Laurel Meisner lost her father, her mother and her brother to a tragic automobile accident. How will she be able to get through the rest of her life w...moreLaurel Meisner lost her father, her mother and her brother to a tragic automobile accident. How will she be able to get through the rest of her life without them?
I like emotional reads and since a girl lost her family I expected this story to be an emotional read, but it wasn’t. Yes, I felt for Laurel after a while, but it was difficult at first because of her response at the funeral. I thought, ‘This girl’s whole family is dead. Her dad, mom and brother are in caskets right there in front of her. Where’s the emotion?’ And it wasn’t shock, because if it was she wouldn’t have been thinking clearly enough to make the choice she made. It was a nice gesture, but it would have been more believable if it happened later on in the story. The grieving process was more realistic as I kept reading, though. Laurel and David Kaufman dealing with loss in their own ways, I felt for them both.
A big portion of this story is about the care of dogs and cats, and it seemed David’s dog, Masher, was a main character. I guess this would be interesting reading for anyone with a love for animals. What I really liked was that the author included college planning and Mr. Churchwell - every high school should have educators like him.
Although Laurel’s parents and brother were killed at the beginning of the story, I still got to know them, because Laurel thought about them often. Present moments triggered past memories - very well-written. The story is detailed and at times that was good because I was able to get a visual, but there were times when I thought there was too much information. Still, it was a good read. (less)
Dmitri (aka D) is intelligent, an overachiever, a math whiz. The only family he had was his mother, until he lost her to cancer. Now D is in foster ca...moreDmitri (aka D) is intelligent, an overachiever, a math whiz. The only family he had was his mother, until he lost her to cancer. Now D is in foster care. His foster mother, Mrs. Martin, is like a grandmother to him and it doesn’t bother him that she’s white. But then she gets another foster child and that does bother D; he’s left feeling like he matters to no one. Until a talking bird named Nuru comes into his life. Nuru is on a mission and she needs D’s help.
Zetta Elliott has a good imagination and she writes well. I had no problem visualizing everything that was going on once the fantasy part began, but I felt some scenes should have been more intense – what was going on with the stone beast, for instance – and the young people should have reacted differently at certain times. Even though this story is fantasy, it can still be realistic in its portrayal of characters.
I liked the words of wisdom D’s mom had shared with him. I wasn't clear on why he never had a relationship with his dad, but it would have been nice to know. I liked D and his friends, Keem and Nyla. I liked the bit of history. I didn’t like reading the racial slurs.
Ship of Souls wasn’t as adventurous as I expected it to be. It was an interesting read and I really felt for D in the end. (less)
Before Dayna Wilson started dating Warren she was married to Brent. She was left with much heartache after the divorce and it had taken years to get t...moreBefore Dayna Wilson started dating Warren she was married to Brent. She was left with much heartache after the divorce and it had taken years to get to a point where she could function again. Now Brent is back; he showed up on her door asking for forgiveness. Why now? And will Dayna be able to find it in her heart to forgive this man who hurt her so deeply?
The thoughts that popped into my head while reading: 1. Brent couldn’t apologize to Dayna way before this? So, if he hadn’t been ill would he have ever apologized for hurting Dayna the way he did? 2. Why is it that when a married man commits adultery everyone looks at the other woman as if she’s more guilty? Yes, she’s wrong, but c’mon now, the man knows he has a wife. 3. If the author would have shown what happened in Chapter 29 instead of having Audrey tell what happened, I would have been on the edge of my seat. 4. Christians should be willing to forgive (Colossians 3:13, Matthew 6:14) but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Depending on the situation, forgiveness can be downright difficult.
For the most part, I was into the story – Chapter 27 is where Adams really got my attention – but every now and then it got a bit slow and that’s the reason for the 3.5 rating. Coming Home reminds followers of Christ how important it is to take our problems to God in prayer – In the Name of Jesus. The story also has messages on forgiveness and how to grow in the Lord. I like how honest the author was when it comes to Christian couples waiting until marriage to have sex (it can be difficult to resist temptation), and what I liked most was that the author showed what true friendship is all about. (less)
A late night call leaves Sylvie Bates-McAllister with questions, her biological son, Charles, with resurfaced memories and her adoptive son, Scott, ev...moreA late night call leaves Sylvie Bates-McAllister with questions, her biological son, Charles, with resurfaced memories and her adoptive son, Scott, even more misunderstood.
Scott was this mysterious person for a while. People kept walking on eggshells around this man and there was so much negativity concerning him that I had to keep wondering why. After a while all of the assumptions and judgments bothered me, and then I began to wonder why Sylvie and James made him a part of their family in the first place.
What crossed my mind as I kept reading: If a white couple is going to love and take care of a black child, I see no problem with that; human beings can care for each other without race being an issue. With Scott, though, I’m not sure why the author created this black character. I mean, as I read I kept wondering if she thought his obnoxious behavior would be more believable if he was black, as if guys of other races can’t be so ignorant and foul-mouthed. I’m not saying there are no black guys who behave the way Scott did, so, yes the character is believable, but in this particular story… well, I was curious as to why Scott was black, because, unless I missed it, it was not clear from anything else in the book what motivated the author to make this character black.
