Celebrating Books with a Giveaway

Within These Lines release today! Therefore, we’re going to celebrate by chatting about the book and having a giveaway, because what’s more fun than a bookish giveaway? This post is going to contain my official review for the book, but it’s not going to be a normal review because this author is beyond that. I’m so thankful the author sent me an ARC copy of this book so I could share the joy with y’all!

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First off, let me tell you about the author. Stephanie Morrill started a fantastic blog for teen writers called Go Teen Writers. If you’re interested in writing at all – no matter how old you are – you should check it out. It’s full of honest, encouraging, practical, and ever-so-relevant writing advice. She’s also the author of a number of Young Adult books, ranging over several genres – contemporary, historical fiction, and even nonfiction. I also consider her my unofficial writing mentor, although I’m not sure she knows that since we’ve never met in person or even communicated in any way other than email. Pretty much she’s just an all-around amazing person with fantastic writing.

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And now, about the book. Within These Lines is about Evalina, an Italian-American, and Taichi, the son of Japanese immigrants. Life as they know it is disrupted when America enters WW2 and anti-Japanese feelings sweep across the country. Taichi and his family are forced to move to a Japanese-American internment camp where life is anything but a bed of roses. (Okay, maybe it’s a bed of roses, just the thorns part.)

This book is fantastically well-researched and superbly written as the author tackles the often untalked about subject of what America did with Japanese during the war. I remember the first time I was introduced to the subject of American internment camps I was horrified. This book does an amazing job of making the camps and situation come to life and wraps you up in the story until you feel like you’re right there in the drafty, crowded shacks with Taichi. Although it’s a very sad and unfair part of our country’s history, I think it’s important that we don’t bury and forget it, because history has a tendency to repeat itself.

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This book is real and gritty and sad without being hopeless – the author somehow hit a great balance with making the book exceedingly real while still being interesting and giving the readers the hope that better things are in store.

The characters are well-crafted and even though I didn’t like the way the handled certain things, they stayed very consistent to their character/personality. It was interesting to see how different cultures handled the various issues and troubles they faced. The author did an amazing job at creating a truly American/Japanese character in Taichi, vs. simply slapping a Japanese name onto an American character.

I gave Within These Lines four out of five stars and like it (and Miss Stephanie’s other books) so much that I wanted to share them with y’all. Sadly, I can’t actually host a giveaway with all of her books, but the winner will get to choose their choice of any of Miss Stephanie’s books. (A physical book for an address in the states, an ebook for international.)

A list of Miss Stephanie’s books:

Me, Just Different
Out With the In Crowd  
So Over It 
The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet
The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet 
Go Teen Writers
The Lost Girl of Astor Street 
Within These Lines

Enter the Giveaway Here 

That’s it for today, folks! I hope your Tuesday is going delightfully well!

Between Two Shores

Y’all, you know it’s a good book when I can’t stop talking about it. Well, here my official review is, so I’ll at least stop talking about it for a while. 😉

FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 409
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Title: Between Two Shores
Fiction

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WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

Jocelyn Green writes some of the best Historical Fiction, so she’s one of the few authors on my auto-buy (or auto-review) list. I was so excited when Bethany Publishers chose this as their book to send out physical copies to for their reviewers and right away jumped at the chance to have it in my library.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

I have so many thoughts about this book – some of which I’ve shared on my blog and Instagram (if you want my extra bookish musings you can follow me there), but now I’m endeavoring to write an actual review.

Style: This book skips back and forth in time periods (over a ten-year range) which really isn’t my favorite but I see how it was necessary to tell the full story. Miss Jocelyn did a great job of keeping the backstory snippets suffice and on-point so they didn’t take away from the story we were in the middle of, plus she did a good job of keeping the time periods as unconfusing as possible.

