I Heart Books

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