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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Heaven Is Here - Book Review

July 2012 Book Review Title: Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy Author: Stephanie Nielson Published: Voice Date Published: April 3rd, 2012 Non-Fiction, Memoir - 320 pages Date Read: June 2012 Synopsis: Stephanie Nielson began sharing her life in 2005 on, drawing readers in with her warmth and candor. She quickly attracted a loyal following that was captivated by the upbeat mother happily raising her young children, madly in love with her husband, Christian (Mr. Nielson to her readers), and filled with gratitude for her blessed life. However, everything changed in an instant on a sunny day in August 2008, when Stephanie and Christian were in a horrific plane crash. Christian was burned over 40 percent of his body, and Stephanie was on the brink of death, with burns over 80 percent of her body. She would remain in a coma for four months. In the aftermath of this harrowing tragedy, Stephanie maintained a stunning sense of humor, optimism, and resilience. She has since shared this strength of spirit with others through her blog, in magazine features, and on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Now, in this moving memoir, Stephanie tells the full, extraordinary story of her unlikely recovery and the incredible love behind it—from a riveting account of the crash to all that followed in its wake. My Review: There are so many tragic memoirs and autobiographies out there these days, full of stories about alcohol and drug addiction, rape, abuse, handicaps, disease, etc. So for this reason I was hesitant about picking this book up but as always happens, this book whispered to me. I get asked a lot what type of book I read or how I choose my books but I don't. I let the books choose me. Now that may sound crazy but you avid readers out there will know exactly what I am talking about. This book was such a breath of fresh air. It was original and honest, uplifting and inspiring, all without trying. Stephanie Nielson is a "pure" soul. You can tell that she didn't write this book to become rich or famous. She did it purely out of the need to save herself by re connecting with her blog followers. Stephanie speaks from the heart. Her words are so authentic that you felt like you were her friend and she was just sitting across the room telling you her story. Her faith and religion I thought could be a problem as I began to read but never once did I feel that she was preaching. I was touched by her commitment to her faith, her family and her life. There is not a day that has gone by since I have read this book that I haven't thought about Stephanie and then tried a little harder to be grateful for my life. Thank you Stephanie, you are an inspiration and a hero to me! My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

White Horse: A Novel Book Review July 2012

July 2012 Book Review Titile: White Horse: A Novel Author: Alex Adams Publisher: Atria Publish Date: April 17th, 2012 Fiction - 320 pages Date Read: June 2012 Synopsis: (from The world has ended, but her journey has just begun. Thirty-year-old Zoe leads an ordinary life until the end of the world arrives. She is cleaning cages and floors at Pope Pharmaceuticals when the president of the United States announces that human beings are no longer a viable species. When Zoe realizes that everyone she loves is disappearing, she starts running. Scared and alone in a shockingly changed world, she embarks on a remarkable journey of survival and redemption. Along the way, Zoe comes to see that humans are defined not by their genetic code, but rather by their actions and choices. White Horse offers hope for a broken world, where love can lead to the most unexpected places. My Review: I have a teenage daughter who is an avid reader like myself, so I am well aware of the Apocalyptic trend of books in the Young Adult catagory. So when I came across this book in my Book Page Magazine and realized that it was not a YA book, I felt compelled to check it out. This is not necessarily the type of book that I normally read but for some reason this book grabbed me. I LOVED this book right from the start. No slow starts here! The story and the main character had me captivated. I love strong female characters and this is one that I felt was very well developed and 3 dimensional. And I also wap captivated by the other characters that Zoe came into along the way. The book is a little bit sci fi, mystery, thriller and love story all in one. I was thrilled when I finished the book and read that this was to be the first book in a trilogy! In the right hands, this book could be turned into an amazing movie. Now some of you may not like the end, but all I will say is that I did! My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

The Age of Miracles - Book Review

Happy 4th of July everyone! Here is my latest book review: Title: The Age of Miracles: A Novel Author: Karen Thompson Walker Publish Date: June 26th, 2012 Publisher: Random House Fiction - 288 pages Synopsis: On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues. Review: This book was named as one of Amazon's top book of June 2012. When I read the premise of the book before it came out, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. The book starts right off and grabs you from the begining and doesn't let go until the very last page. I finished this book in only 2 days. I guess the slight let down for me was that I really wanted more from the main character and the other characters as well. I wanted to really feel for them or at least know how they were feeling but it came out a bit dry for me. This is an eager and difficult topic for any writer and as I turned each page I found myself very uncomfortable with the realism. I loved the fact that it was not over dramatized. Instead it was an intriguing look at people and our society as a whole. The psychology behind people trying to gain control of their lives in the light of a situation so far beyond their control was facinating. This is a very easy and quick read that will stay with you long after you finish it. My rating: 4 out of 5 stars The next book I am currently reading is: Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer