Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

‘the Heiress of Winterwood’ Book Review March 28, 2013

thTitle: the Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers On the Moors Book 1)

Author: Sarah Ladd

Date I Finished Reading: March 27, 2013

My Rating: 5/5

The following is the plot description from the back of this book:

Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.

When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting at her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.

Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she’s forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.

Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.

Both must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them.

 

This is a difficult book to review, not wanting to give too much of the plot away. However, I can say this. The Heiress of Winterwood, Sarah Ladd’s debut novel, is phenomenal!  I was quickly drawn into the plot and found my thoughts constantly drifting back to the story whenever I was not reading it!

There were a few qualities of this book that I especially liked. For example. I loved the setting and time era. The story is set in London in the early 1800’s. This proved to be  a very interesting, and refreshing change from many historical romance novel. This, along with the originality of the plot, kept the story from becoming cliché

Another aspect of the book that I liked was Sarah Ladd’s writing style. She writes in a manner where you feel as though you are in the room, watching what is unfolding. She uses, colorful, descriptive vocabulary that give you an idea of the scene without becoming too wordy or drawn out, which was a huge bonus in my opinion! Also, her writing style portrayed her characters excellently! Her characters did not seem unrealistic or vague, but were very relatable and clear.

Overall, I can definitely say that I would recommend this book to you! I found it engaging, interesting, and addicting, as well as a beautiful story of faith and love. It is by far one of the best books I have read in a while!

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, however, my opinions are my own.

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Heiress-Winterwood-Whispers-Moors/dp/1401688357/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364485747&sr=8-1&keywords=heiress+of+winterwood

 

‘The Bondservant’s Life’ Book Review March 13, 2013

untitledTitle: The Bondservant’s Life: Foundation for Understanding Prophecy, and a Call to Maturity, Love, and Unity in the Knowledge of God

Author: John Brenner Chandler

Date I Finished Reading: March 13,2013

My Rating: 2/5

I was not expecting this book to be so big. Honestly. This book is a total of 500+ pages packed full of notes, thoughts, scriptures and teaching. It dives into the life of a bondservant and of submission to God.

Some positive attributes of this book would be Chandler’s knowledge. It became obvious as I read this book that he knew what he was talking about, and had illustrations, quotes, articles and other resources to support his thesis. I was impressed with how much scripture he brought into the book, making it centered around God’s word.

However, at the same time, I struggled to read this book. Chandler’s writings are very deep, but the way that he presents his beliefs is very difficult to understand. He is very wordy and at times long-winded. I understand and appreciate the use of good vocabulary, but this was excessive, to the point where it made the book difficult to read and understand. This is why I gave this book the rating that I did. While Chandler may have depth and substance to his writing, but how can you think on and apply the teachings if you can hardly make sense of what he is trying to say? I couldn’t.

Overall, I would say that this book had potential. It could have been a great resource, but the length and style of writing made it difficult to understand, enjoy, or apply.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Bondservants-Life-Foundation-Understanding/dp/0983810206/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363189877&sr=8-1&keywords=the+bondservant%27s+life

 

‘To Honor and Trust’ Book Review

thTitle: To Honor and Trust (Bridal Veil Island)

Authors: Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

Date I Finished Reading: March 13,2013

My Rating: 5/5

Once you have been hurt, it can sometimes be very hard to forgive, and to trust again. Callie knows this to be very true in her own life. She was once hurt by a man she loved, and now guards her heart against that ever happening again. However, Mr. and Mrs. Bridgeport, her employers we treat her as family, are convinced to help Callie find a suitable husband. Callie is able to dodge their plans, but not without finding  love for herself along the way. But should she really trust Wesley? Can she? Or will he break her heart as well? And with so many different paths and choices, is this God’s plan for her life?

This book ties together many qualities to paint a wonderful picture. Romance, mystery, humor, and history are mixed together in a charming, entertaining, and engaging way, resulting in a very enjoyable read. I was quickly pulled into the plot of this book, becoming attached to the characters, who were well written. I loved the setting of the story as well, one that is a bit more unique and original.

I really do not have any complaints whatsoever about this book, so I can honestly say that I would recommend it to you, if you are anything like me in the fact that you enjoy a good book that captures your attention until the very end.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Honor-Trust-Bridal-Veil-Island/dp/0764208888/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363177715&sr=8-1&keywords=to+honor+and+trust

 

‘Stumbling On Open Ground’ Book Review March 3, 2013

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Title: Stumbling On Open Ground: Love, God, Cancer, and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Author: Ken Mansfield

Date I Finished Reading: March 2,2013

My Rating: 5/5

I have sometimes wondered what a person goes through when fighting cancer. I have wondered what exactly they endure spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Maybe that is why this book was so interesting to me, maybe not. Either way, I was drawn into the story of Ken Mansfield, and his wife, Connie.

In this book Ken lays out the story of his two fights with cancer, including a rare, life-threatening, “incurable” cancer. He is very real and honest as he does so, writing on the pain, heartache, and touching moments with God.

