Julie by Catherine Marshall Review

 

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Title: Julie
Author: Catherine Marshall
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Re-Issued Date: April 17, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance Fiction
*A New York Times bestseller* Will the dam hold? Julie Wallace has always wanted to write. Trying to escape the Great Depression, Julie’s father buys the Alderton Sentinel, a small-town newspaper in flood-prone Alderton, Pennsylvania, and moves his family there. As flash floods ominously increase, Julie’s investigative reporting uncovers secrets that could endanger the entire community. Julie, the newspaper, and her family are thrown into a perilous standoff with the owners of the steel mills as they investigate the conditions of the immigrant laborers. As the Alderton Sentinel and Julie take on a more aggressive role to reform these conditions, seething tensions come to a head.
When a devastating tragedy follows a shocking revelation, Julie’s courage and strength are tested. Will truth and justice win, or will Julie lose everything she holds dear?


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My Thoughts:

I was very excited to read this when I found out that it is loosely based on the Johnstown flood. Johnstown is only a hop, skip, and a jump from where I live so I am very familiar with the story of the flood and have visited the site of the dam, the clubhouse, and the flood museum several times. Unfortunately, knowing so much about the flood seemed to taint my enjoyment of the book to some extent. I found it strange that the author mixed fictional and factual places together. It also was very strange to me that the flood depicted in the book was extremely similar to the actual Johnstown flood but then the Johnstown flood was referenced in the story (throughout the book, I was assuming that Alderton was Johnstown). Had I not known all the facts about the actual flood, I think I would have enjoyed the book a lot more.

I also found that the story moved slowly…there was a lot in the book about the forming of unions, which didn’t particularly interest me. I did find the discussions about the steel mills interesting and learned quite a bit about the unjust ways blue collar workers were treated in the past.  I also enjoyed learning about the newspaper business.

Julie’s character wasn’t very likable to me…she was driven and determined, but I found something about her to be a bit off putting. I also really disliked the love quadrangle that was found in this book. It seemed like everyone was in love with this girl.

Overall, this was a good historical book but I was not really a fan. I think many people who enjoy romance would like it though.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine  MarshallCatherine Marshall (1914-1983), ͞The New York Times͟ best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel ͞Christy.͟ Based on the life of her mother, ͞Christy͟ captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in ͞A Man Called Peter.͟ A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of ͞Guideposts,͟ forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.


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God’s Book of Proverbs Review

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Description:

God’s Book of Proverbs includes the entire text of the book of Proverbs from the Bible arranged topically. This practical and helpful resource allows readers to quickly access and apply the wisdom and insights found in this sacred portion of Scripture. Also included is the article Connecting Wisdom to Jesus by Trevin Wax explaining how Jesus is the fount from which all wisdom flows.

The God’s Book of Proverbs features the highly reliable, highly readable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), which stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity. The CSB’s optimal blend of accuracy and readability makes Scripture more moving, more memorable, and more motivating to read and share with others.

My Thoughts:

This is such great resource! I, like many Christians, love the book of Proverbs and find new lessons in the text every time I visit it. This book is unique in that the Proverbs are all included, but are arranged by topic. Topics include anger, pride, laziness, security, obedience, and many more. There is an index in the back of the book but the topics are arranged alphabetically, which makes them very easy to find.

The translation is the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), which I am coming to prefer over all others. This translation is very reader-friendly and easy to understand.

The book itself is very nice looking. I was surprised when I received it, as the color of the cover is lighter than the picture shows…my copy has a gray cover with a cream spine. It also includes a cream colored ribbon bookmark. The end pages have a gray diamond design and there is a nice dedication page. The size is good as it would easily fit in a purse. The colors are neutral and would appeal to both males and females.

This would make an excellent graduation gift. I am eager to use this book when I need a dose of wisdom on a certain topic.It has found a home on my nightstand. I highly recommend this book!

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Perfectly Misunderstood by Robin Daniels Review

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Synopsis:

This dual perspective book is the final installment in The Perfect Series.

Jayden Valdez is an overachieving intellectual. Mike McGinnes is Franklin High School’s dumbest jock. Even though they barely know each other, she finds his personality repulsive and he thinks she’s got a giant stick up her you know what.

