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K. Leversuch (Brighton, UK)

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Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble
Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble
Price: £2.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Quick, easy read, 2 Feb. 2016
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This is an OK read - a quick insight into the world of Agatha Raisin. Not my favourite but has encouraged me to read more of the Agatha Raisin series


The Compassion Prize
The Compassion Prize
Price: £3.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good book!, 27 July 2015
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I found this book really drew me in. I was hooked right from the first page and would have easily read it in one sitting had I been able to! I really liked the characters. They displayed a whole range of emotions, and despite their faults and lack of understanding, I was drawn to them and wanted to see what would happen. They were realistic and likeable.

I liked the storyline too. The tension built really well throughout the book. I found the novel easy to read and really easy to get drawn in to. Hollway creates a world and scenes that aren't hard to imagine. There is drama, adventure, fear and a lovely study into friendship and trust.

I am rating this novel 4 out of 5 because I really enjoyed it. This is a great, dystopia novel. If you like novels by Suzanne Collins, Lauren Oliver and Veronica Roth than this book is for you!


The Days of Eliora
The Days of Eliora
by Katy Hollway
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, 28 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Days of Eliora (Paperback)
Really enjoyed this book! Found the beginning a little slow but once we were a few chapters in, I found myself gripped. I wanted to know what was going to happen and found I needed to keep reading! I allso loved being reminded of God’s grace, and how much he loves and cares for his children. This isn’t a hard read, but it is enjoyable and full of God’s truth.


A Life Like Other People's
A Life Like Other People's
Price: £0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars An OK Read, 14 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is a fairly interesting insight into Bennett's family. I did find at times it dragged a little, and I couldn't remember which aunt was which but overall it was an OK read. It was written very well and he is extremely honest about how he felt towards the family and about mental illness. I didn't find there was much excitement in the book but it is a good social commentary.


Wild Grace: What Happens When Grace Happens
Wild Grace: What Happens When Grace Happens
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful book on grace, 8 Jun. 2013
I received this book from Netgalley and even though it was written for young adults, I found it a helpful book. This is the third book I have read by Max Lucado and I find him easy to read, clear and accessible.

In this book, Lucado explores the theme of God's grace and how it can change the lives of everyone who receives it. Christian theology teaches that if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord you will be saved. The theology goes deeper than that, saying that when we believe God's grace is given to us and that grace means that all our sins - everything we have ever done wrong, however big or small - are completely forgiven. Max Lucado looks at this topic in more depth than the few lines I have given it in a way that relates to teenagers and the trials they might be facing.

What I liked most about this book is that Lucado uses real life stories to explain the different ways grace can change lives and he makes space for the reader to think about the issues raised in his book. He asks some challenging questions and gives room during the chapters to note down the answers. I didn't do this, but I liked that the option was there if I wanted to be more than just a passive reader.

I found this book clear and concise. Lucado is honest about his own trials and things he has received grace for. He writes in an engaging manner and his examples are relevant to young people today - looking at school, the temptations in relationships and how they are at home. I think Lucado communicates what grace is and how it can change your life in a very simple and effective way. I don't think you need to limit this book to teenagers, I think it is helpful for everyone.

[rating=4]


Yellow Crocus: A Novel
Yellow Crocus: A Novel

4.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 29 May 2013
I received this book from Netgalley some time ago and am ashamed to say I have only just found time to read it. I picked this book because I wondered if it would be like The Help by Kathryn Stockett, a book I really enjoyed. If I am honest, there are some similarities between the two stories and I would recommend them both.

Yellow Crocus follows two characters: Lisbeth, the daughter of the plantation owner and Mattie, her wet nurse, a slave on the plantation. Mattie is brought into the house to feed Lisbeth but Lisbeth is so attached to her that Mattie basically raises Lisbeth. Mattie longs to be able to raise her own son - Samuel - instead and finds ways of entwining Samuel and Lisbeth's lives. However, this can't continue forever and Samuel is soon sold to a neighbouring plantation. It is around this time that Lisbeth starts to realise that the life she leads is very different to Mattie's. She is quietly outraged by the treatment of the slaves but keeps that to herself until one afternoon, as she is looking for her fiancee she finds him mistreating a young black girl. This is the last straw for Lisbeth who sets off on a course that will only upset and embarrass her parents, but one she knows is right.

When I was looking at this book on Goodreads I noticed that the rating for this book is 4.1 out of 5, based on 2059 votes. I have to say, I'm not surprised that the novel has such a high rating. I really enjoyed this book. I read huge chunks of it at a time because I was drawn in and found I just wanted to know what was going to happen to both Mattie and Lisbeth.

