This Bible is a compilation of Max Lucado’s Life Lessons Devotional books and the Bible. It is a really nice gift. For a study Bible it’s not too big, bulky, or heavy, has a nice burgundy cover and is very sturdy.
There is a two color design making it easy to sort through Bible passages and devotionals and I love seeing the life lessons interspersed throughout in the margins. In the back of the Bible there is a section showing different “reading the Bible in” plans for you to choose from whether it be 90 days, one year, or two years. This is great Bible for anyone wanting to delve deeper into study as well as any Max Lucado fan.
Jeremiah 29: 11-13
“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
I received this book free for review from Thomas Nelson Publishers
God Called a Girl draws on the life of Mary, a simple, insignificant teenager who God called to change the world. As we learn about Mary we begin to see how God chooses the unlikely to fulfill His plan and we are asked “are you willing to answer the call?”
This book was awesome. I learned so much about Mary and really started to think about her and look at her in a different light but the book isn’t as much about Mary as it is about God and what He can do with someone willing to submit their life to Him no matter what the circumstances. As easy as it would be to say that the story of Mary and Jesus’ birth is ancient an irrelevant to today’s culture Shannon adds stories from her life and those around her to show how we can learn from the courage of this teenage girl who risked it all to follow God. Ultimately this book is challenge to say “yes” to God and how following Him can change your world.
I’ve read this book a few times and am amazed every time. There is so much to think about and learn from.
“It’s been said that who we are in our current surroundings is who we will be in our desired surrounding.”
By Alice Wisler
Jackie Donavon has consistently asked God for two things; a husband and a bed-and-breakfast in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. As Jackie goes about her life striving for her dreams she comes across the Bailey Place, an old house with an outrageous price tag, in need of some fixing up, owned by the handsome and single Davis Erickson. Everything Jackie’s always wanted is falling into place, although Davis has a secret. Will Jackie ignore his past to go after her dreams?
The idea for the story was good but this book is so slow moving and drawn out that it wasn’t fun to read at all. The author described everything that happened and every movement each character took. It was like just get to the next scene already. I really wanted to like this book because it was set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and I have been there many times. I just couldn’t get into it. If the author was going to write such a descriptive book it would’ve been much better if she talked about the beauty of the islands or the inner dialogue of the characters and not what they were reading on the menu of a restaurant.
“The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook”
I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers
Rating: 3 carats
In the final installment of the Maya Davis series by Erynn Mangum ( read about Cool Beans and Latte Daze), Maya seems to have it all. She’s engaged to her long time best friend and now sweetheart, Jack, and everything should be just peachy, right? Wrong! Maya can’t shake her doubts and questions. What if this happens? What if that happens? When Jack is offered a once-in-a-lifetime job in Seattle Maya begins to panic even more about the future.
Sad as I was for the series to end, I think it’s the best book in the series. We really see Maya questioning what she is doing, where is going, and learning to rely on God even when things don’t go as she had hoped.
Erynn really has a knack for funny one-liners and relating the Bible to real life through her characters weekly church Bible study. I can’t wait for her next series.
“But then again God is God. And He does have a way of changing my plans. After all, I am marrying Jack Dominguez instead of Justin Timberlake. Seventh grade was interesting.”
I received this book free for review from NavPress Publishers
On a Whim is the second book in Robin Jones Gunn's Katie Weldon Series(read about book one, Peculiar Treasures). The book starts in Katie's senior year of college when she thinks she has things figured out with Rick Doyle. Rick's work schedule makes things a challenge and Katie ends up spending time with Rick’s new roommate Eli. After star gazing in the desert with Eli, Katie begins to wonder about everything she had planned out for her life.
Reading about Katie is like spending time with a friend. Katie is sweet, relatable, and just as confused as the next person. Robin has a heartwarming way of weaving the lives of her characters into the hearts of her readers, leaving an imprint there. The Katie Weldon series displays the depth of the friendship between Katie and Christy as their lives go in two different directions. I get so excited to see anything new from Robin. I'll be a lifelong reader.
