Book Review · Books

The Temptation Of Adam

We all have our addictions. Adam is addicted to porn. He gets put on school suspension for something he did in. During his suspension he is required to attend Knights Of Vice, an addiction recovery group that one of his high school teachers sponsors. Adam is not keen on going, but his dad offers to go with him to his first meeting. At this first meeting he encounters fellow member, Dez Coulter, who is a beautiful mix of troubled, beautiful, sarcastic and intense. Will this support group help Adam slay his porn addiction? Will the beautiful Dez pull Adam into the world of the living instead of the digital?

When I first started this novel I wasn’t that into the storyline, but once I got a bit deeper in I was hooked to find out what happens to Adam. Porn addiction is not hugely discussed in YA, but it’s a common addiction teens need help with, heck so do a lot of adults. The Temptation Of Adam deals with this important topic with grace, humor and raw honesty. No matter what your own addiction might be, we all just might struggle like Adam does.

I was sent a free copy of The Temptation Of Adam from SkyPony Press in exchange for my honest assessment. Thank you Emma for sending me a copy. This book is heartfelt, funny, sobering and enlightening. Thank you Mr. Connis for writing about a very taboo topic and bringing it out into the light.

Book Review · Books

The Grown-Up’s Guide To Teenage Humans

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I don’t have kids. Why would I pick to reciew a book about how to deal with teenagers? I’m not a parent, a teacher, a mentor, a counselor, but I am an aunt. Eventually my nephew will become a teenager and I’ll need to be ready. This book is very readable and has great suggestions on how to handle a myriad of things from sex, dating, dealing with death, anger, eating disorders, school, cell phones, etc. Josh writes with humor and candor. The author even goes over what to expect with teen’s emotions and physical changes, broken down by age category.

Reading this book brought to mind how I related back to my parents and the type of parenting they enacted. There are 4 different parental traps: comfort, approval, control and performance. I’d say my dad falls under the control and performance categories while my mom is under the comfort trap. I unfortunately relate to the approval trap. I still over think and care what others think of me. Even though I’m an adult this section of the book was very enlightening.

If you work with teens in any capacity I highly recommend this book. It has great examples for questions to ask when it comes to talking about the bird and the bees. If you want to put together a house rules document for your home so everyone clearly understands what’s expected of them Josh has a great template for it. I think having a journal to correspond between parent and teen is a wonderful idea. It gives a place to be honest without the pressure of the other person looking intently at you, waiting for an answer to a question. Plus, it gives history you can refer back to, to see how far your communication has improved. I received The Grown-Up’s Guide To Teenage Humans by Josh Shipp for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. To buy a copy click here and find out how you can get further awesome guidance from Josh here.

Book Review · Books

The Landscapes Of Anne Of Green Gables

img_2107.jpgWho can’t resist reading about one of your all time favorite places even if you have yet to actually visit? In second grade I got to watch, “Anne of Green Gables,” the Kevin Sullivan production. It was breathtaking and Megan Follows will forever be Anne to me. I have watched the new version on Netflix. I was very negative about there being a new one. I chanced and watched it. It’s easily as fantastic as the previous mini series, possibly even better. Gasp. Very sacreligious I know. When this title became a possible ARC I’d be alllwed to read I jumped at my opportunity.

This lovely book takes the reader on a visual delight of the many wonders of Prince Edward Island. The photos show the island at different seasons. This book also, talks about the author of Anne Of Green Gables,  Lucy Maude Montomgery otherwise known as L.M. Montgomery. If you like reading about your favorite author’s life then this book will leave you craving to read more about her. There are photos throughout of her and also, places on the island that inspired her novels.

If you are a big fan of Anne of Green Gables then this book will be a keeper once it comes out. The photos made me want to book my trip right away. It also, inspires one to want to learn more about L.M. Montgomery. I was provided this ARC for free via NetGalley in exchange for my review. Thank you NetGalley and Timber Press.

Book Review · Books

The Lives Of Desperate Girls

img_2094.jpgI didn’t think this book would impact me as deeply as it did. The Lives Of Desperate Girls by MacKenzie Common is a novel about friendship, love, trust and betrayal in a small Canadian town. Jenny is an inconspicuous teen whose life revolves around her childhood best friend Chloe. Chloe is the life of the party while Jenny is her quiet sidekick. Life is chugging along when one day Chloe goes missing. Jenny is determined to find her best friend. Three weeks after her disappearance there is a local murder of a different young woman. The crime is ugly, but it seems to Jenny that no one cares. This young woman was a Native. Is racism still alive and well? With the help of her new friend Tom, both he and Jenny go investigate what may have happened to Chloe, but to also, find out why the young Native woman was murdered. Jenny can’t understand why Chloe’s disappearance is considered top priority when a woman being found murdered gets pushed under the rug.

If you enjoy suspenseful and deep storytelling I highly recommend this novel. I couldn’t put this book down, you want to just keep finding out what happened to Chloe. I was not aware of the racism that exists in Canada between whites and Natives before reading this novel. I received my e-book ARC of The Lives Of Desperate Girls for free care of NetGalley in exchange for my reaction to this book. My reaction is it’s a must read. I think this book would make great required high school and college reading.

Book Review · Books

Love Big, Be Well

If you have been burnt by the church, Love Big, Be Well, just might restore your faith in the body of Christ (family of God) aka the church. This novel is the story of Pastor Jonas McAnn whose decided to get back into preaching after doing a stint working at an insurance company. He receives a letter from one of the churches he’s going to be interviewing at. He’s used to getting a long list of questions, but the letter he gets is down to earth and simple. Does he want to be Granby’s pastor? Pastor Jonas writes back. This starts a tradition of correspondence between himself and the congregation. Him and his wife decide to accept the pastorate at Granby Presbyterian. This novel is the correspondence over the years between Pastor Jonas and his new congregation.

Each chapter talks about different topics from Advent, to baptism, death, Christian conferences, friendship and a host of other topics. This novel isn’t preachy, it’s not superficial. This book is down to earth and meets you where you are at. You don’t have to be a believer to read this novel.

I received the e-book ARC of, Love Big, Be Well by Winn Collier from NetGalley in exchange for my honest assessment. This book reminded me a lot of the book, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore,  by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman. Both books are sweet and tackle tough topics in a nonpushy manner. If there is a church out there like the fictional Granby Presbyterian sign me up. I miss belonging to a church family like that.

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

Maddie & Sayara

Maddie And Sayara is about two young teens from different countries who meet while on vacation. The girls bond over their stuck up older sisters who just care about appearance and luxury. Maddie learns that Sayara’s female cousin has been jailed because she was caught driving which is forbidden in their kingdom. Maddie can’t understand why a young woman wouldn’t be allowed to drive. Sayara tries to explain why to Maddie, but Maddie can’t grasp that not all countries in the world treat women or girls as equals to men and boys. Maddie decides she wants to go help Sayara rescue her cousin. This novel follows Maddie on her journey into an unknown country to rescue Sayara’s cousin. Will Maddie be successful?

This book was given to me free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. While this book is considered YA I felt the tone of Maddie came across more of a middle grade age group than high school in her maturity level. This story was a nice overview of what other countries might be like where a women’s freedoms aren’t as free as in other countries. Topics of freedom in how a woman or girl dresses and what they are allowed to do is explored throughout this novel. I might recommend this book to a junior high or older elementary age girl as insightful and educational.