Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Live Free, Adult Coloring Book - Margaret Fienberg

Live Free - Craft God's Word into Your Heart through Creative Expression

This adult coloring book is a creative combination of journal, coloring book, and scripture study.  It encourages its user to linger on each page, drawing the printed scripture into their hearts and minds.  Each coloring page comes with an accompanying journal page for reflections and prayers.  There are no journaling or prayer prompts, just pure scripture to inspire and reflect upon.

The coloring pages themselves are a good mix of geometric, floral, and nature designs.  The paper is high quality and I have had no leak-through with the gel pens I've been using.  My only complaint with this book might be that there aren't enough pages!  It does seem to be on the thin side for a coloring book, and comes with a relatively high retail price.  However, I'm sure you could find better deals and sales if you watch (There's one now on CBD, and on Amazon!)

I really enjoy this adult coloring book craze, and I was excited to receive this one as a review copy from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

You can find Live Free HERE.
You can find Margaret Feinberg's site HERE.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Glass Castle - Trisha Priebe and Jerry Jenkins

On her 13th birthday, Avery is out playing in the woods when she finds herself captured.  The next thing she knows, she's living behind the castle walls within a community of other 13-year-old orphans who are secretly performing all the work for the castle.  Why are they all here?  Who has ordered the 13-year-olds captured, and why?

The premise of this story was intriguing enough for me to choose it to review; but I had a hard time accepting the world once I tried to enter it.  Why are all of the kids 13?  Why does nobody question this?  Who's in charge?  While I wanted to like these kids, and root for them, I wasn't even entirely sure what I would be rooting for.  In order to feel invested in these characters, I felt like there needed to be more background to the world within which they were living, and I needed more life stories to get to know them as characters.

Also, from the ending, this is clearly the beginning to a new series, but nowhere within the description was that made clear.  It is a pet peeve of mine to start a book not knowing it is not going to come to a satisfying conclusion.

I give this book 2 stars.  I don't even know if I care about these characters enough at this point to follow up if and when the next book is released.  That's unfortunate, because I thought the plot sounded fairly original, and I was interested to see where it could go.

I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

You can find The Glass Castle HERE.
You can find Jerry Jenkins' website HERE.
You can find the publisher, Shiloh Run Press - an imprint of Barbour Publishing, HERE.

Playing the Part - Jen Turano

Playing the Part is the third installment in the series "A Class of Their Own," where we get a deeper look into the life of Lucetta Plum, the actress friend of Harriet and Millie.  Independent, intelligent, and secretive, Lucetta is not impressed by admirers or gentlemen seeking her hand.  Rather, she keeps a personal bodyguard to fend off unwanted intentions and lives her life on her own terms.  Until a particularly determined admirer attempts to force her hand, and her life takes an unexpected turn - not only leaving her to depend on others, but entwining her in her protectors' own mysterious situation.

I really enjoyed both previous books in this series, In Good Company, and After a Fashion.  I love Jen Turano's witty, bright, and strong heroines.  Unfortunately, I felt that this story fell a little short of the previous two.  Maybe it was because the character of Lucetta Plum doesn't really let herself be known by the people in her life, it also makes her feel aloof to the reader.  Although many of her secrets, as well as Bram's - the leading male character - were eventually revealed, it was more of an exchange of portfolios than a true revelation of character.  Bram, however, was a delightful counterpart to Lucetta, a "collector of misfits," as she describes him.

Perhaps my discontentment with this story is similar to that of how I felt of the conclusion to Ms. Turano's last series - "The Ladies of Distinction" series.  She creates such fabulous relationships between her characters, but then marries them off one by one, book by book, and the final character is left to stand alone in her own story.  The friends make token appearances, and a few of the side characters carry over, but we're introduced to so many brand new characters without the support of the ones we've come to love, that it's missing that extra special something.

Regardless, I still enjoyed this series, and I particularly enjoyed the ending of this book.  I give it 3.5 stars, rounded to 4 - not my favorite of the series, but still a fun read.

You can find Playing the Part HERE.
You can find Jen Turano's site HERE.
You can connect with her on Facebook HERE.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.