Design Your Day By Clair Diaz-Ortiz: Book Review

Design Your Day
By Clair Diaz-Ortiz 
Find it on: 
First-Person 
Non-Fiction
126 Pages

Why I Choose this Book: 
The tag line is Be more productive, set better goals, and live life on purpose. Who doesn’t want that? Of course I wanted to read it. 
What I Thought About this Book:
It’s hard to know what I thought of this book. The information was really good, but I knew most of it. I was hoping for a creative spin that would tickle my brain because I can read the same information over and over again and get new ideas from it each time if it’s presented in a new way. Unfortunately Miss Claire’s style was just there and I neither enjoyed it or disliked it, so the book and I had a pretty passive relationship. 
I’m 100% certain though that this^ is just a “me thing” and that there are many people who will benefit greatly from her book. In fact, several things she said echoed what I’ve been learning but haven’t begun implementing into my life yet, so this was the push I need to get into gear.

Reading this book was somewhat of a strange experience because I felt like I could have written the first half. It sounded very much like me, which actually might be the reason I didn’t feel more inspired… It felt so normal. 

Miss Claire quotes Bob Goff and refers to him as a friend, so the rating almost jumped to four stars because of that. All in all I think the book was good, concise, and helpful, but just not my style for some odd, odd reason. (I’ll probably come back in two years and it will have become a well-worn five-star book that I recommend to everyone. I’ve had that type of thing happen before.) 
Conclusion: 
Good information. I need to implement some of the things from the second half into my life and I’m glad for this push. 
Rating: 
I’m giving Design Your Day Three Stars (five out of Ten).


*I received this book for free from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review*

The Counselor By A.W. Tozer: Book Review

The Counselor 
By A.W. Tozer 
Find it on: 

First-Person Narration 
Non-Fiction
181 Pages



Why I Choose this Book: 

These last few months I’ve been interested in finding out more about the Holy Spirit. Until recently I hadn’t thought much about Him, and so it’s almost like a whole new dimension was added to my world when I became consciously aware of Him in my life and in the world around me.

What I Thought About this Book:

I enjoyed reading this book, more so the second half than the first. It’s always enlightening to read books by great Christian authors and I’m so thankful I can learn from them instead of having to learn everything in life by trial and error.
The book was, as you can see from the title, about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is such an important part of being a Christian, but far too often we don’t even recognize the fact that He is one of the Trinity. He is alive and active, not an it or a thing. This book helped me to have a clearer understanding of who the Holy Spirit is and what He does in the world.

Sadly though, all in all this book wasn’t really my favorite. Somehow the author’s style bugged me a bit. He was emphatic about things that I wasn’t comfortable with him being emphatic about, and one of my quirks is being really bothered by that type of thing. I’m pretty sure this is just a “me” thing though, and that other people will enjoy it and glean a lot of good information while reading it.

Conclusion: 

There were some things I didn’t agree with, but overall it was good. I found myself challenged to live a holy and acceptable life before God. I especially liked chapter seven where he talks about different great men and woman of the faith. I want to look up some of the people he mentioned and read books about them. (I was familiar with most of the people, although it’s been a while since I’ve read anything by or about any of them.)

Rating: 

I am very picky with the number of stars I give books, hence the three stars. This book had several four-star chapters in it, so over all I’d give the book 3 & 1/2 stars.

*I received this book for free from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review*

Susanna Don’t You Cry Book Review and Giveaway

Susanna Don’t You Cry
by Zachary McIntire 
Find it on: 

Third person; Omnipresent
Fiction
180 Pages


About the Book 
Back cover Blurb
“I’ll never forgive him – never!”
Chuck Kincaid made a vow of hate the day his father walked out, and he still keeps it ten years later. His sister’s bad choices, his mother’s drug addiction – he knows who to blame for all of it.
But when Susanna and Kelly get their lives turned around by Jesus, Chuck doesn’t know what to think. And why is the rich stranger with the scarred face so interested in being his benefactor?
Failure and restoration. Hate and forgiveness. What is broken can be put back together, one small piece at a time.
Why I Choose this Book
A year and a half ago I had the privilege of hosting an Elisha Press author on Noveltea to celebrate the release of his first book, and I’ve also reviewed a couple of their books in the past six months. So when Elisha Press contacted me in December to see if I wanted to be part of the fun and festivities of the release of their newest book I jumped sat the chance. (Book releases are so special, and I always feel honored to be a part of one.) 
What I Thought about this Book 
What I Liked: 
1. How the brother and sister interact when they are younger. I grew up being really close to my next-older brother, so books with that element in it make me happy. 
2. The book contains good foreshadowing. One of my big pet peeves in books is when something happens very conveniently, yet not very realistically. This book was delightfully void of those occurrences to the best of my memory. 
3. Not only is there good foreshadowing, but there is also good set-up for why the choices that were made, were chosen.
4. There were a couple of times that I was like, “Oh, such and such a thing is about to happen” and then it did. It was nice getting to “know” the characters enough to predict their actions a little.
5. The author doesn’t go into needless details about the “issues” the book deals with (divorce, drugs, etc…), yet they weren’t glossed over either, I thought he hit a good balance.
6. There was good character development. All of the main characters ended the book very different from how they were in the beginning, and that is something that can be hard for an author to succeed with.
What I Didn’t Particularly Like:
1. There was a relationship that did not feel “right” to me; not that there was anything morally wrong with it, because there wasn’t, but it lacked depth and therefore believability.
2. Throughout the book I felt like the subject of money, success, and drive were not handled well (or, I at least didn’t agree with the conclusions). I ended up emailing with the author about the book as a whole and when we talked about the problems I had with these parts, I realized we saw more eye-to eye on this matter than I had thought. So that means I probably just misinterpreted what he was trying to say, but it still raised a red flag for me.   

