Saturday, May 5, 2018

Review: No Less Days

No Less Days No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a thought-provoking story and I love books that make me think! I may not agree with parts of the story, but neither can I offer a better solution. I actually read this book in 2 sittings in a 24 hour period. I believe it will be one not soon forgotten. I hope there's more of the story coming soon.

I intend to read more of this author. I've got her book Seek and Hide sitting on the shelf beside my reading chair. I will be buying No Less Days for our church library...it should spark some interesting discussion. It would be great for book club.

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At my request, I received a free electronic copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not required to give a positive review. This review reflects my honest thoughts and opinions on the book, and I received no compensation for this review other than getting to keep the e-book.

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Review: The Little Siren

The Little Siren The Little Siren by J.M. Stengl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a review of the entire Faraway Castle series to date. (Cinder Ellie 0.5, Ellie & the Prince #1, The Little Siren 1.5, and The Siren & the Scholar #2). Ellie's stories can be read separately from the Siren's stories, but the stories do take place at the same time and overlap. You can snag the prequel story The Little Siren at the author's website...you'll want to read it before The Siren and the Scholar.

This is a delightful series set in a world of cars and cell phones and resorts, yet has the feel of a fairytale kingdom of yesteryear. In this world, you'll find new takes on old stories, such as Cinderella and The Little Mermaid (and coming later this year, Sleeping Beauty). You'll also find romance and mystery.

As a parent, I appreciated the "lightness" of the romance...hand-holding and a few kisses, no more. :)

I look forward to the next book(s) in the series. Recommended for tweens, teens, and lovers of all things fairytales.

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Review: Cinder Ellie

Cinder Ellie Cinder Ellie by J.M. Stengl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a review of the entire Faraway Castle series to date. (Cinder Ellie 0.5, Ellie & the Prince #1, The Little Siren 1.5, and The Siren & the Scholar #2)

This is a delightful series set in a world of cars and cell phones and resorts, yet has the feel of a fairytale kingdom of yesteryear. In this world, you'll find new takes on old stories, such as Cinderella and The Little Mermaid (and coming later this year, Sleeping Beauty). You'll also find romance and mystery.

As a parent, I appreciated the "lightness" of the romance...hand-holding and a few kisses, no more. :)

I look forward to the next book(s) in the series. Recommended for tweens, teens, and lovers of all things fairytales.

4.5 stars for fairytale fun



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Review: Welcome Home: Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy

Welcome Home: Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy Welcome Home: Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy by Kimberley Woodhouse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such an inspiring book! I found this book after the author mentioned on Facebook that their family had been on Extreme Home Makeover and that she had written a book about it. Someone in the comments provided a link to the YouTube video of the episode. After watching the video, I checked to see if my library had the book. I was glad I could read the full story, as the video did not show the spiritual aspect of the family.

I really enjoyed this book. I appreciated the frankness of the author in dealing with her struggles to maintain joy through adversity. I usually struggle to read non-fiction, but this author writes in such an engaging way that I truly enjoyed reading. It reads like a novel. I would love an update that tells what has happened in the years since the book was published.

I'd recommend to anyone wanting an inspirational read or who is struggling to find the joy in their circumstances.

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Review: Just Under the Clouds

Just Under the Clouds Just Under the Clouds by Melissa Sarno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just Under the Clouds is a middle-school book about two young girls and a mother living in NYC struggling after the death of the father. Essentially homeless, moving from place to place, the family does what it can to stay together. Cora, a middle-schooler, deals with bullying and taking care of her special needs younger sister. She loves and protects her little sister, yet at the same time, she feels the weight of that responsibility. Cora struggles with math, but is artistic like her mother and enjoys the science of trees like her father. She desires friendship but isn't really sure how to be a friend when her life is constantly being uprooted. She desires a home, but how do you have a home when you don't know if you'll be sleeping in the same place tomorrow night?

I thought this was a well-written, realistic story about the struggles of this family and how Cora deals with the adversity in her life. I think this book could open up some good discussions in the classroom or at home.

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At my request, I received a free electronic copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not required to give a positive review. This review reflects my honest thoughts and opinions on the book, and I received no compensation for this review.

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Review: A Prairie Girl's Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder

A Prairie Girl's Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder A Prairie Girl's Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Stephen W. Hines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought this was an interesting and well-written book about the spiritual legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The author has done thorough research and gives ample evidence of her faith. I enjoyed reading what other people (outside the family) said about Laura, Manly, and others in the family. I also enjoyed reading snippets of Laura's later writings, which I had never read before. I learned of Laura's daughter Rose's influence on Laura's Little House books. Information on Pa's songs and recipes from Laura's life were bonuses. Highly recommended to die-hard fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Review: The Blessing

The Blessing The Blessing by Kacy Barnett-Gramckow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hated for it to end!

This book kept me turning the pages. I hated when life interrupted my reading. I thoroughly loved this story and the characters. It made me both laugh and cry. I hated for it to end.

I was totally intrigued by the family's Hebrew-Christian faith and wonder how many families throughout history combined these two faiths?

As a genealogist myself, I love stories inspired by family history. I recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction or inspirational romance.

5 stars for a great story, for keeping me wanting to read, and for its inspirational and encouraging message. I already bought a copy for our church library.

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