Book Review · Books

Almost Gone

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Mackenzie is a junior in high school when she meets a handsome man on a social dating site. He’s Muslim, respectful and enjoys chatting with her. Mackenzie is a Christian with a boyfriend at the time. This new online friendship blossoms. Once her relationship with her current boyfriend doesn’t pan out she immediately intensifies communicating with this new friend, Aadam whose from Kosovo. Mackenzie’s parents sense something is amiss when their daughter starts pulling away from the family, her Christian faith and her best friends. They have no idea Aadam exists. When Mackenzie asks her dad if she can buy a Koran her dad is floored, but figured everyone goes through their own faith walk and exploration. When Mackenzie states she’s converted her parents are stunned. Why has their daughter all of a sudden gone from social to reclusive? Why the sudden belief change? Will her parents figure out why before it’s, too late?

This book brought up some personal memories for me. In high school relationships can seem like the end all, be all. Teens want to be taken seriously. If you are eighteen you are legally an adult, but not necessarily emotionally or mature enough to be considered an adult. It’s a tightrope to use your wings to gain independence, but still know your parents do love you and want you to make safe life choices. As for faith, growing up in a Christian home myself, there aren’t many opportunities to be exposed to other faiths that differ from your own. I can see why Mackenzie would be enthralled with Islam. It’s different, unique and a person she cares about is of this faith hence why it becomes important to her.

I received an ARC of Almost Gone by Mackenzie Baldwin and John Baldwin for free from NetGalley in exchange for my thoughts on this book. I think this book explores many important topics that parents and teens face today: online dating and how to handle when your teen decides to not believe what they were raised on faith wise. If either of these topics resonates with you I’d recommend this book.

Book Review · Books

A Prairie Girl’s Faith

7cd8ba74-c1cc-4e3f-ab98-d0322fdc46c1-10347-000004c9eb385bb3_file.jpgDid you go through a “Little House On The Prairie,” phase? I sure did from about Kindergarten to fourth grade. My grandmother made me my own pinafore. Growing up I watched “Little House On The Prairie,” every day at 5pm. I loved the actor Michael Landon, who to me,seemed like the classic personification of Pa. Melissa Gilbert portrayed Laura Ingalls just right in all her spunkiness. Melissa Sue Anderson brought Mary Ingalls to life in all her semkingly goody toe shoes elderly sister role. In third grade I got to have my own creek in my backyard. Of course I put a plank of wood across so I could get across. I have never read all of the Little House books, but when I saw, A Prairie Girl’s Faith, as an option to request an ARC of course I jumped at the chance.

This short volume reflects on Laura’s and her family’s faith. It covers her relationship with her daughter Rose. Not having read all of Laura’s books, or any bios on her, I didn’t realize how big of a role Rose had in helping shape The Little House series. This book also, includes some recipes of Laura’s Ma and their friends/neighbors.

I received this ARC for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my review. I had high hopes for this book, but honestly I found it a bit slow and dry for my taste. If you are a fan of Laura this book might still be worth a check out.

Book Review · Books

Daring To Hope

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If you have read Kisses From Katie, then the follow up memoir, Daring To Hope is going to be the icing on your spiritual cake. It’s a short book, but the spirit led richness makes you want to take your time reading each chapter. This book is anointed. It is a simple, yet powerful testimony to Katie’s ministry and work in Uganda. She shares stories of helping others who don’t have much. Katie along with her thirteen adopted daughters help those who need a place to stay, some who are sick and need around the clock care and those who need food. I found myself crying, laughing and just drinking in the beauty this book holds.

I have been lapsed in my faith for a long while. I’ve been wrestling over what do I believe and why. This memoir was a God send. Katie isn’t preachy in a Hell and brimstone manner, but in the manner of a saint whose seen prayer answered in the way she hoped and in the way that was not in her comfort zone. Katie is humble. She meets you where you are at with no judgement, or spiritual arrogance. If you need a book that will let you know you aren’t alone in your faith struggles I hugely recommend this gem of a book. I received my free copy of Daring To Hope by Katie Davis Majors from Blogging For Books in exchange for my review.

Book Review · Books

The Alphabet Of Grief

img_2099Grief is not a topic out of popularity, but out of necessity. We don’t know when a friend, family member, spouse, or acquaintance is going to pass away. The Alphabet Of Grace is a small little book packed with lots of wisdom. Chaplain Andrea Raynor brings death and grief to our door in an easy to understand Guide. Her guide of sorts is broken down via the alphabet. Each letter stands for a topic having to do with grief and death. At the end of each short chapter is a meditation and an affirmation.

