Monday, March 27, 2017

Her Secret by Shelley Shepherd Gray Book Review


In Shelley Shepard Gray's new book, Her Secret, Hannah Hilty is a young Amish woman in her 20's who is living in fear from an English stalker.  She met Trent and became friends, but was not ready to commit to more.  She thought all was said and done, but then she began getting disturbing mail with pictures of herself at the library, at the school and even in her own home.  She was scared and felt helpless.  Her parents decided to move the family to a different community in a different state.  It took the family a bit of adjustment to fit in and learn to trust others.  Hannah's brother and sister were angry with her for causing this disruption and her parents seemed to have a secret of their own.  But then Hannah meets Isaac Troyer, a neighbor who engages Hannah in "normal" Amish life once again.  As the two spend time together they begin to share each other's ups and downs in sweet and thoughtful moments.  However, neither Hannah nor Isaac were prepared for the biggest threat of their lives.  But despite the fear, they held fast to the promises of God. 

This book was a look into the possible anxiety that could intimidate the plain Amish community.  Hannah's family wanted to be helpful, but were also a bit unsympathetic to her concern.  They didn't quite know how to handle such a situation that involved the English.  The author set the stage for a very real and probable situation.  I did think at first that Hannah was over-reacting to the situation, but when the peril followed her to her new home, I knew it was not going to be an easy case to solve.  I really liked how the author shared some of the activities the Amish liked to do like a Sandwich Sale and the pastimes of the young people like fishing and taking care of the home.  It's a refreshing way of  life that was shattered by the menace in this story.  However, the charming connection between Hannah and Isaac is not to be missed. 

*I was given a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin Book Review

In Sarah Sundin's newest Waves of Freedom novel, When Tides Turn, Quintessa (Tess) Beaumont and Dan Avery battle with their hearts and purpose.  When Tess joins the WAVES program, Dan Avery is not convinced this pretty face could do the job of a serious Navy officer.  Tess and Dan grew up in the same town, but their interests and pursuits were very different and their ways of relating to others was opposite.  Yet, Tess was attracted to Dan's drive and ambition and despite her pretty looks she had her own passions and professional pursuits that she wanted to be noticed for and not her good looks.  Dan's vision of being a full time sailor kept getting derailed from his supervisors and he felt lost and uptight knowing he wasn't on the path he had his course set.  Both Tess and Dan were assigned to the same office in the Boston Navy Yard and they both become attracted to each other, but needed to refrain from anything beyond their official work since it was forbidden to date and/or marry another officer.  However, Tess becomes involved in a confusing mystery with her former roommate who is a French expat who meets together with other Resistance members in a small bakery in Boston.  Tess is sure there is a spy but is unable to discover any solid clues as she continued to share her reports to the FBI.  And her relationship with Dan is strained when he shares more of his heart to Tess before he leaves for his final tour.  Can Tess and Dan pull together to discover the spy and also unite their hearts?
This was another exciting and romantic World War II novel that Sarah Sundin has delivered once again!  I really enjoyed following the story of Tess who I "met" in the first novel in this series.  Her story was fascinating and intriguing.  She changed in so many ways and she chose to dig deep and discover what she really wanted to do in her life and in her heart.  The hidden romance of Tess and Dan was such fun to read and gave the story another element of suspense.  I recommend that you read the whole series since many of the characters are related and each story builds upon the other in some way. 

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Revell Reads.  All opinions are my own.*
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This is the 3rd book in the Waves of Freedom series.
You can see my reviews of the first two books below:

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Sarah Sundin Blog

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Student Body DVD Review

The Student Body is a documentary by Bailey Webber, a young journalist with a determination and voice for the youth in America.  Lawmakers decided to pass a mandate to force students to participate in school BMI testing.  Letters were then sent to kids enclosed in their report cards with the results.  Many of these letters indicated that children were obese and did not fall into the accepted range for body mass.  A young sixth grader in Ohio felt bullied and tore up her letter.  Bailey Webber stepped in to investigate and bravely undertook the controversial topic and pursued answers from government officials and other professionals. 
Bailey Webber interviewed many experts and law makers to get their input on the unfair testing of BMI in the schools.  The kids being tested are feeling shamed, but the government insists that the tests are helpful to show which kids are at risk for obesity and other health issues.  Parents were confused and not sure how to handle this information.  They did feel that childhood obesity needs to be addressed, but maybe not in this way.  Bailey's research found that it was not helping the obesity problem, but creating a negative psychological effect on youth. 
This documentary shared some great information and tackled a very sensitive issue in a very understanding way.  Bailey interviewed many people and after each interview she invited them to step on the scale for their own BMI testing.  About 95% of the time she was turned down.  She would laugh and say it was OK, but she knew that kids were not given that same choice in the schools.  One interview that was very intriguing was with Senator Kearney.  Bailey was unable to secure a live interview with him for over 7 months.  After many phone calls and unreturned emails, she finally went to his office and made an appointment.  In the interview Senator Kearney contradicted himself many times.  He too was asked to step on the scale and he was in for a surprise. 
Bailey Webber did an excellent job on her first documentary film.  She gave an honest evaluation of the controversial debate and uncovered some interesting facts and reactions. 
"Apparently, they are willing to speak for us, but not to us." -Bailey Webber

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Available wherever movies are On-Demand.
*I was given a copy of this DVD for review.  All opinions are my own.*