The Tank Man’s Son by Mark Bouman

Book description:

In the tradition of The Glass Castle and Angela’s Ashes comes the most unforgettable memoir you’ll read this year!

What did it mean to be the Tank Man’s son? To grow up overwhelmed by my father’s presence and personality? It was as if I didn’t exist, as if I was just something else for my father to crush.”

So begins the haunting memoir of Mark Bouman as he recounts the events of his childhood at the hands of his larger-than-life, Neo-Nazi father in brilliant, startling detail. From adventure-filled days complete with real-life war games, artillery fire, and tank races to terror-filled nights marked by vicious tirades, brutal beatings, and psychological torture, Mark paints a chilling portrait of family life that is at once whimsical and horrific—all building to a shocking climax that challenges even the broadest boundaries of love and forgiveness.

An epic tale of redemption and reconciliation, The Tank Man’s Son is a literary tour de force that is sure to become an instant classic.

My review:

This book was very hard to read at times.  Bouman’s accounts of abuse at the hands of his father is disturbing and sickening.  It is strange that a book that depicts such abuse could also have the power to make me laugh out loud, but this one does.  The tale of the tree stump and the dynamite made me laugh harder than I have in a long time while reading a book.  Although I enjoyed the laughter, there were far more times when I gasped out loud, knowing that a child’s mistake was going to result in abuse, like the hole in the swimming pool.

What I found most insightful about this book is Bouman’s feelings while he was attending college.  I never realized the way that a childhood filled with abuse continues to affect the survivors throughout the rest of their lives in such a strong way.  It was really heartbreaking.

The ending of the book was so much better than anything I could have imagined.  Forgiveness is probably the thing I struggle with the most and the lesson of forgiveness in this book is just so powerful.

This is an amazing, amazing book.  It is non-fiction that reads like fiction.  It has been a long time since I read a book and wished my mom was still alive just so she could read the book, but this one had the effect on me.  I know she would have loved this one.  If you love a great story of redemption and restoration, you will love this one, too.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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The Fall of Babylon the Great America by Michael D. Fortner

Book description:

If you are looking for an analysis of Babylon the Great, to determine if it might be the United States of America, then this book is for you.

One of the most difficult things I had to do in order to correctly interpret Bible prophecy, was come to the realization that America is Babylon the Great (BTG). I did not want to believe it. I resisted because it means that America will be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. But after years of study, the evidence forced me to that conclusion. Then I realized, that most nations of the world will suffer great destruction to one degree or another, based on their sins. So America will also suffer for its sinfulness.

I also came to understand that Babylon the Great (BTG) is not all of America, it is ONLY wicked America. God will destroy wicked America, but he will save a righteous remnant from those who do not go in the Rapture, to rebuild the nation.
During the past 10 years I saw such great decline in America, that I can now see why America will be destroyed, and also why it must be destroyed.

But America will NOT be destroyed before the start of the Great Tribulation (GT), which is so often claimed, but will only be wounded at the start, but will be nuked and then invaded at the end of the GT. The nuclear war and invasion of America are the last acts of the beast (a Revised Islamic Empire) and its allies (Russia and China and North Korea), in its attempt to totally destroy Christianity and the Christians in America. Then Christ returns to save the world by destroying the evil that is taking over the world.

Many people misinterpret Babylon the Great (BTG) harlot, prostitute, in Revelation 17 and 18. She has been interpreted to be, the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, America, Jerusalem, Islam, Saudi Arabia, and who knows what else.

I will provide a mountain of evidence and explain in detail the political Babylon, which is the government of the United States of America; the cultural Babylon which is the polluted culture of America that is formed by movies, TV, and music; and the economic Babylon that is capitalism which is headquartered in America; America being the premier capitalist nation in the world. If Babylon is also a city, then it is New York City.

Like my other two books on Bible prophecy, there is a lot of new insights in this book that are not found in any other book on Babylon the Great and America. I will also discuss the Old Testament references to an end-time Babylon, which is not a rebuilt city in Iraq, but can only be the same as Mystery Babylon in Revelation.

And I will discuss the founding of America, how it was founded with a de facto covenant with God (“de facto” means being in effect though not formally recognized). But America also is chosen of God because it was one of the nations that God promised to Abraham. Yes, God promised Abraham more than one nation! It is likely the main reason that America became the greatest and most powerful nation the world has ever seen.

