Monday, December 26, 2011

The CHAOS Trilogy: Alienation

"Earth's Last Line of Defense Against the Coming Alien Invasion is 16-Year-Old Surfer Colt McAlister.
But Before He Can Save the World,
He Has to Survive the Day."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Colt is getting ready to attend CHAOS but, soon, things start to come up that disrupt more of his life; a virus is spreading, an assassin is trying to kill him, and a family secret has just been discovered. As he attends CHAOS, Colt has to discover who he can trust and survive the assassination attempts. The risk of his family secret being discovered is on the rise, which could be deadly.

Author - Jon S. Lewis

Publisher - Thomas Nelson

Age Group - 13 or 14 and up

Content - Colt believes in God but his faith is not mentioned very much. His grandfather supports and protects him. Colt's friends stand by him and vise versa. Danielle is a computer hacker. Some criminals got accused of a crime they didn't commit and it sounds like the good guys planted the evidence.

Personal Opinion - This book was really good. The story moved nicely and the action and adventure was enticing. I was brought into the story quite well and was interested the whole time (I even understood what was going on without reading the first book [it might have helped that I read a bunch of reviews] but I still don't recommend doing that). I liked the short comic book to catch the reader up on what was happening before going into the first chapter. The story could have gone deeper in spots and expanded more on both of the two main plots of the story. In fact, I think this book would have been great if it had been split into two and the main plots separated. Other than that, it was a good book and I'm looking forward to the next one.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Booksneeze.com.

Links - Learn more about the series and the author here.

Special Notes - Read Bookworm's review of book 1, Invasion, which came out last year, 2010.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sages of Darkness: HowlSage

"I Saw Things, Things of Pure Evil."
Bookworm's Ranking - 3 Worms

Storyline - Taylor defends the world from demons, like his father before him. It is a dangerous job, to be sure, even for someone who isn't 14 years old. But things get hairy when a HowlSage (kinda like a werewolf) lives past its first day. Taylor and his friend, Ike, and McGarret, his mentor, is having trouble finding out why that is, what is going on with their technology, and what happens if a HowlSage reaches maturity, which hasn't happened in so long it makes it hard to find out. Soon Taylor has to find a way to destroy the demon and find God in the process, or potentially have something worse happen that facing a mature HowlSage.

Author - Brock Eastman

Publisher - Destiny Image

Age Group - 13 and up

Content - Taylor is frustrated with God but learns how to trust and rely on Him again. The demons prepare for a ritual to call forth another demon (I found this a little creepy).

Personal Opinion - This was an interesting read but I think there was too much telling. I felt apart from the book through most of the beginning but it got better in certain parts towards the end. I thought the mixing of old legends, like using garlic or salt against a vampire and others legendary creatures, with the demon aspect was creative. Also, I found the new names for the demons creatures (HowlSage for werewolf) was very cool. I thought the book had good potential in story and characters but the straight-out telling that the story did to inform me, which was most of the beginning, kept me from really entering the story. I think it could have been better but I do want to see where the series goes so I will be reading the rest of the books.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from Destiny Image.

Links - Learn more about this book and the author at: http://www.brockeastman.com/main/

Special Notes - Book 2, BlizzardSage, comes out next year. I don't know exact date.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Things a Brother Knows

"Boaz is Back."
Bookworm's Ranking - 2 Worms

Storyline - When Levi's brother, Boaz, returns from his time with the Marines, he hopes everything will be fine again. But his brother locking himself in his room isn't what he expected or the strange sounds coming from the other side of the door. When Bo starts borrowing Levi's computer, he wonders what his older brother is up to. Then Boaz leaves again and Levi decides to follow even though he has no idea where they are going or why.

Author - Dana Reinhardt

Publisher - Wendy Lamb Books (part of Random House, Inc)

Age Group - 17 and up

Content - Levi doesn't know where he stands but he eventually makes a decision and does something about it. He tries to be there for his brother but it is very difficult. For more than the first half of the book, each chapter had some sort of inappropriate stuff (boy/girl thing) or just plain mention of privet parts at least once but usually more (not all of them were mentioned in that way but it wasn't necessary). Levi almost spent the night with a girl but she says doesn't want to (but why she let her shirt come off first is beyond me). Levi also get drunk once and one of his friends goes to a Catholic school but is one of the worst behaving characters.

 Personal Opinion - Would have liked it more had it not taken so long to get to the main story (over half the book) and excessively toned back the inappropriate (hinting at teens having been together and stuff like that) junk and privet part mentioning. It was so much, something was brought up after going a few pages. I don't get what all that had to do with the story other than trying to make it realistic to teens but it didn't have to be that much or was necessary to the story or anything else for that matter. I found it just disturbing. When Levi was finally on the trip with his brother, it really toned back allot and I started to enjoy it. I even liked Levi's beginning romance until we got to the part where they almost slept together (was tempted to stop reading the book all together after that). But, the ending was really good and so beautiful. I would have loved the book for the ending and the growth of Levi in understanding his brother but I will never recommend this book for everything else that it contained.

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Links - Learn more about the book and author at: http://www.danareinhardt.net/things.html

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Bookworm's Ranking - 3.5 Worms

Storyline - Harry always thought he was just a regular kid with an aunt and uncle and cousin who didn't like him. But, when a letter arives to Hogwarts, the truth comes out that he is really a wizard. As he makes friends for the first time, he has to deal with teachers who don't like him and getting use to the magic. When mysterious things start happening and the potential of his parents' murderer of coming back, Harry Potter will have do what he can to stop him.

Author - J. K. Rowling

Publisher - Scholastic

Age Group - 13 and up

Content - Harry and his friends stood up for each other and others how needed help but broke rules several times with no consequence (okay, there some consequences). Dumbldore, the wizard in charge of the school, had lots of good advice for Harry. Some adults where portarayed pretty dumb and Harry often wanted revenge on his cousin and other relatives.

