Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book Reviews

Who Calls Me Beautiful?

By Regina Franklin
{Review by Bethany}

Publisher :: Discovery House Publishers

Number of Pages :: 142
Source :: Library
Publication Date :: 2004
My Rating :: 5 out of 5 stars
Age Recommendation :: For girls 15+

"Physical perfection is an illusion. Yet "'women long to achieve it, no matter how unattainable it is'", says author Regina Franklin. Even Christian women are being seduced by the worldly definition of beauty. But failure to distinguish between reality and illusion is costing women their true identity and even their lives. 

In Who Calls Me Beautiful? Franklin skillfully chips away at the belief that a woman's body is more important than her character. Patiently pointing to Scripture, she convincingly shows that true beauty starts inside and radiates outward. It is this proper biblical understanding of God's design for women that empowers them to move beyond the cultural standards and the worlds "ideal woman." 

Who Calls Me Beautiful? helps you identify the factors that influence your own understanding of beauty and will encourage you to allow the Holy Spirit to transform your mind so that you can live out God's understanding of beauty in your life. When you see yourself as God sees you, as He created you, suddenly you have freedom to be the unique woman you are created to be in Christ. And you can then pass this legacy on to other generations of women. {Taken from the back cover}

Pros :: This was a wonderful book! It is certainly a inspiring book that helps tackle the issues of being truly beautiful. Franklin went into detail with sharing the truth about the worlds lies about true beauty and self worth and portrayed it in light of the Bibles truths. I loved how she made an emphasis on the inner self versus the outer appearance. I was struggling a bit in feeling truly beautiful and self confident in my appearance and this book helped me to see that even though staying fit and healthy is important, we should allow it to control us and we need to instead be more concerned about our character! 

Cons :: I would highly recommend this book! It's definitely a book all girls should read. However due to areas that were talked about when referring to the worlds standards for beauty, I would only recommend that girls ages 15+ read this book. If you are younger I'd recommend getting your parents approval before reading.

Kindle Book
So Much More
By Patrick Butler
{Review by Bethany}

Number of Pages :: 102
Source :: Purchased
Publication Date :: 2011
My Rating :: 5 out of 5 stars
Age Recommendation :: Any age!

There is so much more in life...
How does a nearly-murdered child overcome his bitterness to later bring 

supernatural joy to hundreds of orphans needing true “parental care?”

Why does a well-off pediatrician and his family in Texas turn to Africa children to learn what it really means to know “the Father’s love?”

How were Mark and Monica Barret led by God into a relationship with Emmanuel “Emmy” Nnyanzi and his wife, Sarah “Supermom” in an obscure

part of remote Uganda, unknown to the Barrets?

How did Parental Care Ministries experience explosive growth, unsupported 

and unrecognized by any mission agency, denomination or international NGO? 

How can you follow in the footsteps of the Barrets and the Nnyanzis, guided

by the Holy Spirit into a life that promises So Much More than you may be experiencing in your faith journey with God?

The answers are here in So Much More, the true story of the remarkable, “unlikely” rise of Parental Care Ministries—and the remarkable God who 

made it possible.

This month our family was able to go to a church and hear Pastor Emmy of Uganda speak about the ministry he started in Uganda, Africa with his wife called Parental Care Ministries. Pastor Emmy has a wonderful story. When he was a child his parents divorced and he never had a stable family life. He was constantly moving as to which step-mother cared for him-13 in all. When we has a young teen-ager his step-sister told him one evening to not eat the dinner his step-mother would give him since it would be intentionally poisoned. He wondered if this was true...he knew his step-mother didn't really love him due to all the abuse, but intentionally poisoning him? That evening he pretended to take the food but fed it to the pig and the next morning he went out and found the pig lying dead. 

After this he ran away from home to find a life are hardships. Eventually he married a lady named Sarah and they started to take in poor orphaned or abandoned kids into their one room home. Both he and his wife never knew a childhood filled with parental love much less parental care and they strove to provide love and hope for these kids that they took in. Eventually they had to expand due to the amount of kids the took in, and their ministry grew. They now have  thousands of children within seven schools! This book tells the story of how Parental Care Ministries was started and how it grew. 

I loved this book since it was such an inspiration one. Reading about the harsh conditions these children live in truly shows you how much you have to be thankful for. I really enjoyed it and how highly recommend it! {Note :: Learn more about Parental Care Ministries by visiting their website HERE!}

The Mercy, Rose Trilogy Series #3
The Mercy
{The Rose Trilogy, Book 3}
{Read book 1 and 2 reviews HERE}
By Beverly Lewis
{Review By Bethany}

Publisher :: Bethany House Publishing

Number of Pages :: 306
Source :: Library
Publication Date :: 2011
My Rating :: 5 out of 5 stars

Rose Kauffman pines for prodigal Nick Franco, the Bishop's foster son who left the Amish under a cloud of suspicion after his foster brother's death. His rebellion led to the "silencing" of their beloved Bishop. But is Nick really the rebel he appears to be? Rose's lingering feelings for her wayward friend refuse to fade, but she is frustrated that Nick won't return and make things right with the People.

