Category: Review

Book Review: True to You by Becky Wade

True-to-You.jpg

About the Book

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with am inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.

John enlists Nora’s help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?

My Review

First of all, LOOK AT THAT PRETTY COVER. It’s so cute! I love the dress, I love the cover scheme, it’s adorable!

Nora is literally me. She doesn’t know how to dress cute (me), she reads way too much (me), and look at this quote:
“She’d picked up the Silverstone Chronicles, sunk two hours into reading, visited her favorite fiction blogs, updated her progress on goodreads.com, and switched out her winter wardrobe for her summer wardrobe. She never did make it to the gym, yet here she stood in her yoga pants, Hogwarts Alumni t-shirt, and sweatshirt”
^ MEEEE
(Also speaking of which, I need sisters that do The Enhancement Of Hanne on me bc we all know I sorely need it)

I like how the Bradfords were so close to each other: the close family feel and the Bible/God references were a plus! (Usually the most “Christian” in a Christian fiction book is two prayers and maybe a church mention).

I didn’t really like how the Bradford sisters approached/described men in general. Fine, a couple of small descriptions, but nothing about “a delicious masculine scent” or “a male torso that had about as much give as a fir tree” please. (There were also some PG13 kissing scenes that could probably have been a lot less detailed.)

As for the writing style, I LOVE how the grandma is portrayed: she’s hilarious! There are also several fun points that made me smile. It just really clicked with me. In addition, the contemporary feel was really present in the book. Sometimes, when reading “contemporary” books, I feel like some stuff is outdated (eg instant messages, booting up a computer, etc). There was no such feel in this book. There was Facebook, there was GoodReads, there was Netflix, there were smartphones, and it just felt really “in time.” (of course, this is going to change in a year, but for now it’s really relevant)

In addition, I really like the small changes of perspective: “the quote emblazoned across Nora’s purple pajama top” or “typed by John Lawson into the Reminders app on his phone” or text messages from Nora to her sisters. They add a nice perspective and an extra depth to the book.

As a caveat, there are some topics discussed in the book that I can’t give away (because spoilers, see below), but they do deal with violence and, er, adult stuff. Nothing descriptive, but they are mentioned quite a great deal.

The story of redemption and forgiveness and love in this book was portrayed very well. That story was amazing. I also really enjoyed the God-moment/coincidence and John’s mother’s letter was beautiful.

My Rating

6/10

Points earned:

  • Cute story that ends well
  • Witty and humorous
  • Small changes in point of view
  • Characters 👌
  • Family/God bonds
  • Redemption and forgiveness and the storyline in general

Points lost:

  • Lovey scenes (some may like them, I personally felt they were both too stereotypical and overvividly described)
  • Descriptions of guys’ bodies
  • Adult topics (every third letter, SPOILER: akrfjadlpxle and almwduqprvkdkveajr and fjacjlwuceiocnhsmofjlqvipasvjm) that do tell a beautiful story but are not recommended for audiences below at least 15
  • The romance progressed a little too quickly for my liking? I felt like that made it feel less realistic.

Thanks to Bethany House for providing me with a free physical copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion; I was not required to provide a positive review.

Book Review: Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke

About the Book:

There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions: Why? and Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question: Who? Who are you, God? Who are you to me?

Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors’ appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and crushing self doubt. And then, the unthinkable. Cancer is now threatening not only her own life but also the lives of both her parents.  

Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites you to discover, as she did, that even in life’s hardest places, you are not alone in your fear, you are not foolish to hope, and you are nevee forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never.

My Review:

Ever since I’ve followed Ava’s journey, I’ve been keenly interested in cancer and how it affects people, both the victim AND the victim’s loved ones. This book contains both. In this book, Lynne Hartke shares the story of her life: starting from her own diagnosis and fight with cancer, and also flashing back to her in-law’s cancer battles and also describing her own parents’ fight with cancer.

I really liked the writing style of the book, almost like a stream of consciousness narration style. There are stories from the past entwined with stories of the future that all flow together, which makes it less work, I suppose you could say, than reading other nonfiction books. She was also able to relate incidents from the past, her own and from the Bible, to what was currently happening, which made it all bond together.

