A Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe

Y’all. This book is so amazing that I rearranged my schedule so I could read it before I left for vacation so I could get this review posted for you. If you’re a mom of a tween girl, then this book is one for you. If you’re not, then you can at least read my review and then buy a copy because you’re curious. ūüėČ

FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 240
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Title: A Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe
Nonfiction

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ABOUT THE BOOK

You can’t change the world, but you can prepare her for it.

Your daughter is facing challenges you never dealt with at her age! From skyrocketing anxiety rates to bullying on social media, the Enemy’s lies are everywhere. How do you help the girl you love walk in freedom?

Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe, the companion book to Lies Girls Believe is your tool to come alongside your daughter in the fight against the lies the world is telling her. Based on in-depth research and focus groups led by Dannah Gresh, author of Secret Keeper Girl and Lies Young Women Believe (Coauthored with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth,) Lies Girls Believe teaches your daughter the Truth she will need to navigate the challenges she is facing. The Mom’s Guide provides research, cultural trends, and case studies about the problems tween girls face, but also offers encouragement and biblical insight to empower you to talk with your daughter about God’s truth.

Together, these books give you the tools you need to start important conversations at an age-appropriate pace. Topics include:

  • Lies about God
  • Lies about Friendship
  • Lies about the Future
  • Lies about Myself
  • Lies about Boys
WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

I really don’t remember what made me choose to request this book for review, but I’m glad I did.

Disclaimer: I’m not a mom, therefore I’m not the target audience, so my thoughts are more subjective than the average reviewer.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

I started this book on a Wednesday night, just after having a conversation with one of my tween friends at church. The conversation included her showing me her Instagram and breaking into a happy dance because her crush had voted on her story. It saddened me to see a girl – who should still be enjoying the simplicity of childhood – being wrapped up in the drama of social media.

Then I came home and began reading this book and cheered for it on nearly every single page. Y’all. This book is full of gold.

The book itself is bright, cheery, reminiscent of childhood, colorful, and interactive. It was late at night when I opened the pages, but it was so interesting I kept reading, and reading, and reading, even though I had only planned to read the first few pages. Two days later and I’ve finished the book.

This book is supposed to be read at the same time your daughter is reading Lies Girls Believe. In fact, this book includes a lot of the pages from the Lies Girls Believe, while giving the mom ideas of how to have good conversations with their daughters, as well as helping the mom see how she can model the various truths taught.

In addition to being full of truth, this book was also very interesting and kept me engaged as I read. It quoted the Bible a lot (in a different color and font which was pretty cool), added statistics, case study stories, and facts. If I had a tween daughter this is most definitely a book I’d want to go through with her.

There are twenty lies in the book, along with twenty truths to combat them. These lies/truths include a wide range of topics, from how to see God correctly, to body image, to bullying, to social media, to what it’s like to be a girl (exploring topics like periods, etc…). The book covers tons of territory in just over two hundred pages and I was very impressed.

CONCLUSION

Y’all. This book was truly fantastic. Tweens these days are bombarded by so many lies, and the best time to teach them truths is¬†right now. I highly applaud the authors of this book, as well as the publishers to work at getting this important message out into the world.

RATING

I‚Äôm giving A Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe¬†five out of five stars¬†‚Äď Moody Publishers was very kind to send me a copy of this book so I could review it.

In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day

Y’all. This title. Can we just stop for a moment and all say that title out loud together? I like talking about this book simply for the sake of saying the title. In fact, sometimes when I’m driving by myself I say the title just because it feels like I’m telling a whole story or singing a song instead of quoting the title of a book.

Anyway. To the review.

QUICK STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 208
Publisher: Multnomah
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Title: In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day
Author: Mark Batterson
Nonfiction

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THREE PROS AND One Con

Pros:
1. You want the inspiration to get out there and do what you’re supposed to be doing? This book will give you the shove that you need while being interesting, entertaining, and full of truth.
2. With the Bible as the guide, this book talks about living the life God meant for you to live. So, it’s not the “you can do whatever you want because you’re powerful” mumble-jumble. Instead, it’s “you can do what God created you to do because He’s working through you” type of truth.
3. The author shares real-life stories – both from today’s day and age and from the Bible – that will help remind you of what the important things in life are.

Cons:
1. It does get a bit redundant, and that’s actually the only negative thing I have to say about the book. See, it really was a great book.

CONCLUSION & RATING

Y’all should probably read this book. Request it from your library or splurge to have such a cool title on your shelf. You can always pass it along when you’re done reading it because you probably know someone who needs the message the book provides.

I gave¬†In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day¬†four out of five stars.¬†And, I don’t have any review sites/publishers to thank for providing this gem, because I bought it instead of receiving it for review. ūüėČ

A King’s Mercy

FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 400
Publisher: WaterBrook
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Title: A King’s Mercy
Fiction

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ABOUT THE BOOK

When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will, Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith.

