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Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Place Called Blessing

"Where Hurting Ends and Love Begins"
 
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Josh and his two brothers are left orphans when their parents are killed in an accident. After going from foster home to foster home and a terrible accident, life becomes harder still for the boys. They even become separated. When Josh turns 18 and leaves the system, he has learned not to trust others and carries around much pain from his past. But, when he rents a room from a kind woman, Anna, she starts to break down the walls around his heart. Much is about to change for Josh.

Author - John Trent, PhD, with Annette Smith

Publisher - Thomas Nelson

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - Josh grew in God throughout the book and made positive choices (after a few mistakes). There was a lot of forgiveness in the book. How open the people were to forgiving each other and continue on and love one another was really wonderful. It seems people forget about that and feel they should hold a grudge or make someone pay and this book showed the opposite. A few mistakes were made but that is natural in real life.

Personal Opinion - What a moving story. A tear jerker but was so beautiful that it needs to be read. Uplifting even through the tears. The book is to show these five elements in a new way from another book by the auther, John Trent, called The Blessing, which I have not read. Some parts of the book might have meant more to me had I read it but I appreciate it for other reasons (you by no means have to read The Blessing to understand this book).  The forgiving of each other, no matter what, was very meaningful to me because it is not something often discussed and some people like to hold grudges (like I was saying before) and it is so good to forgive and love. Something this book really promotes. I thought there would be more of his story in his coming to God but it was still great. There are some discussion questions at the end for those who want to go deeper. Some issues were brought up and talked about in the book that makes this more appropriate for an older audience but teens could enjoy this as well. I think much can be learned from this book, for people who have been in Josh's (or one of the other people's) shoes and who haven't.

Awards - I think the authors have won some for other books but this one hasn't, yet.

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://theblessing.com/

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Dragons of Chiril

"Before Dragonspell, on a Different Continent and in a Different Time, a Young Emerlindian's Desperate Decision Threatens to Disrupt the Foundation of the World."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Book 1 - After her father went missing fifteen years earlier, Tipper has kept her family and their estate afloat with selling off his art. But, when he suddenly reappears (along with two eccentric men from a country on the other side of the world), it becomes a life and death mission to find three statues that she had sold years ago. A ragtag team sets off to find and connect the statues before the world crashes in around them but there are obstacles that will make the journey difficult. Plus, something new is at work and the land of Chiril will soon come to know Wulder, a powerful being that holds everything in his hands.

Author - Donita K. Paul

Publisher - WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - The main characters stick together through the journey when it becomes difficult and they need one another. When in mortal danger, they defend one another. When it became difficult to get one of the statues, they didn't want to steal it because they knew it was wrong and didn't want to go against the teachings of Wulder. Unfortunately, they did lie a couple of times when they couldn't have the truth come out and Tipper doesn't listen or obey well and disobeys the others a few times.

Personal Opinion - When I originally got the book, I thought I would be jumping into the middle of a series and wondered how badly I would be confused. But then discovered that this book was The Vanishing Sculptor republished with a new name and cover. Surprised, but pleased, that I was actually at the beginning of the series, I read it eagerly.  I really enjoyed how some characters could talk in circles in their conversations which was funny and made me chuckle. They really did make your head swirl a little. There were also four drawings in the book and a map which I always love to have included and a helpful glossary at the end. I thought it would get into finding the statues quicker than it did but it was still entertaining all the way through, it didn't drag or lose me. I also thought there would be a little more to the ending and that there would have been more development in the Wulder business but there is a second book so, perhaps, it is setting you up for that. The Christian analogies were good but I still don't completely understand them all and am trying to piece them together. Perhaps when I read book 2 this will become clearer. Very entertaining and kept my interest well. I look forward to reading the other books in this series and will recommend this to my friends.

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Links - Learn more about the book and author at: http://www.donitakpaul.com/index.html . Read a sneak peek at the publisher's website at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/2011/03/25/sneak-peek-the-dragons-of-chiril-by-donita-k-paul/ . You can also read the review I wrote of the book The Dragon and Turtle Go on Sufari, which is also by Danita K. Paul, here: http://bookwormreading.blogspot.com/2011/01/dragon-and-turtle-go-on-safari.html .

Special Notes - This book is a re-release of The Vanishing Sculptor with a new name and cover. There are two more books after this one, Dragons of the Valley and Dragons of the Watch, which is releasing later this year.


The reason for the email address in this rating system is because some people were rating reviews more than once. I never see or have access to the emails and they will be kept private. After you confirm or email (you only have to do that once), you will not receive anything more unless you leave the check mark for receiving updates from the publisher. I would very much appreciate you ranking my review.

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

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Human.4

"Alert:
Humanity has been upgraded.
You are now obsolete."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Kyle just volunteered to help his friend with a hypnotizing demonstration at the town's talent show. What he didn't volunteer for was what happened when he woke up. Everyone was changed... Yet, they still looked the same. What happened and why did it happen?

