Damn, this book had me bawling. I knew I shouldn't read it, far too emotional for me. And yeah, Kate sucked. Her reasons for wanting a divorce sucked.Damn, this book had me bawling. I knew I shouldn't read it, far too emotional for me. And yeah, Kate sucked. Her reasons for wanting a divorce sucked. But you know what? They were real. Her reason are reasons why people get divorced...like that or not, it's truth...sucky, sucky truth but truth nonetheless. Sooo...I understood her. And I understood Nick. And I understood there standstill, and how hard the ordeal was. But what got me was that they truly loved each other underneath it all. That is what brought the tears streaming down my face a time or two throughout the story. It felt real, their lives, even though the plot wasn't multidimensional and was fairly predictable. And it made me pause in wonder over all the good that I have in my life...in wonder and thankfulness. I must say though, the ending was too smoothed out for me, that would be my biggest issue with the entire story. It kind of my made cringe just a bit at the ease of how the story tidied itself up. I can forgive the ending. This definitely was a story that emotionally roped me in, a tear jerker for certain....more
Sometimes I go into a book knowing that it will be predictable. Sometimes I know the framework of the story...the format. Sometimes I want nothing toSometimes I go into a book knowing that it will be predictable. Sometimes I know the framework of the story...the format. Sometimes I want nothing to do with the "same old, same old." Sometimes, I want nothing to do with a love triangle, or a love story period. And more times than not, I do not want predictability. This book, Throne of Glass, is all of that to me; predictable, framework is known, love triangle. But, lately, I found myself craving this type of book. Especially when it is a fantasy story centered around a heroine that possess great skill who also happens to start finding herself entangled with a boy...or two. I have been craving these types of books even though they are predictable to me. BUT, I will quickly drop the book if the story qualities are not written well, and especially if the story neglects the building of its world and developing its characters and is more in favor of building the romance.
I am very pleased and satisfied to say that Throne of Glass did a very good job of building its world, developing its heroine with believable skills, and the love triangle worked. That triangle worked because the heroine stayed true to herself. And, it worked because it was not over-the-top; it worked well for me (I tend to be pretty harsh with these YA love triangle type of stories).
Oh, the story itself had an exciting edge to it. I wanted to know what was going to happen next even though I had a solidly good idea of the end result. And the characters were all rather interesting and played their roles very nicely. The main characters of Celaena, Dorian and Chaol engaged and intrigued me. I liked all three. What I liked best was seeing each of them reveal their layers as they grew and matured as the story moved along. Besides those three, I must say that I was absolutely intrigued and appreciated the character of Nehemia. She added a fabulous quality to the plot. A fabulous quality.
Ok...I've got to say this...I like Dorian and Chaol, but I am rooting more for one over the other. I don't really want to be a "team xyz" kind of reader, but I fear that is where I have headed.
Bottom line: I greatly enjoyed the story. It held up to my expectations and then some. I really liked the heroine, Celaena. The story moved one nicely; it engaged and intrigued me. Yeah, this was a pretty darn good read. I will read the next book in this series.
To note....I am not fan of the book cover for the edition I read. I really...almost passionately...do not like covers that feature a character where the face is fully revealed. And also, the back cover "hook" is quite dramatic and well...Blah. Seriously, the book is far more than those dramatic sentences. Blah to the back cover of this edition.
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Very much a side note....my rating. I rated Throne of Glass a 4 which matches up fairly well with my rating of "very good- terrific". I've got a rating system. It's more detailed than Goodreads. So, I have also come up with a system that matches mine to Goodreads. The thing is this, I rate a book based on what my expectations were for the plot, the genre and the marketed age category. So a 4 for a book of this type is very good, but when I compare it to another 4 from a different type of book....well, this 4 may not be as a good as the other book's 4. Basically, what I am saying is that rating systems are very subjective. The rating may mean different things not only from reader to reader but also from genre to genre for the same reader. So know, I really liked Throne of Glass, it deserves its 4, but its 4 doesn't come close to several other books I read, this year, where a 4 rating is what I gave....more
The Martian was quite intriguing from the get go and remained that way throughout the entire story. I cannot say enough gooI am super uber impressed!