Mike and Jayden are surprised and annoyed when their teacher pairs them together for Spanish tutoring. Both feel it’s a complete waste of time, since nobody could learn from a person who bugs the crap out of them. Not to mention that their reputations might be ruined if people realize what they’re doing.

But it doesn’t take long for Jayden to discover that Mike has a secret—he isn’t the person he appears to be. Much to her dismay, Jayden finds ‘Secret Mike’ strangely attractive. And for some crazy reason, Mike is amused by Jayden’s clever insults and witty banter. Suddenly, they have a much bigger problem than their mutual disdain. What started as irritating tension is beginning to feel more like romantic tension and acting on it would be a very bad idea.

Content Description: This is a stand-alone YA contemporary romance with companion novels. While part of a series, each book can be enjoyed independently. It contains minor language, innuendo, crude humor, kissing, and conversations that mention sex. There are no sexual relationships, written or implied, and there’s no explicit language. Recommended for ages 14 and up.

My Thoughts:

This was a bit of a detour from what I normally read but I actually enjoyed it. This is definitely a “high school” story…focusing on teenagers and their day to day issues. It really took me back to the days of being extremely self-conscious of what my peers thought of me and even reminded me of my days of being tutored in Spanish.

The story had some moments that I, (as a 37 year old mom) found a bit annoying…Mike’s posing and trying to act like someone he wasn’t was a bit much at times but the moments of seeing who he really was were sweet and endearing.

The romance that develops feels very natural and not forced. It was super sweet and again took me back to those days of liking a boy.

My only major issue was the content could be inappropriate at times…some phrases and words were used that I don’t approve of in my home.

Overall, I think this would be a good story for older teens (16 and up) who enjoy romance/contemporary stories.

My Rating:

3 stars

I received this book from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

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Synopsis:

A Former Privateer and a Desperate Heiress Join Forces to Find a Treasure
Jump on board with a brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

One hundred years after her mother’s family came to the New World on the Mayflower, Maribel Cordova has landed in New Orleans to seek the man who holds the key to finding her father’s lost treasure. Attorney Jean-Luc Valmot has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—or so he hopes as he accepts a position on the governor’s staff. But the daughter of an infamous pirate threatens all he holds dear. Can Maribel and Jean-Luc compromise so they both can hold onto what they most desire?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo.

My Thoughts:

Although this book is only 247 pages, it took me a long time to read. The story was interesting but a bit confusing at times. I never felt like the characters were developed and although we followed Maribel throughout the entire book, I didn’t feel like I knew much about her by the end.

The setting was one that I always enjoy…a ship with pirates is very interesting. I also love the cover of the book…all of the covers in this series are gorgeous.

Although I didn’t love this book, I will continue with the series as each book is written by a different author.

The books would all work as standalones as they all involve new characters.

Unfortunately, despite my anticipation of reading this book, it wasn’t for me.

My Rating: 2 stars

I received this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Create! A Girl’s Guide to DIY, Doodles, and Design Review

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Description:

Ready, set, create! Whether you’re an aspiring artist or a just-starting-out doodler, Create! A Girl’s Guide to DIY, Doodles, and Design is the perfect book to inspire your creative side. From coloring pages to quick-and-easy crafts—like photo frames and duct-tape bags—and everything in between, this full-color book from the trusted Faithgirlz brand provides step-by-step guides to more than 50 fun and easy projects. Learn how to make your own DIY projects, create one-of-a-kind jewelry, and draw like a pro. Perfect for individual use or for sleepovers, birthday parties, and more, Create! is sure to bring out your inner artist.

Content includes:

DIY décor, photo frames, duct-tape purses, and more

Pages of quotes and designs to color

Easy-to-follow doodling and drawing guides

Jewelry making for friendship bracelets, earrings, and more

My Thoughts:

I have an 11 year old daughter who is a crafting princess…she is creating something just about every day and never ceases to surprise me with her creativity. So when I saw this book up for review, I knew that I had to request it for my crafty girl….she loves it!

