Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? by Rhoda Janzen

Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?: A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems
In this humorous book, Rhoda shares about her life as she met and married a nice Christian man, and battled breast cancer. Rhoda compares the Pentecostal church that her boyfriend, then husband attends with the much more staid Mennonite church of her youth. Although she had previously abandoned God and religion, when faced with cancer, and a loving Christian man and church, she was able to once again welcome God and faith into her life. She is an excellent writer and it is refreshing to read such a well-written book.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Homo by Michael Harris

Homo by Michael Harris
I found this book to be depressing. Will is a high school senior in a small town where the only other homosexual boy at his school, Daniel, is picked on relentlessly. Will looks online for a boyfriend and finds an older man in a nearby city. In the meantime, he is not a good friend to Julie and Daniel, his only friends, he lets his grades slip and he lies to his parents. The older man he met online gives him drugs and only after they have sex, with a condom at least, does he tell Will that he is HIV positive.
Then there are some websites listed in the author's note at the end of the book that are support networks for queer teens, which is probably good because if they were not depressed before they read this book, they may be by the time they finish it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The Interestings

This is a really long book.  Beginning when Jules is 15 at a summer camp, following her life and the lives of her best friends from camp - Ethan, Ash, and Jonah, the book ends when they are all in their early 50s. Life happens.  And love and joy and sorrow and trials and death.
It is an interesting book.
I am not really sure if it was worth taking the time to read it because it seemed really long.
Jules deals a lot with her jealousy of Ethan and Ash's success and wealth. However, they have their own problems.  I think by the end she finally learned that she should just be satisfied with what she had instead of wishing she had more. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Simply Delicious Amish Cooking by Sherry Gore

Simply Delicious Amish Cooking: Recipes and Stories from the Amish of Sarasota, Florida

This is a lovely cookbook with beautiful photos and endearing stories about the Amish in Sarasota, Florida. The stories are interesting and the recipes are simple and delicious. I like that the recipes don't include a lot of processed food ingredients in them or strange gourmet ingredients that are difficult to find in stores. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Unraveling (Unraveling, #1)

Young adult paranormal romance X-Files style!
Fans of both will enjoy this excellent book.
Seventeen year old Janelle's dad is an FBI agent, her mom is bi-polar, her younger brother is a nice guy and her life is pretty normal - until she gets hit by a pick-up truck and dies.
And then, a guy named Ben brings her back to life.
After that, nothing is the same.
FBI case, looking in her dad's files, aliens, portals to alternate universes, plot twists, and saving the world from being destroyed.
Add a romance with Ben to that, and it all makes an excellent book!
Totally fantastic first book!
I look forward to reading more by this author.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Becoming a Minimalist: A guide to living a great life with less through minimalism by Kimberly Wilson

Becoming a Minimalist by Kimberly Wilson
This is a well written book about the minimalist lifestyle what we purchase, to what we eat, to what we do, to how we decorate our homes. I am definitely NOT a minimalist. I am a minimalist wannabe - sort of. I enjoyed the book and thought it was really good.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Screwed by Laurie Plissner

Screwed by Laurie Plissner
Grace is a smart Christian girl who gets pregnant by a good looking jerk the first and only time they have sex, even though they used a condom. Her parents who are super-Christians well known in the community for helping others and running an abstinence class, freak out when they learn she is pregnant because it will ruin their reputation. When they kick her out of the house for refusing to have an abortion, which they have taught Grace is wrong, but they feel is necessary to hide her sin and save their reputation, Mrs. T., the kindly old rich Jewish woman who lives across the street happens to see the confrontation and she brings Grace into her house to live. Grace struggles as the only pregnant girl in her high school as all of her friends desert her except for her best friend and Charlie, Mrs. T.'s handsome nephew who happens to also be living with her his senior year. I thought the book was well written and interesting with a bit of romance and teenage angst but things seemed to work out too neatly and the characters seemed a bit too stereotypical.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

One Step Too Far
I found this book to be very confusing. I read it to find out why Cat just walked away from her husband and family and started a new life. I kept reading, and I started skimming a bit, but I think it would have been confusing even if I had not skimmed. It is supposed to be intriguing, I guess, to keep you reading to find out what happened and what is going on, but I think it threw in too many strange details. From her mother's life, to her evil twin sister's life to details of her friend Angel's life, yet just mystery about her own life and why she walked away from it. You don't find everything out until the very end and I just did not feel like it was worth all of the hype and mystery leading up to it.

Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate: Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life's Worries by Debora M. Coty

Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate by Debora M. Coty
I got this book for free to review and it really is a cute, funny inspirational little book. Funny stories, inspirational quotes, Bible verses and encouraging stories are put together in a pretty book of pink polka-dotted pages.