"If there's one thing I've learned it's that good friends are like gold."
In Safe Haven the main character, Katie Feldman, moves to a small, sleepy town on the east coast determined to make it her refuge. Katie rents a small cabin and begins to work at a local restaurant. As the days go by Katie meets a kindhearted widower, Alex, with two kids and an empathetic neighbor, Jo. She slowly lets her guard down and begins to feel part of the community. Can Katie really keep her past behind her? And will her secret put those she’s drawing close to in danger as well?
This book starts out like it is going to be a sweet southern love story and I really liked it. Halfway through the point of view shifts to that of Katie’s husband, Kevin, and we are drawn into his obsessive, controlling world as he stalks around trying to find where Katie has fled to. I stopped liking the book at this point. It turns into a thriller and just isn’t my style. However anyone who likes sitting on the edge of their seat would probably really like this book. Nicholas Sparks is an amazing writer and will definitely read another one of his books.
"That he would love her no matter what she told him, and that he was the kind of man who loved her already and would love her forever."
I received this book free for review from Hachette Audio
After a painful divorce, Shey Lynn packs and moves to Texas from New York City to be with her family and regroup. She is left with three boys who do not want to be in Texas and her own doubt of whether she'll ever find happiness again. Conflict after conflict arises when Shey can't get along with her mother, doesn't feel comforted by her brothers, and her sons act out trying to get her to send then back to NYC. If that isn't enough she runs into Dane, her high school crush and begins to wonder what would happen if she had ended up with him.
The whole book seemed like Shey was just wandering aimlessly and even though there is a resolution in the end, it doesn't seem like Shey grew as a person or learned anything from her experiences. Shey is obviously hurt and struggling for answers but the books as a whole didn’t go anywhere or accomplish anything.
I received this book free for review from Hachette Book Group
Don't Kiss Him Goodbye is the third installment of Sandra Byrd's London Confidential series(read the first two Asking For Trouble and Through Thick and Thin). Savvy Smith has been living near London, England for almost a year now beginning to settle in and feel like she is making friends. As spring arrives she learns of the annual May Day Ball and longs to be asked. Savvy makes a list of all her potential dates only to see they already have asked someone. All except for one that is, the mysterious and good-looking Rhys who seems interested in her but who also has a reputation for trouble. What will Savvy do? Follow her heart? Or follow what she knows to be true?
Each Savvy Smith book draws me in more and more. I have really begun to not only like Savvy but to care about and root for her to make the right decisions, intrigued how she is so easily torn between two worlds.
This is a light and fun read written so descriptively you’ll keep turning the pages.
"We locked eyes for a moment and felt the bond of the sisterhood between two Christians who has hopes and dreams that seemed to have stalled over the Bermuda Triangle."
I received this book free for review from Tyndale House Publishers
Rating: 5 carats
Through Thick and Thin is the second book in Sandra Byrd's London Confidential series,(read the review of Asking For Trouble) Savannah Smith is starting to settle into her new life near London, England and soon sees the opportunity she has been waiting for - a chance to write a column for the school newspaper. Savvy carefully plots out her plan of action and is determined to execute it but when things start to unravel she is forced to choose between her family and friends or her dream job.
I really liked digging deeper into Savvy's life. Her biggest struggle was wanting to liked with real friends however it seems as though having people like her comes at a price which causes Savvy to dislike herself and hurt some people she cares deeply for.
Sandra Byrd did a great job of showing Savvy's challenges of going after her dreams and staying true to who she is while throwing in dashes of British culture and fashion.
By Susan Meissner
Having grown up in a wealthy family, Lauren decides to defy the tradition of relying on family money and step out on her own. She attends a public college and has to fend for herself. Always interested in literature, Lauren sees an ad for a transcription job and immediately applies. Lauren gets the job. Her first assignment is to transcribe the diary of a teenage girl, Mercy Hayworth, set during the Salem witch trials, and is soon drawn into a tale she knows will end in heartbreak. As Lauren digs deeper into the diary she begins to see herself and her life in a new light.
