12 November 2019

“Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables
(Anne of Green Gables Series, #1)by Lucy Maud Montgomery

As soon as Anne Shirley arrives at the snug white farmhouse called Green Gables, she is sure she wants to stay forever . . . but will the Cuthberts send her back to to the orphanage? Anne knows she's not what they expected—a skinny girl with fiery red hair and a temper to match. If only she can convince them to let her stay, she'll try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes and blurting out the first thing that comes to her mind. Anne is not like anyone else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special—a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreams of the day when she can call herself Anne of Green Gables.

I don't like that synopsis... but I can't find a better one. :/

My Review:
5+ stars & 9/10 hearts. This book... oh, it is so good. I love it so much. So much beauty—beautiful descriptions, and beautiful thoughts, and beautiful lessons... It is a book to grow up with. I don’t agree with everything, but it is very humorous, and full of wonderful true-to-life characters. I love watching Anne grow and mature... the whole series is amazing, but this book is the best. <33

A Favourite Quote: “‘I feel it's a great responsibility because I have only the one chance. If I don't grow up right I can't go back and begin over again.’”
A Favourite Beautiful Quote: “Spring had come once more to Green Gables—the beautiful capricious, reluctant Canadian spring, lingering along through April and May in a succession of sweet, fresh, chilly days, with pink sunsets and miracles of resurrection and growth.”
A Favourite Humorous Quote: “‘Charlie Sloane says he's going to go into politics and be a member of Parliament, but Mrs. Lynde says he'll never succeed at that, because the Sloanes are all honest people, and it's only rascals that get on in politics nowadays.’”

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9 November 2019

“Her Mother's Bible” by Isabella Alden

Her Mother's Bible
by Isabella Alden

Reading Bible verses doesn’t amount to much, you know, unless you do what they say.”
When Mrs. Selmser inherits her mother’s beloved Bible, she’s overjoyed. All the marked verses—in red and green and blue—are wonderful reminders to her of her mother’s Christian walk; so it seems natural to have her son Ralph read one of those marked verses each day as part of their family worship.
But Ralph knows enough about the Bible to realize it’s sometimes a hard book to live up to. With God’s help, can he learn to apply the teachings of the Bible to his everyday life?

My Review:
5 stars & 5/10 hearts.  This is my favourite Isabella Alden book so far. It is beautiful. I love the plot, and I love how Ralph’s Grandmother’s verses constantly apply to his life in such real ways. This book is full of reminders I needed and things I have never thought of before.

7 November 2019

“Fighting the Flames” by R.M. Ballantyne

Fighting the Flames
by R.M. Ballantyne

Frank Wilders is a bright, shining young star rising to distinguished heroism in the London Fire Brigade. No one is more proud of his accomplishments than his younger brother, Willie. As Frank battles the flames, Willie learns what the heart of a hero is made of. Through daring rescues, valiant hard work, plots of arson, attempted murder and winning the worthy hearts of virtuous young women, the best and worst of mid-19th century London is exposed. Fighting the Flames: A Tale of the London Fire Brigade is a masterpiece of fiction; a beautiful tapestry woven of adventure, heroism and the broad spectrum of human nature. R.M. Ballantyne expertly maneuvers his extensive and intricate cast of characters through a series of crossed paths, creating lively interplay between the wide varieties of human personalities and foibles that create the diversity of city life--all in the shadow of the great nightly battle with the flames.

My Review:

5+ stars & 8/10 hearts. This was my first Ballantyne book, and it took my heart by storm. I loved it so much. I loved seeing the brave firemen of yesterday, and all their courage and sacrifice. I loved Frank—I loved Frank. I loved Willie and Dale & the other firemen. I loved the humour. I loved the reflective writing style. I loved how clean the book was—I can think of only a mention or two of smoking and of a glass of beer. This story ended so happily and I am so eager to read more of Ballantyne’s writings!

A Favourite Quote: “... I like the vigour and energy that are called forth in the work, and I like the object of the work, which is to save life and property. Why ... it has all the danger and excitement of a soldier’s life without the bloody work, and with better ends in view.’
“‘Nay, nay, Frank,’ said the peaceful Mrs Willders, ‘you must not say “better ends,” because it is a great and glorious thing to defend one’s native land.’ ...
“‘True, mother,” rejoined Frank; ‘but I did not refer to ultimate ends, I only thought of the immediate results in connection with those engaged. The warrior fights, and, in so doing, destroys life and property. The fireman fights, and in doing so protects and preserves both.’”

