Friday, October 29, 2010

The Vigilante's Bride by Yvonne Harris

Bethany House (August 1, 2010) 297 pages

Description: (from Amazon)
Emily McCarthy needs either a job or a husband. Since teaching posts for women are few and far between, Emily reluctantly accepts the mail-order-bride offer placed in the Chicago Daily Tribune by wealthy Montana rancher Bart Axel. On the way there, her stagecoach is held up. Luke Sullivan never intended to “rescue” Emily; he simply wanted the money Axel had cheated his father out of years ago. However, when Luke sees Axel’s fiancĂ©e, he knows Emily has no idea of the kind of man she is about to marry, which leaves Luke with only one option: take Emily with him.

My Review:
4 stars-I'm trying to come up with a more creative rating system, because I haven't even been using one, but for now I'll just use stars. :)

I would have liked to have seen more from Emily’s point of view, or about her, I guess. Most of the story seems focused on Bart and Luke’s fight. (I actually think guys would enjoy most of this story). I still recommend this book. There just seemed to not be as much romance as I would have liked.
I love stories with Native Americans involved. I have Cherokee in my blood, so I always really enjoy reading about Native Americans, to an extent. There’s a lot of involvement from the Crow in the story. I didn’t really care for the scalping scenes and all that. I find all that gross. I guess that’s why I typically don’t watch movies, except cartoons, involving Native Americans.
I also love stories with orphanages in them, and this story has one of those, too. I would have loved to have saw more focus on it, too.
This book had so many parts that could have easily made it a favorite of mine, but I think the lack of romance kind of kept it from its full potential for me, but I still really enjoyed it and recommend it. And, I do want to point out there is romance, it just doesn’t seem to be the main focus.
Also, this isn’t the typical, I know everything that’s going to happen, type of book. (Parts of it, but not most of it).

*Thanks to Jim Hart @ Bethany House Publishers for my review copy. I was not required to give a positive review.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Naomi and Her Daughters by Walter Wangerin JR

Zondervan (August 17, 2010)288 pages

Description: (from Amazon)
*As you'll see in a moment, I don't agree with this description.

From master storyteller Walter Wangerin, Jr. comes this familiar biblical saga told in a fresh, transfixing way. You'll feel you've never heard it before! Melding historical accuracy with imaginative detail, Wangerin uses the biblical books of Judges and Ruth to explore themes of love, faith, grief and community set against a backdrop of war and political instability. The widow Naomi grieves the deaths of her two adult sons after the shocking murder of a beloved adopted daughter, while pondering her responsibilities toward her Moabite daughters-in-law. Ancient Israel is in chaos. When her daughter-in-law, Ruth, begs to return to Israel with Naomi, events are set in motion that will change the course of history. But wait...this isn't the tame, flannel graph story you heard in Sunday School. In the tradition of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent and Elissa Elliott's Eve: A Novel of the First Woman, Wangerin imbues his tale with strong female characters and an earthy realism that gives the timeless Old Testament narrative so much power. You'll find echoes of contemporary issues throughout: deceit, heartbreak, loss, war, and, of course, the power of love. Naomi's combined strength and tenderness becomes the pivot upon which a nation turns; her decisions ultimately lead to the founding of the family lineage of Jesus Christ. Breathtaking descriptions, shocking violence, and inspirational courage make this spellbinding novel by a beloved award-winning author a story you won't soon forget. It's the perfect novel for your book group, and a satisfying read for those who love thoughtful biblical fiction.

My Momma's Review:
*I want to note that my momma read this book and I somewhat interviewed her. Therefore, this review is written by me, but is mostly her thoughts and some of my own. She gave me a few passages to read to show me what she meant with her thoughts.

I'm shocked at this book!!!!!! The story of Ruth in the Bible is a beautiful love story and this has been turned into a perversion of God's Word. The author should have completely changed the names of the characters and not even had this book in connection to the Bible.

The characters in this book are not the same characters in the Bible. For instance, Naomi is a God-fearing woman in the Bible, but in this story she is portrayed as hateful and evil. My momma said the way the author portrays her reminded her of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Boaz was a good man, but he is portrayed as rebellious. Ruth is portrayed as slutty. The author makes everyone's lives full of misery.

The story goes back and forth so much that it is very confusing. Also, the book was just absolutely gross!!!! The scenes are extremely detailed. (birth, killing, war). The language is not that of a Christian book. It contains a couple of words of profanity and uses God's name in vain.

I've never given a book one star, until now. I don't recommend this book to anyone. I'm surprised that Zondervan even published it. I'm extremely disappointed.

*I recevied this book from Zondervan in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pursuit of Justice by Diann Mills

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 7, 2010) 384 pages

My Sister's Review:
Bella Jordan works for the FBI and is asked to do an assignment on some murders in Texas. Murders that are suspected to be in connection with the "Spider Rock Treasure." Although Bella is reluctant on taking this assignment, she does so in hopes of getting a promotion.
Bella is afraid the past will begin to haunt her even more, and as she begins to learn during her investigation, she was right. Bella's life will bever be the same. This book takes us on a journey through Bella's struggles with the past, along with struggles others around her were facing as well. Everyone has battles they are fighting. So, even though Bella took this assignment hoping for a big job promotion, she learned a lot along the way. She will be dramatically changed.
Will Bella be able to go through with the investigation with a clear mind? Can she handle the stress of dealing with her past in the process? And did she ever find out if the murders were involved with the treasure?
I do hope you all read this book and find out. It is very entertaining and exciting.

