Our blog has moved!

Dear loyal LDSWBR follower:

Happy News - LDSWBR has a new home! Please come visit us, tell us what you think, and let's talk books. Happy reading!

- Shanda, Sheila, Mindy, and Hillary

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Heroes of the Fallen By David J. West

Title: Heroes of the Fallen

Author: David J. West

Publisher: WiDo Publishing

Published: 2010

ISBN: 978-0-9796070-3-5

Hardcover: 306 pages

Reviewed By: Sheila

Heroes of the Fallen By David J. West

Product Description:

Heroes of the Fallen is a chronicle that dramatizes the tragic end of a great civilization. That era is now lost to us, except through oral legend, myth, and a golden book of lore. Stand alongside daring heroes with swords bared against sinister villains, never knowing which will fall--Captain Amaron and his Ten Scouts, Zelph the White Lamanite, or Anathoth the Lamanite General, agonizingly loyal to the despised King of Tullan-- all must face the chillingly evil Gadianton Master Akish-Antum and his
numerous followers. Witness the plans of mighty kings and
lowly thieves. See the dreams of Bethia, a prophet's daughter, as she runs away from home seeking independence, only to find confusion and wickedness in a land at war. Heroes of the Fallen is full of tragedy and triumph. It echoes universal themes of mankind: fear and courage, faith versus doubt, hunger for power and love, and sacrifice for the greater good. Intensely researched, Heroes of the Fallen is a literary work of art, presenting revolutionary viewpoints in a cross-genre's ancient American landscape.

I always love to read historical fiction from Book of Mormon time. This book is like one that I have never read before. It is not very often, that I read a novel that includes the Gadianton robbers and the final days of the Nephite people. The Book of Mormon people are brought to life in this novel. David uses rich detail, in his writing, to perfectly describe each of the nations that were at war with each other.

I was impressed with the amount of research that David put into this book. As you read, you know that much of course is fictional, but also you realize that this book is full of historical facts. I am not sure that I will ever want to write a historical novel. I think that they research more than any other writers.{I could be wrong here since I have not written a novel yet.:) }

Another exciting thing about this book, it is part of a series of book about this time period. I think that this series will eventually be looked at as a great Book of Mormon epic. There is a lot of action and intrigue throughout the novel. There are many different stories and plot lines being played out. You also need to be on your toes to keep everyone straight at the first. Even though these are names you have heard before, I had to seriously pay attention or I would have been lost. This is not a novel to pick up and read casually, you will want to focus on each of the main characters and who they are interacting with.
One thing that really got to me, is how truly evil the Gadiantons were. All of my life, while reading the Book of Mormon, I knew that they were evil. David brings to the forefront how truly conniving and wicked this group of people were. You could see how Satan led them in all of their dealings with others. David paints a clear picture of who the true heroes were during this time. I truly loved reading about Captain Amaron, a true leader who stuck to his values and religion.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this novel, by the very talented, new author,
David J. West. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Go visit David's blog here

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Would I...

Recommend this book? Yes, to those who love reading about Book of Mormon history and action novels.

Read it Again? Yes, I will before the next book in the series comes out.

If you would like to read an interview that I did with David, please go to my other blog here

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Charlie Bone and the Red Knight by: Jenny Nimmo

