Book Review: Reason To Breathe

OK , so I might have teared up and awwwwed several times, especially toward the end. I couldn’t help myself!

Deborah Rainey wrote about three sisters that are grieving the loss of their mother. They have always admired their mom and dad’s marriage. They both seemed so devoted to each other so the sisters are extremely confused when their dad ends up in Florida without even telling them first. What are they supposed to think about that??? Phylicia, with the adorable nickname Phee, is the oldest of the sisters. Quinn is the longtime coworker of their dad and has been a good family friend to them over the years. When Quinn convinces the girls to take a financial risk, he hopes to get closer to Phylicia.

I like this book because it was simply written for all readers to relate to each of the characters. They weren’t created perfectly, like us they all have flaws and hard times coming to terms with God’s will and reasoning. Last but not least, this book is promised by the author to be a trilogy in which stories are told in the other two sisters’ perspectives in each of their books. I rate this book a 5 out of 5. I can’t wait to read the second book!

Book Review: Miles from Where We Started

This book by Cynthia Ruchti was such a sweet story of true love in a marriage. The main characters are Connor and Mallory Duncan. Not married for even a year and Connor has already decided he wants a divorce, starting with a separation to begin as soon as possible. Connor’s parents have been married for a long time. It hurts him to know his mom has to take care of his dad because of his degenerative disease. Connor’s brother died from the disease and he has a 50 percent chance. Of having the disease also. But he won’t get tested to find out! So he lives without really knowing and forces Mallory to become convinced that their marriage is not surviving because they don’t have the right kind of love married couples should have. Instead of admitting to her that he loves her so much he doesn’t want to make that part of her life because he thinks it would hurt her, he pushes her away. Mallory knows better; sure they have long argumentative discussions over trivial topics but she knows she loves Connor and throughout the book readers find out that Connor loves her just as much. It just takes a three week road trip with an 11 year old foster child for them to, not only rekindle their love, but grow in their relationship and plan for their future together.

That’s one major reason the book is so sweet. I loved reading their inner thoughts because they were surprisingly similar especially toward the end of the book. They really are one. I love how Ruchti used unforeseen unique adventures on the road trip to bring the couple closer. Their whole adventure was God’s plan and I could totally see it happening in real life. The only drawback to the book is that I wasn’t completely captivated. It was slow-going for a big portion so I didn’t feel the urge to devour it in as few sittings as possible, haha. The end was, once again, sweet, but predictable and the climax came a little too early in my opinion. HOWEVER, I loved reading it and feeling like the author left the ending open enough to possibly write a sequel to this. And I would want to read that too! I rate the book 4 out of 5.

My Thoughts on Love Story

I was talking with some friends about our favorite book genres and one person mentioned that she loves predictable Christian romance books. I instantly thought of this book! My mom got it for me for Christmas and it was a good and easy read.

Love Story is written by Karen Kingsbury. This book made me so happy to read because even though it has some incredibly cheesy moments it also included some great life moments for each character that I, as the reader, could learn from. The characters didn’t simply find love and live happily together. They each went through some serious life trials that could break anyone down. The characters are so reliant on God which showed me that they had faith that even if their love lives didn’t work out according to their plan they could still be happy because of God’s plan. And they were! They accepted God’s will and let him plan accordingly. And they still ended up with a happy love life. Haha. Duh.

As a bonus, this book is part of a humongous series. I joked with my mom that naturally she would buy me a book that is part of a series so I would want to read the other books too. I have more than enough books on my plate right now but I love that I can go back to that book just to look up the other titles.

Book Review: The Wartime Sisters

Lynda Cohen Loigman cost me an hour of sleep last week. When I started her book last week, I vowed to stop after the first two chapters so I could go to bed on time. Eight chapters later, The Wartime Sisters was still tempting me to read just one more chapter. I honestly do not know how I got wrapped up in the book so easily. Loigman wrote the entire story to revolve around the characters. They weren’t just parts to play in her story. Every story-she included many backstories-was written to describe the characters. I learned each of their motivations and personalities throughout the book by reading about their childhood, turning points.

The Wartime Sisters is mainly about two Jewish Sisters that grew up in Brooklyn in the early 1900’s. By the time World War II starts they are young adults with children of their own. Because Millie is remarkably prettier than Ruth, Ruth has harbored a resentment toward her little sister for years. She has witnessed Millie getting more attention in the form of compliments, invitations, gifts, dates and friends. Ruth marries and moves off to Springfield, Massachusetts where she has the opportunity to start fresh with her new family. Millie never meant to overshadow her sister, but Ruth makes it hard for both sisters to forget the past even when Millie desperately needs her help.

The book is so incredibly good. Once again, the author wrote about her characters impeccably and it really made the story one to remember. I rate the book 5 out of 5.

My Thoughts on Agent X

I got this book from my brother a couple of Christmases ago but couldn’t remember if I had read it or not (probably not). I was out of books to read that I didn’t have to review and I was simply bored and down because, well you know, January. It’s got to be the most disappointing months after all the excitement of Christmas and celebrations of the impending new year.

The book was about an FBI agent who got involved in a case that kept me guessing from page to page. Her old flame reappears in town at around the same time and-because this guy is an absolute genius-is key to helping the FBI figure the case out. Of course there is a plot twist, which I suppose NO ONE saw coming; the book didn’t just let me figure out the plot twist all at once but in a series of events. That is what made it so suspenseful and one of those mystery thriller books that still has me thinking about it after more than half a year.

Now, nine months later, I have a backlog of books to read! I have a couple of books some people wrote so I could give them my opinions. I had the opportunity to be a beta reader which was a new and fun experience. I’m still reeling from his response to what my thoughts were on the book. He really seemed to see the value in my insight and that I could help him improve the book even if it was just a little bit. I haven’t even started the August book for my book club because I wanted to finish the higher priority books first. I cannot wait to start it though. It’s next on my list.

My family has a big and wide bookcase that my parents bought years ago for books, magazines, baskets and yearbooks. It holds a lot but eventually we just started putting random things on the shelves and, after 10 years, we knew it was time to clean it out. My mom had cooking and craft magazines dating back almost 20 years. I made at least five piles with 15-20 in each. We also have numerous German books. Dad had some old how-to’s on fishing and hunting. And I’ve managed to hold onto books I’ve had since I’ve been a kid. In the process of decluttering, my parents had a sizable stack of books they decided to get rid of. Thank goodness I went through them before we put them away for the garage sale! I found some treasure in there and I can’t wait to read-and write about-them.