Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nightingale by Susan May Warren

Summerside Press (November 1, 2010) 320 pages

Description:(from Amazon)
Wolfgang Jager has found himself on the wrong side of a
world war. Esther Lange is trapped inside a war of her own.
Can loving their enemies set them both free?
Wolfgang Jager grew up in Mason City, Iowa. So, what’s he
doing fighting for the Germans? If only his parents hadn’t
moved back to their native Germany when they believed
Hitler to be a hero. It’s almost a relief when he is captured
by the Americans and sent to a Wisconsin POW camp.
When the darkness turns to nightmare and Wolfgang is
accused of murder, can he stand firm in his faith - and
snatch the woman he loves out of the mouths of lions?
*Wolfgang?? Did I completely miss that part of the story or is that a misprint? Peter Hess is the only thing I recall him being called.

My Review: Lily/Rose
Ever since I saw Amber's review of Sons of Thunder, I knew I had to read one of Susan May Warren's books. So I jumped at the chance to review Nightingale and I wasn't disappointed in the least! I will admit war books are not my favorite. They're hard for me to read, and I like to escape to prairies and romance and all. The few war books I have read, though, I've enjoyed. (And I have TONS of respect for anyone having to do with the military)!
I waited to the last minute to start this one!! Thankfully, though, Nana wanted a sleep-over with my little boy, so I had more time for reading. If I hadn't liked this book so much, though, I never would have been able to read it that quick.(I know that's not that quick for most of you, but for me lately, it's a miracle!! It was so easy to fly through the story, though!
Esther and Peter's story just broke my heart. I could feel the helplessness they felt. Throughout the story, I kept telling myself that I would have ran, but I know it wouldn't have been that easy. Charlie's character somewhat confused me. I know he was an important part of the story, but I kept expecting him to actually play a bigger part in it. And I just loved little Sadie's character!(very cute name, too) :)I definitely recommend this book, especially to fans of war books! And even those who aren't. It was a great story.

*A huge thanks to Amy @ Litfuse Publicity for my review copy. I was not required to give a positive opinion.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Really Woolly Bible Stories by Bonnie Rickner Jensen

Thomas Nelson; Boardbook edition (November 2, 2010) 36 pages, Ages 4-8

Favorite Bible stories presented with the beloved Really Woolly art style help little children discover that God is faithful and true and that Jesus, The Good Shepherd, loves them.

This case-bound padded board book from the Really Woolly® brand by DaySpring® makes it easy to share important stories from God’s Word with little children, while teaching them about God’s shepherd-like love for them. Bible stories include Creation, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Ten Commandments, Joseph, Samson, Daniel, David and Goliath, Jonah, Jesus’ Birth, Jesus Loves the Little Children, Jesus Feeds 5,000, Jesus the Good Smaraitan, Jesus Walks on Water, Jesus’ Death & Resurrection, The Great Commission. Little ones will love the charming Really Woolly® illustrations.

Illustrations by Julie Sawyer Phillips. Stories retold by Bonnie Rickner Jensen.

My Review: Rose
I love this book. It is just adorable. But more importantly, my little boy LOVES this book! It seems to be one of his top picks. The pictures seem to really capture his attention.
The stories or ryhmes are very sweet and written for the younger readers. There was one paticular sentence that might need a little explaining. "Joseph's coat-colorful, bright-Helped to put him in a plight." Plight isn't the most common of words! :) I totally understand its need for rhyming, though. Otherwise, it was very appropriate.
As far as the cover, the color scheme seems more targeted for girls, since it is a light pink. I've been keeping it in my little boy's diaper bag, though, so I by no means have let the color pink keep him from it.
I absolutely recommend this book for all children!

*A huge thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for my review copy. I was not required to give a positive review.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Website I Want To Share... And Another Movie

I really like the Christmas TV movies!! Some of them are actually favorites of mine. It never fails, though, that I end up missing most of the ones I wanted to see. I stumbled across this website, though, that lists all the holiday movies coming on starting Nov. 19th, along with the channel and time(Eastern time). Now I can make sure I TiVo the ones I want to see and fast forward through the commercials! :)

2010 TV Christmas Holiday Schedule - Specials & Movies

And here's one I TiVoed that I ended up really liking. (Sorry for all the movie reviews-There's even more I want to do!)I'm still on the couch a lot, so I'm just watching more movies than I normally do. :)

Avalon High on the Disney Channel

I don't have all the info like length and all. It just previewed a few nights ago, I think. It's also based on a book by Meg Cabot. I had never heard of it, but I did really like the movie. Keep in mind it is a TV movie, so those are always "lower budget." But I think all of the actresses and actors did very well! Sometimes, I can't say that on the Disney movies. I love that I can watch these types of movies, and KNOW there won't be any cussing. I'm still careful about other things in the movies. For example, I've learned that Nickolodeon shows and movies are much LESS conservative than Disney. I have found some of their "stuff" very inappropriate for my tastes. But this is a good, clean, fun movie!!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Few Movie Reviews

These are a few movies I've been meaning to review for awhile!!!

Letters to Juliet

Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Summit Entertainment
DVD Release Date: September 14, 2010
Run Time: 105 minutes

This was a very clean movie that I felt was appropriate for all ages. The only part that isn’t good is when a man holds up his middle finger. I didn’t hear any bad language, either.
While it didn’t end up being a favorite of mine, it was really sweet and definitely worth watching. It ended up being a bit different than I expected, but not in a bad way. The leading guy’s character wasn’t even close to what I expected of him. But again, very clean.

