Thursday, March 30, 2017

Between Heaven & the Real World

Between Heaven and the Real World: My StoryBetween Heaven and the Real World: My Story by Steven Curtis Chapman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure how this was going to go. When you are a fan of someone/something, expectations are high. & coming out of the Beauty & the Beast book & being a little disappointed, I was hoping this book written by favorite artist wasnt going to let me down.
Oh mercy - it didn't for one second.
The story of Steven Curtis Chapman's life growing up with his brother & his family & meeting Mary Beth, working in Opryland (I now wonder if he was working there when I was there with my family when I was little!!) & how he started in Christian music. All the way through his amazing story of becoming a husband & a father & then the adoption of his 3 girls... & then the tragic story of loosing sweet Maria. & how the family has endured since. The Lord gives & takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Being a fan of his since way back in the day, & seeing him in concert so many times, I actually felt really familiar with a lot of these stories, but they didnt seen old to me. I loved reading them again & seeing little extra inside information in the stories. But there were plenty of new stories I've not heard or wasnt aware of. All of it making me just love the Chapman gang even more.
I just appreciated the honesty in this book about his marriage & sharing about the loss of his daughter. It tore me up all over again reading it & hearing about the days afterwards. But it's just so cool that they share to show how God works in it all. There's one picture & story they talk about after deciding to tear their house down that gave me total chills. I've not heard that story before & the picture... just wow.
I thought I was going to be overwhelmed when I saw how thick this book was (over 400 pages)... I zoomed through this book. Couldnt put it down.
Again, I may be biased because I have been such a Chapman family fan since I was a teenager so this to me was just like the cherry on the ice cream sundae to me. Couldnt get enough & wanted more.

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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.

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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...)

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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.