Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: A Love Story

Title: A Love Story: How God Pursued Me and Found Me, An Impossibly True Story
Author: Samantha Ryan Chandler
Source: Review from Author
Grade B+

One of my favorite genres is memoirs, so I was very excited to read this book! One of the things that initially grabbed my attention about Samantha Chandler was the fact that she co-founded a children's ministry. Like Samantha, I am a Christian, so I was interested in hearing her story. Samantha has been through more rough time in her life, than calm times. She grew up with an abusive mother, her husband was verbally and physically abusive, and took her children away from her. Every time she thought her life was finally settling down, something else would pop up. Reading about the way her husband treated her made me cringe. He was very wealthy, but would only give her a certain amount of money. If she overspent, he would become very angry. When Samantha tried to leave the relationship, he took her children away. But, through all of her trials and tribulations, she found the love and trust of The Lord, and her faith in Him grew.

My favorite part of the book was when Samantha was talking about her ministry, Childspring International. She devotes several chapters to talking about the children she has worked with. The ministry helps bring sick children to the USA for surgeries. When talking about some of the children her ministry has helped, you can tell that she is very passionate about her work. I also love that she used scripture in her chapters, which to me shows that everything leads back to God. Through the many struggle and bad relationships Samantha has had, she has learned that God will always be with her and will never leave her. I think that this book will really help people, like Samantha, that are going through rough times in their life. They can see that giving your life to God and leaning on him, will help things work out in the end. You can read more about Samantha and her book on her website.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: True Medical Detective Stories

Title: True Medical Detective Stories
Author: Dr. Clifton K. Meador
Grade: A+

This was one of the most fascinating books I have read in awhile. Dr. Meador has put together a book of fascinating medical stories that stumped even doctors. All of the stories are true and baffled doctors until one person was able to discover the cause behind each medical condition. The story that fascinated me the most was of a epidemic at a school. A odd smell enters the school and cause several people to pass out, causes people to get violently sick, and mass chaos. The school is cleared out, but the cause of the smell is not discovered. When the school is opened back up, it happens again. The school is closed and specialists are brought in, but are still not able to discover the cause of the smell and are not even able to smell anything. I won't tell you what happens, and I can tell you that you will be shocked!

I read this book in 1 sitting. I was so riveted by the stories that I stayed up reading the entire book.I t was interesting to read that there are stories that even stump doctors. It goes to show that the human body is a mystery that is continually being solved. I think that this book is amazing and I suggest it to everyone! It will keep you on your toes the entire time you are reading it. You won't want to put it down!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Vizcaya

Title: Vizcaya
Author: Lina Rivera
Grade: B-

Nikki and Diego fell in love at a teenage bonfire. They were the perfect couple until they met Nelli. Nelli is a rich, beautiful girl who always gets what she wants. Nelli wants Diego and will do what ever she has to to get Diego. Diego is an artist who draws what inspires him. Nikki feels threatened when she finds Diego drawing Nelli at the beautiful museum, Vizcaya. All three of their worlds change at this moment.

Vizcaya is coming of age story about teen dating and desires. It is a pretty typical young adult love story; boy dates girl, beautiful girl enters picture, beautiful girl steals boy from other girl, other girl is not happy. I always enjoy a good romance, but I have to say that this book was very predictable, until the very end. The end did surprise me, but I won't give it away.  I liked the mixture if different character dynamics and personalities of Nikki, Nelli, and Diego. I loved that Nelli was a dancer because I am a dance. My favorite parts of the book were reading about Nelli and her privileged world and seeing Diego's normal world being mixed in. Diego has to make himself fit in with Nelli's family and the customs of the rich and famous. Other than that, I was slightly bored during the entire book. I thought that the plot was very drawn out and could have been shortened a bit. I do think that young adult romance fans will enjoy this book, but otherwise it is a hit or miss. You can read more about Lina and her books on her website.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: I Thought I Saw a Dragon Late Last Night

Title: I Thought I Saw a Dragon Late Last Night
Author:  Clayton J Liotta
Source: Review
Grade: B+

As said in my previous review, I am a preschool teacher so I love picture books. I Thought I Saw a Dragon is a picture book about a little boy who thinks he sees a dragon and sets out on a mission to find the dragon. He thinks about all the places a dragon might be and the reasons behind each hiding place. The boy goes through his whole town looking for the dragon and eventually convinces himself that he imagined that he saw the dragon.

Liotta both illustrated and wrote the book. He has drawn beautiful and and colorful pictures that I think any child would love. I really like that the main character's face is hidden in each picture. I think it would make it easy to imagine that the reader is the child. The book is written as a rhyme which I love because I can talk about rhyming words when I read it to my preschoolers. The only thing I did not like was that the book is not very large. This would make it hard to read in a large group setting because I can just hear my students complaining about not being able to see the pictures. Overall, I really enjoyed reading the book and I think many children would enjoy reading it! You can read more about Clayton and his books at his website.