We will discuss how America will be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust and be invaded, but Christ will return to save humanity and civilization from total destruction. I also show how America will be split into three parts by a huge global earthquake (Rev. 16) after it betrays Israel. One split will be along the Mississippi River.

This book also includes a discussion of Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38, which gives us details for two wars, not just one. One will be an invasion of Israel, the other will be an invasion of America.

In the appendix I discuss the misinterpretation of Walid Shoebat, showing that his view of BTG being Saudi Arabia is grossly wrong.

This is Book Three of the Bible Prophecy Revealed series of books on Bible prophecy, which is a complete teaching on Bible prophecy. If you liked the other two books, you will like this one. If you did not like the other two, you will not like this one.

My review:

I was looking forward to reading this book because I had already read and greatly enjoyed the previous two books in this series.  I wasn’t disappointed.  My favorite thing about Fortner’s writing is the logical way he presents his ideas and arguments for his interpretations.  Readers may or may not agree with all of his viewpoints, but his logical arguments make you stop and think.

I found the historical information proving that America was founded as a Christian nation absolutely fascinating.  I have always believed that we were founded as a Christian nation, probably because I am old enough that I went to school in a time where the mere mention of God in a classroom didn’t result in an immediate lawsuit with the ACLU.  However, I learned quite a bit from the chapter on the history of America.

I really appreciate the format of the book, where the end notes are listed immediately following the information referring to them.  I wish more authors would adopt that format because it is so user-friendly.  It also lends a great deal of credibility to the information and opinions given by the author.  I thought the historical information was so compelling that I thought to myself that I should read some of those sources so that I could learn even more, especially about things like Thanksgiving.

I also really enjoyed reading about the dreams and prophecies that people in the 20th century have reported, particularly the one about “prosperity Christianity” because we see it everywhere.  I was amazed at how many prophecies were spot on.

If you are looking for information about America’s role in end times, this book is a must-read.  Whether you believe that America is Babylon the Great or not, this book will give you plenty to think about.  If you believe that America is Babylon the Great, this book will provide you with logical arguments to support your viewpoint.  This book was such a timely read for me because a friend and I were just talking about this exact topic a week before the book arrived in the mail!  I can’t wait to share with her everything I read and I can’t wait to read the last one in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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Effortless Healing by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Book description:

LET YOUR BODY DO THE WORK

Do you have to tell your leg to heal from a scrape? Your lungs to take in air? Your body that it’s hungry? No. Your body does these things automatically, effortlessly. Vibrant health is your birthright and within your grasp; you just have to step out of the way. In Effortless Healing, online health pioneer, natural medicine advocate, and bestselling author Dr. Joseph Mercola reveals the nine simple secrets to a healthier, thinner you. The results are amazing and the steps can be as easy to implement as:

·         Throwing ice cubes in your water to make it more “structured”
·         Skipping breakfast, as it could be making you fat
·         Eating up to 75 percent of your calories each day in fat for optimal health, reduction of heart disease, and cancer prevention
·         Avoiding certain meat and fish, but enjoying butter
·         Eating sauerkraut (and other fermented foods) to improve your immune system and your mood
·         Walking barefoot outside to decrease system-wide inflammation (and because it just feels great)
·         Enjoying a laugh: it’s as good for your blood vessels as fifteen minutes of exercise

Effortless Healing is the distillation of decades of Dr. Mercola’s experience and cutting-edge medical knowledge. With his wisdom and that of your body, you can optimize your health, your weight, and your life…effortlessly.

My review:

I think this is a very timely book.  More and more people are aware that our choices in what we eat impact not only our current health, but also our future health.  It seems like if you spend any time at all talking with your friends, the subject of food and specifically healthy food comes up.  Everyone wants to eat better and make choices that positively impact our health.

That is why this is such a great book.  I loved the title and couldn’t wait to read about the 9 strategies Dr. Mercola put forth to help our bodies fix themselves.  Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made and are certainly made to renew and regenerate, but only if we do our parts!

I read through the book and found a lot of it to be common sense.  I didn’t have any “aha” moments and have read a lot of the information in other books.  However, I found the concept of “structured” water very interesting.  I also enjoyed the strategy of breakfast being optional.  I have never in my life been a breakfast eater and have always struggled with plans where one must eat within 30 minutes or an hour of rising.

The sample weekly plan at the back of the book was very clear and helpful.  I enjoyed reading the guidelines and the fact that there was an explanation of the benefit directly after it.

