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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

August 31, 2011

Guest Reviewer: Abe's Lucky Day

Abe's Lucky Day
Abe's Lucky Day by Jill Warren
Paperback, 32 pages
Published July 2011 by Outskirts Press
ISBN 9781432773052
Read August 2011
It's a really good kid's book. I like it because it didn't have that many words. The pictures were helpful. Everybody should read it. ~Austin, age 8

So I wasn't really sure how to go about reviewing a children's book. I don't actually have kids, but I wanted to read this book to see how the author dealt with the issue of homelessness. Abe's Lucky Day is about caring for others even if you don't have a lot yourself. My nephew grasped the message because when his sister asked him what it was about he answered, "caring for others."

The book is probably on a kindergarten or first-grade level. It was a simple story to follow and the pictures are well done. My only complaint is when we change point of view from Abe to the businessman at the coffee shop. The author uses the pronoun "he" and it took me a minute it realize the he wasn't Abe, but the businessman. That might be confusing to small children. I think the book would give parents and children a wonderful opportunity to talk about how we should be kind one to another and give a helping hand even if we don't have a lot to offer.

August 30, 2011

Got to get this book: FORBIDDEN

Forbidden (The Books of Mortals)Forbidden (The Books of Mortals) by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee
Published September 2011 by Center Street
ISBN 9781455509850
Read August 2011
Goodreads, IndieBound, Amazon

It's no secret to my long time readers that I have a bit of an obsession with Ted Dekker's books. When I found out he had a new book coming out in September, I started plotting how to get my hands on an advance copy. To my great delight, tweeted that Center Street had offered it on their site. I rushed right over and put in my request. I was so afraid I would be denied. I mean I haven't been blogging for very long and I don't show that many followers, though I do get decent traffic from my Twitter account where I have over 600 followers. But long story short – the next morning I had an approval. I could not wait to start the book.

I'll be honest and tell you I didn't really know much about what the book was about. I skimmed the provided summary. I knew it had something to do with a society stripped of all emotion except fear. I also had not read any of Dekker's collaborations before, so I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into with Forbidden. I was a bit confused the first few pages, but then I did my weekly reading list and added the summary, which I did read a bit closer this time. Forbidden is set about 500 years in the future. Society hasn't fared very well. It is sort of post-apocalypse – there was a great war and a peace leader emerged. The world was reorganized and there is a one world government. Though they have known peace for the last 480 years, this is not a utopian society. Humanity has had to pay a heavy price for this peaceful life. Rumblings of change have begun and threaten the very core of Order.

I had no problem getting into Forbidden, though I was left bewildered at the beginning. I seriously was doubting if there were any good guys in this story as we are first introduced to the bad guys and then the badder (I know it's not a word) guys. But then emerges the unsuspecting hero of the story. His life is turned upside down as he witnessed not only the first murder in five centuries but also the second murder within a few short hours. With nowhere else to turn, Rom Sebastian runs to his best friend and together they begin their journey away from Order.

Forbidden is an action packed tale that will have you on the edge of your seat the majority of the time. There are moments when the reader can catch their breathe, but most are short lived. I do have one complaint about the story which kept me from giving Forbidden 5 stars. There was a bit of predictability at one point that had me rolling my eyes. And after a particularly thrilling and danger-filled scene, the plot hit a lull. I usually struggle with the first 50 – 100 pages, not the last. But there around 100 pages left I felt my attention waning. I pushed through the next 30 pages and was not disappointed. I devoured the last 70 pages. While dreading the end of the book (it is only the first in a series and I know I'll have to wait a while for the sequel), I couldn't slow myself down. I had to know what would happen. Then I clicked to the last page and read the last lines. I don't think I was quite prepared for how it all played out. I sat for several long moments with my mouth slightly hanging open – I think I was in a bit of shock. Then a single thought floated into my head – Crap! How am I going to write this review! It had left me absolutely speechless.

Dekker's books always give me a ton of food for thought. His comments on social, religious, and political subjects are so well crafted and carefully woven into the threads of his stories, that it often takes me days and weeks to fully process all that was said. I think I will be ruminating on Forbidden for quite some time (maybe it will help pass the time until the sequel comes out in 2012).

I have never read anything by Tosca Lee, so I'm not sure what her influence was on the story. But as a huge Dekker fan, I was not disappointed in this latest masterpiece. Get your copy September 13!
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August 29, 2011

This is what I'm reading

On my reading list this week...

Boyfriend From Hell (Falling Angels Saga)

Leaving (Bailey Flanigan Series)Leaving (Bailey Flanigan Series) by Karen Kingsbury
The Bailey Flanigan series begins with Bailey leaving Bloomington for the adventure of a lifetime. She has won an audition for the ensemble of a Broadway musical in New York City. She's determined to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but is she really ready to leave family and friends for the loneliness of the city? And what of Cody? His disappearance has her worried about their future and praying that their love can survive.In order to be closer to his mother in jail, Cody takes a coaching job in a small community outside Indianapolis. New friends, distance, and circumstances expose cracks in his relationship with Bailey Flanigan.Love, loneliness, big opportunities, and even bigger decisions highlight the first book in the new Bailey Flanigan series that features members of the popular Baxter family and finally completes the Bailey Flanigan/Cody Coleman story. From
Huber Hill and the Dead Man's Treasure Huber Hill and the Dead Man's Treasure by B. L. Bostick
When his grandfather dies, Huber Hill is devastated---until he opens Grandpa Nick's mysterious box. An old gold coin and directions to a hidden Spanish treasure send him and his friends off on an mind-blowing adventure, but he's not the only one on the hunt. Filled with dangerous animals and cryptic puzzles, this book will have you on the edge of your seat until the last page. From

September Read-a-thon: Back of the Book Reviews

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme at Book Journey blog.