A Favourite Humorous Quote: “...and, would you believe it, that this boy’s brother-in-law—’
“‘Brother, ma’am,’ interrupted Willie.
“‘Yes, brother, actually saved my darling’s life last night, at the—the thing in Beverly Square.’
“‘What “darling’s life,” and what “thing” in Beverly Square?’ demanded Miss Deemas.
“‘What! have you not heard of the fire last night in Beverly Square—my relative, James Auberly—living there with his family—all burnt to ashes—and my sweet Loo, too? A what’s-’is-name was brought, and a brave fireman went up it, through fire and water and smoke. Young Auberly went up before him and fell—heat and suffocation—and saved her in his arms, and his name is Frank, and he’s this boy’s brother-in-law!’
“To this brief summary, given with much excitement, Miss Deemas listened with quiet composure, and then said with grim sarcasm, and very slowly: ‘Let me see; there was a fire in Beverly Square last night, and James Auberly, living there with his family, were all burned to ashes[,] and also your sweet Loo. A “what’s-his-name” having been brought, a brave fireman goes up it, and apparently never comes down again (burned to ashes also, I fancy); but young Auberly, who went up before him, and fell—heat and suffocation being the result—saved some one named “her” in his arms; his name being Frank (owing no doubt to his having been re-baptised, for ever since I knew him he has been named Frederick), and he is this boy’s brother-in-law!’”

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2 November 2019

“Bridgers” by Angie Thompson


Three boys. One choice. No turning back.
Peyton is a rising star in the church who is well on the way to reaching his biggest dreams. Levi is a pastor's son struggling to live up to his faith under pressure from all sides. DaVonte is a kid from the wrong side of town who would be content if he and his friends were just left alone.
When an act of violence presents a sudden decision, each boy's answer will shake the community to its core and shape its future forever. Love and truth face off against fear and pride in this modern extension of one of Jesus' best-known parables.

My Review:
5+ stars and 7/10 hearts. This little book was lovely. I was hooked by chapter one, and my interest never waned. I loved DaVonte right away—he was so kind and thoughtful, trying so hard to do right even if he hardly knew what right was. His interactions with Brett and Levi were awesome—especially with Levi, who was almost as sarcastic. The humour was excellent. xD Asher was awesome too. ;) There was a mention of drugs, cigarettes, stabbing, murder, tattoos, and the like, but they are barely mentioned or not detailed and handled very well (we all know I’m sensitive to stuff like that, and I had no problem with it). I loved the message of the book—it was so true and so well done. The scene where Pastor Allison counsels Levi—ohhhh. I needed to hear that so badly. It almost brought tears to my eyes. And the scene where DaVonte almost smokes—that was beautiful. So much love shown. <3 Recommended ages: 14+.

A Favourite Quote: “‘You have to let His Spirit work. Trust Him enough to step out and do what He puts in front of you, and trust that He’ll carry you through it. Don’t try to work up the courage to face it. That’s where you fail. Step out, even when you’re shaking in your shoes, and trust God to give you what you need in that moment.’”
A Favourite Beautiful Quote: “Dusk was beginning to fall, but not enough to be penetrated by the faint halos of the streetlights.”
A Favourite Humorous Quote: “‘You want to bleed ketchup all over the place? I mean, I’m not saying it won’t stain, but you look like a human french fry.’
“‘I knew yellow was a bad choice.... By the end of the day, I’m going to smell like a milk-drenched meatloaf, so it doesn’t much matter.’
“‘The end of the day?’
“‘Right. I smell like one now. By the end of the day, I’ll smell like rotten meatloaf drenched in sour milk. Thanks for reminding me.’”

*I received a copy of this book from the author but I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest opinions.*

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About the Author:
An avid reader and incurable story-spinner, Angie Thompson also enjoys volunteering in her church's children's program and starting (but not always finishing) various kinds of craft projects. She currently lives in central Virginia near most of her incredible family, including two parents, six brothers, one sister, and five siblings-in-law--plus two nieces, five nephews, and several assorted pets!
Get in touch with her by emailing contact@quietwaterspress.com. Love getting the behind-the-scenes scoop? You'll find it and more at quietwaterspress.com.

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31 October 2019

“Freedom” by Faith Potts

(Liberty's Battlegrounds, #1)by Faith Potts

Having just returned to American soil from the desert sands of the Middle East, James Greene is done with his life. 'Double amputee' doesn't seem like a strong enough phrase to label the physical and emotional pain he bears. Add the lack of love and communication with his family members, the demons that haunt him day and night, and he can find nothing worth living for. Ending it all is the only way out. 
Alexandria Lorance is a not-so-ordinary physical therapist, content with aiding in her patients' recoveries. Her work gives her fulfillment, but alone in the silence, she still endures the hidden scars of a past, unhealthy relationship. Reminding herself that true healing is found in Christ alone, she seeks to show kindness and love to everyone she meets.
When these two broken ones' paths intersect, the spark of friendship is ignited, bringing hope and joy to both. Can they step out of the darkness of suffering and into the freedom of grace? 
A Marine, broken by war. A therapist, scarred by words. A chance meeting in a parking lot bonded them together. But can love grow in these two hurting hearts? Or are they truly too broken to ever find lasting happiness?