I love her acronym for what to do when you are angry - BARF -
B: Back off - Walk away to gain a new perspective
A: Admit - identify your emotions in order to deal with them.
R: Redirect - Refocus your emotions in a healthier direction
F: Forgive - First forgive your offender and then forgive yourself.

I highly recommend this book!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Not Without My Sister: The True Story of Three Girls Violated and Betrayed by Those They Trusted

Not Without My Sister by Kristina Jones
Dreadfully sad story. Kristina, Celeste and Juliana are 3 of the 14 children of Christopher Jones, a member of the The Children of God cult. Each woman shares the story of her childhood in the cult of being physically, sexually, and emotionally abused - all in the name of God and his love. Many children in the cult were taken from their parents and raised as part of the "Family" where they were seen as sexual objects from birth. The women were forced into prostitution - known as "flirty fishing" - to pay the bills. The cult members moved frequently from one third world country to another where they could not be easily found and prosecuted. One of their sisters, and many of the people their age who grew up in that cult, committed suicide.
Those who have left the group now try to help others to get out of it and live normal productive lives. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I started this book last night and then had to stay up way too late to finish reading it. I liked and disliked it. I could not figure out why Charlie seemed more like a 7 year old than a 15 year old. I guessed that perhaps he is supposed to be autistic but at the end saw that it could also relate to the abuse that he had endured as a child. I could relate to many of the things in the book - when I was in high school, a group of friends and I went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday nights at the midnight movie and although we did not dress up, we brought rice to throw and squirt guns and newspapers and we sometimes got up and danced along with the time warp.
I found the book intriguing, interesting, and disturbing.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Orphanage of Miracles by Amy Neftzger

The Orphanage of Miracles by Amy Neftzger
Hidden in a forest is an orphanage filled with children who create miracles. At least, that is what they are supposed to do. Except on Mondays. Everyone knows there are no miracles on Mondays. Nicholas, Jovan and Maggie struggle to keep their plants alive and to create a miracle - even though no one tells them how to create one, but together, they persevere. Kelsey goes on a quest to find a way to stop the war and help her family. Her journey brings her to strange places with mysterious women and a small companion who speaks to the birds and the strange women, but to no one else. Can they find the orphanage? It would take a miracle.
Lovely magical tale.

The Deepest Night by Shana Abe

The Deepest Night by Shana Abe
So beautiful. Tragic and lovely, a tale of war and sorrow, love and joy, imprisonment and freedom, pain and healing, endings and beginnings.
As a drakon, Eleanor can turn to smoke, dragon, and girl. With Jessie gone, her life feels empty. But, Armand is also drakon, and so, apparently, is his brother Aubrey, a prisoner of war, and only Eleanor and Armand can rescue him.
Together they cross Europe and the war, her golden dragon form seen as a new war weapon. Finally, Armand learns to turn to smoke also and as they brave the horrors of war, they find hope and love in one another.
More romance, magic and intrigue abound in this captivating sequel to The Sweetest Dark.

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1)

Oh. My. Goodness! Madness and magic, music from stones. Dragon and smoke and singing stars. Eleanor, Lora of the moon, an orphan, has always heard the music - from the stones and metal and now from Jessie. Jessie, starman, singing to her heart. He knows what she is. Dragon, smoke, Drakon. Armond, son of madness, hears the music too. His heart is also drawn to Eleanor. In his veins too, flows drakon blood. Romance and intrigue, mystery and magic flow together in this spellbinding tale.                  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Light & Dark: The Awakening of the Mageknight by D. M. Fife

Light & Dark by Daniel M. Fife
I just could not get into this book. The idea sounds interesting - a fantasy card game come to life complete with dragons and all, but the execution is poor. The dialogue is awkward and there are grammatical errors and it is rather boring and difficult to get into.
I think if it had been properly edited, it might be a much better book.

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)

So in this book, Nora has had her memory wiped. Which gives her an excuse for being so stupid - unlike in the last book when she had no excuse. Hank is totally the bad guy, Patch is back as Jev, Nora struggles to regain her memories and Scott is back as well. Nora wants revenge on Hank for all that he has done. Hank's agenda is diabolical and he wants to use Nora to carry it out. More romance, intrigue, and plot twists abound.                  

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)

As far as stupid female characters go, this book is even worse than Twilight. Nora, age 16 is in love with Patch who was a fallen angel, but saved her life and is now her guardian angel. So how much older than her is he? Thousands of years? And, she has the hots for him and likes kissing him and he can physically feel NOTHING. Nada. Zip. How creepy is that? Then she tries to save him from the vengeance of the archangels because apparently it is illegal among angels for him to love a human so she breaks up with him and then suffers dreadfully.
Enter Scott, another bad boy, more bad angel disagreements and lots of drama and fighting with Marcie.