Sweet Mercy

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Had I known what was waiting for me in Mercy, Ohio, I might not have been so eager to leave Minnesota.

Book: Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock, Bethany House Publishers, 2013

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 17+
Subjects: Crime, Prohibition, Judging others
Summary: She may not have known what awaited her in Ohio but she knew what she was leaving behind. Crime, violence, a man being shot and killed right in front of her, poverty. She had not problem leaving all that behind to go to her uncle’s home where he would provide a job for her dad and a safe, stable environment for the family. Or so she thought anyway. A frantic phone call from a friend late one night and the accidental discovery of some moonshine hidden in a peach crate changed everything though. Suddenly she’s not only doubting her safety, she’s doubting her very belief system!
Notes: This is a “coming of age” story of a seventeen year old girl, who while used to seeing crime, has never had to personally face what drives people to make the choices they do. She considers herself very righteous and practically sinless until she is faced with a very hard choice herself. The story does a good job showing her heart changes throughout the process of the story. The verse quoted often is 1 Peter 4:8 – Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. The theme really is choosing love over legalism.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Matthew 7:1-2 – “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

This review is part of a blog tour. And as such, the author has included extra content. Here is a trivia question from her research:

15 – Launch!
16 – I Am a Reader, Not a Writer -  What was Prohibition?
17 – JoJo’s Corner – Review
18 – Letters to the Cosmos – Review
19 – The Broke Book Bank – Guest Post Meet the Lawmen
21 – The Wonderings of One Person –  Molls and other Dolls
 - Books Mystify – Review
22 – Tressa’s Wishful Endings –  ReviewThe Setting behind the Setting
-  Momma Bear’s Book Blog –  Review, Meet the Cast
23 – CTF Devourer – Review
 - Christy’s Cozy Corner – Fun Facts About 1931   
24 – ADD Librarian - Review
25 – Worthy 2 Read – Review
26 – Green Mountain Couple – Just a Taste (to wet your whistle)
28 – Backing Books – Review
29 – Celtic Lady’s Reviews  Four Famous Gangsters
30 – A Year of Jubilee Reviews – Review
1 – The Jack’s Junk Drawer – Review
2 – Living a Goddess Life – Review, Recipe
3 – Grand Finale

The Fairest Beauty

Monday, April 8, 2013
Tomorrow he’d be gone. But Sophie would be safe and God would help him discover the truth about Sophie’s identity. He hadn’t wanted to seek God’s will, had been afraid that God truly didn’t intend for them to be together. But now he knew he needed God’s favor. “You said all things work together for the good of those who love you. I wasn’t listening to you before, but I know I need You now. Please let it work out, God, for me to marry Sophie. God, I will follow you, no matter what You ask me to do.”

Book: The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson, Zondervan Publishers, 2013

Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale
Target Audience: Girls 15-20
Subjects: Jealousy, Love
Summary: All her life everyone has loved her. All but one. The one with all the power, unfortunately. A few simple deceptions and Sophie is left to be raised by the one who hates her. Now she’s grown and the truth of her existence has been leaked to her betrothed… who doesn’t take off to rescue her. Instead, his brother sneaks off to rescue her, determined to best his brother in something. The trouble is that the wrong brother is falling in love with her! And he’s not exactly accompanied by an army. He’s on his own. So neither guarding his heart or rescuing her is an easy task! Jealous, her stepmother will stop at nothing to destroy her. How can Gabe keep her safe?
Notes: This is a Snow White story. A beautiful young girl, a wicked stepmother who is jealous of her beauty and wants to see her killed. A handsome young man (not a prince, but close enough – a lord) loves her and tries to save her from the wicked stepmother. She flees to a cottage where seven men live (in this story, they are outcast, each with some kind of deformity) in secret. It’s a story of love and commitment. Sophie was betrothed at birth to Gabe’s brother, and so both try to avoid falling in love with one another and at least half heartedly seek to do the right thing. Gabe in particular gets very challenged and convinced about the selfishness in his motives. It does a really good job of conveying the importance of following Christ completely, not just half heartedly.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Song of Solomon 8:6 – Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.

