Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Bridgers: A Parable by Angie Thompson {Book Review}


|| Description

Three boys. One choice. No turning back.

Peyton is a rising star in the church who is well on the way to reaching his biggest dreams. Levi is a pastor's son struggling to live up to his faith under pressure from all sides. DaVonte is a kid from the wrong side of town who would be content if he and his friends were just left alone.

When an act of violence presents a sudden decision, each boy's answer will shake the community to its core and shape its future forever. Love and truth face off against fear and pride in this modern extension of one of Jesus' best-known parables.


|| Rating

4 stars


|| Review

A spectacular retelling of the parable of the Good Samaritan—a story concept I never would've considered! Other than a short story awhile back (which I also enjoyed!), this was my first read by Angie Thompson and I dearly loved the tale. <3

My favorite character was undoubtedly DaVonte, followed by Brett. Levi was great too, but I had harder time connecting with him and thought he seemed a bit young for his age.

Peyton's character bugged me to no end, but toward the end of the book, I began to realize why. He was such a vivid, realistic example of a Pharisee-like Christian. Someone who's in it to make themselves look good, who cares little about reflecting Jesus' light to a lost world. Kudos to the author for tackling that situation!

The message of reaching out to the unlovable, extending grace and love to the untouchable, was needed, solid, and so spot-on. My only issue with this little book would be that the writing style was rather confusing at first, and swapping back and forth between first-person and third-person tense threw me off a handful of times. I caught on fairly easily though and was able to follow along.

4 stars!


Content: A stabbing, not very detailed. Talk of tattoos, cigarettes, divisions between different 'classes' of people.


** I received a complimentary copy of this book from Stellae Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required. **

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Bound by Victoria Lynn {Book Review}


Description

Two souls don’t find each other by simple accident.  ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Levi thought he was making this journey alone. But when he meets an eight-year-old girl at the train station, that plan is turned on its head.

Casey is running away and finds out that Levi is too. They decide to journey together and their lives are suddenly bound together in a journey they will not soon forget.

Both children come from abusive situations and are running from the dangers of their previous life. Levi is confident he can handle this on his own, but when Casey is injured on the journey, he must seek help from the first person that comes into his path, or rather people. Mr. and Mrs. Bellworth are simple farm folk with a heart for kids and a passion for serving God. When their unconditional love and gentle care surrounds Levi and Casey, the troubles of their previous lives melt away and they start to flourish. But when Casey is dragged back into the abusive world she came from, the emotional trauma, pain and distrust resurfaces. Will they be forever bound by their past? Or will God answer their prayers?


Rating

4.5 stars


Review

Oh my goodness, y'all, this book. It ripped my heart out and trampled all over it and even now—nearly 24 hours later, at the time I'm writing this—I've yet to fully recover.

I've unintentionally read four books dealing with foster care in the last couple weeks, but this one hit me the hardest. Levi and Casey's dark backgrounds were shown with such raw depth and vivid pain, all the while being handled with gentleness and grace. <3

I absolutely adored Mr. Abel and Mrs. Mariah—what amazing examples they are for the younger generation! Casey and Levi were sweet and lovable, and I enjoyed Mikayla's character immensely. I quickly "called" the twist that was to come, but I didn't mind knowing where that lil' sideplot was headed. *wink*

Only downfall would be that the writing style confused me at times. Nothing major, but I would have to pause and re-read to grasp the meaning. It could've been due to the speed at which I was reading while dying to know how it all ended... but yeah, minor annoyance compared to the amazingness of this novella.

4.5 stars!

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