Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mini Review: Passages

Passages by Brian Hardin

Release Date: November 28, 2001
Publisher: Zondervan
Genre: Christian Devotional
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
Many Christians feel guilty when they think of reading the Bible. Though they want to love reading Scripture, they rarely have time for more than a few verses on the run. But the Bible is not meant to be a burden. It is the story of God's passionate love for His children. It is also not a book of mystical incantations. It is a best friend offering counsel and companionship. And it is not a distant relic, but something very near. Near enough, in fact, to be every reader's story. So how do Christians delight in this story rather than see it as a source of failure? The founder of the immensely popular Daily Audio Bible, Brian Hardin shows readers how reading through the Bible in a year will change their life and the lives of others. Passages shows readers how to read the Bible and offers practical ideas for immersing themselves in God's life-giving words. Here readers will discover that reading the Bible can be a breathtaking adventure.
I really liked this book! I have trouble with reading my Bible everyday, even though I always seem to find time to read my devotionals. This book made me realize I'm just avoiding it. It gives good concepts on how to approach Bible reading, and to slowly increase the time you read it each day.

One thing that really excited me was there was a quote from someone in Dallas, Oregon! That may not seem like such a big deal, but Dallas isn't that big so I was very excited to actually see it mentioned in a book.

This book will be staying on my shelves for ears to come, and I'm sure I will be referencing it in those times where Bible reading becomes a chore!

I received this book free for review from LitFuse Blog Tours. I was not required to post an positive review, simply an honest one.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: How to Stay Christian In College

How to Stay Christian In College by J. Budziszewski

Release Date: March 2, 2004
Publisher: Think
Genre: Christian Non-fiction
Pages: 192
Format: Ebook
Buy It: Amazon
How do you stay open about your faith in the face of potential ridicule? A must-read for every college student, How to Stay Christian in College will guide you through the maze of campus realities, including dating, sex, honesty, and more.
I started this book back in the end of 2011, and just recently resumed and finished it. At first I was very confused after having such a large gap, but I quickly got back into it. Each chapter is focused one on aspect of the college experience, and they're filled with examples of situations you could face and how to deal with them. One thing I really didn't like is that the author frequently instilled his own specific beliefs are if they were fact, rather than realizing that even Christians have varied beliefs. All in all, a great book for anyone going into a secular college!

I received this book free from I was not required to post a review.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Building Family Ties with Faith, Love and Laughter

Building Family Ties with Faith, Love and Laughter by Dave Stone

Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Non-fiction
Series: Faithful Families #2
Pages: 160
Format: Hardcover
Buy It: Amazon

Creative ideas, real-life stories, and Scriptural guidance for being the family that loves being together.  
Building Family Ties with Faith, Love, and Laughter is the second in the Faithful Family series where Dave applies his practical, conversational, and humorous approach to the challenge of building strong spiritual ties to each other as a family. Topics include: Contentment, Security, Loyalty, Gratitude, Spontaneity, Communication, and more. 
Preaching is his gift, but Pastor Dave Stone's family is his life's blessing. And after raising three kids of his own, as well as shepherding the diverse families of his congregation, his heart and passion for building strong families rings louder than ever. He knows that raising faithful families is a key to the future of the church. 
This book is applicable no matter what stage of a relationship you are in. This book has great insights on how to get along with all families, including non-Christian ones. It definitely gave me some great ideas for dealing with my family! As I move into getting married and having my own family, this book will stay on my bookshelf and help to guide me through the family challenges I will face.

I received this book free for review from Booksneeze Review Program. I was not required to post a positive review, simply an honest one.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

IMM/Mailbox Monday: 6/24/12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Kristi at The Story Siren, and Mailbox Monday is hosted by a group of bloggers! We share books we received this week, whether we bought them, got them in the mail or checked them out from the library.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review and Blog Tour: Praying God's Word for Your Husband

Praying God's Word for Your Husband by Kathi Lipp

Release Date: June 1, 2012
Publisher: Revell
Genre: Christian Non-fiction
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
Place your husband in God's hands
Are you ready to see God move in big ways in your husband's life, your life, and your marriage?

Many wives approach prayer as a checklist, something that has to be done in order to carry the "Good Girl Christian" card. But with this accessible guide, prayer can feel about as natural as breathing. The reason: the Word of God itself becomes your prayer.

With warmth and wit, Kathi Lipp shows you not only what a blessing it is to pray boldly for your husband but also the amazing differences you'll see--in him and in yourself--as you pray in full confidence of seeing God-sized results. Kathi directs you to Scripture, showing you how to pray God's Word in every part of your husband's life, including his

career and finances
relationships with God and others
emotional health

She shows you how to establish a routine, pick a special spot for prayer, focus your mind, prepare your heart, and even partner with other women in prayer. With Kathi's biblical direction, engaging personal stories, and encouragement, you can start making a difference in your husband's life today.
I'm not married yet, but this book was still very helpful to me. Each chapter was targeted at a specific reason to pray for your husband, and each chapter was filled with example prayers directly based off of scripture. It explained ways to lift up your husband in those areas, and things to avoid making him worse. It was really helpful, and it's given me great insight for when I am married and praying for my own husband!

