While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

We've Moved

Hello everyone!

It's been a busy few weeks and I wanted to let you know that I'm set up on my own domain now :-)

Just Jennifer

I'm so excited about the move - I have so many awesome ideas that I want to incorporate with the new blog. The new blog is a combination of Just Jennifer Talking and Just Jennifer Reading. So I hope you'll come over and check it out. I've got TONS of giveaways going on, I'm working on some new product reviews, and I'm starting to do movie reviews too. It's exciting and kind of scary all at the same time.

There's also a new Facebook Page and a new Twitter account associated with the new blog. So if that's how you follow please make sure to follow the new accounts too!

I hope to see you over a Just Jennifer soon.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: Jenny Pox by J. L. Bryan

I won a copy of this book from LibraryThing.

About the Book

Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the "Jenny pox." She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town.

Then she meets the one boy she can touch. Jenny feels herself falling for Seth...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront his ruthless and manipulative girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

For more information about Jenny Pox please visit J. L. Bryan's website Follow him on Twitter or Like him on Facebook

My Review

I liked the story good enough. It just took me quite a while to get into this one. Once I got about half-way through the story I was attached and it went really fast. But getting to that "I don't want to put this one down" point took a while.

The premise of the story is pretty neat. Jenny has a "Midas Touch" of sorts, only it's in reverse. She's shunned by her father and by her peers. If life isn't hard enough for a teenager already poor Jenny's been dealt the worst hand of all. I really felt so sorry for her. I just wanted her to not be ostracized. All any girl wants is to find that place where she fits in. Jenny knows that she's not normal, but she's learned how to live with the hand life has dealt her. She's just biding her time until she can live out her life without the eyes of the town watching her.

As the story progresses and Jenny finds someone that she can actually touch I really wanted this to be the end to all of Jenny's problems. Ashleigh was such a horrible person and I really wanted to see her get what should have been coming to her. I wished from the first encounters with Ashleigh that Jenny would just have touched her and removed that thorn from her side. Seth seemed to sway back and fourth, sometimes I really wanted to hate him and other times I wanted to hug him. When it's revealed what is causing Seth's mood swings I couldn't wait to see how it was taken care of.

The end of the story was really good. It wasn't a cheesy ending, and it tied things up nicely. I was very happy with it. It was an enjoyable book to read and I connected with the story after a while.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: The Company by Chuck Graham

Thanks to Litfuse for letting me be a part of this book tour. For the full tour schedule please visit the Blog Tour Page.

About the Book

A meteor explodes into the planet. Massive earthquakes rock the land as giant tsunamis engulf the coasts. Sleeping volcanoes violently erupt, filling the sky with clouds of suffocating ash, and soon, the world is shrouded in darkness. Last Day has come, bringing death, destruction, and despair. Yet hidden in a mountain valley, the Brigons manage to survive, but with no power and little food or water, their hope is fading into the eternal night. Then a voice calls out in the darkness and offers to bring them light.

This is the story of Sam Mitchell, an engineer with one of the power managers in Brigos Glen. Seventy years have passed since light was restored to the village. Few remember the time before Last Day or the strangers who helped them in their time of need. But Sam has heard the stories and, with the guidance of his friend, seeks to help others as he goes about his seemingly unimportant, routine existence. That is, until he receives an ominous order from beyond the mountains that will change his life forever.

For centuries mankind has sought God...not simply to find Him, but to understand Him. This quest has left many struggling in a maze of contradictions - one God but a Father, one God but a Son, one God but a Spirit - leading them to the ultimate question: Who is the Trinity? The answer is revealed in The Company by Chuck Graham, a clever allegory, carefully woven with surprising revelation of who God is, who we are before Him, and our calling to love and encourage each other.

For more information about The Company you can visit the book's website, "Like" it on Facebook, Follow Chuck on Twitter, or Follow his videos.

As always this book is available from my Amazon Store.

My Review

The tagline for this book really explains the book to a T "A Parable For Our Times". There were many times throughout reading this that I could relate what the people of Brigos Glen were going through to things that are happening in our world right now. I've known people that are just like the different characters in the book. Everything about this book is rooted to our current day issues.

The story was a pretty good one. It really made me think. There were quite a few Biblical references, and given my new and limited knowledge of the Bible many of them I didn't pick up on. But there is a listing of references in the back of the book, and after reviewing that I understand the references now. I really liked the appendix as had I not had that I likely would have missed their implications. I don't feel that I missed anything from the story not having reviewed them till the end. But after going back and rereading those sections it did give the story a new dimension for me.

I love the way the author uses this story to explain the Trinity. I think that is one part of Christianity that is difficult to grasp for many people. How can one being be three beings? But the way the story unfolds you really do get a sense of how each of these beings operate, and the ultimate connection to how they are all one in the same was a "light bulb" moment for me. This book puts such a complex ideal into a story that makes it so much easier to understand.

