Saturday, December 24, 2016

Review of NIV Holy Bible for Girls Turquoise Journal Edition

The NIV Holy Bible for Girls Journal edition (Turquoise) description says that it features the following: 
1. Lines on each page for journaling and notes
2. Thick paper perfect for any writing utensil
3. A presentation page for gift giving
4. A “How to Use This Bible” page to get started on the right foot
5. Ribbon marker
6. The complete text of the bestselling New International Version (NIV)

I found most of the description to be accurate.  When I took it out of the box, I was thought it was absolutely beautiful. The gold on the cover is metallic making it even more beautiful.  It is perfect for girls, and I think it would appeal most to upper elementary age to teenagers. (I'm 38 and love it!). I didn't find the pages to be thicker than the pages in other bibles, so I wouldn't recommend using markers.  Everything else about it is exactly how described.  I definitely recommend it!

*I received this book from the publisher.  The opinions are my own.*

Book Review of The 100 Most Encouraging Verses of the Bible

Troy Schmidt's book, The 100 Most Encouraging Verses of the Bible is perfect for daily devotions.

The back of the book says:

"Powerful Words of Comfort From the Bible
Everyone struggles with discouragement as they face the trials of life, big and small. Where do you go for help when you're lonely or grieving or fearful? Or when you've failed in a job or relationship? No matter what storm you're facing, God says, "Come to me . . . and I will give you rest." 

The Bible verses highlighted in this clear, concise book include well-known gems as well as hidden treasures that will surprise you. Each verse is followed by a brief reading to explain the verse's meaning and draw you nearer to God, making it perfect for daily devotions or as a starting point for further study.

Find the hope and peace that can only come straight from the Word of God."

I really liked the set up of this book.  Each page has a verse, and there is a short devotional reading below it.  It is perfect to use as a daily devotion.  A reader can read multiple verses a day or spend time focusing on one verse for the day.  I sometimes struggle fitting my daily time with God into my day, and I found each page to take 5 minutes or less to read.  Then you can pray or reflect on it throughout the day.

*I received this book from the publisher.  The opinions are my own.*

Book Review of Jesus Talked to Me Today

Jesus Talked to Me Today: True Stories of Children's Encounters with Angels, Miracles and God is a group of short stories compiled by James Stuart Bell.  I was looking forward to reading this as I believe that children can see angels and that encounters with God are real.  However, I found some of the stories written in a way that sounded, for lack of a better word, cheesy and unbelievable.  I feel like the writers of the stories could have used some help from an actual author to make their story more believable since these are all supposed to be real.  I hate to give a bad review, but I have to be honest.  I'm sure that others may view the book differently, so if you are interested, I suggest looking for it at the library.

*I received the book from the publisher.  The opinions are my own.*

Book Review of The Domino Effect

The first line on the back of the book, in my opinion, is exactly what The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn was for me:

"A Financial Thriller That Will Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats

Esther Larsen, a leading risk analyst at one of the country's largest banking institutions, is becoming more and more convinced that she has uncovered a ticking bomb with the potential to overshadow 2008's market crash. And as her own employer pursues "investment" strategies with ever-increasing levels of risk, she becomes convinced she must do something. Yet what can one person really do?

The markets are edging closer to a tipping point--like the teetering first domino in a standing row that circles the globe. And when Esther does sound the alarm, she wonders if anyone will take her seriously. But as public support grows for her ideas, so does the desperation of those whose conspiracy of greed she seeks to expose. With global markets on the brink, and her own life in danger, Esther is locked in a race with the clock to avert a worldwide financial meltdown. 

This fast-paced suspense novel will make you wonder where the fiction ends and reality begins. . . ."

This book kept me turning pages, and I couldn't read fast enough to find out what was going to happen next.  I loved that amidst the suspense, there was something beautiful developing between Esther and Craig (you'll have to read the book to find out more!).  

*I received this book from the publisher.  The opinions are my own.*

Book Review of Where Hope Prevails

Where Hope Prevails is the third book in the Return to the Canadian West series by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan.  After spending the summer with her family, Beth Thatcher is anticipating a proposal of marriage from Jarrick and is excited to return to Coal Valley where she is a teacher.  However, she is disappointed to see how things have changed when she arrives in Coal Valley.  The town has been growing, so a second teacher has been hired, trees have been cut leaving stumps everywhere and she is not able to stay in the boarding house that she lived in previously.  She begins to become concerned about what her future holds--both in Coal Valley and as Jarrick's wife.

This was so good!  I didn't read the first two books, so I didn't have all of the background information on the characters. However, this book had just enough information to help me along. The characters were well developed, and the story line was really good.  I highly recommend it especially if you have read the first two books in the series and if you enjoy historical fiction.

*I received this book from the publisher.  The opinions are my own. *

Book Review of Of Stillness and Storm

The description on the back of the book really didn't prepare me for the story that Michele Phoenix told in Of Stillness and Storm. She tells the love story of Sam and Lauren, their journey to mission work in Nepal and the toll the mission work takes on their family relationships and relationship with God.  The characters felt so real to me. I think this book brings an awareness that mission work isn't always a happy experience for everyone. Touching, heartbreaking, real and raw.

From the back of the book: 
“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”
It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing. 
At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.
Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.
*I received an advance reader's copy.  My opinions are my own.*