Charlie Bone and the Red Knight

By: Jenny Nimmo

Publisher: Orchard Books

Published: in the U.S. May 2010

ISBN: 978-0-439-84672-1

Hardcover - 466 pages

Charlie Bone and the Red Knight is the 8th and last book in the Charlie Bone series. Here's a little back ground info on these books. Charlie Bone, in the first few books, lives with his mom, two grandmas, and his uncle Paton. His father, Lyell, is missing in the first few books. Charlie is endowed, which means he has some magic in him, and that means that he is a descendant of the Red King who ruled 900 years ago. The Red King had 10 children, some good and some turned bad. The children all inherited powers from the Red King, and their children's children children, etc. Charlie's gift is traveling through pictures and photos. Once his "evil" grandmother, finds out he's endowed, she rushes him off to the Bloor Academy where all the endowed children go. There he meets more descendants of the Red King. Again, some are good, some aren't. Some of the endowments are: a girl who can turn into a bird, a boy who can summon storms, a boy with fighting ancestors, a boy who can talk to animals, tele-kinetic twins, a boy who can drown, a girl who can bewitch clothes, a boy who is a psychic. The list goes on... The worst is Manfred, he can hypnotize. He is the great-grandson of the evil Ezekiel Bloor. Ezekiel wants to do the town harm, but why and how we don't really find out until a few books into the series.
There are many great characters in the these books, that really keep the story going. Charlie also has friends that aren't endowed, Fidelio and Benjamin with his faithful Runner Bean. The evil ones really are mean, but the good guys are smart and resourceful. Uncle Paton is one of my favorites, he is also endowed. He's a power booster, no light bulbs are safe when he's around. I think my favorite bad guys are the nasty sisters of Grandma Bone.
I like that each book has a family tree, and a list of the endowed children and what they can do. It's nice to be able to keep track of who belongs where.
Many exciting things happen in this book. An evil enchanter with a sword that can act on it's own, a father and son that have to destroy each other, an evil Count, family fighting, a missing box with all the answers, and the "Red Knight" who tries to help the kids.
I was really happy with the ending, and the "big reveal" was great too. This book, and Book 7, "Charlie Bone and the Shadow" are my favorites of the series.

Book 8: Four stars. Series average: 3 1/2 stars.

I would read them again, and recommend them.

Along with the Charlie Bone series, Jenny Nimmo has written five other books, and I have read all but one.

FTC FYI- borrowed from the library

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions- Becca Wilhite

Hey Friends- It's me, Hillary

Just in case you were wondering, my blog, It's me, Hillary is up and running! http://itsmehillary.blogspot.com

This week, I bring you Becca Wilhite's "My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions, " a newly released romance by Shadow Mountain.

The story tells of self-described, plain Sarah who leaves home to head to college. Sounds pretty ordinary until you get to know Sarah. I love that she considers herself average. The thing that made this story different, was that the supporting characters didn't necessarily dispute it, but they don't come right out and tell you that. She uses experiences from the past to put that claim together.

She has a class where she meets Ben, who she literally calls "Adonis" by accident. They start to hang out for a study group, and as time progresses, his interest shows. Well, to him anyway. Sarah has a hard time understanding and believing he truly cares for her.

Sarah was so real to me. The only thing she was missing was the thin, straight hair instead of thick and curly. I had flashbacks to high school and college dating, along with the memory of emotional struggles that went along with it. Becca Wilhite put into writing what I think goes through a lot of us "ordinary" girls' heads. Can he really like me? Should I put myself out there? How bad will it hurt if he rejects me? Can I do this yet again? I thank her for writing a book that has been missing from the market. A book where the "average" girl learns that sometimes you really can have a romantic obsession, and live it too.

This is my new favorite romance for the year, and has made my top ten. The book doesn't have the "early-twenties" feel to it, where you sometimes roll your eyes with how the characters act, or the situations they are in. Sarah and her friends had a maturity that made you forget they were young. The romance was realistic, hopeful and tender. There is fabulous romantic angst, and a perfect insightful scene when you get to see through Sarah how Ben feels about their relationship. Fabulous!

A big "THANK YOU" to Shanda, who assured me that I wouldn't regret purchasing it. She was absolutely right.

Until next time!


Ftc-fyi= purchased copy

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - May 25, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Shanda's Teaser:

"He froze in place, then, almost imperceptibly, he lowered his body slowly to a crouch and balanced on the balls of his feet. He placed a hand in the grass in front of him and began to creep closer to me. He was tracking me, hunting me. His eyes locked on mine and pinned me to the spot where I was standing."

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck, page 236

Sheila's Teaser:

"I'm here to discourage Miss Rain from inflicting any more damage upon my clients, " he said.