I found it helpful to incorporate one healing principle at a time until it was effortless and didn’t require any extra effort before moving on to the next one.  For example, I focused for several days on incorporating structured water before moving on to the next idea.  It made it much easier for me to get to the point where it is second nature.

Overall, this is a great book to reinforce a healthy lifestyle.  I’m not sure that the information given is groundbreaking or revolutionary, but it is a good reminder of things that we should all be doing to help our bodies maintain themselves for optimal health.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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A Heart’s Betrayal by Colleen Coble

Book description:

When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband’s home, she discovered an awful truth: her deceased husband was a bigamist. And what’s more, the home she thought she inherited never belonged to her at all.

Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can’t stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she’s pregnant—and without a husband. The new start she’d hoped for slips from her fingers.

But then she meets Isaac Liddle, a handsome soldier with a kind heart. When he begins to court her, Emmie wonders whether she could ever really be his—and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man’s baby.

My review:

This is the first book I’ve read from the Journey of the Heart series by Colleen Coble.  The best thing about the book is that even though I have never read any of the other books in the series, I wasn’t lost at all with the characters.  Obviously some of them had a backstory that was briefly mentioned throughout the book, but the focus of the book was on Emmie.

When I first got the book, I was a little surprised at how short it was and I started to think that it was more of a novella, instead of a novel.  I suspect that if all six books were somehow compiled into one book, it would be a more complete work.

The characters and idea of the book are great.  The writing is descriptive and everything you want to read in a novel.  Right away I cared about Emmie and was hoping for the best for her.  However, the execution of the plot left a little to be desired.  The back cover describes Isaac and Emmie developing a relationship, so much so that she wonders whether he could accept her baby as his own.  Unfortunately, Emmie’s pregnancy isn’t revealed until the very end of the book, and Isaac and Emmie’s relationship hasn’t progressed much beyond friendship at that point.

I wish the book could have been another hundred pages.  It would have been nice to read more about Emmie and Isaac and what happens with them.  I’m sure I can learn more in books 5 and 6, but I think it might be better to get the entire series and read it from start to finish.  Perhaps then the brevity won’t bother me so much.

If you are looking for a light, very quick read (I read this one in between innings of one Little League game), this is a good choice.  Just be aware that the back cover description doesn’t quite capture the essence of the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible by Keith Ferrin

Book description:

Keith Ferrin has been talking to churches for years about enjoying God’s Word. Here he shares the most helpful ideas and habits you can start using today. You will find ten proven tips that are equally practical whether you are a longtime Bible student or simply exploring what this life-changing book is all about.

Aimed at deepening your relationship with God, these simple suggestions will help you focus more easily as you read, remember Scripture better, and most importantly, enjoy the Bible and its Author more than you ever dreamed possible.

Includes Discussion Questions and Reading Suggestions for Small Groups

My review:

This is a small book packed with specific advice and suggestions on how to make reading your Bible less of an”ought to do” and more of a “want to do”.  I love to read books that have suggestions on self-improvement followed by concrete ways of putting the advice into practice.  This book does a great job of doing both!

The best part of this book comes at the end.  Ferrin provides different plans for putting the strategies into action, depending on whether you want to choose a 60-day plan or a chronological attack.  I personally have never done a chronological approach to the Bible, so I found that appendix the most helpful of them all.

This is such a great book.  If you are looking for ways to invigorate your Bible study, look no further than this one!  I give it my highest compliment; this is one I won’t lend out!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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Bible Dominoes by Juliet David and Jo Parry

Item Description:

This domino game helps children to learn about the Bible and Jesus while playing! It also encourages communication, sharing, counting, and matching skills. The pieces are large and colorful, so they re easy to pick up, and the pictures are clear. The set includes 28 dominoes with a mixture of Bible story characters, numbers, and animals to match, as well as instructions and a story booklet explaining the stories featured on the cards. A useful resource for home, school, or Sunday school.

My review:

I have reviewed other books for Candle Books before and have never been disappointed with the quality of the merchandise or the material presented.  In fact, I really thought I would love this set of Bible dominoes.  However, I have to say that I was a little disappointed over all.