The Martian was quite intriguing from the get go and remained that way throughout the entire story. I cannot say enough good about the main character, Mark Watney. Oh my goodness, the smarts, the calm, the reasoning, the incredible ingenuity that he possessed. Amazing, really.
There is a lot of science throughout this book...a lot! BUT! Don't let the science aspect stop you from reading this book, you don't necessarily have to follow all that Mark managed to accomplish. I know I didn't. Quite a bit flew over my head but even the stuff that was flying over me was still riveting. Seriously. I go back to this word again, ingenuity. Totally impressed by that. Also, that ingenuity was all very believable. Impressed, yes indeed. But wait, that's not all there is to this story. There is a lot wit and humor. I chuckled many times. Add to that, the suspense. Yes, I pretty much had the ending figured out, but that did not stop me from feeling the suspense of it all; especially at the end. Oh my, seriously, oh my.
Ah, but there is one niggle to my uber impressed feeling, I did wish I had more background on Mark and that of the crew. There was a bit, but I wish for more. I would have liked to have been more entangled in their lives. That, however, is a small niggle, because even without that wish, I did become invested in Mark's life and that of the crew.
As for the writing, I liked it. It did not beat around the bush. It dove right in. It was matter-of-fact storytelling in the style of journal entries. It was good, it worked but it does have some draw backs that I've already spoke of, that bit of niggle.
Readers seem to liken this story to that of an Apollo 13 type story. Yes, I can see that. But, I liken this story to that of Cast Away. It's both, really, and it worked well.
As for the movie that is soon to release - Oct 2, 2015 - I have high hopes. The Martian not only is great material for a movie, Matt Damon is a great choice for the role of Mark. I'm not one to get all excited about a movie release. I am not a movie goer/viewer by any means, but I am excited about seeing The Martian. That says something huge about how much this book wrapped me around its finger and reeled me right into to the story.
The bottom line: the ingenuity, the smarts, the wit, the humor, the suspense, the loyalties all held great intrigue from the get go all the way through the very end. I couldn't put the book down....more
ENTER TO WIN. A COPY OF THIS BOOK, LINK at bottom of this review, ends September 25, 2015.
My thoughts: It has been difficult for me, in the past, toENTER TO WIN. A COPY OF THIS BOOK, LINK at bottom of this review, ends September 25, 2015.
My thoughts: It has been difficult for me, in the past, to understand the actions of certain women in the Bible; their way of life boggled my perspective. And it's sad to say, but beyond a few - Mary, Ruth, Esther, and Deborah - there were not too many women of biblical times that I admired or thought about much. This was a shortcoming for me because God has a reason for placing each woman in the Scriptures. And because of my limited understanding and narrow perspective, His reasons would, at times, be lost on me. One area of my thinking that I needed to readjust was to remind myself that these women were fallen humans just like you and me. They errored, and made some horrible mistakes. Some of those mistakes were huge, and many I couldn't quite grasp. But all their mistakes were used for the good of God. This is quite an incredible thing about God, he uses those who are wicked along with those who are "wicked good".
Yes, my life perspective filtered how I viewed the women in the Bible. At times my perspective made me critical, shocked, and/or confused. But once I started to have understanding of the culture and times for which they lived in, well, I was better able to view them with a lens not so clouded by my own life experience formed by the times that I am living in and the culture that surrounds me.
