Saturday, December 18, 2010

GUEST Review of "Pathfinder"

For this review, I am going to do something a little different. My husband, Wesley, also read this book, and I am going to let him do the majority of this review! Here he is.....!

“Orson Scott Card is an interesting author.  To say I am a fan of his might be overstating it, but at the same time, understating it.  His book “Ender’s Game” is one of my favorite books of all time.  I have read it many times, and I love it every time I do.  The rest of his books in the “Ender” series were okay.  His other series, however, were not good at all.  So, when Sara told me that she was getting a new Orson Scott Card book to read, I was interested, but skeptical.  Turns out, it was a pretty good book!
The story centers on a teenage boy named Rigg.  He and his father live alone wandering the woods as trappers. When we are introduced to Rigg, we quickly learn that he has an unusual gift.  He can see the paths that people or animals have taken in the past.  They appear as colorful ribbons in the air, and can go back thousands of years.  His father spends every waking moment teaching Rigg about his power and about life in general.
The story really starts going when Rigg’s father dies.  His dying wish is for Rigg to go on a journey to meet his mother and sister, who Rigg was told were dead.  Before he gets the chance to start, however, he meets a boyhood friend, Umbro, who also has a special ability.  Umbro’s ability is to slow down or speed up perceptions, allowing Rigg to actually “travel” to the past paths that he can see.
Now, right off the bat, I am very worried about this book.  Time travel?  Talk about a mine field.  How many Sci-Fi geeks have spent sleepless nights arguing about time travel and how books and movies screw it up?  (I know I do every time I watch Terminator).  But, Card does something unusual in this book.  He knows the paradoxes that time travel creates, and instead of trying to avoid them, he actually embraces them as part of the story!
Even with the time travel stuff, this story line is actually very interesting.  Each chapter starts with a secondary story about how this planet was populated.  At first, it is very confusing reading the two stories.  However, as the book goes along, the two stories complement each other in such a way that it makes the story whole without you realizing there was something missing.  Between the history of their planet, the history of their people, the history of Rigg’s family, and the dangers they all bring to our main characters, this story was very compelling.
This was the first of a series and I can’t wait until the rest of the books come out.  I am eager to see what the future holds for Rigg and his friends. Overall, I would give this book 4 bookworms.”
Thank you, Wesley!
I needed Wesley to do the main review of this book because I was thoroughly confused by it! I love “Ender’s Game” as well, it is one of my favorite books, but with this book, I got too bogged down. I thought the story was interesting, though, and I would recommend it to fans of Orson Scott Card, especially if you like time travel Sci-Fi!
For more information about this book, please click here.
This book was sent to us as a complimentary review copy from Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster Publishing Company.
We will give “Pathfinder”…  4 BookWorms!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Simon Pulse. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

"The Silent Governess" Review

“The Silent Governess” by Julie Klassen was sent to me as a complimentary review copy by Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group.

This book is a (loosely) Christian fiction book that is presented in the “regency” genre. I found out that this means that the book takes place during the time of lords and ladies and such in 19th Century England. (Think Jane Austen novels).

In this story, we are introduced to Olivia Keene, a common girl who is fleeing a circumstance that has just occurred in her home. While on the run, she overhears Lord Brightwell and his son, Edward, discussing a secret that would change Edward’s life forever. When is it discovered that Olivia now has knowledge of the Brightwell secret, Edward compels Olivia to take a post at Brightwell Court, where he can ensure his secret is never revealed.

It was really hard for me to decide whether or not I liked this book. While I was reading it, I did enjoy it. I really enjoyed reading about the various classes of people in this novel…the lords and ladies, the servants, and how the governess doesn’t fit in with either group. However, there were several things about the book that I thought were odd.

One thing was that this book is classified as Christian fiction, but there really wasn’t much that was Christian about it. There was the occasional mention of God (mostly by the vicar), and they did pray when in dire circumstances, yet their lives did not at all reflect people who knew Christ and sought to serve Him. I do not mind reading books that do not have a Christian aspect to them, I just expect a little more from a novel that is actually labeled as Christian fiction. Also, it is really, really hard for me to read a book that even hints at cousins getting married. I know this went on during 19th Century England, but it still just makes my stomach turn!

