Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review, Uncategorized

“Jesus Calling: 50 Devotions for Comfort” – Sarah Young ~ Review

Jesus Calling: 50 Devotions for Comfort

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher through BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

 

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

 

My thoughts:

 

I looooove the Jesus Calling devotionals. I may have more than two…or more than three…Okay, so I have four different ones. And I love them all. I was very excited to see this one come available for review, because who doesn’t need comfort from Jesus?
I love how these devotionals are written, as Jesus speaking to us. It feels very personal, and I definitely believe that the Lord uses them. There have been so many times where I am feeling low or discouraged, etc. and open to a devotional page and it’s exactly what I needed to hear.
In this one, they are the devos selected from the bigger one, Jesus Calling, so I have read them before, but many seem like reading them new, and they do share immense comfort. And the artwork! Oh my. I wasn’t expecting that, but each devotional page has a piece of art on the other side with a verse scripted across it, and then also some pages in between devotionals with Bible verses elegantly scripted across a lovely scene. It really is beautiful, and so peaceful and calming.
So yes, I definitely recommend this devotional, as well as the other Jesus Calling devotionals!

 

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Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

“The Heart Between Us” by Lindsay Harrel ~ Book Review

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“The Heart Between Us” by Lindsay Harrel

 

Review copy through BookLook Bloggers program

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

 

About the Book:

 

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide and living with her parents in her small Minnesota hometown, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.

When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.

As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

 

Prepare yourself for an excited review ;)
I’d been eyeing this book for a while just because of the cover alone, so you better believe I snatched it up eagerly when it became available to review! I knew it was one of those books that even if I didn’t like it, the cover was enough for me to drool over it continually. But of course, no worries about not liking the book – I more than liked it! In fact, I quite loved this novel! “The Heart Between Us” has quickly become one that I hug to my chest and squeal a little bit. Yes, it was that good.
The reading of it gave me so many happy feelings!! But I will try to calm myself in an attempt to write a helpful review…
The plotline was unique and gripping from page one. Oh, and page one – the prologue – I have to make a comment here: that was an amazing sentence opener. I marked it, just because the writer and reader in me loved it. “Amy says in order to move forward, I have to stop clinging to the past.”. This sentence is from Amanda, Megan’s heart-donor. <3
Back to the plot – so yes, Megan is used to sitting on the sidelines due to heart-problems most of her life. But now she’s got a new heart…however, she still fears that life might be passing her by. When she finally meets her heart-donor’s parents, they give Megan their daughter’s journal which is filled with Amanda’s bucket-list. Megan sets out to accomplish each item on the list in honor of Amanda. Right there we’re shown we’re about to embark on the story of a life-time.
Another aspect of this story is about Crystal, Megan’s twin sister. They may be twins but they’re very different from the other, and haven’t had a good relationship in years. When her job and marriage are on the line, she agrees to tag along with Megan on her travels. Will it mend their relationship, and help Crystal right her life-priorities?
Both character’s were great to follow along-with. At first I wasn’t sure how I’d bond with Crystal, already having deeply connected with Megan, but I shouldn’t have been worried. They each go through such life-lessons, and are easily relatable.
I rooted for both Crystal and her husband Brian, and Megan and Caleb. Which brings me to another happy-moment; Caleb, and any scene involving the two. Just…ah soo many good feelings <3333
I loved visiting all the travel-destinations with the sisters – places I may never actually visit, but had the pleasure of seeing them through story. So fun!! In my opinion, this book could’ve capped 500 pages with more details on each travel-stop and I would have been super content with that. ^.^
My favourite places they visited? Oh hard question…I really loved their time spent in Ireland, Scotland, and England. And Paris. And just really every stop. :D
The faith aspect of the book was very good too. It could’ve been a little more included in the beginning, but it’s also understandable why it wasn’t as strong there – we had to see the sisters grow. It was good.
So yep, I loved this book. And will be looking forward to the author’s next book, whatever it may be!

Quotes:

These are just some of the quotes I marked – I marked quite a few. ^.^

 

 

The Heart Between Us 2

The heart Between Us 3

The heart Between Us

Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

“Same Kind of Different As Me” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore ~ Book Review

 

“Same Kind of Different As Me” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent

Review copy through BookLook Bloggers

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

 

Meet Denver, raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana until he escaped the “Man” – in the 1960’s – by hopping a train. Non-trusting, uneducated, and violent, he spent another 18 years on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Meet Ron Hall, a self-made millionaire in the world of high priced art deals — concerned with fast cars, beautiful women, and fancy clothes.

