Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Mark of the Star ~ Liz Patterson

*deep breath* Okay, having finished reading The Mark of the Star for the second time, I am finally ready to do a proper book review. :D

The first time I read it in breathless haste, reaching the end in a bewildering blur of color, scarce having risen from my seat from beginning to end - may I just say here that it's been a long time since I've read a 388 page book in one sitting?

This was also the first book I've ever read where I found myself suddenly wanting a video game to be made off it... I have never before had such a thought about a book before.
But I loved the setting. The story went from desert to rainforest to ocean to capitol city, with just enough description that the land was brought vibrantly to life, without suffocating the reader in an overabundance of scenery. From mermaids to the treesong, the world Lithan'galow was full of pure imagination, and I thoroughly enjoyed my journey across it.

As to the characters... let's just say that they are among those whom the word character seems somehow wrong. :)
I completely fell in love with Jadev... which, combined with the fact that this was the first book of Patterson's that I had read, was quite enough to keep me reading scared for most of the book - nice job, Liz! :D
Freyha is simply delightful, and Arvis is both heart-touching and hilarious.  
Narrow-minded misogynist barbarian!
Oh, princesses like that just make my day…

As do books that can make me both laugh and cry. There were many places where I could have cried... but I don't cry easily when reading. Strangely, the part where I felt tears start to my eyes was at Jadev's question to Tython.
You love her as much as I do, don't you? and then his quiet, Good.

That could have something to do with the fact that I adore Jadev (did I mention that already?), and he was also the one who probably made me laugh the most. Freyha and that doctor have packed me a whole regimen of potions and other healthful things. I may kill myself on this ride, but I won't feel any pain.
:D Okay, I shan't say any more about him, lest I begin to spoil the story. :)


I did want to know more... much more... about the story. Being one of those strange beings who love Lord of The Rings and yet do not think that Harry Potter is good, I found myself wondering about certain aspects of Lithan'galow. The Faeorin - beings who are one with the light - I found fascinating... but... I just want to know more about everything. :) Which means that if there is a second book I shall desperately want to read it... and I may find myself reading The Mark of the Star for a third time in the relatively-near future. :)

I will end with the quote on the back of the book, and by recommending The Mark of the Star to anyone who happens to like fantasy. You can buy it here and read more of the author's writing here. Get it - you won't regret reading it. :D


"Your stubbornness witll be the death of you!" Jadev said. "You can't save the world, Arvis. Some dreams are just that - dreams. Life has a way of shattering them in your face."

His words hit Arvis like a slap. She stared at Jadev, trying to understand the stranger that had once been her friend. "Just because you have given up, does that mean I should? If there is a way to make things right, I'm going to take it."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bookaholics Unite...

I saw these on another blog, and had to share... 
:D

Oh, yes... I have removed to another place. :)

Well, not anymore... though she does take my books back to the library when she doesn't think I have time to read them... *cries* lol

Or beg, borrow, or save to buy another copy... 

<3    I do...   :)

If I like 'em... then it's just horrible to only have a partial series... or to have a series that doesn't all match. :P

 waaah! If I really loved it I start over immediately... reading it out loud to my siblings if I think they'll like it at all, or just to myself. :D I read so fast I need to read it twice anyway, just to really know what happened. :)

 *giggle* Horribly true...

 *blush* Yes... even when it makes me laugh at myself

 LOL! Exactly...

 :)

 ahh... it's horrible... but if you insult a book I like... it hurts...

 *giggle* It's sooo depressing...

 Reading certainly helps! Only then I can't sleep because I'm so excited about the book I just read...

ack... unfortunately so.
 It can... if I'm reading something really amazing...

 If it's good writing. :) 

 lol, exactly...

Are there really people who don't do this?
 *blush* My definition of trashy romance novel is a lot of people's idea of good literature... which yes, means I'm a book-snob, and yes, means I need to work on not sounding judgmental when I discuss books. Because I think I can sound that way - even when I'm not actually feeling judgmental at all. I lean rather more towards mercy than judgement... even when it's books - but I still sound horribly harsh, don't I? I don't mean to...

 haha, if anyone ever wants to marry me, I have a few books I'll need them to read first... 

 It's like... breathing.

 I... can't... help... it... 

 lol, well, not quite, but... 

 A book isn't a book until I can physically turn the pages... an e-reader just would never be the same.

 See above...

 I won't say how much time I spent as a child trying to figure out a way to get a book attached to the steering wheel of our ride-on lawn mower...

:)
 That's like... just plain wrong.

 If I even remotely liked a book, I read it twice. Most books I enjoy I've read at least 5 times. 

 Welllll.... I think I've thrown a book across a room once, just to see if it would make me feel better. I don't think it did. I just can't... bring... myself... to do that to a book.
 Bookshelves everywhere! There are no bookshelves in my room at college... (The room is smaller the stalls of most horses I know... :P No room for a bookshelf. At all.) I have converted a plant-stand that can tuck into the corner into a bookshelf... and my desk is piled high with more than text-books...