Personal Opinion - I never read Harry Potter when I was young so this was my first exposer to the books (I've seen a few of the movies) and I thought it wasn't bad. Yes, Harry wants revenge and disobeys the rules a bunch but I have read worse. Yes, there is also magic but it isn't that bad either. The author told you much the info, which I find irritating usually, but I was pulled into the story well. I have this book at 3 Worms because I'm not sure I can make a complete decision on the book unless I read the others.

Awards - New York Times Best Seller,

Links - Learn more about the books and author at: http://www.jkrowling.com/

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blood of Kings: From Darkness Won

"Darkness Trembles"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms

Storyline - Achan and his army are finally marching to take back the kingdom. But, it is a bit of a distraction when Sparrow gets stormed and doesn't remember who she is. With battles and learning family secrets, Achan has his hands full without having to worry how he is going to turn back Darkness or how he and Sparrow could end up together. But in Caan's hands, anything is possible.

Author - Jill Williamson

Publisher - Marcher Lord Press

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - Achan learns some touchy family secrets and is tempted by a louse woman. Sparrow faces what she is afraid of and does what she can to help those injured or in danger. The way Darkness is faced is original and makes great sense.

Personal Opinion - It was good but I had trouble getting into the story for a while and have no idea why (would like to say it was because my mom read it first so I had to wait for the copy but that might not be what it is. Or is it?). The message within was wonderful but I am having trouble putting it into words at the moment. How the characters grew and fought for what the believed in was an example many of us needs to remember. I thought Achan would learn more about Caan than what was presented in the book and I had hoped for more on Gren but I still enjoyed the journey. A fantastic series. The worst part is it is now over. Pig snout.

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Links - Learn more about the series and author at: http://jillwilliamson.wordpress.com/the-blood-of-kings/

Special Notes - Book 1 Review: http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/2011/05/blood-of-kings.html
                         Book 2 Review:  http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/2011/10/blood-of-kings-to-darkness-fled.html

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Merchant's Daughter

"An Unthinkable Danger. An Unexpected Choice."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Annabel's family has shirked their duty for three years and now have to pay the price. When it is required that one member of her family has to work as a servant for the new lord, Ranulf le Wyse, for three years, she volunteers not just to make up for her families laziness but also to escape the bailiff's proposal. Ranulf is hoping to start again and escape his dead wife's betrayal. Never thinking he could ever love again, he is surprised when a servant girl begins to find her way into his guarded heart. Annabel also is surprised by feelings she thought she would never have for a man after being repulsed by the bailiff's advances. But when disaster strikes, will they be able to over come the obstacles and say "I love you"?

Author - Melanie Dickerson

Publisher - Zondervan

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - Annabel always wanted to read the Bible and learns how much God loves his children. Haunted by his scares and the betrayal of his first wife, Ranulf comes to find God's peace. The bailiff makes unwanted advances towards Annabel and tries to attack her but the descriptions are never graphic.

Personal Opinion - This was a good story but, for some reason, I didn't connect with the story and characters that much. You could see how the Beauty and the Beast is portrayed in the book and characters. Very well done. Annabel and Ranulf grew within God and learned how they could move past their hurt, being able to be happy and trust again.  I do wish the only priest in the book hadn't been someone that the characters didn't look up to but they did mention that there were other kinds who weren't so negative about women. Definitely would recommend and will read the next book by this author, which, unfortunately, will be next year.
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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from Zondervan through the Z Street Team.

Links - Learn more about the book and author at: http://melaniedickerson.com/

Special Notes - Read the review of the previous book by this author, The Healer's Apprentice, go here: http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/2011/01/healers-apprentice.html

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hiding the Stranger Trilogy



Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms

Storyline - Books 1-3 - When a young farm girl and her older siblings discover a boy who can't remember anything, not even his own name, they take him on to care for him and discover who he is. But things get strange when strange men come around looking for him. Fortunately, the boy has a few tricks up his sleeve too. To keep him safe, he goes to their cousin's home, where he starts to remember things, including his name Ben, but also is discovered again, making him flee. When he finally remembers, it will take all his ingenuity to get away from the kidnappers. But he can't do it alone.

Author - Joan L. Kelly

Publisher - Bezalel Books

Age Group - 13 or 14 and up

Content - The characters believe and talk about God on occasion. They make it clear that they trust and rely on Him. The boy, Ben, gives of himself without asking anything back and is willing to put himself in danger for others. Ben and a girl share a quick kiss.

Personal Opinion - I found myself pulled into this story right away and thought the descriptions and character development wonderful. A couple of technical things I would have liked to change but they weren't that bad. Also, I thought the characters and situations could have been built upon to lengthen and deepen the story and adventure. But you could make the argument that it is a good quality quick read, which would be good for some people. This is a great book and I don't know many Catholic books that are around so highly recommended.

Awards - Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval (not sure this would technically fall under award but oh well)

Links - Learn more about the story and author at: http://jlkellyshamrockstories.com/Home_Page.html

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Closed for the Season

"The Weather-Beaten Sign on the Gate of the Magic Forest Says Closed for the Season"
Bookworm's Ranking - 3 Worms
Storyline - When Logan moves to a new town, he learns that the previous owner of the house his family has moved into was murdered there. The case was never solved. As he and his new friend look into the mystery, they come across a message which leads them into another mystery, one where money disappeared from the old theme park, The Magic Forest, which closed years before. It was believed the murdered woman stole the money but the boys don't think so. As they follow the clues, they wrestle with lies and scary individuals to finally find the truth.

Author - Mary Downing Hahn

Publisher - Sandpiper, Houghton Mifflin Publishing

Age Group - 12 and up

Content - No swearing but several times a character mentions that someone else does. One of the main things the book teaches is that you can't judge a book by the cover because the characters do not follow stereotypes. Logan disobeys his parents and then doesn't get punished for it too much (well the first time he does, it seems like the mom goes over board and the second mentions him getting lectured but it doesn't seem to do much of anything. The mom is actually portrayed as an un-understanding, controlling woman). The boys also steal something.

