ThredUp, Stitch Fix and Books Reviews

ThredUp, Stitch Fix and Books Reviews

This summer I’ve canceled Stitch Fix – though I might go back in the fall.  The reason? ThredUp! I love the idea of recycling clothes (especially name brands) as a way of caring for creation.  So since I am approaching my pre-baby body, I’m gonna get second hand clothes a try.  I wore a Lilly Pultizer for Easter that I bought for $30 instead of $127!

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I am behind on my book reviews, but with good reason! My 2 year old is notoriously difficult to potty train! That is one thing I probably won’t ever write a “how to” article on over at Palm Beach Mom Blogs!

Over the next two weeks I will be reviewing “Lone Witness” by Rachel Dylan (book 2 in her Atlanta Justice Series) and “Blind Betrayal” by Nancy Mehl.

Can’t wait to report back!

 

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Book Review: In Places Hidden

Book Review: In Places Hidden

Here is my honest review of Tracie Peterson’s “In Places Hidden.”

This is the first in a new series, set in California.  The opening chapters jump right into the action, which I love.  When we open our story the girls are traveling to their new home. Right away Tracie did a fantastic job of capturing the setting of San Francisco in 1905. So much so, that while I never wanted to go to California before, I now want to visit this area.

The characters were interesting. I found the protagonist’s name Camrianne Coulter difficult to pronounce, but the author quickly shortens it to a nick name,  Camri.  Another character Kenzie, (short for Mackenzie) is also shortened.  While I doubt that northern California in 1905 was full of women with nicknames, it makes it easier on the reader.  But I don’t want to get stuck up on names.

The plot of the book was engaging and exciting.  At times the book reminded me of Jennifer Donnelly’s “Tea Rose” novel, though most of the elements are different, the idea of do-gooders in a seedy Irish underworld echoed one another, even as they were set in two distinct time zones with vastly different characters.

Patrick Murdock, the protagonist’s love interest was merely ok.  I suspect that what the author intended to be his Irish brogue really didn’t sit well with me.  Having grown up with neighbors and classmates who have an authentic Irish cadence to their speech, I found Patrick to be much to manufactured.  However, he was an interesting enough character for me to wonder what will happen next to this man and Camrianne.

 

Thank you Bethany House / Baker Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for this review.

A light on a Hill – Book Review

A light on a Hill – Book Review

I received this book in exchange for my honest review… here goes…

WOW! What a great read! Each chapter left me wondering, “What will happen next?” or “This is how society used to be thousands of years ago?!?” Both things are not easy to accomplish with me since I am an avid read of history and mystery novels. That being said, the plot was well written, and expertly executed.

The characterization in this novel is actually dynamic.  The characters all have motives (good or bad) for the things they are doing and it is not easy to side completely with one character or another, because they all have faults, flaws and foibles.  Still, the characters are endearing and I am curious to find out what will become of some of them if the author continues the series.

The setting of the novel is in ancient Israel, just after the death of Moses and the rise of the Joshua and then the Judges.  While other authors who have tried to write about this era come off as preachy or religious, Connilyn Cossette expertly sets her characters in a fully fleshed ancient world.

All in all a lovely read!

Ezekiel

Ezekiel

Ezekiel is a prophetic book of the Bible. Rabbis say it is not for the casual reader of the Bible, but rather those who have some background in biblical history, scholars if you will. They’ve even roped off portions of this book saying certain parts are not for public reading. This entices me, because I am a layman (laywoman?) Yet I have the Holy Spirit. Shouldn’t it be enough that the One who wrote it is breathing within me? Isn’t enough that He says “All scripture IS God breathed & is useful…” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) . So I’m going to go through it slowly and see what I can draw from it. You’re welcome to join me.

My review of Judah’s Wife

My review of Judah’s Wife

I recieved this book from Bethany House Publishers (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for an un-biased review… Here goes…

I truly enjoyed the writing style of Angela Hunt, and I’ve never read any of her novels in the past, and so reading this book made me curious as to what else she has written. She writes with a clear sense of direction, and I would say that her novel was more plot driven than character driven. That is to say, while I understood Leah and Judah’s motivations for doing things, I did not feel like they were alive in the same way I would with the characters of other novels. Because of the historical nature and era Angela Hunt was writing about however, I felt that this was not a hindrance to the story, but rather let me see the ancient world the Maccabees lived in.

The main characters Leah and Judah overcome two very different families in order to realize both who they are, and what they believe about God, and finally, what God wants from them. Leah comes from an abusive background, but rather than write out scenes that put this fact into flesh, the reader is told this early on, and then lives with the tension that the blow might come at any moment. (That is one of the ways in which Angela Hunt has mastered the written word). Judah on the other hand comes from a very devout family yet for much of the book has no clear idea of how to connect with his family’s God. Therefore, though the two main characters are quite different, they both grow expontentially in this novel.

The only sad thing about this novel is that since the writer does not believe the miracle of the long lasting oil happened, she does not write about it. This troubles me, and to be honest, its why I withhold one star. I will look for other books written by this author, however I will also read up on the subject before diving into the world she creates.

Review: The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

Review: The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

I received a free copy of this title for an unbiased review. Here goes,

I am a fan of Julie Klassen, and I’ve read nearly everything she’s ever written, with the exception of the first book in this series.  That being said, some series are written in such a way that if you miss the first book it shouldn’t matter, and you should be able to pick up a book and understand who’s who and what’s what within minutes.  Alas, this was not the case for this book.  It took me a good 75 pages before I understood who was who and what was what. In other words, the characters were a bit muddled for me, and the women seemed too much alike for me to clearly follow their stories lines.  I’ll attribute this to my own lack of reading the first book.

What I loved, and what I generally think Ms. Klassen excels in is writing setting.  One really feels like one is in their little town. In addition to her fantastic use of setting, in the front of the novel their is a map of the town.  I’ve not read a book that had a map in the front of it for quite some time but it was a nice addition.

Finally, I never knew what exactly a circulating library was, and through this novel I got to learn a lot about how they were set up, and how they were precursors to our modern day libraries!  Any day I can learn something new from a novel is a good day.

Four out of Five Stars I’d say.

 

 

 

The Sound of Rain

The Sound of Rain

The Sound of Rain is a period piece set in Myrtle Beach in the 1950s. The main characters, Larkin and Jude are both well crafted full fleshed characters in search of their purpose in life.  After a mining disaster Jude thinks its his duty to live the life his brother planned.  After a hurricane, Larkin is intent on serving the poor in the back mountains of Kentucky.  Through various trials and tribulations, they realize that their intial goals are smaller compared to what God dreams for them.

I really enjoyed this novel from Sarah Loudin Thomas. The pacing of the story was a bit slower than I’m used to reading, but the reality of it is that it really puts you in the southern way of not rushing through a story, but really savoring it.

If any criticism can be made about this story is that while I enjoyed the ending, I thought it was a bit odd, yet some how it fit the rest of the narrative.

 

I was given a copy of this novel in exchange for my un-biased review. Thank you Bethany House.