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."

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Book Review: The House at Saltwater Point, Colleen Coble

I love clean fictions mysteries. I have read a lot of them, and really enjoy the tie-ins of faith and struggle. That doesn't mean that everything in the genre is any good, and this book falls into the "ugh- not-another-one" category.

It felt like the author had an idea for a mystery, and then couldn't figure out how to make it come about, so some really far-fetched things happened to push the plot along. There were a lot of eye rolls from me while reading this book, and a few times I laughed out loud- it's not a comedy. That's how unbelievable the entire plot line was.

I was not aware that this was a second book in a series, but that might explain why there were so many characters in this book. They just kept showing up! People everywhere! Dogs and cats with names to keep track of. So confusing. And a woman whose nickname is Mac, but who is referred to as Mackenzie multiple times, which also made that confusing.

The romance elements in this book seemed very juvenile. I don't mind a bit of romance in a book, but this was poorly developed and written. I honestly have a hard time believing a grown woman wrote any portion of this book. It reads like a teenager wrote their first mystery novel. (I am sorry if that is harsh. It's true.) There are just so many holes in the story, and things that couldn't possibly have happened that are key elements of the book.

What church could go on a missions trip to a communist country? Who goes on a missions trip with their church, and decides to stay longer in said communist country without anyone batting an eye, or her needing special permission to extend her stay? Why is an international terrorist hanging around in a small town in Washington? How did a grown woman think getting involved in trying to solve a crime just to prove to her sister she was 'somebody' believable? How is the husband of a woman whose siblings were given up for adoption allowed to research on her behalf? Why would someone just jump into the life of a sibling they hadn't seen since childhood and expect there not to be repercussions? How can the ex-husband of one of the main characters be described as still being in love with his ex-wife, and then later in the book almost have a hatred for her? Was it to make him seem somehow guilty of something? I have so so many issues with this book...and I haven't listed them all...

The faith element is also not a prominent story line in this book. I don't always need that in the books I read, but if it's labeled as Christian fiction, I think it ought to be included more heavily than it was in this book.

I don't think I'll be looking for any more books by this author in a long while, if ever.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Book Review: The Theory of Happily Ever After, Kristin Billerbeck

I really wanted to like this book more than I did. Interesting premise, and loads of potential. However, it just didn't cut it for me. After the first chapter, I wasn't sure I would keep reading. The characters felt like the author was trying too hard to be clever with witty banter, and for me it fell flat. The relationship between the friends just didn't seem smooth. It felt forced.

Also, for Maggie to be such an analytical, left-brained person, she certainly threw caution to the wind on several occasions rather than use logic to think through those situations. Of course it was under the guise of trying something new, but it just didn't work. And Maggie's friends were super annoying. It was like listening to junior high conversations, and became tiresome very quickly.

I felt the author wanted us to 'get' that Maggie didn't feel worthy, but she pounded the idea to death. And the mother...please. Ugh. She was very verbally abusive and din't seem like she cared for Maggie at all. We didn't hear from the father, but he didn't stop the mother from being ugly, or try to soften the blows, so maybe it doesn't matter that we didn't hear from him.

Also, the mentions of God were few and far between, and many decisions made by Maggie and co had nothing to do with their Christian faith. It was like it was just a token tossed in to keep the book within that genre. Not my type of book! Based on this book alone I don't know whether I would read another from her, and certainly not if this becomes a series.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Book Review: Beneath the Surface

I really enjoyed this book by Lynn H. Blackburn! I thought the mystery was well done and the characters very likeable. Leigh was a great main character. I thought she was strong, but she wasn't stubborn about making bad decisions like so many lead female characters are in mystery books (or Hallmark movies!). I liked that she was independent, yet wanted someone else in her life to depend on. 

Ryan Parker was also a great main character. I liked the way he cared for Leigh, the way their relationship developed, and the good friend he was to those around him. His growth throughout the book was interesting, and he was a great addition to the story. All the romance in the book was not my cup of tea, and some of it made me cringe with the corny-ness of it, but it wasn't so overwhelming that it detracted from the story. 

I thought the plot moved along well with good pacing. The side characters were great, even if the good looks of everyone in the book was sort of unbelievable. There wasn't a character I found obnoxious or wish hadn't been written in. I admit that I was guessing for a while who the killer was, and I did not figure it out before the end. The murderer was a little confusing, as I don't remember them being mentioned earlier in the book, and the reason for the murders was a little 'eh', but overall I really enjoyed the book. And I would read more in this series! The preview for the next book that was included was great as well. I recommend this as a good clean mystery. 

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