I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
After some wild and wonderful mail adventures, I finally had the chance to sit down and read ElI received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
After some wild and wonderful mail adventures, I finally had the chance to sit down and read Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson recent offering Answering your kids' toughest questions. As a mom, I am acutely aware of the fact that, although I currently spend my days encouraging my son in basic life skills like talking, there will come a day in the near future where his questions may lead us into interesting spaces.
The greatest strength of Thompson and Fitzpatrick's work is that it challenges readers to think and question how they would approach certain topics with their children when approached. I'm a huge fan of materials that seek to engage parents and foster an atmosphere of learning and openness after seeing far too many situations where adults try to "fake-it-til-we make-it" or flat out avoid the questions being asked, regardless of their severity or importance.
My issue was that much of the book felt as though the reader was being pulled into extremes. Some of the examples, including what seems to be a fairly infamous one in reviews regarding snapping one's fingers and sin, border or march into extremes and could easily be seen as justification for legalism and Pharisaical teachings. On the other hand, many of their explanations regarding at the end of each chapter regarding the separate age ranges (dividing into really nice categories) felt very pat and simplistic. In all fairness this may be my own education influencing my perceptions. I love being challenged in my thinking and spent most of my college and seminary years discussing ideas and concepts including ones covered in this book at great length. However, I felt that the answers outlined were more likely to result in rolled eyes or misunderstanding than the open communication the authors desired, perhaps due to the lack of focus concerning living out and modelling the gospel and creating an atmosphere of learning and growth from childhood?
Overall, I think the authors did try and provide what they set out to do within a very specific and controlled audience. The effect just fell flat for me personally....more
Mrs. Anne Tillerton only wanted to get away, live her life in peaceful safety away from uncaring eyes that saw what they want and a dead husband whoseMrs. Anne Tillerton only wanted to get away, live her life in peaceful safety away from uncaring eyes that saw what they want and a dead husband whose life haunted almost as much as his death.
I have a confession to make.
I didn’t want to like Caught in the Middle by Regina Jennings.
Anne’s character made me bristle, but hear me out. It wasn’t her rough around the edges, speak her mind attitude. Like Nicholas, it made Anne that much more endearing when she allowed her true self to be shown in quieter moments with Sammy. It felt uncomfortable reading a woman who’s life seemed to be a collection of clichés.
Nicholas also made me bristle. In the beginning he really came across a profit based, image driven man. When Anne confronted him on his faith being self-serving I almost wanted to cheer. Here is the thing though, Jennings doesn’t leave her characters stuck in their flaws, she allows them to grow, change, and flourish through their experiences and faith bringing readers on a much more satisfactory journey than the first chapters ever could have hinted at. I’ll admit, I ever cried during the story’s climactic moments.
Jennings uses her characters both to lead readers on a journey with her characters – Anne as she learns to heal, forgive, and love as well as Lovelace as he learns to see the world and his priorities. However, she simultaneously uses those same characters to ask hard question about faith to her readers and the cost of love.
As a word of warning, I didn’t realize when I began this book that Caught in the Middle actually exists either in a series or as part of a world within Jennings collection of writings. As Anne slowly lets Nicolas (and the reader) into her abusive and broken past (which was actually quite well written for a Christian novel from a counselling perspective while remaining non-triggering), there are strong hints of the plots in both Sixty Acres and a Bride as well as Love in the Balance. I truly believe this can be viewed as a read alone novel but for readers who enjoy the whole picture or just fall in love with Jennings style, those would be good books to keep in mind. All in all i give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
I received this book for free from Bethany Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion ...more
As someone who is officially diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos (either the same or a close related condition depending on which medical professional you asAs someone who is officially diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos (either the same or a close related condition depending on which medical professional you ask) I was curious to uncover the opinions and research of someone who has walked the journey of complex, chronic illness longer than myself.
I was not disappointed.
I truly wish every single one of my medical professionals I interact with would read this book in the hopes they could gain even a percentage of the empathy and knowledge stored within the pages. This book really is a must read for any who struggle with a condition that is marked with hypermobility as one of its defining features.
Why is this book so good?
First of all, it's organized for easy reference. Thank you! A book that's easy to navigate will simply be used more often and thanks to Knight's clear categories and logical ordering this book is a breeze to sort through.
Second of all, this book takes first hand experience into account. When facing hypermobility whether HMS, EDS, or something else, being understood as a person, as a patient, and as a reliable source of information is so rare. The way Knight weaves personal experience, both her own and others she has encountered, enriches and deepens the conversation laid forth.
Thirdly, Knight doesn't shy away from important topics such as mental health and feminine issues.
