I Heart Books

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In Every Heartbeat By Kim Vogel Sawyer

Three orphans. Three best friends. Three very different spirits. Libby Conley, a young woman who really never seemed to act (according to her friends) like a girl, with her strong ambitions. Pete Leidig, a handicapped man who knows he has been put on this earth to become a minister. And last but not least Bennett Martin, all he wants is to be happy and have fun, start a real family of his own, the American dream.
I found it refreshing to read about orphans because I know I would've reacted the exact same way Alice-Marie and the other women at the university did when they found out Libby was an orphan. Refreshing to know that I shouldn't feel sorry for or look down upon any orphan because many (well at least these three) don't feel sorry for themselves.
I read In Every Heartbeat rather quickly. It was pretty much an easy read, with such a believable love story, and God wrapped around the whole thing even when you might think he is not. I loved it!

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Jessie D

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Way Home (DVD)

The Way Home is a movie based on a true story and is definitely a family movie. I watched it with my parents and younger brother. In fact my mother said she remembered seeing this story on the news a while back. The acting was believable except for the mother/ wife, Christal, which was mediocre at best. She didn't seem to be a distraught mother missing her child. But the part of the workaholic father was excellent.
I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to have someone you love go missing, especially an innocent two year old. This movie did bring a little stinging of tears to my eyes. And had me wondering, "would the community have done the same for a child of a different race or ethnicity?" I know with San Antonio, where I live, being such a large city it would probably be next to impossible to even try putting a search party together to go out and look for a missing person, like the small town in this movie did.
I feel like saying these people were extremely lucky with the outcome of their situation but God works in mysterious ways and I believe this family's moment of panic might have changed their lives for the better.
I liked this movie very much and I think if you ever have the opportunity to watch it you will not regret it!
I was given a free copy of this DVD by booksneeze.com in return for an honest review.

Thank you
Jessie D

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven By: Kevin and Alex Malarkey; a true story

On November 14, 2004 Alex and Kevin Malarkey were in a car accident so horrific, the moment EMS arrived on the scene someone said, " Call the coroner." Many thought there was no way in heaven Alex would survive, but they were wrong. The boy who came back from heaven is an incredibly true story and another example of how God works in mysterious ways.

I had a hard time writing a review about this book. Don't get me wrong, it was an amazing story and I finished reading it a long time ago but I couldn't find the right words to express how I felt about it. The accident, the injuries, the community, the prayers, the faith, and the love, made Alex and Kevin's tale so astounding, at the same time heart wrenching. What I do have to complain about is at times I felt like this was just another local news cast the only difference being the more details added. I wish there had been more insight from Alex's point of view, but once you read The boy who came back from heaven you will understand why there isn't and it's not just medical reasons. So this is what I leave you with: the true story of this young boy, Alex, and his father is miraculous. Don't have a doubt about reading it, definitely worth the money to buy it because even though it has the occasional news cast vibe, the inspiration you get from reading it makes up for that ten times over. Kevin and Alex went through a lot of pain and suffering but I don't feel sorry for them because they don't feel sorry for themselves, especially Alex!!! he is a much stronger person than I am even though he is so much younger, he is my idol. So read it and find out for yourself what I'm talking about and God Bless everyone!!
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers for review.

Jessie D

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Angel Song By: Sheila Walsh and Kathryn Cushman

Ann Fletcher hasn't stepped onto Charleston (her childhood home) soil since her grandmother passed away six years ago but her younger sister Sarah receiving her master's degree has brought her back. After dinner, the night before Sarah's commencement ceremony Ann finds herself in the hospital, following an accident, hearing the worst news of her life. With the death of her sister, Ann has no more family, she is now alone in the world. With no choice but to sell her childhood home, Sarah had been living in while Ann lived in New York, she begins to repair it as quickly as she can. However, she keeps getting interrupted by her neighbor's son who has down syndrome and claims to see Angels.
Ann built a wall around herself to hide from her emotions. Her sense of abandonment being her greatest struggle to keep behind the wall forces trust and all other emotions to follow suit. I find Ann's personality slightly similar to my own, keeping me intrigued with Angel Song. Getting a taste of the down home southern hospitality from Angel Song would be an understatement, you actually get a big ol dollop, making you want more. I recommend this sweet story, for everyone, about the life of a woman whose heart is nothing more than a flame of compassion that has long since burned out but with the help of good friends, light a spark to begin the mending of her broken heart. I guarantee once you're done with Angel Song, all you're gonna want to do is cuddle up with a loved one all the while feeling like a big bowl of sunshine on a perfect day.
I participated in a booksneeze.com blog tour and was given the opportunity to receive a complimentary copy of this book and write a review.