I really liked the characters. Sam could have been anyone. I think everyone knows a guy like Sam. He was just kind of "going through the motions". He was compassionate and helpful, but for the most part he just lived his life and did what he had to do to support his family. He was just a regular guy. His friendship with Ellington was an integral part of the story and while Ellington wasn't a greatly developed character I got enough of a sense of who he was that I understood his importance to Sam's journey. The rest of the characters were pretty good, they didn't have huge parts in the story, but the parts they did play were very important. Each one was in the story for a specific purpose and as their purposes were revealed the whole story started to really come together.

The connections to our lives today were easy for me to spot, which made the story that much more understandable. The Brigons are basically grouped into three different kinds of people. To me this was a relation to people's religious beliefs. Without giving too much away there are those that are strict, those that are always looking for something new, and those that are looking to find something better. I've encountered all three of these kinds of people.

The biggest thing with this book for me was how easily I was able to relate to it. The Trinity is something that I admittedly have little knowledge about, and yet I was able to understand it easily. I love that Graham was able to take such an abstract concept and make it a much more concrete concept.

A great book that really brings our current way of life into perspective.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: The Goblin Market by Jennifer Hudock

I won a copy of this book from LibraryThing.

About the Book

Meredith Drexler has been the sole caretaker for her young sister Christina ever since their father went away. Sacrificing her life and her freedom to ensure Christina has a better life, Merry’s only escape from the monotony of every day life is her daydreams. When Christina arrives home late one evening speaking in delirious riddles, Meredith discovers her sister has been poisoned by Goblin fruit obtained in the Goblin Market.

She must travel to the heart of the Goblin Kingdom to retrieve the antidote to save her sister’s life, but at a price no sister should ever have to pay. Along the way, Meredith falls in love with the forest god who names himself her consort, and discovers a strange truth about her past and her identity.

For more information about The Goblin Market you can visit Jennifer Hudock's website or follow her on Twitter.

My Review
I really liked this book. I couldn't put it down, it just drew me in right from the beginning. It reminded me of the movie Labyrinth - which is one of my favorite movies. I pictured Meredith as Sarah, and of course David Bowie was in there too. And while parts of the book are similar to the movie there is enough of a difference that it wasn't just a rewrite of Labyrinth.

Meredith seems to have been given a TON of responsibility that she might not have been ready for. She's the guardian to her sister Christina. The loss of her parents made Meredith grow up long before she should have. But Christina has always had someone there to care for her. Meredith seems to resent this fact to a point, but being that Christina is in her care she's determined to do whatever it takes to make sure she's ok.

The imagery Hudock uses is amazing. The pictures that I painted in my mind were beautiful and fully detailed. What I liked the most is that each new area Meredith enters into is vastly different from the last, and yet each is described wonderfully. While my imagination was allowed to fill in some of the scenery there was so much description that I had such an amazing picture.

The story is full of suspense. Every obstacle Meredith encounters makes you wonder if she's going to be able to fulfill her mission. The characters she meets to help or hinder her add to the story so much. As each new character was encountered I wondered what "side" they were going to take.

It really was a wonderfully written story and kept me intrigued right up till the end!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Review: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

My Aunt gave me this one to read. She gave me a huge box of books and this one jumped out at me first!

About the Book

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love--and face the hardest decision of his life.

For more information about Dear John please visit Nicholas Sparks' website, "Like" him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

As always you can purchase a copy of Dear John from my Amazon Store.

My Review

I find it hard to review this one. I liked the book, and I cried while reading. So there was an emotional attachment, but it just wasn't an unforgettable book for me. It was kind of like fodder - just there to pass the time. I hate to say that about it, because I did enjoy it. I just missed something with this one. I haven't seen the movie yet, so I didn't have a disconnect because it didn't follow the movie or vice versa. Maybe as time passes I'll be able to figure it out. But on with the review...

I really liked Savannah. John was an ok character but I just got the "dumb jock" sterotype stuck in my head and couldn't get past that with him. I don't know they the jock thing stuck, since he was in the Army, but that's what stuck. Even when he was being a sweetheart I didn't see it as being realistic. Savannah was so caring and had such a big heart, but she also knew she had to take care of her heart and wouldn't let herself get hurt. I could see her falling in love with John, but I also could see that it would be short lived. They were two different people and he didn't really suit her.

I would have liked to have had more about John's father, as I think he was the "sweetheart" influence on John. Maybe if he'd been a little bit more developed and a bigger part of the story then I wouldn't have had the negative view of John and his ability to be a anything but cool hearted. Through the whole book I just felt like John's emotions were a bit distant, I know he didn't want to "show" his emotions but everyone has emotions whether they like it or not. So I would have liked to see more of John's dad and John's emotions.

I was also kind of disappointed at the end. There was a big build up and no real resolution. I am going to watch the movie. I've heard it's pretty different from the book and that it's one of the few movies that is better than the book.

I will read more of Sparks' novels because I do like a good love story. Other's of his that I've read were really good. So I think maybe this one was just a fluke!