 Calling them characters seems... sacrilegious. 

 Yep... I think there have been maybe 2 movies I've liked better than the books from which they were made?

 :) I looove books with layers that you can read them over and over and keep finding more :D

:) Yeah...
 lol... and get so jealous watching old movies...

 Well, I usually push right through, in order to forget it as soon as possible...

 Is that rude? :P

 lol, well, maybe not kill them... 

If I happen to hear them... :D
 I loove good first lines... :)

To be caught without a book is almost a fate worse than death... 




How many bookaholics follow this blog? :) 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

ON LOVE

 A lovely guest post from Jessica on my word of the year... I read it and begged her for permission to publish it on my blog. :)
This is a linked post, though... she is posting the guest post I wrote for her as the winner of the WWWWWH contest at this same time - go check it out on her blog!


Is there a more beautiful word in the world than love? I wonder how many of us have imagined that special moment when we are Cinderella meeting Prince Charming? That second in time where our breath it taken away and we know we are in – love.

Love is a need for many of us. It’s a part of a human’s nature to want to love and be loved by those around us. But there is so much more to love than star lit skies and Prince Charming.

Love is a Death to Self

God has given me many opportunities to try on other people’s shoes in my life, and as I step out of each I am awed by the degree of self-sacrifice that is made to make things happen.
The first mention of love in the Bible is found in Genesis: And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom though lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. Genesis 22:2 KJV. Asking Abraham to sacrifice his son was the ultimate sacrifice, but it is only a reflection of the ultimate act of love that was yet to come.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 KJV. Christ laid down His life so that we may live, but it is through death that life and love happen.
Cinderella’s station and appearance made it impossible to attend the royal ball and her dreams were crushed as she watched her stepmother and sisters leave in their fine carriage. Her dream died. Only when all hope had vanished did something miraculous happen.

Love Never Fails

Charity (Love) never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 1 Cor. 13:8 KJV
God’s perfect, deep, rich love has never failed mankind. Can you ever think of a time when true love failed someone? I am at a loss to find one. You will not find a place where evil has triumphed over love. True love never fails - it has even conquered the grave.
Cinderella went to the ball in 10 times more grandeur than she could have dreamed. Not only that, she danced with the prince, discovering something she never thought possible. She found true love, her prince.

Love is Fearless

If you are dead to your own desires, and love never fails you, you should have nothing to fear. You’ve got nothing to lose, right? So what is there to fear? God knows you, He loves you just as you are, He chose an imperfect peasant girl to be His bride, and through His love we are made perfect.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4: 16b -19.
If we really love how can we be fearful? We are made perfect by His love, we have nothing to fear. Yet many of us still live in fear.
Cinderella had everything she could have ever wished for. What made her leave her dream come true?
Fear. Fear of her true identity being revealed, of standing in rags before the prince of the kingdom, of being found unworthy. It was her fear that made her flee the ball, throwing both of them in torment, causing disruption through the entire kingdom.
What if she had stood there at the first strike of midnight, looked into the prince’s eyes, and told him, “I have a confession to make. I am not who you think I am, I am merely a peasant girl and when at the last stroke of midnight I’ll be a peasant in rags. I am not your dream come true I am just...” The clock strikes for the 12th time, and Cinderella is staring at her bare feet, the glass slippers are gone, the sparkle of her dress has turned into mended rags, her hair tumbles about her shoulders.
The prince lets out a long sigh, Cinderella winces and turns away. His hand suddenly rests gently on her arm, “Where are you going?”
“It’s all over.”
Cinderella, please, look at me.”
She raises her eyes to meet his; there is relief mingled with happiness on his face.
“All this time that we were together, I thought you might just be a dream. Now I know that you aren’t a dream. You are perfect for me.”


 Living in love is more than a fairytale; it is a daily work, a daily dying, living, loving and learning to be fearless of what may come.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Totally Like Whatever, You Know?




by Taylor Mali
 
(from Vicki's exposition & persuasion textbook)
 
In case you hadn't noticed,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you're talking about?
Or believe strongly in what you're saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)'s
have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren't, like, questions? You know?
 
Declarative sentences -- so-called
because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true
as opposed to other things which were, like, not --
have been infected by a totally hip
and tragically cool interrogative tone? You know?
Like, don't think I'm uncool just because I've noticed this;
this is just like the word on the street, you know?
It's like what I've heard?
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, okay?
I'm just inviting you to join me in my uncertainty?

What has happened to our conviction?
Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been, like, chopped down
with the rest of the rain forest?
Or do we have, like, nothing to say?
Has society become so, like, totally ...
I mean absolutely ... You know?
That we've gotten to the point where it's just, like ...
whatever!

And so actually our disarticulation ... ness
is just a clever sort of ... thing
to disguise the fact that we've become
the most aggressively inarticulate generation
to come along since ...
you know, a long, long time ago!

I entreat you, I implore you, I exhort you,
I challenge you: To speak with conviction.

