Saturday, September 30, 2006

Book Review: "Dreaming in Black and White" by Laura Jensen Walker


Tomorrow: Book Giveway! Stay tuned for details.

yay for movie buffs!

I will not lie. I am a movie trivia buff and I am proud of it. I watch the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes every year (would watch the SAG awards but alas i don't cable). i love all sorts of movies (hence why i would include movies on that deserted island of mine). Therefore Phoebe Grant would prally be my new best friend. Out of all the chick lit books I've read so far, this is far and away my new favorite book. Funny, touching, and with TONS of movie references I didnt want the book to end (and yay there's a sequel). Phoebe is a working class woman who is not afraid to be single. Movies and her friends are the source of her life, until she loses her job in Cleveland and is forced to go back home to help her mom out in her small town in California. The characters are multi-dimensional and FUN! I honestly never had so much fun reading a book. I feel like I'm gushing too much about it! Her reactions and emotions are perfectly reasonably in certain situations. And she eats! And while yes she would like to lose weight, she is not obsessive about it, like other characters in other books. She is also not in search of finding a husband. If one turns out, great, if not she'll live. And yes Phoebe is a Christian, but the book is not preachy at all. My only complaint is that the book came out before the 2005 edition of Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knigtley. I'm sure Phoebe would have loved it too! Great books, highly highly recommended.

Dreaming in Black and White by Laura Jensen Walker is published by Thomas Nelson (2005)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Book Review: "Impasse" by Laurel Oke Logan

impasse: a position or situation from which there is no escape

Before reading this book, I had never heard of this word before (it never showed up on my SAT list!) Reading this book gave me a somewhat better understanding of the meaning. I read this book after going through Bethany House's old Portraits series and I had to inter-library loan it because this was the only book in the entire series that no library in this entire area had. "Impasse" tells the story of Esther, a television reporter, and Jon, a history teacher, and the choices they make that lead them into a deadlock. The story deals mainly with the creation vs. evolution debate, and what's a Christian to do about it in school. This book was one of those older Christian romance novels I'm not too particularly fond of. Esther comes off rather weak when dealing with her fiance, letting him run all over her until the very end of the story. Also something I never find realistic in romance novels were the two characters getting engaged after knowing each other for less than 6 months. There also seems to be a dislike for non-traditional church services. I also did not realize this story was a modern retelling of the book of Esther until page 200. Hopefully others would catch on more quickly than I did. Final verdict: ok story, interesting arguments on evolution vs. creation, so so characters.

Impasse by Laurel Oke Logan is published by Bethany House (1997)

Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins

Here's a review from the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance:

Well folks, it must be Wednesday. From September 27th thru the 29th, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance presents Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins.

Violet Dawn, which released in August of this year, is published by Zondervan and is part of Brandilyn's new Kanner Lake series. There are two other books to come...Coral Moon, releasing in March of '07, and Crimson Eve, releasing in September of '07.

You must also stop by and visit Scenes and Beans, the REAL blog for the fictional Java Joint coffehouse in Kanner Lake.

This is a unique marketing tool for the series, involving about 30 other
writers (including several of our CFBA members), and eventually involving readers of the series who want to audition posts.

Now, I've made you wait long enough. The book is classic Brandiln Collins Seatbelt Suspense. It grabs you from the very beginning...



Something sinuous brushed against Paige's knee. She jerked her leg away.


What was that? She rose to a sitting position, groped around with her left hand.

Fine wisps wound themselves around her fingers.

Hair?

She yanked backward, but the tendrils clung. something solid bumped her wrist. Paige gasped. With one frantic motion she shook her arm free, grabbed the side of the hot tub, and heaved herself out.



I'm telling you that this is suspense at it's finest! Brandilyn has a group of friends that she affectionately calls the Big Honkin' Chickens Club, because the women in the group are unnerved by Brandilyn's writing. This new series is a prime example of that kind of work!

Paige Williams slips into her hot tub in the blackness of night...and finds herself face to face with death.

Alone, terrified, fleeing a dark past, Paige must make an unthinkable choice.

In Violet Dawn, hurtling events and richly drawn characters collide in a breathless story of murder, the need to belong, and faith's first glimmer. One woman's secrets unleash an entire town's pursuit, and the truth proves as elusive as the killer in their midst.

