Monday, April 3, 2017

This Too Shall Pass

A Review of:

This Too Shall Pass
Milena Busquets

By: Renea Reviews

This book is about a forty-year old woman named Blanca and the grief she goes through after losing her mother. The storyline has a very honest and blunt approach to how people really deal with grief. However, this doesn’t mean I enjoyed the book.

I truly wanted to enjoy my break from non-fiction reading, but unfortunately for me it wasn’t meant to be. For starters, the book itself is a difficult read: the paragraphs are long and speech follows a dash instead of the less-confusing quotation marks I’m used to. It’s very difficult to tell who is speaking and when they’re speaking. A few lines from the book for example (quotations due to the fact I’m quoting, the book doesn’t actually contain them):

“- My mother loved to play poker, I say
- Why don’t you ask her to join us?”

It’s not extremely hard to get used to, but I do prefer the quotation marks to tell me when someone’s speaking as opposed to the dashes.

I didn’t particularly like the plotline either. The entire book seems to focus on sex and using sex to escape your current situation. I have a love-hate relationship with that idea. While it’s true that sex is used to escape stress, hurt, and the daily life, I don’t like that this book has normalized sex as an “escape”. At the base of my dislike is the simple fact that I was expecting to read something about overcoming grief, while the main topic of this story seemed to be sex.

This book isn’t all bad and maybe if you read it your view may be a more positive than mine. The author is obviously skilled in writing. I particularly enjoyed her descriptions of Blanca’s innermost feelings. The scenery descriptions were well-written as well.

I’m giving this book 2 stars, but keep in mind that you’re opinions are different than mine. Read the whole review to decide if you may enjoy this book even if I didn’t. Lastly, I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for this honest review.

Friday, March 17, 2017

60 Days of Happiness

60 Days of Happiness: Discover God’s Promise of Relentless Joy
By Randy Alcorn

60 Days of Happiness is a devotional that I believe is best fitted for personal use. While you could use this for group study, there is no study questions and the devotionals are straight-forward instruction with the occasional addition of a personal story from the author. However, it is definitely worth adding to your bookshelf for your personal reading.

Each chapter is about 3-5 pages long and contains a verse, quote, devotional, and prayer. Each chapter is entitled with a different question about happiness, which i found to be quite interesting. The devotional themselves are packed with good information and reference listed so you know you’re getting truthful information. Also, I wanted to note that I liked the addition of a quote to each chapter. Verses are a typical addition, but the quote as well was good choice.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for this honest review.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Vision Map

Vision Map by Joel Malm

This book is a step-by-step guide to creating a map to help you achieve your goals, also known as creating a vision map. Malm really does a great job describing how to make that map. He also keeps it pretty interesting throughout the whole book even including red scribbles (underlines, circles, arrows) as if he has personally written in your book.

The introduction states “There  are no overnight success stories” and I think that’s great to include right there in the beginning of the book. This book is a guide to making your plan, not a guide to fix all your problems before your morning cup of coffee tomorrow.

So for people like me, self-help books are usually too boring a read. This one is not so. Each chapter starts with a piece of Malm’s journey to success and his story truly is both interesting and inspiring. It follows with the portion explaining the part of the step that the chapter covers. Lastly, it ends with a verse or quote of inspiration.

This is a wonderful faith-based self-help book to create your vision map. It even includes a few samples in the back!

I received this book for free from MP Newsroom in exchange for this honest review.

Kingdom Family Devotional - 52 Weeks of Growing Together


Kingdom Family Devotional
By Tony Evans and Jonathan Evans

This devotional is family-based, meaning it should be read with the whole family. Personally, I think dinner seems to be a great time to pull out this book. The devotional is focused around a weekly topic, where each week contains five daily devotionals.

Each day contains a verse having to do with the topic and then a mix of devotional, questions, and the occasional activity relating to the verse. While there is always a devotional of a paragraph to a whole page there is not always questions or an activity to do.

I was very excited to receive this book because I am a fan of Tony Evans. While not my favorite devotional, it definitely lived up to my standards of a good read.  While this book had a lot of things I like I didn’t like how it occasional mixed in questions and activities. I like my devotionals to have a daily portion of everything they include such as a daily verse, daily question, and daily activity. I don’t like mixing it up to much.

Overall this is a pretty good family read. The verses relate well to topic and the devotional to the verses.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for this honest review.

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart

Hi guys! I’m back from a much needed book-reviewing break. I had some very serious family/personal issues to attend to. No worries though, I’m back and ready to review books! Let’s start with a good one from Liz Curtis Higgs entitled 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart.

When you first open the book you get the nice table of contents which basically gives you what to expect in the rest of the book. At this point, it’s important to realize that there is a study guide in the back of the book. This is a tool that should be used while reading the book.

Then, a lovely introduction that details how Higgs came to fall in love with the Word of the Lord and why it’s so important to write verses on our hearts (memorize them).

Finally, the first chapter where we get to dive in! Each chapter features a verse at the beginning. The body of chapter is a breakdown of that verse which means that they take the verse apart and then explain that small portion of the verse in one or more paragraphs. The chapter ends with a tip for memorizing, the verse written again, and a place to write the verse in your favorite translation.

The back of the book holds my favorite part. There, it lists the reference to each of the 31 verses and how you can apply them to your life. Each explanation on application is a short 2-3 sentences. I personally think it serves as both a nice refresher of the verses and it’s great as a take-away.

Also in the back you’ll find the study guide filled with questions for each chapter and notes that include further reading for each chapter in the form of verses and other books.

As you can see, this smallish book is a huge tool. If you’re looking for a quick devotional you can do the day-by-day devotional. If you really want to study the word of God add in the study guide questions and look up the resources found in the notes. Definitely a five out of five star devotional!

I relieved this book for free from blogging for books reviewing program in exchange for this honest review.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Doodletopia Fairies- Book Review

I received this book free from blogging for books in exchange for this review.

I originally thought that this was a coloring book or possibly a "finish the doodle" book, but it's honestly a book of step by step instructions to draw your own fairies. It may be my own lack of skill, but I found the "doodles" to be time-consuming and somewhat difficult. However, I think its a great tool to improve on your drawing skills.

Book Review: When Others Shuddered by Jamie Janosz

This book tells the stories of eight women with great faith who did great things. The best part? They acknowledge God as the reason for their success.

I was surprised by the fact that I hadn't heard of many of these women before reading this book. In fact, all but one was an unfamiliar name. Each woman and her story differed from the other. They all had very different lives and trials to overcome. However, they all shared the same faith. It's the kind of faith that tells us that God has a plan and we have no need to worry when he is in control.

It's very refreshing to read about women with great faith throughout history. I feel like women can often be overlooked when thinking about people in history with great faith. It's also encouraging to see that other women have achieved such levels of faith and it's possible for all of us as well.

I received this book for free from Moody Publishers in exchange for this honest review.