Book Reviews

A JUST MAN by Helen Daniel

A historical young adult novel about a family that struggles during the Revolutionary War, A Just Man takes the reader through three generations and the lives they lived before God as they sought to “do” life well. Throughout the book, we encounter abandoned children, difficult times, the reality of war and we see children turn into adults who begin to themselves nurture children, pointing them to the Lord.

The book is well grounded in Scriptures and gives a clear and strong message of salvation; this read would probably be very beneficial for a young reader wondering what walking with God is all about, and how one gets to become a Christian.

From a personal point of view, I found that this historical novel read a bit like a fairy tale and felt too “easy” for me; not enough subplots and no room for the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. Everything is laid out a bit too neatly.

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

HOW TO SURVIVE THE END OF THE WORLD by Bob Hostetler

Another book about the end of the world? No thank you! I want a book that makes me want to walk more with Jesus, a book that makes me fall more in love with Him, a book that brings me into fellowship with Him.

Well, these were my thoughts until I dug into this book–not very positive. But Bob Hostetler does exactly that in this book: he manages to bring us into the sweet presence of the Lord and make us marvel at Him. What I thought was going to be a gloom and doom book turned into a delight, a joy, and made my heart look forward to His coming.

Bob Hostetler speaks a lot about the different interpretations of the pictures in the book of Revelation, but always comes back to this: those who read this book of the Bible will be blessed indeed.

Yes, Bob, they will. I believe it now.

BREAKFAST WITH BONHOEFFER by Jon Walker

bon“Cheap Grace”caught me off guard.  I don’t do cheap grace, you know. I am serious about my walk with God. But God used Jon’s very human, very down-to-earth style to convict me down to my toes that I indeed had bought into the doctrine of cheap grace.

Using everyday examples, Jon Walker gently confronted me with the religion that still seeks to guide my choices, responses, words, and he opened my eyes to the greater call of the man of God–an intimacy with God that can let go of all the dreams he held as standards, and take on His purpose for life down here.

Jon Walker tells on himself and his transparency exposes my hidden secrets. As he wrestles with Bonhoeffer’s commitment to God down to the nitty gritty of where the rubber meets the road, I wrestle too. As he learns to win and teaches by example, I am yearning for more of God and I intend to win, and teach by example.

But don’t pick the book up if you don’t really want to be confronted with your own religion–you know, the one you are convinced you don’t have.

The book is available here.

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

FAITHFUL TO LAURA by Kathleen Fuller’s Middlefield

Innocent Laura was robbed of her beauty and taken advantage of by a man who only used her for his purposes, then disfigured her on the inside and out.  is full of scars, inside and out.  A gentle, kind romance might be on the horizon, but how could she let herself love or trust someone when she looks the way she does, and feels the way she does? All she wants is revenge. But that clashes greatly with her Amish background…

Even though I felt that the book was written with labor and wasn’t flowly freely at first, I quickly got sucked after the few pages and totally got involved into Laura’s story. feeling great empathy for her. How does one deal with scars so deep? How does one forgive and let go of such pain? Kathleen Middlefield  deals well with the subject and kept my attention throughout the book. Interlaced with Godly Amish principles, the writing is enjoyable and the story believable.

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

TIDEWATER INN  by Colleen Coble 

Libby wasn’t looking for trouble at all, but she found plenty of it when her job takes her the Outer Banks where her partner gets kidnapped and she finds out that she recently inherited the beautiful Tidewater Inn, much to the dismay of the siblings she did not know she had.  Add a new love interest, a greedy developer and a boy who just lost his parents, and you have the makings for a great read.

Even though the setting sounds a bit unbelievable, this is a lovely novel that gently draws you in.  The characters are believable and likable in many ways. It is a story about greed and the need to be loved and accepted.  Once the characters understand each other, love heals deep wounds.

I did not thing I would enjoy this book as much as I have, but I might actually pick up another one of Colleen’s novels soon!

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

COVENANT CHILD by Terri Blackstock

Three-year old twins Kara and Lizzie were ripped from their lifestyle of luxury as a result of a few tragedies, and they are made to live a life of filth, unloved and uncared for.  One of them grows up hard, the other remains soft in heart.  All along, their stepmother Amanda loves them behind the scene and is working at getting them back.  But one of the twins grows up to become a bitter, hard young woman while the other remains soft in heart.  The story unfolds when they turn eighteen and are given the choice between going to live with their very wealthy step-mom who loves them fully, or remain with what they know and the lies they have been told all along.

The premise of this story is wonderful, and the life lessons quite strong as we see Amanda remaining constant in her love and commitment to the twins through pain, grief, rejection and hardship. Yet I had a difficult time enjoying this book because it seemed written from the wrong point of view in the beginning, and not always believable. Strong story line and great biblical principals, but mediocre writing in my opinion.

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

HOPE SPRINGS, by Kim Tate

Two families, one black and one white, live in a small southern town called Hope Springs and the lives of their members continually intersect through the main character, Grand’Ma Geri.  We travel with them through life’s ups and down, become attached to them and eventually uncover a deep, dark secret that no one wants to deal with.

This book was frustrating to read at first because of the amount of people I met in the first couple of chapters–it was difficult for me to keep them all straight.  But eventually I got sucked in and it read like a movie with very personable characters that were as real as you and me.  Keri Tate deals very sensitively with with delicate subject of race, and she brings up many christian “issues”that we all must deal with, as pride, self-involvement, pre-marital sex, unforgiveness and many more.  I found myself at the edge of tears a few times and could relate so well with quite a few of the characters.

Loved it!

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

EMPTY PROMISES, by Pete Wilson 

In this book, Pete Wilson addresses our forever thirst for “more.”  He helps the reader face everyday real idols of today’s world: beauty, power, money, self-confidence etc…  Pete Wilson leads the reader to the place where he/she realizes that at the end, these sought-after idols are just empty promises.  Jesus alone fulfills us through and through.

This book was an easy read.  It uncovers the most common “idols”in today’s world in a very tangible, realistic way and we each can identify with a few of them!  After Pete Wilson makes us realize where we stand, he then gives us common sense, biblical help without a “holier-than-thou” attitude.  Pete Wilson tells on himself throughout the writing, making its message much easier to swallow.  Confronting and reassuring at the same time, the book give real help for real issues in our world today and finishes with addressing the human reality of never being totally fulfilled until we get home where we belong.

Great inspiring read!

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


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2 comments

  1. Hi Barbara,
    I’ve been thinking about signing up with BookSneeze to review books. I love to read, I’m just not sure how much time I can commit to it right now. But I keep going back to their website.

    Like

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