Personal Opinion - The book had a good story but it seemed disjointed sometimes and didn't flow very nice. The kids disobeyed a lot and, when the mom freaked out about it, you ended up not really liking her. Yet, they were being naughty but everyone else made it seem like not that big of a deal. But the mystery that the author came up with was good and so was the set up for it. I was thankful there wasn't any ghosts in it which I feared when I realized the author also writes ghost stories (not really a ghost story person). Nice book but won't recommend it too much.

Video - (Not exactly a trailer but cool none the less)

Awards - Edger Award for Best Juvenile Mystery

Links - Lean more about the book and author at:

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blood of Kings: To Darkness Fled

"Enter Darkness..."
Bookworm's Ranking - 5 Worms

Storyline - Achan and Vrell have entered Darkness and are still running for their lives. But as a price is put on their heads, Achan needs to learn decorum and how to be king but is distracted by a suspicion that Vrell is hiding something. Vrell is doing all she can to help Achan and keep her identity a secret but it is getting more dangerous each day. Proposals, battles, growth in Arman, and trials face them as they try to restore Er'Rets.

Author - Jill Williamson

Publisher - Marcher Lord Press

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - Lots of proposals, both by Achan and the women. Disgusting men think inappropriately about  women. Achan learns much of Arman and giving his life to Him and trusting Him which was lovely. Vrell is always watching Achan's back and has to work throw her own deceit.

Personal Opinion - Enjoyed every page of it and then had to order book 3 not long after finishing this book (okay, it was the next day). Great how Achan comes to learn of Armon, decorum (which can be a funny process to behold), and how he wants to be when he is king. He is also kind to others such as strays and wants no one to suffer on account of him. Romance also begins to spark which is wonderful and well put together. The characters really grow and come to life.  Loved it and can't wait to see how it will all be wrapped up (that will also be sad because then it will be over). Well, can't have everything.

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Awards - 2011 Christy Award in the Visionary category.

Links - Learn more about the series and author at: http://jillwilliamson.wordpress.com/the-blood-of-kings/

Other books: Book 1 review - http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/2011/05/blood-of-kings.html
                     Book 3 review - Coming Soon

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Conspiracy 365: January-April



















Bookworms Rating - 4 Worms

Storyline - Book 1-4 - January, February, March, April - It all starts on New Years Eve when an old man Cal has never met, or seen, before tells him that his father was murdered and someone was going to be coming after him for the next year. After that, one thing after another almost kills Cal until he is eventually driven from his home and family. As Cal tries to piece together the mystery his father told about before his illness and death, he must also survive the coming attacks. What ever and where ever they come. As the months continue, he has to stay hidden and secretive to stay alive. Will he make it and find the secret his father found?

Author - Gabrielle Lord

Age Group - 12 and up

Content - Cal supports and cares for his mother and doesn't want to add any burdens to her but hides important information and events from his mother (he learns this as well but a little too late). .  He loves his sister, talks to her, and is good to her. Even though he doesn't like his uncle, he tries to help him once. In book 2, he tries to save someone who is after him from death and starts to see his uncle in a new light. But, Cal does some irresponsible things several times throughout the series. He once meets someone in a park alone at night (but quickly learns that was a mistake). He also calls his uncle a liar and a jerk. He describes an angel as "stinking" (but, from the situation he's in at that moment, I can kinda understand why he used that description) and his father didn't really follow any one religion but said "life was his religion". In book 2, he follows a girl into a house as she steals something (she says it is hers but still), Boges forges his mum's signature, and several times Cal steals. Not just food but others things (I wont go over them because it will spoil it) and once attacks a policeman. There is also some language


Personal Opinion - I found this book entertaining, fast moving, and engaging. Even though this book was under 200 pages, it did a wonderful job of describing the characters, emotions, events, past events, what something looked like, ect. The endings are very fun, being in a way I enjoy (cliffhanger). But, at least in the first book, it was a little choppy when, in the middle of a chapter, it updated the time it was during that day which interrupted the story too much. An interesting gimmick but took a book to get use to. I wish the character didn't steal so much and used less bad language (but I would prefer no fowel language. Besides, compared to some books I have read, this one has very little) but the character can still grow and come to find new things. Even though his father didn't follow any one religion, there wasn't any religious bashing which was also nice. An exciting series so far but I think I need to wait to see how it ends before recommending it.

Links - Learn more about the books and author here.

Conspiracy 365: May-August, Review
Conspiracy 365: Spetember-December, Review - Coming Soon

Special Notes - Each month during the year 2010, a new book in the series came out to correspond with that month. There are 12 books total.

Originally posted on 4/03/2011 on book one. Re-posted on 4/10/2011 with book 2. Updated on 10/16/2011 for books 3 and 4.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

 Bookworm's Ranking - 2 Worms

Storyline - After getting in trouble at his school on the Spokane Reservation, Junior decided that he wants to go to school in Reardan, a white school in the town 22 miles away, to try to make a better life for himself. During his freshman year, he deals with racism, crushes, the hate of his tribe, and loses as he tries to find his way and a place to belong and acceptance.

Author - Sherman Alexie

Publisher - Little, Brown and Company

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - Had some good lessons about fighting for yourself, getting out of bad situations, and forgiveness. He also came to see what revenge really was and showed that you have to work hard to make a better life for yourself but it is what is best in the end. There was also examples about what racisim looked like and how cruel and wrong it can be. But the book also had lots of sexual coments, an insolting comment about Christianity and other Christian religion negatives, and bad language. He blamed God for bad things that were happening, made fun of God, and the only time he thanked God was for something gross. I'm not asking for the character to become Christian but some respect would have been nice. Said he could kill himself and some others but was very depressed at the time from some precious people dying in his life.