Just as Lauren was drawn into Mercy's story I was drawn into this book. Lauren gripped me with her love for the written word and her determination to make a life for herself. I loved following both Lauren and Mercy as they asked themselves the same question about life and where they were going while living in two different eras, experiencing different situations. It proves that no matter how different we seem on the outside we are still similar on the inside.
I listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator had a gentle, almost haunting voice which seemed perfect for the scenes of the witch trial.
I received this book free for review from Christianaudio.com
"We understand what we want to understand. That's the way it is, the way it will always be."
About the book:
Allie James returns to her hometown in need of a holiday job. Never did she expect old boyfriend Jordan Walker to hire her as his secretary! Years ago Jordan shredded her heart like wrapping paper. Now he must convince Allie that all he wants for Christmas is her love.
About the author:
Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Betsy is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, ‘Kickboxing or Chocolate’, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. Betsy has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly contributes articles to Crosswalk.com. She is a wife, author, new mother and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.
The Gingerbread Season is the second story in the Christmas novel, Mistletoe Prayers. Allie James feels like all she has worked for is gone. The business she went against her parents’ wishes to start has crumbled and she has found herself single, unemployed, and moving back in with her parents - not what Allie had always dreamed. Thinking this is only temporary Allie takes a holiday job only to find out her boss, Jordan Walker, is the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart 10 years ago.
The story switches between the perspectives of both Jordan and Allie. I really liked the point of view changes because it was easy to see how both were feeling despite the front they each put forward. The main characters were very well developed and I could easily sense the awkwardness each felt inside.
Betsy St Amant crafted Allie to be in touch with her feelings while trying very hard to push them down. A reader can really sense the struggle brewing inside of Allie as well as her love for the Christmas season and her determination not to let her current disappointments ruin her favorite holiday. I loved how there were so many fun traditions in the little town and how much the people in the story care about the town.
As many of Joni’s books have dealt with suffering so does this one. Written with the same eloquence and compassion we’ve come to know Joni for she poses the question, “If God can heal, why doesn’t He?”
Joni invites us to walk with her as she asks this question trying to understand her new battle of chronic pain. After nearly forty years of quadriplegia she is asking once again how God can use her while is so much pain. She is open, encouraging, and gives the honest answer to the question of God’s healing. It is His choice of who and when to heal according to His will.
She then goes on to explain the process and verses she has used in her journey to accept her new situation. Her advice may not be the easiest to swallow but I believe that with hard work, determination, and the right mindset this book can aid in making sense of suffering.
“Authentic strength walks hand in hand with weakness”
Everyone thinks John and Abby Reynolds are the perfect couple but secretly they are about to lose it all. After growing apart over the years and John nearly having an affair, they have decided to divorce. As John and Abby sit their family down to make the announcement their oldest daughter, Nicole, announces she’s engaged and wants to get married on her parent’s anniversary. In the moment John and Abby decide to keep their divorce quiet until after the wedding. Can they still find joy as the wedding approaches?
As the wedding does approach John and Abby are each filled with turmoil, flashing back to when things were good between them along with the struggles they have overcome during their marriage. Every scene, whether present day or flashback, pulls the reader in and offers the ability to feel both John’s and Abby’s pain as they question if they are making the right decision.
Throughout the book there are many whispers from God into their situations and it’s really interesting to see when and how both of them respond. Sometimes they follow the Lord’s leading and sometimes they don’t, just like any normal person.
The biggest down fall to the book is if the reader isn’t completely paying attention or is too caught up in the story, the reader may not realize when the perspectives have switched and may be left a little confused.
I received this book free for review from Thomas Nelson publsihers.
“The music never changes but it’s up to us to keep dancing.”
The Island is a story of four women taking a month long vacation on the island of Tuckernuck, Massachusetts, a remote island off the coast of Nantucket. All four bring their own heartbreak and try to sort through their problems together.
