Sunday, March 26, 2017

If I Could Turn Back Time

If I Could Turn Back TimeIf I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What is that movie with Jennifer Garner - 13 going on 30?... this is exactly what this book reminded me of.
Ramie Phillips gets a little life check & then hits her head & wakes up in her bedroom - very Peggy Sue Got Married like. I guess this story has been done a few times. Let's throw in the one with Zac Efron & Matthew Perry too... I like the idea of going back & knowing what you know now & how would you do things differently kinda stories.
& while this was cute, it was just what you expected... though it did have a little extra twist in it which was nice.
It just sort of bothered me how some things were repeated over & over - like how Ramie knows she's 38 years old but its OK she's hanging out with 18 year olds because... blah blah blah... no one is judging here Ramie. & just small things that just got on my nerves. It was like they were trying to drag the story out but it just made it feel just like that - DRUG OUT.
I did enjoy it though - enjoyed the story of Ramie getting to go back & see her father again & seeing how life could have been different if she took a different path ... Hello Mr. Destiny - forgot that movie!
A fun easy read - not life changing - but a good one to pass the time.

View all my reviews

Monday, March 13, 2017

Beauty & the Beast: Lost in a book

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a BookBeauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wish I could say I swooned over this book... I liked it. It was enjoyable. But it wasn't the end all, be all Beauty & the Beast books. My favorite of all time is still Beauty by Susan Wilson FYI... THE BEST. I need to re-read again.
I think I have read every Beauty & the Beast book there is - Rose Daughter, Beastly, all sorts of retellings of Beauty & the Beast.. I'm a total addict. This was a good one but not up there with some of the others.
It does pick up with the movie, using characters like Plumette in it (which apparently has kicked Babbette out of the picture) but now I'm also intrigued to see how the movie plays out this week because in this book, the Beast is a big reader. That's different.
Another part of the book - which I dont think is a spoiler - but kind of had me like WHAT? was Mrs. Potts explained to Belle what happened to the Beast - about the enchantress putting a curse on him. WHAT??? But apparently they dont tell her how the spell can be broken. Well, put 2 + 2 together & DUH!!!!
I think that's what got me - this book just felt like out of character. I get all the Beauty & the Beast stories are different - I'm OK with that - but if you are going to use the Disney name & use the Disney characters, I would think having their character stay in line with one another in the movie & the book would make sense. & in this book, Belle gets trapped in a book after Death & Love make a wager on Belle & the Beast. A different idea... but to me, it just had Belle looking dumb. Not making smart moves - which to me, Belle is exactly the opposite of. That was my issue with it.
It's definitely a book I'm glad I have, glad I read it. It's just not something I'll go back to & read over & over again or hold close to my heart like Beauty does. That's OK... I'm still 110% a Beauty & the Beast fan & not everything is going to win me over (Cough... Cough... that new yellow dress... cough... cough...)

View all my reviews

An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Lost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast’s library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. There, Belle is befriended by a mysterious countess who offers her the life she’s always dreamed of.

But Nevermore is not what it seems, and the more time Belle spends there, the harder it is to leave. Good stories take hold of us and never let us go, and once Belle becomes lost in this book, she may never find her way out again.

This deluxe hardcover novel expands upon the beautiful story and world seen in the new Walt Disney Studios' film, Beauty and the Beast.
 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Grace is Greater

