Vanguard of Hope, By Kathy Steinemann- Five Star Review

17372535♥♥♥♥♥

 

“Vanguard of Hope” by Kathy Steinemann is an intense book which is strongly based on sexual abuse in children. It is said to be a diary of one of her ancestors, although certain parts of the books make me wonder if it is, in fact, a work of fiction- whether by Steinemann or Hope. I read it as though it were a memoir, and along with the information in the back, it made me sick- but not in the way you are thinking. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I highly recommend that everyone read it. What makes me sick is that people who sexually abuse children are so true-and that the majority of these abuses occur as a result of a close friend or family member of the child. I will be writing a blog post about this, but… I do know people who were sexually abused as children. In fact, I know over a dozen who were raped, and at least that many who were not raped per say, but who were touched or told to do things that are completely inappropriate. It is a very real issue in the world-modernly and historically. I appreciate that the author was able to bring this issue to the front of everyone’s minds. The book is truthful, and well describes the issues that develop later in life for those children who were sexually abused. I encourage you to read this book, and leave a review so that others will also read it. I was touched, disgusted, and finished the book being well informed.

*This review was written by Chelsea*

*Please note, this book is indeed a work of fiction, however I find it best to read (and review) as a memoir, seeing as that is the way it is written. You will better enjoy the book if this is the way you also read it*

 

Purchase on Amazon

Dancing With Bulls, by Alan Cook- Four Star Review

91Zk3RhXIgL._SL1500_♥♥♥♥

 

“Dancing With Bulls” By Alan Cook is a cute young adult book based strongly on Greek history and mythology. It involves two boys traveling back into time and landing themselves directly in the myth about the Minotaur in Crete. Of course, myths are always based on reality but the story reveals the truths the myth was founded upon, which isn’t exactly the story you know and love. The book is well explained, well written, and beautifully illustrated. The illustrations, in fact, I was truly in awe of. Just gorgeous! The ending was a little blunt. Anyone who follows my reviews know that this is a deal breaker for me. However, I will say that although the ending is a bit blunt, it still manages to wrap up the story nicely. Maybe I’m just rather picky. Either way, I was intrigued and am seriously debating on reading some of the other stories in this adventure series. I would highly recommend this book to young adults between the ages of 13 and 16. Adults who enjoy mythology, history, or who need a short read to pass some time will probably also greatly enjoy the book.

*This review was written by Chelsea*

 

Purchase on Amazon

Spiral Aloe, by L.A. Forbes- Three Star Review

17401601♥♥♥

 

“Spiral Aloe” by L.A. Forbes was a good story…at first. I did get through the whole book, which was packed with action, deception, and plenty of side stories mingling with the main plot. A few things got a little tangled, but they seemed to be clearing up in the end of the story. Actually, let me put it this way: I was enthralled with this book until it ended- by which I mean, I don’t get the ending at all. The story just stopped in what I assumed was the middle of the story. Nothing was resolved at all, and there was no indication of a follow up book. You know, no hints or cliff hangers, just a blunt ending. I’m still sitting here wondering if it actually ended…although I read the last bit twice through to make sure. Otherwise, the book really was great. The word choice was good, the story was entertaining, and the interesting cultural information was awesome. The ending just killed it for me though. While I appreciate authors taking the freedom of putting things in their own way, I would have just liked more completion to the ending. The dialogue was decent, the characters believable, and the story brought some very important topics into the spotlight. A good book, but just not for me.

*This review was written by Chelsea*

Ouray’s Peak, by Leigh Podgorski- Five Star Review!!!

17619681♥♥♥♥♥

 

Although I love many books, give many four and five star reviews, it is rare that a book seems to physically move me. From start to finish, “Ouray’s Peak” by Leigh Podgorski was a book which wrapped me up in the story. I could feel what the characters were feeling, see what they were seeing, and hear what they were saying. The story touches me. Although I am not Ute, I have a strong Native American lineage, and I know well many of the things done to the people- of varying tribes. The story conveys it’s deep seeded message in an entertaining way, and the word choice is…perfect. I really am not sure what words I can use to explain just how truly gripping, thrilling, touching, and…perfect… this story really is. I’m rambling, and I know this, but allow me to say this: I recommend this book to everyone. Everyone. If you can put this book down after you pick it up, you are a stronger person than I am, because I found it nearly impossible. The only reason this book got put down were things I couldn’t postpone any longer- supper was already late, the errands were put to the last minute…and I finished this book in a single day. Honestly. It’s not that short, either, but I…well, I couldn’t stop reading. You won’t either. Read this book. Trust me.

*This review was written by Chelsea*

 

Purchase on Amazon

Peer Pressure Vs. True Friends, by Dr. Orly Katz- Five Star Review

18282403♥♥♥♥♥

 

“Peer Pressure vs. True Friends” by Dr. Orly Katz addresses some very real issues that kids of all ages face in today’s society- well, that they’ve always faced, in all eras and societies. Peer pressure is a very real problem, and this book teaches kids how to deal with that problem without droning on and sounding like a text book. Between the worksheets and personal stories about the author herself, the book becomes a very personal, touching, sincere guide to overcoming peer pressure, and it gets kids started on working through it immediately. I’m going to save this book for that not-so-distant future when my own daughter will be able to read it, because the truth is that she’ll be able to put it to good use. I highly recommend this to parents of primary school students, primary school students themselves, or even teachers of primary school. Whether you believe your child/student needs this book or not, I can tell you that they will certainly benefit from it, beyond the shadow of a doubt.

