Saturday, October 13, 2018

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

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This is a precious gift for the young lady in your life.

It is 365 days of devotions that are short & easy enough to read, but full of powerful & impactful stories, scriptures & thoughts.  It even has room at the bottom of each page for notes or prayer requests or whatever you want to use it for.
The book itself is also so beautiful & sturdy & will definitely withstand a year of opening.
The pages are even beautiful with floral work on the edging - making the outside of the book look even beautiful on the paper spine & the pages inside look even more lovely to look at every day.
I've scanned a few days of the devotions & so excited to give this to my niece so she can get her dose of time with God daily.

Thanks to Handlebar Marketing for the opportunity to review this book

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Beartown

Beartown (Beartown, #1)Beartown by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had no idea what to expect going into this book.
I just knew it had to do with hockey.... & didnt know how powerful & impactful the story was wrapped up in the world of hockey in this small town of Beartown.
I have to say, it made me nervous at first with all the characters in this book - I am someone who writes down character names to keep everyone straight & it literally was two pages long with everyone in this town. But by the end, I felt like I was a member of the town & knew everyone by name & by personality.
& SO many personalities.
I really dont want to say a lot to give away the book if you've never read it before so you can have the stomach punch that I had reading it.... but I closed this book feeling so many emotions, which just shows me now invested I was in the story.
I just love Backman's writing & glad I finally got around to this one.
& sort of torn on going into the next book "Us Between You" because I thought Beartown wrapped up so well. But I dont want to not know about some of my favorite residents of this small town & how they are fairing the summer after the town nearly became divided.


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People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.
 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Bright Side

Bright Side (Bright Side, #1)Bright Side by Kim Holden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Do Epic!
Oh gosh... my heart. It takes a lot for me to dish out actual tears from a book. I can get sad & I can feel the feels, but tears? Yeah, a lot. & this book, I was totally hiding my face reading this book in public.
I loved the story & just loved all the characters. I love how it shows friends become family & being surrounded by people that you love & love you can make a life complete. I just really enjoyed this book & dreaded getting to the end - for more than one reason - & just feel like I love all the characters.
Gus, Keller & Katie... I am heart broken with all of you.

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Secrets. 
Everyone has one. 
Some are bigger than others. 
And when secrets are revealed, 
Some will heal you ... 
And some will end you. 

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks. 

They both feel it. 
But they each have a reason to fight it. 
They each have a secret. 

And when secrets are revealed, 
Some will heal you … 
And some will end you.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

An American Marriage

An American MarriageAn American Marriage by Tayari Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was going to give this one 3 stars because at the end, I wasn't too happy with how it all turned out - but then the more I thought about it, the more I realized how invested I was in this book & how there really was no good ending that could happen, & it hit me how much I really did love the story & the REALNESS of this story & I liked it more than I thought I did.
This really was tough to read at times, & frustrating & honest. Some books just have that glaze over them that doesnt seem like real life - this one just felt like it could be someone's memoirs in a way. I really enjoyed the 3 different points of views in the story as well. Perspective is always different from another's point of view. I especially loved it in this story of a marriage falling apart & a best friend who was there in the midst of struggles.
I was glad for a rainy day to sit & finish out the story.

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Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss QuotientThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I keep seeing this one everywhere & all the raving about it.
Me? I thought it was ok. I wasn't as wrapped up in it as it seems everyone else is. That's OK. Why everyone has an opinion. I just wasn't expecting it to be so .... so.... R-rated. I have no problem with those sorts of books - I just wasn't expecting it in this one. I guess I should have known better when the main character is male escort. I didnt even realize that was the case when I picked up the book - I just grabbed it when I saw it at the library knowing it was what everyone else was reading.
In the end, I thought it was a simple read, but that's it - I didnt think it was much of a story besides the 'relationship' between the 2 characters. I thought it had its sweet moments when Michael would protect & care for "his Stella" but mostly I was just feeling like there was more to the deeper story with Stella's Asperger's that could have been touched on & it just wasn't.
This is still a fun weekend read if you are into that sort of racy & blushing sort of read.

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Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between OceansThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All the feels!!!!!
This was written so beautifully & so heart felt. I felt like my own heart was being pulled in every direction & broken for everyone throughout the story.
I haven't seen the movie yet on this one but now I feel like I have to check it out.

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A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel that opens in 1918 Australia - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds. 

Australia, 1926. After four harrowing years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns home to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. 

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them. 

M. L. Stedman's mesmerizing, beautifully written debut novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel's decision to keep this "gift from God." And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another's tragic loss

Friday, August 24, 2018

Audacious

AudaciousAudacious by Beth Moore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A really fast read - short enough to enjoy but long enough to inspire you.
I always love Beth's insight on the Bible & the adjectives she uses to describe them all.. a southern girl with a great use of wording.
It really did leave me with a WANT to find a bigger & BOLDER passion for God.
Glad to stumble on this book.

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Thirty years in the making, Audacious is a deep dive into the message that has compelled Beth Moore to serve women around the globe. Glancing over the years of ministry behind her and strengthening her resolve to the call before her, she came to the realization that her vision for women was incomplete. It lacked something they were aching for. Something Jesus was longing for. Beth identifies that missing link by digging through Scripture, unearthing life experiences, and spotlighting a turning point with the capacity to infuse any life with holy passion and purpose. What was missing? Well, let's just say, it's audacious and it's for all of us. And it's the path to the life you were born to live.