Another thing was that this book was very convoluted. There are so many secrets and cover-ups and lies and mysteries that by the end my head was spinning! It very much felt like a historical soap opera! And even though there were so many “mysteries,” I figured most of them out before they were revealed.

While I do not claim to be a huge fan of Jane Austen-type novels, I was really expecting more from this book. I was enjoying it at the beginning, but by the end, I just thought it was kind of ridiculous.

For more information about this book, please click here.

If you enjoy the regency genre, you will most likely enjoy this book.

I will give “The Silent Governess”….. 2 ½ BookWorms.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"The Enclave" Review

“The Enclave” by Karen Hancock was sent to me as a complimentary review copy by Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group.  

The story begins as we get to know our two main characters, Lacey and Cameron. Lacey is a recent Genetics master’s degree graduate who has just started a job with a breakout company, Kendall-Jakes Longevity Center. Cameron is a PhD geneticist (with a past) who is also employed at Kendall-Jakes. Lacey and Cameron end up in an unlikely relationship due to the circumstances surrounding their experimental research. At the same time, there is a parallel story going on about another group of people whose history is revealed slowly and mysteriously. I can’t really say any more about the plot, or I will give it all away!

The genre for this book was not what I expected based on the description on the back cover. I knew that it would be Sci-Fi, but I didn’t realize that it was going to be Christian Sci-Fi. However, I enjoyed most of the Christian aspects of the book. I personally know what it is like to study science in school and to work in a scientific environment while being a Christian. While I never experienced the profound discrimination that Cameron does in the book, I could empathize with him and his situation.

Even though I mostly enjoyed this book (I really enjoy Sci-Fi, especially since this one involved biology and genetics…right up my alley!), there were parts that just didn’t cut it for me. For one, the book seemed to be about 100 pages too long. The first few chapters were too drawn out and some of the descriptions of the different places and facilities were too extensive. It almost seemed as if the first chapters should have been radically condensed and the last chapters made to go on a bit more (some things didn’t seem to be completely wrapped up to me). Another thing was that although the author seemed too descriptive at times, at other times she seemed to need more of a variety of phrases with which to work. I would love to go back and count how many times she used the expression ‘someone’s hair stood up on the back of their neck’ or they ‘felt a chill up their back’!

The other thing I didn’t like about this book is something I can’t really talk about unless you have read the book, or it would give too much away! I will just say that there was a supernatural element to the book that was taken from the Bible, and I didn’t really enjoy that part of the story. It just felt wrong to me and way over-the-top. The author didn’t seem to have a very good understanding of that part of Scripture, and I think more caution should have been taken when using the Bible as a basis to back up a distinctly fiction element of a story.

Overall, this book was pretty good. Those who enjoy Sci-Fi will enjoy it, but if you do not like Sci-Fi, I wouldn’t recommend it for you.

For more information about this book, click here.

I will give “The Enclave”…..  3 BookWorms

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, December 13, 2010

"The Centurion's Wife" Review

“The Centurion’s Wife” by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke was sent to me as a complimentary review copy by Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group and is the first in the “Acts of Faith” series by these authors.

Janette Oke is one of my favorite authors, and her “Love Comes Softly” series is one of my all-time favorites. However, this book did not live up to my expectations for Janette Oke. I guess I should have been suspicious when I saw that it was written with Davis Bunn. I have previously read one other series by these two authors (“Song of Acadia” series), and I didn’t really like it.

“The Centurion’s Wife” is the story of Leah, a distantly Jewish servant in Pilate’s household at the time of Christ’s death, and Alban, a Roman Centurion. Alban and Leah end up in an arrangement to be married after Alban fulfills a duty to Pilate to find out what happened to Jesus’ body. The narrative is told from Leah’s point of view as well as Alban’s and spans the several weeks in Jerusalem and the surrounding area after Christ’s resurrection. It involves both characters’ course to finding out what they believe about this man Jesus.