Characters: I didn’t really jive with any of the characters, yet the story was so skillfully written and kept my interest to the point that my lack of relatability didn’t bother me.
Catherine: Seeing Catherine trying to bridge two worlds was heart-tugging and beautifully written. I can imagine that the life Cathrine lived and tried to be a part of was what a lot of children in that era experienced. Watching her struggle to find acceptance and purpose and her identity without actually saying that’s what she was doing most of the time was amazing and reminded me of what a great storyteller Miss Jocelyn was. Catherine was my favorite character and I’m so glad we got to see the world through her eyes.
Catherine’s Mohawk Family: These characters made the story for me. They hardly ever did what I wanted them to do, yet what they did was so in-line with who they were and I applauded every move they made as keeping in character, even when I wished they were different.
Catherine’s Other Family: Her dad and Thankful were both so thoroughly written and real and made me expereince all the emotions that an author should invoke in a well-crafted character.
I’m not going to say much about other characters because of spoilers, but I will say I wished I would have liked some of them more because if I had, then the one major plot twist would have hit me a lot harder than it did. More below.

Plot: This book really does focus mainly on the history of the time period which was a refreshing difference from Historical Fiction books that put far too much emphasis on the romance. In fact, every time I thought it might be going in a direction that would take away from the history Miss Jocelyn reeled it back in and I was like “Way to go!”
While reading this book I got so involved in the story that I literally couldn’t remember who won the war. We get to see it from Catherine’s point of view, and she’s pretty much being tugged every direction. Forgetting how the war ended actually really helped me stay riveted to the page and what to find out what in the world would happen next. It also made me skim some because of the suspense.
There was a plot twist in the book that when I first read it I was like “Oh.” But then as I kept reading I was like “Oh! My! LANDS!” And I knew how that plot twist turned out, in the end, would determine my rating for the book. Thankfully, the author did what I hoped and the book got a solid four-star rating from me.

CONCLUSION

Someone on Instagram asked why I only gave the book four stars while I was raving about it, so here’s my answer: I very rarely rate a book five stars (for example, last year I read 79 fiction books and gave only one of them five stars), that means that for me a four-star rating is actually really high. And, although I really liked Between Two Shores and was exceedingly pleased with how Miss Jocelyn handled the plot twist and created the characters, the fact that the style wasn’t my favorite and I didn’t really relate to the characters held me back from giving it the illusive five-stars.

There were some battle scenes in the book that were a bit detailed, plus some abuse, manipulation, drunkenness, etc… But all of these were handled with care and the violence can easily be skimmed without losing out on the plot. (And, it was very realistic for a historical fiction book set during a war.)

RATING

I’m giving Between Two Shores 4 out of 5 stars.

((I got this book from Bethany House Publishers so I could review it, all thoughts and opinions are my own.))

Growing Forward

 

FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 208
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: January 1, 2019
Title: Growing Forward
Nonfiction

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After life is shattered by loss or a traumatic experience–whether big or small–it can seem impossible to heal or even move on. Deep down you believe God intends good for you, but you just don’t have the energy or strength to figure out how to move forward.

Author Laurie Pawlik has been there, and here she shares how she flourished despite multiple losses. Through practical tips and thought-provoking questions, she helps you take small yet powerful steps toward healing and letting go. She also offers insights and encouragement from the lives of strong women in the Bible. You’ll glimpse the painful losses these women experienced and learn how they flourished despite seasons of hardship and grief. You’ll discover how God shows His presence and power in the valleys, deserts, and storms. And you’ll feel a fresh sense of hope that, with God, you can redefine yourself, remake your life, and grow forward into a beautiful new season.

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

I don’t actually remember why I requested this book. It looks interesting though, and I like learning what helps other people and seeing through the eyes of people who have gone through things I haven’t gone through.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

While reading this book it was easy to tell that the author was a blogger. I’m not sure how to describe the style, except that there were several “segments” in each chapter, and quite often those segments reminded me of blog posts or at least snippets of blog posts. I’ve this done before where it bothers me, but this time I actually found the style made the book easy to read. There were plenty of places where I could set it down and then pick it back up without feeling like the flow was interrupted. This was good for reading whenever I had a few extra minutes.

