Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book Reviews - Fiction

As promised in my non-fiction book reviews post, today I'm catching up with reviews of some of the fiction books I read over the summer.

Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love is one of my favorite books. I re-read it early in the summer to discuss with my book club. This is the life story of Angel who was sold into prostitution as a young girl. The story is set in the mid-1800s, and she eventually escapes to the California Gold Country, only to discover that she only knows one way to survive. When Michael Hosea comes to her in the brothel and only wants to talk about taking her away, she is confused and angry with him for arousing hope in her. Eventually he does rescue her and gives her much grace as she adjusts to a new way of life. However, inside she feels unworthy and runs away from him. This is a story of redemption and is based on the story of Hosea and Gomer in the Bible. I highly recommend this book!

Our Strange New Land, Elizabeth's Jamestown Colony Diary is another book in the young adult Dear America series. This story is the diary of a young girl who sails from England to Jamestown, Virginia, to establish the first English colony. The story chronicles the hardships these settlers faced and how they overcame them and determined to remain in America. These books are quick easy reads, yet I always learn something from the historical facts presented within the story and at the end of the books.

I checked out Unrivaled from the library the day Robbie and I turned in our summer reading forms. We both have quite a few books in our to-read piles, so we were just going to run in and out and not check out any books. (big grin) Of course, we had to stroll through the new books on display . . . and we walked out with seven books between us! I didn't know much about this book other than what I read on the back cover, but it turned out to be a very good read. It's a love story that's intertwined with the story of a candy-making business rivalry between the couple's fathers.

Of all the books I read this summer, Me Before You was the most disappointing. (Warning - major spoiler ahead!) I had read a review of the book in a magazine and it sounded like a story of hope and encouragement. Louisa is hired as a caregiver for Will, who was injured in an accident a couple of years before, leaving him a quadriplegic. I got the impression the book was about how Louisa encouraged him to embrace and enjoy the life he had, however it turned out that the book was basically a statement that it is ok for someone to commit assisted suicide if they so choose. While the family was understandably heartbroken, the book portrayed a beautiful picture of them all around his bedside as he took his own life. I know there's lots of controversy over this topic, but I just can't condone suicide or murder.

The library book club will be discussing Where'd You Go, Bernadette at this month's meeting. The book is written in the form of emails, handwritten notes, flyers from school, reports, etc, and is a good read. (As an aside - I read the large print edition because it was the only one in at the library and felt like I was breezing through the book because I had to turn the page so often! LOL) The story centers around Bernadette, wife of Elgin, mom of Bee, and her struggle to fit in. Due to some misunderstandings she runs away and disappears, prompting Elgin and Bee to search for her. It took me a while to get into the story, then it took off and I couldn't put the book down, but it slowed to a crawl in mid-book with lots of repeated information, then sped up again to a very satisfying conclusion. The inclusion of an insufferable neighbor and her juvenile delinquent son, Bernadette's "secret" past as the creator of the Beefer Bifocal Home and Twenty Mile House, and digs at Microsoft (where Elgin works) and Seattle (where they live) make this an enjoyable read.

I still have a huge pile of books in my to-read pile and a list of to-check-out books on my phone, but I'm always interested in hearing what you're reading and recommending - please share in the comments.

4 comments:

Barbara Eads said...

I agree with you about Me Before You. I thought the book was really going to go in to the ethical question and discuss all sides. Instead, it turned out to be what I refer to as "fluff"--not much substance. I was sorry I wasted the time on it.

S said...

Me Before You was on my to-read list, but I'm glad you clued me in, I don't think I'd like it, after all.

Sandra said...

A very interesting post, thank you for the reviews

Fiona said...

Thanks for the reviews. Our book group has just read Gone Girl, which I wasnt particularly struck on.