelmed, God has never left her side.

This was a great read and now I am interested to read the other novels in the series.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

You can purchase your own copy of the book from Amazon here (affiliate link):




Saturday, July 12, 2014

Forever Amish (Review)


This review is for the book "Forever Amish" by Kate Lloyd. This book follows the journey of Sally Bingham, who travels to Lancaster County for what she thinks is going to be an opportunity to sell a prize corgi. When she gets into town, everyone around her is acting rather odd, and they are all dodging certain questions she's asking. It doesn't take long for the reader to figure out that her father has something to do with this town - she just has to figure out what that is. Also, she has to figure out her feelings for Armin, an unbaptized Amish farmhand.

I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and I love Amish fiction. The only problem I had was I felt that the book wrapped up rather quickly. I remember having only 20-30 pages left and having a gut feeling that things were just going to be tied up more quickly than I like and most likely, with loose ends. So while I enjoyed the story, I wish the author had lingered a bit more on the ending.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and David C Cook for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

You can purchase your own copy from Amazon here (affiliate link):






Four Weddings and a Kiss (Review)



This review is for the book "Four Weddings and a Kiss" which is part of the Western Bride Collection. It is a collection of four novellas written by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher. Now, I have read books by all these ladies before and I enjoyed them. I liked these stories because they all had a common theme (historical romance, strong leading female character) but they were separate stories. The book also includes reading group guides which is great for your book club. I think the stories were enjoyable and they will keep your attention, particularly if you like the historical romance genre.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.




You can purchase your own copy from Amazon here (affiliate link):


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Rival Hearts (Review and Giveaway!)




This review is for the book "Rival Hearts" by Tara Randel. This book is part of the Quilts of Love series. The thing I love about this series is that they all have a common theme of quilting but the stories are completely different, and so are the authors. In this book, quilter Molly is set into a competition against athletic Ben. The story follows their competition as well as their blossoming romance. The book really follows Molly's journey and how she ends up coming into herself. I really enjoyed this story and the characters!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Abingdon Press for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.


Quilts of Love Tara Randel Rival Hearts


You can purchase your own copy from Amazon here (affiliate link):



Out of the Ruins (Review)




This review is for the book "Out of the Ruins" by Karen Barnett. This is the first book by Barnett I have read and the first in a new series, The Golden Gate Chronicles. This story is set in the early 1900s. Abby Fischer's sister and only friend is racked with cancer. The family decides to travel to San Francisco in order to let her sister receive a new experimental treatment, x-rays. Once there, not only is Abby constantly worried about her sister, but a huge earthquake strikes and the entire family is separated. This book is full of Abby's spiritual journey as well as her journey to find her family and her grief journey. There is a lot that Abby has to work through in this book.

I enjoyed the characters and the story line. I felt this book was more interesting to me than most historical novels. I think Karen Barnett is a great author. I would be very interested to read the next book in this series.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Abingdon Press for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase your own copy from Amazon here (affiliate link):




Sunday, June 29, 2014

Christ or Hitler (Review)



This review is for the book "Christ or Hitler? Stories From My Life and Times, by Pastor Wilhelm Busch", compiled by Christian Puritz. When I began reading this book I had never heard of Wilhelm Busch. In fact, it took me quite a while to read the first couple of sections of the book. After I started learning about the environment Busch was in (Nazi Germany) his stories were incredibly intriguing. This is a man who was a German Christian throughout Hitler's reign. Thrown in prison multiple times and threatened, terrified, separated from family... but continued to preach no matter what.

If you have interest in reading true stories of evangelists, I urge you to read this one. This man's courageous faith is such a testimony. It was so encouraging to read. We have no clue in this modern day of persecution as Christians. This man, and others he met, truly stood up for the right to learn about Christ and preach. He risked his life every day just to tell others about the love of God. It really made me examine myself as I read this book. It is not exactly an easy book to read. Busch is well-learned and the speech isn't very modern, but the stories are so interesting you will quickly look past all of that.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews and EP Books for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

You can purchase your own copy from Amazon here (affiliate link):




Monday, June 23, 2014

When We Were on Fire (Review)



This review is for the book "When We Were on Fire" by Addie Zierman. I cannot even describe how much this book resonated with me from the very beginning. I am approximately the same age as Addie and grew up in a Christian household so all the things she talked about were very relevant to me - See You At the Pole, WWJD bracelets, sword drills, DC Talk - I felt like Addie and I would have been incredible friends growing up. Unfortunately Addie's life took a turn that I did not experience. She had a painful, controlling relationship that really defined her thoughts of Christians. Not only that, but when she went through a period of depression there was absolutely no one who reached out from any church she attended. I could just feel her sinking further into this hole, wanting to be seen and not getting the help she needed.

I am so glad Addie has shared her story with the world. I think this is an incredibly honest book and definitely worth the read.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multonah for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

You can purchase a copy from Amazon here (affiliate link):



Happy to Be Alive (Review)



This review is for the book "Happy to be Alive, Because" by Chelsea Jacobs. This story follows the journey of Avery, who is seventeen years old. Avery has just lost her mother and in the beginning of the book the reader finds her floundering. Most people are trying to help her move on from her mom's death or saying too many cliches. Then she finds out that her mom was planning a special trip, just the two of them, to visit her hometown. Spontaneously, Avery decides to take the trip by herself.

The rest of the book is about the healing process that Avery goes through. She meets some incredible friends who help her over the hump, so to speak. She starts journaling because her mom did the same thing. Her mom always wrote in her journal, "I'm happy to be alive because...." and would write something different every day. In her honor, Avery begins doing the same thing, although it is really tough at first.

There is a small twist at the end of the book. Most people who are avid readers will probably have some idea of how it will end, but it's still a great story. I can't figure out if Chelsea Jacobs has more books written or not (I think this is her first) but I can't wait to follow her career. A great summer read and original story.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Nyree Press for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

You can purchase a copy of the book from Amazon here (affiliate link):




Sunday, June 22, 2014

Death by the Book (Review)

This review is for the book "Death by the Book" by Julianna Deering. This is part of the Drew Farthering mystery series. This is the first book by this author I have read and I really enjoyed it. I love mystery novels but I really enjoy British novels. I always read them with an accent in my head, honestly.

One person, I saw, labeled these books as Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie. I think that is a great description. There is plenty of humor in the book and the story is great. I can almost guarantee you will not be able to figure out "whodunnit" until right at the very end.

I recommend this particular book and I know I would like to read more of this series in the future, as well as other stories by this author.

Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.