Ken is, no doubt, a talented author. He has a way of writing that draws you in, and holds your interest. He uses wonderful analogies to give you a vivid picture of the  hardships he endured. His humorous touches also adds to the read.

I would, without a doubt, recommend this book to you. I found it to be enlightening, heart-touching, inspiring and encouraging.  how gave me a look at just how heartbreaking and  excruciating cancer can be, both physically and emotionally. It made me more aware of how blessed I am to be given a strong, healthy body. And it made me even more thankful  that I have a God who is right beside me during the hardest of trials.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for may honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

 

 

‘Gentleman Of Her Dreams’ Book Review February 28, 2013

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Title: Gentleman Of Her Dreams (A Ladies Of Distinction Novella)

Author: Jen Turano

Date I Finished Reading: February 27, 2013

My Rating: 5/5

If you enjoy a fun, quirky read, this is perfect for you! Charlotte is convinced that at the whopping old age of 21 that she has become an old spinster, and that she needs to do something to change her marital status. So after praying to God for husband, she becomes determined to catch the eye of the towns most suitable widower. There are only two problems: first, she has never met this bachelor. Secondly, she has enlisted the help of Henry, her lifelong best friend, and both of them are attempting to hide their true feelings for one another due to a misunderstanding. Is this is the recipe for adventure… or disaster?

This book was a cute, fun, and quick read. Jen’s writing style is both engaging and entertaining, with real, fun, and relatable characters. I would recommend this story to you as a lighthearted read, and am anticipating reading  A Change Of Fortune, the book that this novella is a companion to.

This kindle book is $0.99 and sometimes FREE on amazon.com .

 

 

‘Do Hard Things’ Book Review February 22, 2013

thTitle: Do Hard Things: A teenage rebellion against low expectations

Author: Alex and Brett Harris

Date I Finished Reading: February 21,2013

My Rating: 5/5

WARNING: If you do not want to be challenged or inspired to step out of your comfort zone and do something, then keep on walking, ’cause that is what this book is gonna do! Do Hard Things is the perfect book for our generation on rebelling against low expectations, and doing something hard, whether it is big or small.

I absolutely loved this book… and needed it too! Alex and Brett discuss very practical, very true points. They speak on things that keep us from striving towards and achieving big things, whether that is lies within the culture and media, or our own pride or fear. They explain to us where our mindsets are wrong, and how WE, teenagers can truly accomplish something amazing, whether it is ourselves individually, or us as a team. One point that I really needed was the reminder and encouragement to keep on doing the small hard things, cheerfully. They say that small things, such as chores, homework, and repetitive, even mundane duties help to strengthen us and to prepare us for the bigger hard things to come.

Alex and Brett did an amazing job on this book. They use humor, personal examples, and also the examples of others to encourage teenagers to stand up and step out. The book was actually fun to read.

I would say that I DEFINITELY recommend this book. Every teenager out there needs to read this and be motivated and encouraged to Do Hard Things.

Check out these links!:

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

And you can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Do-Hard-Things-Rebellion-Expectations/dp/1601421125/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361544289&sr=8-1&keywords=do+hard+things

 

‘Little Black Books: Science and God’ Book Review February 15, 2013

lbbsagTitle: Little Black Books: Science and God

Author: Scott Petty

Date I Finished Reading: February 14,2013

My Rating: 2/5

Science. The origin of life. Evolution. Creation. Questions about these and similar topics bombard us day in and day out. We, as christians need to be firm and confident in our beliefs and knowledge about God and science. Especially young adults. That is why I was excited about reading this book. I knew that it was directed towards adolescents and was eager to see what this book would contain.

However, this book was not quite what I expected. I had mixed feelings regarding it. As I started out, within the first chapter and about halfway through the second I was impressed, and pleased. Scott Petty made points and discussed the topic of why science and God are not enemies or against one another, and why we do not need to choose between believing in God, or believing in science and scientific evidence, which I believe is an important fact for teens and young adults to realize.

But as I began the third chapter, that changed. I noticed more and more that Petty hinted to, and later flat-out-said that the big-bang theory is likely to be correct, even biblical! He also later explains that we should NOT read the book of Genesis as a scientific explanation to the beginning of the world. Also, he suggests that when Genesis refers to the world being created in six days, he was not referring to literal 24-hour days, but instead he was speaking of time spans, or was simply being poetic. Both of these beliefs seem to point away from the Bible and God instead of towards it.

Another complaint that I would have would be the fact that Petty uses little to no scriptures to support his thesis and points. He sticks them in on rare occasions, until about the last half of the final chapter, where they appear a bit more frequently.  That is always a negative for me. If you are gonna try to convince someone to trust in the Bible and biblical teaching, then you need to use more than one or two passages.