This is historical fiction at its best. It looked back to a turbulent time in America's history, when the South was playing host to a great number of black slaves. I felt the book was written with discretion - although this is a sensitive subject, it was dealt with in an elegant manner. I would love this to be a true story - I can't confirm that it is - but I really hope there were white people during that time who did stand up for what is right.

I liked both Lisbeth and Mattie. I was rooting for both of them throughout the whole book. I felt for Mattie, who was taken away from her child when he was only 3 months old to look after someone else's baby but I loved the relationship she formed with Lisbeth. Lisbeth idolised Mattie and I found that very sweet. I loved that for Lisbeth, even with all the teaching she received, the colour of their skin did not stop them forming a strong bond. Both women were incredibly brave in completely different ways and I just wanted to see them both win the battles they were facing.

I'm glad I chose to read this book. I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it. If you liked The Help, then I think you will like this book. The two novels are different but both show that there were some people who had compassion towards those in slavery and I love the idea that there are people who stand up for the rights of others - even today. This book is well worth reading.


The Times of Kerim
The Times of Kerim
by Katy Hollway
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut Novel, 20 Nov. 2012
This review is from: The Times of Kerim (Paperback)
This review contains spoilers

This is the debut novel by Katy Hollway, which follows Kerim, a girl who is living in troubled times. A witch has come to her town and has corrupted all the settlers there, except her father and herself. Life becomes difficult for Kerim as she becomes a target for the next sacrifice. She is captured, by her brother of all people, and locked in a cage to await the awful things that the witch promised to do to her. However, she is freed by a figure in white who then protects her from other evil to come. Listening to this man, she runs in the direction he sends her and to safety. There she finds shelter and falls in love with Japh - plus she finds something extraordinary. She finds that the family are building an ark. She is welcomed into Noah's family and the story follows her as she is let on the Ark.

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect from this book. The blurb doesn't give too much away and in the first couple of chapters you are launched straight into the horrors Kerim is rescued form without any explanation. I have to say though, I was pleased I kept reading! It took me by surprise to run into Noah! I didn't work out immediately what the big wooden structure was! Silly me!

This book is aimed at young adults and is a Christian book. The writing style, how Kerim hears God and the angels that look out for her, reminded me a lot of Karen Kingsbury, which I really liked. I enjoyed the story. It was fascinating thinking about what life would have been like in 2000BC; what life would have been like on the Ark and I loved reading about how God protects His people. In this story there was nothing too big for God and his army.

I liked the characters. I felt a lot of empathy for Kerim. She couldn't see how special she was and even in the worst times she wanted to protect and rescue her family. I liked Japh. I found him a little forward at times but he had her best interests at heart and loved her a lot. I loved Noah's family. Noah was very wise and calm; however it was his wife Tabitha whom I really liked. She was protective and caring. She understood Kerim and always had time for her.

I think this is an excellent book. It was gripping and insightful. It is encouraging and well written. I think this book will appeal to adults as well as young adults. The book isn't overly religious. There is fear, real threat plus love and action in this book. I read this in one sitting and really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to the next book!


The Beauty's Beast
The Beauty's Beast

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book!, 15 April 2011
I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure what to make of it when I read the blurb, but I really enjoyed it! I read it in a day and so glad I did The story follows Gabriel, a knight - who is also a werewolf - who is trapped as a wolf due to his wife's betrayal and Lady Kathryn, who is a in the Queen's court. Kathryn is out with the court fox hunting when she comes across the wolf. She instantly recognises there is something special about the wolf and prevents the King from killing him. The wolf is put in Kathryn's care and with the help of the court sorcerer they discover the wolf's secret and work to try and restore him back to his human's form.

This was well written and engaging. I found the story enjoyable and liked the characters. Of course, being a fantasy book there were some elements that are unrealistic - such as, the way Gabriel can act like a human even though he is a wolf. I liked Gabriel. Even though he did have a lot of anger issue, he is caring and can see the error in his ways. It did make me laugh how he could intimidate everyone. I loved how protective he was and the lengths he went for Kathryn. I liked her as well. Although only in the the Queen's court, she was strong and knew her mind. She was intelligent, but she was also a woman, she fell in love and struggled with her feelings.

The story was great. There was action and mystery - there were times I laughed and I felt much empathy for the characters. This is a good book and I really enjoyed it. I liked how the story played out. I wasn't surprised how the story ended but the fighting and the resolution made it worth while. I am happy to recommend this book and can easily rate it 4/5.


Cast of Characters
Cast of Characters
by Max Lucado
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Book, 30 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Cast of Characters (Paperback)
[cast of characters] Addition: review paperback

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Christian Theology

Synopsis:

Some of the most powerful stories from the Bible will come alive for today's readers through these inspiring selections from the writings of Max Lucado. Max provides a compelling look at the most high-impact moments in the biblical narrative, drawn from his previous 20+ years of writing.

