Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner

I have several friends who are long-time fans of Jennifer Weiner.  So I decided to give one of her books a try and Then Came You sounded right up my alley.  I love Women's Fiction that deal with surrogacy or infertility - it just intrigues me.  I was drawn in from page 1 and have had a seriously hard time putting it down so I could get some sleep.  The characters are interesting and the flow is easy, BUT I will say that I am very frustrated with the detail that was given in a love scene between two of the women.  Seriously, I have no desire to read the sexual details between a homosexual couple and I really think the author should say something in the preface or description if there is a lesbian/gay relationship involved.  It just caught me completely off guard and I wish I had known since it would have actually determined whether or not I wanted to read the book.  I have no problem watching tv shows that include a gay character - but I'd really rather not watch an intimate scene between the two of them - REALLY not my thing.  And to be clear - I don't appreciate fiction that gets too descriptive or explicit with sex scenes period.  Along those lines, I've had several folks ask me if I plan to read Shades of Grey, and as a Christian I could not in good conscience read erotica and in my opinion its no different than porn.

Description: The lives of four very different women intertwine in unexpected ways in this new novel by bestselling author Jennifer Weiner (In Her Shoes; Best Friends Forever). Each woman has a problem: Princeton senior Jules Wildgren needs money to help her dad cure his addiction; Pennsylvania housewife Annie Barrow is gasping to stay financially afloat; India Bishop yearns to have a child, an urge that her stepdaughter Bettina can only regard with deeply skepticism until she finds herself in a most unexpected situation. Interlocking dramas designed to ensnare; bound to be a bestseller.

Rating: *** (Only cause other than that 1 scene in the book, the rest of the story was fairly intriguing.)

Recommend: I honestly cannot recommend it just cause I don't think any of my friends would personally want to read the explicit descriptions given in the sex scene.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Within the first few pages, I was thinking, "Oh crap, this is going to be EXACTLY like The Hunger Games. Dangit." Which I loved The Hunger Games, I just didn't want to read a copy-cat version of it.  But you guys - IT'S SO NOT!  This was our first pick in the new book club I've joined and I was so pumped to read it!  This book clocks in at 487 pages which freaked me out a bit - but it's YA, so I was able to crruuuiise right through it within a matter of days. 

I thought the concept of factions that were divided up by personality traits was so intriguing and genius of the author to come up with.  I DID NOT see that ending coming and devoured the last 150 pages within a couple of hours.  I know some folks are predicting this trilogy to become as popular as The Hunger Games, but I'm not sure if I necessarily agree.  I do think it's going to be big - but maybe not that big.  Still, I'm jumping on the bandwagon and getting my hands on Book 2 Insurgent

Our book club meets at the end of June to discuss their thoughts and I already know quite a few folks have already finished their copy and really enjoyed it!  Maybe we'll all have read Insurgent before we even get together ;-) Get your copy of Divergent here.

Description: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Rating: ****

Recommend: Absolutely!  Clean, exciting and seriously intriguing! Loved it!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

This is one of those books that you either love or you hate.  I'm blown away by such strong opinions that are given under the reviews on Goodreads.  It only goes to show how the design and creation of a woman is under attack today.  I for one - completely loved and appreciated the gems of wisdom, counsel and insight that I found within these pages.  I, along with the ladies in our home group, read this book and did the workbook alongside it at the same time.  It challenged me in deep and personal ways to forgive, heal and change the way I see myself and other women.  I was able to reflect on the woman I am and who I desire to be.  Sure there's some things in Christian books you might always disagree with - and in every chapter of the workbook, you were encouraged to write those down!  It's ok to disagree with some of their ideas or even to not identify with the descriptions of a woman. After all, I never was the little girl to dress up like a princess - I was in torn up jeans digging around in my sandbox!  But the pearls of wisdom I did find within these pages were invaluable to my life today and I'm grateful for the opportunity to read it with some of my closest girlfriends.  

Description: Every little girl has dreams of being swept up into a great adventure, of being the beautiful princess. Sadly, when women grow up, they are often swept up into a life filled merely with duty and demands. Many Christian women are tired, struggling under the weight of the pressure to be a "good servant," a nurturing caregiver, or a capable home manager.

What Wild at Heart did for men, Captivating is doing for women. Setting their hearts free. This groundbreaking book shows readers the glorious design of women before the fall, describes how the feminine heart can be restored, and casts a vision for the power, freedom, and beauty of a woman released to be all she was meant to be. By revealing the core desires every woman shares-to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a grand adventure, and to unveil beauty-John and Stasi Eldredge invite women to recover their feminine hearts, created in the image of an intimate and passionate God. Further, they encourage men to discover the secret of a woman's soul and to delight in the beauty and strength women were created to offer.

Rating: *****

Recommend: HIGHLY!