Nick avowed his love for Rose--but will he ever be willing to sacrifice modern life for her Meanwhile, Rose's older sister, Hen, is living in her parents' Dawdi Haus. Her estranged "English" husband, injured and helpless after a car accident, has reluctantly come to live with her and their young daughter during his recovery. Can their marriage recover, as well? Is there any possible middle ground between a woman reclaiming her old-fashioned Amish lifestyle and a thoroughly modern man? {Description from you can view a book trailer HERE}

Okay, so I've finally been able to read this book so I can share my opinion of it with you all! Thanks to all who have patiently waited on me and our local library :) The other day the book was finally back in and of course I grabbed it and devoured it within several days. :)

Pros :: Okay so I loved this book. I really loved the whole series! This third book is definitely the perfect ending to the series and was so well written and kept my attention! I enjoyed seeing how all the events transpired and loved how the book was the perfect ending however it wasn't something you could already tell how it could finish, it kept you guessing and wanting to read more! 

Cons :: This book is partly a romance and so there are several kisses, however there wasn't much detail in those scenes. But Beverly did a good job portraying how true love should look. Like with Hen's marital situation you see just how important it is to be sure when you marry, it's the right man and that it's for life! 

Echoes of Titanic
Echoes of Titanic
By Mindy Starns Clark
John Campbell Clark
{Review By Bethany}

Publisher :: Harvest House Piblishers

Number of Pages :: 385
Source :: Library
Publication Date :: 2012
My Rating :: 4 out of 5 stars

Kelsey Tate's great-grandmother Adele endured the sinking of the titanic and made it safely to America, where she not only survived but thrived. Several generations later, Kelsey is a rising star at Brennan & Tate, the firm Adele helped to establish 100 years ago.
Now facing a hostile takeover, the firm's origins are challenged when new facts emerge about Adele's actions on Titanic's tragic last night. Kelsey tries to defend the company and the great-grandmother she has long admired, but the stakes are raised when someone close to her is found dead-and the police won't say if it's suicide or murder.
Forced to seek help from Cole Thornton, a man Kelsey once loved-and lost, thanks to her success-at-all-costs mentality- she pursues mysteries both past and present. Aided by Cole and strengthened by the faith she had all but forgotten in her climb up the corporate ladder, Kelsey races the clock to defend her family legacy, her livelihood, and ultimately her life. {Take from the back cover}

To be honest, I had mixed emotions about this book. At the beginning of the book I almost decided to stop it for several reasons, and knowing my friend had said she almost purchased it, but decided against it, I was glad she didn't waste her money! But towards to middle-end of the book I couldn't put it down...I loved it and considered it the most suspensefulintriguing, can't-put-this-down kind of book that has THE BEST ending. Ever. End of story. Since there death in the book I wouldn't recommend this book to those not used to reading about deaths in detailed ways. I still can't decide what age I'd recommend it for, probably at least 13+, but this all depends on whether you are used to reading about after-death scenes and what you parent's think about it as well. However in the end I loved the book. It had cons just like every other book, but in the end I considered it probably the best ending of any book I'd ever read. And it was definitely a thriller!

Pros :: This was for sure an I-can't-put-you-down kinda book. A "Oh. My. What's going to happen next?" book. I can confidently say it's the most suspenseful book I've ever read and very entertaining! This book had the best ending, but it's hard to explain how wonderful it was until you read it for yourself. Despite the lack of historical content, I thought the book was wonderful, and if it weren't for all the negative cons below I'd rate it 6 out of 5 stars! For any of you who love books that aren't boring, ones that are extremely suspenseful, make your heart beat fast, ones that are mysteriously exciting, etc. then you'll want to look into this book! I truly can't get over how suspenseful, interesting and amazing it was! At first the book is a bit slow compared to the rest of the book, so I definitely liked the last part better than the first.

Cons :: Sadly, there are a few cons with this book, most of them contribute largely to the older age reading recommendation. For one, there was feminism since the main character, Kelsey is a work-aholic and being that she is single living in New York she had some feministic moments. It didn't get too out of hand, but it was obvious. Another thing is that it VERY disappointing at the lack of Titanic content of the book. I mean out of 54 chapters, only 1/3 or so had anything to do with the Titanic! So the main focus of the story is really on Kelsey, a present day business woman, and only a bit is about her great-grandma's story of surviving the Titanic. At first this was a real downer for me. I really didn't think the title did it justice, I felt like it made you think it would be all about the Titanic and teach you all these neat facts about the night it sank but in the end it deceived you since there was little to no Titanic involvement. However towards the end of the book things start to look a little brighter and there is a bit more Titanic activity. Lastly, and the highest of my list of the book's "downers" is that there is a death. In the book they, for a while, didn't know if it was a suicide or murder, so I won't say which or it will completely ruin the story since, believe it or not, the death had a lot of involvement in the book and is what makes the story-line. But I will say it does go somewhat into detail. I know this is probably sounding really bad to hear all these things, but I really, really liked the book in the end and trust me, it make's much more sense when you read it in context. Oh, and another thing was it was a book that has lots to do with lots of family connections. I never do real well at remembering who is who's great-cousin, or what this uncle did, or what name goes with what scene, or wait was it this other guy over here who is somehow related that did such and such a few chapters ago? See what I mean. However, in the end this is what makes the book so good. It's what gives it the awesome ending. Sometimes for wonderfuly intertwined endings that work out wonderful all-around, you have to get detailed with the story and characters to make it doubly good of a finish. You have to have the complicated before you get the wonderfully planned out ending. 

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