The story alternates between all four perspectives so you have the opportunity to get to know each character and why they wanted to escape to the island. This is supposed to be chick-lit but it didn’t seem very upbeat like chick lit traditionally is. Laced with pain the story was a bit depressing and listening to the audio version the narrators voice was dry, easy to lose track, and hard to follow.
“Plans for the vacation changed, and then changed again.”
I received this book free for review from Hachette Audio Group
Latte Daze is the second book in Erynn Mangum’s Maya Davis series. Maya Davis’ life is going just fine. She’s working at her favorite coffee shop, Cool Beans, alongside her boyfriend, Jack, living with her best friend, Jen, hanging out with her pilates loving dog, Calvin, and building a better relationship with her brother and his wife. Everything is just as Maya likes, calm and predictable, until Jen gets engaged, Maya’s sister-in-law announces she’s pregnant and Jack says “I love you” but does she love him?
This is a great follow up to Cool Beans. As light and fun-loving as this book is, Maya’s struggle to trust God in the midst of change is a great reminder to us as the reader to keep the faith. Maya knows in her head God is in control but does she feel it in her heart? Erynn does an awesome job of applying scripture to the character’s situations and sharing how God can speak in the right place at the right time.
“Reasons It’s Okay to Like Change:
1. God is in control.
2. God is in control.
3. God is in control.
4. Without change, we would not have any ice-cream flavors except vanilla.”
I recieved this book free for review from NavPress publishers
On a recent missions trip Christiana taught a Bible study to youth group girls of viewing themselves as daughters of the King. In this four part series on her blog, Christiana chronicles what she taught the girls, their reactions to her questions, and how to better see ourselves as the princesses we are.
2. Comparison - comparing how we see ourselves to how see princesses
3. Identification - Identifying who God is and who God says we are
4. Application - Applying who God says we are to how we see ourselves
I enjoyed this four part series and although it is aimed at younger girls, I think woman of any age can relate to all four parts. It is extremely easy to see only the negative and, as Christiana points out, compare ourselves to others regardless if the comparison is to a fairy princess or someone we see at the store.
Once we have established how we see and compare ourselves, Christiana does a great job in part three of showing us who God is. There are many Biblical references to back up her points.
Part 4 is my favorite because it offers practical ways to apply the earlier lessons to our lives. Christiana draws in the movie The Princess Diaries and writes out “God’s Princess Lessons” just as Mia’s grandmother gave Mia princess lessons to shape her into the princess she was born to be! Notice how Mia never thought of herself as a princess but that’s exactly what she was!
In part one; we learned that in general most women are critical and negative about themselves. In part two, we learned that we are willing to accept princesses for who they should be and are not critical about them—generally speaking. Next we are going to look at who God is and who we are in relation to Him.
By Erynn Mangum
Erynn Mangum is back with her quirky sense of humor and the pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee. In this book 24 year old barista, Maya Davis, is happily living life until her best friend and roommate starts dating her ex-boyfriend. The ex-boyfriend doesn’t recognize Maya and Maya can’t bring herself to tell her best friend of the past relationship. Chaos soon consumes Maya’s thoughts and she begins to question what she knows of who God is and what He is doing in her life.
Cool Beans has a lot of similarities to Erynn’s first series, The Lauren Holbrook Series. The main characters from these books, Maya and Lauren, have very similar personalities and habits yet they are both so loveable and identifiable any similarities in the books didn’t really matter. As in the Lauren Holbrook Series, this book is peppered with chocolate, coffee, tons of movie references, and the Style Network. Even with all this fun stuff, Cool Beans is anything but shallow. Erynn does a wonderful job displaying the daily struggles of pursuing a strong, personal relationship with the Lord without preaching all the while teaching the importance of a consistent quiet time.
Cool Beans is a quick fun read causing the reader to think about the consequences of not telling the truth and keeping strong in your faith. I think Erynn Mangum is well on her way to creating a Christian chick-lit genre all her own!
“It’s the whole Mary and Martha thing. If you’re focused on what you need to get done that day or on something that is bothering you, you’re not going to get anything out of your Bible reading. But if you focus on the words in front of you and pray for the ability to see beyond the page into how the words can make a difference in your life, you’ll get a whole lot more out of it.”