Another thing about this book was that it didn’t feel like the author had all the answers. Instead, she was struggling, with her circumstances, with her faith, and God. It also tied to the stream of consciousness thing, where the chapters are a conglomeration of thoughts, but all supported by one idea.

There wasn’t a lot of stuff about the actual treatment of the cancer (which, frankly, is what I like), but I understand that, because not many people would like to hear about that. Instead, the book was more faith based, guiding Hartke and the reader towards Jesus as the final answer, all along.

Being an avid hiker living in the desert, there were many hiking/water/paths/exercise allusions in the book (including the title Under a Desert Sky), which all together tied the book together really well.  They were also very fitting: the journey of trusting Jesus, and life in general, is much like a hike in the canyon–excruciating and dangerous, but worth it in the end.

Overall, it was a really good book that I enjoyed.

My Rating:

7/10

 

Thanks to Revell for sending me a free print copy of this book for my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: KJV Thinline Bible

About the Book-

The Thomas Nelson KJV Thinline Large Print Bible—featuring the timeless beauty of the trustworthy King James translation in a large, readable font size—strikes the perfect balance between portability and readability. Wherever you’re going, the KJV Thinline Large Print Bible is built to travel with you. This easy-to-carry Bible comes with features that will enhance your reading experience, including beautifully-designed covers, an all-new typesetting in the elegant and readable Thomas Nelson KJV font, double ribbon markers, and the words of Christ in red.

My Review-

THIS IS THE HOLY WORD OF GOD, BREATHED BY THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE GOD. READ IT AND YOUR LIFE WILL BE BETTER.

Review over.

Just kidding XD but seriously, that’s how I feel like whenever I review Bibles! There’s nothing much you really can say. XD

But anyhow, today, I’m reviewing the green edition of Thomas Nelson’s line of thinline redletter Bibles! First of all, I LOVE the color! It goes so well with the general scheme of my room (lol), and is one of the prettiest colours (in my opinion; I don’t discriminate against colors XD) out there.

It’s hard cover, and it also lies flat, which is really nice. I’m planning on using this Bible for Bible Journaling, so that’ll be really nice for that. Also, there are two ribbon bookmarkers, which is really handy!

It’s a KJV version, so that’s a bit unusual for me, but I like it, a lot more than I had expected to!

The font is a nice size, not too small, but not too large, and it’s very clear. In addition, it’s a very nice size to carry in a bag: it’s not bulky at all, which makes it great to bring to church.

There are a few maps/bible reading plans/etc in the back, which I always really like in a Bible. However, it is just a Bible, not a study Bible,  which I actually like better, because I’m not as distracted.

Aside from that…I don’t think there’s much? I don’t need to review the content, so I’m mainly reviewing aesthetics.

Overall, it’s a great Bible. The clear font and its size make it a very nice Bible to read, and the book markers make it really handy.

My Rating-

9/10

Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for providing me with a complementary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not re2quired to write a positive review.

 

 

Book Review: Tranquility {A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal}

About the Book:

Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal invites you to mix creative journaling and coloring into your personal time with God. Prayers that focus on topics such as being thankful, dealing with stress and heartache, caring for yourself and others, listening for God’s leading, and waiting patiently on Him will guide your thoughts and calm your spirit. Filled with more than 100 designs to color, plenty of space for journaling, and 40 needs-based prayers, Tranquility will help you express your devotion to God with your whole heart.

My Review:

tranquility is a “prayer and reflection coloring journal” from Living Expressions, a Tyndale Branch. I’ve already reviewed another of these colouring journals on my blog, but it’s always fun to review coloring journals!

First off, let me just say that I like the color scheme of this journal so much more! The other book has orange and mint green, which I just wasn’t really a fan of. The cover of tranquility is so cute!

The inside features pages with color, and pages without color, for coloring. There are pages with space for writing (both prompts and blank spaces for meditation) as well as drawing. There are also some written in prayers that you can pray while working on the exercises (which I’m not *entirely* a fan of because some don’t really apply, but overall it’s fine).