Author - Mike A. Lancaster

Age Group - 13 or 14 and up

Content - The characters were good. Not as in well developed good (that too but there were a couple things that I wish had been developed more) but as in good behavior and morals. The main character paid for something when he could have easily just taken (this makes sense if you read the book). The main characters also look out for each other and help one another. One even mentioned trying to help this girl who had wanted to end her life. It mentioned God twice (and not in a derogatory teams) but it was kinda just in passing. The characters also came to realize what they had before 'the change' and saw how important it was. Not much bad stuff but they did lie once and said 'arse' but I think that is better than the alternative. Some people might be uncomfortable with the fact evolution kinda played a role in the book but I will discuss that in the "Personal Opinion" part.

Personal Opinion - So, I have always had this question. A question I never shared with anyone but always wondered about and this book answered that question. That question was... Do you dial the same number in an emergency as you do in America in another country or is it different? Okay, not a very important question but I have wondered about it. Anyways, back to the review. When I finished the book, it left me with kinda the feelings I had when I first saw Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I had a tingle up and down my spine and on my arms. By the way, this is a complement. I found the book interesting and it had a cool concept. I read it in two days. Unfortunately, I can't share too much about it because it was so entangled together I would give away too much of the story but it was full of adventure and mystery. It really made you wonder what was going on. The character were nicely created and the story put together well with back stories coming at good spots. I don't read to many futuristic stories (I usually just watch those) but this one had an original idea about the future and you get a taste of it in the little, grey boxes spread out within the text. I don't believe in evolution but the book had an interesting twist to it but, again, I would give away too much if I said much more. There still was a hint of a higher being but, unfortunately, it left you wondering how good they were. I really liked the book and look forward to reading book 2. Just some advise if you do read it though; read everything. All the little boxes in the text (which can be funny and show a little about how the 'future' will be like) and the Editor's Note in the beginning and the Afterwords in the end because they are all part of the story and you will miss something if you don't.
Links - Learn more about the book and author at: http://www.mikealancaster.com/

Special Notes - Another book coming out, 1.4 (That might be the title in Europe though). This book is under another title in Europe, 0.4. Also, if you try to look this book up on goodreads, it is easiest to find it if you type in the author's name instead of the book title. I would get stuff about the human body when I used the title but found it instantly when I used the author's name.

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

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Knightley Academy

(Sorry about the picture but it was difficult getting a picture without glare)
Bookworm's Ranking - 3 Worms

Storyline - Book 1 - Henry Grimm, on orphan and servant, thought life wouldn't get any better than the work he was doing and the secret lessons with a teacher at the school where he worked. But, when he is allowed to take the Knightley Academy exam, an elite school, and is the only one to pass, his world, along with the social order, is turned upside down. Now he will train to be a knight and have a better chance at a future. But when someone starts sabotaging his and his other common friends' chance at staying at Knightley, it will take everything they got to stop the attacks and stay in school.

Author - Violet Haberdasher

Age Group -  maybe 12, 13, or 14 and up

Positive - Several good things so will name the best of the best. The main character didn't want to do friend's homework (but changed a little towards the end but he was under a lot of stress too at that point), helped each other with work, regretted vengeance on bully and even saw him a little differently, they finally talked to someone about problems they were having, and, when one of their bad behaviors was discovered, admited it was their own fault for their downfall. Even though these things are all good and such, the characters were still misbehaved a ton.

Negative - Way too much bad stuff to list it all so here is the worst of the worst. Besides the bad language and making fun of teachers behind there backs, both of which only happened sporadically, there was braking of rules, the school's and one boy's disobedience to his parents, threatening a bully who was going to reveal their bad behavior, and took revenge on someone they thought was coming after them. The teachers were not always the best examples either, one hiding something the characters did that was wrong and the head teacher not giving the proscribed punishment once but you could counter with the fact a meeting was held instead to determine punishment. I also wasn't too fond of the main girl character. I can kinda see where she was coming from in wanting to be accepted and to learn what boys learn but her actions were excessive and was quite extreme in her threats to her friends' bully. She wasn't all the respectful either of her elders.

Writing - Sentence structure, story development, and character development all were good but, for some reason, seemed really slow to me. I could close book at any place and not be in mad rush to get back to it. If this hadn't been a library book, I probably could have drug this book out for months. I just couldn't get into it.

Personal Opinion - I found this book to be okay. It took too long to get to the exciting parts (about half way through) and then the reasons for why someone was ambushing them you didn't know until right before they found it or were not able to piece together before hand because you didn't get to know half the information until bad guy told them. I found it to be slow but can't piece together exactly why because it seemed to have all the stuff that would make it a good story. A lot of subtle negative things that I didn't like and can't go into too much about it because it would require a lot of info on things that happened in the book which would create a lot of spoilers and retell too much of the story. It did leave you, though, with some hope that the main characters will be better in the future so I might read book two but I will get it from library if I decide to read it.
Links - Learn more about the book and author at: http://knightleyacademy.com/

Special Notes - Book 2, The Secret Prince, out in June. A new cover has come out for this book.

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