And the woman who changed their lives — Miss Debbie: “The skinniest, nosiest, pushiest, woman I ever met, black or white.” She helped the homeless and gave of herself to all of “God’s People,” and had a way of knowing how to listen and helping others talk and be found – until cancer strikes.

Same Kind of Different as Me is a tale told in two unique voices – Ron Hall & Denver Moore – weaving two completely different life experiences into one common journey where both men learn “whether we is rich or poor or something in between this earth ain’t no final restin’ place. So in a way, we is all homeless-just workin’ our way toward home.”

The story takes a devastating twist when Deborah discovers she has cancer. Will Deborah live or die? Will Denver learn to trust a white man? Will Ron embrace his dying wife’s vision to rescue Denver? Or will Denver be the one rescuing Ron? There’s pain and laughter, doubt and tears, and in the end a triumphal story that readers will never forget.

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This biography/autobiography is written in first person and reads slightly like a fiction title. Each chapter alternates between each man, Ron Hall and Denver Moore, as they tell their stories and how their life-paths entwined to form a strong bond of friendship. In the beginning, they are about as opposite as opposite can be, but over their life-experiences, they realize they have more in common than originally thought, and it is Ron’s wife, Deborah that urged them together.

It was an interesting book. I liked a lot of the spiritual lessons Denver spoke about – had I sticky notes with me when I read, I would’ve marked a few down. He spoke it how it was, and experienced some profound truths.

Deborah left an amazing legacy. Her devotion to help those in need was inspiring, and she followed God’s path for her life tirelessly.

This book has some heart-breaking moments, and some beautiful memorable passages as well.

The changing chapters with the different perspectives was hard to adjust to at first because there wasn’t anything to differentiate from the other and in the beginning you obviously don’t know their individual voices yet. But once I got a few chapters in, I was able to differentiate with ease.

 

 

  • I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

Book Review: “The Promise of a Letter” by Kathleen Fuller

 

“The Promise of a Letter” by Kathleen Fuller

“An Amish Letter” Novel, Book two

 

Review copy through BookLook Bloggers

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

A letter brings him back to his Amish family. It will take someone truly extraordinary to make him stay.

Roman is on the verge of leaving the Amish ways. Feeling confined by the strict rules, he longs to do something more with his life. But when things don’t go as planned, Roman’s prospects outside of the community dwindle. Upon learning that his beloved grandmother has died and left a letter urging him to reconcile with his brother in Birch Creek, Roman decides to return home. But he doesn’t plan to stay for long.

Leanna Chupp has always made her own way in her small community of Birch Creek. Though some may call her unconventional—strange, even—Leanna is happy. Her unique outlook on life has meant she’s never had many suitors pursuing courtship, which Leanna doesn’t mind. She is content being single.

But when Roman and Leanna find themselves working together again, everything changes. Though neither fit squarely within the strictures of the Amish faith, their differences could be the very thing to help them form a deeper connection to their community and to each other. The question remains: will this strengthening bond be enough to make Roman stay for good?

 

My Thoughts:

 
Surprisingly to me, I am enjoying this Amish series. Personally I am not a huge fan of Amish fiction, but the first two books of this newer series have been interesting reads that keep me occupied. I enjoy the characters, and the plots have been sweet.
In “The Promise of a Letter”, we get to see more of Leanna’s character that was introduced in the first book. I really liked Leanna – she was a very spunky, fun character. And Roman was an equally good character in different ways.
I appreciated the faith aspect, and Roman’s grandmother’s influence even though she wasn’t present in the novel.
The sibling dynamics between brothers Roman and Daniel was realistic in their struggle for reconciliation – and stubbornness against it happening. It was frustrating at times, but not unbelievable, which I think is good.
I really did enjoy Leanna and Roman’s relationship – they were pretty cute. And headstrong, both. ^.^
I don’t know how accurate to the Amish way these books are – some things in the books seem a little far-fetched, but I guess I really can’t say one way or another.
I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. :)

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

BookLook Review: “The Noble Servant” by Melanie Dickerson

“The Noble Servant” by Melanie Dickerson

Part of the Medieval FairyTale Series

Review copy from BookLook

My Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant.

But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . . if she makes it in time.