The author did a great job of showing that her life wasn’t perfect, but without going into a pity party or too much detail regarding what she had faced. I really thought she hit a good balance with that, and it showed that she really has found a healthy way to deal with a lot of bad stuff – growing forward – which is what the book is all about.

There was a lot of solid information in this book. We got to look at different characters from the Bible and learn from their stories – what they did and didn’t do correctly and how people around them were impacted.

Sadly, there was also some information that I didn’t agree with. There were multiple things that I think are okay for someone to do on their own, but it can be dangerous to teach it in a removed setting such as a book. For instance, while talking about a very traumatic experience, the author said that every time it came to mind she would play the “What Then” game with Jesus, where she says what’s horrible, and Jesus says “What then?” and they keep going until she’s realized that He’s with her and she’ll be okay. I’m not saying that I think this is wrong, but it felt a little bit sacrilegious how it was written in the book. Which brings me to another part I didn’t like: I felt like she made God seem almost too human in the book. Yes, He’s our friend. And Yes, He can relate to us. And Yes, He loves us and wants to have a special relationship with us. Yet, at the same time, He is holy and deserves respect, and although I’m pretty sure she didn’t mean to bring Him down to our level in a disrespectful way, at times I felt like she did.

There were a few more things I didn’t like or agree with, like this sentence, God created crayons, paints, paper, shapes, textures, and tones – use His handicrafts to talk to Him! I understand the point that the author is trying to make, and I agree with it. But God didn’t create crayons and paints and paper, and although it’s a little thing when the little things pile up they drop my rating of the book.

CONCLUSION

Overall, the book has a lot of good information, suggestions, and an easy-to-read style. I would say if you want to read it, go for it! Just read it with an open mind and match what she says against the Bible. 🙂

RATING

I’m giving Growing Forward 3 out of 5 stars.

((I got this book from Bethany House Publishers so I could review it, all thoughts and opinions are my own.))

A Song for the Stars

Today’s review is for a book that’s historical fiction that takes place on Hawaii. Sounds fantastic, right? (I say as I’m walking on a treadmill in cold Ohio where I have to wear three sweaters even though I’m inside.)

FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 352
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Title: A Song for the Stars
Fiction

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BACK COVER BLURB

Inspired by a true story

Hawaiian Islands, 1779

As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaii, and he taught her everything he knows how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.

But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.

Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiancé, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. And in the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead.

John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with her homeland and her people and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.

When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

Several years ago I went to Hawaii and found the history to be intriguing, yet despite that, I haven’t found a lot of good historical fiction books set in Hawaii, so when I read the back cover blurb for A Song For the Stars I decided to go for it.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

There was so much history, culture, and lore woven into this book that made reading it a rich experience of learning about a people group that I don’t have a lot of knowledge about. I didn’t realize until the end that the story is based loosely on that of the author’s four-times-great-grandparents, but when I read that, it made the story even more special to me.

I’m going to go with a list of pros and cons for this book, because there was so much I did like, and yet some things that weren’t to my liking.

Pros:
The setting… I felt as if I’d been immersed into Hawaiian culture and sucked into their world. I felt the rain, the thinness of the pounded bark clothing, heard the swaying of the heavy foliage, the rhythm of the waves. I could taste the salt of the ocean, imagine the terror of the battle, and see the droplets of blood from knife cuts.

The culture… I learned so much about how Hawaiians lived back then – their beliefs, practices, worldview, why they did what they did, and how it impacted those around them. It was very interesting and presented in such a way that I felt like I was learning at a good pace, not having information shoved down my throat for the sake of sharing it.

The characters… Especially Maile, the main character, were well written and had depth. I liked seeing how Maile viewed life because it was quite different from how I view life. I especially like how the author kept her very non-modern-American. There were many things that she did that I halfway cringed about, but she felt like it was so normal she didn’t give it a second thought – that was one of my favorite parts of the book.