Thank you,
Jessie D

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hunter's Moon by Don Hoesel

CJ Baxter hasn't been back to Adelia, New York since he left home for college 17 years ago. His grandfather's life that is quickly fading away has brought him back to the place he grew, to the childhood memories he has long since wanted to forget.
The ending of this book reminded me of a little version of a modern day Cain and Abel. However, I have to say that I was disappointed with this novel, it was rather bland for my taste. It brought to mind the image of a huge plate of gorgeous food that you just can't wait to devour only to be disappointed once you taste it only to realize it is flavorless. I guess my high expectations for Hunter's Moon were to high because it definitely did disappoint. I would not recommend this book to anyone I know, its just not worth it.
I was given a complimentary copy of this novel by Bethany House and was not forced in anyway to give a positive review.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

A heartfelt story of 5 women who end up in Dawson County, Nebraska on April 7, 1871. But once Ella, Zita, Caroline, Sally, and Ruth make the life changing choice of unloading their belongings, including each one of their personal "demons", and hunkering down in the west to start a new life no one expects what is coming.
After completing this book I had no idea if I loved it or hated it. The beginning of this book could not keep my attention at all so it took me a very long time to finish "Sixteen Brides." However, once the women decided to stay in plum grove after confronting the sorry excuse for a man, Hamilton Drake, my attention was detoured from my chipping fingernail polish back to the five very different, all with their very own story. Love presented a challenge for these women (as it usually does for us all) but secrets and sorrow also play a major role here as well. I know there is so much more to this book and I could definitely go on and on about it but I'm going to stop here. Because I definitely recommend you check it out for yourself and let the magic of Sixteen Brides consume you just like it did to me. Because I've decided that I actually loved it all along!
I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers to review.

Jessie D

Friday, June 18, 2010

Somewhere To Belong By Judith Miller

Johanna Ilg, a young woman living in the Christian colony of Main Amana has always lived a simple life devoted to servicing God. When the elders of her colony appoint her to take on the task of assisting Bert Schumacher, a rambunctious teenage girl from Chicago, with learning the ways and rules of Amana she feels overwhelmed. The girls are complete opposites in almost all aspects but with the unexpected entangling of the lives of both girls learn from each other. Soon after getting acquainted, family secrets are exposed in Main Amana and each girl find themselves asking the same question, " Is this where I belong?"
I love the kind of books that you start in the morning and can't peel your nose out of until late at night, way past your bedtime because you just can't bare putting it down without finding out what happen; you just have to finish it! Well, "Somewhere To Belong" was NOT one of those books. I had to force myself to turn the pages of the first few chapters. I guess I was as bored and astounded as Berta was by the way Johanna lived. Once I passed the first ten chapters, I kept a rather steady pace. And the book wasn't a complete failure, it actually had a cute little story that came with a little drama but keeping my attention on it was a struggle. Johanna's lifestyle seemed to plain for me, I had more of a connection to Berta but as the people of Main Amana tried to force her to conform to their ways I lost interest.
I was given a free copy of this book to review by Bethany House Publisher.

Jessie D

Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr

Elvira Kilmer, a 31 year old unmarried woman looking to gain a reference, shows up at the house of Jackson Smith who needs a housekeeper. After the second knock at his door the 28 year old handsome man appears. And after several days of volunteer work Mr. Smith offers a truly unexpected proposition that would definitely change Ellie's life as well as that of Mr. Smith's.
From the beginning of the book I was agitated with Jackson for being so selfish and rude towards Ellie. As the book progressed I learned that it was both of their hearts that were awakening but Ellie seemed to go a little faster than Jackson. The both of them struggled with their faith but Ellie, once again seemed to grasp and see things more clearly than Jackson. The story of Ellie and Jackson took me on an emotional roller coaster ride but I liked where it ended, nearly bringing me to joyful and envious tears. Hearts Awakening is a story about pain, growing, and love. A perfect tale for everyone to enjoy, I know I did! The question that remains is, will each of them let love in?
I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers to review.