First the positives.  The dominoes are bright, colorful, and sturdy.  I think it is very clever that the backgrounds on the various items match their corresponding tile.  For example, the 2 background matches the background of the two men and so on for each one.  It is also nice that there are several matches for each number.  The size and the weight of each domino is perfect for small hands to handle one at a time.  It might be better if they were just a little bit thicker so that they could stand on their own as I can imagine some little guys struggling to hold all of their dominoes at the same time.

The negative is that the dominoes themselves don’t increase any knowledge of the Bible at all.  There is a small pamphlet included with basic bible stories, but is pretty superficial.  There is no relationship between the pamphlet and the dominoes.  It would have been so much more effective as a teaching tool if the dominoes were labelled with the name of the person it was supposed to represent.  As I read through the pamphlet with my kids we made up our own assumptions as to who was who, and a couple times discovered that someone was someone else.  The pictures on the dominoes do appear in the stories, but there isn’t a strong connection.

Overall, it is a nice set of dominoes, but I wish it was more educational.  If you are looking for a product that will increase a child’s knowledge of the Bible or Bible stories, I’m not sure you will be happy with this one.  If you are looking for a bright, colorful set of dominoes that children can play with, this is a fun choice.

I received a complimentary item from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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Centralia by Mike Dellosso

Book description:

Peter Ryan wakes up on a typical morning only to find his house empty, his wife and daughter nowhere to be found. His world is shattered after a phone call to a friend confirms the impossible: his wife and daughter died in a car accident he does not remember. Haunted by faint memories and flashes of details, Peter becomes convinced that something isn’t right and begins to question reality. When he discovers a note in his daughter’s handwriting, strange memories begin to surface that cause him to second-guess nearly everything he once believed. Suddenly armed men show up at Peter’s home, turning the mysterious puzzle of his past into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. On the run and unsure whom to trust, Peter has to discover what’s real and what isn’t . . . before he loses everything.

My review:

This is one of those fast-paced books that you can’t put down once you start it.  The premise behind it is so intriguing, with the wife and child missing and Peter discovering they are dead, but not really.

I don’t read a lot of this genre of books, because they are not usually my favorite.  However, I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  I have to admit that I skimmed over some of the fighting scenes, but other than that I absorbed every word.  This is one of those books that I had no idea how it was going to turn out.  It takes you on a wild ride until you don’t really know what is real or not.  All of the different information that Peter learns on his quest to discover the truth about his wife and daughter seems plausible and accurate, so it was impossible to guess where he would end up.

The only slightly negative thing I might add is that the back and forth might have gone on just a little too long.  The editor could have cut out about fifty pages without losing any of the story at all.

Fans of action/adventure/mystery/thriller novels should not pass this one up.  It is very interesting and one of the best  of the genre I’ve read in a long time.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

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Book description:

Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for―her Choosing ceremony―to end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.

But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. Though the whispers contradict everything she’s been told, they resonate deep within.

Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, yet she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.

My review:

I love to read new authors, so I was excited for this opportunity to read Rachelle Dekker’s debut novel.  I am a fan of her father, Ted Dekker, so I was doubly excited to read this one.  I think a lot of Ted Dekker fans might read this novel because of the name, but I was happy to conclude that Rachelle is a talented author in her own right.

There are a lot of wonderful things about this book to enjoy.  The characters are interesting and the plot moves along at a nice pace.  The best part of the book, in my opinion, is the end.  There will be a follow-up novel coming out in the Spring of 2016, but this book has a nice conclusion on its own.  So many times when a book is part of a series, the ending either leaves readers hanging so much that it seems impossible to wait, or it wraps up so completely that readers don’t necessarily have to read the next book, unless they really love the characters.  Dekker does a great job wrapping it up, but still leaving readers wanting to know what happens next.

I love the paradox of the mantra drilled into the young girls, “Not to be chosen would yield a cruel fate of my own making” when ultimately they have no choice in their society.  I also love the way Carrington learns that she is already chosen, by Someone who chooses us all.

The only small criticism I have about the book that would have made it so much better for me is if there was more of an introduction or background as to what was happening at the beginning.  It becomes clear later, but I wish I could have experienced Carrington’s anxiety at being chosen.  I also wish I could have known why no one ultimately chose her.  I have my ideas, but sometimes I like to know what the author thinks.

