Book Reviews by Kady Garrett

Hurricanes in Paradise by Denise Hildreth

Hildreth’s book, Hurricanes in Paradise, is about four women who are struggling with their lives.  Riley came to Paradise Island to forget her past and make a new future, Tamyra came to escape the knowledge that she’s dying from HIV, Winnie came because her children made her in order to get over her dead husband, and Laine came to write her next novel.  These four women come to terms with themselves with the help and support of each other and face their demons with the help of God.

                To begin with, I loved this book and found little wrong with it.  The ending had an unpredictable twist to it, which made it even better.  Oddly enough, the lack of background information on the characters kept you reading to find out more, rather than frustrated.  Additionally, the book was very humorous and had many laugh out loud moments.  Furthermore, the descriptiveness of the setting and characterization was artfully done in a way that allowed you to picture yourself as part of the story.  I also loved how real and believable the characters were – they had actual pain and hurt that managed to get the reader to experience it with them.  One last thing I loved was the Christian connotation to the book and how God helped mold the women’s lives.  There were a few typos, but that’s expected with advanced reader copies.  All in all, Hurricanes in Paradise was a wonderful book which I would definitely recommend you reading.

Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with this complimentary copy to review.

Review by Kady Garrett

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The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller

Miller’s biography, The Revolutionary Paul Revere, tells the drama-filled story of Paul Revere in the format of a novel.  The book begins with Revere’s father being taken to the American colonies and gradually progresses through Paul’s life starting from his childhood.  Joel J. Miller’s biography covers Paul’s famous ride to worn the colonies of Britain’s arrival, but more importantly, it tells Paul Revere’s story behind the ride. 

                I loved how in depth the book went into Revere’s life, and how it did it in a way that allowed you to get to know Paul.  The story had a definite beginning and end, along with a climax, just like a good novel does.  My experiences with Thomas Nelson’s biographies has always proved them to be fresh exciting (unlike most biographies), and The Revolutionary Paul Revere did not disappoint.  Furthermore, the topic of Paul Revere was a well chosen and well researched one by Miller (round of applause for Miller, everybody).  In conclusion, the book kept you on your toes, was informative, and all in all a fun read!

Thank you to Shelby Sledge at Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicity for providing me with this book to review!

Review by Kady Garrett

Souvenirs of Solitude by Brennan Manning

Manning’s book, Souvenirs of Solitude is a collection of personal ‘souvenirs’ which Manning acquired by spending time alone in the presence of God.  Brennan Manning’s insights are thoughtful and thought-provoking.  Each chapter’s topic always manages to get the reader tSouvenirs of Solitudeo think about his or hers personal experiences with God and the subject without failing to tell Brennan’s story.  Souvenirs of Solitude encourages the reader to spend their own time alone with God and collect their own ‘souvenirs’, yet manages to do it in a way that doesn’t seem demanding.  The book closes with an Eight-Day Retreat for the Reader.

                I found Souvenirs of Solitude to be a beautifully written and inspiring memoir.  I truly enjoyed reading it.  The book stimulated my mind in a positive manner which made me think about my own time alone with God (or lack of it), and managed to make that a number-one priority with myself.  In addition, the prayers at the end of each chapter were so honest and real that I was brought to tears at the truth of what they were saying.  Yet another part of the book that spurred tears from my eyes were the stories Manning incorporated into the book. In conclusion, Souvenirs of Solitude was a beautiful collection of inspiring stories of Manning’s alone time with God.

Thank you to NavPress for providing me with this book to review!

I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

–          Review by Kady Garrett

Will The World End In 2012? By Raymond C. Hundley

To begin with, I did not like Hundley’s Will The World End In 2012?, which is supposed to be a Christian guide to whether the world really will end on December 21, 2012.  Raymond breaks down each supporting detail to the world ending in 2012 by discussing each probability of it happening by chapter.  Hundley uses scientific data and facts to represent each possibility, then, at the end of the chapter, he states his “Conclusion” on whether he thinks each factor is a good argument in supporting the world ending.  One example of a chapter topic he uses is the Mayan calendar ending on December 21, 2012.

