When God Made You – a review

Now that my girls are older, I rarely get the opportunity to read children’s books.

Okay, that’s a lie…

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Image found on Flickr, Linda Jordon

On occasion (aka not so occasionally), you can find me sitting in my library/sewing/writing/soon-to-be-bed room reading Dr. Seuss — out loud.  (Not sure what it says about me that there’s a room in my house with an identity crisis) (Also, in case you weren’t aware…  out loud is the ONLY acceptable way to read a Dr. Seuss book!)

Since my girls are now 17 and 12, there aren’t many children’s books that I’m even willing to read, let alone take the time to re-read over and over again.  (Other than Seuss, obviously.)

For a book to achieve such an honor in my currently WAY overloaded schedule, it has got to be phenomenal.  To be honest, I would have told you such a book did not exist.

Turns out, I was wrong (again). Continue reading

We ARE our own worst enemies.

dark matter

Are you your own worst enemy?

In the book Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, being your own worst enemy isn’t just figurative.

This was the first book of Blake Crouch’s I’ve read, and it was amazing!  Jason Dessen is abducted and wakes up in a world very similar to our own, but with major differences.

In the new world, he’s a brilliant scientist with no limits on his potential (or money).  In his “real” world, he’s an ordinary guy who teaches physics at the local college.

He basically has the life and everything he ever dreamed of except for two very important things…  his wife and son.  To get back to his own world, he has to answer some very hard questions and somehow manage to keep his sanity as he goes from world to world where he’s himself, but there’s a “him” already there.  And his wife is his wife in some worlds, but doesn’t even know him in others.  And what about their son?

This book was almost impossible to put down once I got started reading.  It made me ask questions about how well I really know myself and what I would do if put in the same situation.  I felt like I was right there with Jason…  I laughed with him, cried with him, and even had to stop to catch my breath as I ran with him!

Need a new book?  I definitely recommend this one!

Thanks so much to the  Blogging for Books program for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for this review.

Upcoming reviews:

The Little Paragons by Madi Uram

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis.

We all have secrets we’d rather not tell…

Does anyone make it through their teenage years without doing at least one thing they regret?  Not the kind of regret from forgetting to turn in a homework assignment, I’m talking about the kind of thing you want to keep hidden from the rest of the world.

If you’re lucky, the mistakes you made didn’t have lasting consequences…

But for everyone of us that screwed up royally and then got to move on like nothing ever happened (hopefully after learning a lesson to avoid repeating the mistake), there’s another of us who is haunted by our choice(s).  Life has been changed forever.  There is no escape.  You can move away for a fresh start, but the secret life left behind will never really let you go.

Tapestry of Secrets

That’s what happened to Perla in A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas.

After keeping her secret for sixty years, “Perla knew she’d been forgiven and redeemed long ago and had thought there would never be a need to revisit her shame,” but she’s worried about her granddaughter, Ella, and realizes that telling what happened back then could help her.

Sounds simple enough.  Just call up Ella, spill the beans, and life is all peaches and roses, right?

Not quite…

Perla suffers a stroke that robs her of speech before she’s able to tell Ella anything.   It’s especially frustrating because Ella decides to stay in West Virginia to take care of her grandmother while she recovers.

Slowly, her ability to talk improves and she’s actually excited to share her secret, but another stroke causes even more problems.

While Perla’s unable to speak, she’s still sharp as a tack!  When a developer comes to town buying up the property all around the church, many members of the small congregation, including Ella, are determined to not let the church go.  But, Perla sees it as a good thing.  After all, “sometimes a good dose of trouble was exactly what folks needed.”

When I started reading the book, I had no idea that it’s actually the third book in the Appalachian Blessings series.  Thankfully, the book easily stands alone and doesn’t seem like a series book at all!

I love the strong female characters in the story and the way there’s constantly something to keep you interested and needing to know what’s going to happen next.  I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for an encouraging story of love and forgiveness.

I received a free copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program.

What if it were YOUR time to pay up?

Have you ever settled on a book?  You know, your buddy suggests this awesome book that you just HAVE to read, but when you read the jacket you’re like, “Dude, you’ve GOT to be kidding me?”9781101905142

That’s about what happened when I chose The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson.  I browsed through my choices, saw other books that seemed right up my alley, but ultimately settled on The Invoice entirely based upon the fact that it had the best reviews.

Apparently, it’s okay to “settle” sometimes…

I knew I was going to enjoy this book by the second page, loved it by page 50, and it took me all of two days to read it’s 204 pages. (That’s impressive when you’ve got a job, two dogs and a clingy teenager who’s been gone for a week demanding that you put down the book and watch Supernatural with her.)

You’re never told the narrator’s name (which I honestly didn’t realize until I started writing this post), but his life is thrown into a complete loop when he receives an invoice from a company he’s never heard of for an amount he could never pay.  After all, he works part-time in a video shop where he apparently doesn’t bother to put out the open side until after lunch.

He later learns that the government (every government, really) has begun charging for happiness and that the mistake he assumed was made in his amount wasn’t in his favor!  As he argues the case for how much of a loser he really is, his happiness score only goes up (along with the amount due).

While you gotta feel for the guy, it’s hard not to laugh at his continued misfortune.

While I loved the narrator, what really kept me from being able to tear myself away from the story was the way it constantly kept me asking what was going to happen next.   Once I would get the answer to one question, I had about three more that needed answering (like what they can do to stop your experiences if they’re not going to kill you)!

This book forces you to ask the question, what would happen if you had to pay for your Experienced Happiness… and what if you were too happy to be able to pay?

What really got to me was that I can totally relate to the guy’s E.H. type.  While I’ve definitely had my ups and downs (as we all have) I tend to be happy with relatively little.  I work part-time, watch television when I can and if you give me a good book and some time to write I’m pretty much ecstatic.

It does have a few “naughty” words in it, but I’d recommend The Invoice for anyone age 15+.  About the only negative I can possibly say about this novel is that I wish it had been longer.  I was actually sad when it ended and I had to put it down (please see that this is deducted from my E.H. score).

 

Thanks so much to the  Blogging for Books program for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for this review.