This book is filled with over 50 crafts and activities. The amount of materials required for each activity is fairly minimal but some of the materials are things that one may not just have lying around the house. The crafts are also definitely not geared towards younger girls…some of the crafts seem a bit complicated (using embroidery floss on paper, cutting out the pages of a book with a utility knife).

There are some great ideas in the doodling section, such as drawing a butterfly, creating your own coloring page, and examples for Bible journaling.

The last section is for design and includes ideas for tie-dye, a duct tape bag and Bible cover, and several ideas for jewelry making. Some of the ideas in this section seem as though they would work for younger girls (adding puffy paint to the bottom of socks to make them non slip and cute).

Overall, this is a great crafty book for pre-teens and teen girls. Each craft includes colored pictures and detailed directions. The ideas are trendy and fun and are things that girls would enjoy making and using.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Bibleforce Review

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Description:

Dive into the action and adventure of the Bible!  BibleForce  will help you and your children discover the message of the Bible and the heroes within its pages. The focus on Bible heroes makes the stories even more thrilling.

This beautifully illustrated Bible is retold in a visually enticing, fast-paced narrative that is sure to capture your attention. BibleForce follows the events of the Bible in chronological order and shares nearly 200 stories of Scripture in a simple, straightforward retelling.

BibleForce is a great book to be read together and is simple enough for young readers to read on their own. Kids will be enthralled in the thrilling drama of the Bible and the visually engaging detail of the illustrations—they won’t be able to put down this exciting book.

Jump into the story of God’s Word and the amazing heroes within its pages.

Free BibleForce app available with purchase!

My Thoughts:

I am really impressed with this book! It’s marketed towards kids but I think teenagers and adults would also love it. Graphic novels are very popular right now and what’s better than a graphic novel Bible?

I am a very visual person and I find that seeing a picture with a story really helps me remember more and envision the story more. The illustrations in this book are very colorful and detailed. I really like how the people are depicted, especially Jesus…He is depicted in the way I’ve always seen Him in my mind’s eye.

The book starts with a great introduction to the Bible and a visual timeline of “what happened when”. The stories are then told from Genesis to Revelation, with a title for the story and a scripture reference for each story. There are also many hero profiles that dig deeper into the heroes of the Bible (Moses, David, Samson, Jesus).

The book itself is hardcover (and very heavy) with a ribbon bookmark, which I love.

This book would be an excellent gift for a new believer or young Christian but I feel that it should only be used as a supplemental resource as it’s not the complete word of God.  That being said, it is amazing when taken for what it is!

I highly recommend this to anyone!

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Exhibit Alexandra by Natasha Bell Review

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Synopsis:

A shocking, original psychological thriller about a mother gone missing and the family she leaves behind, ultimately proving how unknowable even those closest to us can be 

Alexandra Southwood is missing. Held in a room against her will, she’s forced to imagine how her husband, Marc, and two daughters are coping in the wake of her disappearance. She’s shown news clips of Marc, desperately appealing to the public for information on her whereabouts. She tortures herself with visions of her family’s devastated new reality. She thinks of what’s lost, remembering the beginnings of her romance with Marc and the beautiful family they built together.

Marc’s pain is visceral. He thinks of nothing but his wife. He shifts from utter despair to frantic action, and when the police discover Alexandra’s bloody belongings by the river, turning their missing-persons case into a murder investigation, he cannot accept that she is lost to him. He embarks on his own journey, through the dark maze of the art world that so gripped his wife, following a trail that leads him to find answers to questions he never meant to ask.

My Thoughts:

I wish I could say that I loved this book but unfortunately, it wasn’t for me. I usually love psychological thrillers but this one felt strange with either the pacing or the narration or something. There were  a lot of characters to keep track of and it was a bit confusing at times. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

It was an interesting and unique story as it’s narrated by the person who has gone missing but she is very unreliable as she is guessing what is happening to her husband. Unfortunately, the story did not become interesting to me until the halfway mark and by that point, I was just ready for it to be over. I’ve heard it compared to Gone Girl, which I loved, and although I see some similarities, Gone Girl was far superior in my opinion.

 

My Rating: 2 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.