I received this book free for review from Revell Blog Tours. I was not required to post a positive review, simply an honest one.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

IMM/Mailbox Monday: 6/17/12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Kristi at The Story Siren, and Mailbox Monday is hosted by a group of bloggers! We share books we received this week, whether we bought them, got them in the mail or checked them out from the library.

While He Was Away by Karen Schreck (Thanks We Fancy Books!)

Divine Alignment by Squire Rushnell

Nook cover and accessories

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: Book of Hope

Book of Hope by Book of Hope, Inc

Publisher: Book of Hope Inc
Genre: Devotional
Format: Paperback

You may have noticed I have little information posted above on this book, and no book summary. That's because this is no ordinary book. Book of Hope Inc has been printing various versions of the Book of Hope for years, and the on I was lucky enough to obtain is a older version of their teen one. The first part of the book has specific advice on topics such as worrying, not fitting in, etc, with specific verses to back it up. The rest of the book if the book of John (I think) split into section for easy daily reading. I liked how it was laid out, and I think this would be a good introduction for any teen looking to know more about God.

I purchased this book. I was not required to post a review.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: The Jerk Magnet

The Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson

Release Date: January 1, 2012
Publisher: Revell
Genre: Christian Fiction
Series: Life at Kingston High #1
Pages: 218
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
What if beauty is more than just skin deep?
When Chelsea Martin's future stepmother helps her transform from gawky and geeky into the hottest girl at her new school, Chelsea is pretty sure it's the best thing that ever happened to her. But her hot new look has a downside. She's attracting lots of guys who all have one thing in common: they're jerks. Oh, and stealing the attention of all the guys in school doesn't exactly make her BFF material for the girls.

Finally a great guy catches her eye. But he's the only one around who doesn't give her a second glance. Can Chelsea come up with a plan to get his attention? Or will her new image ruin everything?
I was afraid this book was going to become a DNF for me. I always feel guilty when that happens on books I request for review, because I try not to request books unless I think I will like them. However, this book started out slowly and it looked as if Chelsea was going to become one of those vain girls who focus only on her outward appearance, and this was barely 20 pages in! Luckily, the plot picked up quickly and I flew through this book with ease. The characters are all lovable, even some of the sleazy guys who redeemed themselves. This book opens your eyes on what high school girls focus on to attract the guys!

I received this book free for review from Revell Blog Tours. I was not required to post a positive review, simply an honest one.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

IMM/Mailbox Monday: 6/10/12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Kristi at The Story Siren, and Mailbox Monday is hosted by a group of bloggers! We share books we received this week, whether we bought them, got them in the mail or checked them out from the library.

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Something Blue by Emily Giffin

l8r, g8r by Lauren Myracle

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Review and Blog Tour: The Best Friend

The Best Friend by Melody Carlson

Release Date: June 1, 2012
Publisher: Revell
Genre: Christian Fiction
Series: Life at Kingston High #2
Pages: 215
Format: Paperback
Buy It: Amazon
Sometimes being popular isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Lishia Vance is totally baffled. One day she has friends. The next day everyone has turned against her. No explanation. Just complete social isolation. Even her best friend Janelle isn't giving her the time of day. 

Now she has one goal for her junior year at Kingston High: make a new best friend.

When Lishia makes a connection with Riley Atkins, a popular cheerleader, things start looking up. But is Riley really as good a friend as she seems? Or is Lishia better off without her?
I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first, but it was still good. This book focused on the darker side of high school, such as the drinking parties and it even had a small bit about a date rape drug. While I think it was good that Carlson included those details, because they are common, I still felt it was quite a darker tone to the first book. I also felt that Lishia had to be partially blind, because of how she acted in the beginning which then fueled the rest of this book. I'm not saying this wasn't a good read, I just feel that this book isn't appropriate for a younger age group. Still an excellent book!

I received this book free for review from Revell Blog Tours. I was not required to post a positive review, simply an honest one.

Armchair BEA 2012: Wrap-up

Time for the wrap-up post! This week was incredible! This year I had the honor of participating on the commenting committee. It was hard work!!! Don't get me wrong, it was so much fun, and I'll probably do it again next year. But having a full-time job AND commenting all week is no easy task! I'm amazed I commented on as many as I did :P All the posts were wonderful, and some of them were inspiring! I'm glad I was able to meet so many new bloggers and I hope those friendships will ocntinue to grwo. See you next year!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Armchair BEA 2012: Ask the Experts

Day 5... time to go cry. Just kidding!!! Don't cry! Yes it's almost over, but this week has been so much fun! I've loved reading all the posts and interacting with new bloggers! Today's topic is ask the experts. Today is out chance to ask those questions about book blogging that we've always had, and hopefully we'll finally get those answers!

