Monday, April 21, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement

The title pretty much sums it all up. Sensible, sensible, sensible. Marty Olsen is ready to get out of Texas by any means possible. The death of her husband still haunts her and she can't escape the memories of him and their childless marriage. She hastily responds to an add looking for a Lone Star bride in Colorado. The add makes it very clear that a wife us needed for social standing, nothing else, and that it will be a sensible arrangement. No love required.

When Marty arrives she soon wonders if she will be able to hold on to that promise. Does God have another plan for her and Jake? Sprinkled with wonderful historical details, this story will delight and enthrall readers.

For fans of christian historical fiction. I received this book for free from Litfuse publicity in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cassie & Caleb Discover God's Wonderful Design

This is a great resource for Christian parents. There are twenty short chapters, each one containing a story about a flawed but loving Christian family, a passage from the bible, and follow up questions, and prayers. The beginning even has great information on how to use the book for parents, grandparents, and teachers.

Each chapter touches on a different lesson that someone in the family has to learn. Like, why are boys and girls different? How do we reflect God? How can prayer help? I thought some of the examples were pretty good, for instance boys and girls are different but equal just like crayons. "One crayon is designed to color things green, and one is designed to color things red - but one is not better than the other. They're equal, and their different functions are equal." It has lots of good lessons and reflections for kids.

I thought it could have been a little more diverse and a little less sexist, but it is a Christian educational book. To expect anything other than a white middle class family with a stay at home mom is silly. But hey, what can you do. Maybe you can make your own lesson up at the end to teach your kids?

Informative, Christian read for parents or adults that work with children.

I received this book for free from Moody Publishing in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

First Descent

Wow! I didn't have high expectations for this novel and I'm not really sure why. Maybe the cover art was a little cheesy for my taste or something. I'm not really sure. But regardless of my initial thoughts, I was definitely proven wrong. It was an awesome read! Kids, kayakers, and thrill seekers alike will love this book. It's informative, adventuresome, full of history, South American culture, and sporting knowledge. It's got something for everyone.

This story follows Rex as he chases his grandfather's dream of being the first one to successfully kayak the deadly Furioso river in the wild, dangerous country of Columbia. At seventeen he secures enough sponsors, money, and teammates to attempt the first descent on this wild unmapped river. But Rex soon finds out that political unrest, genocide, and guerrilla's may kill him before he ever makes it to the river. He befriends a local indigenous tribe, the same ones his grandfather met decades before when trying to master the river and soon learns more about himself, his grandfather, and the poor endangered natives then he ever thought possible.

It's an engrossing read and I learned loads about white water rafting and the unrest in Columbia. A must read for adventure fans!

I received this book for free from Librarything in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reconstructing Amelia

Holy cow Batman! This book was impossible to put down!!! It was a great mystery/thriller that kept me guessing and turning pages. In turns of suspense and pacing, it reminded me a lot of "Gone Girl." I literally can't even recommend this book enough. It was great!

The story opens up with Kate getting a call from her daughter's fancy prep school saying that Amelia had been caught cheating and needed to be picked up immediately. This sets off warning bells in Kate's mind because she knows her daughter would never do such a thing, she's super smart and practically an angel! Once she arrives at school though, the unthinkable has happened. Amelia is found dead on the concrete, supposedly from committing suicide by jumping from the roof. Something isn't quite adding up, her daughter wasn't impulsive and had been a very happy teen. As Kate pours through her daughters emails, texts, and facebook she begins to see a whole new side to her daughter and her "suicide" seems very very fishy.

A must read for fans of suspense or "Gone Girl."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Insurgent

Why did I just now read this?!? It was a pretty damn good follow up to Divergent, the action never lets up and you're left racing to the end hoping to get some things wrapped up but when you get there, BAM, you're left hanging. You have to wait for the final book in the trilogy. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about the last book so I'm scared to start it, but at the same time I have to find out what in the hell is going on!!

In Isurgent Tris has to learn to cope with the death of her parents and Will, she's scared to use a gun, but not afraid to rip people apart with her bare hands. She and Four (Tobias, that sexy dreamboat) are constantly arguing in this book. They can't agree on anything and are convinced that they're lying to each other. Together they team up with some loyal dauntless, factionless, Candor, and some other people to try and take down the evil Euradite woman, Jeanine, and her posse of evildoers.

Like I said it's fast paced and the action never lets up. Super quick read. Be warned though that if you haven't read Divergent you will be hopelessly lost.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Queen's Handmaid

Breathtaking in scope, this historical piece takes us back to when Cleopatra was still ruling the Nile and Rome was still in all its glory. Told through the eyes of a handmaid, this tale of suspense, finding one's true purpose, and faith is inspiring and intriguing. The political intrigues and backdrop are fascinating enough on their own but author, Tracey L. Higley, goes above and beyond creating the perfect story. Lydia serves first Cleopatra in Alexandra, then Herod's wife in the Holy city. Before she fled Alexandria with Herod, her mentor entrusted her with a sacred set of scrolls to be given to a secret man in Jerusalem. For years she carries this secret burden trying to fulfill this destiny but something always manages to thwart her attempts; war, death, duty, the list is never ending. Lydia must learn to trust herself and her friends if she is ever to complete her mission.

For fans of historical intrigue, romance, and biblical history. I received this book free from LitFuse Publicity in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Summer of Joy

Told through the eyes of fourteen year old Jocie, this story of love, faith, and redemption is full of vibrance and enthusiasm. It's the 1960's and Holyhill is still as small town as ever, nearly immune to the turbulent times across the nation. Two outsiders come to this quaint town and threaten to undo that peace and quiet. One, a mean and calculating freshman english teacher, and the other a long lost relative. Jocie speculates on how these characters affect not only her but those around her. Her father is due to be married and Jocie can hardly contain her excitement at getting a new mother, in fact most of the town is excited. But will these unexpected visitors throw everything off? Will God provide?

Cute, fast read. For fans of Christian historical romance. Be warned though, this is the third book in a series and some of the characters back stories are only touched upon. Also, unlike the title, the story is only set in summer for about three chapters (not that it really matters, but I found it amusing).

I received this book for free from Revell Reads in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.