Sunday, December 20, 2015

What Am I Reading (December)

I've been pretty busy with getting caught up with the books on my bookshelf this month..   While now I am out of reading material and must go through the painstaking process of finding something from the many selections on my Kindle to read, here are my thoughts on these particular reads. 

The Lost Heiress  
by Roseanna M. White

This was a first time read by this particular author for me and I must say, I was rather impressed with her writing style.  White pays much attention to the details as she weaves together a pretty complex story.

This particular story was part of the "Ladies of the Manor" Series, this being the first book of the series.  Set in the early 1900's, this particular book covers the story of Brook, a young woman who believed her life to be heading in one direction, only to find out after her mother died that her legacy is actually very different.  As she returns to the home and family she never knew before, she faces criticism and harshness. However, through everything, she has her faith and her own moral compass to guide her and all things fall into place.  This is a story of good vs evil and  faith vs spiritual corruption.

The characters are wonderfully written and you will really feel a bond with Brook, you will despise Pratt, you will be cheering for Justin and Brook and your heart will melt for the father/daughter moments written so well.

A great read that I would highly recommend and I look forward to reading the other books of this particular series.

Love Everlasting
by  Tracie Peterson 

Earlier in the summer, I reviewed Refining Fire, book two of the Brides of Seattle Series.  Love
Everlasting is the third and final book of this series and continues with the story of Abrianna Cunningham and Wade Ackerman, characters who played a very prominent roll in book two. 

I really didn't care for Abrianna in the second book and was very disappointed when the 2nd book focused more on Abrianna rather than on Millitine. It is obvious after reading the third book that the entire focus of this series is Abrianna and Wade.  I still found Abrianna to be very childish, selfish, smug and self righteous with every turn of the page.   I found myself wondering how this girl could allow herself to make so many decisions that she had to have known were not in her best interest.

The first half of this book drags on and is very difficult to read, very out of character for a Tracie Peterson novel.. The second half gets back to her familiar style but I just didn't feel this story had much redeeming qualities to allow me to suggest it to others.

A Mind of Her Own
by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

What would you do if you had an accident only to wake up believing yourself to be someone else, yet being told your not who you think you are.  That's basically the premises of this book. Louisa Copeland, wife to Collin and mother of three wakes up in the Emergency room believing she's Jazz Sweet, an Inspirational romance writer from Florida.  Secrets in her past hold the key to unlocking her memories and bringing Louisa back to her family for good.

I was very disappointed with this book.  First, repressed memories from childhood sexual trauma just don't belong in a book that seems to try to be a lighthearted inspirational novel.  The trauma was extremely glossed over and while it is hinted to in a few particular situations, it isn't discovered til the very last chapter of the book and then everything is fine.  I just felt that such a dark topic really wasn't used properly in this story and it left a bad taste in my mouth. As much of the book is Collin, the husband, discovering just how unhappy his wife was in their marriage, I honestly think that her unhappiness would have been a better trigger for her temporary amnesia rather than sexual abuse from a relative.

Even as an Inspirational book, there's not much to redeem this book.  God is mentioned a few times but even then, it feel as if it was thrown in as a required element for the publisher and doesn't really contribute anything at all to the story.  Situations occur that really have no flow and leave the reader a bit confused as to what is going on at times. 

This isn't a book I would recommend to others.  I just found it to be a disappointment all around. Shame too, as it had a lot of potential and a very interesting idea. Just poor execution by the author.

She's Almost a Teenager (Essential Conversations to Have Now)
By Peter and Heather Larson and David and Claudia Arp

A Non fiction selection, this very quick read is a great guide for ideas and suggestions as to how
to handle some of the more difficult discussions that all parents should be having with their pre-teen daughters.

Each chapter is dedicated to one particular conversation and covers topics such as becoming a teenager (and an adult), Boys, Faith, Technology and Body Images.  All together, there are 8 topics of conversation covered in this book.  Each chapter includes conversation starters to ease into the particular discussion with your pre-teen, as well as how to answer awkward questions and topics that might be embarrasing to both you and your daughter.. It's designed not just for mother/daughter discussions but also in such a way that a father would also be comfortable using these suggestions as well. 

This is a great book and while my oldest daughter is already a teenager, I did find it came in handy with other discussions that we had (especially involving boys).  I look forward to using many of their conversation starters and topics once my youngest is at this age.

 I would highly recommend this book from a parents perspective.

Glory Days: Living Your Promised Life Now
by Max Lucado

Yeah, I had to save my favorite for last..  Have I ever mentioned how much I absolutely love Max Lucado (yeah, I know I have.. haha).

If you've never read a Max Lucado book in the past, I encourage you to take a look at this one.

Glory Days is the latest offering from Max and uses the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho as his inspiration to explain why we shouldn't be wandering aimlessly through the wilderness of this life and instead should allow God to show us how to live life as if we were in Heaven right now.

I love how Max Lucado has a knack of taking everyday experiences and translating them into Biblical explainations.  Every single book I have read by him, I come away from it with a better understanding of Scripture, viewing it with eyes that were closed but have been opened.  This book is no different and I finished the final page with a firm foundation on the lessons Jericho could teach me for my everyday life.

Never a disappointment, I highly recommend this book (as well as any by Max Lucado) to everyone.

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