I have never read a historical fiction book that is based on a biblical account, so this is a first for me. And based on this book, it might be my last. Since the main character was not portrayed as I thought he should be portrayed based on the Bible, then the story was not “real” to me. Alban is supposed to be the centurion mentioned in the Bible in Matthew 8 and Luke 7. In the biblical account, Jesus heals a centurion’s servant (from afar…without going to the servant), and then Jesus commends the centurion for having great faith. Because of the way this book portrays this biblical account, I did not really enjoy the book. In this book, when this miracle happens to Alban and his servant, Alban doesn’t really even know who Jesus is. He is not portrayed as having any faith in Christ or even God at all. The rest of the book is Alban's search to find out who Jesus is, but I think anyone who Jesus commended for having such great faith would have already believed in Him. I understand that historical fiction is, in fact, fiction, but if the authors are going to base a book on history, then I think they should at least get the history right. For example, I wouldn’t enjoy reading a historical fiction book based on the American Revolution and in that book read that the British won! The same thing seems to be happening in “The Centurion’s Wife.”

Another thing that bothered me was that everyone in the book drank tea. Tea? Did they drink tea in the Bible? I don’t know. It is not mentioned in the Bible, but maybe they did. I do know that wine was mentioned in the Bible, and I thought that was what they would drink in this book. It is not a big thing…it is just something that bothered me every time I read it! I guess the authors were trying to make the book “cleaner,” as in not putting alcohol in the book, but come on. It just didn’t seem realistic to me.

I have to say also that I thought this book was just boring. After getting into the beginning and getting to know the characters, I was bored until over halfway through the book. Maybe it’s just me, but I almost fell asleep several times while reading this book, and I rarely do that!

One thing I did like about this book was that it made me think about what it would have been like to actually know Jesus on earth. Mary Magdalene, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus are minor characters in this book, and it was remarkable to ponder how it would have felt to actually see and hear Christ during his time here.

If you enjoy Christian historical fiction from the time of Christ, you might enjoy this book better than I did. I just couldn’t get into it because of the poor portrayal of the biblical account.

I am disappointed that this book is from Janette Oke. Maybe it is more “Davis Bunn” than “Janette Oke” and that is why I didn’t enjoy it.

If you would like more information about this book, please click here.

I will give “The Centurion’s Wife”……. 2 BookWorms.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Book Club Review -- "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"

For our December book club, we kept it simple and decided to read “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson. I first read this book when I was a kid, and I have read it many times over the years of my childhood. This was the first time I had read it as an adult, and it was just as good as I remembered.
This story is about a rambunctious (okay, just plain mean…) family of six kids, the Herdmans, who constantly terrorize their town and its people. No one ever expected to see them show up at church, but they do, after a promise of refreshments. And then they get mixed up in the Christmas Pageant…
As a child, I thoroughly enjoyed this simple book. I thought it was funny and sweet. As an adult, I still enjoyed it, but I of course found so much more meaning in it. This story is funny, charming, and right on the mark with its account of the true meaning of Christmas and the reality that no one should be counted without hope.
I give “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”…….. 5 BookWorms!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Book Club Review -- "Christmas Jars"

“Christmas Jars” by Jason F. Wright is the November book selection for my book club, and this is a book that my husband and I read together. (When our daughter was born, we started reading aloud to each other during her bedtime feeding. Several novels and the entire Harry Potter series later, we still read aloud to each other almost every night!)

“Christmas Jars” tells the story of Hope, the adopted daughter of Louise, and her quest to find the origin of some mysterious jars that appear each Christmas in her small town. I actually hesitate to tell my readers even that much about the story, since the book is so short!

Despite the book’s short length, this was a very good story. It was both engaging and heartwarming, and the message of giving at Christmastime came through clearly.

The only issue we had with the book was that the writing style was odd at some points. We felt it would have made a better short story than a book. It seemed to drag in places and then raced through others places.

I also felt that the “point” of the Christmas Jar should have been more “directed.” (I don’t want to give the story away to those who haven’t read it, so I am being cryptic here! If you have read this and want to know what I mean, leave a comment, and I will talk to you or email!)

