I'm such a crybaby and this book took advantage of me! It was an emotional rollercoaster ride. I started it late last night and finished it this after...moreI'm such a crybaby and this book took advantage of me! It was an emotional rollercoaster ride. I started it late last night and finished it this afternoon, leaving mascara-tinted puddles on my bed. Sweet and philosophical, this is a great story for people who've had a GREAT dog! I will be buying this book for my mom and my gramma, because I know they'll love it too. Makes me want to go and find my doggie soulmate. :)
Not going into the actual story, because I don't want to give anything away but people are sooooooo shitty, its actually very wise of Stein to write this tale from the perspective he did. Now, back to the dark side, where there aren't any tears. LOL(less)
**spoiler alert** AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I hate my internet connection. After posting my review (or trying to) it was all lost. So lacking its former...more**spoiler alert** AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I hate my internet connection. After posting my review (or trying to) it was all lost. So lacking its former glory, here we go...again...
I've got to be honest here. I picked up three of Hines' novels during my last browse through the library and didn't know he was a Christian fiction novelist. If I had know that, I probably wouldn't have read this. Don't get me wrong, I AM a Christian, but not the kind who normally enjoys reading Christian fiction. This is because I find most of it somewhat judgmental, heavy-handed, and most of the characters are being punished by God for living less than perfect (otherwise referred to as HUMAN) lives. And they are usually just plain not very well written.
That being said, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It was much darker than I expected it to be. I started it with a little bit of dread, after coming off of some really great reads and after getting a little ways in, I really didn't want to put it down. I found the characters to be pretty well-developed, and I liked that Jude was kind of an atypical protagonist, being deceitful to the mother of his child and not living up to potential, yadda yadda. That is trademark though for a non-traditional (i.e. fire and brimstone) type of Christian novel. I particularly liked that Hines was able to write Jude's abnormal and amazing spiritual experiences while maintaining a real believability with everything else going on. The book reminded me a lot of M. Night Shyamalan's SIGNS, sharing themes of faith and the loss of faith, our purpose on this Earth, and the interconnected of people and their actions. The way that Kristina developed in the story probably is the best example of the way Hines ties everything together in a cool and faithful way.
I was also impressed that, in Hines' debut mystery novel, he was able to keep me in suspense and led me to blindly follow along until the end without guessing that Odum was the child killer. I really bought that it was Frank and followed like the lamb that I am. :) I also loved that Rachel's best friend's name was Nicole...:)Haha.
I will definitely read the other two Hines books I picked up and feel that he was able to inject his Christian beliefs in a smart, well-explained and rational way. I can recommend this book to my non-Christian friends, without feeling like its casting me in an overzealous and hard to believe type of light. Thank you, Mr. Hines and well done.(less)
**spoiler alert** Just a bare-bones list of what I SHOULD/COULD have done with the 2 hours it took me read this sorry excuse for a book: 1. Cleaned my...more**spoiler alert** Just a bare-bones list of what I SHOULD/COULD have done with the 2 hours it took me read this sorry excuse for a book: 1. Cleaned my bathroom 2. Painted my daughter's bedroom BEFORE more paint gets spilled 3. Cooked AND ate a romantic dinner with my husband, which would be much better for my marriage anyway 4. Gave myself a MUCH needed mani and pedi 5. Weeded my garden 6. Caught up on laundry 7. On and on and on... 8. And last, but not least, read ANY OTHER BOOK, I mean, besides another one by Sparks.
I have to state, the reason I read this was because I saw the movie preview and I like Richard Gere. The preview didn't seem that bad and the book was getting high marks. Everyone talks about how Sparks is such a great author, but I just don't get it. Yeah, his books are supposed to MOVE you, to make you feel, cry, whatever. But not only are his characters COMPLETELY unrelatable, (i.e. super-perfect humans who have been poorly treated by something for absolutely NO reason whatsoever), but Sparks exploits his readers feelings by using universally tear-jerking situations. Of course you're going to cry if someone you love dies. Of course you're going to cry if your husband/wife cheats on you and leaves you for a better/younger model. Of course you're going to cry if you have a miscarriage/lose a child/anything bad happens to do with your children. It doesn't take special talent to insert your bad situation and then add as much melodrama as possible. I especially like his uber-Christian porn...they looked at each other, they had overwhelming feelings, so much couldn't be said, she led him to the bedroom and they made love. At least if you're going to read romance, a little sex would be nice, describe how these perfect people show their perfect love that has begun in less than 24 hours, and isn't premarital sex wrong, or is that only for the young? Haha! Meh. Sappy, unrealistic and unenjoyable. Like I said, I'm glad that I only wasted 2 hours of my life, because I really can't find anything to appreciate about this book, other than its over.
*** I would have given it ZERO stars, but its like having terrible service at a restaurant...if you leave nothing behind, people might think you just forgot. It really WAS that God-awful...(less)