Posts Categorized: Book Review

On Folly Beach by Karen White

June 24, 2010 Book Review 9

On Folly Beach by Karen WhiteOn Folly Beach by Karen White
Published by NAL on May 4th 2010
Genres: Fiction, Historical
Pages: 416
Source: purchased


Do you know how to shag? Have you ever been to Folly Beach, SC? Well, apparently that was THE place to be during WWII! Especially if you wanted to see all the great bands and learn how to do the latest dance ~ the shag!

I have read two other Karen White books, but I can honestly say that, by far, this is my absolute favorite. I will tell you up front I am giving this one 5 out of 5 stars because I am so excited to be sharing it with you! It’s just that good!  It’s one of those books that has a great story line, wonderful writing, characters I can relate to, and on top of that ~ I learned a little history!  Did you know how close the German U-boats got to the Eastern seaboard during WWII? Or about the German spies sent over here?

In this book Ms. White throws open the history books and through a story line that will leave you breathless and keep you up all night reading, you’ll take a journey down memory lane.  For us readers who also love bookstores…oh my, are you in for a treat, because the setting is IN a bookstore on Folly Beach (don’t you just love that name!).  How I want to be the characters who run the bookstore! A lovely book and highly recommended.



Book Review: Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

May 4, 2010 Book Review 5

Angelology: A Novel
by Danielle Trussoni
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult
Published: March 9, 2010
ISBN-10: 0670021474

Available from Amazon Angelology: A Novel

from Goodreads

A thrilling epic about an ancient clash reignited in our time- between a hidden society and heaven’s darkest creatures

I love an epic read. I live for thrillers. Any story that can keep up at night I would rate as a smashing success.

A nun working in the drafty library of her convent. A dashing reporter trying to finish a thesis no one believes in and a swarm of fallen angels that remind me, well, literally of the tv show Angel.

The fallen angels are living amongst us and have been since the earliest of biblical times.  To counter the dark angels a secret society was formed to keep the dark angels in check.  I know this sounds like it has the potential of a “dan brown thriller” but it’s not.  There’s something infinitely darker and much more sinister at work in this book.

The fallen angels are catching a virus that is killing off their elite.  These angels take pride, an unholy amount of pride, in their wings ~ wing span, wing color…..and this virus attacks the very essence of their beings ~ their wings.

When it is discovered that a cure may be known, heaven and hell are hard-pressed to stop these angels from finding the documents they need to save their race.

At the center of this race against time and germ is the young nun living in a convent north of New York City.  She’s been there since she was a young child, taken there by her father not too long after her mother was killed.  The life she’s known in the convent has been peaceful, structured.   But all is not as it seems for the young nun.

Plot ~ 3
Setting ~ 4
Characters ~ 3
Dialogue ~ 3
The characters had a disjointed feel at times. The dialogue could have moved the story along in several areas; however, the characters conversations were stilted and contrived.  I wanted this book to be so much more than it was.  At best it was an entertaining read while at it’s worse it was simply a book I was trying to finish.  I encouraged the book, talking to it like a child at times because I wanted the epic thriller. I craved the epic thriller. But I did not get it. Not out of this Angelology ~ perhaps the sequel?
I’ve wondered if Angelology would have been a different book altogether had it been written from a Christian perspective rather than an agnostic or atheist.  If you’ve read the book, without including any spoilers, what’s your opinion?
 3.25 Quills
Thank you Peace, Love and Book Reviews for the copy to read and review for the ARC Tour.


Book Review: Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen

April 21, 2010 Book Review, reviews 4

Book Review: Looking for Salvation at the Dairy QueenLooking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore
Published by Broadway Books on June 9th, 2009
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 304
Source: purchased

Sometimes you have to return to the place where you began, to arrive at the place where you belong.

It’s the early 1970s. The town of Ringgold, Georgia, has a population of 1,923, one traffic light, one Dairy Queen, and one Catherine Grace Cline. The daughter of Ringgold’s third-generation Baptist preacher, Catherine Grace is quick-witted, more than a little stubborn, and dying to escape her small-town life.