As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

Solely because of the author.

In fact, I just now (as I’m writing this review) read the back cover¬†for the first time. And goodness, may I say it gives¬†way¬†too many spoilers? Seriously, it’s giving away plot twists that don’t happen until probably three-fourths of the way through the book. I’m so glad I didn’t read the back cover before I read the book.

But back to the author. I read¬†Many Sparrows¬†several years ago and really liked it, although because of some content issues I only gave it three stars. Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for more of Miss Lori’s books because of her writing and the time period and settings she tackles.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

This book had me up and down and all over the place. Instead of going with pros and cons, we’re going to go with the beginning, middle, and ending.

Beginning – Two Stars

Y’all. This part drove me nuts. It kept flashing back to a year before and showing how the main character got to where he was when the book started. It was hard for me to keep picking the book up to read more because I wished the author would have just given us one telling paragraph of backstory and moved on.

Middle РFour Stars 

When the time hopping stopped the book went from being¬†meh¬†to making me not want to put it down. There were several characters that drew me in and really made the book for me. Jemma, a young slave girl, was my favorite for sure and I liked the portions with her storyline the best. She’s such a feisty little dear and I wanted to gather her up in a huge hug. The way Alex (the main male character) responded to her was my favorite thing about Alex for sure.

The middle of the book also contained several plot twists (that is, if you didn’t read the back cover) that propelled the book into a direction I hadn’t imagined. At one point in time I thought the author might do something totally risky with her characters and make it go in a direction no one would suspect, but alas, she didn’t.

Ending РTwo/three Stars 

At about the 85% mark, we reached the point where I could predict the rest of the book and I was right, so that was a bit disappointing to me. There was also more violence/disturbing things in the last few chapters of the book. The author did a great job of making everything appear dark and bleak, and although I see why she did it, it wasn’t something I liked. Because of that, the book lost the four-star rating I had been planning on in the middle of the story, and I decided to go with three stars.

CONCLUSION

The book does contain violence and alludes (strongly) to some bad things that the “villain” does, but it never goes into detail. There’s a lot of revenge that takes place, ill-treatment of slaves, and other things that I won’t mention for the sake of spoilers.

On the bright side, the book gives a nod to a certain book of the Bible, and it was cool seeing the comparisons. ūüėČ

It was also cool learning about the history behind the title of the book. Y’all should look it up.

RATING

I‚Äôm giving¬†A King’s Mercy three out of five stars¬†‚Äď NetGalley graciously provided an e-copy of this book for me so I could review it.

Wait, I’m Reviewing A Beverly Lewis Book?

This is one author I never thought I’d be reviewing on my blog. ūüėČ I was pleasantly surprised, although probably not in the way you’d think. Enjoy the review!

FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 320
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Title: The Tinderbox
Fiction

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ABOUT THE BOOK

With her Amish parents’ twentieth anniversary approaching, eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller stumbles across a surprise–the old brass tinderbox her clockmaker father keeps in his Lancaster County shop has been left unlocked. Against her better judgment, Sylvia opens the cherished heirloom, not realizing that what she is about to discover will splinter apart her happy life.

Sylvia’s bewilderment grows when her father confronts her about snooping in the box. To her amazement, the respected convert to the Old Order reacts as if he has something to hide.

Burdened by the weight of his deception, Earnest Miller decides he must reveal the details about his past to his beloved wife, Rhoda. The long-kept secret alters everything for the close-knit family, jeopardizing Earnest and Rhoda’s relationship, as well as threatening Sylvia’s recent engagement to the preacher’s grandson.

Can the Millers find a way forward through the turmoil to a place of forgiveness and acceptance?

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

I’ve heard about Beverly Lewis books for years. From everything I’ve heard I knew she didn’t write my style books, but I still was curious and wanted to give them a try. When this one was offered to me I thought it sounded interesting without sounding too romantic, so I requested to review it.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

When I thought Miss Beverly’s books wouldn’t be my style I was correct. But, as I read this book I found it surprisingly interesting. So, let’s hit my three pros and three cons.

Pros:
1. The worldbuilding was amazing. This was my favorite part of the book. Whenever I picked up The Tinderbox I felt my world slip away as I entered the story in the book.
2. The differences in speech were done well enough that it emersed me in the story instead of confusing me. I’ve read a couple of books featuring¬†Amish over the years and the authors always throw in some Pennsylvania Dutch words here and there to make it seem authentic. Most of the time though, those attempts just annoy me. But, in this book, they felt natural and helped the story along.
3. Although how everything played out annoyed me, I thought that everything the characters did seemed like very reasonable actions. The characters felt real and multi-layered, and I did like the relationships they had with each other.