Personal Opinion - Even though there were parts I liked, I would hesitate recommending this book because of some of the content within. I would have liked the book more if there had been less sexual content and the negative comments about Christianity hadn't been there but I really enjoyed the snappy comebacks that Junior came up with and the book leaving you with hope that he will make a better life for himself unlike some of the others in his tribe. At times, there was a lot of telling instead of showing in the book but it is in diary format so that works. The way it portrayed how bad drunkenness is and what it can do to you which had a sobering affect. If this is what it is truly like in school systems and for Native Americans, oh boy, it is sad.

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Awards - 2007 National Book Award, 2008 Boston-Globe Horn Book Award, 2009 International Book on Books for Young People Sweden - Peter Pan Prize, 2010 California Young Reader Medal, and Finalis for the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It has also been on the New York Times Best Seller List.

Links - Learn more about the book and author at: http://www.fallsapart.com/the_absolutely_true_diary_of_a_part_time_indian (P.S. This is the only book by this author that is for young adults)

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 2, 2011

TJ and the Time Stublers: OOPS!

"Any Second TJ Finkelstein Hopes Her Life Will Return to Normal. And it could, Except For... "
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Book 3 - TJ is swamped with two future boys, Tuna and Herby, hanging around that no one else can see, surviving school, and not embarrassing herself (but the future boys make that difficult for her). But as a gadget goes wrong and the famous TV star at her school comes after her, it will take everything she's got to think kindly of others.

Author - Bill Myers

Publisher - Tyndale Publishers

Age Group - 10 and up

Content - TJ thinks badly of others but learns to think about them as God does. Lots of bullies being... Well... Bullies.

Personal Opinion - This book was very funny and kept me laughing at the antics and the silliness throughout. Using LARGE letting at times to show the emotions and the funny jokes such as when you could hear peoples' thoughts for the geeks or jocks, you would think that those would be the thoughts of those characters but at the same time they were funny and made you laugh. Just the craziness happening to the main character was enough to make me giggle. The story was simple but this book is meant for a younger age group than I am used to reading so I have to keep that in mind. It was clean, fun, and had good message of God, about not only not saying mean things about others but even not thinking them. This book would be even better with a discussion guide to go deeper into the lesson that was emphasized in it and going a tad deeper into the characters. Enjoyable book and I am interested in reading the others.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from Tyndale Blogger Network.

Links - Learn more about the series and author at: http://www.billmyers.com/BillMyersKids/index.html

Special Notes - This is the third book in the series but I have not read books 1 and 2 so I do not have a review for them.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tales of Starlight Series: Masters and Slayers


Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Book 1 - Adrian Masters has believed that dragons kidnapped people from his planet and made slaves of them elsewhere for his whole life like his mother and father and other believers have. When a chance to find the portal to the dragon world comes, he jumps to the task. Unfortunately, he has to work with an opponent, Marcelle, who caries painful memories and a hot temper. Arriving in the dragon world, they must blend in and learn how things work to figure out a way to rescue the people. But when one of them makes a terrible mistake, they are separated and death is the promise.

Author - Bryan Davis

Publisher - Living Ink Press

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - Adrian looks out for those he loves and who are weaker. Even though Marcelle can frustrate him, he cares about her and protects her. Marcelle has a hot temper but she comes to realize that and does what she can to calm down. Her family was hurt when she was young and has wanted revenge on the one who had caused it. The dragons force the humans to "breed" to get more workers and some are treated violently and burned.

Personal Opinion - Good but had trouble connecting with it like I do other books from this author. Also, the times with Jason, Adrian's younger brother, in it seemed to lack info but that might be because Starlighter, book one in the Dragons of Starlight series, is Jason and Koren's story so the info and the ability to connect with him has been done elsewhere. I did like it though and thought it brought up some good stuff to think about and promote in life. I really liked how the characters grew and how hard they worked for something better and fought for what they believed in. I look forward to reading The Third Starlighter, book 2 of this series.

Video - This isn't a book trailer but was a song made using a poem from the book.


Links - Learn more about the books and author at: http://www.mastersandslayers.com/

Special Notes - Book 2, The Third Starlighter, out later this year.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Attracted to Fire

"Only One Assignment Stands Between Special Agent Meghan Connors and Her Dream of Protecting the President "
Bookworm's Ranking - 3 Worms

Storyline - Meghan is assigned to protect the Vice President's addicted daughter, Lindsay as she recovers at a friend's ranch, The Dancen' Dust. Unfortunately, the agent heading the the team, Ash Zinders, is known to dislike women agents. But, as attraction between the two builds, so does the threats and dangers to the VP's daughter. People begin to die and it is up to Meghan and Ash to stop him before he gets their protectee.

Author - DiAnn Mills

Publisher - Tyndale Publishing

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - The characters believe in God but it doesn't have as much faith stuff as other Christian books do. Some character do come closer to God/convert but it is very light. Meghan and Ash fight for their protectee's life and tries to do what is right.

Personal Opinion - I only found this book to be okay. I didn't get into it like I do other books. I found the character/story development all lacking and the descriptions weren't very good. The main characters spend very little time with other characters in the book (you don't even get to hear a conversation between Meghan and Lindsay for several days after being on the ranch yet you hear that they have talked before then). I wish more had been discussed about the characters' past such as you know Meghan had been engaged but broke it off and I'm still unsure what happened and you also know that she wants to talk to her mom about it but when she does it is less then a page long. There was a bit more for Ash and much more for Lindsay but I just wasn't that pleased with the back stories.The mystery wasn't very good either. The reader don't really get to guess or suspect anyone except who the main bad guy's accomplice might be because Lindsey knows who it is and tells. Sure, it was great to see her fighting back but it left very little mystery. The story had a good concept but I like more mystery in my books and would have liked more about God. But, I do know the author has won awards for her books so I might try an older one sometime.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from Tyndale Blog Network.