Jesus, the only way to God
By John Piper
About the book:
If the evangelical church at large was ever too confrontational in its evangelism, those days are gone. In our shrinking, pluralistic world, the belief that Jesus is the only way of salvation is increasingly called arrogant and even hateful. In the face of this criticism, many shrink back from affirming the global necessity of knowing and believing in Jesus. In Jesus, the Only Way to God, John Piper offers a timely plea for the evangelical church to consider what is at stake in surrendering the unique, universal place of Jesus in salvation.
In this book John Piper sets out to answer one question, "Is Jesus the only way to God?" The answer is simply yes. John Piper breaks this book down into three questions people commonly ask when wondering if Jesus is the only way to heaven. He continually turns readers to the Bible in order to prove why Jesus is the only way.
John Piper’s writings are very deep and profound. This book is not for the faint of heart and not something to pick and read through fast. John Piper is an author requiring the reader to read through and through his writings until the reader understands what he is saying.
I listened to the audio version of this book and while the message is a good one, the narrator was awfully boring and dry to listen too.
"God opens the eyes of the blind when his spokesmen portray Jesus Christ. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in the world to glorify Jesus."
I recieved this book free for review from Christianaudio.com
His Princess Girl Talk with God
By Sheri Rose Shepherd
About the Book:
Like a loving father, God holds you in the palm of His hand. He loves you no matter what you wear, what you say, what you've done, or how you feel. And He wants you to live a wonderful life.
In His Princess Girl Talk with God, Sheri Rose Shepherd helps you experience God's unending love for you through forty devotions. Sheri remembers what it was like to be a teen girl, and she connects your experiences with God's love. Through these stories, love letters from God, Scriptures, and prayers, you'll feel just how much God treasures you--His Princess.
His Princess Girl Talk with God
This is a 40 day devotional aimed at teenage-aged girls to help them see themselves as God sees them. Each devotional is two pages long starting with a Bible verse followed with a short story from Sheri Rose Shepherd’s life as a teenager and how she learned to see her worth in God. On the next page there is a short letter from “Your Father in Heaven” about how He created you and sees you as beautiful and a perfect part of His plan.
I really liked this book. I think this book is very relevant and speaks to more than just teenage girls. The message that we are daughters of the King and treasures to Him is something we all could spend a little more pondering.
“My English teacher did not teach me what I call God’s Grammar Lesson: Don’t put a period where He has a comma because He has a plan for every life He creates.”
About the Book:
When Riley Sinclair stepped into her new job as director of guest relations at a posh resort on Paradise Island, she felt the final pieces of her once-broken life coming together. But the waters become choppy when Riley discovers that some who come to the Atlantis Hotel are accompanied by paralyzing secrets and overwhelming fears. Riley and three guests are in desperate but unknowing need of each other, eventually forging unlikely yet powerful friendships. With a hurricane headed straight for the island, together they embark on a journey of laughter, heartache, and healing.
Wow! I really liked this book. This is Denise Hildreth’s first book in two years and it was well worth the wait. I’ve read her books before but Hurricanes In Paradise is the best yet with a little bit of everything. It’s a beautiful story of fashion, friendship, overcoming pain, discovering who you were meant to be, and of course the beach! The four main characters are easy to fall in love with, flaws and all.
Tamyra, Winnie, Laine, and Riley were all strangers at the beginning of the book only to be transformed into lifelong friends as they vacationed at The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. The book alternates between the four women weaving their stories together. Denise has mastered the art of foreshadowing. With every scene she drew me in and right as I was holding my breath to see what happened, she switched to a different character whom I was equally as enthralled in. Even I wanted to skip pages ahead to see what happened and I am not a page skipper!
There is an urban legend which says the waters at the Atlantis heal and some come searching for it. These women are quick to find the water may not be what heals but are directed to the One who truly does heal. Denise talks about faith in God without being preachy and even through a fictional story can help you see that trusting in the Lord can heal our deepest hurts.
