I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Review: Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

I thought the plot of this book was intriguing. A man, tired of his life the way it is, runs away (faking his death in the process) and becomes someone else- taking his one year old daughter with him.

I found Kelli to be a wishy-washy lead character. It seems she let everyone tell her what to do, and couldn't make any kind of decision without weighing how it would make everyone else feel. I wish she had been determined to do something because she wanted to- not because of how others would respond.

Beth- oh Beth! Does she have some sort of mental illness that prevents her from understanding that her pushiness is not endearing? Everyone around her treats her like it is a cute personality trait, and no one is blunt enough to walk away or tell her to stop it already. She was a very annoying character, and I found myself skimming every scene she was in.

Kenmore and Shane- Liked them both. The father/son dynamic was nice, and Shane obviously cares about his dad. I did think it was sad that Kenmore felt he had to hide his plans from his son, instead of talking about the future together.

Kelli's journey- Throughout the book Kelli goes from extreme to extreme. I think I would like her if I met her in real life, but as a character in a book, she was not compelling. I wanted her to find out the truth about her past, but I wanted to slap a lot of people along the way.

For someone who is almost broke, she makes a lot of driving trips back and forth from California to Tennessee!

Also, the ending just didn't sit right to me as realistic. While I think it was nice that Kelli didn't want to do what her dad did and leave a commitment (the restaurant in California with friends), she was also putting off her own true desire for happiness. She could have been a long-distance investor and just not involved in the day-to-day running of things. I can't believe that after finding her true family that she wouldn't rush to be with them- especially since everything was laid out so nicely for her. I thought her suggestions to Kenmore about the future of the shop were kind of contrived, and felt like she was still trying to just make amends for her father's past actions.

This was an ok read. I wouldn't recommend it with high praise, but I didn't hate it.

I received a copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park

I loved this book. Loved it! I sometimes feel that Christian fiction is heavy handed with trying to show the daily lives of Christians and keep a plot moving without being bogged down by religious lingo. Not so with this book. The characters who know the Lord prove so by their actions, not by spouting religious verbiage constantly.

I liked the main character immensely. I think every woman has felt like Abigail. Perhaps not sharing partial responsibility for their family losing most of its fortune, but by having a prettier, smarter, more charismatic, or more something sibling and noticing parental support and doting on said sibling. Abigail handles it with grace and humility.

I did find it odd that she went from someone who never attends church, to someone who would understand about the sacrifice of Christ without making that commitment herself. Perhaps I overlooked that part of the story. But twice she shares the Gospel with other characters and I don't recall an impassioned embracing of the cross herself.

I liked the way the mystery was revealed, little by little. Usually when they climax of a story is completed, I rush through the end because whatever else is written doesn't matter, and is just fluff. Not so with this book. There were still some issues left to be sorted, even after the main mystery was finished, and it didn't drag at all. I enjoyed this book all the way to the end.

I highly recommend this book for young adults, and adults alike.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Book Review: Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death, Mark Reutlinger

Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death Review

Where to begin? The premise of the book was interesting- possible murder in an old folk's home; not something you hear of every day. And who doesn't love a good yenta now and again? I mean, in Fiddler on the Roof, yenta is an annoyingly endearing character. This has promise, right? Of course right!

However, the execution was lacking. The two main characters spoke like the gamblers in the original Guys and Dolls movie with Brando and Sinatra. Stilted speech with awkward, overly-proper grammar. Yes these are older Jewish women, and some of them were born outside the US, but the ones we get to know have been in the States for at least 50 years. Their lack of knowledge of the simplest things of modern technology was unbelievable to me. If they had been living in a little village in Israel, and then come to the US recently I could understand. But to have lived here 50 years or more...far-fetched.

And I'm sorry to say the mystery plodded along. I found myself skimming just to get through the rest of the book. There were times when the phraseology of the characters made me chuckle, but most of the time I was trying to avoid reading the name of the retirement home over and over.

I felt like some characters were just thrown in to flesh out the book a bit, but really added nothing to the story. The whole involvement of Florence seemed to be thrown in for no apparent reason. The law officials were inept and didn't take into account important information that could have solved the mystery in much less time.

I did find the usage of all the Yiddish phrases cumbersome. This is definitely a book written for someone who is interested in all things Jewish, or has that as a cultural background. I am all for ethnic characters, but the story has to be able to support the effort of wading through unfamiliar words. Unfortunately in this book it was not.

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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