Sunday, January 3, 2016

Book Review: Willie Out West

My Review: 

Absolutely charming book!
 This is a delightful little children's book,
creative, funny, and thought provoking.
The character drawings and artwork through-out give a greater sense of wholesomeness to this book,
from the octopus with his western hat and 8 spurs (one for each tentacle!) to the one-eyed whale named Old Walter.
Young Willie desperately wants to be important,
and he so very much wants to be needed.
As he sits in front of the tv, waiting for mom to finish dinner,
he couldn't imagine being whisked away to an underwater "Old West" 
where he'd be asked to save the day!

"We need someone with lots of courage and strength to save our town"
(book quote)
Willie is excited to be needed!
He comes up with a plan ("Like I learned in school!")
to scare the mean whale away and allow the town to be united again,
peaceful and in harmony.

 Whether intentional or not, I liked the way the author weaved into this tale the threat of a bully, using sheer size and brute strength to intimidate the other towns folk (which, by the way, are all under the sea, ocean characters - adorable as all get up!)
There is a fun 'western twang' and cute jargon that's spoken by the animals which kids will find entertaining.
A great message wrapped up in a short, lovely little read!

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: The Whisper Theory

Book Jacket:

Meghan Shanahan is confident in her Christianity, if not a bit selfrighteous . When she moves in with Jeff and Carol, her two unbelieving college roommates, she begins to unravel.

Meghan thought she could save Jeff, but in the first three months of college, she's breaking more rules than she's keeping. Even worse, she finds herself falling in love with Jeff. When a young woman in their apartment building is murdered, everything starts changing. Through heartache and despair, tragedy and suspense, Meghan learns what friendship is all about, and more importantly, she discovers the voice she's going to follow.

Book Review: 
I read The Whisper Theory as a e-book as a blind copy, meaning I basically had no idea what the book was or about!  It was like unwrapping a present,
pulling back the shiny wrapping, peeking under the tissue paper, 
and finally seeing it's content.
I was intrigued, at first, to see that it was a half story, half bible study.
It's a rather quick read, and each of the 16 chapters seem a bit choppy.  
We are taken on a journey of three young people (Carol, Jeff and Meghan)
as they venture through the woes and challenges of general life, though some of the decision they make are entirely intentional - drinking under age, partying, premarital sex, and more.  There is a real lack of character developing and I kept reading onward, hoping that more of the christian foundation would pour through.  Humbly, this e-book felt like I was reading through a really long term paper - it lacks focus, depth and development.  
I did appreciate the questions at the end of the chapters though it's mostly a series of questions.  I think this book could have benefited greatly from the author expanding on each of the questions by focusing on God's word in depth
and pitting questions with biblical scripture basis.
  I'm not sure if it's centered towards teens and young adults or just a general discussion guide for the 'over 21 crowd.'
Be warned: This e-book has topics and frank discussions that are not meant for the young christian crowds and this is NOT a youth group guide.
YES, these are topics many teens are faced with and 
YES, these are discussions that many parents/group leaders may encounter,
it's just not a very concrete guide or enjoyable read, frankly speaking.
I did so want to enjoy this book and bible study - it just fell very, very flat.

                  I thank BookLook bloggers for the chance to review this book 
                        and my review is a positive opinion expressed by me on my own accord.

Book Review: The Forgotten Recipe


Book Jacket

After losing her fiancĂ© in a tragic accident, Veronica Fisher finds solace in the old recipes stored in her mother’s hope chest—and in a special visitor who comes to her bake stand to purchase her old-fashioned raspberry pies.
Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome—but most importantly, he loves Veronica.

When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love—or be loved—again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi’s raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer who gives her heart pause.
Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life—a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancĂ©e to convey his condolences, the last thing he expects—or wants—is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica’s bake stand every week . . . and it’s for more than the raspberry pies.

Now, as Veronica’s heart thaws, Jason can’t bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed? Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want?

My Review

Dust the flour off your recipe books, put your apron on and pick up the rolling pin!  This book will make you want to head straight into the kitchen and make  batches of sweet breads, tasty cookies and velvety pies for all those you love.

What a scrumptiously told tale, captivating from the moment you open the first chapter.  With the opener of a tragic, sad accident, you'll be spellbound.  The captivating words will leave your heart hurting and your mind spinning, but you'll be drawn in by the sweetness of the characters and strength in the story - you will want to read more!

Veronica is strong and steadfast in her Amish faith, and comes from a loving, hardworking Amish family.  Her 2 sisters are instrumental in building a warm and loving home and helping her through this tragic loss, creating a bond of closeness captured beautifully by Clipston.   After losing her fiance, Seth, in an accident, she keeps guarded yet hopeful for a future and busies herself with recipes she found in a trunk belonging to her grandmother.  She notices Jason coming around often, a young Amish man from their town,  but doesn't know immediately that he was the best friend to Seth.  Her homemade raspberry pies, sold at a little farm stand, not only keep most of the English coming to buy them, but Jason as well and a wonderful friendship begins.  Jason tries to court her all the while keeping it a secret that he was with Seth when he died, fearful of losing her ... because Jason has a secret of his own:  He has fallen in love with Veronica!

This book has so many twists and turns.  From the many hours of baking pies and jams and relishes, friends trying to do their best (that sweet little picnic and skipping rocks at the water's edge is a portrait painted in words!) to set them up, girls vying for Jason's attention, and ultimately, a betrayal that nearly pushes Veronica over the edge with despair.  You'll be on the edge of your seat turning page after page to find the ending to this flawlessly written book!

Because it's so much more than just a novel of friendship and courtship, blossoming into a love so deep and pure.  There is something exquisitiely beautiful about Amish romance novels ~ and this one ranks BY FAR one of my all time favorites.  The sweetness rolls off the pages.  Just as you treasure the heirlooms you have as forever keepsakes, the story of Veronica and Jason will stay with you for a long time after the final chapter is read and the book is closed.

         I thank BookLook bloggers for the chance to review this book 
                        and my review is a positive opinion expressed by me on my own accord.