You can go HERE to read a first chapter excerpt. But using Brandilyn's famous tagline....."Don't forget to breathe..."

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blogging Chicks!

Book Review: "Terminal 9" by Patricia Rushford and Harrison James


Do you like CSI?

Then you'll like the McAllister series, and Terminal 9 is no exception. Gritty, realistic and often quite descriptive, this book explores the death of an old man which turns out not be just an accident. The story makes you feel as if you are part of the case as Mac and Dana uncover clues, interview suspects and discover body parts along the way. Mac and Dana make a good team, with none of the police detective stereotypes. They both allow each other to take charge and do thing his or her own way. They have a good relationship with a hint of romance but not so much to take away from the main story. *Note this is not a romance story so as not to scare off male readers.* I've enjoyed Patricia Rushford since reading her Jennie McGrady series and this book continues the enjoyment. And I've just discovered that my library has order book 4 of the series!

Terminal 9 by Patricia Rushford and Harrison James is published by Thomas Nelson (2005)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

CFBA

today i joined the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. looking foward to reviewing more books!

oh and i finished terminal 9 tonight. 1 down, 17 to go!

Fall Into Reading Challenge



Katrina at Callapidder Days has put a challenge out there for those of us who love to read.

"The purpose of this challenge is for us to establish some goals for our reading this Fall and then work toward them. Whether you have a pile of books that you've been intending to read but just haven't yet, or you need a gentle prod to finish some books that you started but then abandoned, or you would just like a little accountability as you work through your reading stack, this is the place for you. Read for entertainment, read to learn, read to improve your life, read to be inspired. Just read!"

This is great since I can keep track of the ever growing pile besides my bed.
So here's my list.

Terminal 9 by Patricia Rushford and Harrison James
Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante by Sharon Dunn
Under the Northern Lights by Tracie Peterson
Maggie's Story by Dandi Daley MacKall
Sadie-in-Waiting by Annie Jones
The Begotten by Lisa T. Bergren
Impasse by Laurel Oke Logan
Caught in the Middle by Gayle Roper
Dreaming in Black and White by Laura Jensen Walker
Allah's Fire by Gayle Roper
The Potluck Club by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson
Interior Motives by Ginny Aiken
The Prophet by Francine Rivers
Savannah Comes Undone by Denise Hildreth
Pitch Black by Melody Carlson
Entangled by Tracie Peterson
Sahm I am by Meredith Efken
The Trouble With Tulips by Mindy Starns Clark

This will also give you a good idea of the list of reviews to come. If there's any other books you think I should add, I'm open for suggestions!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Me and my Books



I started reading at the ripe old age of 3. No, I'm not trying to brag here, I have pretty darn good memory. My first movie experience was Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird
(
1985). I was just about to turn 2 years old. But I digress.

Christian fiction has always been my favorite genre. My first Christian novel was Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly. I remember this b/c I had trouble reading it due to the "prairie grammar". I couldn't understand it! Granted I was 7 at the time. Other than the "language barrier", I had become hooked. I was reading other stuff at the time, more age-level appropriate Baby Sitter Club and Nancy Drew books, but I enjoyed reading adult Christian fiction more than anything. Early (and still today) favorites were Janette Oke, Gilbert Morris, Angela Hunt, and Frank Peretti. I loved historical and biblical fiction. Some adults didn't believe I could read and fully understand the books though. My third grade Sunday School teacher didn't believe that I had read all of "A Woman Named Damaris" after we had discussed the bible story in class. She hadn't finished the book therefore I couldn't have. Some adults are just slow readers. I can't help that. Oh yeah, I read extremely fast too. On a non busy day I can read half a 300 page book. It's a gift? *shrugs*

Right now out of the 300 books that I own, over 200 of them are Christian fiction. I have (and read) historical to biblical, suspense to mystery (are they the same?), romance to chick lit. I'm glad to see that the genres are blossoming. It's nice to see that they are not stuck in the same old formula.

Now this is not to say that I like every single CF book there is. There are a bunch, espcially older CF, that I cannot stand b/c the characters are too perfect or make themselves to be martyr-like EVERY SINGLE TIME. I also don't like the way women are portrayed in some books. Just b/c you are a Christian does not mean that you have to let a man run all over you. I mean, please, some CF have men hitting women and not once does she stand up to him or do anything about it. All she does is forgive him at the end of the book and everyone is happy, la la la. Nothing wrong with forgiveness, but not a good message for readers in that situation.


