The Tattooist of Auschwitz- Book Review

Title: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Author: Heather Morris

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publish date: February 1, 2018

Synopsis:

 

My thoughts:

Historical Fiction is my favorite genre of books, especially books written around the WWII era. When I first read the description of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, I was hooked and read the entire book in one sitting.

How can race spread out across multiple countries be considered a threat? For as long as he lives, be it short or long, he knows he will never comprehend this.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz tells the story like so many others of that time. It’s a story of survival. It’s a story of human emotion. It’s a story of love. Of hate. And of doing whatever you need to so that you can wake up tomorrow morning.

The twinkling of stars overhead is no longer a comfort. They merely remind him of the chasm between what life can be, and what is now.

My heart reached out to Lale as he did whatever he needed to do to survive in Auschwitz, yet he held on desperately to his humanity. From sneaking food and medicine to his fellow prisoners, to organizing escapes, to helping his love Gita remember who she really is. Lale’s story is a true story of real life heroism and defiance to evil.

‘I will not be defined by being a Jew,’ he says. ‘I won’t deny it, but I am a man first, a man in love with you.’

Also, the pictures of the real Lale and Gita in the back of the book made my reading experience extra gratifying.

 

Hold that thought. Use it to get out of bed tomorrow morning, and the next morning, and the next.

I was given this book by Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated above are my own.

 

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A Light on the Hill Book Review

 

synopsis:

Seven years ago, Moriyah was taken captive in Jericho and branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods. Now the Israelites are experiencing peace in their new land, but Moriyah has yet to find her own peace. Because of the shameful mark on her face, she hides behind her veil at all times and the disdain of the townspeople keeps her from socializing. And marriage prospects were out of the question . . . until now.

Her father has found someone to marry her, and she hopes to use her love of cooking to impress the man and his motherless sons. But when things go horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee. Seeking safety at one of the newly-established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face, and the enemies–and unexpected allies–she will encounter on her way.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely LOVE Connilyn Cossette’s writing style! She is perfectly descriptive and it just brings ancient Israel to life! I was so happy to pick up another one of her books, and was not disappointed!

The plot of this book is amazing. I’ve never read -or heard of- another book like it. The story line is incredible and it drew me in like a moth to the flame. I found Moriyah’s struggle and journey to be truly inspiring.

How could someone who’d endured such suffering remain so untainted? I felt the oily sheen of shame on my soul at every moment. I was weary of its darkness. Weary of its weight. I had no idea how to leave it behind, even for one night.

The cause of Moriyah’s shame may not be relevant for today’s time, but I felt my heart connect with hers throughout the whole book. Don’t we all have those things that have happened to us, whether by our own or someone else’s hand, that cripple us? I love that Moriyah even demonstrated agoraphobia.

How had I come to be this way? To the point that leaving my home and walking among my own people had become something that made my palms sweat and my nerves jangle like dented cymbals?

I loved this book and enjoyed it so much. I recommend it!

A Light on the Hill comes out February 6, 2018. You can pre-order your copy here.

Happy Reading!

 

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I was given this book in exchange for my honest review from Netgalley. All opinions stated above are my own. Affiliate links used.

Okayest Mom Book Review

Synopsis:

NATALIE GWYN uses humor to brilliantly capture how God led and helped this mother of two to adopt four children from Ethiopia and successfully bond her blended family.
The wife of a technology entrepreneur, already birth mother of two healthy young children-a boy and a girl-was living comfortably in the suburbs. Then she doubled the size of her family by adopting four Ethiopian children. Why?
Her answer: “God.”
Popular blogger NATALIE GWYN has been cited widely for her candid, insightful, often humorous writing on cross-cultural adoptive Christian families (which number more than 4 million). HuffPo has linked to her controversial posts and celebrities like Kathie Lee Gifford have quoted and pictured her on social media. Here Natalie tells her whole mom story, including the only-God-could-do-this backstory.
Her lighthearted narrative begins with the nudge of God toward the uncomfortable. She and her husband are almost certain they have misunderstood what the Almighty is asking of them, and with self-deprecating humor Natalie allows readers a glimpse into the process by which this already imperfect mom agreed to transnational, transracial adoption of more children than she already has.
Natalie then takes the reader on her family’s adventure to Ethiopia to legally adopt the three siblings God has chosen to add to their family. With the skill of a detective novelist, she reveals their discovery of a fourth sibling, their critical decision not to leave this child behind, and their harrowing quest to find, woo and legally adopt her, too.
Similar to the laugh-out-loud humor of books on blended step-families, Natalie shares the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen scenes of this adoptive family’s huge adjustments. She brilliantly captures each child’s and each parent’s perspective and, in doing so, reveals God in their midst.
My Thoughts:
I absolutely love books like this, that are true stories in peoples lives where God has come in and completely turned everything upside down! I was in love from the first page, and honestly, EXTREMELY inspired.
I found Natalie’s writing to be funny and truthful and just downright refreshing. I recommend it!
Okayest Mom comes out June 26, 2018. You can pre-order your copy here!
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I was given this book in exchange for my honest review from Netgalley. All opinions stated above are my own. Affiliate links used.