Grace Is GreaterGrace Is Greater by Kyle Idleman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I knew I wanted to read this as soon as I saw it was a book on Grace - one of my favorite things to be reminded of. & especially when I saw who wrote it - one of my favorite Pastors.
This book did not disappoint, in the least.
Kyle Idleman has such a way of putting Biblical principals into relatable terms. You'll laugh at some of the personal stories (especially if you read the footnotes!!) & then you feel like you've been gut-punched with the truth that the Bible has that you tend to put aside. He's just so good at making God's words & promise easy to understand. Opens your eyes to noticing it more in your own life.
This book is broken up in how Grace works in a life - For you, for you to give to others (did I mention that gut-punch thing?) & how Grace is in all your circumstances.
As someone who goes to Kyle's church, I will say, I have heard many of the things he mentioned in this book in sermons. That's not a negative to me - it just reminded me of the great messages I've heard before & now glad to have some of the points written on paper to refer to more often & not have to rely on my ever forgetting memory. & I'm even more glad that the amazing messages that I get to hear every week is getting shared a bit with the rest of the world.
I honestly can't recommend this book enough if you struggle with wondering if God has enough mercy & grace for you in your mistakes you've made... or if you are having trouble forgiving others. You will close this book with an encouraged heart.

View all my reviews

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews said, "See to it that no one misses the grace of God." Over the centuries much ink has been spilled on the subject of grace. Yet perhaps nothing is as hard to explain as God's grace. It doesn't make sense. It's not fair. It can't possibly cover over what I've done. The best way--perhaps the only real way--to understand it is to experience it. But too often in our churches we're not getting grace across and grace is not experienced. 
Bestselling author and pastor Kyle Idleman wants everyone to experience the grace of God. Through the powerful medium of story, Grace Is Greater leads readers past their hang-ups toward an understanding of grace that is bigger than our mistakes, our failures, our desire for revenge, and our seemingly impossible situations. No sin is so great, no bitterness so deep that God's grace cannot transform the heart and rewrite the story. 
Perfect for individuals and also for small groups and church-wide studies, Grace Is Greater will help readers truly grasp God's grace, even if the Christians around them have failed to live it.

Friday, February 17, 2017

We Should Hang Out Sometimes

We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True StoryWe Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story by Josh Sundquist
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So this guy is very likeable.
It's the story of a guy who just struggles on the dating front - so he goes back & looks over the girls that he was interested in growing up through middle school & high school, into college & telling the stories of their 'relationships' - if you want to call them that... & then figures out what went wrong. Even talking with these ladies to discuss what happened & what went wrong.
A pretty neat idea.
I have to say, its not a heavy, thought provoking, rocket science book. But it was a nice, easy, fun read to look into someone's openness about dating. Especially when you've had cancer at a early age & lost a leg. Add that into being a teenage boy - & you're going to have dating issues.
You're going to love Josh & his innocence & sweet nature.
Is this a MUST read? Nah... but I did enjoy it.
... & side note - i have since found his web page & his YouTube channel & enjoy him more in action than on these pages. I wish I would have heard his voice & seen his personality before I read it - it may have added more life to the story.

View all my reviews

What's the book about?

A bright, poignant, and deeply funny autobiographical account of coming of age as an amputee cancer survivor, from Josh Sundquist: Paralympic ski racer, YouTube star, and motivational speaker.

Josh Sundquist only ever had one girlfriend.
For twenty-three hours.
In eighth grade.

Why was Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down the girls he had tried to date and asked them straight up: What went wrong?

The results of Josh's semiscientific, wholly hilarious investigation are captured here. From a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), to a misguided "grand gesture" at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love--or at least a girlfriend--in all the wrong places.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Princess Diariest

The Princess DiaristThe Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I feel a little bad saying this... I just didn't enjoy this like I usually do biographies.
After Carrie Fisher passed away, I was turned on to this book & I was intrigued about it because while I'm not a Star Wars fanatic like some people are, I do have memories of seeing it in the theaters in the 70's & having a Prince Leah Barbie doll. I was interested in hearing the 'behind the scenes' things about the book.
To me, this was just full of not much information & sad to say, a lot of whining about how Carrie didn't feel beautiful or must of a sex symbol of the time. & don't get me started on the whole Harrison Ford affair. It just felt like the longest, most drawn out bunch of useless information ever.
I really just didn't enjoy this book at all.
It was strange though how many times she referred to her passing & how she would be remembered or just things about dying. Felt very strange getting this book a few weeks after her passing & seeing her words about that. Hindsight.
If you are a huge Star Wars fan, you may enjoy it... I just felt like it was a bunch of writing just to be writing - a lot of it senseless & useless.

