Monday, December 30, 2013

Need You Now

Title: Need You Now
Author: Beth Wiseman
Labels: Fiction | Christian | General
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: April 20, 2012
Recommended To: Women, Adults, YA
Contains: Tis clean.

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: When big-city life threatens the safety of one of their children, Brad and Darlene Henderson move with their three teenagers from Houston to the tiny town of Round Top, Texas. Adjusting to small-town life is difficult for the kids, especially fifteen-year-old Grace who is coping in a dangerous way. Married life hasn't always been bliss, but their strong faith has carried Brad and Darlene through the difficult times. When Darlene takes a job outside the home for the first time in their marriage, the domestic tension rises. While working with special needs children at her new job, the widowed father of one of the students starts paying more attention to Darlene than is appropriate. Problem is, she feels like someone is listening to her for the first time in a long time. If Darlene ever needed God . . . it's now. Experience a family's triumph over lies, betrayal, and loss while still clinging to the One who matters most.
This is such an incredibly emotionally charged book. I'm not sure that it's a "break down and cry" kinda emotional, but it was emotional nonetheless. I thought Need You Now was a very realistic, relate-able book for any reader.

Need You Now centers around the individual lives of a family who moves into a small town. In the attempt to adjust to their new lives, the kids fall into touchy situations and in some cases, dangerous predicaments. Darlene and Brad have their own problems as the move puts new pressure on their marriage, causing them both the handle the tension in different ways. It was really interesting to watch how the family changed and interacted with each other while each had their own problems that affected the others. In the end, each needed to press toward God in order to work through the present issues.

This is a book I think anyone could enjoy and to relate in some way. Recommended!  I bought this book, and therefore was not required nor asked to write a review, nor a positive one at that. I was not compensated for this review.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Redwall (Redwall, #1)

Title: Redwall
Author: Brian Jacques
Labels: Fiction | Fantasy
Publisher: Puffin/Philomel Books
Publication Date: September 20, 2002
Recommended To: Children, YA, Adult
Contains: The best story ever.

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Redwall Abbey, tranquil home to a community of peace-loving mice is threatened by Cluny the Scourge - the evil-one-eyed rat warlord - and his battle-hardened horde of predators. Cluny is certain that Redwall will fall easily to his fearsome army but he hasn't bargained for the courage and strength of the combined forces of the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends.
Redwall has been one of my favorite books and series since I was a kid. No matter how old I get, it never gets old. I love that regardless of your age, Redwall is a book that is enjoyable for everyone. I have friends who read it as kids and are still periodically reading them as adults. I am fully convinced that Redwall is and will continue to be a classic.

Redwall, the first book in the series, revolves around the adventures of a young mouse named Matthias. Matthias lives at Redwall Abbey, a peaceful sort of place dedicated to helping woodland creatures in need and living in peace in Mossflower. All this is shattered when the notorious rat Cluny the Scourge shows up on the scene, dead set on conquering the abbey and enslaving its inhabitants. It's up to Matthias to step up and lead his fellow creatures to victory over the rat and his horde, with the help of relics left behind by the deceased Martin, the Warrior of Redwall.

I'm very glad I stumbled upon this old favorite and got the chance to read Redwall again! Highly recommended to all ages! I borrowed this book, and therefore was not required nor asked to write a review, nor a positive one at that. I was not compensated for this review.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Critical Reaction

Title: Critical Reaction
Author: Todd M. Johnson
Labels: Fiction | Legal Thriller
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Recommended To: Men, Women, Adult, YA
Contains: Clean

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: After decades of turning out plutonium for the arms race, the Hanford Nuclear Facility has long been shuttered, though its deadly legacy cannot be fully contained. The men who guard the facility from sabotage or monitor its buildings for radiation leaks are told the risks are under control. They believe it, until the worst happens: a thunderous explosion in the dead of night.
          Two workers, lifer Poppy Martin and new hire Kieran Mullaney, believe themselves lucky to survive the blast. But as the debris is cleared, they discover their safety is not assured. Dead ends and closed doors halt their efforts to discover what really happened--and what radiation may have poisoned them. When stalling and threats force them into the hands of experienced trial lawyer Ryan Hart, they learn that theirs is no ordinary lawsuit. There is something still hidden in the desert of eastern Washington, and someone is willing to go to extreme lengths to make sure it never sees the light of day.
I had an interesting time reading this book. Initially I was a bit turned of some preconceived ideas of what a thriller should be like. Before Critical Reaction, I had only read one other thriller. This first thriller was crazy face paced, drew you in immediately and didn't let you go even if you did want to take a quick break from it. So that's the impression I had stuck in my mind of what thrillers were like. Evidently legal thrillers are a bit different, but by the end I liked it just as much.

Critical Reaction revolves around a legal case in which Kieran is suing the nuclear waste company that he works for. The lawsuit is a result of an accident that happened several months ago, one in which Kieran is pretty sure he was exposed to radiation. He jumps into the lawsuit with one agenda--to find answers. He enlists a college friend to help him, and thus enters Emily and her estranged father. The trio join forces but soon find that the accident involved far more than anyone realized.

I really did end up liking this book a lot, despite my early reservations toward it. I loved that the point of view switched around to various people involved in the accident, which allowed the reader to periodically see different pieces of the puzzle and attempt to figure out the big picture. Of course, like any good book that uses this technique, it was never enough to get too far ahead and figure out everything before the characters, but it was enough to give the reader motivation to try and thus remain hooked. This is definitely a book that I would recommend!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Title: Real
Author: Jamie Snyder
Labels: CLGN | Christian Living
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Recommended To: YA, Adults
Contains: N/A

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Does your Christianity "show"? Pastor Jamie Snyder shares how to have a deeper, more satisfying walk with Jesus that goes beyond church on Sunday.
Even though this was a rather short book, and easy read, I found Real to be very thought provoking and at times, convicting. Snyder takes on the task of posing the question we should all be asking ourselves: if it weren't for Sunday, would anyone know we were Christians?

Snyder proceeds to step by step evaluate seven aspects that define a life dedicated to Jesus, including unbridled generosity, daring courage, rebellious joy, and others. Despite its short length, this book touches on so many aspects of being a following of Jesus. Probably my favorite quote of the whole book was at the end, literally one of the last pages where Snyder says, "Political and religious leaders of the day even accused the church of turning the world upside down in the name of Jesus. [...] I would love to be accused of turning the world upside down in the name of Jesus."

I liked that each chapter ended with questions, which makes this a great book to use for a youth group, Sunday school, or other small group study. It's an easy read--I made it through it in only a few days despite work, school, homework, and being sick. But at the same time, I found it challenging in a lot of ways. Definitely worth the read!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.