Review: A Friend in Me

Good morning book nerds! It’s a fabulous Friday, and today I am talking about Pamela Havey Lau‘s book A Friend in Me. This is a book that focuses on bridging the generational gap between young women, and older women of the Christian faith.

I must say that in starting this book, I was quite skeptical. As a young women in  the church, I have heard many spoken ideas on generational mentorship, but have not seen much action (other than my mother and mother-in-law with me—they break the mold). So, I came to this with an idea of what I was going to get, and was pleasantly surprised that what I got exceeded my expectations immensely.

IMG_8245Lau’s voice is clear, and her passion for this generational connection is a hungry sort of authorship. She hits both generations problems with the other beautifully, and more than that—accurately. She doesn’t just scold the younger generation for a lack of respect and morality, and she doesn’t just praise older women for the moral high ground and maturity. I also would 100 percent agree with her that the younger women long to connect on a very personal level without the fear of being a huge disappointment to those of the older generations.

She addresses the phantom closeness that social media provides for those of BOTH generations, and the need for us to truly connect. Social media provides such a false sense of relationship, when most of us are lonelier than ever. She addresses judgment, humility, and other barriers that inhibit genuine relationship.

BUT what I love the most is two things: First, she is genuine. She is from the gate an honest author that shares personal experience verses lofty ideas or conjectures. Second, she provides practical solutions! PRAISE JESUS! There are easy to understand truths, and achievable actions to follow in gaining safety in generational relationships.

She addresses tone of voice, forgiveness, praying with pure motives, getting help when we don’t understand the situation fully, prayer, and divine comfort. Her premise from the beginning is to show “Christ’s extraordinary love,” and to do that by the way we chose to “change the way we are relating.”

Lovely read people. I would encourage anyone (spiritually young or old) to read this, and ask God to help you have an open heart. How can we relate? How can we bridge this gap?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Advertisements

Top 5 Books that Feature Traveling

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY TODAY!!!

These are my top five that feature traveling. Here we go…

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – This is a great realistic fiction book where the heroine gets sent away to boarding school in France. It’s a sweet love story, and made me laugh multiple times. PG13 content, but I always love when an author can keep me interested without elements of total “make-believe.”

117213142. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill – This on was also very funny, and love was thwarted at nearly EVERY turn!! The MC travels to London on a school trip, and is a total rule follower (this is totally me – so I connected). Anyway. I *think* there were a couple of curse words so I’d say a PG to PG13 rating, but SUCH a cute love story. I have to say, I’m shocked two realistic fiction stories made this list!

3. Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick – REALISTIC FICTION #3!! Shocker! This one is definitely PG13 as there are scenes with some thriller aspects. It’s about a girl that’s going backpacking through the Teton Range with her friend, but ends up being kidnapped and solving a murder case. SO. With that said, I found it very compelling and well-written.

131386354. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner – This one is a different kind of travel. One through time and space that is. I thought it was well-written. The two different voices —Lilac’s and Tarver’s—are distinct and pull us through a heart wrenching story…fully equipped with a few twisties and turnsies. So, buckle up for a galactic surprise or two.

5. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver – This the second dystopian novel in the Delirium series. The story follows Lena on the run. She left her home and is trying to find her way in a group of rag-tag rebellious, yet organized, youngsters. They all chose love. They are being hunted for it. (Personally would recommend this one above Divergent)! I know *gasp*…

What are your Top 5?

Tuesday Talks – Favorite Genre

Hello, blogosphere!

I am excited to be back this week with Tuesday Talks! The last couple of weeks have been crazy, but I figured no better way to jump back in than to start a new Goodreads group.

Today’s topic is Favorite Genre, and that is SO easy for me. I am going to say that my favorite genre is Young Adult Fiction and within that it is Fantasy Fiction.

IMG_7564Why YA? – Well, the first reason is really simple. I love reading young adult fiction because I find that the material is “rated” PG13 (or below) most of the time. Now, some of you may be wondering “What does it matter to a 26 year old?” For me it does matter. I try to be sensitive with what I take in.

It’s like if you’re riddled with allergies. You don’t want to eat, breathe, or otherwise ingest what you’re allergic to, or you’ll be breaking out in hives or close to death. Right? Right. Same for my soul and spirit. I feel like I’m allergic to content that is too sensitive. It will make my brain break out in hives (thinking about the bad/negative). For my soul to be happy I need to ingest what is good for it.