1. How on earth do bloggers balance a full-time job with consistent reviewing? Especially those bloggers with children?? I have a full-time job, but no kids, and I still have trouble finding time to read and review consistently! Sometimes I wonder why people even read my blog anymore :P

2. What's the general opinion on reviewing DNF books? I tend to try at least 100 pages before giving up. However, what about those books you accepted for review, and found out it's not for you? Then what?

Yeah... so those are kind of lame questions. And only two. But honestly, I can't think of any more! :P I'm interested in seeing everyone else's questions too, so leave links below!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Armchair BEA: Beyond the Blog

Day 4? Already? Where did the week go?? Today's topic is how to bring your experience beyond the blog, whether it's writing or simply reading and reviewing.

I love writing, but I don't often share my writing because I'm shy about it. I started by creating a deviantArt account, and posting my poes and snippets of my stories on there. It's not so bad if a complete stranger tells you your writing sucks :P I'm still in the process of editing and perfecting my first draft of my novel, and it will probably not be ready for others to read for years to come. That's just how I am. But I know that by simply blogging on here and my other blog, or writing short poems, I'm still writing. Those small things help to strengthen my writing, which is so important for anything you write! Writing requires writing, so the more you write, the better you get! If you want to be a good writer, you have to keep writing.

Have any great tips? Leave a link below!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Armchair BEA 2012: Networking

Whew, already day 3! We're halfway there! Today's topic is to highlight a real-life blogging experience and how that's shaped your book blogging life. For me, it would be my high school librarian.

Before high school, I was an avid reader. I still am of course, but I have less time for it. I was reading all the time! During the summer I'd check out stacks of books, only to have them finished within a week. My parents hated the back and forth trips :P Once I hit high school, I was determined to continue my love of reading. Up until this point, I hadn't read too many fantasy books. I'd read a few, but no high fantasy. The first day I checked out a few books that looked good, my librarian immediately asked me what genres I was interested in. When I told her fantasy, she introduced me to one of my current day favorite authors: Chris Wooding. It just so happened that the library carried two of his books, and I LOVED them. Poison became one of my favorite books ever! My librarian encouraged my love of reading through-out high school, but it became harder and harder to find time for pleasure reading. However, I still appreciate that attempt she made to make reading a bigger part of my life, because it fueled me into my future of book blogging!

How about you? Leave your post links below!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Armchair BEA 2012: Best of 2012

Yay for Day 2! Today is the giveaway day, but since I have no giveaway lined up the other option is to showcase our favorite reads of 2012!

This book surpassed my expectations! I cannot even put into words how much I loved it. Seriously, READ IT. SO GOOD. THE END.

Again, a book that was amazing! I so want to read The Healer's Apprentice now. Ahhh! I mean it! So great. I'm repeating myself, aren't I? Oops.

So that's only two books, but these two have stood out so much this year! I highly recommend you check them out :) Post links to your posts below!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Armchair BEA 2012: Interviews

Today marks the first day of Armchair BEA! It's that time of year again where we sit at home in our pajamas and pine about not being at BEA for one reason or another. However, this should be another fun year, and I'm really looking forward to all the posts this week! Today is the introductions days, where we pick five questions from the original list of ten and essentially interview ourselves. Sooo... here we go!

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

My name is Ariel and I'm a 21-year-old college student who is attending Chemeketa Community College in Dallas, Oregon with plans to become a librarian someday. I have loved reading all my life and even taught myself to read at a very young age. This blog has only been running for about a year and a half, but I've been blogging on my personal blog for about seven years now. I love writing! As far as why I got into book blogging, it has opened my eyes to new genres and books that I never would have considered without bloggers' advice. And I've met so many excellent people! I just love the community we have.

2. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

I have a split personality :P People will talk about me as if I'm this happy, bubbly person, which I definitely am! I'm love people and am often happy. But if I'm around people I don't know, I'm actually quite shy. I'm super out-going around my close friends :P

3. What is your favorite feature on your blog?

I don't know if this really counts as a feature, but I like that I review such a wide range of genres. While I have been posting Christian review more recently, I still consider fantasy my favorite genre, and now I also love contemporary novels. I think it's a good balance for all of my readers.

4. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?

Jackson Pearce. No contest. She has an amazing writing style, and she's hilarious! Our conversations would be awesome.

5. Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

As I mentioned above, I read contemporary now, and didn't before. And I read a wider range of fantasy than before. I'm still not a huge fan of paranormal fantasies, but my opinion on them is changing haha. High fantasy all the way!

Feel free to leave links to your posts below! :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

IMM/Mailbox Monday 6/3/12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Kristi at The Story Siren, and Mailbox Monday is hosted by a group of bloggers! We share books we received this week, whether we bought them, got them in the mail or checked them out from the library.

For Review:
The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis (Thanks Bethany House Publishing!)
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