Your Creative Career Book Review

Synopsis:

Anna Sabino is an artist, but certainly not a starving one. She wasn’t born into a wealthy family, didn’t inherit money from a distant relative, and doesn’t have a rich husband. But she made it as an entrepreneur, as a single woman, and most importantly, as an artist.

In Your Creative Career, she shows her fellow artists and creatives how to build a business that reflects their talent and true calling while generating serious cash. Whether the goal is to build an empire and be financially free, create a lifestyle business, or just to have more time, Your Creative Career guides you through every aspect of creative entrepreneurship.

If you want to start your creative career, transition into it, or give it a boost, this book is a must read that features:

  • Proven systems and strategies to create ideally priced products that keep selling.

  • The importance of going through all the steps of making it from idea inception and execution to branding and distribution.

  • The importance of transitioning from artistic solitude to collaborative, creative entrepreneurship.

  • The most effective marketing and PR methods adjusted to the new reality of short attention spans and information overload.

 

 

My Thoughts:

I initially picked this book up because I was very interested in the context. I am an artist and would love to make art as a profession. However, I’ve been letting a lot of things hold me back, which are probably the same things that are holding you back too!

To embrace a confident attitude, we need to stop using excuses. Economic conditions are always going to be challenging, yet there are millions who thrive no matter what. It’s widely proven that grit and consistency is far more important than talent.

Even if you aren’t an artist, this book is for you! It was such a huge encouragement to me to get the ball rolling on ALL my dreams, even the ones that don’t deal with my profession, like losing weight. I want to dream again!

Don’t be afraid to wear your too large wings. Your courage will make them fit in no time.

You can pick up your copy here.

 

Happy Reading!

 

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I was given this book in exchange for my honest review from Netgalley. All opinions stated above are my own. Affiliate links used.

I was Anastasia Book Review

Compelling and utterly fascinating…drifts far into the mysterious lives of Anastasia Romanov and Anna Anderson.”—Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours

In an enthralling new feat of historical suspense, Ariel Lawhon unravels the extraordinary twists and turns in Anna Anderson’s 50-year battle to be recognized as Anastasia Romanov. Is she the Russian Grand Duchess, a beloved daughter and revered icon, or is she an imposter, the thief of another woman’s legacy?

             Countless others have rendered their verdict. Now it is your turn.

Russia, July 17, 1918: Under direct orders from Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik secret police force Anastasia Romanov, along with the entire imperial family, into a damp basement in Siberia where they face a merciless firing squad. None survive. At least that is what the executioners have always claimed.

Germany, February 17, 1920: A young woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia Romanov is pulled shivering and senseless from a canal in Berlin. Refusing to explain her presence in the freezing water, she is taken to the hospital where an examination reveals that her body is riddled with countless, horrific scars. When she finally does speak, this frightened, mysterious woman claims to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia.

Her detractors, convinced that the young woman is only after the immense Romanov fortune, insist on calling her by a different name: Anna Anderson.

As rumors begin to circulate through European society that the youngest Romanov daughter has survived the massacre, old enemies and new threats are awakened. With a brilliantly crafted dual narrative structure, Lawhon wades into the most psychologically complex and emotionally compelling territory yet: the nature of identity itself.