The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

 

My Thoughts:

A continuation to Melanie Dickerson’s Medieval FairyTale Series, “The Noble Servant” tells us the tale of Lady Magdalen whom we met in “The Beautiful Pretender”. While reading TBP, I was looking forward to reading Lady Magdalen’s tale, and so as soon as this came available for review, I grabbed a copy. :)
I found the middle and end of the book the most engaging, though perhaps a little predictable. Still, I enjoyed the book and am sure fans of Melanie Dickerson will enjoy it as well.
I did have some…concerns with this one, but for the most part I enjoyed it. It could be a little slow/long at times, but Lady Magdalen was a sweet character, and Stephen was a good one too.
The author does a good job with the setting and making you feel like you’re in the time period, and I do really like that.
There was a bit of violent description in this one, a case right in the first chapter that I didn’t care for and wouldn’t advise my 14 year sister to read. I’m not one for scenes of violence described so…thoroughly. I understand the circumstances and necessity of the scene, just don’t think it needs to be so gruesomely described in YA books.
Also, there is a strong Catholic theme throughout the book, which I know some love and some don’t, so I want to make sure that I mention that.  It isn’t just a “Christian” world view that every religion or belief system can relate to, it is strongly Catholic with penance and working for salvation.
Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

BookLook Review: “Written in Love” by Kathleen Fuller

 

Written in Love by Kathleen Fuller

An Amish Letters Novel.

BookLook Review Copy

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

When a postal error creates pen pals of two young Amish people, can they put behind their past mistakes to see the bright future God has written for them?

Jalon Chupp has a past he isn’t proud to claim. He’s worked hard to overcome his youthful mistakes, and he has recommitted himself to his faith. When he receives a sweet note included in a piece of misdirected mail, he can’t help but write back. Soon, the letters he receives from Phoebe are the highlights of his days, and with a hopeful heart, he suggests they meet in person.

Phoebe, too, looks forward to every single one of Jalon’s letters. Living with her overbearing aunt, Phoebe doesn’t have too much to look forward to. But when Jalon suggests they meet, she panics—although she has shared some of the deepest longings of her heart with him, she hasn’t been entirely truthful about her past. But when Jalon shows up at her aunt’s doorstep, everything is revealed. And she can only pray he’ll forgive her for holding back the truth.

In order to reach beyond the errors of their pasts, both Phoebe and Jalon must put their faith in something—or Someone—bigger than either of them could pen.

 

My Thoughts:

The idea of a book about letters immediately caught my attention – I love letter-writing. :)
This was an incredibly sweet story. And actually my first Amish fiction. The genre isn’t really my taste, but this book surprised me. It was really good – the story was really good.
I just loved how it started out with letters written between the two characters. There were pages of them, and I so loved that! And even when it melted into third-person telling, it was still captivating. I wanted to know what was going to happen between the two characters and their backstories.
It was a sweet love-story. And not without trials, either! There were several bumps and misunderstandings, making it real.
Even though I wasn’t extremely like the main character, I could still connect with her, and that made the reading all the more enjoyable.
All in all, it was a very sweet romance story. Clean, yet with realistic problems and lessons, some Faith-filled hope, and great characters. :)
I’m hoping to read the next book in this series when it comes out. :)

 

Posted in Bethany House, Blogging For Books, Book reviews, BookCrash, Booklook Review, Books, God's Lessons, Litfuse, Moody Book Review, NetGalley Book Review, reading, Revell Reads, Reviews, update

An announcement of sorts

Good day to you, my much appreciated blog-followers! :)

As the title states, I do have an announcement to share with you all. And it’s rather large, in the sense that I didn’t think that I’d do this. But I’m content with this decision, because I know it is directed by God and He has shown Himself SO awe-some in every sense of the word. So my news is this:

 

I will no longer be reviewing books at the rapid pace that I have been – that I’ve been known for. In fact, I’ve gotten off several of the Book Review Programs. I’m taking a Sabbatical. (such a fun word, is it not?). The reason for this, in short, is that it is what the Lord has guided me to recently. It’s definitely time for a break. See, when I read and review books I am analyzing the book so I can justly review it, but by doing this constantly, I have formed a habit of being analytical in everything – and that is leaning on my own understanding, not God’s. It’s thinking through every little thing when I should have faith instead.  And I want to lean wholly on the Lord’s understanding instead of my own, and so I am obeying Him in this step back from reviewing.

 

Sabbatical

 

Truthfully, it is a relief. Yes, I have loved this season of reviewing – it has been a great experience! But I am now ready for a new season. I will still be reading (of course!) but at a more leisurely pace, and I won’t necessarily being posting reviews of every book, as the amount of review books I receive will be just about nonexistent.

However, I will be finishing out with the reviews I have already committed to, so there are a couple yet to come. And I’m not banishing myself from all book reviews, just really stepping back.

 

It’s a big change for me, I’ll be the first to admit it. I am a reviewer. But now, it is: I was a reviewer. My life doesn’t need to hinge on reviewing, and a breather will be nice!

I’ll still do my best to keep up with my blog here, and I’m still apart of some blog tours coming up. I’m just also going to be doing a lot of “de-stressing” which means de-cluttering, etc.

 

So, here’s to a new season! Thank you for understanding. :)