Wicked Women of the Bible helped me to push aside my own culture and time influenced lens while bringing into focus the lens of the Biblical times and culture. This has been accomplished by how each chapter is laid out with the unfolding of the reimagined stories of twenty wicked and "wicked good" biblical women (one chapter/woman), a brief section of the times, and a takeaway section which includes questions designed for individual or group study. I enjoyed the perspectives, insights, facts and questions to ponder. I liked the format a whole lot; it was easily accessible, informative and engaging
Each chapter enriched me and gave me further understanding. But with that said, I would say that this is more of a devotional type book for me versus a study that requires me to dig deeply into the Scriptures. This is not a negative by any means because this style worked very well for me. I really liked that I could set the book down after reading one chapter, and feel that her story was complete. This chapter style made it very easy to pick the book back up again when I came a cross one of the women during a reading of Scripture. So yes, I do think this book lends itself beautifully for a devotion type reading. But it is also perfect as a companion to a study that is taking you through the scriptures book by book...or a study where you come across one or all of the women featured in this book. You could also read this book chapter by chapter, and then pause at the end of each chapter to take the time to dig into the Scriptures where each woman's story is told. Also, Wicked Women of the Bible would be an excellent choice for a book discussion group. There really are several ways to use this book. With that all said, I would not recommend reading this book by itself if you do not already have a grasp on the Biblical account of the women featured within these pages. You need to be familiar with the Scriptures first and foremost before diving into a reimagined type story, that's my belief. I encourage you to be at least somewhat familIar with each woman's story within the Bible; there are scripture references as to where these women's stories are told,these references can be found under the heading The Times. Then, once you're familiar with the women's story in Scripture, enrich yourself further by reading each woman's reimagined story contained in this book.
The reimagined stories of each woman was by far the most insightful for me. Each story gave me a fresh perspective to consider; dimensions that I did not see before were added to my understanding. While I love learning Biblical and cultural facts, it's the perspective written - the woman's story - that I really did find to be most helpful. Don't get me wrong, the facts and cultural knowledge are very important as they add dimension too, but the reimagined perspective helped me to see these women's stories in a fuller view. The perspectives also seemed stay true to God's Word which is very important to me.
Bottom line: Engaging, insightful and informative look at twenty Biblical women that is easily accessible with a perspective that gave me a fuller view of each of their lives. I came away from Wicked Women of the Bible enriched.
This was an interesting, intriguing, engaging, mysterious in ways, beautiful, creepy-ish, fantastical, sensitive, offbeat, seemingly pointless but yetThis was an interesting, intriguing, engaging, mysterious in ways, beautiful, creepy-ish, fantastical, sensitive, offbeat, seemingly pointless but yet not...a smartly written book. The storytelling was mesmerizing with an ending I didn't like but did, an ending I didn't understand, but did. This is one unique and engaging story. I had a tough time putting the book down. But yet, the story, what was it about? -oh....so many things and things that only the story can tell as it speaks to you and to you alone...not me to you. As you discover the story - what it is about which is not necessarily one thing - I hope you enjoy the beautiful storytelling as I immensely did. Compelling....more
I couldn't say if I liked this book or if I did not. I wavered back and forth. But then, it dawned on me, I really enjoyed this book and my wavering wI couldn't say if I liked this book or if I did not. I wavered back and forth. But then, it dawned on me, I really enjoyed this book and my wavering was due to the fact that this story lulls you in and before you know you've taken up residence with the characters as if they have become family. It seemed slow and like not much was happening, but as with any family, there are dull moments, good moments, and almost always moments of complexity. Once I realized the beauty of how the storytelling brought me into the family, I said yes...I very much enjoyed and liked this story, it felt true and real. Family is a units are made up of individuals, and each individual has its level of mystery and that mystery adds to the complex nature of the relationships and love within. So while this is not a story that moved quickly nor is it one with an exciting climax that gives you a rush, it is a story that portrays the nuances of family life relationships that seem superficial on one level but in actuality are full of bumps, potholes, peaks and valleys along with a long smooth road where no cars are seen but your own and in that, the author did a beautiful job. I will say, the ending felt somewhat disappointing but even there, the author stayed true to her storytelling while she was unwinding the spool of thread; life...family life...was represented beautifully. Family is like a spool of thread, it can unwind quickly or unwind slowly or even seem like it can go on without a definitive end while all along the spool is being threaded into souls and hearts of the individuals binding them together. And that I truly liked, the way it can unwind and thread one another together.