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: A Quest for Good Manners

Title: A Quest for Good Manners
Author: Karin Lefranc
Source: Review
Grade A+

For those that did not know, I am a preschool teacher. That being said, I have a soft spot in my heart for children's books. I love my job and take very seriously what books I choose to read to my students. I like books that have bright, colorful pictures, not to many words on each page, and of course a theme that can be discussed. A Quest for Good Manners has each of these three things. The book is about a princess and her dragon who have terrible manners. They burp and slurp, are not polite, and have horrible table manners. The Queen is so disgusted that she sends the two on a quest to find "good manners". The princess and dragon go throughout the land where they take part in many obstacles set up to help them discover what good manners are.

I love the theme of this book! Good manners is a topic that many preschoolers are still learning. This book presents manners in a fun and easy to explain way. Children will love looking at the colorful pictures and the fun adventures the princess and dragon embark on. The dialogue on each page is perfect; not to long and not to short. The book does not drag on and is just long enough that it will hold the preschoolers attention. I plan on reading this to my preschoolers at the beginning of the year to jump start the year long lesson of learning good manners. I think this will be a book that myself and my students will refer to over and over again. You can read more about Karin and her book at her website.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review: Jericho 3

Title: Jericho 3
Author: Paul McKellips
Source: Review from Author
Grade: A-

Synopsis from Amazon
U.S. Navy Captain "Camp" Campbell and Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Raines, the heroes of Paul McKellips' acclaimed debut, UNCAGED, return, determined to execute a mission that leaves millions of lives hanging in the balance. At the heart of this operation is the dire need to prevent a first-strike with a weapon known in intelligence circles as...JERICHO 3. In a remote corner of Afghanistan, three patients are diagnosed with a rare, incredibly infectious disease. At a U.S. base just outside Pakistan, an American army doctor is kidnapped by a local tribe to perform an unlikely surgical procedure on the wife of a powerful leader. And back in the U.S., Camp is handed his most challenging assignment ever, which leaves the normally confident hero desperate for answers. All the while, Camp must hold back his secret desire for Leslie Raines, his beautiful cohort, as they are sent off on two sides of the same mission...only to reunite when the stakes get deadly. With his trademark grit and a globe-racing plot, Paul McKellips takes readers deep into the Middle East conflict, raising timely questions of radicalism, faith, and honor. As the clock ticks down toward Armageddon, Camp and Raines must do everything it takes to stop the total annihilation of two countries.


Jericho 3 is the sequel tho McKellips' first book, Uncaged. I have not read the first book so I was a little worried about picking up with the second book in the series. When I started reading the book, it did not really matter that I had not read Uncaged. McKellips gives enough background information about the characters and plot that I was able to understand what was going on. I had mixed feelings when initially reading this  book. It took me a good 100 pages to actually get into the book. The book is divided into 3 parts and the first part I found quite boring. Once part 2 started, I was hooked for the most part. I did struggle a bit with understanding the military acronyms and terms that were used, but I was able to understand the basic premise of the book.

McKellips definitely knows how to keep a reader on the edge of their seat. Every time I started to get slightly disinterested, McKellips switches gears and shocks the reader. I won't give away the end, but let me just say  my heart was racing when I closed the book. I did get a bit confused at times about the many different story lines and I was sometimes confused about how they all worked together. The story takes place in many different parts of the world, but by the end every story line came together.  It was interesting to see how much work goes into creating vaccines and all of the trials they have to go through to actually use a vaccine in society. The book also included many "hot topics" of conversation in today's media; animal testing, the war on terrorism, the military, Alzheimer's disease. It is a book that I believe many political junkies would enjoy reading. You can read more about Paul McKellips and Jericho 3 at Paul's website.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review: Don't Disappear Part 2

Title: Don't Disappear Part 2: The Betweenism
Author: Nina Guest
Source:  Review
Grade: B-

This is the second book in the series about Vicka Zotova. Check out my review for the first book here!

This book picks up where book 1 leaves off. Vicka has made it back to Russia but has changed her name to Danna, as well as her children's names so that she can live peacefully. While finally free from slavery, Danna must make the hard transition back into normal life. She must decide where to live, how to make money, how to keep her children fed, etc... Danna struggles with this and one bad thing after another continues to hit her. Every time she thinks she has finally got back on her feet, something else is thrown at her. It is a tough life, but Danna is thankful to be free and with her children.

I must admit I did not like this book as much as part 1. The plot did not pull me in, like in the first book. It just seemed like one bad think after another kept happening to Danna. She also goes through many, many husbands. I actually lost count and kept getting confused who she was married to. There were parts of the story that kept me on the edge of my seat, but mostly I was bored. I also wish that Nina Guest had included more interactions between Danna and her children throughout the book. I felt that there was way to much about Danna's many husbands and I would have been more interested reading about Danna and her kids. Overall I gave the book a B- because I did like that the book picked up right where the first one left off and it did hold my attention for some of it. I believe that Nina will be publishing at least two more books on this series, so stayed tuned!

Happy reading!