Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Breakdown

The BreakdownIf you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.
But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.
Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

Oh my word...I don't even know what to say about this book!  I loved "Behind Closed Doors" and it was an incredible read, but I think I enjoyed this even more!  While there were times I suspected certain people, it still threw me for a loop and kept me on the edge of my seat.  As a busy mom, I very rarely sit down and read for a lot of time solidly, but I read this book in 2 sittings.  There were a couple things that felt a little far fetched, but I honestly didn't care.  I will automatically read anything this author publishes.  Since finishing this book, I've tried to pick up other things and I can't find anything I am interested in.  That's the sign of an incredible read!

       * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Monday, May 8, 2017

Are You Sleeping

Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father's murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay.

The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name.

When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past.

 I could definitely understand why this novel would be compared to Serial and I think that was a fair assessment.  It really gave me insight on how the people who are a part of these in real life must feel to have it dredged up again and on display for everyone to see.  The characters in the book were engaging, some likeable, others not.  It kept me engaged and wanting to read more.  There was something missing for me to take this to a full 5 stars, but I think for a book compared to a cultural phenomenon it could have been way worse.  Well done on a solid book!

       * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Glory in the Ordinary


For stay-at-home moms, it's easy to view other people's work as more valuable to God, dismissing the significance of seemingly mind-numbing, everyday tasks. In this life-giving book, Courtney Reissig encourages moms with the truth about God's perspective on their work: what the world sees as mundane, he sees as magnificent. Discussing the changing nature of stay-at-home work and the ultimate meaning of our identity as image bearers, Reissig combats common misunderstandings about the significance of at-home work—helping us see how Christ infuses purpose into every facet of the ordinary.

I enjoyed the premise of this book because as a stay-at-home mom I often struggle to find purpose in the mundane tasks of everyday.  The author gave great examples and tied them in nicely.  She did make me see that what I do everyday truly matters.  My only criticism would be that the book seemed in the description to be marketed to stay-at-home moms, but often times the author would talk about work-at-home moms and working moms.  While I have no problem with that, it can often time be hard to discuss a topic that includes all three groups.  If the author intended it to be for stay-at-home moms, I would have just stuck to that group in the book.  If she meant for it to include all moms, I would have marketed as such instead of referencing stay-at-home moms.  Just a little thing I noticed, but can really vary the audience that will pick the book up if they feel like it isn't for them.

          * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Tightropes and Teeter-Totters

Tightropes and Teeter-Totters: Finding Balance in the Ups and Downs of Life 

Lisa Pennington knows how to get up after losing her balance, even with a full house, a not-so-full bank account, and never enough energy. In her latest book, she offers readers:Strategies for finding balance in marriage, motherhood, and bad moods. Playful yet biblically based tips for turning hard days around. Inspiration for shaping obstacles into opportunities. Ways to respond to irritations with gratitude. Enthusiastic encouragement for living out God’s purpose.For every woman who wonders if her satisfaction in life will ever match her dreams, Pennington has real-life answers full of hope and humor.

This was a wonderful book that teaches how to keep your balance in life.  It used the word BALANCE to list the steps.  I really enjoyed the setup and the examples she gave.  I would definitely reference this book in the future if I needed a reminder of finding balance.  I can see myself pulling it out at different times when facing difficulties.  I would be interested in reading more by Lisa Pennington soon!

          * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Becoming a Woman Who Knows God by Name

Becoming a Woman Who Knows God by Name: Protected, Encouraged, and Strengthened by His PromisesThese names of God give you important insight into His steadfast character. Seek the Lord on a deeper level by getting to know Him as He reveals Himself in the Bible...Elohim—Creator of your life and purpose Jehovah Jireh—Provider of your endless supply Jehovah Rophe—Healer in your brokenness Jehovah Shalom—Peace in your fear and uncertainty.  Knowing God by name makes Him more approachable and His Word more applicable. Learning who He is and how deeply He loves you gives you confidence to walk by His side day by day.

Strengthen your trust in God for every circumstance, hope, and step of faith in this study of some of the most beloved aspects of His nature. Let His heart assure your heart as you become a woman who knows the God of the universe by name.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book for my devotional time.  It was thought provoking and kept me engaged.  My only criticism would be at times it felt more like a textbook and lost my interest at times.  Jen Wilkin wrote a book called "None Like Him" that talked about the qualities of God and it felt similar, but Jen's title was more engaging.  Not that I need something to be surface level, but I don't think a person new to the Word of God would understand some of the text.  This book is well researched and I appreciated the knowledge I came away with.  

            * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

I Liked My Life

I Liked My LifeMaddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch...until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.

Maddy, however, isn’t ready to leave her family forever. Watching from beyond, she tries to find the perfect replacement for herself. Along comes Rory: pretty, caring, and spontaneous, with just the right bit of edge...but who also harbors a tragedy of her own. Will the mystery of Maddy ever come to rest? And can her family make peace with their history and begin to heal?
This book was just okay for me.  I liked the premise and enjoyed the journey, but I thought it took a little longer than I would have liked for it to get to the conclusion.  While I wouldn't describe this as a "ghost story" I tend to not like books that have elements of someone beyond the grave because it just feels unrealistic to me.  I think the story could have been told without that aspect which is why my rating is 3 stars, instead of 4.  I would read this author again depending on the description of the book.   

  * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma's Heart

Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma's HeartGod’s love, plans, and promises for you are forever unfolding. I get it, Momma. I totally get it.  Every day you wake up and try your very best. You love, give, and pour out your life for the ones who call you Momma. But no matter how much you offer, there are still days you feel as though you come up short. You worry, Am I loving these babies enough? Is this ever going to get easier? Why does it seem like I am the only one who cannot balance it all? Sometimes, we just need hope (and maybe a long uninterrupted nap). We need someone to help tune our hearts to the voice of the Father and to remind us that He has not forgotten about us. In Hope Unfolding, Becky Thompson is a friend who reminds you that you aren’t alone, and that God is still writing your story. She guides you to encounter the Truth of God’s presence that not only fuels you with strength, but also a fresh confidence. And beyond gaining faith that tomorrow could be different, you find hope and purpose where you are standing today.

This book has been on my shelf for a while and I've just kept skipping over it.  Oh, how I regret that!  I could have benefited from reading awhile ago, but so glad I finally picked it up.  The other just had an honest way of relating to each chapter and I just felt myself in each area.  I loved the stories mixed with God's word.  It was very easy to understand, yet challenged me on many levels.  I believe this author has another book available and I hope to get my hands on it soon.  As a side note, the cover of this book is beautiful!

  * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *