Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Best Friends Forever

Book: Best Friends Forever
Author: Jennifer Weiner

Addie Downs & Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across teh street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.

Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame & fortune working as the weather girl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parent's house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge Illinois caring for a troubled brother & trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She's just returned from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face &blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened" Val tells Addie, "& you're the only one who can help."

That's how the story starts off... & what an adventure these friends are on from that moment.

Its such a interesting book that flashes back to their young years together & you find out the story of both of their lives -what brought them together, & what ultimately tore them apart. You glimpse into their families lives & see the impact of family on who you become. The story of Addie's brother just broke my heart - & to see the sort of mother Valerie had... you see how they become the adults they are.

Soon, the chief of police, Jordan is involved & we get a new character in the mix that is on the hunt for these "Thelma & Louise" runaways....

I laughed out loud at particular parts of the book (the bank-robbing scene) - & my heart broke for Addie in parts where she described her teen years. She was an over weight teen with a beautiful popular friend & I could totally relate to that. I knew the truth of some of the things she said. My heart broke for Addie as she did become the "picked on" teen in the school when all she wanted to do was protect her friend.

I dont want to give anything away, but the end was very interesting to me - a happy ending for one of the characters - a lesson learned for another - and regret finally setting in for another character... its interesting to see how the past still can haunt you....

Would I recommend this book? It is a cute, fun read - especially if you ever had a girlfriend you grew up has some language & some parts that I personally could have done without - but it wasnt horribly vulgar. I do think its a good weekend read though.

My rating: 4 skeins

Monday, September 21, 2009

What Difference Do it Make?

Title: What Difference do it make?
Author: Ron Hall, Denver Moore, & Lynn Vincent

So I got this book to review & I have to say from the get go... I was FLOORED with how good it is! Apparently this book has a book that went along with it - this is a follow up, but its not necessary to have read the first. Although now, I WANT to read it so badly, I'm dying!

This book is about a relationship between two friends - Ron & Denver. Denver was a homeless man that lived a life like no other. And I say that because the insight he came away with is so touching & amazing. Ron's wife, Deborah, had a passion for homelessness & befriended Denver & it was lives changed for all of them. Deborah has since passed from cancer but left a legacy that has grown into touching so many's lives. Whether it be inspiring others to work with homelessness or just changing the way they see things in their own lives - or the way they see others - its truly the work of God's hand on a life that was dedicated to Him.

This story continues with the lives of Ron & Denver. Ron's story is so touching as it deals with his relationship with his father & how sometimes, the way you deal & look at your own family can be difficult, but it takes the same love & forgiveness you have to offer everyone.

Denver's words are just powerful - no other way to put it... you will see below in some of the quotes I have written down...

Also, included are stories from people who read the first book & how it changed their lives. If you think God cant use a story.... check this out & see how it already had changed lives & how this book will change lives. I know it will change the way I look at homelessness - or people in general.

Here are some of the quotes I got out of the book... hopefully they will inspire you as well...

*Most people on the streets know Jesus love ‘em. But they figure nobody ELSE loves ‘em BUT Jesus. Street people done heard more sermons than most preachers ever preached. Lotta good folks come ‘round the ‘hood, talking ‘bout Jesus this, Jesus that. Tellin us about Him is one thing… who gon’ stick around and SHOW us Jesus? –Denver

*Needy people don’t need no perfect people neither. When Jesus sent His disciples out, He sent Peter right along, knowin Peter had a bad temper & a potty mouth & was gon’ deny Him three times. He sent John & James even though they was full a’pride and fightin over the best seat at the table. He even sent Judas, knowin Judas was gon’ betray Him. Even though Jesus knowed all a’their sins & weakness, He sent ‘em anyways.

