Saturday, January 17, 2015

Unplanned By Abby Johnson Book Review

9640038// Unplanned //

The dramatic true story of a former Planned Parenthood leader's eye-opening journey across the life line 

By Abby Johnson

{Review Written By Bethany} 

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Publication Date: January 11th, 2011
Number of Pages: 267
  Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

// Book Synopsis //
Taken from Good Reads
 Retailers Choice Award winner, 2012 Abby Johnson quit her job in October 2009. That simple act became a national news story because Abby was the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas who, after participating in her first actual abortion procedure, walked across the road to join the Coalition for Life. "Unplanned" is a heart stopping personal drama of life-and-death encounters, a courtroom battle, and spiritual transformation that speaks hope and compassion into the political controversy that surrounds this issue. Telling Abby's story from both sides of the abortion clinic property line, this book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the life versus rights debate and helping women who face crisis pregnancies.

// Bethany's Book Review //

I was able to watch the Unplanned documentary a while back, and was inspired and encouraged by Abby Johnson's story. When I realized she had written a book about her experience working at Planned Parenthood and then quitting after the Lord revealed to her that abortion is wrong; I was very eager to read it! 

Abby Johnson's story, told in this book, is such an encouraging and inspiring one. One that proved that truth will always prevail. Even though I have been pro-life and stand firm in this decision, I was blessed by hearing both "sides" of the story. Reading about Abby Johnson's story really helped me to think about this issue, and look at it in a way that I'd never looked at it before. Since Abby Johnson has been on both sides of the debate, I think that she is such an excellent tool that the Lord has been using to teach both sides.

I really enjoyed reading about Abby's story, and reading about how the Lord opened her eyes to the atrocities that went on in the building that she managed. It was so encouraging and moving just to see Abby's raw honesty in this book. I really appreciate how she put all the briers down and told her story as honestly as possible. This is one of those books that makes you think, and makes you stronger as a person. I'm so glad for the opportunity to have read it. No matter where you stand on the issue of abortion, I think that everyone should read this book.

D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a complementary copy of Unplanned for the sole purpose of this review. All thoughts expressed are completely my own, honest and unbiased. I was not paid in any way to promote this book.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Return to Exile by Lynne Gentry Book Review

21412306// Return to Exile //

The Carthage Chronicles // Book #2

By Lynne Gentry

{Book Review by Bethany}

Publisher: Howard
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
Number of Pages: 384
  Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

// Book Synopsis //
Taken from Good Reads
"A twenty-first-century doctor travels back in time to third-century Carthage to rescue her husband, but the arrival of a deadly epidemic forces her to make an impossible choice in this fast-paced second novel in The Carthage Chronicles series. 

Dr. Lisbeth Hastings salvaged two things from her accidental trip to the third century: her mother's stethoscope and her child. Making a life for her daughter Maggie back in the present is difficult, but returning to ancient Carthage is impossible. However, when Lisbeth learns her husband is slated to die a martyr's death, she must find a way around the impossible to save him. 

Cyprian Thascius returns from political exile a broken man. He's lost his faith, the love of his life, and his purpose. When Ruth, an old friend, proposes he marry her to restore his position and protect his estate, the disgraced nobleman accepts. But when Cyprian's true love suddenly reappears, his heart becomes as imperiled as the fledgling church. 

As Lisbeth and Cyprian reunite to battle a new epidemic and save the oppressed community of Christians, the chasm between the two of them seems too wide to bridge. But when Maggie contracts typhoid, Lisbeth must choose: stay and save the man she loves, or return home and save her daughter? 

Filled with gripping action and raw emotion, this incredibly compelling adventure of star-crossed lovers will keep you engrossed with every turn of the page."

// Bethany's Book Review //

I really enjoyed reading the first book in The Carthage Chronicles, and was eager for the release of its sequel, Return to Exile. The idea of having a 21st century doctor go back in time to ancient Carthage was one that I thought had great potential, and was very unique. However, sadly I think that I enjoyed the first book in this series, Healer of Carthage a lot more than I enjoyed Return to Exile.
I've always been a fan of historical fiction that involves time travel, and always jump at the chance to read these kinds of books, since there aren't many out there. However I felt like there was just something that didn't work for me with this novel. I read the first 50 or so pages and the story just didn't seem to be going anywhere. I felt like the exciting part of the story should have already started (which would the the main character finally going back to ancient Carthage). I quickly became disinterested in the story, making it very hard for me to complete the novel having given it my full attention. I was sad that this is the way I reacted to the story, as I had hopes that I'd enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the first story. While the story did pick up after a while, I felt like by the time it did, I had already lost interest.

Despite the fact that I had a hard time getting "into" the story, I did enjoy reading the parts that did got exciting, although I felt like they were few and far between. While there weren't many parts that I felt really kept my interest, I will say that the few ones that did were really unexpected and really surprised me! I enjoyed the historical details of this story, and seeing the main character and how her lives were different in both time periods. It was neat continuing her story, I just wish it would have grabbed my attention more. However I by no means want to discourage anyone from giving this novel a try! Fans of historical fiction with time travel interwoven should check out this series!

D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a free copy of Return to Exile from the publisher for the sole purpose of this review. I was not paid to write this review or promote this book, and all thoughts expressed are my own, completely honest and unbiased.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund Book Review

(Review Written by Madilyn)
Book Title: Love Unexpected
Author: Jody Hedlund
Source/Sponsor: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Historical Fiction/Christian Fiction
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1237-6
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Year of Publication: 2015 (Coming Soon)
Rating: Four out of Five Stars
Book Description
A Perfect Blend of History and Romance, with a Whisper of Mystery

All she's ever wanted was a home. But stranded at Presque Isle port after their steamboat sank, Emma Chambers and her brother, Ryan, couldn't be farther away from security. While Ryan at least can find work, Emma can't even find a place to stay. An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper, who recently lost his wife and is struggling to raise his young son, arrives in town. A traveling preacher believes they might be the answer to each others' problems, and after a hasty marriage, Emma is headed back to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger.

But nothing in her wandering life has prepared her for suddenly being asked to raise a child and keep a house. Struggling at every turn, Emma also suspects Patrick may be keeping something hidden from her. In town she hears whispers about strange circumstances surrounding his previous wife's death, and it seems as though Emma's answered prayer for a home and family may actually be something much more dangerous.
Book Review
 I have really been looking forward to reading this book. Jody Hedlund is one of my go-to authors for a good read every time. She is consistent with her writing and has an interesting and unique style. I have read several of her books and loved every one of them. This story in particular stuck out to me because of the moral aspect of it. Patrick was is a former criminal that turned his life around and is raising his son, Josiah. He is a kind hearted man with a haunting past. He just wants the best for his family, but things keep going from bad to worse. Emma considers herself and old spinster and is overjoyed at the aspect of a ready made family. These two have a lot of things to work through and a lot of bridges to burn, but with God's help they can accomplish any feat. I loved all the strong characters and the plot was well thought out and executed. My only complaint is that there could have been a little bit more excitement. It was not boring by any means, and I had no trouble staying interested in what I was reading, but I think a little bit more action would have greatly enhanced the book overall. That being said, I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more novels by Jody Hedlund.
D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion, and that is exactly what I have given. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.