Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reinventing Rachel by Alison Strobel

My Rating: 3 stars
About the book - 
God let Rachel Westing down. For twenty-six years she’s done everything by the book; she figures He should have her back. But then she learns her fiancĂ© is cheating on her. Her parents are getting a divorce. And her Christian mentor has a pill addiction. Where is God in all this? Nowhere, as far as Rachel can see.

Wounded, bitter, and with a shattered faith, she quits her job and goes across the country to live with Daphne—her childhood best friend whose soul Rachel once thought she was meant to save.

Confident, successful, fun-loving Daphne sets about helping Rachel reinvent herself, and for a while it’s exciting. But when another tragedy shakes Rachel to the core, what little bit of self-possession she has left begins to unravel. A true-to-life story that will draw you in and keep you biting your nails until the end.

My Review - 
Reinventing Rachel is a touching, thought-provoking novel that you wont be able to put down. This book covers some really tough issues like divorce, depression, infidelity, and addictions. Those are just a few things we read about as Rachel re-evaluates what she believes and why. When her world begins to crumble all around her she feels like God isn't there or doesn't even care anymore. She doesn't understand how he could just sit back and watch as her life falls apart. Her faith is shattered and she completely gives up on her relationship with God.

There's so much about this book that I loved. Alison isn't afraid to show the real life consequences that follow poor choices. We're reminded that believers aren't immune to the bad in the world and we, just like anyone else, will face some kind of struggle sooner or later. In the end it's ultimately our choice to trust God through it or turn our backs on Him if he doesn't show up the way we think He should. Believable, engaging, challenging, and intense are a few words that describe this novel. It's definitely worth your time and attention.

To buy this book go HERE

(This book was provided for review by David C. Cook)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Leaving by Karen Kingsbury

My Rating: 4 stars
About the book -
The Bailey Flanigan series begins with Bailey leaving Bloomington for the adventure of a lifetime. She has won an audition for the ensemble of a Broadway musical in New York City.

Bailey is determined to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but is she really ready to leave family and friends for the loneliness of the city? And what of Cody? His disappearance has her worried about their future and praying that their love can survive.

In order to be closer to his mother in jail, Cody takes a coaching job in a small community outside Indianapolis. New friends, distance, and circumstances expose cracks in his relationship with Bailey Flanigan

My Review -
Leaving is the first of Karen Kingsbury's novels that I've gotten a chance to read. This story is about change, stepping into the unknown, and trusting God through it all. That's what I liked most about this book. Even though the characters had so many uncertainties ahead of them, they remained strong in their faith and trusted that God would guide them through anything.

Something I didn't like was that the whole Flanigan family seemed too perfect to be real. They're just this picture perfect family that normal people with many faults, like me, can't really relate to. I did, however, like that the Baxter family was a lot more realistic and relatable. Not everything went smoothly for them in this story and I'm actually looking forward to reading how everything turns out with Landon, Ashley, and their family. I don't want to give anything away so I won't say anything else about them.

A lot of people suggest that you read the first four series (Redemption, Firstborn, Sunrise, Above the Line) before jumping into the Bailey Flanigan series. I don't see a need for it, unless you really want to. At first I did have a hard time keeping up because there were a lot of characters to keep track of, but I got everyone figured out about four chapters in. Overall, I enjoyed reading Leaving and this definitely won't be the last of Karen's novels I'll be reading. I really want to see what happens when Bailey begins her new life in New York in book 2, Learning.

To buy your copy of this book go HERE.

(This book was provided for review by Zondervan.)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Starry Night

This is such a beautiful song! It's one of my favorites right now and I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy =)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

You're invited!

Yup it's true.. It's almost my Birthday!! I wanted to do something special to celebrate with you, my readers and fellow book lovers. I'm having a Month long Birthday Celebration!! Yay!! Even though my Birthday is in the beginning of  the month(June 5th!!), I think it'd be fun to have a new giveaway each week. I'm still figuring out all the details, but I hope you'll join me in celebrating my 20th birthday!

God Bless You and Happy Reading!
Crystal

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Goodbye, Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson

My Rating: 5 stars

About the book - 
Charley's off to Scotland with her new beau, and Scotty and her dad travel to Maine in search of Scotty's mom. That's not all they're looking for though.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about faith. Scotty's faced with her bitterness toward Karissa and what it means to live a "Jesusy extraordinary" life. Shouldn't forgiveness play a role in that?

And when Scotty and her dad land on her mother's last known trail, will their questions finally be answered?'

My Review - 
Goodbye Hollywood Nobody is the fourth and final book in the Hollywood series by Lisa Samson. I haven't had the chance to read books 1-3, but they are definitely on my to-read list now! Scotty was one of those unique characters that really do grow on you almost immediately. Her personality was fun, quirky, and refreshing. She does a lot of growing up throughout the story and it wasn't something rushed, the way I've seen in other books. You know, when the character becomes a whole new person within the last few pages? Yeah well this wasn't like that at all and the bittersweet ending made it feel a lot more realistic.

This series is aimed towards older teens/young adults. Even though I've only read one of the four books, I can tell that this is going to be one of my favorite series that I will definitely hold on to. The rest of the characters like, Karissa, Monica, Silas, and Belle really did add so much to the story and were a big part of Scotty maturing in her faith and attitude. Now that I got a chance to read how Scotty's story ended, I can't wait to see how it began!

To buy a copy of this book go HERE.

(This book was provided for review by Navpress.)
 
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