Cons:
John killing Maile’s fiancé. As far as I could tell this wasn’t part of the true life story that the book was inspired by, and therefore it felt needless to me. It bothered me how both John and Maile reacted to this heartbreak, but I won’t go into that because of spoilers.

The amount of time John and Maile spent alone – although there was a reason for it, I couldn’t shut off the shouting in my brain that said that it wouldn’t actually be allowed since she was the chief’s daughter. Plus, that’s just not something I like in books, so…

So, obviously I don’t have a lot of cons, but they were strong enough ones that they bought the book from four stars to three stars for me.

CONCLUSION

This isn’t Christian fiction, and it does talk about the gods the Hawaiian’s believed in, etc… Plus, it has a lot about the ocean where it portrays it as something (someone?) that consciously helps, hurts, or is angry with humans. This didn’t bother me because it’s part of the beliefs the Hawaiians held, but it’s also something I don’t agree with.

RATING

I’m giving A Song for the Stars 3 out of 5 stars.

((I got this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for me reviewing it, all thoughts and opinions are my own.))

Flights of Fancy

Today I’m not feeling well so I decided to rest for a bit and read a nice, light-hearted book. And so I started looking through Overdrive for such a book. And do y’all know how hard it is to find a good book!?! It was rather annoying as book after book looked promising but as I read the sample I ran into content that wasn’t appropriate or else swearing. Really, authors?

And then I remembered NetGalley. So I hoped on there, requested this book, and here we are, folks!

FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 371
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: (January 1, 2019
Title: Flights of Fancy
Author: Jen Turano
Fiction

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BACK COVER BLURB

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

I pretty much decided Jen Turano’s books weren’t for me a few years back because they’re silly – like to the point where my personality didn’t find them fun anymore because they are so unrealistic. I realize lots of people really like this style of book and that’s great, I just don’t.

And then today came. And I’m fighting off the flu so I didn’t feel well. I had a stack of books just waiting to be read, but instead, I wanted something that would be exceedingly lighthearted and easy to read. I’ve heard various other book bloggers talk about this book recently, so I decided to give it a go. Also, I think the cover’s really pretty. 😉

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

This book was more enjoyable than I expected. I read it all afternoon and although I did skim in parts, it kept my attention and made me wonder what was going to happen next. It’s kinda like a Hallmark movie, just not quite so predictable.

To make this easy, I’m just going to go with a few pros and cons that I came up with while reading the book. And please, keep in mind that this isn’t the style of book that I normally read – so if you’ve read any of Jen Turano books in the past and liked them, then you’ll probably really like this one. It’s my favorite of hers that I’ve read. (I think I’ve read two or three before.)

Pros: I liked the main character. She was realistic most of the time, she didn’t annoy me, and she was amusing. Plus, even though she wasn’t telling the truth about her life, she basically told them that she wasn’t telling the truth. Which that sounds weird, but it worked well in the book and was actually a big selling point for me. Also, the book was well written and easy to follow which isn’t always the case for me when there are dukes and such involved.

Cons: It was exceedingly silly – which is both a good thing and a bad thing. A good thing because it was amusing, a bad thing because it was kinda eye-rolly with how often “bad” stuff happened. Like rolling down hills, landing in mud, etc… Also, the main character was always being picked up and carried by the main guy when she had gotten hurt, etc… I mean, really though? I’m fairly certain that wouldn’t have happened and so that type of thing bothers me a lot.

The book starts with the main character being at a ball with a duke, and the duke’s not a cool guy and he’s not being nice with how he treats the main character. He’s just kinda leering at her, so it’s not detailed or anything. Also, later in the book, there were a few things that happened that weren’t “bad” but I wouldn’t consider proper.

CONCLUSION

I’m glad I gave this book a try because it was what I was looking for today (silly, light-hearted, and not needing much brainpower), but not my normal read at all.

RATING

I’m giving Flights of Fancy 3 out of 5 stars.

((I got this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for me reviewing it, all thoughts and opinions are my own.))

