Monday, August 31, 2015

Chasing Happy by Ann Lee Miller

Genre: Adult, Christian, Realistic Fiction
Source:  I received a copy to facilitate my review.

From Goodreads: 
After an epic fail in the hetero world, Ash Jackson heads cross country to Arizona to figure out his bisexuality and make peace with himself and God.

Nashville Star Samma Templeton’s music career bankrolls her future husband’s political campaigns. But she throws up before every concert and feels relegated to an item on the senator’s calendar.

When Ash moves into Samma’s apartment building their childhood friendship resurrects, and Samma must choose between promoting a political agenda that will benefit millions or following her heart. Ash must face his inner demons for the girl who was his past and feels like his future.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book.  Ash's father walked out on his family when Ash was in sixth grade. He had announced he was gay.  This was horrible for Ash. Later on in life he fears he is gay. Since he was a small child he has loved Samma.  Samma has loved him.  She is engaged to Storm. She has always felt she was supposed to support his campaign with the money she earned from her concerts.  What happens when you are no longer sure what God wants? 

This author is definitely not afraid of subject matter that most will not talk about. Learning not to be judgmental and let God do the judging is a lesson most Christians need to  learn. This book came at they right time for me. I have a good friend who recently ann0unced they were gay.  My first gut reaction was to pass judgment.  I worked hard, prayed a lot asking God to help me not judge and to be a friend. This book should be read by both Christians and nonChristians.  I am pleased to recommend this book.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Blaze by Ginger Lee Malacko

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
Nathan and his wayward angel crew are back in this thrilling, action-stuffed, sequel to SPARK - and so is the king demon, Wrath, and his army of minions. When the entire county around Temple Hills is threatened by Wrath's smoke-spewing technology, the misfits of Section #71 finally get the promotion they've been working for. But life is hardly a slice of Heaven as Nathan is drawn ever deeper into the mystery of Lazarus' failing strength and the meaning of his own alarming premonitions of the future. 

With the help of a mortal who can see angels and an army of special agents, Nathan and his friends embark on their dream job only to discover it's not he exciting adventure they had hoped for. Perilous missions, dangerous secrets, and a possible traitor in their midst wreak havoc on the section as the angels of Mount Ember go to war. 

Nathan will need much more than courage and a good curve ball to halt Wrath's plans for world domination and restore the balance between good and evil.

My Thoughts:

Nathan and his crew are not the top of the list angels. As a matter of fact they are considered the misfits of the group. In a demonstration they show off what they as a group are able to do when it comes to battling demons. They are doing things they shouldn’t be able to do.  They have been working in secret honing their gifts, working for a promotion. The question is, when given the promotion are they really prepared? He has got to stop Wrath’s plan to not only stop him from taking over Temple Hill but the hold world. I thought it funny that after Nathan and his crew worked so hard to get recognized, he actually had second thoughts about whether they had gone too far trying to get a promotion. He knew he previously had issues and got into all kinds of trouble. He didn’t want go back to his former self. He had truly changed.  This showed his character growth. I think that is what makes these books so good. The author does a great job of not only keeping the pressure on so that you have to keep reading, but they also do an excellent job of making sure the characters are growing and changing.  This was another page turner. I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves middle grade reads and can’t wait to recommend it to my sixth graders this year.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces by Iain Reading

Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This is by far my favorite of all of the Kitty Hawk books. Kitty Hawk finds herself in Rome as she makes her way around the world in her De Havilland Beaver seaplane. She meets up with her friend Charlie and once again finds herself involved in a mystery.  This time she makes some new friends in Rome. While in their house she is admiring some paintings hanging on the wall in their father's house.  She recognizes one of the as being a painting that was stolen from a museum in Amsterdam. Mateo and Vega her new friends call their sister who brings an art expert. She declares that all of them are original pieces of art. One is a Van Gogh, one a Pissaro, and one a Monet.  None of them have any idea where their father could have possibly gotten them.  They call the police and spend a sleepless night waiting for the police to show up the next day.  When they return from dinner the next night Charlie hears a noise. As he proceeds down the hall a portion of the wall springs open and someone runs out, knocking everyone over. None of them knew of the secret room.  One mystery is solved when they hear the voice again and realize it is coming from a radio.  Growing up in the house Mateo often told of hearing a scary voice. Because of his great imagination no one believed him. The room and radio backed up to his bedroom.  That is the least of the mysteries.  This book will take them into multiple places in Germany.  Will they find the answers they are looking for to help Mateo and his sisters learn about their deceased father's part in all of this?  You will need to read this to find out.  I love mystery books and this one involved code breaking. For this, Kitty will call on her friend Richard who we met in the last book Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic. He will help her break the code.  For me one of the fun things, even though she gives the answer in the book was working the code. I loved it.  There was even a musical code that was related to the people involved. I actually went to my computer and opened a virtual piano to play the codes so that I could hear the songs.  I had so much fun, and learned so much from this book.  That might be why this is one of my students' favorite series on my mystery shelf.  Pick up this series and travel the world and have a mysterious adventure with Kitty Hawk and her friends.  You won't regret it. This is the best mystery series out there that actually teaches history in a fun way.