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Showing posts from July, 2013

Book Review: Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

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Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



"Bother!" said Edmund, "I've left my new torch in Narnia."

I can't count the number of times I've read this book, but it grows dearer to me with each reading. Like rediscovering a gem I'd half-forgotten. That's the beauty of Narnia.

In Prince Caspian, the book follows Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy as they are called back to Narnia, this time from the blowing of Susan's magic horn by the desperate Prince Caspian as he fights alongside the Old Narnians against his Uncle Miraz. One of the best aspects of this book is how the timeline is so inventively written. We learn about Caspian, but only halfway through the book, after the children are called from England and have no idea why they are in Narnia. It's a fantastic and clever design and one more writers should use. Playing with the timeline, when done right, makes a story much more interesting.

It's possible that people can read about N…

Book Review: That Dog Won't Hunt by Brandilyn Collins

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That Dog Won't Hunt by Brandilyn Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



My first reaction to this book was "What the?" I'm a long-time fan of Brandilyn's seatbelt suspense, as she's coined the intense adrenaline rushes she puts to paper. This is not those books. Like a few other reviewers I halfway expected an evil villain to show up, threatening, well, somebody! But that doesn't happen. And it didn't need to happen is what's more!

Within 3 chapters, I was completely and totally hooked on the lives of Brandilyn's Dearing family. The basic plot point is getting all of the immediate Dearing family together for their yearly family reunion. Except this time the baby of the family, Ben, brings home a fiance. Now Mama Ruth and her hubbie Syton are open-mined about this girl, but equally worried that they might just scare her away with all of their playful rough-housing and teasing. She and Syton have three girls, two of which have spouses and children, and…

Book Review: A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist

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A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When presumptuous Lady Constance Morrow is kidnapped aboard a ship headed for the Americas, loaded to the gills with female and male prisoners as indentured servants, she is certain that upon arrival she will find someone to believe her story. Such is not the immediate case, and she is purchased as a bride by a most reprehensible man who then has the bad fortune to lose her in a game of cards. Constance finds herself then under the ownership of sturdy Master Drew O'Connor who wants no wife. Obviously, God had other plans. Together the two attempt to forge out a new life, particularly since despite both of their wishes, they are bound together in holy matrimony per the laws of the colony.

Deeanne Gist writes what you might call sensual Christian romance. She's not afraid to pronounce sexual attraction between a husband and wife, and though she soundly closes the bedroom door against the reader, she has a fun time wi…

Book Review: Forgotten: Seventeen and Homeless by Melody Carlson

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Forgotten: Seventeen and Homeless by Melody Carlson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Adele's mom is bipolar. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's a genuine illness that can be treated with proper medication, but can still cause disruptions. It's not really the fault of the individual, it's just life. But for Adele, she wishes for the umpteenth time that her mom could be normal and at least hold a job. She has her college education in a solid field, could bring in a good paycheck, but she just can't focus. All of Adele's hopes when her mom relocated them for her new job go flying out the window when her mom disappears on her with a new boyfriend. She literally abandons her daughter and the facade that Adele has created at her new school, reinventing herself as one of the cool kids, is suddenly in jeopardy. She can't pay the rent, but it kills her to think of losing the new friends she's just made, especially Jayden who she can't help but notice resem…

Book Review: Percy Jackson - The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

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The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



So, we're back in the world of Percy Jackson for the 2nd installment of the series by Rick Riordan, a world where mythological creatures actually exist and, well, the ancient gods and goddesses still have kids out of wedlock. Why do I love these books so much, even knowing as much as I do about Zeus, Poseidon, and the rest? Search me!

All I do know is that Riordan knows how to spin one heck of a fascinating story! One reviewer mentioned how they disliked the lack of parental influence in the kid's lives. This is true, but it doesn't really bother me because these stories in no way, shape, or form resemble reality. Percy's mom sends him off to Camp Half-Blood every summer and then he goes on a quest and nearly gets killed by mythological monsters. How does that reflect reality? So, yeah, parents not really involved, and I don't mind a bit. Moving on.

In this 2nd installment to the series, Camp Half Blood is…

Book Review: Percy Jackson - The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I have little memory of The Lightning Thief that hit theaters some odd years ago. Maybe it was because I went on Valentine's Day with my two bff's and discovered families with literally nothing else to do on that day packing the theater out so we couldn't sit together. But, for whatever reason, it irked me, so I really didn't enjoy myself. Which is a shame because, having just finished the book for the first time, I LOVE the story!

I struggle with first person writers a lot of the time. Some books take you too deeply into the character's psyche and others don't give you enough. I'd say Rick Riordan gave the audience just enough with his development of Percy Jackson, demi-god. Percy is a mischievous, personable character from the very beginning. He sticks his neck out to defend others which immediately places him in the hero category which, duh, only makes sense since he is a demi-god and they'r…

Book Review: Shattered: A Daughter's Regret by Melody Carlson

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Shattered: A Daughter's Regret by Melody Carlson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Seventeen-year-old Cleo loves her mom, but not her mom's overprotective nature. When the chance comes for Cleo and her best friend Lola to attend a concert in the big city, a Christian concert even, her mom refuses to let her drive. And because the date coincides with a party her mom, Karen, must attend, she can't drive the girls to the concert either. Knowing that she and Lola can make it safely into the city and back again, Cleo figures out a way for them to attend the concert without her mom ever knowing. The guilt is sort of a shock, and she can't really concentrate on the music, but at least Lola had a good time. When Cleo wakes up the next morning, her mom is nowhere to be found. At least until a police officer rings the doorbell with the worst news imaginable.

Choices have consequences, and Cleo learns this the hard way. And the way she deals with the guilt of her last choice is making anot…

Book Review: The Strange Files of Fremont Jones by Dianne Day

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The Strange Files of Fremont Jones by Dianne Day
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first lesson any author should learn is what genre of book he/she is writing. Dianne Day didn't quiiiiite have that figured out. The Strange Files of Fremont Jones starts off as a coming-of-age story of a young woman in 1905 then morphs into a potential mystery before taking on supernatural elements of weird Poe-esque formatting until settling in for a single sex scene that could have come out of any trashy dime-store romance novel. Not cool and I'd like to hope, not her best effort!

Because despite all the culminating weirdness, the character of Caroline Fremont Jones is likeable and intrigued me from the very beginning. The other major problem aside from the hodgepodge of genres is the predictable nature of the actual "mystery" in the book. I knew, or at least suspected, who was involved from almost the very moment I met him. Why? Because I didn't like him much, knew I was supposed to,…

Book Review: A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan

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A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, here I am, at the end of a not-too-long journey with Farrah Higgins and John Bennett. Farrah, or rather Digit, is an exceptionally bright girl, mathematically gifted, and does everything she can to hide that proclivity from her fellow high school students. That is, until she uncovers the mode of communication by eco-terrorists via a stream of numbers at the beginning credits of her favorite show, or rather, the favorite show of her "best" friends. Before she has time to count the bumper stickers plastered to her walls one more time, Digit is whisked into protective custody, guarded by John Bennett who has the good fortunate to be a mere 21-years-old to her seventeen years. Cooped up alone together for a week, pouring over translations of telephone conversation transcripts, Digit and John unravel part of the mystery on how to track down the bad guys and save the day!

And that's just for starters! The rest …