Raising Giant-Killers

A second book review in one day? Yep, folks. Tis the day to catch up with all things book review-ish. This one is a bit different from my normal reviews because I actually take a bit of time to explain in (some) detail why I didn’t agree with certain aspects of the book. Fun, right? 😉

FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 240
Publisher: Chosen Books
Release Date: December 4, 2018
Title: Raising Giant-Killers
Author: Bill Johnson and Beni Johnson
Nonfiction

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BACK COVER BLURB

With honesty, humor, and keen biblical insight, bestselling authors Bill and Beni Johnson help you discover the keys to successful parenting in God’s kingdom. “Parents, we rule for the purpose of protection, but we also serve with the purpose of empowering,” they write. “We want to release our children into their destiny–that’s the privilege of parenting.”

In these pages, you will gain the wisdom, kingdom concepts, and practical tools you need to help raise your children to their best.

You’ll discover how to parent to their uniqueness, gifts, and strengths, as well as how you can demonstrate and reveal who God is to your kids. The authors also address pressing issues parents face today, including how to

· be fully engaged in hearing what the Lord is saying over each child
· maintain relationship and discipline
· develop character
· train your children for worship
· fan the flame of what God has put in their hearts
· and more

No matter what age your kids are, you have an incredible opportunity to shape their hearts, minds, and values. Here is everything you need to help your children walk into the destiny of their lives and see them become the awesome people they were created to be.

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

My parents have done a great job of raising their kids with intentionality and a Kingdom mentality, and this book seemed like a great way to learn some practical tips on how to do that. I want to be the kind of person who helps all the children I interact with on a regular basis (not just my kids because I currently don’t have any) live the lives God created them for.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

Raising Giant-Killers was a bit of an unusual read for me because so much of the book had great information that I was like Yes, this kind of thing needs to be taught! But then other parts of the book had me shaking my head in perplexment or disagreeing totally with a point.

Some of the things I really liked in the book include:
* Talking about how to raise children with intentionality. Parent’s have so many amazing opportunities to speak into their children’s lives and help them to prepare for living healthy, impactful lives. This book shares examples of how to do this in a practical, life-changing way.
* Speaking words of life. What we say really does make a difference. This is true when we say something directly to someone, and even when we’re just talking about them. The Bible is very clear that words have the power of life and death and we’re supposed to guard what we say. I’m so thankful for my parents speaking life to and about their children. This book does a great job of showing how important that part of parenting is.
*Exposing children to the right things. Parenting isn’t only about guarding your children from harmful things but also making sure they are exposed to the correct things. And by “correct” I don’t mean easy. The authors do a great job of showing how important it is for kids to see the needs of the world and develop helping, compassionate, and loving hearts.
*Learning about God from a young age and Praying over them. It’s never to early to start teaching your children about God and praying for them. One of my favorite parts of this book is where the authors talk about praying scripture over your family. There’s even a section in the back that includes a lot of scripture that can be prayed. That’s something my parents have done all my life and something that is really important.

And now I’m going to talk briefly about what I didn’t like…

The second page of the book had a statement that I disagree with, so that set a rather wary tone for me while reading the rest of the book, so I’ll address that with a bit of detail:

The authors say that we were all born into a war (which I agree with), but then they go on to say that even Adam and Eve were born into a war because in Genesis 1:28 they were told to “subdue” the earth. The authors say that this implies that there was disorder outside the Garden of Eden, then go on to use the word “chaos” to describe what life was like outside of the Garden. But this is during Creation Week when everything was still perfect. In fact, just a few verses later in Genesis 1:31 the Bibles says “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Something that is very good isn’t full of chaos and disorder. (You can read more at Answers in Genesis which has a ton of good information about this type of thing.)

There were also multiple other, smaller things throughout the book that I don’t agree with or condone. Some of the things were just the authors being more dogmatic than I believe scripture warrants, or else them taking things out of context. There were enough of these things that even though I really liked parts of the book (as mentioned above), this isn’t one I would recommend to everyone.

