Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Book Review: Meals from Mars

Hi everyone! Today I have another book review: "Meals from Mars" by Ben Sciacca.

First off, I must say that I got this book in high hopes that it would be a inspiring book and not just another polarizing or sympathetic read. The front cover itself called the book "a parable of prejudice and providence." However, in some ways it didn't quite live up to my expectations.

The book begins toward the end of the story, then backtracks twenty hours before the end, telling the story of a well-to-do white guy from the suburbs and a black teen from the inner city. Through a twist of fate, they end up stuck in an icy storm at night in the country together. Neither cares much for the other, and the well-to-do man, Jim, argues about how Malik, the inner city teen, could be something better than he is if he "moved on" or "got a job" while Malik argues about how bad things are and how nothing ever matters and how much he dislikes false sympathy. This arguing (which seemed like whining) continues through the night, and there is little to no resolve between the two men.

I won't spoil the ending (which was a bit predictable, in my opinion), but when I finally turned the last page, I felt that there were more arguments and sympathy than mutual understanding and relief of prejudicial tension between the two characters. I do, however, appreciate that the author wrote the book in such a way that I was given two sides of the story and was not told what to think. Also the book is written with interesting imagery, humor and some relatability. The characters were polar opposites (one has a great, well-paying job, great house, good family life, etc, and the other lives in the bad side of town, is dirt-poor, gets into trouble, speaks very stereotypically, etc), but seemed real enough to be believable. While the book was well-written, I still wish there had been at least some sort of real resolve instead of the sudden, almost unreal ending.

(I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Book Review: Bible Promises for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Today's book review is from my Mom, Amy from Raising Arrows.

Bible Promises for Parents of Children with Special Needs  -     By: Amy Mason

A book like Bible Promises for Parents of Children with Special Needs would be a perfect gift for a mom with a baby in NICU, or a mom with a child who has a condition that makes normal feel like a foreign word.  

As a mom who has a daughter with a syndrome that will affect the rest of her life, I appreciate being able to flip through by topic and find Scriptural answers to exactly what I am feeling.  Everything from finances to accepting the diagnosis to dealing with the loneliness of being a mom with a child who isn't quite "normal" is addressed in this small purse-sized book.

It answers the hard questions of raising a special needs child with grace, mercy, and God's Word.  It is exactly what every mom walking this road needs in her arsenal of encouragement.

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Book Review: Different

Hi, everyone! Today I'm reviewing a great book called Different.


Although I love to read, there aren't many books that leave me feeling the way this book did. After I finished the very last page, I wished there was more. I felt encouraged and empowered.

As some of you may know faith does not always come easily to me. I've always had a lot of questions about a lot of things, including faith. Part of that is because I have something called Aspergers, which means I'm basically high-functioning autistic. I've never felt degraded by Aspergers, but that doesn't mean it's easy being an Aspie. I deal with things like being socially awkward and having sensory processing issues, and I also have a hard time understanding faith. I tend to feel disconnected during worship, and sermons can be difficult for me to wrap my mind around.

But this book has helped me with some of that.

Different is written by Sally and Nathan Clarkson. Nathan has OCD and a few other diagnoses that make him, well, different. He sees the world in his own unique way - which sometimes makes him misunderstood by others. However, through all the highs and lows, he and his mom have believed that his differences are all a part of what could build him up.

What I like most about Different:

1.  It's easy to read. There's no 'Christianese' (I've never been able to understand those types of phrases) or long chapters. Each chapter is divided into a section written by Nathan and a section written by Sally. It's a super quick read (so quick it left me wishing there was more).

2. It's not about how to "fix" a person who is "different." It doesn't talk about all the things that are wrong about OCD or ADD or ADHD. Rather, this books is a compilation of personal stories (and pencil sketches drawn by Nathan) that share what it's like to be different and how Nathan and Sally have grown closer to God because of it.

3. This book does not condone hiding behind a diagnosis. It's not about making excuses for mistakes you've made or the way you live your life just because you have a "problem." Nathan and Sally encourage you to believe in your (or your child's) potential. They have a calling to be a hero in their own way.

I am beyond elated that I came across this book. Different has not only inspired me in ways I'd never felt before - it has also taught me that being different is 

If you or your child is out-of-the-box, and you want to be encouraged and uplifted, read this book! You won't regret it! No matter how different you are, you can still dare to make your story a great one.

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Book Review: Hidden In My Heart Scripture Memory Bible

Hi, everyone! I'm back with another awesome book to review!

Recently, I had the chance to review the Hidden In My Heart Scripture Memory Bible, and it is amazing! It's not your usual Scripture memory Bible - it's better!

With this Bible, you get access to free songs that use memory verses as the lyrics. Studies have shown that music aids in memorization (which is why you'll never forget the Kit Kat song or Jesus Loves Me), and memory verse songs are a fun way to encourage memorization.

The text is very easy to read, and memory verses are highlighted in special sections. Each section contains a memory verse in 3 translations (NLT, KJV and NIV) for various ways of memorizing them.

My favorite part of the Memory Bible is the thematic memory verse plans. This section provides a list of verses to guide you in memorizing verses based on a theme, such as peace, joy, and hope.

The only disappointment I have with it? Most of the memory songs do not have the contemporary sound I like. They're more written for children ages 6-10. If they were a bit more like the contemporary worship music I listen to, I would definitely be more prompted to memorize the verses that way.

All in all, this Scripture Memory Bible is perfect for any age, and is a wonderful prompt for easy Bible verse memorization. I would definitely recommend this Memory Bible!

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.)