Any fan of dystopian fiction would love this book.  It is a different take on a common genre, at least these days it seems to be everwhere.  I can’t wait to read the next book and find out what is next for this society where all the power is put into the rules of the Authority.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Keep reading for Q & A’s with Rachelle Dekker:

1. How did you come up with the story for The Choosing?
This is a hard question because it has many answers. I wanted to write a theme-based novel about identity. I wanted to write a dystopian novel. I wanted to write in a world that was familiar, but in a setting where I could change the way the world worked. It actually is several ideas I’d been toying with pulled into one story. Once I landed on Carrington’s core revelation and story arc, I simply fell in love with her as a character and drew the rest of the story around her. That’s usually how it works for me. I come up with a character, good or bad, and create the story from there.
2. You based your main character, Carrington, off of your younger sister. In what ways is Carrington like her?
It’s more the beliefs that Carrington struggles with that remind me of my sister. The idea of worth, of not feeling like you’re enough, or questioning whether anyone would choose you. Carrington came about as I spent time with my sister and her college-age friends and saw that a large majority of them were searching for significance, searching for worth—none more than my sister at the time.
3. Throughout the book, Carrington struggles with understanding her identity and worth and what is true. Why did you decide to write about the theme of identity?
Someone once asked me, If you could leave one message for your younger sisters, what would it be? The answer was always the same: I would pray they knew what they were worth. Identity is everything. There isn’t a theme that doesn’t start with identity, or circle back to identity. Knowing who you truly are is the greatest journey we face. Am I enough;
am I worth it? I believe everyone faces these questions, and I sought out to explore them through this story.
4. Do you think women tend to struggle with identity more than men?
I don’t think women struggle with identity more then men. Not at all. I just think we struggle differently. As a woman I understand the identity struggle from a female perspective more, but I think most men wonder if they’re enough just as much as women do. We are all the same at our core, really. We are on this earth for a short time, trying to figure out our purpose and worth. Searching for recognition, usually in all the wrong places. The truth I am discovering is that there is no need for searching. The truth already resides inside of us. The Father has already marked us as chosen, worth it; He has already given us a purpose. It’s only a matter of looking inward to the soul and to the Creator of that soul to find our worth.
5. One of the story’s most significant lines is, “Life is a journey of remembering and forgetting.” What do you mean by this?
It means exactly what you probably think. We have these flashes of clarity where we see so clearly who we are—and our connection to the Father—but then, in a single moment, something pulls our attention away and we forget who we are. This is the journey of life, remembering and forgetting. But I believe the more we remember, the more we set our gaze on the Father, the less often we forget.
6. What do you hope readers will take away from the story?
I hope readers are filled with joy and power as they either realize for the first time who their Father is and what they are really worth, or as they simply remember this truth.
7. Did you discover anything about your own identity through the writing process?
I will steal a line from Ted Dekker on this one: “I write to discover.” They are one and the same. Even when I think there’s nothing left to discover, if I let myself be open to discovery, it almost always comes. So yes, I did. And I told my husband, if nothing ever comes of this book, it would still have been worth writing because of the way it impacted my life.
8. What would you say to the person who is struggling, trying to find their identity in temporary, unsatisfying places?
I would say we have all been there, and that those places will only serve as a prison in the end. They may seem like happiness now, but eventually they will become suffering. But that’s just part of the journey of identity. Some people need to learn the hard way—I did for sure! I searched for significance in darkness and somehow the Father still led me to the light. So when I see people going through what I did, I empathize, but also know that in a single moment they can discover their true identity.
9. The Choosing is the first of a three-book series. What can we expect in the next two books?
More struggles with identity, but in different ways. Familiar characters dealing with fear and worry and forgiveness. We’ll walk with our characters as they continue to understand the true way of Aaron’s Father. More excitement, more romance (of course), and more self-discovery.
10. What is it like being Ted Dekker’s daughter? Did your father help you with the writing process?
Being Ted’s daughter is wonderful! He’s the best, but then I hope many daughters feel that way about their fathers. He is a bit of a mystery, though. Sometimes, even sitting at the dinner table, I can tell he’s lost in thought, and I wonder what it might be like to have his mind.
It’s been a blessing to watch him write and struggle with writing, so that now when I struggle I have an understanding ear to talk off. He is always willing to talk me through the emotional and mental side of writing (which is where the biggest battles lie in wait) but as far as story, for the most part he lets me fend for myself. It’s always been important to me to write through my challenges on my own. To figure out scenes alone. In fact, he didn’t even read The Choosing until I was already in conversations with Tyndale about publication. I think that’s because he wanted me to believe I could do it on my own.
But when I doubt my ability as a writer, and when I forget who I am, he is the one I call. And he reminds me that life is a journey of remembering and forgetting, and helps me in remembering once again.