Links - Learn more about the book and author at: http://www.diannmills.com/

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dragons of Starlight: Diviner

"The Mysteries Unfold"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Book 3 - Jason and his father are returning to the Southlands when they meet up with Elyssa but soon after one of them is kidnapped by a dragon and must be rescued before they are executed. Koren, mean while, learns more about Exudose and tries to make the slaves work for there freedom but find that having someone see the truth and fight for something is harder than it sounds. As they all learn lessons about what slavery and freedom really is, things about themselves, and turning more to the Creator, a new threat comes that could destroy all of human kind, but not just on Dracon but Major Four as well.

Author - Bryan Davis

Publisher - Zondervan

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - The characters like Koren, Jason, and Elyssa learn some great lessons about the Creator, sacrifice, and seeing themselves as they are but loving who they are too. They also learn not be angry with themselves because they had been blind before to the world and concentrated on themselves. I was personally uncomfortable with one of the dragons saying he remade a human and infusing it with its old spirit. That was just a bit strange.

Personal Opinion - Enjoyable book with good lessons and character development in faith and truth. The characters grew wonderfully in the Creator and became wonderful examples for others in giving of themselves, following the Code, and trying to do the right thing. I like Bryan Davis's books but sometimes they get a little strange for me, as well. He has some great story ideas but, as the books go on, they get some different stuff in them such as what I mentioned in 'content'. Even though this weird with me, I'm going to be reading the final book, Liberator, when it comes out in 2012 and looking forward to how it all comes together and having secrets revealed.

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from Zondervan through the Z Street Team.

Links - Learn more about the books and author at: http://dragonsinourmidst.blogspot.com/

Special Notes - You can read my review of books 1 and 2 at: http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/2011/02/dragons-of-starlight.html

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wildfire Run

Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - When Luke, the son of the President of the United States, is on vacation at Camp David with his friend and father, a wildfire begins eating up the forest and is heading right to them. But when an accident strikes, Luke and his friends, Theo and Callie, are own their own to survive and escape before the fire claims the camp with them still inside.

Author - Dee Garretson

Publisher - Harper, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers

Age Group - 12 or 13 and up

Content - Even though the characters were at odds with each other at first, they came to support one another and tried to help those who were hurt. The came to see what was important and really grew up. Luke even put others before himself when everyone wanted him to just go and save himself because he was the President's son.

Personal Opinion - This was an enjoyable book which I was able to read in just two days. There were some unbelievable stuff that happened but it was an exciting book with lots of action and a fire coming around every corner which made the characters work together to find a way out of the 'secure' camp. The ingenuity of the characters was great and supported imagination and inventiveness. I wish the ending had been a little longer and had more to the adjustment after the fire had been covered because it didn't seem like enough for them to recover but perhaps you are just suppose to see them start to come around from the terror. Anyways, good book and I might look into the new book this author has coming out.

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Links - Learn more about the book and author at: http://deegarretson.wordpress.com/

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 21, 2011

River of Time: Torrent

Bookworm's Ranking - 3.5 Worms

Storyline - Book 3 - Returning to medieval times once again, they find it has been longer than they wished since they departed their men but they are happy to see each other again and quickly celebrate. But that happiness soon ends when an opportunity comes to save Fortino, Marcello's brother, who was captured by Firenze. Unfortunately, that cost for Fortino is Gabi and Lia. They devise a plan to rescue him, the Bettarini women as bait. When things go wrong, Gabriella finds herself potentially being forced into marriage with someone she does not love. Can she escape and return to Marcello? And will she be able to convince her family to stay with everything life threatening that has happened and the plague only a few years away?

Author - Lisa Bergren

Publisher - David C. Cook

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - All of the character defend each other and try to save others even at the cost of themselves. Gabriella and Lia are willing to put themselves at risk to save Marcello's brother and Gabi is willing to be with the one she loves and to protect others from harm. A priest had some good advice in the book. There was some sexual stuff from the bad guys and Gabriella hinted at being together before marriage.

Personal Opinion - It was good but I was disappointed about the representation of the priest in the story. He was excommunicated and performing duties that he could no longer do and which would not be recognized by the church, such as marriage.  Considering that Marcello is suppose to be the guy who really follows his faith and loves God, this was strange that he was okay with it and would be going along with it. As a family member pointed out, though, in the situation where the priest was administrating at the wedding, it could be argued that it was an extreme circumstance and it was going to be made valid later but I still see holes from what I read about excommunication.When you add this to the one time Marcello complained about the Pope and one man said that his father was a priest, I wasn't very happy, feeling every example was in some way negative to the Catholic Church. I will not deny that there was abuses within the church but that is still not an accurate picture of the Catholic faith. There were good along with bad. Another thing that I wish had been different in the book was Gabi's faith walk. I thought she would grow more in her faith since she not use to going to church except on Christmas and Easter and didn't really pray. All that happened was she prayed a bit more. It didn't seem that she grew that much in her faith or came to any big connection with God. This was all unfortunate because it was an exciting book with some fun time travel. But I will hesitate in recommending this series from here on out because of the excommunicated priest. If the view of Catholicism had been balanced and the priest had been faithful to his superiors, no matter their decision, it would have been better to me.

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the author.

Links - Learn more about the books and author here.

Books 1 and 2, Waterfall and Cascade, Review.

Special Notes - Book releases September 1, 2011.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm.
Updated - May 13, 2012

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quest for the Truth: Taken

"Five-Four-Three-Two-One!
We're Out of Here!"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Book 1 - After  Oliver, Tiffany, Mason, and Austin's parents are kidnapped by the Ubel who believes they know where to find the Ursprung, the origin of mankind, which has been lost and sot after for generations, it is up to them to discover where they were going and what they were up to. It is a race to the prize. But they must make a stop for repairs as well as find their parents' partner. Waylaid on a planet, the two younger Wikks have a run in with strange natives whose skin is blue. And intent on keeping them on their planet.

