Saturday, June 24, 2017

NIV Kids' Visual Study Bible

I received a copy of NIV KIDS’ VISUAL STUDY BIBLE from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.  I knew this would be an interesting Bible, and I love exploring new Bibles.  My mom and I share and discuss them.  I hadn’t expected this, though.  This Bible is incredible!  At first sight, it can be intimidating.  It is thick and heavy.  Once you immerse yourself in the pages, however, you will be totally engrossed. 

This Bible explains tidbits about what you’re reading to better understand and critically think about the passage.  For example, on page 375, the sidebar explains that Jephthah’s daughter retreated to the mountains as her way of mourning the fact she would never marry or have children.  Other than the tidbits, the book also contains illustrations and photographs.

This has easily become one of my new favorite Bibles.  Although it is “for kids,” it can also be for adults.  This would make a great gift for anyone knew to Christianity or a First Communion.  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Naomi's Hope

I received a copy of NAOMI’S HOPE by Jan Drexler from Revell in exchange for an honest review.  It is the third book in the series Journey to Pleasant Prairie.  I read a lot of Amish fiction, but this one was a little different.  It takes place in 1846, rather than in the present day.  This made me look forward to reading the novel all the more.

It is a charming book with memorable characters.  I loved reading about the Amish in the past.  For that alone I recommend this to fans of Amish fiction.

I haven’t read the other installments in the series, but I look forward to doing so now.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Runaway

I received a copy of THE RUN AWAY by Claire Wong from Lion Hudson Fiction via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.  I loved the sound of the description.  I am a sucker for “dark truths: and imagination.  It also takes place in a Welsh village and while studying my family tree, I discovered I had Welsh ancestors. 

Note: I was thinking this was an adult book, but it definitely seems more like young adult.  I think young adults would be interested in parts, and then other parts, in particular the village’s growth, would appeal more towards adults. 

While I did like the story, I didn’t love it.  I found it interesting to have the village be a point of view, but I kept wondering why no one when to get Rhiannon if they knew she was in the woods?  Maybe I missed something when I was reading?  I found some parts a little dry and I had to push myself to keep going.  There are some fast paced moments, but many were slow.  I wouldn’t say they were lyrical so much as…dense? 

I didn’t fully understand her reasoning for running away.  Yes, her home life was stressful, but in no way did it seem abusive.  Her need to run away (without an abusive home life) struck me as very childish.  It reminded me of MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN.  He was younger than “almost 18.”  At 18, I would think she’d be thinking of different things than running away.

The book is interesting and I feel bad that I didn’t love it.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Local Poet

I received a copy of LOCAL POET by Paul Trembling from Lion Hudson via Kregel in exchange for an honest review.

I was excited by the description when I first ordered the book.  Then, when I opened the package, I read the tagline: He killed her, but who was she?  I couldn't wait to dive in.  

I loved the buildup of mystery.  Laney Grey is a poet.  She steps out in front of Rob's van.  She's killed.  It looks intentional and Rob is cleared.  End of the story, right?  A sad story, but the end of it.

Nope.  The book quickly becomes a page turner as Rob looks into the truth behind Laney Grey.  I loved watching her life unfold a little at a time.  I loved getting inside Rob's head as he makes revelations about her.  This is a short book, but there is so much packed into it.  When I finished, I couldn't believe it was less than 200 pages.

What I loved best about this book is how true it feels.  I used to be part of a local writers group before I had my baby and I am still in touch with many local authors.  Laney Grey reminded me or bits and pieces of many of them.  I've always wondered if they have dark pasts.  This felt as if Laney Grey was just one of the club!

This is an enticing read you won't be able to put down.  I highly recommend it to readers who are also authors (and/or poets) or who know someone who is an author (and/or poet).