“She was learning that control was an illusion, and she had a feeling that knowing would help her get through the week.”
I received this book free for review from Tyndale House Publishers
Rating: a whole gem parcel!!
Asking For Trouble
By Sandra Byrd
If adjusting to a new school wasn’t enough, Savannah Smith had to adjust to a new school in an entirely different country. Once Savannah’s family moved to England her friends from Seattle moved too - moved on with life without her! Savannah could feel nothing but left out. Determined to make her new life as fun as it was in the United States, Savannah sets out to find exactly what she can do to fit in. Will it be the art club? The Science club? Gymnastics club? What about the school newspaper with the cute editor-in-chief, Jack? Savannah has always dreamed of being a journalist and just knows this must be it. Some things are easier said than done. Can Savannah fulfill her dreams, make new friends, and stay true to her faith?
Sandra Byrd has written another winner combining faith, fashion, friendships, and the struggles of everyday life into a fun read with compelling characters and dashes of British culture. My favorite part of the book is how relatable Savannah is. As I read the book I could sense the frustration and confusion Savannah experienced striving to find her place in England while sticking to her values. There isn’t much I did not like about this book. I would have enjoyed more information on Savannah’s life and friendships back in Seattle to understand why she felt so out of place in England. Cheerio!
About the Book:
Debbie Alsdorf wants women to experience the radically transforming difference that 30 days can make in their lives. It’s what she calls the Faith Dare, in which she challenges women to develop the habit of focusing on God and living out their faith in every situation for 30 days.
Alsdorf, a popular author, speaker and ministry leader, equips women to undertake this 30-day challenge in her new book, The Faith Dare. To cultivate a lifestyle of daily, passionate faith, she helps readers learn, day by day, to develop habits that will help them connect intimately to God.
Every day, readers will be challenged to go deeper. Examples of the daily dares include:
o Dare to live in the miracle of who you are.
o Dare to believe in God’s power in all circumstances.
o Dare to surrender to the process of change.
o Dare to speak praise, sing praise, and live with confidence in God.
Readers will also learn practical ways of applying God’s Word to their own lives, whether it’s in their personal relationship with God, learning to surrender to self, or living out God’s love to others.
With a personalized study guide, including daily readings, affirmations and challenges, Alsdorf’s 30-day challenge helps readers learn to live out their faith like never before and discover the incredible difference 30 days can make.
In the first chapter of The Faith Dare Debbie writes, “The goal of this book is to look at life the way the Bible shows us.” Part one of the book explains what faith is, the common places we put our faith and questions to identify where our faith is. She then talks how God uses trials to test and strengthen our faith explaining placing our faith in the right person, God; we can learn to have peace through trials.
Part Two is the Thirty Day Faith Dare Challenge. Each day has a new challenge beginning with a short devotional writing and prayer/praise passage. Debbie then writes a Biblical truth pertaining to faith and goes on to explain what the Bible passage means. After that Debbie list a few dares to try throughout the day ranging from questions to ask yourself to activities like taking a walk specially paying attention to the scenery and wildlife around you. Wrapping up the day is a section to journal three things how the day’s truth spoke to you, what God is asking you to do, and what your challenge is to do. Debbie then closes with a prayer and a new belief to apply throughout the day.
Just reading the introductory chapters I was hooked and really anticipating the 30-day dare. Debbie writes what faith is, how our faith is tried, and common struggles we all have with faith. Yet she doesn’t just tell you, she gives you specific examples to explore where your faith is at. Debbie also breaks down what Bible verses mean and makes them easy to understand and apply. Often times she’ll quote the same verse then list different translations of the verse. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a book before.
Taking the time to do the dare and truly absorb what Debbie talks about has the ability to really teach and strengthen your faith. The only downfall I really see is that there is a lot of content focused on each day. When you have a busy life you may be tempted to speed through it. I think it would be best broken down maybe into weeks or smaller parts over a longer period. Debbie does state in the opening chapter that if feel you need to take more time on one challenge than spend as much time as you need on it. Grab a copy if you dare!