"I'm not inflicting anything upon anyone!" I shot back, my anger getting the best of me..."They came to me, remember? For my part, I'd rather not know anything about their missing daughter. I knew I shouldn't have agreed to help them."

Imprints by Rachel Ann Nunes, page 35

Mindy's Teaser:

"Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins."

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, page 51

Monday, May 24, 2010

LDStorymakers Conference 2010 Podcast: Part 2

LDStorymakers Conference 2010 Podcast: Part 2 with Josi Kilpack and Heather Moore is now available. Click here to listen.

Time Flies

One month ago, I was enjoying my first LDStorymakers Conference. The sights and sounds have faded a bit in memory, but I was taken back to relive the excitement and energy of the conference listening to the podcasts that will be posted today. Part 1 of the LDStorymakers Conference 2010 Podcast is available here.

The two days I spent at the conference were a much needed step "out of the norm" for me, and it's no surprise that within a few days of stepping back into my life, LIFE took over, derailing my plans to get the large amount of material we collected during those two days posted within a week. But that's okay. After a month, it's nice to revisit the whole conference experience again. Take a few minutes on this one month anniversary of the 2010 Storymakers Conference and relive it with me. It's almost like being there all over again.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest by Eric Shuster

Title: Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest

Author: Eric Shuster

Publisher: Cedar Fort (CFI)

Published Date: April 2009
ISBN#: 978-1-59955-257-6
Genre: Non-Fiction
Paperback: 261 pages

When I first agreed to read and review Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest I assumed it would be like most other review books. I would settle in for a day or two and finish it cover to cover in a matter of hours.

I was wrong.

The book that came to me new and pristine now shows obvious evidence of use. The corners of the cover curl a bit, the spine is wearing a little on the edges, and every few pages or so there is an underlined paragraph or a star marking some point I want to find again easily.

The author, Eric Shuster, begins Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest telling the reader of his background in the Catholic Church. His wife, Marilyn, also shares her history with the Catholic Church, including her time spent preparing to become a Franciscan nun. Various events in both of their lives led them to become involved with the youth where they met and fell in love.

Soon after their marriage, Eric and Marilyn moved into a home next to a family that were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They didn't know this at first, as the family never pushed their beliefs on them. As Eric and Marilyn were able to get to know them better, they found this family to be a great example of what they wanted for their own family. A memorable experience with a certain Latter-Day Saint craftsman also helped bring about their investigation into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Eventually, Eric and Marilyn started taking the missionary discussions. With their involved and active background in the Catholic Church, each aspect of the gospel taught to them by the missionaries was weighed and compared to Catholic doctrine. Through extensive study, prayer and discussion, Eric and Marilyn agreed to be baptized.

Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest is a comparison of 40 doctrines between the Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In each chapter, Eric presents a doctrine or principle based on the one before it, relying heavily on the Scriptures and words of the Prophets and Apostles for his sources. Every section has the same basic layout: an introduction to the subject, Catholic doctrine, Latter-Day Saint doctrine, and finally the author's thoughts and commentary.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for my entire life, all of these doctrines were familiar to me to some degree. In several sections, however, I learned of certain details I had been unaware of before reading this book. I turned several times to the scriptural references Eric provided and made notes to learn more about these doctrines in my own studies.

The chapter titled "Life After Death" is where I did most of my marking in the book. Those 34 pages contain a large amount of information on the Latter-Day Saint doctrine of what follows this earthly life. To quote the author in this section:

"The gospel of Jesus Christ imparts to all of God's children everything we need to know and understand to receive the blessing of the celestial kingdom. By learning and following the principles of the gospel, we can know our Heavenly Father, develop a personal relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ, and learn to live the life that God our father desires us to live- the life that will lead us back to him."

Another chapter, "Angels and Satan," is also full of good information. I underlined one paragraph to remind me of the reality of Satan and his followers:

"Without a mortal body, these spirits retain their knowledge of their premortal life and suffer constantly from the knowledge of their loss, which they know is hopelessly eternal. Thus, with Satan as their leader, they seek to destroy the plan of our Heavenly Father by persuading us to continually break the commandments of God and to do evil."