Jessie D

Beguiled By Deeanne Gist and J.Mark Bertrand

Rylee Monroe is a dog walker for the wealthiest of the wealthiest in Charleston. When a string of her clients get robbed she quickly becomes a prime suspect. After crime reporter, Logan Woods, bids her to tag along through the investigation about the burglaries they realize the two of them have chemistry but will Rylee's troubled childhood block any kind of relationship from forming?
Beguiled has a little bit of action, a touch of drama, and some romance and yet it does not fall into the category of "my favorite books." The character of Rylee Monroe seemed too innocent, her role was rather dry. While on the other hand the character of detective Nate Campbell was well played out-desperate cop struggling with an investigation, overeager to accuse anyone. Nate Campbell's character was so good he actually annoyed me out of my mind. I think the only thing the story was missing was a little spice, because it was an enjoyable read. The ending happened to be the best part of the story, however, I felt the epilogue just dragged it on.
I was given a free copy of this book to review by Bethany House Publishers. If you would like to become a reviewer for Bethany House follow this link: www.bethanyhouse.com/bookreviewers

Jessie D

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Summer Secret By Kathleen Fuller

Mary Beth is a thirteen year old Amish girl living in Ohio. Having three brothers to look after and being the only girl is a challenge especially when she adds babysitting to her already long list of chores she is responsible for. The only time she has any privacy is when she finds time to sneak away to the condemned barn across the field even though her parents have forbidden her from going there but its the only place she has peace and quiet. The old barn may be rotting and slowly collapsing but she finds it completely relaxing, being alone and even getting a chance to sketch in her journal. One day she finds a button in the barn and its extremely unusual because the Amish don't wear buttons and pretty soon Marybeth starts to notice subtle things askew around the barn and that is when her life changes unexpectedly.
I absolutely loved this book! It was so heartfelt, tears were brought to my eyes. In the beginning I was very skeptical about reading a book about the Amish being that I didn't know very much about them, I prepared myself for the worst. It broke my heart to read about the Yankee boy's young life story and even though he is a fictional character I know that many children today are going through the same things. Being a children's book I was surprised at how inspiring " A Summer Secret" was. It made me realize how grateful I am for my family. The generosity Mary Beth and her twin brother showed towards the Yankee gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. I was expecting a cute little romance to blossom between Mary Beth and the boy. Kathleen Fuller did an excellent job with "A Summer Secret", it definitely stirred some deep emotions and I recommend this book to everyone regardless of age or religion.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by booksneeze.com and asked to review it, these here are my own personal thoughts and I was not forced to write a positive review.

Jessie D

Asking For Trouble By Sandra Byrd

Asking for Trouble is the first book in the London Confidential series by Sandra Byrd. An American teenage girl travels from Seattle all the way to Wexburg, a small town right outside of London. Savannah Smith finds herself in a new country as her father's job takes her family across the sea. With the chance at starting her high school life fresh Savvy decides to take a chance and apply for a position on the school newspaper. She is faced with many challenges, with everything so new and different, but with God by her side Savvy puts her trust into her faith and learns how to overcome them.
I realized Asking For Trouble was a book for children and even though I read it with my adult eyes I remembered that I was once a 15 year old girl. This is a very short read that brought back many memories from my high school days. I did enjoy it even though it wasn't the most interesting book I've ever read. I would still recommend it for young girls. Sandra did an excellent job of incorporating Savvy's faith into the story and I have to admit while I was reading Asking For Trouble I found myself admiring Savvy for that reason. When I was 15 I know that sitting in church about one Sunday a month was the only time God was on my mind other than when I needed someone to blame when things didn't go right in my life. With many cute and quirky moments thrown in Sandra Byrd's Asking For Trouble was a great start to the London Confidential series and will definitely be enjoyable for young people. I know I will be keeping up with the series to find out what becomes of Savannah Smith..... and Bob's your uncle!

