Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

‘Thief of Glory’ Book Review March 16, 2015

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Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

My Rating: 5/5

I was sitting at a quiet table in the back of the restaurant’s dining room. My friend was sitting across from me, but I hardly noticed he was there. There had been several minutes of silence, when I suddenly shouted out “WHAT?!”, drawing strange glances from customers and coworkers alike. My break ended only a couple minutes later, leaving my mind spinning with the plot twist I had just read. The remainder of my shift, my thoughts kept turning towards my book, eager to clock off and discover what happened next.
It is very rare that a book can engage and capture you in such a way. This one can, and does. I was quite surprised at how well-written, intriguing,  and engaging this book is. My curiosity was piqued by the cover, and WWII theme, yet my expectation went no further.
Within the pages of this book, however, you find quite a gem.  It contains mystery and suspense, action and adventure, romance (without being overpowering or sappy) as well as sacrifice. Young Jeremiah tells the story of his family and friends during their wartime imprisonment in the Dutch East Indies. Seeing the world from his 10 – year-old point of view, and then later seeing the impact it has in his adult years tells a beautiful tale of love, healing, and ultimately redemption.
My one word of warning would be that this book does contain some mature content (drugs and forced prostitution are mentioned in passing). While the story is beautiful, I would caution younger readers.
I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a novel that entertains, intrigues, teaches, and touches you.
I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

 

‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ Book Review September 6, 2013

9780310730538Title: Alone Yet Not Alone: Their Faith Became Their Freedom

Author: Tracy Leininger Craven

Date I Finished Reading: August 26,2013

My Rating: 5/5

The following description is from Zondervan.com:

The Leininger family settled deep within America’s new frontier in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania. A sudden Indian raid changed their lives forever. This story retells the heroic and daring escape of Barbara Leininger, and the touching reunion with her sister, Regina, after nine years. It also gives us an endearing portrayal of the love between family members and the strength of childhood memories. Father and Mother Leininger’s commitment to ‘hide’ God’s Word in the hearts of their children.

I remember reading this book several years ago. At the time I found the story to be admirable and inspiring. As I recently have reread the book, in anticipation for the upcoming release of the movie, things are no different. I still find the story within its pages to be touching.

Based on a true story, this book offers young readers (as well as older readers) a glimpse of what life was like for many people in America’s past. As young girls having moved to America, Barbara and Regina Leininger were raised by their parents to have a deep love for and faith in God. They cherished and memorized God’s words, hiding them not only in their heads, but also in their hearts. However, like all of us, their faith was tested. As the girls and their family experience tragedy, loss and separation, Barbara and Regina promise one another that no matter what, they will have faith in God, and they will not lose the song in their hearts.  As they are separated, years go by, yet each sister find her comfort and hope in the Word Of God, and in the lyrics of an old hymn.

This is a wonderful book of faith, hope and trust that will truly inspire you. I would definitely recommend it, especially to younger readers. It reminds us of how blessed we truly are to serve our great God, as well as how powerful His Word is in ourCravenT hearts and our lives.

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

About the Author:

.Tracy Leininger Craven loves history and retelling real-life stories in her historical fiction books. She also loves spending her free time in the great outdoors with her husband David and their three children.

 

‘Josiah’s Treasure’ Book Review June 18, 2013

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Title: Josiah’s Treasure

Author: Nancy Herriman

Date I Finished Reading: June 18,2013

My Rating: 5/5

The following is a portion of the description located on the back cover of the book:

In 1882, Sarah Whittier dreams of opening an art studio run by immigrant women. She plans to use the house left to her by family friend Josiah Cady as collateral for her studio. But will all be lost when the inheritance is challenged by an angry man claiming to be Josiah’s son and legal heir? Rumor of gold nuggets hidden in the house, place Sarah’s life in danger. Her future uncertain and her safety threatened, Sarah has nowhere to turn. That is, unless she can soften a vengeful man’s heart-and they both learn that love is finer than any gold.
Some romance novels become so cliché that they are predictable and boring. They follow the same theme and plot as several others that you have read before, and quickly lose your interest. This is not the case with Josiah’s Treasure.  Instead, I found a story that was original and creative, keeping me engaged and hooked until the very end. The credit goes entirely to Mrs. Herriman and her excellent writing ability. She writes in a manner that is descriptive, allowing you to envision the happenings in your head, yet she is not too drawn-out or wordy. She does a wonderful job of keeping you engaged and interested throughout the plot.  Another aspect of her writing style that I especially enjoyed was how well-developed the characters were. Some authors fail to create characters that are imaginable or relatable, instead becoming very vague. However, the characters involved in the story, especially Sarah and Daniel, were written in a manner that made them feel real, contributing much to the story.
Overall I would say that this was a wonderful, well-written story that I would most definitely recommend to you!
Note: I received this book free from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for my honest review, however, my opinions are my own.
 