Overall, we really enjoyed this little book. After reading it, we were of course inspired to start our own Christmas Jar!

We give “Christmas Jars”…….. 4 Book Worms!

"A Year with God" Review

“A Year with God” by R.P. Nettelhorst was sent to me as a complimentary review copy from Thomas Nelson Publishers, through their program called BookSneeze.

This book is a daily Bible devotional based on the words of God from the Old Testament. It is organized into sections such as Hope & Fear, Love & Hate, and Faith & Doubt. Each day lists a section of scripture that includes God’s words to his people followed by a short reflection on this passage from the author.

To begin, the thing I like best about this devotional is that each daily section is listed as “Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc.” rather than listed by a specific date. This makes it possible to read ahead if you like and does not make you feel so bogged down if you miss a day or two.

As far as content, however, this book was only okay. The author uses many different Bible translations throughout the book, and I felt as if he/she was picking and choosing translations to what would fit his/her musings the best. I also thought that many of the contemplations about the scriptures fell rather flat and were not very thought-provoking.

In addition, I felt that some things were incorrect theologically with this book. While I am no theologian, I do know the Bible, and I found several inaccuracies in the text. One passage says the following:

“Jacob had sent his children to Egypt to get food because they were facing famine. When they returned, he discovered they’d been accused of being spies and one of his sons, Joseph, had been imprisoned. To get him out, Jacob would have to allow the last remaining son of his beloved Rachel to go down to Egypt.”

Um…no….Joseph had been imprisoned earlier in the story, but at this point Joseph was second in command in Egypt. When the brothers came to buy food, Joseph kept Simeon behind in prison while the others went home to their father to bring Benjamin back. Maybe this was a typo, maybe not, but there were other questionable beliefs expressed in this book that I won’t relate here.

I would also like to mention that while a devotional book on the Old Testament is a wonderful thing, we as Christians should always be looking to Christ. The Old Testament points to Christ as the Messiah and should be read as such. We can learn a great deal about how to live our lives by thinking on the words of God from the Old Testament. I just always like to think how those words and promises in the Old Testament were fulfilled in Christ, and this devotional does not always do that.

Visit this link for more information.

I will give “A Year with God”….  2 BookWorms.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Embers of Love" Review

“Embers of Love” is the first novel in the latest trilogy ("Striking a Match" series) by Tracie Peterson. I received this book as a review copy from Bethany House Publishers (Baker Publishing Group).
The story begins in 1885 in Philadelphia as two young women, Deborah and Lizzie, graduate from college and begin their adult lives. Lizzie is engaged to be married to a wealthy future politician, Stuart, but she decides that she does not love him and flees with Deborah to Perkinsville, Texas, which is Deborah’s hometown. Texas is where the adventure really begins.
While Lizzie deals with her former fiancĂ©e, a possible new love in the person of Deborah’s brother, and her suffragette mother, Deborah is trying to find her place in the world. She went to college in order to return to Texas and take care of the bookkeeping portion of the logging business that her family owns. However, she finds herself drawn to the medical sciences and to the new doctor in town.
Overall, I think this book is what the Christian historical fiction genre should be. There are several characters involved in intertwining storylines, and the accounts are based on what was going on historically in Texas and in the United States at that time. Although at times this novel got rather “preachy” for my taste (about social issues, not about God), there were interesting points made about the issues of slavery, women’s rights, and the environment. I especially enjoyed reading this story from the perspective of a town that is a “company town.” I had heard of this concept before but didn’t really know what it was. The company that started the town in “Embers of Love” is a lumber mill company, and most everyone in the town works at or for the mill.
This book has many characters in it, but for some reason, it was easier for me to keep these characters straight rather than in the last book I reviewed, “The Thorn.” I also thought that “Embers of Love” wrapped itself up more easily than “The Thorn” did. Although not every story in “Embers of Love” completely played itself out, it ended in a way that did not feel abrupt. I also want to know what else happens to the characters in “Embers of Love” more so than “The Thorn.”
While I enjoyed this book, I feel as if I should warn those of you who might have trouble reading books with a medical storyline. Some scenes in the book are rather graphic, medically speaking, since the book takes place in the 1880’s in a lumber mill town (think accidents with sharp saws/axes with no anesthetic or antibiotics). I majored in science in college and worked in that field for nine years before my baby girl was born. While I didn’t exactly enjoy those scenes, I did appreciate the medical advances that were being discovered at that time in history and the interest the character of Deborah had in the medical arts. Just considered yourself warned. I know my husband would not really want to read some of those paragraphs! :)
I will be interested to read the second and third books in this series when they become available.
Visit this link for more information.
I will give “Embers of Love” ……. 4 Book Worms!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"The Thorn" Review