To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it.
Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You have to speak with it, too.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fierce Beauty - Kim Meeder




If you've been following my blog for a while, you probably know that I love Kim Meeder. 
If not... well, now you do. ;)

Sure, sometimes she can be a little melodramatic, and okay, either she writes with a thesaurus open or she has a vocabulary the size of Texas.
(Which I certainly do not - it took me about ten tries to spell thesaurus right. Ah! And there I just misspelled it again! :P)

But she is one of the authors who writes directly to my heart.
This book is amazing.



It's like... all the things that God has been teaching me over the past few days, weeks... year, rolled into one book about faith, hope, love, joy, truth, beauty, and the grace of God. 
Every chapter draws from the Word of God and His creation... and the life of a woman who is living for Him, and sees Him at work in everything that happens around her. 

If this book were out already, I would consider having a giveaway... but it doesn't come out until October, and I'm keeping my pre-release copy. :) So, read the first chapter here, and then either start blogging for books and get your own free copy, or wait until October. It's definitely worth reading, though, whether you read it as a daily devotional or all at once. It's both encouraging and inspiring... and a reminder of who I am called to be.

You were not created to be a princess of entitlement but a warrior, fighting to bring love and hope to the world. ~ Kim Meeder




(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group to review... and if you wouldn't mind ranking my review... thank you!)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Final Summit, By Andy Andrews


Not only is David Ponder a 74-year-old multi-millionaire, he's also a Traveler... as in Time-Traveler.
That doesn't mean he's not desperately lonely and completely miserable when his wife dies after 49 years of marriage.
He's sitting on his 55-story-high porch, thinking back over what has happened over the years, wondering again what exactly is the point of it all, when the Archangel Gabriel appears, summoning him once more.

This time, all the Travelers are coming, to examine all the wisdom of the past and determine the future of mankind - by answering 1 question. That question is,
What does humanity need to do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?

Thi
s is their assignment - and they have only five chances to present the correct answer to the Archangel and save the world. Their only clues? They have been given everything they need to know the answer, and the answer is only two words.


First of all, I should say that this isn't the type of book I'd read if I saw it in a bookstore. But because of the reviews I'd read of it, I decided to try it. It is a sequel, but I actually think I liked it better than I would have had I read the other book first. :)
And, overall, I enjoyed it.

The idea was simply intriguing... and Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Joan of Arc all together in one place was just plain fun. The sarcastic exchanges between Gabriel and Churchill was also slightly hysterical... as was the thought of Thomas Edison being afraid of the dark, or of Albert Einstein being the only one willing to argue with him.

Besides being just plain fun and enjoyable, different conversations were absolutely fascinating, such as the discussion of "chance." The earth revolves 366 times while circling the sun once - and is 366% larger than the moon. The moon takes 27.32 days to circle the earth - and is 27.32% the size of the earth. It is also 400 times smaller to the sun, and 400 times closer to the earth than it is to the sun - and turns at a speed of 400 kilometers an hour. Chances of that? No clue, but it's pretty impressive. :)

There were a couple things that bothered me. First of all, God's name was rather flippantly used several times. Not only was that irritating to me as a Christian, but even as a writer, despite the story's obviously made up setting, I had a hard time imagining that at the very least Christians who had already died would not be treating His name with the utmost respect and reverence.
Also, the rules surrounding the Summit seemed pointless, especially considering that eventually they were completely thrown out. This bugged me, because God doesn't do pointless. He never gives a command without a reason, and even in a fantasy (or whatever this would be shelved under... it says under 'self-help' on the back... lol), God's character should not be changed.


However, I actually finished the book having thought up my own answer, and rather disappointed that I would not be able to ask Gabriel myself if I was right. :P Which means that I really got into the story...
and it got me thinking, something I always love in a book. It took me a while to understand why they come up with the answer they did... but the answer they came up with, while I'm not wholly sold on it
(I admit it. I'm in love with words. Two words would never be enough to stop humanity's downward crash. I'd have to explain and clarify and... this was supposed to be a 200 word book review, you know. I think Gabriel would be no longer speaking to me... probably why I haven't been invited on any time-traveling missions lately...)
is actually something God has been bringing to my attention over and over lately...
and so,

If only for that reason, I recommend that you read this book. What do YOU think is the answer that question?


I will end with the quote that made me glad I read the book. This is "from" Joan of Arc, and I absolutely loved it.

"What is the proof of hope?"
"That you breathe. For if you are breathing, then you are still alive. And if you are still alive, that means you haven't accomplished what you were placed on earth to do. If you haven't accomplished what you were put on earth to accomplish, this signifies that your life's very purpose has yet to be fulfilled. If your very purpose has yet to be fulfilled, that is proof that the most important part of your life remains ahead of you!
Don't you see? If the most important part of your life is in the future, then it doesn't matter how fearful or depressed you might feel, or how penniless you might be. By the virtue of the fact that you still draw breath, there is more to come. There is more laughter and learning... more victories. There is more. This is the proof of hope, monsieur."

(Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)

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