Jessie D

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

She Walks In Beauty By Siri Mitchell

Clara Carter and Lizzie Barnes are best of friends but when a high profile heir comes into town they are thrust from childhood into a world of dinner parties, dancing, and corsets all in order to find a suitable man for marriage. Lizzie seems to fit well with all the expectations of society while Clara feels out of place. However, the girls soon find themselves competing for the same man.
Mitchell is great with words, she did an excellent job with "She Walks In Beauty." It's as if she had me eating out of the palm of her hand. I enjoyed it so much I found myself literally laughing out loud and grinning like a fool when Harry would make Clara blush or frowning when Clara was being scolded by her aunt, and I noticed that I was receiving some awkward glances from people sitting next to me in the waiting room of a doctors office. I also loved how Clara stepped into the whole debutant scene completely unprepared because it created a connection between me and her. Starting this book I felt the same way she did. I had no idea what to expect. I new nothing about the riches, glamor, and corset wearing of the upper class society of the 1800s. I was glad to see that neither was Clara. I would definitely recommend this book to my family and friends because I fell in love with it! Speaking of love, I guess you could say the ending was a tad predictable but towards the end I kept hoping and praying that Clara would end up with that special someone, find her true love, and prove everyone else wrong!
I was given a copy of this book by Bethany House publishers and I was not required to write a positive review. The book review on here are strictly my honest and personal thoughts and opinions about "She Walks In Beauty." If you would like to become a book reviewer for Bethany House just follow thus link: www.bethanyhouse.com/bookreviewers!

Hand of Fate By Lis Wiehl with April Henry

Cassidy a crime reporter, Nicole a FBI agent, and Allison a federal prosecutor are three friends who call themselves the triple threat club. When a talk show radio host named Jim Fate is murdered these three women bring their areas of expertise to the table in order to find Jim's killer. However, things aren't that simple with so many suspects at every corner.
As soon as I jumped into "Hand Of Fate" I was on a roller coaster ride! With so much action in the first chapter this book gained momentum quickly! It kept my interest with such a fast pace right up until they decided one suspect had more of a motive over the rest, then it got predictable. After one man killed himself the book flat lined. I also felt that the relationship Jim Fate had with one of the triple threat club members would've had more of an impact on the story if it had been brought out in more detail. Overall I did enjoy this book but I cannot say that I plan on reading any more triple threat novels.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Hello to everyone out there! I know I haven't posted a review in quite a while. I had a death in the family and a couple of other family matters that made me get behind on writing my book reviews but I'm back now and getting into the swings of things so you will be seeing some book reviews in the very near future! And I started a small garden in my own back yard and being an amateur gardener I am extremely pleased with it so I will be posting pictures of that as well pretty soon!

Jessie D

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Never Say Never By Lisa Wingate

Kai Miller, is a young woman who has never really experienced a place called "home". She grew up nowhere but rather everywhere, with a dreamer for a father, who felt fame was more important than anchoring down and raising a family, what Kai calls the "normal" way. However, when fate has Kai cross paths with Donetta Bradford, a native Texan, during a hurricane evacuation Kai's world starts to change drastically and she starts to wonder if life will ever be the same again. Now the real question, after she runs into sexy Kemp Eldridge and things get a bit steamy, does she want her world back to the way it was?

I was really excited about reading Never Say Never when I found out the setting was in Texas, being that I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. When I started reading, however, I found the first two chapters rather dull and hard to get through. After I passed them I found the novel picking up speed and I caught myself unable to pull my eyes from the pages. One thing I wasn't excited about was the hurricane scenario as I kept thinking to myself, "I've seen it all on TV already, what more could anyone add to such a mess?" This book brought the realization to my eyes the bonds formed with people during such hard times, not shown in such detail on TV. I can definitely see Never Say Never as a cute rom-com film and I recommend it, with high marks, to all the people who enjoy a good ole hometown story that makes ya feel good.
I received a free copy of Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate from Bethany House Publishers. If you would like to write reviews sign up hear: www.bethanyhouse.com/bookreviewers

Jessie D

Monday, March 1, 2010

66 Love Letters: Dr. Larry Crabb

The 39 books that make up the Old Testament and the 27 that make up the New Testament of the bible are condensed and put together in this piece by Dr. Crabb entitled 66 Love Letters: A Conversation With God that Invites You Into His Story. With most of the chapters no longer than three or four pages Dr. Crabb's book is a smooth and easy read for such a long and large book.
It came as a great surprise that I enjoyed reading it. As a person who strictly reads fiction, I have to admit my first experience with a spiritual growth book was indeed enjoyable. Although, as I progressed into the book, it explains each of the 66 books in the bible as if they were love letters written directly from God, but I couldn't keep myself from visualizing this book written in a journal or some sort of diary kept by Dr.Crabb. However, as I said earlier I am a fiction reader always in search of a good story and I found one that was also encouraging. It also made the bible seem a lot more understandable.
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is the least enjoyable and ten being the most enjoyable, I give 66 Love Letters a nice solid 7, so listen up you die hard fiction readers, just like myself, if you are brave enough to step out of your comfort zone of fiction works this book will definitely blow your mind and make it all worthwhile.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Jessie D