The Karate Kid

Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures
DVD Release Date: October 5, 2010
Run Time: 140 minutes

This movie is rated PG, but I would be careful with children watching this movie. I definitely don’t recommend it for younger viewers, but that’s just my opinion. There’s profanity throughout the movie. I think the main word used was the “a” word. There’s also fighting/bullying scenes that might be disturbing to younger viewers. I also feel this is the type of movie that children will try to imitate the fighting scenes.
As an adult, I didn’t really care for this version, either. I really wish they had used an older person for the leading boy(Jaden). He did a great job, but I felt a little weird watching a 12 year old boy workout and develop a 6-pack. I felt at times they kept the movie for an older character and at times did great with the new, younger age. There’s also a very serious scene about a wreck. I’m actually surprised this wasn’t PG-13.

How to Train Your Dragon

Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: DreamWorks
DVD Release Date: October 15, 2010
Run Time: 98 minutes

I LOVED this movie! I think it took over my #1 spot for favorite cartoon movie. I ended up watching this movie twice when I rented it. It really kept my little boy’s attention, and we were up late the night I rented it, so I put it in again. I’m so glad I did because somehow I missed the most important part of the ending. It was just so sweet. This movie is on the top of my list of movies to be added to my collection.
I didn’t hear or see anything that could be inappropriate. It is about Vikings, so there’s some “war” tools around, but I don’t think they were used in a way that would be scary or anything. I think I saw it was rated PG, because of language, but I didn’t hear any. Obviously, I highly recommend this movie!!
As a side note, when I was looking up the release date and all, I read a few reviews. I haven’t read the books, and didn’t even know it was based off a book until I read some reviews. I usually hate movies based on books. So, if you’ve read the books, you probably won’t like this movie. I haven’t, so I just adored it!!

The Polar Express

Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: December 26, 2005
Run Time: 100 minutes

I added this one in, because it’s what me and my little boy are watching right now. It has did a great job of keeping his attention! He’s not feeling well after his vaccinations and flu shot(Well, flu mist, which I DO NOT recommend!!) He’s been sick and very needy this morning, so it’s great that it has kept him happy! :) When I used to babysit my nephews, they loved this movie, too. It’s one of my favorites. I really like the music throughout, and my absolute favorite scene is the “hot chocolate” song and dance!! I guess I was a bit in the Christmas mood, and the movie I want to watch won’t come out until Tuesday(Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey). I’ve been a bit surprised at how early Christmas decorations have went up this year. As soon as November 1st arrived, Christmas decoration pictures have popped up all over facebook. No offense to those of you who already have yours up!! We’re all different. My hubby won’t let me put mine up until the day after Thanksgiving. With a very curious 2 year old, decorations will be a bit different this year, but I’m still looking forward to it. (Not to mention, only 11 more days until we find out pink or blue). Yah!! :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Bethany House (September 1, 2010) 352 pages

As three friends who grew up in the same orphanage head off to college together, they each harbor a cherished dream. Libby wishes to become a famous journalist, Pete plans to study to become a minister, and Bennett wants to join a fraternity and have as much fun as possible. But as tensions rise around the world on the brink of World War I, the friends' differing aspirations and opinions begin to divide them, as well. And when Libby makes a shocking discovery about Pete's family, will it drive a final wedge between the friends or bond them in ways they never anticipated?

My Rating: Iris/Rose (See details at the bottom of this post).

My Review:
This was the first book I’ve ever read by Kim Vogel Sawyer, but I’ve heard great things about her books. I wasn’t disappointed at all. In ways, I really connected with Libby, especially at the beginning. I totally understood her getting along with the guys better!! Before I got married, I just didn’t connect with very many girls. Of course, I’m married now, so I'm the opposite. :) But going to college was a great disappointment to me. I spent one year in a community college and one semester at a university in Tennessee. People are so mean, and I’ve always lived a sheltered life, so it broke my heart to see how cruel some of the girls were. And I went to a Christian college!! Needless to say, I quit college, and brought my broken heart home. But reading this story brought back all those memories.
I just cheered inside when a certain person had revenge taken upon them. I know! I shouldn’t be that way. :)
I loved the romance scenes in this book!! They were so sweet! I just wish I could bottle up the “new couple” feeling and keep it forever.
The only thing I didn’t exactly agree with is a certain person accepting God into their life. It doesn’t completely and immediately transform a person. At least I’ve never witnessed that. I’ve been a Christian 17 years, and believe me, I wish it immediately transformed me into a patient person. It didn’t, though. Getting rid of those bad qualities takes tons of practice and even more prayers. It’s HARD!!!!
I also want to say that the book isn’t completely about college. The story actually took a completely different turn than I expected, and touched upon some very serious subjects. And while I was looking at some of the book recommendations in the back, I noticed that one of the characters in this book has a story of her own. Maelle’s story is in My Heart Remembers. I do plan on reading it at some point. Not reading it in no way affected In Every Heartbeat, though.

*A huge thanks to Jim Hart @ Bethany House Publishers for my review copy. This is my honest opinion.

Here's my new rating system:

Blue+ Rose- Permanent place in my library. If anything happens to my copy, I will replace it.

Rose- Loved it! A Must Read(This is the equivalent of 5-star)

Iris- Liked it. Maybe not a keeper, though.

Carnation- It was okay.

Dandelion- “Weed” this one off your reading list.