I’m working on my one book a month goal for 2018. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I love to read. I’ve taken a bit of a break due to graduate school and studying for my certification test. That decrease, was part of the reason I wanted to make my goal of 12 books in 2018. I’ve missed reading. However, like anything, I had to get back into the habit of relaxing and reading. So, without further ado, I present to you, my book review.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer Earth faces a potential intergalactic war with the mysterious Lunar people. The fate of Earth falls on one young girl.... Cinder is a cyborg mechanic who is considered a second-class citizen. She was adopted by a man who shortly died from the plague leaving her as a ward to an unkind woman. Cinder's life becomes intertwined with Prince Kai's, it becomes complicated by duty, loyalty, and freedom. This was the first book by Marissa Meyer that I've read. She has a wonderful writing style which pulls the reader into the story. I immediately was intrigued by this new approach to the timeless Cinderella story. I found myself rooting for the young cyborg as she discovers her identity and her role in history. The only downfall of the story is it was pretty easy to figure out how Cinder fits into the Lunar vs Earth conflict. Although this was pretty easy to guess, it wasn't officially written in the book until the end. As an adult reading this book, I reminded myself this book was written for a younger population. Therefore, a younger reader may not pick-up on this as quickly. This book was written for a younger age group. I love how the developing romance and the cruelty of the step-mother was very age appropriate. This makes it so a slightly younger person can read it safely. This story was cleverly written and is certain to become a favorite in the young adult genre. I would recommend this book to anyone who reads and enjoys young adult stories. The language and story is appropriate for a slightly younger reader,children as young as 14 could read this book. I give this book a 5 out of 5 book ends.
So that’s most recent read. I’m planning to start the second in the series soon. So look for that review.
What are you currently reading? I’d love to hear about it or post a link to a book review.
My first book finished in 2018! If you’ve been following my blog, you know one of my goals is to read/finish at least 1 book a month. I’ve also started my second book for the year.
The Proving by Beverly Lewis
Amanda Dienner has run away from her Amish roots and living in the Englisher world. She was surprised when she found out her mother had died and she will inherit the Amish bed and breakfast. The one caveat is she must successfully run the bed and breakfast for 1 year. Trina has been mourning the loss of her fiance. She found comfort in caring for an elderly woman. When the elderly woman fell and was unable to return home, Trina found herself out of job. With time on her hands, she decided to go on a mystery vacation which landed her in an Amish bed and breakfast.
Lewis is a gifted story teller and this book is no exception. Her characters have colorful and varied. The story focuses around Amanda and Trina. Their unlikely friendship helps guide both woman to healing. Trina is a bit rough around the edges sometimes as she tends to say what she’s thinking. But she has a helping heart and helps Amanda not only with her physical needs but also with emotional needs to help heal. Amanda is kind and hardworking but is impulsive and tends to hold a grudge. Lewis uses her story telling skills to help us gently see potential flaws and ways to improve on them.
Sense this is an Amish book, one should expect references to church, God and praying. This book does a good job intertwining the story with Christian activities. The book also has several Christian themes. These include the importance of family, trusting God, and forgiveness.
Overall, I give this book a 5 out of 5 bookends.
Disclaimer: I did receive this book for free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read this book? If so I’d love to hear what you thought of it. What are you currently reading? Share your reviews as a comment and maybe I can find my next book!
If you’re a following of my blog, you may remember prior to graduate school I was part of a book club at my church. We read quite a variety of books. Some were light “free-reading” books and others were more serious books. I decided to return to the book club this year. Last month’s book was a nice light book. This month, we tackled a more serious book. Here is my review of this month’s selection.
The IMAM’s Daughter: My Desperate Flight to Freedom by Hannah Shah
Shah tells her story of growing-up the daughter of a Muslim’s religious leader’s daughter. She tells her story of enduring her father’s physical, sexual, and mental abuse. She addresses the issues associated with the closeness of Muslim community. She decides to run-away at age 16 once she realizes she is being sent away to marry one of her cousins in Pakistan. After running away, Hannah converts to Christianity which forces her to live a life running away from her family who wishes to execute an “honor” killing.
Hannah’s story of her life is heartbreaking. Because of the closeness of the Muslim community, her tragic abuse which started at age 5, was never addressed by anyone. Its hard to believe that this occurs in today’s society. Its hard to believe its widespread. The abuse made parts of this book very difficult to read. However, Shah explains that many Muslim woman experience the arranged marriages and physical abuse. It breaks my heart knowing there are woman and children enduring this.
