Saturday, November 8, 2014

Buttermilk Sky by Jan Watson

Mazy is tired of everybody else making all of her decisions for her, so she decides to make some for herself.  She enrolls in Secretarial school and moves away from home.  Chanis Clay is sure that she will come back and marry him, but will Mazy meet someone new while she is away?

Mazy is a fun character.  She is a good girl who is trying to find out what she wants from life.  The story was sweet, but overly simplistic.  There were many themes that could have been explored more deeply. There were a lot of elements of the story that were just barely touched on.  Some things were mentioned so briefly that I wondered why they were included at all.  Other times things happened with absolutely no build up, or hinting, and they didn't seem to fit the characters involved.  Overall, it was a sweet story, but it could have used a lot of reworking.  I would give it 2.5/5 stars.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Candy Aisle Crafts by Jodi Levine

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program.  This book is adorable!  It is amazing the cute things that can be made out of a couple of pieces of candy.  The book is well laid out.  There are sections on the different kinds of candy that you can use.  There are a lot of pictures to help you know what to do.  The instructions are nice and easy to follow.  I can't wait to show this book to my kids!  I would give it 5/5 stars.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More by the Editors of Food Network Magazine

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program.  I love this cookbook!  Every single recipe has a picture.  The index even has all of the pictures in it.  Everything looks delicious.  The recipes are simple and well laid out.  When necessary they have pictures showing the steps.  They even have a whole section on Fake-Out Cakes.  My kids are already planning on what they want for their next birthday.  This is a great cookbook, and I am super excited to use it!  I would give it 5/5 stars.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Match of Wits by Jen Turano

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House.  I always enjoy Jen Turano's books.  She has strong characters that like to charge into situations.   Agatha Watson is no different.  Agatha has a penchant for getting herself into difficult circumstances.  She also is good at getting herself out of sticky situations.  Agatha is traveling the west looking for stories for the newspaper that she writes for.  One night she discovers that her old crush, Zayne Beckett is in the same hotel.  Agatha convinces Zayne that he needs to return to his family in New York, and she returns with him.  Unfortunately, whoever had been sending her death threats still wants her dead.  Craziness ensues.  The characters are fun, if not always believable.  I always feel like I need to suspend belief when I read Turanos books, but the ride is so fun that it is worth it.  I would give this book 4/5 stars.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Here is Where by Andrew Carroll

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program.  I really enjoyed this book!  The author has a very conversational tone, and he has some great stories to tell.  The stories are about forgotten things in America's history.  Many of the stories happened in places that I connected to, or they were extensions or other viewpoints of events that are more widely know.  I loved reading all of the stories.  I also loved the people that the author met along the way.  This book was a very easy read.  Lots of interesting information about history without being dry.  I would give this book 4.5/5 stars.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Out of the Depths by Edgar Harrell with David Harrell

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers.  Edgar Harrell was on the USS Indianapolis when it was sunk on July 30, 1945.  For four days nobody knew that the ship had sunk, and the survivors were adrift in the ocean.  Hundreds of men are in the water with only their life jackets to keep them afloat.  Sharks are their constant companions.

This is an amazing story.  I cannot imagine experiencing what these men did.  They suffered unimaginable deprivation, constant horror and worry.  It is a story that should be told and remembered.  These men should be honored.

I found the material amazing, but I did not enjoy the writing style.  The voice seemed almost detached.  There was almost too much detail, it detracted from the overall feeling of the book.  I would give this book 3/5 stars.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mark of Distinction by Jessica Dotta

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale.  This is the second book in the Price of Privilege Trilogy.  Julia is now under the protection of her father, Lord Pierson.  Things are not working out like she had hoped.  She has lost complete control of her life.  Everything that she does is scripted for her.  How much longer can she withstand the charade?

I have mixed feelings about this book.  The writing is wonderful and I am completely drawn into the story as I read it.  I feel that some aspects of Julia's personality are conflicting.  I don't feel like the character is acting in the way that she should, based on how she was developed.  But this is far outweighed by the well told story line, and the interesting characters that are included.  I would give this book 4/5 stars.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Liar Lindly Brandt by Aften Brook Szymanski

Lindly Brandt is caught in an impossible situation and her only way out is to tell a lie. Things spiral out of control from there.

I really related to Lindly. I have been put in the same kinds of situations and reacted in the same way. :) I loved watching the progression through the book. The more lies Lindly tells, the worse things get. When she finally decides to tell the truth, things start to turn around. This was a short book, but the characters were well thought out. Lindly was very likable and I found myself invested in her. I am excited to read the rest of the books in the series. I am also excited to share this book with my 9 year old daughter. I think that she will love it as well. I would give this book 4.5/5 stars.

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

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Mix & Match Guide to Companion Planting by Josie Jeffery

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program.  This is a great book!  I know almost nothing about gardening.  The book starts out with some basic info about gardening in general and why companion planting is beneficial.  Most of the book is a section that lets you compare different plants and decide which ones would be good to plant together.  I love the versatility of this section.  It allows you to find plants that you like, that work well together.  It also tells you why they work well together.  I would give this book 4/5 stars.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Let's Sew Together by Rubyellen Bratcher

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program.  This is a really cute book.  I have been wanting to do some simple sewing projects with my daughter and there are some great ideas in this book.  Each project is very nicely laid out.  There are several pictures as well as written instructions for each project.  There is a lot of variety in the projects, so everybody should be able to find something that they love.  I also like that a lot of the projects involve drawing on the fabric to incorporate children's art.  I look forward to making some of these with my kids.  They would also make great presents for grandparents.  I would give this book 4/5 stars.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

For Every Season by Cindy Woodsmall

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Publishers.  Rhoda Byler is committed to working the orchard in Maine.  She has partnered with Samuel King and things should be wonderful.  If only thins weren't so strained with Jacob King.  She loves Jacob, and he loves her, shouldn't that be enough.

This is the third book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series.  The characters are likable and believable.  There are a lot of hardships to deal with.  As always it is interesting to get a glimpse of what Amish life is like.  The plot felt a little contrived.  It didn't always seem like the characters were making  decisions that fit them.  I did enjoy the story.  I would give it 3/5 stars.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House.  This is the third book involving the same circle of friends.  The characters are always a lot of fun.  The book is set in the 1880's.  The book is a lot of fun to read.  The characters manage to put themselves in impossible situations.  The book does not feel historically accurate, but it is such a fun ride that I don't care.  A lot of ridiculous things happen which just add to the enjoyment.  I would give this book 3/5 stars.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale.  Julia Elliston has lost everything.  Her father and mother have died.  Her guardian is sending her to Scotland to be a servant, and the boy that she loves has turned his back on her.  She must secure her future any way that she can.  But who can she trust?

This was a very good book.  I really enjoyed the characters.  They were believable and interesting.  There were so many twists in the story.  The mystery is unfolded very slowly.  There were several unexpected turns of the story.  It is quite a captivating book!  I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Home for My Heart by Anne Mateer

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House publishers.  Sadie Sillsby lovers her job.  She has the opportunity to be the Matron at the Children's Home that she grew up in.  She can finally do for others what someone did for her.  The only problem is that the matron is not allowed to be married, and she isn't sure that Blaine will understand.  Should she choose Blaine or the children?

This was a good story.  The characters were interesting and seemed real.  I really felt for Sadie.  I liked how we were able to see her grow.  I liked how we could see Sadie's view changing, and see her mature.  I felt like Blaine could have been more understanding.  Sadie had waited for him for years, and he couldn't wait for her at all.  I would give it 3.5/5 stars.