This book is one I received from Baker Publishing Group as a review copy. It is written by Beverly Lewis and is the first in a series of three novels (The Rose Trilogy) from Bethany House publishers.
I have only read one other book by Beverly Lewis (“The Shunning”), and it was so long ago that I don’t remember much about it.
This story is about two Amish sisters living in Pennsylvania. The younger, Rose Ann, has been baptized into the Amish faith and is currently dealing with courtship along with the daily care of her handicapped mother. The older sister, Hannah (‘Hen’ for short), left her Amish faith five years earlier to marry a non-Amish (English) man and is currently living in the ‘modern’ world.
Rose Ann’s best friend is the adopted son of the Amish bishop, Nick, who has not embraced the Amish ways. She also has somewhat of a courtship with another Amish boy, Silas, and he is the one with whom she can envision a future. Rose Ann seems compassionate and caring, and she is totally devoted to her faith.
Hen is married to Brandon, and is living in the modern world with him and her daughter, Mattie Sue. However, recently she feels conflicted with the way Mattie Sue is being raised in the modern world versus the way she was raised in the Amish world. She has a desire to return to her Amish roots, but she is not able to convince her husband to become Amish.
To me, this book was bewildering.  Maybe I am just not used to reading Amish books, but there were so many characters involved (especially minor characters who were mentioned once and then you were expected to remember who they were ten chapters later) and so many Amish words that I didn’t know that it made me dizzy at times. Also, the character of Hen frustrated me. She chose to leave the Amish way of life to marry someone else, but now five years later she wants to go back and wants her husband to convert to the Amish faith. She says that she wants this so that her daughter can be raised in a moral way. So, the only way to instill values and morals in your child is to be Amish? And she wonders why her husband is confused? I was.
Also, this book did not endear itself to me early on because of a casual wondering from Rose Ann. At one point she is thinking about her sister and her sister’s child, and the text says, “She wondered whether Hen and Brandon would have more children, or if Mattie would remain an only child, like Nick had once been. Rose could not imagine being so alone…nor would she ever wish it on anyone.” Well, as an only child (and the parent of an only child, currently), this statement bothered me to no end. Alone? Am I so alone? I have loving parents; an amazing husband; a precious daughter; wonderful in-laws; many caring aunts, uncles, and cousins; a fantastic church family; and more friends than I ever thought possible. Is that “so alone?” No. It is not. Okay…rant over.
I understand that this book is the first in a series of three, but none of the storylines were wrapped up at all. Almost every question was left hanging. With trilogies, there needs to be some carryover from one book to the next, of course, but this one just stopped abruptly.
I guess part of the reason I didn’t really enjoy this book is that I really don’t understand the Amish faith. From the book, it seems as if the Amish believe that you do not have God’s salvation unless you have been baptized into the Amish faith. Well, I have not been baptized into the Amish faith, but I do have God’s salvation through Christ. I guess if I read the other books in this series, I will need to just enjoy the story rather than analyze the theology behind the story!
Even though this book had some frustrating parts for me, the story was still pretty good and fairly well written. If I had more knowledge of the Amish ways, I think I would have enjoyed this book more. If you are a fan of Amish fiction, you will enjoy this book.
As far as “Bonnet Books” go, it was not that bad! Visit this link for more information.
I will give “The Thorn” by Beverly Lewis…2 ½ Book Worms.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Book Club Review – “The Poisonwood Bible”

I am part of a book club that meets once a month with a group of friends from my church. We started this book club back in the spring, around April, I think. We have met once a month since then to discuss a book and to just fellowship and talk and have fun! I have really enjoyed being a part of this book club -- it gives me a night out with "the girls!"

