Saturday, January 12, 2019

Made for the Journey by Elisabeth Elliot {Book Review}


Description

In her first year as a missionary to a small group of native women in the Ecuadorian jungle, Elisabeth Elliot faced physical and spiritual trials. In Made for the Journey, Elliot captures the mysteries and stark realities surrounding the colorful and primitive world in which she ministered. More than just a recounting of her early days, this is a beautifully crafted and deeply personal reflection on the important questions of life and a remarkable testimony to authentic Christian obedience to God.


Rating

5 stars


Review

Although this is only my second Elisabeth Elliot book, I'm fairly certain I couldn't dislike something she has written. I chose Made for the Journey (formerly published under These Strange Ashes) from the review program because, even though memoirs are rarely my thing, I wanted to learn more of Elisabeth Elliot's life story.

And I was not disappointed in the least. The author vulnerably opens up about the struggles and trials she faced during her first year in the jungles of western Ecuador. She speaks boldly of her hurt and confusion when all was falling apart and it seemed God was not blessing their efforts.

This book was an encouragement to me—definitely recommended. <3


Content Warning: Mentions of scantly dressed Indians, talk of three men sharing one woman, a childbirth scene, and a semi-detailed, jungle-version of an autopsy.


**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell publishing in exchange for my honest review.**

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado {Book Review}



~ Description 

Imagine a Victorian England village in the Cotswolds where very little out of the ordinary ever happens . . . except at Christmas time.

This year, Edward Haddington, a lowly candle maker, is visited by a mysterious angel. That angel silently imparts a precious gift—a gift that’s bungled and subsequently lost. The candle maker and his wife, Bea, struggle to find the gift.

And when they do, they have to make a difficult choice. Who among their community is most in need of a Christmas miracle?

Join inspirational author Max Lucado and experience anew the joy of Christmas.


~ My Review 

A dear story, full of charming settings, memorable characters (honestly, who doesn't love the Haddingtons?), and a theme that spells Christmas. 

I read this book after watching the movie and—quite honestly—I liked the movie better. The book had it's own perks, though, giving a bit more background to some of the characters. Emily was a more likable gal in the movie, in my opinion. xD

The story of the "magical" Christmas candle had me skeptical at first, but I ended up appreciating the heart of the story.

Four Christmas candles out of five! 


Be sure to check out Stories by Firefly for more Christmas fun! <3 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Savanna's Gift by Camille Eide {Book Review}


~ Description

Forced to return to the ski lodge where she once worked, Savanna Holt is reminded of one special Christmas and how ambition led her to make the worst mistake of her life: Leaving Luke Nelson.

Stunned to discover Luke never left, but worked his way up from lift operator to manager, Savanna sees the opportunity as a gift from God. She’s determined to win Luke back. But Luke wants no reminders of his past hurt, or a relationship with the woman who put ambition before love.

Can Savanna convince Luke she’s changed and her interest isn't because of his position? And when her dream job beckons, will she sacrifice her dream for a second chance at love?


~ My Review

Well, gracious, that was cute. In a charmingly-written tale that reminded me of a Hallmark movie, this novella was sweet, touching, and heartfelt—all in under 100 pages.

Luke, Savanna, Mylie, and the Freemans were all such fun characters, each realistically done. And the medical details and loads of sarcasm weren't bad additions... *wink* A precious second-chance love story!

Five ski slopes out of five! 


Be sure to check out Stories by Firefly for more Christmas fun! <3 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Silent Star by Tracie Peterson {Book Review}


~ Description 

In the 1940s, the small Pennsylvania town of Haven is rather subdued with their young men facing battles in far-away Europe. Young Andy Gilbert, burdened with his job of delivering telegrams bringing the news of those missing or killed in action, faces the coming holidays with dread and discouragement. With each new message he must deliver- met by screaming mothers, grief-stricken wives, and weeping families--he longs to join the ranks of the numbered dead. Only one elderly woman recognizes the pain and suffering tormenting Andy--and it is through her wisdom that the stars again can shine for Andy and for a town that desperately needs the hope those stars represent.

A touching novella book from a bestselling novelist.


~ My Review

"Oh my, how heartbreaking!" was my first thoughts when I got a chapter or so into this book. And it certainly does hold a special sort of sadness. But there is hope, too. There's always hope. <3

The story—ahh, it turned out so sweet! Andy and Estella and Mary Beth... *hugs them all* The friendships were amazing. I enjoyed the story and the hints of what's to come. The only thing I needed at the end of the story was to find out what happened to Sammy...

Four blue stars out of five! 


I'm doing a mini book review nearly every day leading up to Christmas, in participation with the 12 Days of Christmas blog party. Be sure to check out Stories by Firefly for more Christmas fun! <3 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Kind by Kellyn Roth {Book Review}




~ Description 

Lt. Neil Hudson is sure to have a rotten Christmas.

How can he have anything but a rotten Christmas when he's stuck in war-torn Germany away from his family, friends, and all hope of a decent turkey dinner?

That's when the Slades come into his life.



~ My Review 

A short story set in German a few months after the end of WWII? Sign me up!

This short, heart-warming tale by indie author Kellyn Roth did not disappoint. The teasing banter between Neil, Kell, and Clive was so fun and guy-typical. And the Slade family—ahh, they were darling!

A sweet story, full of Christmas spirit.

Four crush caps out of five! 


**I received a copy of this story from the author in exchange for my honest review.**


I'm doing a mini book review nearly every day leading up to Christmas, in participation with the 12 Days of Christmas blog party. Be sure to check out Stories by Firefly for more Christmas fun! <3 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury {Book Review}


~ Description 

A heartwarming Christmas story about a hundred-year flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships.

Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since.

Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there.

For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books—even through dismal book sales and the rise of digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store.

Now the bank is pulling the lease on The Bridge. Despondent and without answers, Charlie considers the unthinkable. Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything changes. In the face of desperate brokenness and lost opportunities, could the miracle of a second chance actually unfold?

The Bridge is a love story set against the struggle of the American bookstore, a love story you will never forget.


~ My Review 

Ahh, this book takes the cake for "most adorable chance-meeting/re-connect-years-later romance." Molly and Ryan are the definition of legit cuteness. And Charlie and Donna and The Bridge and everyone else... I just can't describe how much I adore this story.

So yes, this book is fabulous. A bit different from the movie (and don't even ask me to choose between the book or movie), but still really good. Loved the story of second chances. <3

Five copies of Jane Eyre out of five! 


Scamper over to Stories by Firefly for more 12 Days of Christmas fun! :D

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti {Book Review}


~ Description 

An award-winning novelist’s heartwarming story about family and love lost, found, and finally truly revealed at Christmas.

Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. Trapped with his family, they learn that love looks different than either imagined. Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their grandson Micah is planning to ask his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him so they can celebrate with the whole family. But things go very wrong when she says "no." Now they are stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it's Christmas.


~ My Review 

After grabbing this book for a couple bucks from CBD, I started it with little idea of what to expect... And I was blown away by what I found tucked inside the pages.

First, the Binder family. Can y'all just adopt me already?! I loved the large family, their traditions, their close-ties, their selfless love, and each of their individual uniquenesses. And then the "problem" couple—Micah was a sweetheart, and Katie... Oh, Katie. I related to her so well.

I really enjoy the writing style of this book. Sometimes, I find myself going “wait, what?”, but for the most part, it’s fun and engaging. The synopsis makes it sound like it's more from the grandparents' perspective, but it was mostly from Katie's.

Five sleigh rides out of five! 


Find more 12 Days of Christmas fun on Stories by Firefly