“You and I cannot generate faith for very long through human determination. Determination does not equal faith. Determination is a by-product of faith; it doesn’t cause faith. God gave us His words and promises to use as gifts. Take them and let them make a difference in your life.”
Rating: gem parcel
Learn about Debbie's Ministry HERE
Buy the book HERE
Rating: a whole gem parcel!
About the Book:
The countdown to prom has begun. Daisy Crispin has 196 days to find the right date for the prom. There's only one problem--her parents won't let her date or even talk to a guy on the phone. Oh, and she's totally invisible at school, wears lame homemade clothes, and possesses no social skills. Okay, so maybe there's more than one problem.
I really liked this book. I tend to like all things Kristin Billerbeck, from her books to her blog and her weekly Bachelor recaps. In Perfectly Dateless Kristin masterfully crafts an awkward perfectionist teenager, Daisy Crispin, striving to both please her parents and be popular (or at least not invisible).
Daisy has always dreamed of going to the prom. At the beginning of her senior year, Daisy sets out to get a date with the guy she has had a crush on since Kindergarten, convince her parents it is not a sin to date, and find a way to get people at her upscale Christian school to notice her.
Perfectly Dateless is a light, fast, and fun read weaving the world of teen pop culture into what it means to follow God. Kristin did a great job of showing Daisy’s awkwardness and struggles to let go of her perfectionist ways. Along the way Daisy learned things aren’t always what they seem on the outside and sometimes what we think we want isn’t always what is best.
Kristin wrote this book as a young adult but I think anyone could pick it up and enjoy it, especially if you’ve liked the wit and style of her Ashley Stockingdale series.
“My image of perfection clouded God’s vision, and I learned a hard lesson.”
I received this book free for review from Revell Book Publishers.
Men and Dogs
By Katie Crouch
After her husband cheats and abruptly leaves, Hannah Legare, is forced to face the life she fled years ago. Hannah leaves San Francisco, CA for her hometown of Charleston, SC to live with her mother and wealthy stepfather.
When Hannah was eleven her father disappeared while boating but a body was never found. Hannah believes that he is still alive somewhere and blames her inability to move on for attracting a cheating husband.
This story switches between the summer of 1984 when Hannah’s father disappeared and 2008 where she is searching for answers and following the presidential election. I really liked the in-depth descriptions of Charleston, SC and the quirky habits of the characters but all in all the book wasn’t that great. The characters don’t seem to relate to each other or draw you in as the reader. The plot was strange weaving sparks of real life politics and a fictional accident in 1984.
I received this book free for review from Hachette Audio Group
“There isn’t always a why
Visit Katie's website
Buy the book HERE
Rating: 3 carats
It is engrained in our society that the harder you work and stick to your schedule the happier, more productive, and more successful you’ll be. In Eat the Cookie, Buy the Shoes Joyce Meyer points out why this thinking is wrong and ways to change it.
Though setting goals and being disciplined is important, balance is the most important in leading a restful, happy, and productive life. Joyce sets out to help us feel less guilty about straying for our planned goals and even embracing lifes little indulgences. So sit down, grab a cookie, and enjoy yourself.
I really liked the book. The concept is simple but important. As someone who likes routine and sticking to her schedule this book was refreshing to think that it’s alright to take time for things we really enjoy and that simply make us happy, even if it’s a little frivolous.
Although the theme of the book is celebration, Joyce does a great job of pointing out that we need to discipline ourselves to do what is important and not put ourselves in a situation where we are lazy or overspending on our wants. I think she did a great job of balancing the theme of celebration with the importance of discipline proving that she truly understands and has experience the subject herself.
I listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator was the biggest downfall of the entire book. Her voice was boring and she talked slowly to enunciate everything well but doing so stopped her from being engaging and she ended up sounding more like a boring high school teacher than someone who wants to inspire to you lighten up and celebrate.
I received this book free for review from Hachette Audio Group