I do not think this book is for everyone due to the narrative style. It most likely would be enjoyed by those readers who are good with subtleness and the seemingly nature of going nowhere as the story unwinds and then finding it did go somewhere but not in a rush, flash or spectacular in your face way but rather more in line as to how life plays out for most....more
This is one fantastic book. I cannot say enough good about the world build, story and characters - it all worked. Saying that I was intrigued would beThis is one fantastic book. I cannot say enough good about the world build, story and characters - it all worked. Saying that I was intrigued would be an understatement. It will be very surprising if this book is not sitting towards the very top of my favorite books read list for this year (2015).
I very much enjoyed this story. It engaged me with an atmospheric mix of gothic and mystery along with intriguing characters. The mystery was well wriI very much enjoyed this story. It engaged me with an atmospheric mix of gothic and mystery along with intriguing characters. The mystery was well written, but I was meant to distrust Luke and I just could not bring myself to do so. Even though I could not mistrust Luke, his storyline added very nicely to the plot. He intrigued me straight away. I do love well written female characters, and Rebecca was well written. She is straightforward but yet maintains social etiquette. She is courageous and smart. She does not fall victim to the whims of emotions, although she definitely is struck with emotion.
This is Christian fiction, that is for certain, and it's good fiction. There was never a moment that any reference to God or scriptures felt forced or out of place, it flowed naturally within the context of the story. It never felt preachy. I was quite fascinated with the historical aspects of English missionaries in India. The details of their work there, while few, sparked an interest to know more. I am not much into missionary biographies, or missionary based fiction stories, but I now would gladly like to learn more about a few of the missionaries mentioned in this book. The author's note added more fuel to my historical/missionary interest.
My only drawback for Mist of Midnight is that the ending wrapped things up a little too neatly. Things worked out a little too easily. But that is a very minor quibble because the story as whole was a flat out good read.
I greatly enjoyed this book. It took me out of my world and immersed into Freya's world, and that is one aspect of reading that I like a whole lot. IsI greatly enjoyed this book. It took me out of my world and immersed into Freya's world, and that is one aspect of reading that I like a whole lot. Is this book predictable? Yes it is, overall. But there was enough intrigue and curiosity aroused about the fate of the human world and that of the immortal world which made the predictable aspects easy for me to brush aside. I liked Freya even though her lot in life was quite familiar to another character of a different book but that familiarity was brief. I love worlds built around immortal fairies, it never fails to intrigue me. That aspect alone held my attention, that's for certain. The romance aspect, it was good. There were a few sex scenes, but those scenes didn't bother me...for me, there was enough story and build up in the relationship for the intimacy. Was this a perfect book...a perfect plot line? Nope. There were some convenient factors and few unbelievable aspects. But those factors and aspects were few. The book held up to my expectations and then some. Ultimately, when I closed the book, after reading the last sentence, I sighed with overall satisfaction. And that satisfaction has left me wanting to read the next book, and when I do...I hope it's at least as engaging as this one. But, even if I don't read the next book, this one had an ending...it didn't leave me hanging AND that added to my satisfaction....more
I enjoyed this book a lot, but in a steady, lulling rhythmic way. It was not fast paced. Even with the pace, the story moved along, and never felt staI enjoyed this book a lot, but in a steady, lulling rhythmic way. It was not fast paced. Even with the pace, the story moved along, and never felt stale; I was an engaged reader from the first page to the last.
Through Kathy's narration, the events and circumstances surrounding her world - as a child, teenager and adult - were slowly and deliberately revealed. Her voice added to an apprehensive and eerie feeling. Her voice gave emotion even when she found emotion difficult. Her voice added humanness, connection and empathy. I liked Kathy, but at times she frustrated me with her acceptance of her circumstances, and in her inability/unwillingness to express her emotions to those she was close to. But yet, those frustrating nuances made complete sense to me considering her upbringing. Still, I wanted more for her. Through Kathy, we are introduced to Ruth and Tommy and learn about them through her interactions. Ruth, oh Ruth, I did not like her much. And Tommy, he had great potential and for all that potential shining through....I liked him. Regardless of how I liked these character or not, they worked well for this story.
