Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Loved the Cover

I can say two positive things about “Love on a Dime.” The cover is fantastic. It makes you want to pick up the book. The other is that it's a Christian romance novel. Unfortunately the story doesn't live up to the promise of the cover. It is a formula romance, and not a particularly good one.

I hate to be critical, but the characters are wooden; their speech, stilted. I assume the author thinks this is the way people talked in that era. Having read some excellent romance novels from the same time period, I doubt it.

Probably the most disappointing part was the way setting was handled. Newport in the summer should have been a delightful backdrop for a romance. However, the author fails to use detail to bring the area to life. By this, I don't mean pages of description, rather the telling details that make a scene memorable.

The novel does bring out Christian values. The characters learn to put their faith in God and that, ultimately, allows them to fulfill their heart's desire. This is a positive aspect to the book when so many romance novels concentrate on erotica and adulterous sex.

Unless you're looking for a Christian novel, or love formula romances; give this book a miss.

I review the book as part of the Thomas Nelson Book Sneeze Program.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Writing Circle from Hell

The idea for The Writing Circle is excellent. A writing circle is a closed part of society for many people. Avid readers want to know more about writers. This offered a peek into what goes on behind the scenes. That being said, I was disappointed in the novel. The writers in the writing circle were all very self-absorbed, jealous people with the possible exception of Virginia. I didn't feel interested in any of them, if I hadn't been reading the book for a First Look, I probably wouldn't have finished it.

The presentation of the characters dragged without much plot in the early chapters. There was a great deal of back story, much more that I felt was necessary to understand the interaction among the people in the group. The characters seemed pretty much stock characters. From the beginning Gillian was the villain. Nancy was the victim. I think the author was trying to make a point about morality; however, portraying Gillian as completely self-absorbed and amoral reduced the impact of her actions.

I wanted to like the book. I think the theme was a excellent choice. However, I was disappointed in the execution. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

An Important Warning for our Times

Billy Graham's Storm Warning Is a revised and updated version of the 1992 book by the same title. It is even more relevant today than when it was written. The world is filled with portents of disaster: war, hunger, natural disasters, broken families. This list is long. Graham urges Christians to wake up and follow the dictates of Jesus Christ however difficult that may be.

In the last several chapters of the book, Graham gives an excellent description of the horrors that accompany the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Relating the troubles in our own times to John's vision is excellent. Using the images from Revelations, Graham makes you feel the urgency for Christians and the whole world to take the message seriously. We may be living in the end times. It is a time to renew our faith and live as Jesus taught.

This is a book that should make us all think about how we want to live and what we can do to prepare ourselves for Christ's coming. I very much enjoyed the book and highly recommend it. It's a book that will make you think.

I reviewed the book as part of Thomas Nelson's Book Sneeze program.