The Epilogue was the best part of the story for me. Before I got to that point only certain parts interested me like the mystery of the school hazing and Sylvie’s issues concerning her late husband. Also, the Lord’s Name is taken in vain quite often; although I have learned to overlook this when reading certain novels, it happened way too much and became very bothersome. There is also quite a bit of profanity and I did not expect that because the cover looks so… peaceful. I’m trying to stop judging books by the covers, but I probably always will. Or maybe not. (less)
Her name is Gabrielle, but people call her Brielle. She left her small hometown to make something out of her life, but now she's back. Something bad h...moreHer name is Gabrielle, but people call her Brielle. She left her small hometown to make something out of her life, but now she's back. Something bad happened while she was away and it is constantly on her mind. She meets someone who helps ease her pain. But who is he, really? And how will her life change now that he's in it?
It didn't take long to become engrossed in this story. As I read, I couldn't help but think 'This author loves words, and words love her'. I was so impressed by the writing that I read sentences and paragraphs more than once, savoring the words. I was so tempted to start underlining what I especially enjoyed reading, but I resisted because I like to keep my books in perfect condition.
So, I'm reading slowly, taking it all in and waiting to find out one thing when the story took an unexpected twist, making the remaining chapters even more intriguing than the previous ones.
Although this Young Adult Christian novel is also categorized as Fantasy, its take on spiritual matters is very believable... For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms - Ephesians 6:12
Angel Eyes is one of the best Christian novels I've read. The author skillfully deals with the natural and the supernatural - the seen and the unseen. I highly recommend it!!(less)
Ava has a good family life, she teaches Bible study and she’s part of a ministry that helps hurting people. Because of her childhood, Ava has lived mo...moreAva has a good family life, she teaches Bible study and she’s part of a ministry that helps hurting people. Because of her childhood, Ava has lived most of her days preparing for bad news. When her life begins to fall apart will her faith in God waver or grow stronger? And will she be able to do the one difficult thing she believes God wants her to do?
I really need to start with this: Ava had some EVIL family members – they were judgmental, condemning, legalistic, confused, controlling people who claimed to know God when they really didn’t know Him at all. As I read parts of this book, all I could do was keep shaking my head. I don’t blame Ava for leaving her hometown and never looking back. This book’s synopsis states that ‘Ava must set out on a journey that takes her back home’, but I didn’t really think it was necessary for her to subject herself to those who treated her so badly when she was growing up. There was a reason she felt she needed to go back, though. Still, I thought something else could have been worked out.
The main thoughts I was left with after I read this story: Sometimes Christians speak for God when they really need to keep their opinions to themselves. And sometimes Christians blame Satan for problems they brought on themselves – choices have consequences, take responsibility.
Even though characters had their issues, there was something about this book that felt so cozy. My plan was to read half, watch television shows I had recorded, and then finish reading. It turned out that television had to wait, because I had a hard time putting this book down. I wanted to know what was going on with Dane, I felt for Bethany and Sienna was interesting. Anything that had to do with Broken Hearts Ministry was sad, though, but I did admire these women who cared so much about other people’s pain that they put their own comforts aside. (less)
During the trial of eleven-year-old Sabastian, Daniel Hunter - defender of juveniles - remembers his time spent in the foster care system, the biologi...moreDuring the trial of eleven-year-old Sabastian, Daniel Hunter - defender of juveniles - remembers his time spent in the foster care system, the biological mother he longed to reunite with and the foster mother who committed an act of betrayal he could not forgive.
I can't say I know much about foster care, but this novel showed what I've mostly heard - some children are not treated well when they're placed in the homes of supposedly responsible, caring adults. However, it also showed that there are caring adults who will make sure a foster child receives the love and guidance needed to assure future happiness and success. And, unfortunately, it showed how domestic abuse affects children in the home.
I felt for a few characters: Mr. Rankin when he was on the witness stand. Daniel because of his childhood. Sabastian's mum because she seemed so lost. And, of course, it was upsetting to read the parts about the eight year old boy who was found dead.
Although there were times where I would have been moved more than I was if there had been more showing instead of telling, this was a good read. A child murdered and a child on trial, these are difficult things whether it's real life or fiction. The author did a good job with the interrogation and courtroom scenes. Also, past and present transition nicely. What kept me reading was needing to know the answers to these two questions: Did Sabastian do what he was accused of? What in the world did Minnie do that Daniel could not forgive?
Dr. Nadine Lavoie is a psychiatrist. Even though she's dealing with her own psychological issues, she has an office in a Mental Health building, doing...moreDr. Nadine Lavoie is a psychiatrist. Even though she's dealing with her own psychological issues, she has an office in a Mental Health building, doing what she can to help others. Heather is one of Nadine's patients. During sessions with this young married woman Nadine starts to remember bits and pieces of her past - time spent in a commune on Vancouver Island. Because of these disturbing memories, Nadine is in search for answers.
I like to be moved by fiction. This story did that at times, but not in a good way. There were parts that made me grimace. And the cult thing? "I was still surprised so many people went along with Aaron's crazy ideas" - these were Nadine's words and I agreed. People at the commune believing anything this man said, allowing themselves to be manipulated, it was all so bothersome to me.
Always Watching is an okay read. It was interesting for a while, but then it got to where I had to push through, and then it was interesting again. Although some parts were predictable, there were hidden truths that came to light and other things revealed that I never suspected.
This is the first time I've read this author's work. I purchased Chevy Stevens' Never Knowing (Hardcover for only $3.21) and I am looking forward to reading.