For the coloring pages, the pages are all really pretty and intricate. The pages also don’t bleed through, so marker works, which is super nice! The illustrations are very elegant as well.

My Rating

9/10

I received a free paper copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion; I was not required to leave a positive review.

Book Review: Gifts from Heaven, compiled by James Stuart Bell

About the book:

NO PRAYER IS TOO BIG FOR GOD

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like God is listening to our prayers. But now and then He powerfully reminds us that He hears our requests and is strong enough to help. What begins as simple faith ends with an astounding gift from our loving heavenly Father.

These true, uplifting stories are from ordinary people experiencing extraordinary help in times of need. While some answers to prayer feel ordinary and go unnoticed, this collection highlights amazing events that could only happen with God’s supernatural intervention. With accounts of such things as unexplainable healings and miraculous protection in terrifying situations, this book will inspire you to believe that God can answer even your most “impossible” prayers.

Let these stories touch your heart, strengthen your faith, and encourage you to pray more than ever before!

My review:

Gifts from Heaven is a compilation of stories of ‘’God things”, better known as miracles. While I always try to go into these types of stories with an open mind (some claims are so preposterous and you just really have to be alert), I always enjoy reading stories about when God worked in people’s lives.

I’ve also reviewed another compilation of stories by the same person, Jesus Talked to Me Today, which was about kids’ encounters with God. This one, Gifts From Heaven, contained more healing type stories, whether it be physical chronic or terminal disease, emotional stress or disability, or social stresses.

While there were a couple stories where I was a little skeptical about, overall, they all contributed to the telling of what God has done, which I really like. Occasionally during times of spiritual drought, it can be nice to hear of what God has done for others, although it may not be evident in your life at the present moment, which is what Gifts From Heaven is.

As for the stories themselves, they were well written and conveyed the intentions and feelings well, generally speaking. Some of the pieces weren’t as clear as they could have been, but overall they were clear and portrayed the spirit well.

My rating:

7/10

I received a free paper copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion; I was not required to leave a positive review.

Book Review: Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan

Trusting Grace

About-

All of her life, Grace Bidwell has longed for children, but now the chances of her dreams coming true are looking slim. Widowed and caring for her elderly father, she struggles to maintain her late husband’s farm until she places an ad for a hired hand.

Robert Frasier arrives in town with three pitiful, bedraggled children who have nothing but the tattered clothes on their backs and a load of hurt, pride, and anger. Believing this is divine intervention in her life, Grace welcomes them with open arms. As feelings grow between her and Robert, Grace will have to convince him that she is a woman who can be trusted with his heart.

My Review-

Ahhh, yet another Sterotypical Christian Novel™! Honestly, I’m getting rather annoyed by these Christian Novels! I’ll write a blogpost on this someday (I Promise™).

Instead of focusing on how Trusting Grace is the same as Every Book Ever, I’m going to review on the unique parts of the book, because, again, it’s literally THE SAME IN EVERY BOOK.

First off, this was the third book in a series, but I couldn’t really tell (I wasn’t confused or anything), so it could work as a standalone book.

The characters in the book were great as well. While yes, it was a girl (named Grace, surprise, surprise) with a marred past, and a guy wanting to forget his past (as usual), the characters themselves were developed pretty well and the children were a nice addition. (Grace’s father, in particular, was AWESOME to read :)).

I can’t say much for the plot: it’s the basic girl with troubled past meets guy that she doesn’t like, but then somehow finds out she’s missing him, and then there’s a beautifully descriptive scene of his muscles or something, and then they eventually get married.

I will have to say, though, that the children gave the story a nice little twist; it was different from the strictly guy+girl stories.

My Rating-

6/10

The author, Maggie Brendan’s website||Amazon|| Barnes and Noble || ChristianBook Distributers|| Goodreads

Thanks to Revell Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review; I was not required to write a positive review. 

 

Book Review: Shaken by Tim Tebow

About this Book-

Most of us have been on the receiving end of rejection, a broken dream, or heartbreak. And while this is not an easy space to go through, when we are grounded in the truth, we can endure the tough times.