CONCLUSION

The authors are parents to three grown children who all seem to be doing really well in life. That, to me, is a big selling point, because that means they are talking from experience and not just theory.

RATING

I’m giving Raising Giant-Killers 3 out of 5 stars.

((This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for me reviewing it, all thoughts and opinions are my own.))

Winter Mornings for the Win {plus a book review}

It’s one of those delightfully cozy mornings. I’m wrapped up in a blanket with a hot mug of French Press and lemon biscotti listening to the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman as I watch fine snow drifting down outside.

Today’s list of things to do has grown until there’s no way I’m going to accomplish everything I want to before leaving to pick up my car (where it just got snow tires) and then head to work at the coffee shop. So, instead of stressing about it I decided to just chill and work systematically through my list and see what I can get done.

And, the first thing on the list is to write a book review for one of my most recent reads. The 10 Commandments of Marriage is the third marriage book I’ve read in the last few months and also the one that made me be like “I’ve no clue what I’m reading” the most.

Do y’all ever read books that don’t currently apply to you?

And now, on to the review.

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FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 224
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Release Date: October 1, 2014
Title: The 10 Commandments of Marriage: Practical Principles to Make Your Marriage Great
Author: Ed Young
Nonfiction

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BACK COVER BLURB

Marriage is God’s idea. He planned it. He designed it. And if you follow His blueprint, it will be more rewarding, more loving, more exciting than you ever imagined.

In 10 Commandments of Marriage, Dr. Ed Young shares the “thou shalts” and the “thou shalt nots” of successful relationships—straight from the pages of God’s Word. Long-married couples will find love-building precepts that will revive a failing marriage and make a great relationship even better. Soon-to-be-marrieds will discover what marriage is all about and gain priceless insights into starting on solid ground.

In words that are profound, often humorous, but always biblical, Dr. Young draws from decades of counseling couples to provide 10 commandments for a lifelong marriage that sizzles. God wants your marriage to be nothing short of incredible. And it could begin with this amazing book.

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

When I’m reading nonfiction “practical” is a big selling point for me – because if a book isn’t something that can’t be applied to everyday life, then…?
Also, as mentioned previously, I’ve decided to read marriage books because I figure that I currently have more time to do that now than in the future. And, on that note, a disclaimer: I’m not married, nor am I in a relationship, so all my thoughts regarding this book come from a rather unique point of view.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

How The Book Is Set Up: At the beginning of each chapter, there’s a little bubble that says “A Personal Word” and in it, Mr. Ed writes a short paragraph where he summarizes the entire chapter and what he feels like is the most important concept. Throughout the book, there are shaded squares with some of the most important quotes, stats, and statements written in bold so you can flip through the book and quickly read something to make you think. At the end of each chapter, there’s a section called Reflecting on Your Relationship that includes questions for married people, as well as questions for those who are contemplating or preparing for marriage.

One cool part about this book is in the introduction Mr. Ed mentions that this book is for pretty much everyone – not just those who are married, but also for those who are preparing for, contemplating, or have been, married.

Mr. Ed has been married for around 50 years and pastors a large church so he’s had a lot of experience, stories, and examples to share not only from his own marriage but also from the marriages of people who he’s counseled over the years. The advice he shares really is practical – just like the cover promises. He also does a good job of writing in a way that’s easy to relate to and amusing at times.

There were a few things in the book that felt slightly overboard to me, but I’m obviously not a good judge on that. For the most part, I felt like the book was balanced and had a lot of good information that would be very helpful for a married couple.

Some of the “commandments” of marriage that I enjoyed reading the most included: Thou Shalt be Selfless (good for anyone to learn!), Thou Shalt Continually Communicate, and Thou Shalt Avoid the Quicksand of Materialism.

CONCLUSION

I feel like I would have gleaned a lot more from this book if I was actually married (which, duh, makes sense), but overall I’m glad I read it as it had a lot of good information.

RATING

I’m giving The 10 Commandments of Marriage 3 out of 5 stars.

((This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for me reviewing it, all thoughts and opinions are my own.))