This book provides a firsthand telling of growing up Muslim in England. It sheds some light in how the family interacts with the non-Muslim world. I know its only 1 family and 1 person’s view, but it does provide some insight. It was eye-opening to realize that her family (especially her father) was polite to non-Muslims to their face but behind closed doors the hate was over-powering. The book provided insight on how Muslims learn about their religion. The memorizing of verses without any instruction on their meaning was the mainstay of her teaching. The dependence on those telling you what those passages mean is the mainstay of their teaching.
It also was surprising to read that abuse didn’t just happen at home. Shah’s Muslim instructors would beat her if she got an answer wrong. Her brother went to Pakistan to become a religious leader and was abused. Abuse was common place in Shah’s life.
The book does tell the story of her finding love, peace and Christianity. She was able to leave her family and abusive past. She found Christianity and converted. She found Hope and found a way to help other Muslims. This is a story of escaping a tragic past and finding hope. Despite the dark parts of the book, it ends uplifting and positive.
It is an easy read. I was able to finish it in just a few hours of dedicated reading time. At times, I felt the book bounced around a bit. It is written conversationally. This is a style I like, but it also tends to allow for some bouncing around in the story.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Muslim to Christian conversion. I would caution that child abuse is discussed openly in this book. I would not recommend this for children or anyone under the age of 18 due to the topics discussed.
I would give this book a 4 out 5 bookends.
I am very excited to have finished the last book in the Amish of Summer Grove series. It is a well-written fantastic story. To be honest, I want to get to my review quickly, so I won’t delay!
Gathering the threads by Cindy Woodsmall
This is the third and final book of the series. Ariana has returned to the Old Order Amish that she grew-up and loving. She finds herself feeling confused and uncertain of where she belongs. Skylar is also found struggling a bit figuring out how she fits in with the Brenneman family.
This book ties the entire series together and pulls everything into a wonderful ending. Woodsmall’s characters continue to grow. I grew to love all of them. I loved where they ended and the path we took along the way. The book is a coming age of sorts as both Skylar and Ariana must find thier path and define who they are.
This book is a Christian novel. There are multiple references to God. The story is so much more than a Christian Amish novel. It evaluates what it means to be a family and how to be true to yourself and honor God at the same time. There are many underlying Christian themes such as honesty, forgiveness, and love.
I honestly did not find anything negatives about this book. It was an absolute delite to read and a fitting conclusion to the series.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish or Christian novels. I also would recommend this to anyone who enjoys stories about family relationships. This book is an innocent story with no sexual contexts. There is the mention of past drug use and smoking. I would recommend this book to young adults.
On a scale of 1-5 book ends, I give this book a 5 out of 5.
Disclaimer: I did receive this book free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
If you’d like to pre-order this book, click HERE. You can also pre-order it from Amazon.
What are you reading? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to share a link to one of your recent book review.
Wow, what a whirl-wind start to summer! We had vacation/APRN graduation which was followed by another quick trip for me and then one month of studying for my certification test. With much excitement this last week I passed my APRN certification test. So my time significantly opened up and I immediately started reading.
I started a book which I am going to review now. I don’t typically review prior to finishing a book. However, I am not planning to finish this book. I hardly ever start and NOT finish. I think there’s only a handful of books I’ve done this.
Still Here by Lara Vapnyar
Still Here tells the tale of Russian immigrants and their attempt to “make it” in America. One of the characters is trying to create an App which allows people to feel connected to dead loved ones through the preservation of online footprints. The four friends grew-up together in Russia and then moved to America for different reasons. Each trying to find their own American success story.
First, I want to say, I really wanted to like this book. I thought the idea was interesting and not something I’d read hundreds of times over. Unfortunately, the story fell flat and kind-of quickly at that. I don’t usually not finish a story, but I got to page 59 of the 310 pages and decided to not continue.
The writing style wasn’t bad at all. I believe the author has talent. And maybe that was part of my struggle with the book. It really made me feel sad and depressed reading the story. Vica and Sergey are married and seem incredibly unhappy. Vica especially seems depressed, angry and hugely jealous. These emotions are completely pouring out of the book and didn’t leave me feeling “good”.
The other downfall, I really hard time getting into this book. It has a very slow start and very slow build. I understand the author is building the back story, introducing us to the characters and (I think) trying to make things seem more realistic (no overnight success). Unfortunately, on my part, it seemed to slow. I just wasn’t being pulled into it and there was nothing keeping me up at night to see what happens next.