The plot? I cannot tell you about the plot, in doing so would ruin the story. I suggest that you do not read any reviews that discuss the plot. Let the story itself reveal the plot to you page by page - that would be the best way to experience Never Let Me Go. I must admit, I am not quite sure about the point of this book. I am sure the story - the tone, the characters, the circumstances - has left an impression on me. I came away from this book feeling strange. It's a dystopian story, but yet it also did not feel dystopian...not all the time. It was set in an era I lived through, and that felt bizarre. It was bizarre because of the possibility that the premise of this book could happen right underneath our noses. I mean, not really, but then again, who knows? I joked with my daughter about the possibilities of the premise occurring right now where we live, she of coursed rolled her eyes at me.
Once I was done reading the book, I could not wait to speak to my daughter. Our discussion helped me sort out my thoughts and feelings about the story - she recommended this book to me. This is one of those kinds of books that I needed to discuss with another reader....I just needed to. ...more
I liked this book well enough to devour it in one day. And while I was entertained and interested enough to devour the book, the love story was far toI liked this book well enough to devour it in one day. And while I was entertained and interested enough to devour the book, the love story was far too much for me. I bristle greatly with instaLove kind of stuff. And even though there was a past history, the speed for which the love relationship took off did not work for me. I am not a fan at all of "instaLove-lets get married" style of relationships. Most times, that is based on lust, and idealistic relationship wants. With that said, I did I like the characters and their struggles were real and believable. I just wish, on many levels, that the romance aspect went slower and matured into a love relationship instead of moving at the speed of light....more
So this book may be a bit cheesy, and very predictable. And yes, the plot and characters are not all that complicated. This is certainly not an intricSo this book may be a bit cheesy, and very predictable. And yes, the plot and characters are not all that complicated. This is certainly not an intricate book, it's an easy and quick read. But here is the thing, I liked this book. I liked it a whole lot. The characters may not be that deep but they did mature. They also endeared themselves to me. The plot doesn't have many twists and it doesn't contain many layers, but even so, the story spoke to my heart. Yes, I liked the characters of Ian and Renee a whole lot. And, I very much liked the story, the entire story. I am a satisfied reader....more
This was not the book for me; a typical romance book that contained little (if any) character development with a convenient plot to serve the "romanceThis was not the book for me; a typical romance book that contained little (if any) character development with a convenient plot to serve the "romance" and instaLove yuck. I read the entire book in a day; it was easy and fast to read. Fast to read probably because I skimmed over the sections of the book that seemed too far fetched. I kept reading the book because the premise intrigued me, and I kept hoping it would redeem itself; it did have promise. It didn't redeem itself, and reaffirmed my decision to not read these type of romance books....more
This is a historical-romance novel, that's for sure. I have been shying away from romance novels these days -- too much sex for my liking and not enouThis is a historical-romance novel, that's for sure. I have been shying away from romance novels these days -- too much sex for my liking and not enough story to support all the sex based instaLove. I'm tried of instaLove and all the junk that goes with that. I want to read about real love that percolates and grows and develops over time where lust is not the motivator. But, I was intrigued by this book because I am sucker for time-travel type books especially historical ones and most especially ones set in Scotland. It's my thing, don't know why but it is...well, my favorite books in the world probably have something to do it.
I decided to give this book a chance. I didn't have high expectations going into it except to be entertained by a decent story that was quick and easy to read. A Rip in the Veil met my expectations and then some. Yes, it has the typical romance novel elements, but I was happy to see that the author did advance the plot line and developed the characters beyond the lust and instaLove stage that so often is the modus operandi of romance novels.
