I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review: Trading Secrets by Melody Carson

Trading Secret by Melody Carson is a sweet romance for teens or kids from even age 10. Through a misunderstanding because of her name, Micah's Amish penpal Zach thinks she is a boy. They have been writing for six years, and Micah feels he has become a good friend to her, even helping her through her mother's death.

The problem is, Zach has been invited to spend spring break with Micah. Luckily, or not so luckily, Zach is stuck at home helping his father finish the planting. He instead invites Micah to visit him on the farm, thinking if they both work together, it will get done faster. Micah is torn, and has to decide if she will tell Zach she is a girl, or show up dressed as a boy, and see how things pan out.

When Micah finds out Zach is struggling with being Amish and hiding his desire to further his education, she must decide if she will encourage him to leave and pursue his dreams, or stay on the farm she thinks is idyllic.

This story is very sweet. I enjoyed getting to know Zach's family, (mostly his sisters) and thought Micah was a very true representation of a young teen girl struggling to do what is right, even if it conflicts with her heart's desires.

I think this story is great for any young person, but will most likely appeal to girls. Highly recommended for teens and younger, not so much for the adult crowd.

I received this book free of charge from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Review: Christmas at Rose Hill Farm

This book by Suzanne Woods Fisher was a wonderful love story with great characters. I enjoy Amish fiction, and was excited to read this book. However, the Amish are not portrayed in the traditional way. There are different orders of Amish, and some are stricter than others. If this had been written with characters who were not Amish, the story would've been more plausible. There were many instances that didn't mesh with Amish culture (I grew up in Amish Country, Ohio) and made the characters a bit far-fetched to me. This is why I rated it four stars.

Back to the story. I really loved the way a history of roses was woven throughout. At first I thought it would be boring, but the way the information was presented was not at all like a lecture or textbook. I never knew anything much about roses at all, and thought this was a neat touch.

I was very sad for Billy and the way he was brought up. Sometimes it seems people who are trying to live righteously get the short end of the stick over and over. It seems Bess's aunt's house was a wonderful refuge for him, even if she was overbearing and gruff.

The circumstances that tore Billy and Bess apart were completely due to a lack of communication, and Billy's pride. If he hadn't run off, things would have turned out very differently. It is a good lesson to us all that we should never assume we know what another person is thinking. Best to talk things out. 

I liked the internal dialogue of both Bess and Billy. It was very realistic. The character of George was a bit odd, but was not done in a cartoony way, and I really liked him. I did feel that things between Billy and his dad wrapped up a little too neatly, but sometimes it's nice to read a multi-happy ending story. This is a book I would recommend to anyone who likes a sweet romance, and roses.

I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Review: At Bluebonnet Lake


At Bluebonnet Lake, a novel by Amanda Cabot, was a book I really wanted to like. 

However, some glaring grammatical errors made me have to re-read several sections to make sure I understood what was going on. There are no dividers between “scenes” in the book, just a new paragraph, and not even an extra return space. An example:
(Greg and Kate are talking about her job, and her quest to become partner in her ad firm.)

'Greg didn't appear impressed. “What happens after you make partner? What the next rung on the ladder?”
Kate flinched. “I don't know.” But she ought to.
Greg yanked the drawer open with more force than necessary, then stared at the socks, as if choosing the right pair would qualify him for an international award.'

See what I mean? It is two separate “scenes” in the book, but no visual segue to let the reader know Kate is no longer there, and it's a different time of day. Very confusing, and it's all through the book. Also, the formatting sometimes makes new paragraphs in the middle of a sentence, and the chapter beginnings are also off.

There is also a very weird glitch where every word that is supposed to have a double f in it has nothing. And often the vowel following the double f is missing as well. Office become oce. Off become o. Very annoying and weird.

And I found it very confusing in the beginning that Kate didn't call Sally some form of “Grandma”. There was a brief sentence stating that after her grandpa died, Sally told her she could drop the title of 'Grandma'. The explanation was so brief that I had to go back a few times and make sure Sally was, indeed, Kate's grandma. Those issues alone almost made me stop reading the book.

Even though the characters are very likeable, the plot seemed to just plod along. There wasn't anything super exciting happening. Yes Sally and Kate were getting involved romantically (very quickly!) with men they had just met, but even that was an unbelievable snooze fest. I am not a fan of romance in the first two days people meet. Attraction, yes. Thoughts of marriage and love? Um, no.

The book would have been much more believable if Roy had been someone from Sally's past that she bumped into, and Kate had met Greg through Roy. I kept waiting for Greg and Kate to become business partners and start fixing up Rainbow's End, but it never happened. I felt this story line was drug out, and perhaps set up to have a sequel that follows the restoration of Rainbow's End.

Also, the Christian aspects were few and far between. There is a weird scene where Kate is in the chapel at the hospital and hears “ominous cackling, like the sound of a Halloween witch but far more menacing.” Really? And when she picks up a Bible the cackling subsides? Not buying it.

I guess this book just wasn't for me. If you like fluffy, unbelievable romance, that's light on the Christian experience then this book may be for you.

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