Rating 
I’m giving Susanna Don’t You Cry Three Stars.
Conclusion 
Susanna Don’t You Cry wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, although I did find it interesting and an easy and enjoyable read. Elisha Press recommends the book for ages 12 and up due to themes such as divorce and drug addiction. 
Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!

I’m happy to announce that as part of the celebration of a new book coming out Elisha Press is hosting a giveaway that will run for the whole month of February. Enter it for your chance to win one of the three copies of Susanna Don’t You Cry that they are giving away.
About the Author 
Zachary McIntire is a homeschool graduate, entrepreneur, and history lover. He lives in the Missouri Ozarks, where, in between business and ministry activities, he occasionally finds time to write.

                               * * * 
Congratulations,  Zachary! I’m excited for you and your new book today. *cue happy smile*
Noveltea readers, good news for us! Zachary has kindly agreed to take part in the first Author Interview of 2016 (yay!), so keep an eye out for that. 
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This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions were my own.

Never Said: Book Review

Never Said 
By Carol Lynch Williams 
Find it on: 
Goodreads 

First person
Two points of view
Fiction
256 (short) pages
About the Book 
Backcover blurb
From bestselling author Carol Lynch Williams (The Chosen One), a contemporary YA novel about a family that has been caught up in what doesn’t matter and how two sisters realize that their relationship—no matter how different the two of them are—is most important.

In this contemporary YA novel by bestselling author Carol Lynch Williams (The Chosen One), fifteen-year-old fraternal twins Annie and Sarah are sisters, but that is where their interaction ends. Then Annie begins to withdraw from the family, forcing Sarah to investigate why-and the secret she uncovers changes their relationship forever.

Never Said explores not only the effects of abuse but also our world’s reliance on self, beauty, and other people’s perceptions. With themes of forgiveness, love, sacrifice, and hope woven throughout the story, teens and other fans of young adult fiction will be drawn to this story of two sisters who must find a way to come together and find the healing they both need.

Why I Choose this Book

It was a pretty spontaneous decision. I was looking for a book to read and review and I liked the sister element to the story. I read the sample from Amazon and was intrigued by the writing style. Short, choppy sentences from Sarah’s point of view, prose-type from Annies. I’ve heard a lot about that style in different reviews and know it’s become popular, but I hadn’t read a book that incorporated it, so I decided to give it a try. 
What I Thought about the Book 

I have got to say: This author is amazing. Her word pictures and writing style was truly interesting to read and made me feel as if I had tumbled into a new mind. The cadence of the sentences filtered through my brain and 
felt 
like rain 
coming down 
in 
hard
pingging 
bullets
that pricked my 
skin

I can’t say it was exactly my style or that I would choose to read a book like this very often, but I did highlight a good amount of descriptions simply because they were that good. I read this book right before I went to bed and I had a restless night (not because of reading the book), every time I woke up though, my thoughts came in the same short, raw descriptive voice as the book, which serves to show how good of a job the author did. 
The book was told from two points of view and the girls came out sounding very different from each other, which is a big plus and showcases the author’s skill. I was impressed. There was barely any dialog which was crazy. It felt like we were trapped alone in each girl’s head, alone, kept away from everyone else… Amazing writing. 
With all that being said: I didn’t really enjoy the book all that much. The descriptions? Yes, oh yes. The storyline though? Not so much. It dealt with some pretty heavy issues and while the author handled them well enough, it wasn’t from a Christian perspective so therefore I didn’t feel like it restored much hope. I am very impressed with the author for writing the book though, because I know how extremely difficult it can be to write a book that is so deep and holds such emotion. 
Some of my favorite descriptions in the book:
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Conclusion

There were a couple of minor ‘bad words’ and as mentioned previously it dealt with some pretty serious issues. The issues were handled with grace and didn’t have much detail which I really appreciated. I think books like this are really needed because it can help kids who have gone through a hard time realize they aren’t alone. I don’t have a problem with books not written from a Christian perspective, but because of that lack of influence I wouldn’t recommend this book because it doesn’t line up with my worldview. 

Rating 

I’m giving Never Said Three stars. I had to think about this for a while because the descriptions themselves are almost enough to bump it up to four stars.

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I received this book from BookLook in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.