*This review was written by Chelsea*

 

Purchase on Amazon

Passions, Strengths, & Self Esteem, by Dr. Orly Katz- Four Star Review

18284802♥♥♥♥

 

“Passions, Strengths, and Self Esteem!” by Dr. Orly Katz is basically an essential guide to surviving junior high. I enjoyed the book, and thought it contained some very good information. Although I haven’t been in junior high for many years, it hasn’t been so long that I don’t remember what it was like. This guide would have helped me tremendously during those years where instead, I sort of went it alone and figured it out as I went. My only issue with the entire book was that it seemed slightly more repetitive than necessary. That’s just me though, and remember that I’m a grown woman looking at this. I loved the personal stories and thought it made this a more insightful, personalized self help guide. I also thought the ‘worksheets’ made the point very clear, and it also gave kids a chance to really make the book personal- to think about what they were going to do, how they were going to do it, and why they were going to do it. I would recommend this book to anyone with children in junior high, and to junior high students, whether you think you/they need it or not.

*This review was written by Chelsea*

 

Purchase on Amazon

Defiant Heart, by Marty Steere- Five Star Review

Layout 1♥♥♥♥♥

“Defiant Heart” by Mart Steere is an extraordinarily well told story that takes you back to the times of the second World War. A romance stands at the base of the story, but it does not encompass the entirety of the plot. You are immediately drawn into the story, and you can’t help but feel bad for Jon Meyer right from the beginning. The poor kid really has been given a rough hand in life,yet he takes it all and moves forward, always striving to be better, do better… Then there’s Mary. Mary is the quintessential small town ‘nerd’ girl, so to speak, and I loved her. She does exactly what she thinks is right, no matter what the costs may be. You feel bad for her multiple times through the story, because despite not having quite as bad a hand as Jon, her lot in life quickly becomes bad as the story unfolds. The supporting characters are well put together, contributing to the story in a very real and meaningful way. The ending, well, the ending was perfect. I won’t go into details, but suffice to say, those of you who enjoy happy endings will fall in love with this book- although it certainly doesn’t end the way you expect it to. I recommend this book to anyone interested in action-packed novels, happy endings, World War II, or romances.

*This review was written by Chelsea*

A First Love Never Dies (Spi-Corp Series, #1) by Margaret Taylor- 5 Star Review!!!

18050913♥♥♥♥♥

I am not usually one to enjoy science fiction novels. I’m more of a fantasy lover myself, to be entirely honest. Yet “A First Love Never Dies” by Margaret Taylor drew me in from the very beginning. I was immediately swept into the story, and was so enthralled that I finished the book in just a few hours. I can’t wait to read the second installment of the Spi-Corp series. Seriously. I need find out what happens next…now. This is going to be one of those series where I bite my tongue because I want to hound the author to put out the next book. Haha…moving on. Okay, so the story is well put together. I know exactly what is going on, and the alien technology, words, etc is very well explained. There isn’t so much technological/alien wording that I feel lost. The romance that this story is based off of is refreshing in that it’s sarcastic, distanced, and romantic…all in one. It wasn’t that mushy-gushy stuff, which usually puts me off, but it had enough true romance to keep me from rolling my eyes. This book was perfectly balanced in every single way. I recommend this book to EVERYONE. I do mean EVERYONE!

(*On a side note, I love the cover of this book too!)

Review Written by Chelsea

 

Purchase on Amazon

Southern Attraction, by Tracy Kauffman/Three Star Review

17698826♥♥♥

This story pulls you in right from the very beginning. The author is talented, to be sure, and the plot line is incredibly interesting. It starts out in a way that you would assume is cliché, but moves forward to show you that it is not cliché at all. I only had two problems with the book, and they were both matters of personal preference. First, I felt the story was a little rushed, and second, I felt it lacked depth. I felt more like I was being TOLD rather then SHOWN. Of course, I’m a real stickler for details- the more, the better. Now, allow me to stress the fact that the plot line is fascinating. I also greatly appreciated the fact that this book highlighted the tragedies of the Alabama tornado. I have a large portion of my family who are from Alabama, and I know how hard that tragedy affected everyone. Second, I greatly appreciated the fact that the author slipped in some information about Addison’s Disease, as it is a little known disease that should receive more attention. My Mamaw suffered from it, and I know the travesties it can wreak upon a body when left unchecked. If there were a follow up book, would I read it? Probably. While I prefer more detailing at a slower pace, I couldn’t help but feel drawn into the story nonetheless. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a sweet, light read that highlights a few major traumatic events.

*This review was done by Chelsea*

Purchase on Amazon

A Woman’s Voice (Volume One) by Dolores Ayotte/ Four Star Review

16141955♥♥♥♥

 

When I first began reading this book, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew that it would be a series of short stories, but I didn’t think that they would be told in a first-person manner, through the eyes (and experiences) of the author. I’m very glad that it did turn out that way, however, because I truly enjoyed reading it. It gave me the opportunity to reflect upon some of the things in my life, both good and bad, and think about ways in which I could either change or move on from the bad, and turn it into good as well. In the strangest way, I experienced a feeling much like those I felt when my own mother used to talk to me about the past experiences in her life. I have always enjoyed learning from the wisdom of my elders, and this book was just that. I highly recommend this book to any woman who needs a few words of wisdom in a way that doesn’t make you feel ‘talked down’ too. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read this compilation of short stories, and I think that you will be too.

*This review was done by Chelsea*

 

Purchase on Amazon