Eric and Marilyn's love of our Savior, as well as their desire to become close to Him and to our Heavenly Father, is very apparent throughout the book. He freely shares areas of the gospel that brought them pause during their investigation of the LDS Church, as well their efforts to be open-minded, do the research, pray, and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost in order to find their answers. The author strives to present each doctrine in a fair and honest light, and I feel his efforts were successful.

Other than the Scriptures, I found Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest to be the most substantial 261 pages I have read in quite some time.

Catholic Roots Mormon Harvest is a must-read for those who are interested in the differences in doctrine between the Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. LDS readers who would like to learn more about Latter-Day Saint doctrine will find this book of particular interest as well.

My Rating: 5 stars (5/5)

Would I:
  • read it again? I plan to refer back to this book often.
  • recommend it? Yes.
  • read more by this author? I would. I hope to, in fact.

FTC FYI: I received a review copy from the author, which had no effect on my review.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Review of "The Golden Spiral" by Lisa Mangum

Book: The Golden Spiral

Author: Lisa Mangum

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Published: 2010

ISBN # 978-1-60641-635-8

Hardcover: 369 pages

Reviewed by : Sheila

FTC FYI: I borrowed the book from the library, but I
am planning on buying my own copy soon!

His eyes. His touch. His kiss. Dante was unlike anyone Abby had ever met. Now he' s gone, and Abby will do anything to get him back . . . The hourglass door has closed behind Dante, sending him back in time to hunt down Zo, Tony, and V. Abby knows that Dante, as a Master of Time, is the only one who can stop them from destroying time itself. She also knows that he will need her help. But almost immediately, things start to change, and Abby s worst fears are realized when Zo begins targeting her past specifically. As Abby s world fractures around her, she must face a terrible truth: either Dante didn' t make it through the door, or he is lost forever. So with Dante s blueprints in hand, she begins construction on a new door, a new time machine that will either save Dante or doom him. With each new change that ripples into her present, Abby s life continues to spiral out of control. Her relationships with Jason, Natalie, and even her family are threatened to the breaking point and beyond. Zo s power is greater than Abby ever imagined, but as she struggles to free Dante, she receives help from an unexpected and unlikely ally. The bank is eroding. The barriers are thinning. And time is running out.

Wow! That is the first thing I said after reading "The Golden Spiral". It is the sequel to the very popular, "The Hourglass Door" by author Lisa Mangum, that came out last year. The third book in the trilogy, "The Forgotten Locket" will be coming out Summer 2011.

When I first started reading I was very confused. In the prologue I was desperately trying to remember all of the characters and what they had done in book one. I highly suggest that you re-read "The Hourglass Door" again before reading "The Golden Spiral". Once you get to chapter one, things start making sense again.

As in the case of most series written, I enjoyed reading the second book more. It comes down to the fact, that the first book usually establishes characters and storyline. In the following books the author can do more with the characters. You already know the characters, how they will react to something; you either really like them, such as main characters Abby and Dante, or you really hate them such as the character of Zo.

Abby carries the storyline in this book. She is strong, confident and brave. Her devotion to the man she loves makes you sigh. There is a lot of romance in the story that female readers will love! I am not sure the male readers will react as favorably to that as women, but I am glad that the romance is there. The romance shows why Abby would sacrifice everything for the man that she loves. You have to understand this in order to appreciate the lengths that Abby goes to so she can save Dante. Speaking of Dante, he is a very yummy, Italian man. You can understand why Abby would do anything and everything to have him in her life.

I love how Lisa shows time travel in her books. It is unique and believable, as far as time travel goes. The whole idea of a river of time, that controls all of our lives and how it can change when someone disrupts the flow, is brilliant to me. "The Golden Spiral" has a lot of action and mystery. You are constantly wondering, what in the world will happen next?

There is an important lesson at the end of the book that the character Zo talks about.

"I've learned lot since I've started traveling at will through the river. I've made some mistakes, sure, but I've tried to learn from them. One of the things that fascinated me about the whole process of changing events is seeing how people's choices can change what happens to them. The chain reactions are fascinating. Sometimes things work out exactly as I planned...sometimes I have to improvise."