Author - Brock Eastman

Publisher - P & R Publishing

Age Group - 13 (give or take) and up

Content - The kids care about one another but they do hide a lot and fight with each other often. Oliver (the oldest) wants to do the right thing like his parents taught him to and use the skills he got from the Academy. Each of them (except one) thinks highly of themselves but I think this is an issue among the siblings that will be covered later.

Personal Opinion - Good start to the series but I wish it had gone deeper into the story of what the parents were after and what Ursprung was. Also, I wanted to go deeper into the kids' motives, wants, and feelings. It seemed they went from one feeling to the next too quickly without enough happening to change those feelings except for taking a deep breath. But then you would think he/she would ruminate about it more in his/her mind or it would keep coming up. But, I see much promise for this series and it prepares you for what happens next (by the way, I don't know what that is but I want to find out). I enjoyed the sci-fi parts of the story like the ships that travel from one planet to another, what the character's e-reader look like (I want one), and the mysterious blue people. This book promises a great futuristic adventure building upon the mysteries of man's origin, the Alliance and how it started, and multiple planets with different life forms (kinda like in Star Wars). Much truth is still to be found and many exciting things are promised. Having left me with wanting to know what happens next, I for one will be getting book 2. Just have to find out when that one will be out.

Links - Learn more about the books and author at: http://thequestfortruthbooks.blogspot.com/ and http://www.brockeastman.com/

Special Notes - Won this copy on the publisher's website. It is also signed, which I didn't realize until I got it. You can order signed copies off the author's site.

Updated - December 28, 2011

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stained Glass Hearts

"Seeing Life From a Broken Perspective"
Bookworm's Ranking - 3 Worms

About - Life is tough, leaving you broken and wanting. But, if you shine some light through the broken pieces of your heart, they are like stained glass. You can find light in many things, be it books, art, poetry, or nature, you just have to find it and accept yourself for who you are, even broken. And God can make it beautiful.

Author - Patsy Clairmont

Publisher - Thomas Nelson

Age Group - 16 and up (but would be appreciated by an older age group)

Content - There were stories to show the beauty all in the world and a section at the end of every chapter called the Art Gallery that had picture, poetry, scripture, and/or music suggestions to further the point.

Personal Opinion - Good but could have been better. There were good stories throughout that were interesting but not much advise on how to incorporate this stuff and view it in your own life. It was mostly telling you to see the beauty in everything and even things broken, like stained glass, can be beautiful when put together and looked at and have light shinning through it but very little advise on how to go about doing that. Certain chapters might mean more to some people than others because they have an interest in that particular thing. I liked the "book" chapter because I like books but some might like the chapters about "nature" (I like this one too) or the "poetry" or one of the others more. The last few chapters did seem a bit more helpful in a way and brought the books concept together better than the other chapters. I wish, though, that there had been an epilogue to bring all the information together. It was good but didn't speak to me as much as others have. Perhaps fans of Patsy Clairmont might like it more.

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Booksneeze.com.

Links - Learn more about the book and author at: http://www.patsyclairmont.com/

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Destruction Series: Imperial Hostage

Bookworm's Ranking - 1Worms

Storyline -Book 1 - "From the moment 12-year-old Prince Erechtheus docks in Poseidia, capital of the Empire, to be a hostage for 13 years, nothing in his life is easy - or safe. An unexpected and foreboding prophecy, uttered by a blind seer, puts the prince immediately in the crosshairs of Al-Jinn, the powerful and paranoid High Priest from the Temple of Bel. Only last minute intervention from Kul-Kan, High Priest of the rival Temple of One, saves the prince from a gruesome fate. Erech gains exceptional fighting skills and an understanding of the natural world as he matures, but he suffers a series of crippling, heart-breaking losses - most as a result of the many attempts on his life. At the twilight of his captivity as a hostage, the 25-year-old prince encounters one last trial, a trial that could very well lead to war between his native land and the Empire."
(Took this from the back of the book)

Author - Phil Cantril

Publisher - Journalstone

Age Group - 17 and up

Content - The good characters help Erech out a lot and looked out for him as attempts on his life was made. One even helped him learn to fight to protect himself. Unfortunately, this book had a lot of stuff that contradicted what I believe such as saying there is no God and we are all connected. Once when the prince proclaimed something as a miracle, someone said there are no miracles and it was just science.  And this is from the good guys. The bad guys believed in a god and were very creepy. There was also some sexual content that made me uncomfortable but it was mostly from the bad guys but about two things from the good guys. I don't believe that it is natural for two men to be together and yet two from the good guys were. It was strange how the the good guys said we are all connected and yet they had priests and ceremonies and had spirits.

Personal Opinion - Creeped me out in first chapter and didn't go away. It didn't help I miss read the back and thought it was something other than what it was (also for some reason I thought this was a young adult book, probably because the main characters are like 12 when the book starts). The book taught stuff I don't believe are true such as the good  temple that saved the main character didn't believe in a god, they actually say there is no God and we are all united as one, and the guys who did believe in a god were evil and gross. The bad guys also used words and phrases that I am familiar with my own religion so that made it uncomfortable. There was some good behaving characters who did good things, knew right from wrong, and protected and cared for someone who couldn't protect themselves but it wasn't enough. They also kept harping on the bad thing that happened at the temple to the main character and it was made clear what happened with this word they used in a later chapter (I like to think of this blog as PG-13 if not PG so I wont repeat it). This book upset me so much that, even though at first, because I won the book through a giveaway, I tried to force myself to read it, but couldn't do it any more. Didn't even make it to 100 pages before decided to just stop reading it. There are too many books I want to read that I know I will like more than this one to spend time on it since I wasn't enjoying it. Did learn one thing though; be careful of the giveaways you enter.
Disclaimer - I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads.

