Friday, September 24, 2010

The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews

Does your life matter? Many people feel that they don't matter and the world would be fine without them. In this short book, Andrews shows that this is not true. He uses several different stories to show how individuals can affect millions of people by their actions. This book really motivated me to take my actions seriously because I could really help people. Very good book

The Falling Away by T.L. Hines

A member of the Crow tribe, Dylan Runs Ahead is running… away from his problems. He left the reservation after the disappearance of his sister and left the army after the death of a friend. Now he has nowhere to go. He has been called chosen but feels that he is only chosen for pain. A young woman named Quinn who is a member in a secret group hopes to guide Dylan to see what he is chosen for.

This is the fifth book by T.L. Hines and it is my favorite. He is known for supernatural stories with some bizarre aspects and has crafted another really enjoyable story. You know with Hines that his books will be different than any other author you will read. Dylan is a very interesting character who can’t see his purpose in life while Quinn has a very specific goal in life. This is a powerful story that really shows that we are all chosen by God.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Wild at Heart is a nonfiction book that looks deep into the souls of men. Many men are searching for something in life and can’t seem to find it. One thing they seek is excitement in life and to find their masculinity. Too often masculinity is buried deep within. God is a passionate God and He created men to be strong and explore the world.

The Wild at Heart Revised and Expanded Edition comes out ten years after the original Wild at Heart. Eldredge has looked back over the last decade and added a few things, but for the most part the idea is the same. I enjoyed the book as it made me think about who I am and my relationship with God. I know that the only way for me to survive this world is with the help of God. My only issue is that there should have been more emphasis on the Gospel, but overall an interesting read for men. Recommended.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Broken by Travis Thrasher

Laila Torres is a beautiful young women who is trying to settle down in Greenville, South Carolina. What others don't know is that Laila killed a man in self-defense as an escort in Chicago. When Laila is approached by a man claiming to be the brother of the man she killed, Laila feels like she has no choice but to run and hide somewhere else. No matter what Laila does, she feels like her past is coming back to haunt her. With her brother and a coworker trying to help Laila out, she tries to overcome the issues of her past and find peace.

Travis Thrasher has really grown in his recent books and this one is no different. He really does a great job in his characterization, especially with Laila. Like all of us, Laila is broken and wants to find love and acceptance. She has made mistakes but the thing she needs the most is forgiveness. This story is quite dark at times, but there is a strong message of hope for us all. Highly recommended.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wonders Never Cease by Tim Downs

Kemp McAvoy is a nurse who believes he is much too smart for his position. After being kicked out of his last year of residency, Kemp had to change his name and move to Los Angeles. An movie star is in a car accident and Kemp is her primary nurse. When Kemp’s girlfriend’s daughter claims to have seen an angel, Kemp gets a brilliant idea that will make him rich. Kemp finally believes that he will get the money he deserves.
Wonders Never Cease is the third standalone novel by Tim Downs and is a departure from his previous works. His other books have been more action-oriented while this book is more focused on the characters and plot. This book was very enjoyable as some of the characters were very likeable and some others were very easy to dislike. The story itself is easy to follow and makes me look forward to what Downs writes in the future. Recommended

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Never Let You Go by Erin Healy

Lexi Solomon faced tragedy seven years ago but was able to hold on. Now her husband is back after leaving her, and her sister’s murderer is up for parole. All Lexi wants to do is move on with her life, but the past is coming back into the present. Lexi has to figure out how to deal with these issues in her life.
Erin Healy got her name out by co-authoring two books with Ted Dekker and this is her first book by herself. I was very impressed with the characters in this book as well as how the plot progressed through the story. It’s a dark book, but there is hope that we can all reach out for. While I can tell this is Erin’s first solo novel, I really look forward to where she goes from here. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello

