Saturday, May 31, 2014

Week in Review: May 25-31

The Glass Casket. McCormick Templeman. 2014. Random House. 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Greetings from Nowhere. Barbara O'Connor. 2008. FSG. 208 pages. [Source: Library]
The Lemonade Crime. Jacqueline Davies. 2011. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 160 pages. [Source: Library book]
The Heavens Are Empty: Discovering the Lost Town of Trochenbrod. Avrom Bendavid-Val. 2010. Pegasus. 256 pages. [Source: Library]
By My Side. Sue Reid. 2014. Scholastic. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy]
The Franchise Affair. Josephine Tey. 1948. 304 pages. [Source: Book I bought]
Redeeming Love. Francine Rivers. 1997/2005. Multnomah. 464 pages. [Source: Bought]
The Great Exchange: My Sin for His Righteousness. Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington. 2007. Crossway. 304 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Growing in Christ. J.I. Packer. 1977/1994/2007. Crossway. 288 pages. [Source: Bought]

This week's favorite:

It was a hard decision this week. On the one hand, I loved reading McCormick Templeman's The Glass Casket. It had atmosphere, in my opinion, and it was oh-so-compelling. I read it in one sitting. It's not my typical genre. I don't really read horror at all. Not on purpose anyway. So the fact that it grabbed my attention and kept my attention says something. But is it truly-truly my favorite of the week? On the other hand, there is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is a fantastic historical novel that I'd heard so much about. I've been meaning to read it for over five years! It has been sitting around my house for that many years! It did not disappoint. It has a definite message: it is a retelling of the book of Hosea. But it is probably NOT what anyone would expect a christian novel to be. It goes to dark, uncomfortable places. The heroine was sold into prostitution as a child. She's spent years of her life as a prostitute, and her journey to grace is not an easy one. If I'm looking just at themes or messages, then the choice would be easy. It would be Redeeming Love. It speaks to my heart. If I'm looking just at suspenseful storytelling or pacing, then the choice would be easy, it would be The Glass Casket. These two are so very different from one another!

The better cover? The Glass Casket. I can't say I'm a big fan of headless women on novels! And the cover of Redeeming Love is probably one of the reasons why it took me so very long to read!

Either book would easily win if reviewed in another week...

My choice is Redeeming Love. One of the reasons why I ended up choosing Redeeming Love is that I thought it had more reread appeal. I am more likely to reread this one than the Glass Casket.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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