Links - Learn more about the book and author at the publisher's website at: http://journal-store.com/fiction/imperial-hostage-book-1-of-the-destruction-series/

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

How Huge the Night

"When Had God Ever Stopped a War Because a Teenager Asked Him To?"
                                                         Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Julien doesn't want to live in his dad's old, small home town. And he doesn't want to board the Jewish boy, Benjamin, that his parents took in. All he wants it to play soccer, be excepted at his new school, and go home to Paris. What is the big deal? The war wasn't going to come to France with their great army protecting them. But, as the war moves closer to his new home and two young refugees from Austria show up, Julien has to make some big decisions and, as his world changes, he has to see what God wants him to do and his will not only for himself but others.

Author - Heather Munn and Lydia Munn

Publisher - Kregel Publishing

Age Group - 14 or 15 and up

Content - Julien learned a lot about God, forgiveness, and love. He also wanted to protect others against opposition against them because of race or religion. I really liked the parts when he saw the truth about himself and want to change and then does. Some people are not willing to change or have excuses about not changing. This was refreshing and a wonderful example for others.

Personal Opinion - Good book. I really liked it. The only things that bothered me were technical aspects within the book, such as when the word "he" is used to start every sentence in a paragraph. I also wish there had been more on Nina and mentioned the sister more because there were several times that I forgot Julien had a sister because she didn't show up where I would expect her to be at least mentioned. Lists were also given to show what the character was doing from a day to day bases. This should how things changed from before the war affected them to how it changed everything but I don't think it was the best way to relay the information. The only other thing I wish there had been was a guide in the back of the book on the French words. Sometimes they would use a word and I would forget what it meant from when they said it earlier in the book. I like how the main character was portrayed and developed in this book. Main characters are sometimes seen as bigger or better than the other character, somehow more right or better. But, in this book, the main character is the one who has lots to learn and is even shown the error of his ways by those who might surprise you. It was a refreshing take, more human like or real is perhaps a better word. It was such a moving story about WWII and the people who lived through it. It shows persecution and how the war affected different people. I will definitely read next book by the authors. I will also recommend it to friends and family but I see why some people might not be able to read it because of how much they heard, or experienced, during the time it was happening. It could bring back memories of those who lived it (there really wasn't anything graphically described but there was enough to give an idea of what happened and could bring back memories). The book had a sobering affect on me and what happened in WWII.

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Links - Learn more about the book and authors at:

Special Notes - Apparently there will be another book. Don't know if there will be any characters from this book to that one but it will take place during WWII.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Young Samuria: The Way of the Warrior

Bookworm's Ranking - 2 Worms

Storyline - Book 1 - In 1611, Jack Fletcher is on a voyage with his father to find the Japanese and trade with them. But when ninja assassins attack the wounded ship, everyone on board is killed except Jack who is rescued by a Japanese family and then adopted by a samurai. Not understanding the language or customs is difficult but, as he is learning, Jack also starts to pick up the bokken (a wooden version of the katana) and gets attacked again by the ninja who killed his father. Eventually, he is take to a samurai school to learn the Way of the Warrior. As he's there, he has to over come people who resent him because he is not Japanese, learns Bushido, and must defend the school's honor.

Author - Chris Bradford

Publisher - Disney Press

Age Group - 12 or 13 and up

Content - There were so many honorable lessons in this book (one of them being honor). The students would talk to the teachers and learn from them and one of the teachers, Sensei Yamada, was shown to be wise and very helpful (he had the best advise). This Sensei also told Jack not to seek revenge and that one day the ninja who killed his father would pay for what he's done, even if it has to be in the next life. Forgiveness was a big thing among the Japanese and apologies were seen as taking responsibility for ones actions. A student told the truth once to help Jack when he got in trouble because of another student, putting himself in trouble with the bully as well. Another student told the truth to give Jack a honor that he was going to give up to help him. Bushido, or Way of the Warrior, is very interesting. It consists of rectitude, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor, and loyalty (I took this right out of the book but can't remember the page number). These are all good things to have and support and, if everyone did them, I think our world would be a better place. The book also showed that girls are tough and gave a good example of a strong girl who was also a samurai (did anyone else know girls could be samurai back then?). Unfortunately for all the good things in this book, it was very tit-for-tat with negative behavior or happenings. A fellow student of Jack's constantly picked on him so when the bully got in trouble, Jack and his friends enjoyed his predicament. One of the characters you are supposed to like gets drunk once, even though he knows not to. God's name was used in vain once (if I remember correctly) and Jack told someone to go to h***. Jack also lied a couple times to keep something safe and to help out a friend. A friend tried to kill himself but Jack saves him and talks some sense into him. Some things that might make others uncomfortable but I saw more as historical stuff that was a lot of killing, the mention of ritual suicide, and Buddha was mentioned on occasion (there was a hall called Buddha Hall and a monk said "even Buddha will wait"). But, my biggest problem with the book was that it painted the Catholic faith in a bad light. I found it very insulting how it was depicted and, if the author tried at all to redeem the look he gave it, it didn't even become lukewarm. More details about this in the 'Personal Opinion' section because this is getting a little long.