Living with Hypermobility Syndrome is a valuable resource for patient, professionals, and loved ones of those living with one of these conditions.
I'm a sucker for historical novels, especially one's centered around the events of World War II. Even in grade school I would exasperate my teachers dI'm a sucker for historical novels, especially one's centered around the events of World War II. Even in grade school I would exasperate my teachers during lessons wanting to know about the effects of events on people, society, and culture.
That said, I usually lean towards historical fiction based upon true events.
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin does not follow historical events (though drawing upon real places), a fact the author freely admits, but still remains a gem to read.
Paralleling the Biblical narrative of Esther, For Such a Time centers upon Hadassah and Aric, a traumatized half Jewess and a wounded Nazi kommandant thrown together near the war's end on a road which could save the lives of hundreds including, if they are very lucky, their own.
Personally, I wan't sure how I would receive the book. I have read other accounts of Terezin or Theresienstadt, and what occurred there (Wildflowers of Terezin being a favourite). Knowing how the story of Esther ended, I wasn't sure how Breslin could maintain the gravity of the town's history.
Happily, although Breslin did stay closer to the Esther narrative, including the adventure, battle, and love carried within the final half, she still produced a riviting novel which will easily hold the attention of most followers of her genre.
Hadassah or Stella is a likable character who is well written. Breslin writes her recovery from trauma with more honesty than I usually see within Christian fiction and gives real depth to the character's struggle as she seeks to choose between safe decisions and following God's call.
Aric was also a surprising character as I was unsure how the Kommandant could be made to fit within an Esther parallel. Here too was a pleasant surprise as Breslin lays out Aric's honest struggle as an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances.
As mentioned earlier this novel does stick more closely to the Esther narrative which means some readers may be unhappy with the happy, tidy ending For Such a Time provides. I just made sure to read it on one of those days where a happy ending was necessary for my own peace of mind. If you're the type of reader who can't overlook historical inaccuracy for good adventure, a bit of romance, some delightful (though mild) suspense, and a chance for the good guys to triumph this book probably isn't for you. Otherwise, dig in.
I received this book from Bethany through NetGallery in exchange for my honest opinion....more
I received this book through NetGallery in exchange for my honest opinion.
Reading Joss Whedon is a collection of scholarly essays exploring the differI received this book through NetGallery in exchange for my honest opinion.
Reading Joss Whedon is a collection of scholarly essays exploring the different themes and connections within the larger body of Whedon's work. This particular collection focused most heavily on the Buffy verse and Dollhouse era, most likely due to the vast wealth of ethical and feminist topics exemplified within them as well as their strong echoing of ancient mythos. However, other classics including The Avengers, Dr. Horrible, and my personal favourite Firefly are also brought about in varying levels of details.
All things considered, this collection would make an excellent text book for a media class within a formal setting (no academic gymnastics required to make this topic fit), with each essay providing a wealth of discussion and research material from which to launch classroom dialogue.
The structure of the text also makes it easy for readers to pick and choose which topics are of most importance for their reflection, with subjects being categorized by series or overarching theme for easier readability and reflection.
This book would not classify for many as an easy read but that doesn't necessarily make it the wrong one. This collection challenges readers to choose to partake of their media in less passive ways, exploring and examining the intent and messages being portrayed regardless of how the show is perceived. A lesson well worth taking into every day with our media saturated culture....more
I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.
On the outside, Sierra and Luca are at opposite ends of life. One just begiI was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.
On the outside, Sierra and Luca are at opposite ends of life. One just beginning the world at her fingertips, the other reflecting on a life mostly gone. Yet, the bond of secrets, grief, and a love of learning tie these unlikely friends and their families together against the odds.
I'll confess I'm not one to pick a book on a whim these days. Life's too busy and too many recent whims have ended up a bust, especially within modern, Christian romance. I was thoroughly surprised when I found myself eagerly tearing through Rachel Phifer's novel with eager anticipation and hope for a happy resolution for my two favourite characters.
Sierra is a young and brilliant high school student whose life is directed through her grief at her father's sudden and unexplained death. Sierra was definitely a favourite character and a book highlight. Having worked with youth and grieving families (Interesting summer job one summer) Phifer's portrayal of her grief at the multiple losses in her life (father, home, school, relationship with her mother) was believable and well written as revelations throughout the story moved Sierra through the rollercoaster of her grief and healing.
Luca, as the gruff older gentleman even his son doesn't trust was a surprising favourite of mine as the story progressed. As his life (love?) story is laid out I found myself more and more drawn to the man much like Sierra. Honestly, this became a huge point of connection in the story for me as a reader as Sierra's relationship begin to mirror the reader's entrance into Luca's life.