The Clouds Roll Away is the third book in the Raleigh Harmon Series. In this installment, Raleigh is headed back to Richmond Virginia from her stint in Seattle. She has to investigate a cross burning and begins to look deeper into the situation. More issues with the FBI emerge as well as issues in her personal life. Raleigh keeps working to solve the case and hope that her other problems can be fixed too.
This is another very enjoyable read in the Raleigh Harmon series as Giorello continues to improve the main character and play into different situations that Raleigh faces in her life. While the law enforcement aspect is very good, the characterization and deeper issues really make this story great. Raleigh uses her faith to keep going and she has a hope that really can inspire us all. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hunter’s Moon by Don Hoesel

CJ Baxter is a bestselling novelist who is able to take experiences from his life and bring them into his books. He hasn’t been back to his hometown in over fifteen years, but his grandfather has passed away so CJ heads back home. He finds that there are things he has missed, and things he hasn’t. As CJ fights for the truth within his family, it soon becomes clear that there are things that are more important than blood.

This is Don Hoesel’s second novel, and he does a great job exploring the dynamics of a small town as well as the damage that secrets can make. CJ is able to really make some changes in his own life as he searches for the truth. The book can be a bit slow at times, but it really held my attention as I wondered what would happen next. While there are some parts that aren’t relevant to the story line, the overall plot is excellent and the story progresses well. I look forward to what Hoesel writes in the future. Highly recommended.

Review copy courtesy of Bethany House Publishers

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

FBI agent Brad Raines is attempting to track down a serial killer who is murdering young women. The killer leaves a veil on the victim’s head before leaving the body. He has been dubbed The Bride Collector and Raines is working against the clock to catch the killer before he strikes again. On a lead, Raines goes to a mental institution for the gifted and meets a young woman named Paradise. Paradise has a unique ability and Raines hopes that she can help him stop the Bride Collector. This is Dekker’s second mainstream novel and I believe that the book is much better than his last, Boneman’s Daughters. This book really touched my heart as Dekker was able to use much different characters who had experienced great hurt to work together to catch a killer. This is a book that is very enjoyable from the crime aspect as well as having a much deeper meaning. I look forward to seeing where Ted Dekker goes from here. Highly recommended.

(Review copy provided by Hachette Book Group)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl with April Henry

A 17 year old girl takes her dog out for a walk one morning and never comes home. A unique trio consisting of an FBI Special Agent, a Federal Prosecuter, and news reporter take the case. These three are good friends who use their resources to help find the girl. A U.S. senator becomes a main suspect, but no one can figure out what happened to this girl. These three women try to put everything together to solve the case. The plot of the story was intriging, but the book just seemed unrealistic, especially the ending. The idea that these three former high school classmates would be able to work together on such a high profile case seems a little far fetched. I did enjoy the book for most part, but the end left me wondering if the author really knows what she is talking about. Mildly recommended

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Long Way Home by Andrew Klavan

The second book in the Homelanders series continues with the main character, Charlie West. Charlie woke up one day as a wanted man and he doesn't know why. Both terrorists and the police are trying to catch Charlie and all he wants are some answers. He goes home to try to find the reason behind the situation he has found himself in. His friends from home join Charlie and his quest for what has happened. The first book in this series was great and this book is a great continuation. It's a fast paced book leaving you wanting for more. Highly recommended.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The White Horse King By Benjamin Merkle

King Alfred is one of the most storied kings in Britian's history. He is most known for leading his people over the Vikings, but he did many other things for his kingdom. He changed the roadways and legal codes. He also restarted Christian worship and learning about God. History isn't one of my favorite subjects, but reading about this great king was very interesting. This is a man who we can look at as a great leader and a man of God. Recommended.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Sweet By and By by y Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck

All Jade Fitzgerald wants to do is get married and live happily ever after. But as her wedding approaches, she is faced with demons of the past. She has done everything to forget about her past and now she has to deal with these issues before she can get married. This was the first book I've read in this genre, but I really enjoyed it. It is a love story, but the plot makes it interesting for both men and women. One cool thing for me was that I live about twenty miles away from the location where Jade grew up. This is a story about dealing with the past and hope for the future. Highly recommended.