At the end of each chapter will be study guide questions so the reader can go deeper into this scripture.

Extraordinary stories are told about the following characters:

Mary, Peter, Matthew, Joseph, Nicodemus, Woman at the Well, David, Esther, Job, The Samaritan Woman, John, Rich Young Man.

And more

I received this book from BookSneeze, and am glad I did. A long review is not needed for this book, as instead of one long story, Max Lucado looks at a range of different people from the Bible. Every chapter and point Lucado makes he backs up with Bible verses. It is clear from this book that he is man who knows his Bible well.

The first thing to notice is the beautiful cover. Every time I saw it I was drawn to the book. It is a gorgeous picture, full of colour and it just compelled me to read this book. Another great feature of this book is the short chapters. When I read theology books I worry that the chapters will be long and my concentration lost. This did not happen with Cast of Characters. Every chapter is only a few pages long. Lucado gets straight to the point and uses language which is simple and clear. He retells the story with modern twists, so we can see how they can be relevant to us today, and draws out what God is telling us. I found this helpful and made the book more readable.

There is not one chapter that sticks out more than the rest; all were helpful. I read this book with a notepad and Bible next to me, so I could check out the verses Lucado uses and note down what he teaches us. This was a great book that taught me a lot. I have already recommended this book to others, and it is a book I will keep and read again. Even if you aren't a Christian and don't fancy theology, this is a good book to dip into; it is well worth reading for everyone.


A Daughter's Journey
A Daughter's Journey
by Lyn Andrews
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice novel, 30 July 2010
This review is from: A Daughter's Journey (Paperback)
Synopsis:

A captivating new saga set in Liverpool and Ireland, from the bestselling author of DAYS OF HOPE and FAR FROM HOME Angela O'Rourke is six when her parents hand her over to an aunt and uncle in a distant village. It's a common practice for large, hard-up families in 1950s Ireland, but for Angela it means that her mother and father don't love her any more. Still, she's well cared for till she's sixteen, when her uncle starts to take too much of an interest in her. Moving to Liverpool in the early 1960s, she becomes a success in the world of fashion design. The pain of a disastrous love affair sends her home to Ireland just after the death of her aunt: and there, among old papers, Angela makes an astonishing discovery. As she learns the truth about the past, a brighter new future beckons.

This is the first Lyn Andrews novel that I have read and I enjoyed it. The book begins in Ireland, where Angela's parents are too poor to keep her. Devote Catholics, they have a lot of children, and another is on the way. Angela's dad is struggling to find work, so they make the decision to send Angela off to live with her Aunt Mary. Her aunt gives her a good life, but Angela misses her family and resents them for sending her away. Life is OK until her Uncle starts drinking. Life becomes unsafe for her. Then her best friend Emer leaves for America - this is the motivation Angela needs to start thinking about leaving. She works hard and is accepted to do nursing at Liverpool. She moves away - to the anger of her uncle, but soon learns that the academic side of nursing is too much for her. By chance she meets Rox and her family. Whilst with them she has the courage to leave nursing and start her own business in fashion design. For a long time she is happy without a man, but then she falls in love. However, her boyfriend is not a nice guy and result is a broken heart. Shortly after this she has to return to Ireland because her aunt is seriously ill. After her aunt dies she discovers papers that had been hidden from her all her life. This startlingly discovery changes her life and her outlook on family.

This is a very simple read - the language is not difficult and the story is not complicated. I read the majority of this book in one day. It was interesting, fun and engaging. The characters were believable and most of them I liked! The story is set in the 1960s and I felt that life in this time was depicted well. The poverty and the contrast between people and countries was astonishing but also realistic. This did mean there were heartbreaking moments in this book, like at the beginning when a six year old Angela learns she is being sent to live somewhere else.

I liked Angela, although I'm not convinced she would of had such a successful business simply because she was a woman, and in the 1960s it was a male dominated world. However, I liked her determination and her caring heart. She worked hard and was selfless. She understands poverty and when the chance to help out others arises she takes it, helping to pull others out of hardship. My other favourite character was Rox. I loved her shopping obsession! She was cool, chic and stylish, yet had a big heart. When Angela needed her she was there, and helped her through some tough situations.

This was a nice read and I enjoyed it. I'm happy to recommend this book to others and I will be looking out for other Lyn Andrews books. The ending was a bit of a disappoint - the cliff hanger, where we wonder what will happen to Angela, I wanted the book to keep going so I could find out how Angela's life would change. That is probably my only complaint with the book.

This is simple chick-lit and I would recommend it to those who like a good girly book. 4/5 from me.


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