Dog Jack

With an impatient look of disgust, the man announced, “My job is to mend soldiers.”
He is a solider, sir”, Matt argued, “one of the best the Union has. He saved my life twice.”

Book: Dog Jack by Florence W. Boris, Sonrise Publications, 1988

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Boys 12-18
Subjects: Slavery, Animals, Faith in God
Summary: Who could imagine two injured soldiers in the war insisting the surgeon care for a dog before them? Yet, that’s exactly what happens. Dog Jack came to the firehouse as a stray, just like young Jed, an escaped slave boy. The two strays grew to be best friends and Dog Jack was adored by all in the firehouse. When the time came to go to war, they brought the dog with them. Quickly learning to respond to calls, he became a huge assistant, as well as a moral booster to all the men in the company. And this is his story.
Notes: This is based on a true story of a dog that was a companion to a group of soldiers in the Civil War. His story was recorded by a chaplain and in 1988, turned into a fictional book designed to tell his story. It also focuses a lot on Jed’s story, what led to his escape from slavery and his faith in God. He just assumed God did not care much for him until the Chaplain showed him, time and time again, just how much God loved him.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 John 4:11-12 – Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Rock Harbor Search And Rescue

Emily pressed her lips together. She needed to figure out what really happened to the necklace. Soon. Before her reputation was trashed.

Book: Rock Harbor Search and Rescue by Colleen Coble and Robin Caroll, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2013

Genre: Mystery
Target Audience: Girls 12-16
Subjects: Fear, Superstition, Family Relationships
Summary: It’s a beautiful necklace. That’s why Emily made an imitation of it. But she would never dream of stealing it! Unfortunately that’s what everyone thinks. Someone obviously did steal it and they are allowing the blame to be placed on Emily. Even her own dad doesn’t isn’t entirely confident of her innocence. The consequences of it are terrible too. She had to take the money she was saving to purchase a search-and-rescue dog and use it to pay the owner of the necklace. And kids at school are making fun of her. Emily has learned a bit about searching from going with her stepmother, Naomi on searches. It’s up to her to use searching skills to rescue her reputation!
Notes: This is the first in a new series by an author of many adult books. Rock Harbor is a series about people in a community who make up the K-9 search and rescue team. This is a spin off of that series focusing on the teenagers in the community.
One of the issues dealt with in this book is superstition. A friend of Emily’s believes in the Windigo, a mysterious being that lives in the woods, causing harm to those it comes into contact with. Emily has to wrestle with her own beliefs about it and about God. Another issue dealt with is relationships with parents. Emily knows her dad is keeping a secret and is terrified it means something awful. She has a hard time trusting her dad. In return, he has a hard time trusting her innocence when the necklace is stolen. A resolution is come to by the end, but we see the characters, particularly Emily struggle to maintain a proper relationship with one another.
Overall, this book does a good job with spiritual elements. Emily’s beliefs are rooted in the truth of Scripture. She doubts, but openly prays, asking God for help or understanding and comes back to the truths she knows.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 Timothy 4:7 – Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.

This book was given to me for free through Team Novel Teen in exchange for my honest review.
To see other opinions on this book check out the other Team Novel Team members here:
Book Nook 4 You • http://booknook4you.blogspot.com/
Blooming with Books • http://www.bloomingwithbooks.webs.com/
Christian Bookshelf Reviews • http://christianbookshelfreviews.blogspot.com/
CTF Devourer • http://www.ctfdevourer.com/
Jill Williamson • http://www.jillwilliamson.com/?p=8624
The Ramblings of a Young Author • http://www.ramblingsbybethany.blogspot.com
Realm of Hearts • http://realmofhearts.blogspot.com/p/book-reviews.html
Terri Harrhttp://terriharr.blogspot.com/
Worthy2Read • http://worthy2read.wordpress.com/

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