Now, also…don’t get me wrong. I do not chose to ignore the evil in this world or get freaked out by romance, but I like to be careful about what I’m taking in! Maketh since?

IMG_7565Why Fantasy Fiction? – This one is also easy. I love imagination and creation. I think God gave us beautiful minds, and He is the author of creativity. I think it is INCREDIBLE what some of these authors come up with. The worlds they create. The make-belive characters and creatures. I love to celebrate creativity, and enjoy traveling while sitting still.

What is your favorite genre? Leave me a comment to chat, and check out the Goodreads group Tuesday Talks.

Top 5 Books You Wanted to Start Yesterday

It’s Top 5 day!!!!!

Ok, so this one is super easy folks. SUPER. EASY. It’s the Top 5 books I would have started yesterday (had they been available).

1. ACOTAR or A Court of Thorns and Roses by S.J. Maas – It is supposed to be a very loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast (my favorite), and some other folk tales mashed up. I think Maas is an incredible story teller, and I’ve already read the sample. That was a mistake, because I’m wishing I waited instead of baiting myself.

IMG_72882. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski – This is the third book title (I think) of the last installment in The Winner’s Trilogy. See my review of the first two books and you will understand why!

3. The Heir by Kiera Cass –  I. CANNOT. WAIT. FOR. THIS. BOOK. It comes out the day after my birthday, and that means it’s the first count down I’ve had to my birthday since high school. Only 27.5 days left!!!!!

4. Siren’s Fury by Mary Weber – I’m almost scared to read this one…in like the best way ever. I have NO CLUE what Weber is going to do. So that scares me. She is a twisty turny author!

5. Shades of Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon – I have loved the Doon Series. I think it will be bitter-sweet to get to read the last book (WHICH THIS IS NOT. Just found that out). I love twitter! The author JUST tweeted me that there will be FOUR books. I’ve never been more happy to be wrong! If you haven’t read this, it’s so worth starting!

Make sure to check out other Top 5 Wednesday-ers by looking at the #T5WFamily hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, or here on Goodreads!

What would you be reading YESTERDAY if you could?

Review: Homecoming

Today’s we are taking a peek at Homecoming by Kate Hasbrouck. This has been a fun read, but first let me tell you a little about the author!

The Author

KateHasbrouck“Kate Hasbrouck has been writing and creating stories for as long as she can remember. She had written several stories by the time she was a teen, but Homecoming was the first full manuscript she had ever written with the intention of sharing it with other people. She attended Houghton College, where she received her Bachelor’s degree with a dual-major in Writing and Psychology where she honed her skills. She lives in Florida with her husband who is a youth pastor at a local church. She spends her time writing, ministering to teens, and enjoying the life God has given her. Homecoming is the first book in a trilogy.”

In addition to ^^^ all of that, she is kind and such an enthusiastic author. She’s a good egg. <<<You like that? A little egg humor right after Easter? 🙂

The Book

Unknown“Kerana is being sent to Earth to begin her duty as an Eldurian. Hers are a perfect people, without flaw and without sin, never experiencing the fall of man. Created by God to shepherd His people on Earth, they remain in the shadows, unnoticed. Kerana looks human, speaks like them, and has been taught to act like them. Above all her mission is to serve the humans.

Arriving on Earth, Kerana meets Eli at school. He is an ordinary human, with a father suffering from alcoholism, and a past that threatens to ruin his life. A star scholarship lacrosse player, Eli has to forget his true passion and live in a shell that doesn’t let anyone in. Until he meets Kerana. They find themselves intertwined in a connection that neither can quite explain. When this connection puts the two of them in danger, they find comfort and protection from each other. When Eli discovers that there is more to Kerana than just her stunning looks and grace, the Eldurians and their home planet of Eden may not remain a secret for very long.”

My Review

The Story: I’m so excited to report that this story is not only intriguing, but I can genuinely recommend this for the young adult age of readers. The characters are in college, but I can say it is 100% appropriate to pass on to a young teen. Thank you, Kate! There are so many books I love, but because of sensitive material I don’t feel comfortable passing them along to youth age kids. You can definitely tell that Hasbrouck helps minister to young people—she is mindful of where they are in life in her writing.