In point #9 in the reading guide it says, "The book touches on the importance of making choices of our own free will, of shaping your own destiny and future. Are there choices you have made that have changed the course of your life?'"I think that this question applies to adults as well as the young adults who this book was mainly written for.

So, I recommend this book to all people that like speculative fiction, a nice, clean romance, lots of action and surprises thrown in throughout the book...read "The Golden Spiral". The book ends in a way that will make you wait anxiously for next Summer and "The Forgotten Locket". Way to go Lisa Mangum! I really loved this book.

Rating: 4 stars

Recommend this book? Yes, 100%

Read it Again? You can count on it

Thursday, May 20, 2010

39 Clues: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan

Book One "The Maze of Bones" 39 Clues

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0-545-09054-4

Hardcover 220 pages

Reviewed by Mindy

FTC FYI: borrowed from library

Grace Cahill was a rich, powerful, and mysterious woman. Right before her death she changes her will and that change starts a fast-paced exciting adventure. Grace's grandkids Amy and Dan are orphans, their parents died years ago in a fire. They gather, along with many crazy members of their extended family, for the reading of Grace's will. In her will, Grace selects only certain members of her family to either take a million dollars each, or exchange it for a chance to find the "39 clues", which will lead to a source of unimaginable power. Amy and Dan decide to take the challenge, along with some ruthless and crazy family members. The first clue is given, and the race is on to find the second. Since their parents died so young, the kids don't know much about the mysterious Cahill family. They're hoping this quest can also give them the answers they need as well. Grace's butler William McIntyre has known the kids for years, and can not give them any help. However, he offers a couple words of advice and warns them not to trust anyone along their journey. Of course, Amy and Dan make rookie mistakes, like, trust those they shouldn't. And, it seems that whenever hints are discovered or they find a new lead, there is always a bad guy conveniently around to hear. That was what bothered me the most, but it didn't make it so I didn't enjoy the book any less.
"The Maze of Bones" is very clever, fun, and a very fast read. There is humor, action, puzzles, loyalty. I found what I liked the most was the relationship between Amy and Dan. Amy is older, shy, and smart while Dan is funny, mischievous, but very smart too. They really watch out for each other and when it comes to protecting each other, they would give it all up to do so.
What is think is neat about this series of books is that each book is written by a different author. The author of this book, however, wrote the outline for the rest of the books. So far there are eight in the series released, and there will be 10 total. Book 9: Storm Warning will be released May 25th 2010, and Book 10: Into the Gauntlet is set for Aug 31, 2010.

3 1/2 stars out of 5

I recommend Book 1 and have read Books 2: One False Note and 3: The Sword Thief. Started Book 4: Beyond the Grave yesterday.

Mr. Riordan also wrote the Percy Jackson series, which I loved.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hillary's Post

Hey kids- It's me, Hillary

Unfortunately, I ran out of daylight to get my post in today. Should have it in without issue next week.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Finding Daylight: How The Lord Works Through Our Disappointments

Title: Finding Daylight: How The Lord Works Through Our Disappointments

Author: Kimberly Webb

Publisher: Deseret Book

Published Date: 2007

ISBN#: 10:1-59992-038-7

Hard Cover; 90 pages

If you are a book-a-holic like I am, you may have the same habits that I do. For example, there are some books I may see and I will buy it even though it is not applicable to my life at the time. Then when something does happen, I have the help I need already sitting there on my bookshelf. This is the case with the book I am blogging about today.

Finding Daylight: How The Lord Works Through Our Disappointments,
by KimberlyWebb. It was first published in 2007 by Deseret Book.

Here is the blurb about the book:

"Life is filled with detours and dead ends. Oft-times our sincere desires to choose the right have led us down the path of failure. Sometimes even things we felt spiritually prompted to pursue can end in disappointment. Why is that? Are we meant to be discouraged? Do we even have the capacity to succeed?