I have had family members pass away and close friends. Death is never easy to deal with. I still miss my grandparents and my one best friend, but I know they are now not in pain. Personally I don’t find comfort in going to their graves. Honestly cemeteries creep me out. One way I like to remember them is by going to a fave place they liked to eat, or enjoy a favorite pastime they had like watching baseball, or reading a book. We all deal with grief in different ways.

I’m so glad I requested to review this book from Blogging For Books. This book is not preachy, though it is consider Christian. It comes across like a warm blanket on a winter night that keeps you warm and feeling cozy. It’s comforting and yet educational at the same time. I got this book for free in exchange for my review from Blogging For Books. I highly recommend this title for anyone dealing with someone in the process of dying or have passed on. I wish I’d had this book back when my grandparents passed. It would have helped me get through a lot.

Book Review · Books

The Space Between Words

I normally don’t read Christian fiction. I’ve found it can come across as cheesy. The Space Between Words,  is a Christian fiction novel set in France where the main character Jessica is visiting her best friend Patrick with their friend Vonda. On the last night of their visit in France Vonda decides she wants to go to a concert rather than go to a boring museum. Jessica agrees to go while her while Patrick goes off to the museum. The night of the concert changes their lives forever when there is a terrorist attack.

Jessica survives. After she’s had some time to mend, Patrick insists she still go with him on his journey across France. Still fragile and recovering Jessica agrees to tag along. On one of their many stops to look at antiques Jessica finds an old sewing box. Later on after it’s purchased Jessica discovers a secret compartment in the sewing box that contains old journal papers. Jessica is intrigued.  Why would someone have hidden pages of the Bible? With the help of her B&B hosts, Mona and Grant, Jessica is determined to find out what has become of the author of the journal, a French Huguenot refugee.

This book covers topics that aren’t easy to stomach. Sadly since Sept 11th America knows what terrorism is like. I have no clue even on a fictional level what it would be like to be in a foreign country and go through what Jessica did. Her journey to discover what happened to the journal author’s life is fascinating and scary. History is interesting, but will finding the future end point be worth it?

I received the ARC of The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix from NetGalley, care of Thomas Nelson for free in exchange for my honest review. This book is fast paced, sweet, tense, fascinating and heartbreaking, I don’t know anything about the Huguenots, but if the parts about the Huguenots in France are based somewhat on fact it would be interesting to research their history further.

Book Review · Books

Your Guide To The Apocalypse

The End Times is a hot topic. The news with updates on different wars, environmental issues,  health scares and violence increasing, it’s no wonder society may think the end of the world is near. Pastor Matt Hagee explains why from the Bible he believes we are the last generation to witness Jesus coming back. His guide gives over the reasons why and how the first 3 chapters of the book of Revelation explain the signs of how we are in the last days. He believes that believers will be taken up to heaven before the Antichrist steps on the world stage, hence why he didn’t go past chapter 3 of Revelation. This book I think is geared towards Christians, but he does speak to unbelievers. Depending on your church background or lack of church and Bible exposure you may understand what’s expressed in this book.

I am a post tribulation ‘fan’. Honestly I don’t see why believers of today should get out of having to go through the tribulation. It seems like too, easy of a ticket. Some of his view points I get, but to state this is the truth vs showing the other viewpoints feels a tad arrogant. I know Pastor Hagee means well, but to me only Jesus can open your eyes to the truth.

I received an ARC of Your Guide To The Apocalypse by Matt Hagee for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review. If you are a pretribulation believer then this book is for you. If you aren’t it might ruffle your feathers, or it might enlighten you.

Book Review · Books

All Our Waves Are Water 


I didn’t even read the blurb about All Our Waves Are Water by Jaimal Yogis. All I knew was it was a memoir and I love memoirs. This book is about Jaimal and his search for life’s meaning through going on trips to India, Bali, San Francisco, etc. He was raised Buddhist by his parents, but throughout his schooling he is exposed to other faiths and beliefs. Jaimal discovers that the sacred can be found in many other faiths, even places he didn’t expect like the wailing wall in Jerusalem. He also, discovers that the most unlikely people can wake you up to realize what you truly have when you all you feel is blah about your life. One love of Jaimal’s life is surfing. It’s his way to regroup, get exercise and hone his surfing skills. He uses surfing as a way to describe how he has found the meaning of life.

At first this book was alright, but nearing the end I got sucked in and then I was on the last page wanting to read more. This book made me laugh and think outside the box. I’ve never been surfing, but after this book I might want to be brave and try it one day. I received my free ARC copy of All Our Waves Are Water  from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest assessment. If you are interested to get your own copy click here to purchase it from HarperCollins.