Monday, November 20, 2017

The Christmas Star by Robert Tate Miller

The Christmas Star by Robert Tate Miller seeped into my heart the moment I started reading. The narrative of the main character, Paul Bennett, was so real I could hear his voice tell of young love, hope, faith, and despair. My heart broke when he suffered a loss so severe, I was left wondering how he would survive it.

This story is full of faith, though not preachy. Its filled with undying love, though not sappy. This story holds a wonderful balance of both. In my opinion, it is the most unforgettable Christmas story I have ever read. The author entwined present day with days long ago. This depicts how timeless the story of Christmas is, and how it impacts the world today. The setting in The Christmas Star has a small-town feel, with vivid characters. The story is heart-felt and filled with hopeuntil hope is snuffed out of Paul Bennetts life. His weaknesses overshadow his strengths when he turns to drinking. His self-alienation pushes everyone out of his life. Even God.

I loved the story, its characters, and the beautiful message of faith. Through all of Paul's struggles, God shines, providing a new beginning that leads him out of the depths of pain. The path is not without obstacles, but it is illuminated by the light of the Christmas star. 

I highly recommend this book.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Prairie Girl's Faith by Stephen W. Hines

A Prairie Girl's Faith, by Stephen W. Hines, is an inspiring read. This biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder warmed my heart. The undying faith of the Ingalls family through very difficult times really depicted the closeness and faith they shared.

The research about the relationship between Laura and her mother was enlightening. I never really thought about the Christian example and teaching of the wonderful wife and mother, Rose. Of course, “Pa” had a hand in their upbringing, as well as their faith. His music and preaching within their four walls when they didn’t have a church to attend really showed what a great man and father he was. The way the family pulled together and stood strong no matter the circumstances was touching.

I enjoyed learning more about Laura Ingalls and her family. Though I watched the show “Little House on the Prairie” I learned so much more than the televised series could convey. Wonderful book about faith and family.

I highly recommend this read.

I received this complimentary copy from Blogging for Books.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

This Love Story Will Self-Destruct by Leslie Cohen

The quirky blurb from This Love Story Will Self-Destruct made me smile. Then I started reading the book, and to my dismay, I had a difficult time getting through the first half of the book. It didn’t grab me and I wasn’t invested in the main character, Eve. 

When I read about two main characters in the blurb, I expected to see them early in the story. Of course Eve was there, however, Ben came in way too late. I kept thinking: Get on with it! Where is this Ben guy?

Eve and Jesse’s part of the story was…exasperating. I get the fact this relationship reflects Eve’s insecurities, but the rambling in her mind gets boring after a while. The incessant interior thoughts went on…and on. Multiple pages of italics? Sigh. After a while, I began to skim through them. I could have easily put the book down and walked away, but I wanted to give this story a fair chance.

Halfway through the book I arrived at the meat of the story. 

Finally the guy I've been waiting for...BEN! I absolutely adored him. The blaring conflicting personalities of Eve and Ben worked somehow. I laughed out loud at a particular scene. It was so well written I could visualize it. 

Eve is basically diving head first into a box and scrambling for a new tube of toothpaste, and Ben is trying to drag her away by her feet. Hilarious.

I loved the conflict and self-growth of the characters, especially Eve's.  All the secondary characters are relatable, and likeable--except Jesse, I kind of despised his self-centered skewed personality. I was pleased when the story quit honing in on Jesse’s issues, and more on Eve and Ben’s relationship.

I wanted to like this book more. I really did. There aren’t any blaring plot holes, bad editing, or lack of character development. This story simply took too long to grab me. I didn’t turn the pages with anticipation. For that reason, I can’t  give it a higher rating than 2.5.  

I received this complimentary copy from Net Galley.