If you've read one of these before you know I don't like giving out major plot spoilers but my one beef with the story does tie in slightly. Most of the pacing within Sparrows is well done. The slower portions echoing the time it takes to gain trust with those who are wounded. However, Nic, Luca's son, hits a crises near the end of the book, which becomes a major plot point when there wasn't the time to wrap it up nicely. This may be a stylistic vision of the author but I generally prefer books that allow themselves the time to end when the story is ready and not before hand.
All in all, this was a great novel and a fairly easy read. Given the right audience I would highly recommend this novel. ...more
Spies, flyboys, surgeons, and one young woman trying to navigate it all.
There were a lot of good qualities in this novel and I'm quite curious where tSpies, flyboys, surgeons, and one young woman trying to navigate it all.
There were a lot of good qualities in this novel and I'm quite curious where this trilogy will move to with the next two installments.
Gwen Spencer is the anchor of this book as readers walk through her journey to escape the chains of her impoverished past (in more ways than one) and survive her journey through war stricken France with body, heart, and mind in tact.
I really enjoyed the way this book tackled the struggles these women faced patching soldiers, doctors, and even themselves back together. Characters were lost and not everyone escaped the war unharmed. For me, this made the book far more enjoyable because it added realism.
Gwen herself was also a character I wanted to root for. Watching her wrestle with questions regarding family, identity, and the world around her as she progressed through her training and the war itself was believable. There were times I wanted to come alongside like a friend or sister and help her wrestle through.
The one thing that keeps me from giving this book full stars is the pacing. Now, I'll admit cramming the last few years of a war into a novel can be tricky at best, even when the focus is on a single character's perspective and interactions. However, there were time when I had to flip back to make sure I hadn't missed a page something as 10 days or 10 weeks had mysteriously vanished, summed up in a single sentence when obviously important events had occurred.
Gwen's relationship with Lex and Adam, the Doctor battle with his illness are two instances where I felt the rushing did a strong disservice to the characters and the story, especially given Gwen's connection to the three men and the complexities that surrounded their interactions. Personally, I would have been willing to read a longer novel if it meant feeling less rushed through these elements but I have always been a stickler for details. The rushed pace made the ending feel a little too tidy. I realize there was lots of anguish as Gwen made tough decisions (no spoilers here sweetie) but the speed with which the text wrapped up almost disservices Gwen's struggle. Perhaps this is an issue that is addressed in book 2 although I could easily see the trilogy focus on Gwen's future or shift to another nurse in that era.
Either way, I will be awaiting book 2 and would recommend this book to anyone looking for a romance, historical fiction novel.
This book was provided free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. ...more
Two warnings come to mind when I think back to reading Trisha Wolfe's Fireblood.
1. Give the book a few chapters. 2. Don't start reading 20 minutes befoTwo warnings come to mind when I think back to reading Trisha Wolfe's Fireblood.
1. Give the book a few chapters. 2. Don't start reading 20 minutes before bed!
I wish someone had warned me about the second point :)
I started this book exactly 20 minutes before bed, an important time in a house with a 4 month old, and my husband sleepily grinned at me when I finally crawled into bed with half the book finished still muttering to myself trying to figure things out with half the book to go.
First, things I loved. I loved the characters in this novel. Each character was solidified in their secrets, many of which weren't revealed until the end (a point Zara herself makes). This made for characters I found myself drawn towards as their different dimensions took shape. I love characters with depth and will overlook a multitude of deficiencies if I can connect with the characters. Between Zara, Devlan, Xander, Fallon, even Cecily I had a plethora of characters continually drawing my interest as I attempted to piece together then end game as chapters raced by. Did they ever race by!
Hence, the second thing I loved, the plot. I hate reviews that give away the ending so I endeavour hard to be subtle. Fireblood takes place long after a modern day war has devastated the earth, and the plot centers on a small (I can't figure out an estimate but I'm terrible with spacial sense) settlement named Camelot ruled by the elusive King Hart who has fashioned his utopia through fear and a heavy hand. Zara, our commoner heroine has been hand picked to marry the Prince, a young man named Sebastian who may or may not share his father's harsh tendencies.
When I started reading I was frightened. The book's not scary but the plot seemed so familiar I was worried I had signed up for a rehashed rerun of plots long since uncovered. I was delighted to find that Wolfe not only provided an excellent read but one which kept me guessing, despite the occasional reliance on cliche. I was constantly bemoaning (I'm a vocal reader) how I wished \I could read faster just so I could figure out who was on which side! I'm usually fairly competent at guessing plots before they're over. It was a joy to be left hanging until the end :)
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this read and look forward to seeing what else the author has in store.