My Review:
4 stars & 4/10 hearts. This book is a great view on a subject that is often avoided. The topic of suicide was very well handled. The story was sweet and beautiful. My only objection is the romance. There’s an awful lot of touching and even some hugging and forehead kisses before the couple is even engaged. I love the characters, particularly Brian and James ;) And Brenna and Callie!! <3 And Uncle Joe & Aunt Gloria are such sweethearts. <3

A Favourite Quote: “My mind flashes back to those terrifying moments on the roof. Then, and in times since, I have seriously wondered if James was too low. If restoration and redemption were possible. If he could ever climb his way out of his darkness. How could I have ever doubted the power of such a loving God? James doesn’t have to climb out of this darkness that’s taken hold of him. He needs only accept and cling to the Hand reaching out to him.”
A Favourite Beautiful Quote: “Even though still bearing evidence to the tears he’s shed, his eyes sparkle and shine, abolishing the dark haze that’s been there so long and lightening my heart. This is the beauty of grace.”
A Favourite Humorous Quote: “‘I mean, c’mon James, you’ve got to admit you’ve been a bit ornery lately.’
“‘Ornery?’ I repeat, incapable of imagining the preposterous contortions taking place in my facial features right now. 
“Lester shakes his head. ‘I’m not finished.’ Let it never be said again that this guy is quiet and oblivious. ‘Just be real about it, man. She broke up with you—I get it. But life goes on. Either man-up, apologize to her, and try to win her back, or just get over yourself and quit whining.’
“Whining. He called me ornery and whiny within the space of a minute, tops.”

*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review but I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest opinions.*

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About the Author:
Saved by God's grace, Faith Potts is a teenage writer and homeschool graduate, living with her family and beloved yellow labs in the North Carolina mountains. When she’s not weaving stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading stacks of books, or studying American Sign Language, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy, daydreaming, and—of course—blowing dandelions.

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26 October 2019

“Beloved” by Kaitlyn Krispense


Life without love is hopeless.
Foster teen Cara Richards is unloved. With nothing left and nowhere to go, she is determined to find peace, no matter the cost. But despite her intentions, she’s tossed into another foster family and this time, there’s no going back to who she used to be. To make matters worse, one of her five new foster brothers is a Jesus freak, and she refuses to believe that God actually cares.
Her world is thrown upside down in a way she never expects. Though she prides herself on a resilient heart, her mind is lost adrift among a sea of questions: Is death really the answer? Does God care about someone as unworthy as me? Can everyone truly be loved, no matter what?

My Review:
5 stars & 5/10 hearts. This is my first book by this author, and it made me fall in love with her writing. It hooked me from the very first. We don’t often get homeless runaways as characters. I was impressed by how clean the book was, even if it was realistic. This book deals with hard topics—suicide, murder, child abuse, abandonment, divorce, single mothers—but while reminded me that those things exist, and that those people need Jesus, it did not depress me. I loved, loved the boys, and Cara’s relationship to them. I loved the oh-so-sarcastic humour that pervaded every single page. I loved the beauty of Jesus that shone into the darkness. Content: Smoking (mentioned once); suicide is committed by characters (in the past); Cara almost commits suicide twice; medium-graphic descriptions of child abuse & a murdered woman; a  woman left her family; a man chased his wife away when she refused to abort their child. It is all handled very well and it is very clean. Really, it left me feeling uplifted and happy. I loved the message of the book. It was so very good... just so very good. Recommend ages: 14+. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author but I was not required to write a review. These are my honest opinions.*

Unfortunately, I have no quotes because I accidentally deleted them!! :( But there were some amazing ones--I'll update this review when I reread the book. ;)

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About the Author:
Kaitlyn is a farmer's daughter and a born-again believer in Christ with an obsession for books and music. It is these obsessions that led her to write her own stories. Psalm 46:10 gives her inspiration, her brothers make her laugh, and there's nothing quite like the excitement of opening an unread book for the first time. Her passion is to share the steadfast love of her Savior through the writing that takes up much of her free time, whether actual writing takes place or writer's block, in which case she's probably browsing Pinterest.

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24 October 2019

“Wedding Score” by Amanda Tero

Wedding Score

Most girls dream of their wedding days. Except me. I’m too busy practicing piano and being the live soundtrack for everyone else’s weddings to think about my own. I’ve survived most of my twenties with harmonious chords and pleasant days. 
So why is it that now, at twenty-seven, a discordant feeling presents itself? Is there a solid solution to loneliness when there is absolutely no potential husband on the horizon?

My Review:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎
4.5 stars & 5/10 hearts. This is an amazing book for any single girl. It isn’t an ends-happily-for-ever-after book. It’s a trust-the-Lord-and-wait book. I highly recommend it. It really blessed me with its thoughts of singleness and waiting for God’s plan. It was also humorous and just enjoyable. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author but I was not required to write a review. These are my honest opinions.*

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About the Author:
Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by
dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

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