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Summer by Summer by Heather Burch

Book description:

When Summer took a job as a nanny for a couple vacationing in Belize, she imagined it would be a fresh start before starting college in the fall. And while she adores her charge, Josh, she can’t say the same for her employers’ oldest son, Bray. He’s cocky, inconsiderate, and makes her feel she’s a chore he has to put up with. In short, he’s everything she dislikes in a guy.
Bray had a plan for the summer: party, hang out with friends, and forget all the responsibilities waiting for him back home. But every time he’s forced to be around Summer, her dour, serious mood sets him off. Not to mention she has a habit of picking up on what he already knows is wrong with him.
Then the two find themselves on a dive trip gone wrong, stranded on a remote island. As they focus on survival, their differences melt away, and they find being together may be what both needed all along.

My description:

I have mixed opinions about this book.  On one hand, the premise and a couple of twists made for an interesting book.  On the other hand, the execution of the plot and characters were flawed in some ways, in my opinion.

First the positive:  I was really intrigued by the potential conflict of two people that didn’t like one another that were forced to cooperate to survive.  I enjoyed a couple of surprises throughout the book that I wasn’t expecting at all, such as some dangerous situations they encountered on the island.  I thought some of the ways that Bray and Summer encountered provisions were cleverly written.

However, I didn’t particularly enjoy the shifting perspectives.  It isn’t my favorite type of writing, in general, but some books successfully weave different perspectives together into one seamless story.  This one fell a little short.  In my opinion, this book wasted a little bit of time by sharing the same experience from two different viewpoints when more detail could have been given if the story was from one character only.  Because of the title and the ending of the book, in particular, it would have been more effective to hear the story from Summer’s perspective exclusively.

I also would have enjoyed the journey of the book if more time had been given to the conflict between Bray and Summer initially, a more gradual thawing of their relationship on the island, and which could then develop into a romantic relationship.  It all just happened too quickly.  Teenage emotions do change quickly, I realize, but it was a little bit too much of a stretch the speed of which their feelings toward one another change.

One final negative aspect of the book was the extent of description given to physical experiences on the island.  It was all kept PG-13, but I would have rather read more detail about the conflict and the change of their relationship, instead of details of them touching one another.

Overall, I am torn about this book.  It could have been an amazing book, if only some selective editing had been done.  The bones of a great story are present, it just wasn’t fleshed out in a super-satisfying way, in my opinion.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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The Hiding Place (Young Reader’s Edition) by Corrie Ten Boom with Elizabeth & John Sherrill

Book description:

Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler’s concentration camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the twentieth century. In World War II she and her family risked their lives to help Jews and underground workers escape from the Nazis, and for their work they were tested in the infamous Nazi death camps. Only Corrie among her family survived to tell the story of how faith ultimately triumphs over evil.

Here is the riveting account of how Corrie and her family were able to save many of God’s chosen people. For 35 years millions have seen that there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still. Now The Hiding Place, repackaged for a new generation of readers, continues to declare that God’s love will overcome, heal, and restore.

My review:

I read The Hiding Place several years ago and really loved Corrie Ten Boom’s story, so when I had the opportunity to read and review the young reader’s edition of this book, I was really excited.

I found this book to be every bit as good as the original edition that I read.  Sometimes when you read a young reader’s edition of a book, it is so watered down and simplistic that much of the content is lost or the arc of the story leaves much to be desired.  Not so with this one.  The Sherrill’s did a magnificent job keeping the details of Corrie’s story intact, while still giving young reader’s all the necessary information.

I can’t wait to pass this one along to my daughter to read, especially since she just finished studying about WWII.  Unfortunately her school removed all copies of this book from their library because it has too many references to God, which I think is a disservice to the students.  This book is unlike many others of the genre because it draws attention to people who helped the Jews survive the Holocaust at a terrible personal cost.

It also is an inspiring read because of Corrie’s struggle with forgiveness.  I still get goosebumps when I read about her meeting up with the SS guard after the war.  It challenges all readers to forgive others as she forgave the guard.

If you are looking for a book to introduce young reader’s to WWII, or to supplement their study of WWII, you can not go wrong with this one.  It teaches readers about history and provides an amazing character study and lesson at the same time.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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