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.

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.

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…

4 Scenarios for Subjective Ratings

The more books I read in the more diverse settings and in the more various frames of mind, the more I realize that how I read and how I feel about what I read is quite subjective.

Here are a few examples:

1. The Red Herring Game 

For instance, recently I read a mystery book that was by a new author to me (review coming tomorrow). I’ve been reading/listening to quite a few mystery books recently, but they’re all written by a select few authors, and although I enjoy them I also have the mystery figured out pretty early on. So, to read a book where I didn’t know the author’s style and was surprised at the outcome made me rate the book four stars.

Since rating that book I’ve pondered it quite a bit and nothing really sticks out to me as to¬†why¬†it got such a high (for me) rating. The only reasonable explanation I have is that it surprised me, so I was pretty happy with it.

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2. The Hallmark Scenario  

The same thing happens when I’ve been sick for a while and therefore indulging in Hallmark movies. Y’all, those things are lame. I can say this without malice because I’m sucked into the lameness as well and watch them happily when I’m not feeling well. But they drive me¬†nuts. And then I read a book that has some of the same components of a Hallmark movie, but then they go on and have a good plotline instead of a lame one, and I’m instantly cheering the book on – like, way to go not being a Hallmark movie! Yet in reality, if I would have read that book at a time when I was far removed from Hallmark movies, then I probably wouldn’t have actually thought the book was anything special.

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3. The Mindless Cheese Antidote   

Next, imagine you’re exhausted. You’ve got a cold, you’ve had a busy week at work, and all you want to do is snuggle in your blankets and do something mindless. So, you find the cheesiest book possible on Overdrive. And start reading.

It’s so silly you keep reading just so you can roll your eyes at it.

This happened to me last night. For nearly two hours I powered my way (aka skim-read) through half of a book by an author who I once had to read for review and felt horrible about because her books are¬†so¬†not my style. Last night the cheese was the perfect antidote for how I was feeling. And, as an extra bonus, I had no problem closing the book when I was tired enough to sleep, plus I have no desire to finish the story so I won’t have to publically rate it. It’s basically a win-win for everyone.

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4. We’ve Talked About This Saga

There are many books that I’ve picked up, found exceedingly uninteresting, and set back down. Skip a few months or years and you pick up one of those¬†boring¬†books, only to discover it’s one that you’ve recently seen an interesting review for, or it covers a topic that you’ve been chatting about at work, or it includes a historical person who you’ve been interested in studying. Suddenly that boring book is now top of your TBR pile and you can’t wait to get your hands on it.

Currently
Setting: Dancing on the treadmill
Listening to: Tightrope 

Question of the Day: Have you ever experienced one of these scenarios? 

Ya Know, That Book I Didn’t Finish

Today I’m doing something different.

I’m kinda reviewing a book that I didn’t read. Or, at least I didn’t read it all the way. I got to the 46% mark on my kindle edition from NetGalley before deciding that I¬†really¬†didn’t want to finish the book. Yet, I think the book had some very positive traits, hence me sharing about the book with y’all. (NetGalley is amazing for being okay with reviewers not finishing books if they don’t feel inclined to.)

(Check out the book on Goodreads and Amazon.)

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I’ve wanted to read this book (and try out the author) for a while now, so when I was approved to receive a NetGalley copy of the book, I was pretty pumped. Below I’m going to give three pros and three cons, then let y’all know why I decided to stop reading the book.

Pros:
*It made Isaiah’s time period in the Bible become so much more alive to me. Recently when I was reading the Bible I was like “Oh! I recognize these names!” and they felt so much more human to me
*The writing really is well done and it seems like the author did a huge amount of research
*The plot was interesting and the characters likable

Cons:
*The writing style isn’t one I found easy to delve into – I was constantly being pulled out of the story to try and catch up with the style. This is obviously totally personal and therefore something a lot of y’all wouldn’t deal with
*The book is really heavy. There’s a lot of bad stuff that happens and I found myself somewhat dreading picking up the story to continue
*The story is 400 pages long, and a lot of bad stuff can happen in 400 pages

Those last two points in the “cons” list is why I DNFed the book – it was just too heavy for me to want to continue. I want to make sure I note, though, that I don’t feel like the book was too heavy. Isaiah’s time period had a lot of bad stuff happen, and so this book was realistic. I also don’t feel like it went into too much detail. It was just too much and too heavy for me at this time.

Still, I’m rating the book three stars because I think that it will be a great book for some people.

