I bought The Red Tent from a Friends of the Library booksale in my town for a buck. I mainly bought it because I kept hearing people say how great itI bought The Red Tent from a Friends of the Library booksale in my town for a buck. I mainly bought it because I kept hearing people say how great it was. Normally, I avoid religious books like the plague because I basically don't want to preached to. My stepfather was a Jehovah's Witness so I had that religion pounded in me at a young age and only escaped that oppressive environment after he and my mom divorced. So needless to say, religion and I don't mix. However, I will read a book if it seems interesting and if it's highly recommended. The Red Tent seemed to fit the bill. I am happy to say that I don't regret reading it one bit. It was an amazing story.
The Red Tent was one of those books that just embraces women and their uniqueness. It's a book that celebrates women and I just found that incredible. I wasn't prepared for the feelings that would arise in context to this book. It was engrossing and it kept my interest throughout with no lagging parts. The characters were extremely compelling and I was in awe of Dinah's mothers just as she was. I cried, when Dinah cried and laughed when she laughed. The Red Tent just keeps you in the story and makes you care for all of the women in the tent.
Like I mentioned before, I'm not particularly religious, so I don't know how accurate this was to biblical times or whatever. I just took it as it was: a novel. So, while the portrayal of Jacob and his sons might bother some who feel that it was inaccurate, it didn't bother me. Anyway, The Red Tent was a beautiful book with beautiful characters. Since I didn't expect to enjoy it that much, it made the book that much more enjoyable for me. It's definitely one of the best books I've ever read. ...more
I've been wavering between three or four stars with The Unseen. I've read Alexandra Sokoloff's previous work. I thought The Harrowing was great and II've been wavering between three or four stars with The Unseen. I've read Alexandra Sokoloff's previous work. I thought The Harrowing was great and I absolutely loved The Price. But something about The Unseen made it not as captivating as the other two.
I love haunted house stories. Always have. There's just so much build up in them and most of the time, it delivers. That was one of my problems with The Unseen. Firstly, it took a long while for anything remotely creepy to happen. Usually I don't mind it since it sets the mood up earlier. But this didn't happen. While it took about a hundred pages for anything to get going, I felt that while the author was building up the characters, the mood just wasn't being set up. There was no eerie sense of foreboding in the first hundred pages.
But when things start to get going, they really got going. The last hundred pages were very intense, though, it wasn't exactly creepy nor scary. Just a bit thrilling. The premise was very intriguing, though. And while I wasn't particularly scared, I was interested enough to keep reading the book. It just fell a little bit flat to me. I would recommend her other books, The Harrowing and The Price, slightly more than this one....more
I just finished reading this book, literally, like a minute ago. And I felt compelled to write a review right after while all the emotions are still fI just finished reading this book, literally, like a minute ago. And I felt compelled to write a review right after while all the emotions are still fresh in my mind. I have to say that this is what every fantasy romance novel (especially ones that are classified as Young Adult) should strive to be.
I wouldn't be surprised if people sort of classified A Certain Slant of Light as just one of the many fantasy YA novels that are romance and were made solely to capitalize on the success of Twilight. They might dismiss it because of that. If they did, it would be a terrible mistake. This shouldn't even be classified with those other YA novels, not because they're necessarily bad, but because those are more or less fluff. And fluff is good sometimes, yes, but sometimes you need to something a little more meaty and that's what this is.
The writing in A Certain Slant of Light is simply superb. It's just beautiful. And that's something that sets it apart from the those other fluffy YA novels (Twilight, Evermore, etc.). There's a poetic flow to it that just leaves you engrossed with not only the plot, but with the language. The heroine, Helen, is so complex, yet completely relateable in all of her ghostly glory. The romance in this was really sweet, but what really had me hooked, was Helen's backstory. Her attachment to her various hosts, her love of reading, her desire to escape the hell she was sometimes plunged into, but her utter fear at actually finding out what happened to her was compelling.
So, people shouldn't dismiss this book just because it's YA. Not only is it an amazing YA book, but an amazing book, period. One that I believe everyone would enjoy if not for the plot, then for the tremendous and beautiful writing....more
When it comes to non-fiction, I tend to go towards memoirs, forensic science, and true-crime books. Maybe sometimes I'll stray and pick up something tWhen it comes to non-fiction, I tend to go towards memoirs, forensic science, and true-crime books. Maybe sometimes I'll stray and pick up something totally on a whim, but most of the time I stay in those genres because it'll be easier for me to finish. I was under the impression that Under the Banner of Heaven was just a true-crime book. I was sorely mistaken and it was not what I expected...in a completely good way.
While Under the Banner of Heaven was a true crime book in the sense that it does mention rather frequently the Lafferty brothers who murder their sister-in-law and her 18 month old daughter, but it also mentions the beginning of Mormonism. This book also mentions how it's now diverged with the Latter Day Saints Church in one end and the Fundamentalists Latter Day Saints church in another end. I'm not a particularly religious person, but I've always been interested in learning about the different types of religions in the world and try to keep an open mind. That being said, reading about the FDLS church just seemed to make me a more than a little angry.
I found myself on the verge of tears as Krakauer described how the fundamentalist Mormon groups treat women. They practice polygamy and more often than not, the men take underage girls as their wives, all in the name of God. It was disheartening to read that the fundamentalists Mormon sects are growing and I would like to see the government take a more active role in putting away the pedophiles who say that they aren't actually perverts just following the written rule that God himself put out for them.