The question of who Anna Anderson is and what actually happened to Anastasia Romanov creates a saga that spans fifty years and touches three continents. This thrilling story is every bit as moving and momentous as it is harrowing and twisted.

“I Was Anastasia is a wild train trip through time. The doors swish open here, then there, scenes sometimes racing by, sometimes drifting far into the mysterious lives of Anastasia Romanov and Anna Anderson. Every view is tantalizing, surprising, compelling, and utterly fascinating. Ariel Lawhon unfolds a complicated story with skill, style, and compassion.”

—Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

“A young Tsarina traveling towards tragedy and an aging Grand Duchess penniless and betrayed. Twin stories so gripping you will believe history itself can be rewritten. Told with masterful intensity and moments of true human compassion.”

—Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Before the War


“Ariel Lawhon is a masterful storyteller; I Was Anastasia is a wild ride, extravagant with its vivid sensory experiences and page turning suspense. Inspired by history, and infused with imagination and intrigue, this novel satisfies with every twist and turn. I was both captivated and enchanted; I will carry this story—from its beguiling opening to its catch-my-breath ending —  in my heart and imagination for a long, long while.”

—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Driftwood Summer and The Bookshop at Water’s End

“The fate of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, youngest daughter of the last Tsar, is an old mystery that never gets old. In the hands of Ariel Lawhon, it springs to life again, challenging everything we believe about what we remember and who we are. Was Anna Anderson really the only survivor of the Romanovs or was she a persistent fraud? Somehow, Lawhon, a masterly writer, not only leads her readers to ponder this riddle, but to care about it as well. This is a deft and deeply moving saga.”

—Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean


“I don’t know what’s most impressive about I Was Anastasia: the wildly inventive structure, the ferocious heroine (or is it two?), or the dark, twisted questions it raises about the stories we tell—both to others and to ourselves. Ariel Lawhon has written a gorgeous, haunting puzzle of a book that will grip you until the final page.”
—Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and Liar Temptress Soldier Spy 

About the Author

ARIEL LAWHON is a critically acclaimed author of historical fiction. Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of SheReads.org and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, four sons, black Lab, and a deranged cat. She splits her time between the grocery store and the baseball field. (Source: Amazon)

I was Anastasia will be released on March 27, 2018. Pre-order now!

My thoughts:

This was an incredibly interesting book! I loved the intrigue and the possible mental handicaps Anna shows versus who she claims to be. I kept second guessing myself with every chapter!

My only problem is that our setting switches back and forth in time quite suddenly, and that confused me a lot. I was, however, reading an uncorrected manuscript, so maybe those are just some wrinkles that need to be ironed out.

Other than that, this is a remarkable read with a truly unique storyline. I recommend it to everyone, especially if you like historical fiction.

Happy Reading!

I was given this book in exchange for my honest review from Netgalley. All opinions stated above are my own.

The Air I Breathe by Louie Giglio Review

Let every breath you take be an act of worship.

Synopsis:

Worship is more than singing on Sunday morning. While that’s part of it, worship is the essence of what makes us truly human. God sparked this desire within our hearts from the day He first breathed life into Adam and Eve. Since then, every single human who has walked this planet has participated in the God-given ability and divine quest. While many have squandered their gift, there are those who find the wonder-filled life of communion with God no matter the time or place.

True freedom comes when worship flows through us as naturally as the air we breathe, when the words and actions in our lives resonate with our Creator so deeply that every inhalation is full of meaning. When we understand the holiness of the God who knows the stars by name- and His overwhelming love for each one of us- how can we offer anything less?

In The Air I Breathe, Louie Giglio explains in passionate prose what it means to truly live a life of worship, offering insight and guidance for finding our personal path toward connecting with the God of the universe.

Author Louie Giglio

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Louie Giglio is pastor of Passion City Church and the founder of the Passion movement. Since 1997, Passion has gathered college-age young people at events across the U.S. and around the world, uniting millions of students in worship, prayer, and justice. In addition to the Passion Conference gatherings, Louie and his wife, Shelley, lead the teams at Passion City Church, sixstepsrecords, and the Passion Global Institute.

You can get your copy of The Air I Breathe here.