The truth of the matter is that sometimes it suits God's purposes to let us fail. Out of the rich soil of spiritual yearning and disappointment can come some of life's most enduring victories. Instead of inglorious defeats, in God's hands these disappointments can become stepping-stones to deeper understanding, renewed commitment, and more meaningful successes.

They can also represent sacrifice to the Lord, who is willing to try our faith and sound the depths of our commitment. Whenever they occur, they lead us in directions we could not have anticipated without the Lord's guidance.

Finding Daylight is filled with deep spiritual insights gleaned from a careful reading of the scriptures and a prayerful examination of the Lord's hand in the author's personal experiences."

Though this book is only 90 pages long, it is powerfully packed with great spiritual insight. On the back cover of the book is a scripture that shows you the theme and spirit of this book,

"Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for behold,and lo, I am with you even unto the end.".....D&C 100:12

The chapter titles also can show you what you will find in this book:

1. Stepping-Stones: When Failure Points the Way

2. Awaiting the Harvest: When Success is Delayed

3. "The Darkness is Past": When Failure Brings Change

4. A Holy Sacrifice: When Failure is Success

5. Walking on Water: Success through the Son of God

I found this book to be a good tool in working through problems in my life.It also showed me that so many things that happen to us are for our own good. At times it is hard to see this as we are going through our trials. I feel that great miracles can happen in our lives when we allow the Lord to help us.

I would like to end with a quote from the book:

"As mortals we develop our faith and capacities line upon line. A few successful steps followed by a fall are hardly failure-experience carries us forward. As we cry for the savior to rescue us, He will. He knows our level of faith, and He does not look way in disappointment at our weakness.As Elder Holland said,'Considering the incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion, Christ is not going to turn His Back on us now." (Trusting Jesus, Deseret Book, 2003, 67)

Yes, there is daylight at the end of our dark hour. I am for grateful for the many things along the way that help me see and understand this.

Rating: 4 stars

Would I Recommend this Book? Yes

Will I Read it Again? Yes I will!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising Sequence Book 1) by: Susan Cooper

Reviewed by Mindy

I love goodreads. This is where I get most of my books to read. My friend Kelli gave this series five stars and she said these five books are up there on her favorite books of all time. And, for those of you who know my good friend Kelli, she has a hard time remembering what book she read last week! Right, Kell? :) So, when I saw how much she enjoyed this, I was interested.
"Over Sea, Under Stone" is the first book of five and was originally published in 1966. Interesting tidbit: Book 2 "The Dark is Rising" is a Newbery Honor Book and book 4 "The Grey King" is a Newbery Award Winner.
It starts with three siblings Simon, Jane, and Barney who are visiting their Great Uncle Merry in Trewissick, along with their parents, for a get away so Mom can paint and Dad can fish. Great Uncle Merry is a mysterious man who doesn't like to answer questions and disappears for long periods. They are staying in the borrowed Grey House, which holds many of it's own mysteries. While exploring in the house, the children find a map that while intriguing, is also a dangerous thing to have. In their quest to figure out what the map really is, they meet some menacing people, well actually, the bad people find them. Who can they trust and what they find, I won't tell you, but it's a great adventure, that takes them over sea, and under stone.
I'm accustomed to fast paced books, and this fit right in. I enjoyed the mystery of the map, what it eventually led them to, and the adventure it took them on and why. Also, finding things out along with the kids. (Even though there was one event I figured out before they did:)
There are some exciting events that take place: burglary, kidnapping, mind control, lies, deception, cave-exploring, a link to King Arthur, the mystery of him, and a fun surprise revelation of a character at the end.
There wasn't anything I didn't really dislike about this book. I would of liked a little more information on the kids. But, it didn't bother me enough to be discouraged or not want to read more of the series.
What I liked the most was the mystery of map, (which actually is called something else) and how Simon, Jane, and Barney figure out the next step. I also enjoyed how they would work together and how they treated each other.

Four stars

I would read it again.

Will I read more from this author: Yes, I want to finish the series.