In this powerful book, Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow passionately shares glimpses of his journey staying grounded in the face of disappointment, criticism, and intense media scrutiny. Following an exceptional college football career with the Florida Gators and a promising playoff run with the Denver Broncos, Tebow was traded to the New Tork Jets. He was released after one season.

In Shaken, Tebow talks about what he’s learned along the way, building confidence in his identity in God, not the world. This moving book also features practical wisdom from Scripture and insights gained from others who have impacted Tebow in life-changing ways.

Though travelling hard roads is not easy, it’s always worth it!

My Review-

‘Tim Tebow’ was a name that was always around during my childhood: he was starting to become famous for his renowned ‘Tebowing’ action, so I was excited to read this book by him.

While this book wasn’t exactly what I had imagined (due to my not reading the synopsis lol), it was an awesome book that I’m definitely going to keep handy to read later!

Tebow starts off with speaking on when he was released by the football team he was playing for (an accurate depiction of how much I don’t care for football, hehe), then goes on to talk about how he dealt with being released and how he, literally, got through the days. It’s not an autobiography, but instead a guy’s testimony and him talking about his friendship with God.

Tebow includes several great stories, including one about his mother that’s super important. He speaks simply, using specific, but simple to understand language, and he’s able to break down topics that would be hard to understand otherwise.

This book’s very inspiring and motivational, as well as many other things. It acts as a good reminder that failure isn’t always the worst option, even if it looks like the world has collapsed.

Quotes-

If nothing else, this book was a treasure trove of great quotes. Here are some. (Haven’t done quotes in book reviews in a long time, but I had to for this one).

It’s important to take God’s love personally, though it may not be an easy thing to do. Sure, God loves the world, but he also loves each one of us individually.

And while I may get hurt, disappointed, or frustrated […], my foundation doesn’t have to change.

But the more you make the choice to live above your feelings, to trust God instead of what you may feel like doing, the stronger your faith becomes. It’s not about being perfect. We will always been on a journey of growing closer to God.

You never know how the tough times you are going through today will inspire someone else tomorrow.

My Review-

9/10

Purchase Link

Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review; I was not required to write a positive review. 

 

Book Review: The Princess and I by Rebekah Eddy

cover

About the Book-

Megan is content with her life, despite her parents’ death and her brother Malcolm’s job that keeps him busy at the King’s castle. But when she is offered the position as Princess Christine’s lady-in-waiting, Megan is glad of the change in scenery and accepts it with the hope that she can spend more time with her brother. The promise from Malcolm of lessons in swordsmanship only adds to her enthusiasm.
However, helping keep an eye on the emotional and excitable young lady proves to be much harder than becoming her friend. As rumors of war circulate the castle, Megan strives to encourage her new friend even as she tries to settle the doubts and fears in her own heart when her responsibility in protecting the Princess is put to the test. Follow the unwanted adventure which serves to teach her that loyal friendship, true love, and God’s amazing grace will always triumph over revenge, greed, and hate.

My Review-

Whoo, my third post about this book! (Cover Reveal here and Blog Tour post here) Today’s post is the review of The Princess and I! It was intended to be posted with the blog tour, but I hadn’t finished it yet, so here’s my review!


Okay. I’m not a fan of fantasy (like I covered in (this review), but nevertheless, I read a whole bunch of fantasy. This book was awesome!

So…it *was* pretty cliche. However, it was also not. Think of plots twists on every fairy tale ever and then combine them all. Okay, maybe not *quite* that epic, but it comes pretty darn close.

There  were a bunch of points that were pretty out-of-the-ordinary, and I appreciated them. For instance, the main character (pov) was not the average princess silk-dresses and afternoon-tea type, and *lots of spoilers*

The epilogue was also pretty awesome; I had felt like the book was finished, but I really liked how all the characters were resolved and I found out what happened after the story was finished.

The romance throughout the book was very minimum, and it was very deftly woven, so I didn’t feel like was reading romance. Not to mention that it was clean.

Overall, it was a great princess book!!

My Rating-

8/10

Now, after I’ve talked about this book for so long, here’s the link to purchase!

The Princess and I

Go check it out!