My Thoughts

 

I was so happy to pick up another book from Pastor Louie Giglio, and yet again, he didn’t disappoint me. In The Air I Breathe- Worship as a way of Life, Giglio encourages us as the body of Christ to live a life full of worship.

He showed me that we are always worshipping something or someone all the time. But is that someone or someone God?

Should you for some reason choose not to give God what He desires, you’ll still worship something- exchanging the Creator for something He has created.

He defined worship as not just something that we do at church, but all the time.

Worship is our response to what we value most.

This book is a very quick and fast paced read, a must have for any Christian’s shelf.

 

Happy Reading!

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I was given this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated above are my own. Affiliate links used.

The Happiness TAG

Hello Happy Readers! I was tagged by Bella Blogs Because Books to do the Happiness Tag, and I thought it looked like fun. Here are my answers:

List Five things that make you happy:

  1. Books and Reading

Yea yea  I know, but its SOOOOOOOO true. Books bring me so much joy.

2. Book Paraphernalia and fandom stuff

I love collecting jewelry, candles, notebooks, pens, bookmarks, whatever that has something to do with books! Even my phone case is a book 🙂

3. Traveling with the hubs- WITHOUT the kids

Because everyone needs a break, so why not spend it together in the Bahamas?!

4. Family vacations at the Beach

When we do travel as a family, I love our beach vacations the best.

5. Yoga

so relaxing!

 

List five songs that make you happy:

  1. Anything from Footloose.
  2. Anything from Dirty Dancing.
  3. Anything from The Sound of Music.
  4. Anything from Grease.
  5. All things Johnny Cash.

 

And that’s it! If you would like to do this, consider yourself Tagged!

 

December Reading Wrap Up (2017)

Holy Canasta this is late!! But, to be understood, with all the traveling we did during Christmas. Alas, I’m here with my December wrap up! It was another great reading month despite the business of the season, and I topped out at 9 books read. Not bad! Here they all are.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas (#2 Favorite of the month!)

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

You can read my review Here.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (my #1 favorite of the month!)

Shaken by Tim Tebow

You can read my review Here.

 

And that’s all of my reading for the month of December! I think I ended 2017 in a great way. On to 2018!

Happy Reading!

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The links above are affiliate links.

 

 

 

The house on Foster hill by Jaime Jo Wright – review

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Title: The House on Foster Hill

Author: Jaime Jo Wright

Genre: Christian romantic suspense

Pages: 359 + discussion questions

Author bio: Jaime Jo Wright is the Publishers Weekly and ecpa best selling author of 2 novellas and a human resource director by trade. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. The house on Foster Hill is her debut novel. To learn more visit Jaimewrightbooks.com

Synopsis: Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died 2 years ago her please for further investigation into his suspicious demise fell on deaf ears. And desperate need of a fresh start Kaine purchases and old house sight unseen and her grandfather’s Wisconsin Hometown. But one look at the Erie abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house is dark history comes back with a vengeance Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into Dangerous Waters resurrecting painful memories and forcing a reunion with the man who broke her heart. Can Ivy unravel the mystery and find a renewed hope before any other lives including her own are lost?

My thoughts:

I fell headlong into this book. I never really thought I liked suspense, but that’s what had me picking up this book Time After Time Again. I love the first half of the story. I also like the switching viewpoints and the span of time between them. The author did an excellent job with giving each their own voice.

This is a quick read excellent if you need a palate cleanser between courses. I started to feel the disconnect during the middle of the book. I found Ivy to be whiny and stubborn and I didn’t feel a connection all with Kaine. This is probably due to the fact that the other didn’t describe her at all so I didn’t have much to go on in my mind when I pictured her. Plus her relationships between Grant, Joy, and Megan seem to be very forced and artificial.

To make matters worse I felt like what should have been the climax of the book was lame. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at who the bad guys really were , plus their reasonings behind their actions fell flat. I hate saying a book ending was disappointing but this one was.

Wright’s writing style also was lacking and I found myself skipping lines a lot. She meant for characters to be going through an internal spiritual and emotional struggle but I found it to feel very fake and forced.

However I did enjoy the book for what it was and since it was such a quick read I don’t regret reading it. I give it a 2.5 stars out of 5.

I was given this book in exchange for my honest review from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions stated above are my own.2017-12-21_12-16-01