‘Take A Chance On Me’ Book Review April 7, 2013

images (3)Title: Take  A Chance On Me (A Christiansen  Family Novel)

Author: Susan May Warren

Date I Finished Reading: March 22,2013

My Rating: 5/5

Bitterness. It is like an evil that grows within us slowly and quietly. Often we don’t even realize that it is consuming us. Ruling us. Eating us alive. We fail to see that our own unforgiveness and anger is destroying us. This is exactly the scenario that Darek Christiansen is in. For far too long — nearly three years —  he had harbored anger, bitterness, and hatred against Jensen Atwood, the man who used to be his best friend. Then comes Ivy Madison, whose painful, unstable past has caused her to become lonely, maybe even bitter towards God. Both of these people struggle to forgive someone. They struggle to move on. Is it possible for them to forgive, accept, and love again? And can God truly work ALL things out for good?

This is one of those “I cannot put this down! What is gonna happen next?!” Type of books. I fooled myself into thinking I could read a few pages and come back to it later. However a few pages turned into a chapter, a chapter into a few more and two days later? A finished book.  You KNOW a book is good when it does this to you. It became quite obvious as I read that Susan May Warren is a very talented author to whom much credit is due. She works suspense, romance, family, faith, and healing together in a comical, engaging, addicting read. One that is very hard to put down.

There were several aspects of this book I liked. One in particular would be the characters. Warren does a phenomenal job  at creating real, down-to-earth characters who capture your heart and attention. Each one is well thought-out, contributing to the story. Another aspect I enjoyed would be the originality of the plot. Some books (especially in the christian romance genre) can follow a cliché story line. You know what I mean. Many books follow such a common theme that you find them predictable and unengaging. This is very much not the case here. The plot was original with unexpected twists and turns, as well as real struggles that are easy to relate to. These are two things that I was rather impressed with as I read the book.

However, the one thing that I loved was the moral to Warren’s story. This was not a book that I finished and said “aw! What a cute love story!” No. This was a book that had me saying “Wow! Susan Warren is a talented woman. And I can definitely see this book touching and ministering to many hurt people.” The plot, characters, theme, everything tied together to paint a picture of love, forgiveness, and trust. It shows us that none of us are more innocent than another before God, and that we, even though it may be difficult, should come to a place where we forgive others in the same way that God has forgiven us.

Overall, I would say without a doubt that I would recommend this book to you (although, due to more mature topics, I would caution a younger audience). I truly believe that this story will touch your heart, and perhaps even show you the blessing of and call to forgiveness.

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

Check out the links below for more on this book and Susan May Warren:

You can find a copy of this book here: ‘Take a Chance On Me’ on Amazon

 

‘The Air We Breathe’ Book Review January 9, 2013

thTitle: The Air We Breathe
Author: Christa Parrish
Date I Finished Reading:January 8,2013
My Rating: 5/5

Eleven-year-old Hanna is excited about her day in town with her Dad. Every Saturday is their day. They walk into the bank completely oblivious to what they were about to experience. Next thing she knows, Hanna has witnessed a bank robbery, her father’s murder, and been kidnapped. Weeks later, by God’s grace, Hanna escapes and is reunited with her mother. But she is never the same. She doesn’t even talk…until she meets Claire. Claire, who is also hurting from past loss, strikes an unlikely friendship with Hanna, and soon finds that this little girl is helping her to heal from the pain. But then Hanna and her mother vanish Claire, has no idea where they are or what happened. Several years later, Claire encounters Molly Fisk. Can Claire help Molly heal from her past in the same way that Hanna helped her to?
I cannot explain how much I loved this book! The storyline, characters and non-stop questions left me hungry for more. My mind constantly drifted back to the story, curious of what would happen next. These are the signs of a good book! One of the aspects of the books I liked would be Parrish’s writing style. She switches back and forth between Claire, Hanna, and Molly to give you more insight and details of the story. I also liked the fact that Parrish doesn’t drag things out until they get boring, or use clichés frequently.
Overall, I loved this book and would highly recommend it. The plot is original, the writing is interesting, and the story is one of love, healing, and trust in God’s sovereign plan.

Note: I received  a copy of this 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/Air-We-Breathe-Christa-Parrish/dp/0764205552/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357751836&sr=1-1&keywords=the+air+we+breathe+christa+parrish