Cons:
1. This book was nice and idyllic, which I’m sure was the point. For me though, I like a bit more of a plot. I guess if I cared more about the characters then I would have been more invested in how their lives played out. As it was though, I found the pace too slow.
2. How things were dealt with – while being very realistic – bothered me. Of course, this is 100% preference and probably wouldn’t bother everyone the same way.
3. Neither the “reveal” to the secret nor the plot twist (I think that’s what it was?) surprised me at all.

CONCLUSION

If this was a book written by one of my favorite authors I probably would have given it two stars because it wasn’t my style. As it was, I was very pleasantly surprised although I don’t think I’ll be reading more of Miss Beverly’s books. I am impressed by her writing though, and especially her worldbuilding.

**Content note: Two of the POV characters are a married couple that are having issues – as the back cover says. I thought everything was tastefully written, but it does allude to how bad their relationship problems are affecting every part of thier lives.

RATING

I‚Äôm giving¬†The Tinderbox¬†three out of five stars¬†‚Äď Thank you to Bethany Publishers for giving me a book to review.

Books I’m Taking on Vacation

Y’all! Our internet has been down at our house for the last two days, so I’m currently sitting up at my brother’s empty house (cause they’re on vacation) writing this post.

Today I’m talking about the books that I’ll be taking on vacation. I’d be delighted to hear about how much reading you generally do on vacation, and what format of books you nromally take.

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky (Fiction)
This is an ebook from NetGalley. I requested it a while ago but then didn’t get around to reading it yet. The book takes place in 1909, the main girl is rich, there’s something to do with a newspaper, and that’s basically all I know. (Hey, I like going into my books blind.) I’ve wanted to try this author for a while now, and vacation seemed like the perfect time to give it a go.

Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar
I bought this book around the beginning of the year, yet am currently listening to it as an audiobook from Overdrive. (Which is how I plan to take it.) Although Tessa Afshar’s writing is a favorite of mine, the two books in this series have not been making my happy list. So many bad things happen that it’s exceedingly frustrating to listen to, yet I can’t give up on the characters now.

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes
Bethany House Publishers sent me a copy of this book for review, and I lent it to a friend to see if she wanted to try a stab at reviewing it for my blog. She decided she’d rather not review it, but it won’t work out for me to get the book back from her before we leave for Mexico, so I downloaded the e-book from NetGalley which actually works pretty well for me since I’m packing light.

Homeschool Bravely by Jamie Erickson (Nonfiction)
This is a book I received from Moody Publishers to review. It was released last month and already has 76 reviews on Amazon with a 4.9 out of 5 star average. That sounds pretty impressive to me. I’m looking forward to this book because, although I was homeschooled, I’ve never read a book about homeschooling.

Holy Noticing by Charles Stone (Nonfiction)
Another book from Moody Publishers. This one interests me because it sounds like it’s going to talk about how our brains work and why we naturally do certain things. As long as it’s in layman terms, I find books like this to be utterly fascinating.

A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White
This is the only re-read I currently plan on taking with me. It was the first book I read in the¬†Shadows Over London¬†series (no, I didn’t read the middle book first on purpose), and since I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the series, I want to give this one a re-read, especially since…

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White
I have¬†The Number of Love to review! Y’all, I’m¬†so¬†excited about this! It’s the book I’m most looking forward to this year and I’m so thankful to have a physical copy of the book heading my way. I actually want to wait until the physical copy of the book comes in, but I also have access to the e-version of the book and since I¬†will¬†be on vacation, I might cave and read it while I’m gone.

And, in case any of y’all don’t know the connection,¬†The Number of Love¬†is about Margot De Wilde, who was one of the characters in¬†A Song Unheard, which is the middle book in the¬†Shadows Over London¬†triology that takes place during WW1.¬†The Number of Love¬†(Margot is a mathematical genius) is the first in The Codebreakers series and takes place during WW2. I’m so, so excited about reading it.

In addition to these books, I’ll also be taking along a Hardy Boys book and a Nancy Drew book for my little brother who’s already on vacation. I doubt I’ll have room to lug any more physical copies of books along, but maybe they’ll fit in. ūüėČ

*****

How many books do you generally read on vacation?
I’ll be gone for twelve days and seriously have no clue how much reading I’ll be doing. I generally fly through books on vacation, but ya never know…

The Grand Adventure Around the Corner

Sometimes I feel like the most dramatic human on earth. (Actually, that in and of itself was a dramatic statement. I’m not really¬†quite¬†that dramatic.)

See, it feels like a somewhat earth-blowing (that’s a mixture of earth-shattering and mind-blowing, in case you wondered) experience to be moving away from my lovely little home and delightful family, even if it’s only for a few months.

It’s not like I’ve never left home before. I went to Peru for two months once, to Indonesia for a month, and I’ve spent four or five weeks in Mexico various times over the last few years. But this? This is different. It’s me moving off to start a new job, live in a camper¬†by myself, and having a grand adventure without a passel of siblings surrounding me. Plus, there’s also the possibility that I’ll be going to India for three months at the end of my summer away, so that’s kinda big, too.¬†IMG_0108.jpg

It feels rather huge.