There are some people who say that Under the Banner of Heaven paints a bad picture of the Latter Day Saints church, but it doesn't, unless of course you're trying to deny the history within the Church itself. Krakauer makes sure to mention that the problem lies not within the current LDS church, but with the fundamentalists sects, and how the LDS make sure to excommunicate anyone who practices polygamy. So, I really don't see how this is bashing the LDS church.
Anyway, one thing that I can say about this book was that it was enthralling. It read faster than any non-fiction I've ever read (though I haven't read much) and really did read like a novel. There were some parts that dragged in recounting the history of Mormonism, the whole book was an amazing page-turner. I definitely plan to pick up Jon Krakauer's other books because this one was so great. I also recommend it to anyone who wants a good read....more
I received Beaded Hope as part of the First Reads program. Let me admit that had I known that this was classified as "Christian Fiction", I probably wI received Beaded Hope as part of the First Reads program. Let me admit that had I known that this was classified as "Christian Fiction", I probably wouldn't have entered to win a copy. Not that there's anything wrong with Christian Fiction. It's just that I'm not a particularly religious person so I tend to shy away from anything with a religious slant to it (unless it's non-fiction or horror). Probably due to my preconceived notions of Christian fiction, Beaded Hope ended up exceeding my expectations.
I thought that Beaded Hope was a great book. There was a bit of "The Lord will help you if you believe" type of praying, but I felt that was more about the characters personal problems and a part of what they did on their day-to-day life. I didn't feel like I was being beaten over the head with the preaching so that definitely made me enjoy the book more.
I ended up liking all of the main characters. They were all extremely flawed women and I was interested in whether or not they were going to solve their problems. The supporting characters in this book were amazing! I found myself shedding tears from one of their storylines and inspired by the countless others. Some of the book was a bit predictable (mainly the end to Gabby's storyline), but it didn't dampen my enjoyment of this book or its characters (mainly Cassandra, who I found hilarious).
So, in the end, I enjoyed reading Beaded Hope. It did drag a bit in the middle, it picked right back up after that. This was a great inspiring novel about the good of the human spirit and about what comes from helping one another. It's definitely recommended. ...more
It's very hard to rate a book that you never finish. I mean, do you give it one star because you couldn't finish it, or do you not rate it at all becaIt's very hard to rate a book that you never finish. I mean, do you give it one star because you couldn't finish it, or do you not rate it at all because you didn't finish it and therefore can't tell whether or not it really did get good towards the end? I don't know. However, I'm choosing to rate and review this regardless of the fact that I couldn't finish it because I received it as a First Reads win.
I've mentioned in previous reviews that I'm not a religious person and it's true. Most of the time I don't read religious books unless they're horror or non-fiction because most of the time I can't identify with it. This is true of Offerings. It was just a tad too religious for my taste. But that wasn't what got me to stop.
The book was also too slow for my taste and that's what eventually led me to put it down completely. I'd been putting it down and picking it back for about a week and realized that every time I put it down, I was dreading picking it back up. And if reading a book isn't going to be relaxing and it's going to feel like a chore, than I'd rather put the book down than suffer through it. I also just couldn't identify with any of the characters and if I don't than it's really hard for me to finish a book. Unless of course I really hate the character and then I have to finish to see what happens to them. I didn't hate the characters in Offerings, I just didn't care one whit about them. So I was sort of forced to give it one star due to my lack of not being able to finish. :(...more
For some strange reason, a big chunk of the books that I win due to Goodreads or LibraryThing, tend to be Christian-Fiction. The weird thing about thaFor some strange reason, a big chunk of the books that I win due to Goodreads or LibraryThing, tend to be Christian-Fiction. The weird thing about that is that I don't realize that they are actually Christian-Fiction. Now, if I were religious, I would be inclined to say that something like that is divine intervention. But since I'm not, I'm just going to say that I need start reading the descriptions of the books I sign up for much more thoroughly. Just to avoid reading a genre that I don't necessarily love. That way I won't feel like an idiot when I say that I didn't love a Christian-Fiction book because it was too preachy since being preachy is pretty much a staple in Christian-Fiction books.
I've read about three, maybe four Inspirational books and I've only really liked Beaded Hope because it wasn't too preachy. Obviously, prayer was a big part of the characters' lives, but I didn't feel like the author was going overboard. In Saturday Morning, every other page was about God. Again, there's nothing wrong with that, but as someone who isn't religious, it did end up being a bit much. So, those parts were sort of skimmed over.
The rest of Saturday Morning was pretty good. While I didn't truly connect with any of the characters, I did enjoy their storylines. I absolutely loved Andy's storyline with her husband. Every time he tried to get her to fit into his perfect mold, she would just dish out the "This is the way it's going to be" attitude and I just found the whole thing endlessly amusing before it turned all angsty. I also really liked the J House storyline. I was in awe at what all the women were doing to help out the less fortunate.
All in all, I thought that Saturday Morning was an okay novel. I did think the resolution of everything was a bit out there, but that just might be because of my skepticism towards the notion that prayer solves everything. Saturday Morning was a mildly enjoyable and extremely quick read, so I can't complain. I'll just have to look a little closer next time I'm signing up for giveaways....more