I would highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a good read in this genre.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion...more
The book itself kept a fast pace throughout it's 500+ pages which is understandable. I can hardly imagine how the family selected the carefully chosenThe book itself kept a fast pace throughout it's 500+ pages which is understandable. I can hardly imagine how the family selected the carefully chosen memories of their 22 children, 2 through birth and 20 through adoption, and the life they live together. Relying heavily on narrative, quotes, and conversation the book reveals the "rollercoaster" of life with a large and, at times, complicated family.
Some of the highlights of this book are the stories. From camping adventures to ponies, the joy of each new addition to the pain of addictions, loss, and financial hardship the stories due to their birthing from real life are rich and draw in readers, especially for those with interests in adoption, working with families, etc. . .
The Badeau's are real in the hardships that accompany adopting older children, sibling groups, interracial children, and disabled children who each bring their own personalities, histories, and, sometimes, difficult prognosis. That said, they are also equally honest about the joys that come with having such a large family and the unique approach that breaking out of the stereotypical 2-3 child household can bring.
As they mention, they are not saints, they are not exploiters, simply a real family living life together and willing to invite others to share glimpses of their day to day.
This book could serve as a helpful introductory level book for those looking into adoption due to the balance with which the story is shared.
That said, some readers may be frustrated at the pace of the book. It is fast paced tackling 4 generations and over 3 decades, leaving some stories feeling unfinished or hurried and out of step in there telling.The reason for this is unclear. Some reviewers also have stated their frustration with how certain stories, such as Raj's, are obviously missing large chunks. While this is frustrating for those who enjoy completeness, I think it is helpful to remember this is a story in progress . . . unwritten in its finality. Some of these obvious gaps could very easily be seen as attempts to protect the privacy of individuals who have their own lives and intricacies left to work out.
Are we There Yet? was an easy read though it's subject matter could rarely carry the same label. Their faith stands evident throughout the text and throughout their family. I believe this book would be best appreciated by those who are interested in adoption, children's rights/ child workers, and those of the Christian faith.
This book was provided free of charge for my honest opinion...more
I will be honest, I only picked up this novel because it was a free book of the week which meant it fit my budget. However I was amazed at the story wI will be honest, I only picked up this novel because it was a free book of the week which meant it fit my budget. However I was amazed at the story which unfolded.
One of the most important things I look for in a book is characters I can get involved with. To my joy, Elmer supplied two such characters within Hanne and Steffen.
Hanne's passion for her people, courage in the face of the war, and her compassion towards her patients all gave the character a depth I appreciated.
Steffen,though seemingly mild-mannered which suited his pastorate nicely, was even more identifiable as he wrestled to determine what was right in the chaos of a world turned upside-down and, once determine this right, struggling to find the courage to pursue it.
Even though I'm a sucker for WW2 fiction, the loose connections this story has to the actual evacuation of Danish Jews, the characters, and the threads of romance make this a story I would recommend....more
This book centers upon the character of Kira, a young woman who hasn't had an easy life, and her best friend Lydia.
IThe first of the Crystor Triology.
This book centers upon the character of Kira, a young woman who hasn't had an easy life, and her best friend Lydia.
I explained my intro to this world in Broken, so, won't do that again.
I will, however, share my thoughts on this book.
Overall, I thought this was a wonderful light read for YA sci-fi. I enjoyed the characters, especially Kira and Toran. The world was well set-up and I love an author who puts the time in to add features into their written culture.
Is this a series piece? No. Did I like everything? No. I'm still wrestling with how quickly the relationship between Octavian and Kira develops although I realize in crisis, some relational give is going to happen.
That said, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun story and a quick escape into another realm (though I do suspect this series would receive more praise from female readers)...more
So,I finally got to sit down with this book and found it a surprise Code Name Verity is a WWII era novel following the lives of two women, Queenie andSo,I finally got to sit down with this book and found it a surprise Code Name Verity is a WWII era novel following the lives of two women, Queenie and Maddie, who have been thrown together due to the war effort. Normally a favourite genre of mine.
However, it took me a while to get into the story (hence the four stars over five). In the beginning, readers are introduced to a captured spy, who has no name and has seemingly decided to collaborate with the local Gestapo.
As the story progressed, it quickly turned into one of those "can't sleep until I'm finished" tales when Wein switches the story to Maddie's perspective and reader's were able to begin filling in the inconsistencies of the plot, which you find out weren't inconsistencies at all.
My one great annoyance with this book is that occasionally the plot jumped scenes too quickly and I found myself flipping back and forth through the pages, convinced I had missed something important.
Overall, I thought it was a lovely story for those interested in good friendship stories or WWII era who don't mind character driven over historical events.
This book was received through Goodreads FirstRead...more