View all my reviews

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Mistletoe Secret

The Mistletoe SecretThe Mistletoe Secret by Richard Paul Evans
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I usually try to get in a Richard Paul Evans book every Christmas - his easy reading books about the holidays are always so good to me. & yes, I am a little behind on getting this one read for Christmas, but I still didnt want to let it pass by getting it in.
This is like most of his holiday stories - a cute little romance novel with a touch of faith & a nice, safe, modest style of love. So that means, this was sort of predictable, but I'm OK with that. Dont break something that isn't broke, right? These Christmas books aren't meant to teach brain surgery.
But I did figure out what was going on in this fairly early & knew how it would turn out. I did enjoy the idea though about the guy going on a hunt to find a blogger that he fell in love with after reading her blog about loneliness. A cute story idea for sure. I wish there was a tiny twist in it to just make it a little bit more unpredictable. & there were some side stories in there that just seemed to be a waste of time. (I really didnt need all the details about the Blue Boar Inn... really....) but 3 stars still says I liked it.. & I did. Didnt hate it, didnt fall in love with it. Just a cute story.

View all my reviews

Thinking no one is reading, a blogger who calls herself LBH writes about her most personal feelings, especially her overwhelming loneliness. She goes from day to day showing a brave face to the world while inside she longs to know how it would feel if one person cared about her.

Alex Bartlett cares. He’s reading her posts in Daytona Beach, Florida. Nursing his own broken heart and trust issues, he finds himself falling for this sensitive, vulnerable woman whose feelings mirror his own. Following a trail of clues LBH has inadvertently revealed, he discovers that she lives in the small town of Midway, Utah. He makes his way there just after Thanksgiving, determined to find LBH. Maybe she’s a Lisa, Lori, or a Luanne. Instead, he finds a woman named Aria, a waitress at the Mistletoe Diner, who encourages Alex in his search while serving his pie along with some much-needed sympathy and companionship.

Alex finally finds his LBH, a woman who is as beautiful and kind as he imagined she would be. How can he tell her that he knows her secret? What’s holding him back? Could it be his feelings for Aria?

Not a Fan

Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of JesusNot a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idleman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one may have taken a long time to get through, but it was worth every page of reading.
We read this in our Bible Study group & it couldnt have been a better book to read together. It was challenging, & real. Showing truth in perfect wording - reflective of scripture & also of real life emotions.
I may be a little biased because Kyle Idleman is the pastor of my church, but its also why I love my church. It's just the best teaching of God's word. This book had that same sort of impact on me.
So many ideas in this book having us question, are we REALLY following God. Are we really giving all we can? Are we just a fan, or a follower? There's a big difference. Like Kyle says - a fan will sit in the crowd & paint their face & hold signs & buy all the merchandise. But will you give up everything you own & have & all that is in you for the team? Or at the end of every game, do you pack up & go back to your own life? ... following Jesus isn't about going back to your own life. It's trying to reflect more of His life.
I honestly can not say enough about this book & really recommend it for anyone who is searching for a heart that follow Jesus.

View all my reviews

Are you a follower of Jesus? Don't answer too quickly. In fact, you may want to read this book before you answer at all. Consider it a 'Define the Relationship' conversation to determine exactly where you stand. You may indeed be a passionate, fully devoted follower of Jesus. Or, you may be just a fan who admires Jesus but isn't ready to let him cramp your style. Then again, maybe you're not into Jesus, period.In any case, don't take the question---Are you a follower of Jesus?---lightly.Some people don't know what they've said yes to and other people don't realize what they've said no to, says Pastor Kyle Idleman. But Jesus is ready to clearly define the relationship he wants with his followers.Not a Fan calls you to consider the demands and rewards of being a true disciple. With frankness sprinkled with humor, Idleman invites you to live the way Jesus lived, love the way he loved, pray the way he prayed, and never give up living for the One who gave his all for you.