Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

‘Past Darkness’ Book Review May 3, 2013

pdTitle: Past Darkness

Author: Laurel Woiwode

Date I Finished Reading: May 5,2013

My Rating: 2/5

The following is a description from Amazon.com

An uplifting story about the importance of family, the power of music, and the ever-present mercy of God.

“I could hear my heart­beat in spite of the commotion and noise. I’d never seen anything so horrible…What’s wrong with me? I thought. I knew everything had gone black and silent, but I couldn’t remember why. I could hear now, but was still surrounded by darkness.”

Gabrielle Larson is a fifteen-year-old living in Chicago with reasonable plans for her life: to follow in her parents’ footsteps as a Christian musician. But when tragedy strikes, Gabrielle finds herself forced to relocate to North Dakota, where she must learn to live with the difficult reality of her past in a strange and unfamiliar place.

Years pass as Gabrielle not only fights to accept the aftermath of what’s happened, but also to survive on a farm full of horses, cows, Uncle Will, and Aunt Bea. Enduring nature’s windstorms and the loneliness of grief, she struggles to heal, and even finds herself face-to-face with the possibility of love in the most unexpected place. But the darkness is real and her heartache profound—will she ever emerge from the noisy past to catch the redemptive tune of the present?

Have you ever been extremely excited about something, only for it to not reach your expectations? That is how this book was for me. I was anxious to read it, expecting to find a touching story about a teenage girl and a horse. However, that is not what I found. Although the description hints at this type of plot, it is somewhat misleading. The story mostly takes place when Gabrielle is an adult, and the involvement of horses in the plot is minimal.

There were some aspects of the book that I did not like. For example, the writing style that is used is choppy, even childish. Woiwode uses few descriptions, the characters are not very well drawn-out and the scenes are short and vague. These characteristics combined together to create a plot that was unengaging and hard to be drawn into. Also, it seems like all of the character’s problems were solved in a flash, which is very unrealistic.

Overall I would say that this story had potential, but was poorly executed. The plot could have been touching and sweet, but due to the author’s style was instead boring and difficult to enjoy. I would most likely not recommend this book as an enjoyable read for you.

I received this book free from Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, however my opinions are my own.

To Read Chapter One of This book go here: http://static.crossway.org/excerpt/past-darkness/past-darkness-download.pdf

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Past-Darkness-Laurel-Woiwode/dp/1433535181/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

‘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 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

 

‘Obsessed’ Book Review September 21, 2012

Filed under: Books I've Read,Fiction Books — Godrox1997 @ 6:40 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Title: Obsessed

Author: Ted Dekker

Date I finished Reading: January 6, 2012

My Rating: 3/5

Ted Dekker is a christian author known for his gripping thrillers. Obsessed, however, was a bit disappointing. The book was okay, but very unbelievable and predictable at times. Stephen, a jewish man, is embarking on a journey to discover where he came from and what has been left behind for him. The story flashes back in time to show us bits and pieces of the story that Stephen doesn’t see. I consider this to be a positive attribute to Ted Dekker’s unique writing style.

The book is set in the 1970’s, a time not found too often in modern fiction. This provides a nice alternative! However, there are a few disturbing features. For example, the villain believes that drinking blood makes him powerful and thus drinks his victims’ blood regularly. Kinda creepy, huh?

Anyway, if you are wanting a good, clean, christian thriller I recommend Thr3e, another work by Ted Dekker. Obsessed, however, not so much…

You can find this book by clicking the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Obsessed-Ted-Dekker/dp/1595543112/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348430487&sr=1-2&keywords=obsessed