Even though I do not like these aspects of the book, there are positive attributes as well. I have already mentioned the fact that Petty speaks of the fact that we do not need to choose between science and God. Also, he directs it towards young adults, and does a good job at connecting with them in his writing style. Throughout his book he uses humor, as well as examples that are easy to relate to and connect to the main point.  His writing style is just very easy to read, which is great when it is being directed towards teens.

Overall, though, I am not sure that I would recommend this book. Although the first chapter makes some good points on an important issue, the rest of the book – although written well – could result in the reader being confused, considering the fact that Petty encourages you to believe in and have faith in God, yet at the same time teaches that the big-bang is true, and consistent with scripture.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

 

‘I Still Believe’ Book Review February 7, 2013

978-1-4143-7559-5Title: I Still Believe: a memoir

Author: Jeremy Camp with David Thomas

Date I Finished Reading: February 7,2013

My Rating: 5/5

“Even when I don’t see, I still believe.”  The words of Jeremy Camp’s song I Still Believe,  have reached out to and connected with thousand of people around the world, as has many of his other songs. But what inspired Jeremy to write these words that he shared with so many people? In this memoir, he shares his testimony and the story (or stories) that inspired and encouraged him in his music.

Jeremy shares his story from his rebellious teenage years, to falling in love, to losing his wife to cancer, being called to the music ministry and to remarrying and starting a family. He tells how God worked in his heart and mind throughout all of this and how God has worked in and through him.

I absolutely loved this book. It has to be one of my favorite memoirs, if not my favorite! Jeremy writes with honesty, humor, and love in an interesting and easy-to-read manner.  He doesn’t try to glorify himself or toot his own horn, but is down-to-earth and humble.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially to someone who is experiencing a hardship or loss and is trying to stay faithful and say for themselves, “I still believe.”

Note: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, however, my opinions are my own.

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/I-Still-Believe-Jeremy-Camp/dp/141437559X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360267198&sr=8-1&keywords=i+still+believe

 

‘Making the Most of the Cross’ Book Review February 1, 2013

thTitle: Making the Most of the Cross

Author: John Chapman

Date I Finished Reading: January 31,2013

My Rating: 4/5

Book Description from Matthias Media’s website:

Every now and then, humanity witnesses a history-changing event, like the invention of the wheel or the discovery of penicillin. But there has been no other event like the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
With characteristic candour and humour, John Chapman explains the meaning of this history-shaping event:
» How can we know that Jesus really died?
» How can we know that Jesus really rose from the dead?
» How can God love people and yet condemn them to hell?
» How can God forgive guilty sinners and yet be just?
» What does Jesus’ death and resurrection mean for me?
How does it affect my life?

The cross. So many questions surround it. Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? What did his death on the cross accomplish? What does it mean in our own personal lives? John Chapman answers these questions and more in this book.  Chapman covers many different topics in this book. He ranges from the purpose of the cross, to how a loving, just God can wipe away our sins. From how we can know that the Bible is true, to how the work on the cross can take away our guilt and condemnation.  He does so in a way that relates both to unreached unbelievers, and believing christians alike.

Some aspects of the book that I liked would include the fact that Chapman answers MANY questions that MANY people ask. Also, he does not over-explain or ramble. He is short, sweet, and to the point. The chapters are short, which makes for easy reading.   Something I did not like about the book would be the fact that although Chapman uses scripture to support his points, there were a couple of times that I was not sure if they really applied or tied into the topic being discussed very well. It just seemed that at times the writing did not flow very well or logically. This made for the reading to become a bit confusing at times.

Although I did not really find any of the book’s content extremely deep or eye-opening, the basic questions were answered well, making it a good resource to use in reaching out to and answering the questions of unbelievers. So I would recommend it to you as a tool to pass on to another, but I do not  believe that it would be overly beneficial for a believer who is more mature in the faith.

Note: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

 

 

‘The Wild Goose Chase’ Book Review January 20, 2013

imageTitle: The Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God
Author: Mark Batterson
Date I Finished Reading: January 19,2013
My Rating: 5/5

When you think of pursuing God, what comes to your mind? Duty? Struggle? How about adventure? Do you ever view your walk with God as an exciting, adventurous thing? In this book, Mark Batterson discusses spiritual barriers that can prevent us from growing closer to God, or finding satisfaction in him. He explores the barriers of:
~responsibility
~routine
~assumptions
~guilt
~failure
~fear
He discusses how each of these things can, at times hinder us from growth, and the signs of them in our lives.
One thing I liked about this book would be Batterson’s writing style. He writes with honest humor that makes the book an easy, enjoyable read. I also liked how applicable this book is. The issues addressed and the actions recommended are practical and applicable to our personal and daily lives.
I really had no complaints about this book, besides the fact that Batterson becomes a bit repetitive at times. Other than that, I have none!
I would highly recommend this book to you, especially if you are struggling with spiritual growth and desire a resource to help you identify what barrier may be hindering you from pursuing and growing closer to God.

Note: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Goose-Chase-Adventure-Pursuing/dp/1590527194/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358641942&sr=8-1&keywords=wild+goose+chase