For October's book club meeting, we read "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver.

This book takes place in the 1960's as a family from Georgia (father, mother, and four daughters) go to the Congo as missionaries. The father is a "fire-and-brimstone" southern preacher who goes to Africa expecting to rescue the heathens from themselves. Of course this family has no idea what to expect from the African culture, and the things they experience will shape each of their lives in various ways. The story is told in the first chapter from the perspective of the mother and then in the subsequent chapters by each of the four daughters in turn.

Overall, I thought this book was very informative of the life and culture of Africa. It was eye-opening in a lot of respects based on what I thought I knew about Africa. I also enjoyed reading the book from the perspectives of the daughters. Each daughter had such a distinctive voice that it kept the book alive for me.

This book was also very heart-wrenching, and at times even depressing. Of course, you might think this would be the case in a story about a land that has endured such political hardship, but I thought the depressing feeling came more from the actions of the missionary family rather than from the African culture. The father was so determined to baptize the Africans that he neglected meeting the people where they were. There was no compassion in his manner of showing Jesus to them.

I think this describes the feeling of most of the book club members, too, although I won't speak for them! Most thought the book was pretty good and very interesting as far as the history and culture of the Congo. It was also thought that it was pretty depressing and without hope or true faith.

I am rating "The Poisonwood Bible" Three Bookworms.

Stayed tuned next month for the Book Club choice for November:  "Christmas Jars" by Jason F. Wright.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

“A Tailor-Made Bride” Review

This book is one that I received from Baker Publishing Group as a review copy. It is written by Karen Witemeyer, and I believe this is her first novel. It is published by Bethany House, which is a division of Baker Publishing Group.

"A Tailor-Made Bride" begins as we meet Hannah, a dressmaker living in Texas in 1881, who has just been given the opportunity to open her own shop. However, as soon as she arrives in her new town, she is immediately confounded by the local liveryman, J.T., who seems to have issues with her chosen profession. Of course, as the title of the book proclaims, romance ensues.

Both of the main characters in this story are Christians from the start of the book, which to me was refreshing. Now, don't get me wrong…I love to read stories about people and their journey to Christ. It was just nice to read about people who already have a mature faith and how they deal with troubles and blessings in their lives. One thing I really liked in this story was that whenever these characters have problems or questions, they go to the Bible for answers. They did this either by reading the Bible or recalling Scripture from memory.

Honestly, I really liked this book. It was easy to read and lighthearted. It brought to mind many thoughts of the balance that is needed in the lives of Christians. The main thoughts about balance in this story were related to inner and outer beauty, although other issues of balance were also brought to light.

The only thing that I was a little bit disappointed with was the many physical descriptions of the characters. While I realize that the main focus of this book was appearances, there seemed to be a lot of vivid descriptions about the characters' physiques. Yes, this is a romantic story, which should tell why/how these two are attracted to each other; however, this is also a Christian novel, and sometimes the descriptions were a little too romance novel-like.

Something that was funny in this book was that the main male character, J.T., constantly chewed on toothpicks. I thought it was a funny feature to put into his character and one I would never put in a character! Anyone who knows me really, really well knows that I HATE wooden things in my mouth. I even take popsicles and ice cream bars off of the stick before I eat them (if I can) because I hate the feeling of wood on my teeth. It's weird, I know. I don't know why it bothers me, but it does!

As I said earlier, overall I really liked this book. This type of story is right up my alley. The story was heartwarming and interesting and not at all depressing (unlike some other recent books I have read…more reviews to come!).

If you would like to go to the product page for this book, visit this link.

