Saturday, September 21, 2013

Book Review: Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt

I don't know.  This one felt different than other Angela Hunt works.  It was still good.  I did it enjoy it.  But, I didn't enjoy it as much as her other stuff that I've read.  It might have been the mood I was in while reading it.  I don't suffer from depression.  I suffer from social anxiety and I was in a down moment during the time I read this book, so it could have effected my opinion of the story.  I'm willing to give this book a try again in about a year to see if my opinion changes.

This is the story of almost 50 year old twin sisters who could not be more different.  One was the quiet type who stayed in the family house raising her family.  The other was a talented singer who went to Broadway to become a star.  Did she become star?  Well, no.  And now she was faced with a health issue that could put an end to her dreams.

Carlene's arrival home does not sit well with her twin sister, Darlene.  Darlene has always felt she lived in the shadows of her sister in more ways than one and now her sister was coming home to take over the limelight in Peculiar.

The youngest sister, Magnolia more commonly known as Nolie, deals with a tragic relationship from her past possibly having changed her just a bit.  She cares for her dogs and gardens on the estate when a man with his own haunted past moves in to help the ladies.

I read this book for pure pleasure.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Review: Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury

Zack Dylan has a talent for singing.  When he leaves his girlfriend and his family's farm for the singing competition show Fifteen Minutes he promises to not let it change him or his faith in God.  Overnight Zack becomes a sensation, the show's most popular contestant.  But, they want him to quiet his talks of God and Christianity as well trying to pair him up with the cute little blonde cheerleader contestant.

Struggling with their faith are the judges.  We don't really get insight into the male judge, but we do get to know the two female judges.  One is a former winner of Fifteen Minutes who she wishes she had never tried out for the show.  She wants to look out for people like Zack and help them stay true to who they are.  The other female judge is a famous celebrity who grew up in a Christian home but turned away from it for fame.

The only interaction I've ever had with shows like these is watching them on TV, but I didn't like how Kingsbury made them seem like the devil.  It is instant fame and it can change people.  Yeah, they most likely want Christian contestants to quiet their talks on God.  That's Hollywood for you, unfortunately.  But, there have been Christian contestants who come out as Christian artists and I don't see them compromising their faith.  I don't think the industry is quite as evil as it is made out in this book.

I read this book as a review request from using Adobe Digital on my laptop.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Book Review: Truth Stained Lies by Terri Blackstock

Another novel of suspense from Terri Blackstock.

Cathy Cramer's brother has been accused of murdering his ex-wife.  Her job is to find out who did it.  She believes it is one of three criminals she has written about in her blog.  She feels this person is doing this to get to her.  Destroy her brother's life and indirectly destroy hers.

One little boy has to deal with the consequences of all this--Jacob.  His mom was murdered and his dad was arrested.   His maternal grandmother who is literally on her deathbed and uncle have been granted custody of Jacob while his father is in jail, much to the dismay of Cathy and her sisters.  How can his grandmother take care of the boy when she barely has enough energy to live?

Cathy goes on a wild goose chase looking for the murder of her former sister-in-law.  She is determined to get her brother out of jail.  Along the way Jacob gets sick and someone else comes up as a prospect.

Terri Blackstock writes Christian suspense very well.  There is enough Christianity in the story to make it Christian without brow beating us with the Word.  The answers to her suspenseful questions are never what you think they'll be.  She's written another great piece of work here.

I read this as a review request using Adobe Digital on my laptop.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Review: Ostrich by Matt Greene

How do I talk about this book?  I'm filled with conflicting emotions regarding the story.  I don't want to say it was well-written because as a whole the story was not.  But, I also don't want to say that it wasn't because in small sections, the chapters and each page, I enjoyed it.  It has its negatives and its positives.  I guess the negatives outweigh the positives since I rated the book a 2 and not a 3.

This story is about a boy who is sick.  I'm not sure if it states what he has, but I do know he has seizures.  He has to be admitted to the hospital at least once in the story.  Let me see if I get the story correctly.  He is trying to get into this private school.  He thinks something is up with his parents' marriage.  A lot of thinking is because of his friend and what she experienced with her parents.  He investigates his parents' marriage.

It was hard reading this story.  Like I said above I enjoyed it in small sections, but the problem was I kept waiting for the point.  What's the point of this story?  It never came.  The ending just left me confused.  It was an ending and it was a conclusion to something, but it didn't feel like the conclusion to the entire story that I just read.

Also, I'd like to point out there were some dirty parts in this book.  The boy is middle school age, I believe, and his dad finally takes parental controls off his computer.  I bet you know where I'm going with this.  Now the boy gets to peruse porn websites.  He's not doing it to jack-off.  He wants to know what they're like.  He describes (not very vividly so that it's disgusting, but it's dirty nonetheless) the different kinds.

I read this as a review request from netgalley using Adobe Digital on my laptop.  All opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review: The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

Esme from England is in New York to gain her doctorate in art history.  She's dating a rich professor from another college named Mitchell.  In her spare time she likes hanging out at this used bookstore named The Owl.  When something unexpected happens, she finds she needs a job, one that the university can't find out about as she is attending on a work study program, meaning the only jobs she can get are with the university.  In swoops The Owl to help her out.  The story is mainly about  whether Mitchell and Esme will stay together during this crisis.  He's from a well-to-do family and she's not.  Does he give into family pressure?  What does his heart truly say?

The Owl is a shabby used bookstore bringing with it a cast of characters that help Esme through the trying times.  I really liked the different characters she interacted with.  She had her fellow employees, her boss, shoppers, and the homeless trying to sell books to the store.

This book has its ups and downs.  There were times when I couldn't wait to read the next page and other times when I wanted to throw it against the wall, but I didn't because it's on my laptop and I'm not about to throw my laptop against the wall.  I did make it to the end.  I'll be honest.  I'm not too happy with the ending.  It did feel like this was the ending that was supposed to happen in the author's mind, but the story before it didn't quite lead up to it correctly.

I think overall readers will enjoy this story.  It won't be the greatest story they've ever read, but they won't be disappointed.

I read this as a review request from using Adobe Digital on my laptop.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Book Review: Victim of Grace by Robin Jones Gunn

This is a combination autobiography and Bible lesson.  Robin Jones Gunn tells a little about her life in relation to being a victim of grace and how it relates to some events in the Bible.

What is a victim of grace?  As Gunn puts it, a victim of grace is when something happens in a person's life and God's grace gets them through it.  We don't earn God's grace.  He gives it to us freely.  Having it worked upon us we become a victim of grace.

Not everything in life goes as we planned or want it to.  This book shows times in Robin Jones Gunn's life when exactly that happened.  But, as she learns with each incident, God's grace is laid upon her to put her where she should be and eventually she gets her answers, the right ones for her life.

Robin Jones Gunn is most known for her Christy Miller, Sisterchicks, and Glenbrook series.  This is a step away from that format with a non-fiction title.  She has done a great job.

I read this book as a review request from BookSneeze using the Kindle App on my laptop.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.