I’m excited. Thrilled, really. I’m ready for the adventure, eager to start, and raring to go. Yet, at the same time I sit here each morning the birds serenading me a with a beautiful symphony and wonder why I ever thought it was a good idea to leave.

Today is my last day at the coffee shop. I keep telling myself that I might be back in a few months, but I’m not sure if that’s because that will make it easier for to say good-bye or because I really believe it.

Three and a half days from now I’m off to join my family for vacation and when I get home? Well, then I move homes. And as long as I focus on the delightful thought that my camper¬†will¬†be my home I’m excited. I can’t wait to grocery shop (seriously, the amount of excitement that is causing me is kinda scary), learn the ins-and-outs of camper life, and begin my own routines.

Yet, at the same time I know I’ll miss a lot of special things… My niece being born, haying, VBS, all the loveliness of being surrounded by family, the summer memories that are inevitably made each year, and dancing barefoot in church.

I’m trying to make sure I’m balanced with what I think about – both delighting in the newness that will be my new normal and also thinking through what I will miss so I won’t be blindsided by it.

So, I’m dramatic about moving (I know it sounds like I’m leaving for years instead of months), but I’m fine with the drama, because it’s a grand adventure in life and it’s just around the corner.

April in Review {2019}

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What I Focused on in April 
  1. Keeping up with work and home life – this is the busy time for the coffee shop and my other job includes cutting grass, and the grass cutting season just started back up
  2. Getting ready to move for several months – fixing up the camper I’ll be living in, shopping, cleaning, paperwork, etc…
  3. Spending quality time with my people

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READING UPDATE

Fiction: 3
Nonfiction: 2
Audiobooks: 5
Books for Review: 2

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TRAVELING

What does this word even mean? I used to do a lot of it. Nowadays? Well, I’m happy to be home as much as possible. Next month that will change.

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GOALS
  1. Make a list of everything I need to do before moving – YES
  2. Taxes – YES
  3. Go through papers by desk – YES
  4. Go through drawer in coffee table – YES
  5. Go through stuff on back of bed – YES
  6. Clean and return Leo’s overalls from caving – YES
  7. Finish reviewing Moody books and request new ones – YES
  8. Clean camper – YES
  9. Writing Project Thing – YES
  10. Project Thing – YES
  11. Four Bookstagram Pictures – YES
  12. Walk 40 Miles – NO (Haha, wow, Lyds. Obviously you didn’t realize how busy this month would be)
  13. Paleo 18 days – YES
  14. Car tires changed – YES
  15. Home for Whimsy – YES
  16. Shop for clothes and shoes for work – YES
  17. Pay Dad for airline tickets – YES
  18. Goal Thing – YES
  19. Begin mowing РYES
  20. Watch or listen to TCK stuff each week – YES
  21. Curtains for camper – YES
So, for my month-long goals, I accomplished 20/21, and for my weekly goals, I accomplished 53/59. 
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WHAT I’VE BEEN LEARNING
  • Apparently, license plates have to be renewed. Who knew? So, I learned what it’s like to get pulled over. Thankfully, it was a very kind police guy who let me off with just a warning
  • Lots of paperwork and taxes stuff. Not my strongest part of life
  • How to juggle life when it’s extra busy at work, at home, and I’m also planning on moving for the summer soon, so I have all that craziness
  • More about my personality and how it does and doesn’t work and what areas I need to grow in. (Evidently,¬†it’s a thing with Enneagram type 3 people to act like they have it all together, and that their lives are wildly successful? And, as it turns out, that isn’t true…)
  • How amazing it is to listen to audiobooks when life is too busy to get much reading done
  • Hindi. Yeah, I was fairly certain I was the kind of girl who could never learn a new language, but here I am
  • That life is better after you’ve had an affogato
  • Once you’ve had one affogato, you’ll want more

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OTHER 

This month felt like a blur of fast-paced running to keep up with life – without the running part because that’s the only goal from April that I failed sadly on.

April was delightful and full of lovely moments to recall in months to come. Like dropping what we were doing and running outside to sit on hay bales to watch the sunset. Or sitting in the freezing creek at night – because, ya know, things like that are important. Or having random picnics and rolling down hills. (I recommend doing that in reverse order, though.)

April was also full of not quite-so-delightful moments like having paperworkish things move me to tears, running into issues with the camper I’m hoping to move into, and going for about six weeks (not all in April, obviously) not being able to sleep well because my brain was so full of things that needed to be done.

April was gorgeous beyond belief. It was like having a whole extra month of May and I was thrilled nearly every day by how beautiful, lovely, and dreamy the land is where I live.