I also really enjoyed the character depth in the story. While Kerana is pure and innocent, Eli is broken and has a past that cripples him from being who Adonai has called him to be. We all have things in our past that are huge hurts, and I love that Hasbrouck has addressed that reality.

The story really starts (seemingly) focused on Kerana, but I find that the story leans into a “self-discovery” for Eli. It’s really a story of searching for wholeness in our broken Human world, and finding comfort in a God who is real. Plus, some sweet romance too! 😉

The Writing: Hasbrouck has remained within her target audience!!! Again, let’s just give some finger-snaps for this. 🙂 Highly recommended for young adults.

There were a couple of things that I would have loved for Hasbrouck to dive into more in her writing. I think that the point of view needed to be deepened in places. Just because I wanted even more action beats of what people were doing, but I would say over-all that is nitpicking!

I loved her two secondary characters Steven and Ev. It would be so awesome if she wrote a book about those two! They were both funny and dynamic, perfect supporting roles for the more serious and focused Eli and Kerana. AND…let’s just take a moment and applaud that name—Kerana—SO. COOL.

SO. I hope you guys check out Homecoming! Also, make sure to check out more reviews via this blog tour page. Would you be interested in Homecoming? Leave me a comment and we can talk about it!

Review: The Winner’s Trilogy

Today is a two-for-one! The newest series from Marie RutkoskiThe Winner’s Trilogy—starts off with a wrenching right hook to our fangirl guts, and the second installment spins our heads around.

Unknown-4The first book in the series is based upon an auction theory called The Winner’s Curse (also the title of the book). It says that a bidder will experience this curse when overpaying for an item because of emotional or perceived worth rather than it’s actual worth. Quite a foundation to start with in the story telling world, huh? One that most of us writers would say to ourselves: “Why didn’t I think of that first!!??”

Our heroine, Kestrel, is a conquering general’s daughter. She is set high in society, is accustom to owning slaves, and is not commonly concerned with the morality of it. Yet, one afternoon a crowd witnesses her pay an outrageous price for a seemingly disobedient and possibly troublesome slave, all because he can sing. Music is what sweeps Kestrel away to irrationality, but also to peace.

In the weeks following she isn’t sure that she has gained anything in the purchase. Arin is too outspoken, bends rules, and challenges her authority. He embodies The Winner’s Curse. However, we see that it is possible she got more than what she bid for when she is swept away not by his voice, but by Arin himself.

This is artful, plot-minded, and full of first love that is utterly thwarted by the stations of these two very different—yet altogether similar—people.

I finished this so quickly…you can’t imagine. These characters are enigmatic and for a non-love triangle, I got plenty of who, what, when, and why on their relationship progression.

You’ll also be thanking your luck stars that the second book is out because, oh man!  The cliff hanger of an ending!!!

{{{SPOILERS AHEAD}}}

UnknownLet’s now talk about The Winner’s Crime. I Have to say most of the time second installments are not that great. It’s usually where I will decide…nope…don’t want to even bother with the third book (as we learned from my post on worst series enders). This however, was tortuously wonderful. Reason being: Kestrel and Arin could NEVER see eye to eye. They were always missing the point, misunderstanding the other, or assuming the worst of the other. DRAMATIC IRONY MUCH? I mean, Rutkoski just drug us through the mud on this, but we love her. Yes, we do! Admit it…you do too!

Kestrel is having to face her choice to save Arin by becoming the crown empress who is pressed under the thumb of a wicked, controlling emperor. They each weave a dangerous web of lies to save the other (crimes against the empire), but they can’t seem to succeed. They won’t let truth reign.

I will just leave you with this: By the end. You will want to eat Ben & Jerry’s, and say “I told you so.” Your mouth will be agape, and you will wish that you could’ve held their hands and said, “Go this way young padawan.”

Where are you book 3???

What do you think about this series so far? Have you enjoyed it? Do you want to read it now? Leave me a comment so we can chat!

Top 5 Worst Series Enders

Ok! It’s Wednesday, and time for another Top 5! This weeks topic is Worst Series Enders.

