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.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Review: Between Us Baxters by Bethany Hegedus

Thank you to Melyssa M. over at Book Divas for letting me read another great one!

My Review:

This story is not only about the friendship of a young white girl and young black girl growing up in the south in 1959, but it's about family (not just by blood) and deals with the injustice that is racism. As Penny realizes that the friendship with her best friend Timbre Ann may be ending she also has to deal with the issues of her family, which her parents had tried to always hide from her in the past. She also has to come to some harsh social realizations.

This book was so touching. I felt everything Penny was going through. While I'm not naive enough to believe that racism doesn't exist anymore, I'm glad our country has made the progress that it has. I can't even begin to imagine what living in the south as an African American must have been like when this book took place. I think that Bethany Hegedus did a great job with this story, keeping it accurate from a 12-year-old's point of view. This story is touching, heartfelt, compassionate and emotional.

To find out more about Between Us Baxters, or to pick up a copy for yourself please visit WestSide Books.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Father's Day Blog Tour Review 3: The Disappearance of God by R. Albert Mohler Jr.

This is the last of the Father's Day Blog Tour Reviews. Check out the first two reviews:
Eyes Wide Open by Jud Wilhite
Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart by Chuck Black

And once again thank you to Liz at Random House for letting me participate in this blog tour.

My Review

This book just rubbed me the wrong way, and I am a little disappointed as I thought it looked interesting when I read the synopsis.

The author has some valid points, and while I do not agree with many of them I do understand that these are his beliefs and his ideals. To me that is what makes America great, the fact that we all have different beliefs and ideals. However what I didn't like was that this author seems to have no "margin of error" so to speak. I got the feeling that you're either with him, or you're part of the problem.

His writing seems to be more of a rant than of him presenting his arguments. He bashes people, on multiple occasions, bashes what the country is becoming, bashes other churches: like I said, ranting. At one point he seems to be saying that the problem with America and new church movements is their open-mindedness. It is his belief that this new way of thinking is the downfall of the Christian church.

The chapters were fairly short, and it didn't take me long to read it. I didn't care for the writing style, and found myself rereading lines because they seemed to make little or no sense to me.

While I didn't agree with the author on most subjects, that is not why I didn't like the book. To me the writing seemed harsh, as if I was being degraded through the whole thing. I think there are those out there that will love this book, I just am not one of them. But the great thing about America is that we can each have our own opinions :-)

For more information on The Disappearance of God or to purchase a copy please visit Random House's website.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Father's Day Blog Tour Review 2: Eyes Wide Open by Jud Wilhite

This blog tour includes three books. I'm doing each book on a different day. Tomorrow I will post the last review :-)

Again, I need to thank Liz at Random House for letting me participate.

My Review

While this was a religious self-help type book I didn't feel as if the author was being preachy or pushy. Jud Wilhite writes about how he has struggled with God, how others struggled with God and what he has learned about turning your life over to God. The different stories are what Wilhite uses to help the reader relate to these struggles. While I didn't connect with every person he talked about there were parts of some of these stories that really resonated with me.

What I really liked about this book was that it uses humor (something that I've found to be somewhat lacking in religious non-fiction) along with the message of understanding what God wants from you.

Something else good about this one was that the chapters were really short. When I start reading I like to finish at the end of a chapter, I hate having to set a book down in the middle of the chapter only to forget where I was on the page when I pick it back up. The short chapters allowed me to read in short burst, when I didn't have time to really get into it. The longest chapter was only 11 pages. And the writing style allowed for me to read rather quickly. So in five minuets I could finish a chapter.

Even if your not religious, or don't normally read non-fiction, I think you would like this. Like I said earlier, I didn't sense that the author was being pushy, it was decently humorous, and it was a quick read.

To get more information on Eyes Wide Open or to buy a copy please visit the Random House website

Winners: The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos

Thank you for everyone that entered this giveaway! There were 56 total entries from 40 different entrants!

The 5 Winners Are:
1) Missy
2) Gaby317 Little Eagle
3) texasheartland
4) Sandra K321
5) Marie

I was informed that Gaby has already won a copy of this book, so in her place I've chosen Little Eagle!

I sent out emails The winners have until 11:59pm EST Friday June 19th to respond or I will draw a new winner.

I used Random.org's Random Sequence Generator to draw the winners.

Again thank you for entering and congratulations to the winners!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Father's Day Blog Tour Review 1: Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart by Chuck Black

This blog tour includes three books. I'm going to post each review separately and on a different day. It seems when I make multiple posts in the same day they seem to get lost in the Bloggosphere...

Let me thank Liz at Random House for letting me participate in this blog tour.

My Review:

I'm not really into tales of knights and such, but I ended up liking this one anyway :-)

The story is about Sir Dalton who is a Knight of the Prince. The story deals with the basic struggles of good and evil. The Knights of the Prince fight in honor of the King and his son the Prince. Lord Drox is a fallen knight, who now fights against the Knights of the Prince and tries to gain allegiance from Knights of the Prince who falter in their loyalty.

The story is fast paced, and it is also a quick read. The writing is decent, and the inner turmoil that faces Sir Dalton is easy to relate with. At the beginning I feared that the message of the story may get lost, but it doesn't it's there in everything Sir Dalton goes through. I would say that the story does a good job of keeping the reader attached to what is going on and even though I'm not a fan of Knights I was inclined to keep reading.

Overall it was decent. I wasn't enthralled by it, but it kept me interested and I felt connected to Sir Dalton. Good YA read, and teaches a valuable lesson.

To get more information on Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart or to buy a copy please visit the Random House website.