Over Sea, Under Stone

Author: Susan Cooper

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Published: 1966

ISBN13: 978-1-4169-4964-0

Paperback: 196 pages

FTC FYI: checked out book from library

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Am Not a Serial Killer- Dan Wells

Hey kids, It's me Hillary. Here you go- my most comprehensive and insightful book review to date.

- me reading the first chapter

- me reading the middle

- me reading the ending. Holy Schmoly, what an ending!

In case you were wondering, I really liked this book. I would give it 4/5 stars! Fabulous freshman novel Dan! Looking forward to reading "Mr. Monster".

ps- my kind of serial killer: or better said, "cereal killer"

until next week!

FTC FYI: Borrowed from a friend.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - May 11, 2010

Don't forget to post your teaser in the comments.
We want to know what you are reading!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Shanda's Teaser:

"She could see sincerity there, but could not believe it was real, not yet. She was plagued by the ache and disloyalty of his actions, unable to understand how and why it ever happened."

Torn Apart by Diony George, page 66

Sheila's Teaser:

"Lost in the past, he was startled by a hideous scream. A man in line to be sacrificed, possibly a Lemuelite from the borders, had awoken from his drugged stupor and realized his horrific fate. The screams of his mortal terror were unnerving to even a hardened warrior like Anathoth. He did not enjoy the spectacle that pleased so many of his people. This was not
a way for a man to die, nor a way for a man to kill."

Heroes of the Fallen by David J. West

Hillary's Teaser:

"The Lord as well as His prophet-fathers found joy in the successes of their children and they sorrowed when the children failed. Doing so is not only a natural response, but reinforces the lesson for the child, and reminds us of the boundaries we must respect in letting our children use their agency. We cannot hold ourselves overly responsible for their choices."

The Book of Mormon: A Pattern for Parenting by Geri Brinley, page 164

Mindy's Teaser:

"Juliet, I hear your sister is a cheerleader."

"Yeah, she is."

"So I imagine she was helpful when you wrote this."

She held up a copy of my cheer. Was she actually accusing me of cheerleading plagiarism?

Being Sixteen by Allyson Braithwaite Condie, page 77

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Being Sixteen" by Allyson Braithwaite Condie

"Being Sixteen" surprised me. I really enjoyed it. Not that I was expecting not too, I actually didn't know what to expect. What I liked right away, was how if someone was reading this book that was not of our faith, there are some explanations of our beliefs without being too obvious.
Juliet Kendall is the oldest sister at home, we start her story on her 16th birthday. Right at the beginning, I could tell she is a smart, confident girl who knows her beliefs, but things seemed almost too perfect. She has two older sisters. Emma is serving a mission in Spain, and Maddie is away at college. Carly is 14 and starting her freshman year. Juliet has everything going for her; the start of new relationship, lots of great friends, and a chance to play basketball on the varsity team. But, as like many of us, her trials come slowly, then linger, and then seem to stay for awhile. Little by little events take place that really challenge her testimony, and her self worth. Carly has a secret that effects them all, but Juliet takes it the hardest. And while Carly hides away and struggles, Juliet, while worried about Carly, hides as well. Not just from friends, but her Heavenly Father. Feeling she failed her sister, really takes her down a self destructive path. It just takes stopping the small and simple things that prevented her from asking Heavenly Father for help.
As I read Juliet's journey, I sympathized with what the girls were going through. I didn't go through what Carly did, or Juliet for that matter, but I have three daughters, and I can only pray that they stay strong in the gospel and will make good choices. It's a great story for anyone with daughters.
There was one thing that I felt was unresolved, but this particular event helped Juliet move on to others things.

My rating: 4 stars

I would read it again and recommend it to others

Will I read other book by this author? Yes!

"Being Sixteen"

Author: Allyson Braithwaite Condie

Published: 2010

Publisher: Deseret Book Company

ISBN-13: 978-1-60641-233-6

Softcover: 249 pages

FTC FYI: Reviewed a free copy from the publisher which did not affect my review.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Remarkable Soul of a Woman- Dieter F. Uchdorf

Hello Friends! It's me, Hillary-

Another non-fiction! –oh my! Oh wait, that's what I usually read…

Let me start off by saying that I was totally surprised by this book. I wasn't sure what to expect, but this wasn't it. Let me clarify- It is a beautiful book. I was not expecting gorgeous photographs. I was expecting fabulous quotes and short chapters that packed a punch- and I wasn't disappointed.