Firstly, I don’t know how to go about this because typically, I’m Mrs. Positive. Secondly, I don’t like to bash books/authors because THEY WORK SO HARD. However I will try to be objective as to why they didn’t become my favorites.

Here goes…

1. Allegiant – So, I have a confession: I didn’t read book 3 in the Divergent series. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for the movies and genuinely enjoyed the first two books. However, I couldn’t bring myself to read the last book (SPOILER) without Tris. I know I should probably swallow that, and read it, but I just haven’t yet.

IMG_72052. Fallen – Ok. Sorry, but it was kind of over for me after the first installment. I guess some of the plot got tedious and I feel like the story wasn’t captivating my need for differentiation and surprises. I think there are great dynamics in the story, and it’s characters are well thought out. I just didn’t dig the story trajectory.

p.s. Still excited for the Fallen movie in 2015

Oh, gosh! This is so hard! Ok. Ok.

3. Matched – I didn’t finish this, again. I think that’s the problem. If I don’t jive with a series (for my own weird reasons) I just don’t finish it. I know people LOVE Matched. I think what happened to me is that I read this after a long line of other dystopian style novels, and I became disinterested. Maybe I will try again.

4. Twilight – Well, because. I like the kick-butt stuff, but the Jacob and Renesmee thing was kind of odd for me.

5. The Hunger Games – This is purely selfish. It’s incredibly well-writen. An amazing series. I wasn’t a fan of how out-of-it Katniss was in Mockingjay. I understand why. I know that the character development and coping mechanisms make total sense for Katniss’ character, but I just wanted her to be more lucid. That’s all. Please don’t hate me now…

What series do you think ended badly? Do you agree with any of mine? Let’s also leave *bashing* for other people to do! Authors ROCK, no matter what they decided to do with their characters, and I can’t say anything against them because I have not yet finished my first MS! So be kind. 🙂

Review: How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You?

Have you every wondered how God feels about you, or if He speaks during the crazy days of parenting? Rachael Carman brings us How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You?, a beautiful look at what God is saying during our daily lives.

What I love about this book is the nature of what Carman is saying to us. God is speaking.

IMG_7186As a mother of two, most days I’m lucky to have showered by 5pm. Simple tasks become frustrating, whining ensues, things get broken, the house seems to grow dirty laundry, the dishes are molding, and we haven’t even gotten past breakfast. What we need to know in those moments is to slow down. God is wanting us to learn. He is available to be heard.

I love the style of this book. The small chapters make a devotional type of reading, because let’s face it, we’re busy. It’s anecdotal, so we see that Carman has walked these truths out before delivering them to us. At the end of each chapter she offers introspection to help us gain more from the text. I also love that she has put scripture references in each chapter so that we can further study on our own.

I would highly recommend How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You?It is perfect for a Mom or Dad who is overwhelmed by the day-to-day, and wants to make sure God is important even through the normal “go” of our lives.

How do you feel after a long day with your kiddos? Would you be interested in hearing God’s voice in the way we speak to our kids? Leave a comment and let me know!

Top 5 Bookish Habits

It’s another Top 5 Wednesday, and today’s topic is bookish habits. I am so excited about this one!!

So let’s just go ahead and assume that I’m drinking coffee from my favorite mug, my dark chocolate close at hand, and my fake TV fireplace is roaring because…we don’t have a real one in our house. All those obvious ones aside, here are my Top 5:

1. Nap time – Fortunately my two beautiful children are still afternoon nappers. They are as dependable as the clock—one that I fashioned myself, from the sweat of consistency—they both go down EVERY afternoon. So, I sit down to work on my healthily budding manuscript read a book.

IMG_71312. “I’m not ignoring you!” – This one is dedicated to my patient husband, who knows that sometimes I do ignore him, but only because “I just need to finish this chapter!”

3. Book Planking – So, you know those people who go everywhere and yoga or plank or something. Well, yeah, that’s me. With. A. Book.

4. Who Needs Glasses? – Again, I read on my iPhone so I can keep it close enough to read without my adorbs spectacles. I love that. For some reason I feel like I’m exercising my eyes and my brain at the same time! The jury is still out on that one though.

5. No Sleep! – Well that’s all you need to know about that because, yeah. You read when you should be sleeping too! 🙂

What are some of your bookish habits? I’d love to know!