Other than that, I adore CF. There's always something new to read and new authors to discover. Oh! and thanks to historical CF, i decided to switch my major from engineering to history, but that's another story....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Book Review: "Uncharted" by Angela Hunt


"Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink"

Wow, this book just blew me away. The back of the novel says "A blend of the movie "Castaway" and "The Big Chill" with a touch of the television series "Lost"" thrown in with the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. Yes that perfectly describes this book. I won't give away the ending but this is one of those books that you will think about long after you've finished it. The characters all seem to have two sides to their personalities. The two that stuck out the most to me were Mark and Lisa. At first these two appear to be complete opposites. Then it's revealed that really the two are exactly alike. Interesting to think also that just thinking about doing something is the same as actually doing it. This book also makes me wonder...is this what is going to happen on "Lost"? Angela Hunt is one of my favorite authors and proves again that she deserves to be.


Uncharted by Angela Hunt is published by Thomas Nelson (2006)

Book Review: "Theodora's Diary" by Penny Culliford


I wish I was British!

Hilarious book! Theodora is just like me...if I was British. The Bridget Jones formula works well in this book. I laughed at Theo's mom and her Greek tendencies. Imagine having a name like Agamemnon! The portrayal of very conservative and stay at home moms was accurate along with the reaction of those not comfortable with it. I was glad to read Theo's sister's response to Charity chastising her for not staying at home after she has the baby. Theodora is proud that she worked hard to have her job and people like Charity shouldn't put her down for not being like her. The Kevin "Fever Pitch" storyline was great too. I went out and rented the DVD after reading the book (I had no idea Colin Firth was in it!) This book makes me want to have a British accent.

Theodora's Diary by Penny Culliford is published by Zondervan (2001)

Book Review: "Tight Squeeze" by Debbie Digiovanni


Hip Mom Lit

I'm neither married nor pregnant but reading about Becca Joy's (i love that name) situation was a fun ride. I could relate with her about her relationship with her sister. The children are not annoying and the husband actually helps out around the house instead of acting clueless. Also reading about the spa trip was fun since I've always want to go to one but haven't' had to the chance too. A way to live vicariously through the characters. My only gripe is the perfect neighbor. While there's nothing wrong with seeing someone who appears to have it all together, Becca's neighbor seemed a little too perfect. By the end of the story there appears to be not one single flaw with her. That didn't seem real. Other than that a great fun read for anyone who enjoys light chick/mom-lit.

Tight Squeeze by Debbie DiGiovanni is published by Howard Books (2005)

Book Review: "Pink" by Marilynn Griffith


Pink isn't such a bad color after all

I wasn't sure whether I'd like this book since it appeared to be marketed to African-American females, and I'm Asian-American. Luckily I was proven wrong. "Pink" was a breezy refreshing read. The characters seemed real, not preachy or annoying and actually relatable. It was very cool to find out what goes on inside the fashion design world and how a small business operates. And it was very nice to to see the story from Flex's POV and not just assuming what he was thinking from Raya. Looking forward to reading Jade!

Pink by Marilynn Griffith is published by Revell (2006).

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bonjour! Hello! Hola!





hi! this is my new experience into the world of blogging (and not just random journal entries on livejournal or facebook etc.) i'll be mainly using this blog to post up book reviews, occasional movie reviews and anything interesting that happens in my life that i deem blog-worthy. 


quick bio- I'm currently a senior in college, graduating in dec (praying) with a BA in history and then in Jan (praying again) i'll be in grad school continuing with that history degree to find out what i want to do with it (since i dont want to teach, must find another option). I work in a library which is great for me (Free books! and movies! and no late fees!) I love reading. I have over 300 books and i desperatley need a new bookcase. I read mostly Christian fiction with the occasional Harry Potter (can't wait for book 7) and I've just discovered I like chick-lit. 


I love watching movies too. Favorites include Star Wars (all 6), Lord of the rings trilogy, Harry potter movies, Indiana Jones, Narnia, etc. I also love TV on DVD. Currently going through my Friends complete series. 


So that's all for now. Hope to update with each new book i read, currently reading 2 at the moment (and doing homework!). Until then......