*Listen, if the devil ain’t messing with you, he’s already got you –Denver

*I aint got no way to read the mind a’ God, but I ‘xpect part a’His business is making it Christmas for somebody EVERY day! If all the Christians – I mean ALL of ‘em – got outta the pews on Sundays & into the streets, we’d shut the city down. We’d shut down hunger. We’d shut down lonliness. We’d shut down the notion that there is any such of a thing as a person that don’t deserve a kind word & a second chance. – Denver

*It is a blessing to the homeless when they see people who care. But to really help, you’ve got to get down in the pit with people & stay with them until they find the strength to get on your shoulders & climb out. Helping someone is when you find out how to help them move toward wholeness & then hang with them until they make a change”

*That Deborah would get cancer made no more sense than a drive-by shooting… what Denver had said three weeks earlier haunted me. “Those precious to God become important to Satan”….
If you are interested in this book - you can go here
My rating: 5 skeins!!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Lucky One

Book: The Lucky One
Author: Nicholas Sparks

When US Marine Logan Thibuault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman half-buried in teh dirt during his third tour of duty in Iraw, his first instinct is to toss it aside. Instead he brings it back to the base for someone to claim, but when no one does, he finds himself always carrying the photo in his pocket. Suddenly, luck is on his side. His best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph - his lucky charm.
He sets off to find teh woman, traveling on foot from Colorado. He finds her but didnt expect the strong but vulenrable woman he encounters in Hampton, North Carolina - Elizabeth, a divorced mother with a young son.

When Logan finds her, he cant tell Elizabeth the story of the picture & he lets "life" just take its course. From finding a job in a dog kennel, to his encounter with her ex-husband - the horrible, nasty town sherriff, Keith Clayton... to the wonderful relationship with Beth's son, Ben... & the incredible dog, Zeus.... & Beth's mom, Nana... the story is full of wonderful characters that you really feel like you know.

The story of Beth & Logan is a wonderful romance that develops. I was on the edge worrying about the creep Clayton & always afraid he was going to hurt the dog... luckily, no such thing happened...

But the story was refreshing - another book that shows me why I love Nicholas Sparks so much.

My rating: 4 skeins

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tears in a Bottle

Book: Tears in a Bottle
Author: Sylvia Bambola

"Becky Taylor lies in a secluded recovery room of an abortion clinic when she hears a man's angry voice, then gunshots amid cries of terror. Lying still behind the curtan, she holds her breath in fear. But the silence that follows reveals the icy truth; she's the only one left alive"

This book shows the world of abortion, so its a topic that is touchy anyways, much less have a book - or a novel - on.

The story follows Becky's life & the pressure that is put on her as a teenager to have sex & then the result that follows.

It also follows the story of Maggie, who runs a center for healing for women who went through an abortion. More characters involve the doctors who are performing the abortions & who are turning this lifestyle into something even worse, selling parts for money to cosmetic companies & scientists. Finally, another character, Canon Edwards... a man whose wife had died during an abortion where everyone told her it was a simple procedure. Canon served time but is still seeking for revenge.
To me, the story was OK, but it just felt too "childish"... I believe there is a darker world in the abortion clinics that doctors are dealing with, but this book just didnt pass that to me as believable. That part of the story was sorta corny to me. I did feel the heart of the stories of the women in the clinic, or even Becky's story - but that wasn't even really gripping to me.
My rating: 2 skeins

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Convenient Groom

Book: The Convenient Groom
Author: Denise Hunter
"She wrote the book - literally - on finding the right mate. But does she really understand what love's about?"

This is the cutest book - a true fairy tale - a true romance! Loved every page of it.
This story is about woman who is like Dr. Phil of relationships - Dr. Kate. The book starts on her wedding day... where her groom jilts her... on the same day her relationship book comes out. What's a girl to do? She gets a new groom!!!

Enter Lucas Wright - the most amazing man character a book has... he's everything - caring, sweet, handsome, & he really loves Kate. She doesnt know this & the understanding in the marriage will only last for a year - to get her book out & push the publicity. Lucas is hoping in that year, she'll really fall in love with him.

Of course, nothing has an easy path... but the story is just in no other word - CHARMING...

I couldnt put it down... was sad it was over. But seen there are more "Nantucket Love Stories"... so I've got to check them out.

I really recommend it if you're looking for a light, fun read that is full of romance & in the end, has a message about Christ. The author has a message at the end that focuses all of it back to the main point - Christ being the only one you can count on for the love of a lifetime!!! AWESOME!

My rating: 5 skeins