Personal Opinion - I would have really enjoyed this book if not for my faith being put in such a bad light which kind of ruined it for me. First, a sailor called a Jesuit a devil and someone said that the Catholics could have "poisoned the minds of" the native Japanese so then, since the sailors were Protestant, they might be killed for being heretics. When Jack meets a priest, he is very insulting to Jack because he is a Protestant and English (the priest was Portuguese. There was some sort of conflict between the two countries at the time I guess). The priest was made out to be not a very great character and kept you second guessing what the man's motives were as he started being kind to Jack. Also, when the priest kissed a cross once, it was called a talisman. Now, there have been Catholics who have made mistakes because we are still human and, also, hostility between Portuguese and English and Protestants and Catholics might have been true during that time period, but it being the only example of Catholics is insulting and misleading. Not all Catholics are like that and it's not fair how that is how they are portrayed. The book showed even two sides of the samurai and the Japanese people but didn't even give Catholics a fighting chance. It is unfortunate how my faith was depicted because Chris Bradford is a good writer. He kept the story going well without losing any details but it didn't drag either. The 'Pronunciation Guide' in the back was very helpful in understanding Japanese words and one of the best I had ever used (in fact I learned a few with the book and I now how to speak Japanese a little. Whether I pronounce them right is another matter. A little interested in learning that language now but that is besides the point). The characters are diverse and interesting, too. You can understand how they feel and could identify with them. But, because of how my faith was shown in the book, it's because of this, and this alone, that will probably keep me from reading the rest of the books in this series. And keep me from recommending it. I could have over looked everything else, but this.

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Links - Learn more about the books and author at: http://www.youngsamurai.com/ .

Awards - On the author's web site it says the series is an award winner but I can't find exactly what awards they have won.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Homelander Series: The Final Hour

 "You're Not Alone. You're Never Alone"
  Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Charlie is in jail and waiting word from one of the people who put him in the Homelanders to uncover their secrets. Soon, he hears that all the Homelanders are in custody except for Prince, the leader of the terrorist group. Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do to clear Charlie's name of murder and thus have his sentence revoked. While trying to survive prison and find a legal way out, a memory comes back to him which reveals that the danger of the Homelanders is far from over. Desperate to reach someone and stop this final attack, Charlie has to make a major decision in order to save the US from another devastating attack but it could cost him his life and freedom. How far is he willing to go to save the country he loves and will he even be able to succeed in preventing Prince from his final plan?

Author - Andrew Klavan

Publisher - Thomas Nelson

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - Charlie just wants to do the right thing even though sometimes it is hard to do it or see what is the right decision. He makes a great observation on how easy it is to make a choice from a safe place and not when you are in the middle of it. He is also willing to place everything on the line, his life and freedom, to save countless people who are in danger. I loved how he pointed out it was not his duty to judge or hate the bad guys, it is to stop them. I think so many people are taught, or at least think it is okay, to be angry, or hate, someone who is bad or someone they don't like so the example in this books in an encouraging thing to read and gives hope that it might teach others how to see the enemies of life.

Personal Opinion - What a good book and great ending to the series which I have been following since the first book, The Last Thing I Remember, came out in 2008. It was exciting and encouraging and a great wrap up for the series. A good series for teen, espessially those who like action, things blowing up, and lots of danger. Girls will enjoy the books too. The characters were nicly developed with different personalities and the storyline is new and exciting. The author has a nack for being able to carry on a story well. A couple of time I thought, "Where are they going to be able to go from here?" then, several pages later, I go, "Oh. That's how." There is one little thing I wish I had seen differently about the ending but, because I don't want to give it away (it is the ending part of the ending) that I can't really say it without potentially spoiling it. Part of me would like to re-read the series, starting at the beginning and seeing how it all goes now from start to finish but some more time should go by before I do that.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Booksneeze.com.

Links - Learn more about the books and the author at: http://www.thehomelanders.com/

Special Notes - Check out my review of the previous three books here: http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/2010/11/homelanders-series.html

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Theodore Boone: The Abduction

Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - When April, Theo's best friend, disappears, he starts investigating and searching different areas of town with the help of friends in hopes of locating her. But as time goes on, the stakes get higher and April seems to be slipping more and more from their reach. Will they find her? And who is Leeper, a man convicted of kidnapping who just escaped from prison and has been seen within town? Did he take her like everyone thinks?

Author - John Gresham

Publisher - Dutton Children's Books: And Imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Age Group - 12 or 13 and up

Content - Theo searches for his friend diligently even when others are giving up. Unfortunately, he tells a big lie to his parents and doesn't even get a small lecture about it. He lies a few other times too. On a couple of other occasions, he also, technically, listens to a cop who is being unreasonable and seems to like throwing his weight around, but still gets done what he wants to do. One time it was going somewhere the cop told him not to go so, instead, he heads somewhere else and watches the area he is not permitted to go.

Personal Opinion - The book was pretty good. Because of the cover, I kept waiting for Theo to go somewhere alone at night but he never did which I was thankful for. Too smart for that I guess. One of my favorite parts, besides the exciting and mysterious mystery of the missing April, was the funny spot in middle of the book which broke up the tense situation. The story was well developed and the mystery progressed well, making you wonder what was going to and what did happen to his friend. Wondering if she was okay and if they would find her in time. Wished it had developed some side characters more, especially one boy because of how much this he was in the story, and had toned back on the lying. This book will interest more readers than just those who want to be lawyers with the exciting storyline it promises. The book leaves you with a hint of a third book, which, perhaps, will continue the mystery of the first book (maybe I shouldn't have said that. Gave too much away perhaps?).

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Links - Learn more about the books and author at: http://www.theodoreboone.com/

Special Notes - Another book about Theodore Boone was published last year (you do not have to read that one to understand this one). You can read my review here: http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/2010/09/theodore-boone-kid-lawyer.html

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Christy Awards

Being a Christian Reviewing blog, and loving Christian fiction, I have been excited about the Christy Awards since I was heard who was nominated a couple of months ago. I have heard and/or read several of the books that were up for the award. The ceremony to announce the winners was last night (I was there via Internet :). There was a link where you could read post by host and others watching only and hear what was going on at the dinner.) and thought I would share with you the winners. I'll give you a link so you can see who was nominated and who won for yourself. Perhaps you will also find something interesting to read with the stamp of good Christian fiction attached to it. Enjoy.

http://www.christyawards.com/ca_new/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=9&Itemid=56

P.S. Snagged the picture of the award of the Christy Awards website under Resources under Downloads.
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