*5 stars

*Thanks to Tyndale House Publishing for this review copy. A postive review was not required.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Waiting by Suzanne Fisher Woods

Revell (October 1, 2010) 311 pages

Jorie King has been waiting for Benjamin Zook to return home to Lancaster County so they can marry. When news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie finds comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb. That friendship ripens into love, and it seems that they are meant to be together. But when the unexpected happens, their worlds are turned upside down once more. Will Jorie trust God to lead her into the arms of a new man? A multifaceted story about complex people living the simple life, The Waiting is the second book in the LANCASTER COUNTY SECRETS series. Readers will find themselves transported into the world of the Amish and deeply invested in these wonderful characters.

*I want to point out that I don't like this desciption at all! Because of it, I was a bit confused at the beginning, and even reread a some of the story. I did quickly catch on as to what was going on, but it still gives away part of the story, and I think it would have been more powerful to discover everything as you read. But this is the description on the back of the book.

My Review:
This is the book that officially broke my reading “dry spell.” I read it in less than 2 days!! Yah! That’s almost a miracle for me lately. That shows just how much I enjoyed this book. I couldn’t wait to see what happened. When I started the story, I mostly knew what would happen. I’ve read enough that I can pick up what will most likely happen in a story. Don’t get me wrong, I love predictable stories. I usually get through those the fastest, just to see HOW it happens. But, the closer to the end of this book, the more I truly didn’t know what would happen! So the author did a great job!!

I loved Epraim’s character!! I didn’t become a vegetarian until I was 16, but I struggled with those same feeling he did about animals. I live in the South, so while I never actually witnessed an animal being killed for food, I heard plenty of stories, and it made me sick. Everyone eventually learned to keep that stuff quiet around me.:) I’m SOOOOOO grateful my hubby has never enjoyed hunting! So, Ephraim was definitely my favorite character, and I’m thankful he has such a big part in the story.

The “letter” scene broke my heart. The older I get, the more I cry!! I think the wives out there can relate to the sadness of the scene. That’s something we just don’t want to have to think about.

When I first finished this book, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I liked the ending, but at the same time, I almost wished the events leading up to the ending were a bit different. I don’t think I’m giving away anything, but if you’re worried, look away from the next sentence. It’s almost like, since person X is definitely out of the way, then I can be with person Y. I wish that decision was made a little earlier. And then there was a goodbye scene about 3/4th of the way through. I didn’t get why that was there. It confused me a bit. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized as far as one of the characters, there wasn’t much else that could have happened to keep the story realistic, so I guess ultimately, I’m happy with everything. I definitely recommend this The Waiting! I don’t think you will be disappointed with it!!

*I received this book as part of the Litfuse Publicity Tour. This is my honest opinion.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin

Revell (September 1, 2010)439 pages

Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge--until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth's heart a top priority mission. But he has his work cut out for him. Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she carries a shameful secret that keeps her from giving her heart to any man. Can Jack break down her defenses? Or are they destined to go their separate ways? A Memory Between Us is the second book in the WINGS OF GLORY series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.

My Review:
I think A Memory Between Us is a great book for all types of readers. There's lots of battle and war scenes and details(nothing gross), so if you like that type of thing, you'll love this book. If you're like me, and don't like that stuff so much, you'll still enjoy this book, because it doesn't interfere with the story.
I had saw a review while I was reading A Memory Between Us where someone didn't like Jack's character. I was very surprised at the time, but he grew to not be my favorite hero. I still loved the book, but I did find it hard to like him. May was probably my favorite. I'm so glad she played such a big role in the book.
My heart went out to Ruth's character. I can't imagine having to make the decisions she had to make for her family.
I really enjoyed this book!!

*I recieved this book from the Litfuse Publicity review program in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Big Red" Holy Bible -Contemporary 3-D Art

Thomas Nelson (October 12, 2010)1152 pages

The same "Big Red" Bible that you've trusted for 25 years . . . now with updated, fresh, 3-D art for today's video-game generation.
A full-text of the International Children's Bible translation with bright Red cover and ALL NEW contemporary art, that was created especially for children ages 6 to 12"Big Red" has been updated with an all new collection of beautiful full color pages, illustrating treasured Bible stories. Inside the type is big and readable for this age group. Kids will love having a Bible to take to church that's easy-to-read and understand!

My Review:
This is a fun Bible for kids. I felt it would be more appealing for boys with the colors and all, but that doesn’t mean girls won’t like it. The only issue I have with this Bible is the cover. For the age category that the Bible targets, I would have liked to have seen a sturdier cover. There’s just going to be more wear and tear with kids, so I think a thicker cover would have been more appropriate.
I also really like the translating so younger kids can understand God’s message better. I do encourage you to be careful with different translations. Sometimes they misrepresent what the original version said. I have several versions of the Bible. KJV and NKJV are probably my favorites. I like ESV, but one time in Bible class, I was asked to read a verse, and I did, but I was asked to read the rest of the verse. I had to say, “That’s it.” The ESV had cut half the verse off. NIV is another one to be very careful with. Obviously, I didn’t read through the entire Bible to check every verse in this version, so all I can tell you is to be careful with it. I didn’t notice any specific verse, though. The chapters that I compared with the NKJV were translated to my satisfaction.
The pictures are wonderful. I think they are very appealing for kids.
Overall, the cover would be my only hesitation with buying this Bible.

*I was provided a review copy free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.