I give "A Tailor-Made Bride"….. 4 Book Worms!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"She Walks in Beauty" Review

"She Walks in Beauty" by Siri Mitchell is a book that I picked up from an "if you like this might like this author" recommendation. I think the author that I "liked" was Tracie Peterson, but I'm not sure!

This book takes place during New York City's Gilded Age, which was during the late 1800's/early 1900's. As far as historical fiction goes, I have not read much from this time period. The main character, Clara Carter, is an only child being raised by her father and widowed aunt. She is coming into the year of her "debut" and is expected to snag a wealthy husband in order to uphold her family’s honor.

While the setting of this book was interesting, I sometimes became bored with the endless descriptions of dresses and dances and the goings-on of the characters, especially their experiences with wearing corsets. I guess that was the point of the book, but it did get tiring. The main character, Clara, seemed to waffle back and forth a lot. One minute she dreaded going to the next ball; the next minute she was excited to be there.

Also, for a supposedly Christian book, the message of faith was not really there. I think you could take out every reference to faith or God and still have the same story.

While I did not enjoy this book as much as other Christian historical fiction stories I have read, the author’s obvious point that women in this era were forced into everything they did (even forced into corsets…) can be pertinent today. Who I am as a woman and a human being is determined by God and His Word, not society or worldly standards.

I have decided to rate books using a "Bookworm Rating!" This will be out of 5 Bookworms.

“She Walks in Beauty” will receive………2 1/2 Bookworms.


"Really Woolly Bible Stories" Review

I received the children's book, "Really Woolly Bible Stories," by DaySpring, from the reviewer site It is published by Thomas Nelson Publishing.

This book is a sweet little collection of Bible stories. Each page features a different Bible story (in correct Bible order) that is written in rhyme and an illustration to go along with it. The illustrations are lovely, and my 20-month-old daughter enjoys this book immensely. She loves to pick out the picture of the lamb on each page, and she likes the pages with Jesus. One thing I really like about the book is that each page has the biblical reference for each story listed. This book is a padded board book, and would be enjoyed mostly by toddlers and preschoolers.

Of course, with all Bible stories, these stories have some references to scary things such as lions or death. But, these stories are from the Word of God, and they must be told as they happened.

Overall, my daughter and I both enjoyed this book.

I will give Really Woolly Bible Stories ... 4 BookWorms

If you would like to see the product page for this title, follow this link:

The Fine Print:  Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My First Book Request!

Today I reqested my first book for review! It is from Thomas Nelson Publishing (, and it is a children's book called "Really Wooly Bible Stories" by DaySpring. I am excited to receive it and post a review!

When I started this blog, I had not expected to get the opportunity to review children's books, but I am sure the Baby Girl will love it!

Over the next few days I will post reviews of some of my favorite books and of some of the books I have read recently.

In order to get my Book Review blog up and running, please check back often to read my posts, leave comments, and become a follower of my blog. The more traffic I get on my blog, the more free books I can receive from publishers! (And if you want, I can even pass them on to you to read!)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Shoopette's Book Reviews" is Born

Ahh...Books. I love them.

I cannot even remember a time when I didn't know how to read.

When I was a child, I loved going to the library...I thrilled to go to a bookstore and use my allowance to get the next book in the series I was reading...I would even set up my own "bookstore" at home with all of my books and "sell" them to my Dad (or catch him stealing them!).

As a young adult, I was always "in the middle of" a book. When I finished one, I started on another. A lot of my free time in between school and piano and clubs and being with friends was spent reading.

As an adult, I still love to read, but my consumption of books has slowed. My daughter coming along had a lot to do with that, of course! That is one reason I am very excited to be starting this blog. I want to get back to my love of books. I want to sometimes turn off the TV or computer and enjoy a good page-turner. I have tried to read eBooks on my iPod or on a Kindle, but there is just something about holding a book in your hands that cannot be duplicated.

This blog will be dedicated to my thoughts on the books I have read. Some of them will be books publishers have sent to me to read. Others will be books that I have read over the years and enjoyed. I am also involved in a Book Club through my church, so I will be commenting on those books as well.

I hope you enjoy my blog, and that you will share in my love of reading!!!