Every Saturday afternoon, she sits at the Dairy Queen, eating Dilly Bars and plotting her getaway to the big city of Atlanta. And when, with the help of a family friend, the dream becomes a reality, Catherine Grace immediately packs her bags, leaving her family and the boy she loves to claim the life she’s always imagined. But before things have even begun to get off the ground in Atlanta, tragedy brings her back home. As a series of extraordinary events alters her perspective–and sweeping changes come to Ringgold itself–Catherine Grace begins to wonder if her place in the world may actually be, against all odds, right where she began.

There are 3 things guaranteed to happen if you happen to visit the South, Georgia specifically, during just about any weekend inthe Fall.

  1. On Saturdays we will be crowded into Sanford Stadium, home of the University of Georgia Bulldogs or Bobby Dodd Stadium, home of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets…..and I only mention the Yellow Jackets because I’m sure y’all know we just simply will not all fit into one football stadium!
  2. On Sundays we can be found at either the Baptist, Methodist or Presbyterian Church if it’s a small town. Big cities will have the Catholic Churches.
  3. No matter what is wrong, it cannot be so bad that food will not either fix the problem or at least help. And it cannot be just any food. Nope, it has to either be deep fried in enough grease to kill a chicken or swimming in enough sugar that the tea is syrup!

My Summary: Looking for Salvation... had all this and more. Catherine Grace grew up under her Daddy’s watchful eye as her mother died in a drowning accident when she was only 6 years old and her sister, Martha Ann was 4.  Her daddy was the preacher, grandson to the founder of the only church in Ringgold, Georgia. Reverend Cline was a charismatic man & preacher whom everyone in the town adored. Reverend Cline knew from the time Catherine Grace was little that she wanted out of Ringgold.  He did not discourage Catherine Grace from her dream of getting out of their small town, nor did he prevent her from encouraging Martha Ann in sharing the dream while sitting on the picnic table outside the Dairy Queen. On one side of Reverend Cline and his girls lived Ruthie Ann who had perfect parents and a perfect life and acted like a perfect girly girl while on the other side lived Gloria Jean, divorced 5 times over and considered by most townspeople to be the town tramp.  Ruthie Ann was in Catherine Grace’s classes and an on-again/off-again friend of sorts. Gloria Jean was Catherine Grace and Martha Ann’s mama’s best friend and became the girl’s surrogate mother after their own mama’s accident.  Gloria Jean filled in answering all types of female questions and sharing tips on everything from nail polish to how to make strawberry jam. It was with the money making strawberry jam over several summers that Catherine Grace was able to save up enough to finally get out of Ringgold and off to the big city of Atlanta. Fantabulous Quotes:

Truth be told, I never even liked the name Ringgold. I mean, there’s nothing in these green rolling hills that even faintly resembles a ring of gold, a ring of anything for that matter…..the best I could figure was that it was just these darn hills that I had stared at every morning  from my bedroom window that formed the ring, the ring that had kept me hostage for the first eighteen years of my life. ~Catherine Grace p.5

“Listen,” Gloria Jean said, drawing my attention back to her, “some girls don’t have the courage to be who they are truly meant to be. But you and me and your mama, we’re just braver than most other folks, and don’t you forget it.” p. 95

She told everyone in town that she had been married twice and widowed twice. She said that Atlanta society preferred to think that she had known the love of a man only within the sacramental confines of matrimonial bliss. “Marriage would be wonderful, dear,” she reassured me, “if it weren’t so everyday.” Miss Mabie p.168

My Final Thoughts: Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen is a book about forgiveness in so many forms. Sitting in with a book club we could have a tremendous discussion about this book.  It’s also about relationships between a man and woman, a husband and wife, those we choose to love and those we choose not to love.  There’s many layers to Looking for Salvation… I so want to jump up and down and say lets talk about this, did you think about this aspect? how about that part of it? oh, and what about when….? I love it when a book makes me think, has me laughing out loud, crying in sections, and finally smiling at the end, yet still thinking about hours or even days afterward.  It’s a beauty of a book.


Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

March 8, 2010 Book Review, reviews 9

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren OliverBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperCollins on October 25th, 2010
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 470
Source: complimentary review copy

It always takes me awhile to digest a book. I have to let it whirl around in my head and my heart for some time before I can come to a conclusion as to what my true thoughts are, but now that I’m blogging in the book world I’m thinking I should speed up the process a bit. Maybe do some thinking out loud per se.

I have to be honest, with Before I Fall, I had to stop crying before I could sit down to write to this. You’ll figure out about me soon enough, I’m sure, I feel a great empathy with the characters of the books I read. I jump into the pages with them, walk the high school halls or the Quantico fields….whatever genre I’m reading, I’m fully committed and tonight during those last few chapters I was there with Sam as she relived the last day of her life for the 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th time.

What was even more eerie is I was telling my high school daughter the book today, encouraging her to read it once I was finished. I have two daughters, one is a senior, one is a sophomore. OH, if I could just tell you the whole story! but that would take away from your experience in reading the book…and what an experience it is.

We learn about life in the “IT” crowd or the “IN” group, Lindsay, THE IT girl, Sam, her best friend, Elody, and Ally. These 4 girls are the most 4 popular girls in school and are seniors this year. One word from any of these 4 girls and another student would instantly be shunned.

There’s one line in the book that just about tears at my soul every time I go back and read it. The four girls have been drinking vodka since the afternoon and throughout the evening at a party. They leave the party with Lindsay driving, Sam shotgun as always with the other two in the back. You know what happens next.

But before you start pointing fingers, let me ask you: is what I did really so bad? So bad I deserved to die? So bad I deserved to die like that?
Is what I did really so much worse than what anybody else does?
Is it really so much worse than what you do?
Think about it.

Whew. That was tough. Because I did, think about it. And I haven’t stopped thinking about it. But then the book goes on to where Sam relives the day, 7 times. She gets 7 chances to get it right. How many of us get 7 do-overs? And if we had the chance to do-it-over-again, would we do it right? When someone says to us “It’s too late” would we tell them “It’s never too late” and care enough to make sure the actions speak louder than the words.

Please, if you don’t read another book this year, read this one. It’s not the easiest of reads in that Sam has to wake up every day on February 12th for 7 days and some of the high school angst is a little hard to handle if you’re a parent of teenagers; however, the message is important and not just for young adults. The last two pages, I think, are my favorites.



Reincarnation & Books Made Into Television Series

February 18, 2010 Book Review, reviews 0


Some days it can be quite interesting to just “surf the net”… having one of those moments when you discover the new television series “Past Life” on FOXTV which is based on M.J. Rose’s book The Reincarnationist.  I read The Reincarnationist back in 2007 when it was first released and had no idea it had been slated for t.v.  Discovering the new television series, I had to watch the episodes to see how closely to the book the show would follow.

In the show, Dr. Kate McGinn pairs with a former police officer, Price Whatley who was fired after poor job performance, ie – drinking too much & not showing up for work.  In the book photojournalist, Josh Ryder, enlists the help of The Phoenix Society to discover why he keeps having visions from 391 A.D. after surviving a terrorist attack.  The book moves quickly, thrusting you into the life of Julius and Josh Ryder in the first few pages….going from modern-day terrorism to early AD religious cleansing.  In “Past Life” different stories of regressions come to light in each episode; however, the Talmadge Center for Behavioral Health is center to each episode.

I cannot say I am in love with the show “Past Life” as there have only been 2 episodes shown so far, the next one to air 2/18.  I can say it definitely raises questions around the water cooler I’m sure, for anyone who has seen it.  So, have you seen “Past Life” & if so what did you think? Read The Reincarnationist? Believe in reincarnation?