It took me literally 25 minutes to read this book. The chapters are short and easy to read. You'll even recognize some of the antedotes from previous conference talks.

One of the quotes I really liked was, "You may think you don't have talents, but that is false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before-colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memoires, flowing laughter" It's definitely something to think about.

With the difficulty going on today with the economy, corruption in politics and overall pessimism, President Uchdorf quotes President Lorenzo Snow "When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find somebody that is in worse plight than yourself; go to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated."

Overall- I think it is a beautiful book and would make an excellent Mothers Day gift. There is just something special about books that come from the first presidency.


FTC- FYI- publisher produced copy. Had no bearing on review.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite

Title: My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions

Author: Becca Wilhite

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Published Date: Feb 2010

ISBN#: 978-1-60641-596-2

Paperback; 181 pages

I was waiting for weeks on hold to get this book from the library. As soon as I brought it home, I couldn't help but "peek" by reading the first few pages, which then turned into the first few chapters. I snuck in more reading every time I found a few minutes and quickly finished it up the next day.

I enjoyed Becca Wilhite's first novel, Bright Blue Miracle, a Whitney Award Finalist for 2009, so I was really looking forward to My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions. I wasn't disappointed.

Sarah is a college student who decides to start attending the same school as her friend, Chel, after learning about the amazingly gorgeous TA in the History of Western Art class. She doesn't consider herself the kind of girl that anyone would be interested in dating, a belief she formed after a heartbreaking experience in high school, but that doesn't stop her from enjoying the scenery, as it were. Sarah also has a secret she hopes nobody ever discovers - she reads paperback romances.

Certain people and experiences become part of Sarah's romantic imaginings as she moves through the story, yet Sarah is never the leading lady in those fantasies. She turns around after class the first day and comes face to face with one of the hottest guys she's ever seen. She's surprised when he takes her photo with his phone to put with her number as they gather contact information for study group. His interest in her continues to baffle her, especially when he's still interested after several nerve-induced embarrassing moments for Sarah.

When Ben (the hot guy) asks Sarah to accompany him to his sister's wedding, Sarah agrees. While dancing, Ben and Sarah experience an "almost kiss" that had my toes curling- definitely appropriate but oh-so-nice. Ben works hard to show his interest in Sarah, but she's still afraid and unbelieving, just waiting for the time to come when Ben realizes she's all wrong for him and leaves. Sarah learns something about Ben that breaks the "perfect" image she has of him, and she isn't quite sure how to deal with it.

Unfortunately, her reaction to his struggle combined with her reserve toward him because of fear and her feelings of unworthiness, convince Ben that Sarah isn't as interested in their relationship as he is. When he confronts her, Sarah is unsure what to do or say, and Ben leaves. By the time Sarah realizes how she hurt him and what needs to be done, it isn't easy getting Ben to trust her again. In fact, it's very nearly impossible. Sarah must face the fact that she might have ruined what she had with Ben forever.

Before romance lovers panic, there is a happy ending, but Sarah has to really work for it, which I found both realistic and frustrating (I really wanted a happy ending). The romantic tension was very nice. I found myself relating to Sarah's doubts about being "girlfriend material," though at times I wanted to reach through the pages, shake her and say, "Don't you realize how men feel about red-heads? And look at those natural curls!"

If I had realized how much I would like My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions, I would have bought it instead of waiting so long for it at the library. I highly recommend this book to all those who love a good romance.

My Rating: 4 stars (really liked it!)

Would I-
  • read it again? Yes. I'm already looking forward to that, in fact.
  • recommend it? I have and do.
  • read more by Becca Wilhite? Definitely! I hope to see My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions as a Whitney finalist next year.