Overall, I’m not a fan of the book. However, those who I imagine would like this book would be the adult who is looking for an immigrant story and doesn’t need it to be fast paced. A book club may like to pick to up to read as a group, because I cold see how it could draw good conversation assuming they can make it through the book
I give this book a generous 2 of 5 book-ends for being well-written but boring.
I did receive this book free from the publishers through the blogging for books program for an honest review.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? Are you reading a good book now? If so, share it below with a quick description.
I’m taking a break from certification studying to review a couple of books. I graduated from Nurse Practitioner school two weeks ago. Since graduating, I’ve traveled every week and was able to get some reading done. Yaay! I also took some time off studying since one of the trips was to attend an intensive review for certification. I figured no reason focusing all my time studying until after that class. So, now, here I am studying since about 9 am this morning (its now almost 3PM) and I’m going get started on this review before leaving in to pick the kids up from school.
The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller
Miller tells the story of Hope and her father as they live out of a train car and ministering to a mining town. He is a preacher and she assists with the music and children’s ministries. Miller also tells the story of a coal miner, Luke, and the mine owner’s son, Kirby. Hope and her father settle into life in Finch, West Virginia. Hope uses many opportunities to spread God’s word throughout the West Virginia countryside. Her trusting disposition has her trusting Kirby despite Luke’s cautions.
This story is a great Christian read. It was an easy and quick read. I think it took me only a little over a day to read. I felt several of the characters were fleshed out well. The character Kirby was nicely done. I felt I had him pegged pretty quickly and my opinion didn’t change much. Hope was the typical preacher’s daughter in the sense she was kind, naive and loved children. Luke seemed to have swaying emotions and also seemed pretty realistic. I’ll address him below. I enjoyed reading about life on a rail car and life during prohibition. I also quite enjoyed reading about the inner conflict Luke had regarding his thoughts and anger toward the mining company and Kirby. These feelings are ones many Christians deal with daily and I like when authors address them in their writing. Finally, I really love the history the author adds into her books. In this case the chapel car, mining history, and prohibition.
Downfalls to the book, the first is a bit into the characters. I feel like it would’ve been nice to learn more about the preacher. He played a pivotal role in the story, yet there was little fleshing out of his character. Luke’s sister plays a relatively large role in the frustrating ending, but very little fleshing out occurred with her as well. I think adding just a bit to those characters could’ve really added to the story. This, however, didn’t ruin the story for me. Its just worth noting there more depth could’ve been added to the story.
A second down fall is the ending. I was a bit frustrated with the ending. The conflict was picking-up nicely and I was envisioning a BIG ending. And then, it was wrapped up nicely with a little bow and then the ending romance drug out for another couple of chapters. It wasn’t bad, but such a big change in where the story was going and how the characters were acting. It was a bit of a distraction and I would’ve appreciated a more direct route to happily ever after.
Over all, this was a good read! It was quick and enjoyable. It had Christian components in the story with the Christian premise. Very little scripture was quoted through out the story, but it had very obvious Christian themes.
I would recommend this story to any adult or young adult who enjoys historical novels, Christian reading, or just looking for a quick and light read.
I would give this book a 4 out of 5 bookends.
Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was very lucky to be selected by Random House to prior to release review The Here and Now. This was my first time getting to read a book prior to its release. I must say, it’s awesome to have a first glimpse at a book! The only downfall is, I have no one to talk to about this amazing book!
With out further delay, I present to you:
The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
This is the story of Prenna a girl from the future and her friend Ethan. The two work together in physics class and have as close of a relationship that’s allowed. Until one day, the two are thrown into quite the adventure to save the future. They have a chance to change the future, for life to be better without the heartache that filled Prenna’s life. Can two young teenagers save the future?
This is a wonderfully written young adult book. The author brings the characters to life and pulls the reader quickly into the world of The Here and Now. I truly enjoyed the information on the future and how it intertwined into the current time. The story was very well thought out and I loved how little details from the entire story are all pulled together at the end. It’s a quick read but has a lot of depth. It would be a great book for a book club or class to read and discuss. Ann Brashares is a talented writer and has given her readers a certain best seller.
I highly recommend this book to highschoolers, young adults, or anyone looking for a fun and enjoyable read.
I give it 5 out 5 bookends.
I received this book free from Random House publishing through Netgallery.com.
You can pre-order this book from Amazon here.