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Ooooh I just received my copy of 66 Love Letters by Dr. Larry Crabb from Book Sneeze in the mail today!!! I am super excited that I am going to start reading it tonight and pretty soon I will post a review for you guys! =D

Jessie Dyan

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Walk to Remember

As usual my Saturdays are usually uneventful. Me and my family are either here at home or spending time at my grandmother's house, which is where we almost always spend one day out of the weekend, because that is usually the only time out of the week my father usually gets to see his mother because of his hectic work schedule. But today we are spending the day here at home, my father is resting in the living room with his foot up watching a movie. He had a little procedure done this morning on his foot, and as a diabetic, my mother, brother, and I were concerned when he sprouted a soft bump that resembles a blister on the side of his foot. The doctor took it off this morning and my father is doing fine he just needs to stay off of it for a while. I am glad we stayed home today anyway because I have time to write on here =D I am feeling a bit lucky as well. I took my mother to Valero and she bought me a scratch off lol now I'm usually never a winner at those things but today I won four dollars from a dollar scratch off! lol I'm my book thats pretty damn lucky and because of that my mood is a little hyper and excited!
Now I've just finished reading A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks and I know that its not that new of a book but I just bought it recently at an estate sale and I absolutely loved it. So I am going to write my feelings about it whether you like it or not :-) During the beginning of the book my thoughts about Landon weren't very good. He seemed like just the typical dumb teenage boy we all know, letting his friends decide how he should react and feel to certain things. I do have to admit the book was a little predictable. And I didn't appreciate that Landon had to see Jaime as "pretty" on the outside before he could fall in love with her inside and out. This story also hit very close to home with me because I had a very close cousin go through the same things that come along with going through that disease. I cannot say she found a love as Jaime did even though I wish with all my heart that she could have. I thought it was funny how I knew what Landon was meant to do, what his heart needed him to do, before he even knew it. I enjoyed reading this book, I laughed along with the characters and cried along with them as well. Something else also struck me, I'm not a Baptist like Landon and Jaime are but I have many many books, as anyone who knows me can tell you, but I feel like the most important one to read I have not. I am a Catholic and not a devout one but I go to church once in a while, say a rosary every now and then, and I pray but not as much as I should. However, there is still one thing I have never done, which is read the bible. I get so wrapped up in any book that I read and my heart goes into the characters many times having me wish I could actually be there or even be the character sometimes but I cannot bring myself to read the bible. In my heart I feel unworthy, I guess. It feels as if someone like me doesn't deserve to experience the sacred words on the pages of that sacred book. One day I hope to turn that around but reading A Walk to Remember had me admiring Jaime the whole time as she walked around with her bible in hand.

Jessie D

Friday, February 5, 2010

For the love of books

Wow, so this is my very first post to my very first blog! I have to admit I'm pretty excited about this! First off I would like to say Hello to all!! lol I am a 20 year old passionista for books from south Texas! I think it's funny how I thought I was starting this here blog to tell my story but I have come to realize my story is still being written. So I figured it is time to start concentrating on the one person who I always seem to place on the back burner, myself. I haven't spoken from the heart in such a long time and it makes me feel as if I haven't been true to myself these past couple of years. I am ready to speak as honestly and as bluntly as I feel about my favorite hobby in this whole entire world. I have an addiction to books. I say addiction, however, I don't want you to correlate the negative connotations associated with the word. There simply is no better way to describe the love I have for books.
Now, I know I have made certain people who are very dear to me rather upset, angry, and extremely disappointed because of the hard choices I have made recently (a story for another time) but like I said before I am making time to think about ME for a change. Reading is what I enjoy doing and being able to express my thoughts about it makes me happy. I'm particularly excited about being able to express all my emotions about a book freely because it can be quite difficult here at home with the people I live with. They just don't have the same passion as I do for a good story. In fact, my younger brother tells me he cannot even bring himself to read a book because he finds it so excruciatingly boring. I cannot comprehend how he can feel this way because even on the days when I am feeling so dark and down a book is my escape, it can take me anywhere I want to go, places I've never been, and I find it much more comforting than the video games that he sits and plays with for hours like some mindless zombie.
Well that is all for now. I will be posting more items very soon and hopefully some book reviews in the near future! Oooh! and I just have to come out and say it: I love Michael Buble and his music! lol

Jessie D