                I felt the book left you confused at the end of each chapter and not knowing what to believe.  Furthermore, the book was directed more so to nonbelievers, rather than Christians who were looking for a Christian point of view on the subject.  At the end of the book, Raymond has a long chapter dedicated on preparing for the end of the world, whether or not it happens in 2012.  In conclusion, I felt Will The World End In 2012? left the reader with more questions than answers and failed to give a Christian viewpoint on the matter.

Thank you to Book Sneeze for providing me with this book to review!

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review by Kady GarrettWill The World End In 2012?

Beguiled by Deanne Gist and J. Mark BertrandBeguiled by Deanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand

To start off, I absolutely loved Beguiled.  The story is about Rylee Monroe, a dog walker is Charleston, being stalked at the same time that a series of burglaries are happening to her clients.  Meanwhile, reporter Logan Woods is on the story and ends up falling in love with Rylee, forcing him to choose between his job, Rylee, and getting to the bottom of the thieveries.  I felt this was an awesome plot for the romantic thriller.       

                Furthermore, the book immediately caught my interest and never lost; I had a hard time putting it down.  I also enjoyed the characterization in the story and how I was able to feel close to the characters, as if they were personal acquaintances.  Additionally, Beguiled managed to keep me on my toes, not knowing what was going to happen next.  The surprise twist toward the end of the book, which also heightened the most suspense, and where the Robin Hood burglar turned out to be a killer, was my favorite part.  Lastly, I felt the writing was very artfully done.  In closing, Beguiled is now a personal favorite of mine and great read.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with this book to review!

Review by Kady Garrett

Jane Austen by Peter Leithart

The back of Leithart’s Jane Austen says, “This biography captures the varied sides of Austen’s character and place her Christian faith in a more balanced light with less distortion that has been achieved previously.”  I was previously unaware of Jane having Christian faith, and was a bit disappointed that the book didn’t emphasize it more directly.  After all, the whole point of the Christian Encounters series is to show the Christian faith that certain historical figures contained. 

                Additionally, I was expecting the biography to read more like a novel, like some of the other Christian Encounters books did, but instead found the book to be a typical biography, drolling on and on.  I do feel that Jane Austen was a great subject for Peter Leithart to choose to write for the Christian Encounters series.  Although I was generally disappointed with the format of the book, I did enjoy the little tidbits it contributed from some of Jane’s poems and letters.  In addition, I appreciated how well researched the facts were and found them to be accurate.  In conclusion, I enjoyed the subject of Jane Austen, but did not like the format.

Thanks to Shelby Sledge of Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists for providing me with this book to review!

-Review by Kady GarrettJane Austen by Peter Leithart

Saint Patrick by Jonathan Rogers

Saint Patrick is a biography on St. Patrick, St. Patrick’s Day’s namesake.  The major references Jonathan Rogers used for the books were two of Saint Patrick’s books, Confession and Epistle.  Rogers begins the story with a teenage Patrick being turned over into slavery and then gradually tells the story of how Saint Patrick played a major part in converting the Irish to Christianity.

                One thing I loved about Saint Patrick was how it read like a novel instead of a just-facts biography – it really told Patrick’s story.  Additionally, I felt like Rogers knew his stuff and presented the facts in a fresh and fun manner.  I also liked how the chapters were written in chronological order, unlike the format of many biographies.  However, I thought the last chapter, chapter 7, rambled a bit.  Another thing that I did not find favorable was how the beginning of the book failed to capture your immediate attention; I had to struggle to keep on reading.  Although, after I got started, I couldn’t put the book down.  All in all, I liked Jonathan Roger’s compact biography on St. Patrick.

Thank you to Book Sneeze for providing me with this book!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review by Kady GarrettSaint Patrick by Jonathan Rogers

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