While the writing was decent it wasn't up to par to what I've grown accustomed to with some of my very favorite books. But hey, I'm not a writer and won't pretend I could be one, so the writing was fine enough for me and for the story. Shoot, I've read some truly awful stories with awful writing that seem to have gained public popularity and this book is far better than that. Anyway, the story was good and moved along. The characters held my attention and developed. I wasn't blown away by Alex and Matthew - Alex could use a bit of refinement. But I liked them well enough. I appreciated the other characters and did like seeing how Alex's family was faring after she left her time. The historical elements were good, and added a bit of depth to the storyline on the whole.
A Rip in the Veil proved to be a much better story than I anticipated. I hope to see how the series and writing mature with each book. Yes, I will read the next book and from there I shall see....more
I read this book while also working through the Bible study -- much of the book is in the study so both are not necessary. It was good, it made me pauI read this book while also working through the Bible study -- much of the book is in the study so both are not necessary. It was good, it made me pause to think with honesty and reflection. It made me pause and think about how I convey messages (positive and negative) with both body language and spoken word. It made me pause and think and realize as to how I - in my language - reflect Christ and that at times (too many time), I am not reflecting Him well. This study certainly, while not a line-by-line pouring into God's Word study, was one that has drawn me closer to God...it has given me another tool for being more aware and purposeful in how I live life, a life that I want to show is about God rather than about me....more
A powerful book, not a perfect book, but powerful indeed. And because of the impact it made on me along with the depth and complexities, I gave this bA powerful book, not a perfect book, but powerful indeed. And because of the impact it made on me along with the depth and complexities, I gave this book five stars. I just finished reading so much of the story is swirling around in my mind...this means, I hope to get back soon to place better thoughts down in writing as to why this book was a powerful read to me. It was definitely worth the time it took to read....more
I found Forgive & Forget to be very insightful. I came away from the book with far more understanding than when I started reading. Coming away froI found Forgive & Forget to be very insightful. I came away from the book with far more understanding than when I started reading. Coming away from this book as I did has provided me another level of peace and comfort.
Forgiveness is tricky business and I don't quite understand all the intricacies of it but I do understand the importance. I also now have a better grasp of the emotions involved in this whole business of forgiveness. One of the troubles of forgiveness is understanding where emotions of wrongs felt and done fit into the act of forgiveness. I have read some reviews where readers are dissatisfied to an extent because the book doesn't explain the "how to" of forgiveness. While Forget & Forgive doesn't give you a step by step plan for how to forgive, I do believe the content's depth and the insightfulness gained gives a person the "how to" of forgiveness plan. It's just not spelled out.
For me, this book validated thoughts and emotions along with helping me to start to release them in a healthy way. Forgiveness, for some situations, may seem like the offender gets away with their bad deeds. In truth, even if the offender is not remorseful, forgiveness sets free the offended. I have heard that before but this book explained this process in a way that makes sense. I now believe this to be true - to forgive is to gain freedom while not negating the depth of hurt or giving the offender a free pass per se.
Not only was the content full of depth and insightfulness, the writing was incredibly engaging. Seriously, I wrote many quotes down simply because of the words Lewis Smedes would use. His word choices were down to earth and straight to the topic at hand while giving incredible thought provoking examples to illustrates his points.
One of my favorite quotes...
"Once we forgive and learn to swallow history's stinking garbage without throwing up, we condition ourselves to digest the worst the monsters of the future can force down our throats." P.134
(Note: the quote, when taken out of context, seems to imply a case against forgiveness when read in context he is not making this case.)
I recommend this book for a better understanding regarding forgiveness; it dives into the emotions of it all. For more understand for how to apologize and to understand ones apology language (which is important for the entire forgiveness proceeds) - I recommend the When Sorry Isn't Enough.
Note: the copy I read of Forgive & Forget was a library copy. This book's insightfulness, helpfulness and engaging writing prompted me to purchase a copy so that I can re-read various parts and highlight the many quotes and passages that struck me....more