I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts – have you read any books by this author? What did you think of them? Should I give her another try?

Also, do y’all like hearing thoughts periodically on books that I don’t finish?

Have a great day, folks!

Being a 2019 Bookworm

If you’d ask my family they would agree that I’m rather passionate about books. If you asked my co-workers they’d probably say the same thing. Goodness, I guess that anyone who follows me anywhere online would come to the same conclusion.

As it turns out, I like talking about books a lot.

When I was a kid my aunt would joke that I was an audiobook and when I got into a story I’d tell the details so completely that she’d have to push pause if she wanted to say something.

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I consider myself to be very blessed to have grown up in a family and community where people let me talk about books a lot – both the reading and writing aspect of them. It’s one of my top subjects no matter who I’m talking to, and readers and non-readers alike have graciously listened and asked questions as I wax eloquent (or jabber on like a fangirl).

When I think of books I don’t just think of reading them, I also remember telling others about them. One of the biggest memories that sticks out in my mind is of when my brother and I randomly found ourselves in our kitchen late one evening. We’d both come down for a snack and I ended up launching into the story of a book I’d read a while back. It was a relatively short book but an hour later I was still explaining with detail each plot point. Instead of hurrying me along my brother sat there, guessing about what was going to happen next and guessing about the plot twist. It was delightful and filled my love tank completely.

Nowadays I still talk about books. A lot. And that’s one thing I like about social media – specifically my Instagram Stories. It’s so much fun to be able to talk about books and know that people can watch/read if they want, but it’s always easy for them to skip through or click out of the story if they’re not interested.

This morning I stepped into my personal library and perused the books, trying to find which one I wanted to photograph for this morning’s post. It wasn’t long before I’d grabbed the¬†Matched¬†trilogy off the shelves and was searching my prop shelf for a prop that would correctly represent the book. It was so much fun knowing I was going to get to share about one of my first ever (and pretty much only) dystopian read with the world.

Being a bookworm in 2019 is so much more fun than being a bookworm in 2009 was, and I’m thrilled that I get to share that part of my world with all y’all.

And now I’m off to leave for work early so I can return my late library books… Because, ya know, sometimes library fines are just a part of being a (sometimes) absent-minded bookworm. ūüėČ

Currently
Setting: Walking a mile and a half on the treadmill
Listening to: The Greatest Showman soundtrack (Seriously)

Question of the Day: Do you go to more than one library? And if so, do you ever forget when you got certain books out and therefore miss the return date? 

Using Hashtags to Become Part of a Bookish Community Online

I was a bookworm long before I even knew what a bookworm was.
Or what the Internet was.
Or what a hashtag was.
Actually, I’ve been reading (or at least paging through books) for at least a decade longer than hashtags have even been around.
So, yeah.

I guess it’s not really that surprising that a good portion of my bookish world was developed before I became part of the online bookish community. And that’s probably one of the reasons I enjoy it so much now – because when I entered the bookworm community online my world of reading was suddenly burst wide open.

Now you’re obviously at least¬†somewhat¬†a part of the online bookish community because you’re here on my very book (and writing) focused blog, but in case you haven’t delved¬†into the true treasure trove of learning about books from social media, I’m here to enlighten you.

Hashtags, folks. They work wonders. 

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I mainly hang out on blogs, Instagram, and Youtube, but I’m fairly sure these hashtags will work across the board, so take the information, explore, and watch your bookish world explode.

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There are any number of combos you can use… #Bookstagram #ChristianFiction #BookForDays #Bookshelfie #BooksToRead #ChristianNonfiction #WW2Books #WinterReads #HistoricalFiction

Just choose a facet of reading that interests you, start hashtagging away, and you’ll soon be making new friends, feeling inspiration take over, and have a load of recommendations so large that you’ll never run out of quality content to read.

My Instagram feed is full of people who have wonderful bookish tastes, are artistic, and will fangirl like a pro so that more people can learn about their favorite authors and top reads of the year. In fact, my personal Instagram can pretty much be described that way as well. Social media, to me, is a place where I can shout about books from the rooftops without having to worry about bothering anyone. (I mean, because if it does bother someone, they can simply mute me.)

Learning about books through the usage of hashtags and social media was one of the greatest discoveries in my bookish existence and I’ll forever be thankful for the tool it is. So have fun hashtagging away!

Currently
Setting: Walking on the treadmill
Listening to: The Greatest Showman soundtrack (Yes, again. Or should I say still?)

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite hashtag?¬†