Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What We're Up To No. 2


Hymns Mash-up - Anthem Lights

This is so beautiful! I just love the way their voices are so distinctly different, yet they blend together so perfectly! Also, these are three of my favorite hymns, so naturally I thought the idea of a mash-up involving them was absolutely ingenious ;).

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

I have to read this play for school, and I'm loving it! I've been a fan of Shakespeare since I read Romeo and Juliet a few years back, and so I was very excited about reading Much Ado About Nothing. I just finished it and am now doing all of the follow-up studying of it. I absolutely love Shakespeare's sense of humor! It is (at times) hard to understand, but it really is funny!

Brielle - Sky Sailing

I just recently discovered Sky Sailing, which is a side-project album done by Adam Young (AKA Owl City). As you can probably tell by now, I'm a huge Owl City fan ;) so I was really exited when I found out there was a whole Sky Sailing album for me to check out. It's been a while since we've had a new Owl City album, so the timing of my discovery couldn't have been better.


Mobile Orchestra - Owl City

It's been quite some time since Owl City (a.k.a. Adam Young) released a full album, and this summer he's coming out with Mobile Orchestra. His music is some of my favorite, I love how thought-provoking it can be, as well as capturing the way our minds work. Needless to say, I am crazy with excitement!

Success for Teens - John Fleming

I've been reading a small section of this book every day for the past few months, and it has been both challenging and encouraging in reminding me that I can reach whatever goals I make for myself if I am constantly making steps toward this goal, no matter how hard or unreachable it may seem. It has some really helpful principles that I know I will come back to in the future.

Wreck This Journal - Keri Smith

I got one of these last week, and it's ridiculously fun. I can't wait to see everything I end up doing with it!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

#Throwback Thursday

Hey, everyone! We wanted to let you all know that we're currently reading Melanie Dickerson's latest novel "The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest," so you can expect a review soon. Anyway, we thought for this #TBT we would show you the review we did on Melanie Dickerson's "The Captive Maiden" it just seemed fitting.

Click HERE to read our review!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Book Review: A Love Like Ours

Title: A Love Like Ours
Author: Becky Wade 
Rating: 3/5
Age Recommendation: 12+
Review by Marianne

Plot: Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships. When Lyndie James, Jake's childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion's reluctance to run.
      Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake's will, Lyndie's sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he's built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he'd thought he'd lost returns, but fears still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?
Copied from the back of A Love Like Ours

      When I received the e-mail saying that this book was available to review I was eager to do so. I had never read anything by this author before, and it looked like a really sweet, easy-going book to read over my spring break. I was not disappointed, and am looking forward to reading other books by this author in the future. The plot was (as expected) a cute, western romance, with a powerful message of God being able to overcome anything, even this man's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which had begun to control his life. 

Characters: I have to be honest, one of my favorite things about this book was how much the main character, Lyndie reminded me of myself. Not only some of the obvious personality traits like her optimistic attitude, or talkativeness, but also her interests and passions such as how much she loved animals, or the way she enjoyed watercolors so much. I just loved that her job was writing children's books which showcased her paintings. 

      I also really enjoyed getting to watch the progression of Jake's relationship with God, as he slowly realized that just because horrible things happen, doesn't mean that God doesn't love us and take care of us. It was a beautiful thing when he finally allowed God to come into his heart and fix the broken things inside of him. 

Emotions: Overall, this was a sweet, light-hearted read that kept me coming back for more. Usually I tend to read books where the main topic is action/adventure or mystery or something along those lines, with romance just as a sub-plot, so this was a bit of a change for me, but I did enjoy it.

My Thoughts: Altogether, I liked this book, and am definitely interested in seeing what other books Wade releases. However, I'm sure you're wondering why I only gave it three stars. Well, there were a few cons with this book that I feel I should highlight very quickly before I end my review. 

-Because this was a romance book, I was expecting a few kissing scenes, but unfortunately, the ones in this book were a little more descriptive, and quite frankly, more intense than I was entirely comfortable with. It wasn't totally inappropriate, but it did make me kind of uncomfortable. Also there were a few brief sexual innuendos, mostly in relation to Jake's married siblings, or Lyndie's neighbor who was a single mother.

-There were a couple of times that Jake was looking back at his time in the military and the months following his return when he or someone he was with used the word h*ll inappropriately. The book also took God's name in vain once or twice. 

Aside from those things, through the entire book, though I enjoyed it, it never totally gripped me or made me feel like I just needed to read more. Perhaps that is because I'm used to a more adrenaline-pumping story line, but I just felt like I was waiting for the climax the whole time. But overall, this was an enjoyable book that I am glad I read, as it introduced me to a new author that I am looking forward to reading more from.

Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of A Love Like Ours from Bethany House Publishing Company for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed above are my own.