The Moment Between

The Moment Between Book Review

The Moment Between Book Review

The Moment Between By Nicole Baart

Published on April 22, 2009 from Tyndale House Publishers

Genre: Christian fiction

Pages: 384

3.5 out of 5 chickadees singing. This book wasn’t at all what I expected. I had read all of Nicole Baart’s series “After the Leaves Fall” and while it definitely dealt with serious issues, it was close to YA chick lit. Immediately beginning this book, I could tell it was much darker and more intense.

This book is difficult to understand at first because it moved between three different timelines. Much of it is the story of Abby and Hailey, who are sisters. Hailey has periods of instability that make it difficult for Abby to be her sister. An event happens that is somewhat of a spoiler that sends Abby on a journey. The journey she is on is another timeline, while the big event is the 3rd timeline. 

I felt for the characters in this story. Abby is relied upon as almost a second mother to Hailey and doesn’t receive much recognition for it. In contrast, Hailey turns the family’s lives upside down, but remains the center of attention and affection. The complicated sisterly bond was thoroughly and accurately examined. While Abby often resents her sister, she also loves her and has a fierce desire to protect her. I found reading about this relationship to be fascinating. 

I love that this book dealt with very serious issues and brought light and awareness to these issues. It also weaved a short message about the Gospel in that was beautiful and relevant, not at all detracting from the story. It was a heartbreaking story, but a powerful one. 

***The photo above is from Amazon.com. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking one of the links above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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Fab Five Autobiographies

Fab Five Autobiographies

I don’t read autobiographies that often, but I have read a few over the years that I have absolutely LOVED and have changed how I view the world. Some of these are categorized as memoirs, but the two categories are similar enough that I am combining them. Here are my top 5 autobiographies/memoirs!

1. The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss:

This has been my favorite book of all time for a very long time! I probably first read this book as a pre-teenager. It’s about a family who adopts children of different races back when adopting a child who didn’t look like you was unheard of. The Doss family helped to change race perceptions everywhere. Helen’s husband works as a pastor and she is a stay at home mom, so a lot of the book is about overcoming financial issues to raise their family. I also enjoyed reading about a simpler time when mom could send all the little kids outside to play by themselves. It’s a very cute and charming story.

2. His Favorite Wife: Trapped in Polygamy by Susan Ray Schmidt:

Susan becomes the sixth wife in a polygamous marriage at the age of 15. Her brother-in-law is the infamous Ervil LaBaron who attempted to take over control of the church and actually began killing those in opposition. This book was an eye-opening look at polygamy and some factions of the Mormon church. Susan is a likeable character and it’s clear why she entered into polygamy due to the environment she was raised in.  This book was at times, heartbreaking, but Susan’s strong spirit gives the reader hope.

3. Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected- A Memoir by Kelle Hampton:

Kelle Hampton unexpectedly gave birth to a baby girl named Nella with Down’s Syndrome. This book chronicles her journey of shock and grief that eventually leads to acceptance. Kelle grew tremendously through this book and it was wonderful to see the development. She could have been dishonest about those first dark days and portrayed herself as emotionally stronger than she was, but she didn’t.  I also loved Kelle’s experience at the Down’s Syndrome convention and reading about the beautiful people she met. Nella is lucky to have a mom like Kelle, who is bringing awareness to and fundraising for the Down Syndrome’s community. PLUS, the book has GORGEOUS pictures throughout. It’s one of the prettiest books you’ve ever seen.

4. Helen Keller: The Story of my Life by Helen Keller:

Helen Keller was born deaf and blind. Because she was unable to communicate with the world around her, her world was like a dark hole and she often acted out. Her parents finally hired Anne Sullivan, who taught Helen how to communicate and brought light to her dark world. It’s incredible to read about Helen’s world before and after Anne and how Helen overcame so many challenges to become such a successful and legendary lady!

5. Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman:

Mary Beth is wife to Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman. This book has background information about Mary Beth’s life, meeting her husband, and starting their family, including three girls they adopted from China. The main event in this book, though, is about the tragedy that befell the family when Mary Beth’s biological son accidentally hit her adopted daughter, Maria Sue, with his car and killed her. I admired how honest Mary Beth was in sharing the deepest parts of her life. I cried along with her at the loss of her daughter, while she tried to comfort her son, who dealt with both grief and guilt. A very sad book, but a good book.

***The photos above are from Amazon.com. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking one of the links above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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Maggie Stiefvater Signing!

Last night, y’all, I embarked on an adventure.

Maggie Stiefavter, author of The Raven Boys and creator of recent Man Crush Monday, Gansey, was coming to California on book tour, and I instantly knew I HAD to meet her.

So I did!

Fellow hippie friend, Kimmy, and I braved the terrifying bridges and Bay Area traffic to reach the Alameda Free Public Library (as opposed to the PAID Alameda Library, I’m assuming) where the event was held.

Waiting for the event to begin. Can you tell I had ZERO SLEEP the night before?!
Waiting for the event to begin. Can you tell I had ZERO SLEEP the night before?!

Books, cupcakes, and laughter abounded.

You guys, Maggie Stiefvater was a RIOT! It was hands down, the best bookish event I’ve ever attended.

Maggie with Matt, the Teen Librarian who organized the event.
Maggie with Matt, the Teen Librarian who organized the event.

It all started with her waiting in line FOR HER OWN EVENT to see how long it would take for someone to notice. Then, she bounded up the stage and began a snarky commentary on her latest book, Sinner, complete with deep, scary werewolf voices and silly, theatrical faces and reenactments.

I laughed so hard I cried.

Maggie proudly informed us that she bought her pants from a man named Carlos on eBay.
Maggie proudly informed us that she bought her pants from a man named Carlos on eBay.

She launched into stories about her band days (she may look like a rocker, but she actually played the bagpipes) and her first time on the New York Times Bestseller List. She OWNED the stage and was completely comfortable in her own skin and stellar pants. She confessed her goal in life was to write books that make people cry like a child in public. And then she took questions from the audience.

When an aspiring author asked her if she ever got frustrated when the characters in her head didn’t behave like she wanted them to, Maggie shared a really inspiring story surrounding her struggles with Forever. Sometimes, you have to hit the brick wall. You have to go all the way, even knowing that it won’t work, just to get it out there. Then, you can copy and paste your writing into “outtakes” so that the words are not lost, and then you can feel free to begin again with actions that are authentic to the character. Forever‘s final draft was 125,000 words. Forever‘s “outtakes” document was 150,000 words. It’s ok to “fail.”

I GEEKED OUT when Maggie saw my raised hand and called on me. I asked my signature question, and the entire room erupted into laughter with her response.

“I have a theory that one’s signature café drink reveals something about their personality,” I began. “What is your drink of choice, and do you feel that it’s reflective of you as a person?”

Maggie was a little incredulous, but chuckled as she repeated my question for the rest of the audience to hear.

“I don’t DRINK café drinks,” she admitted with a smirk. “I EAT caffeine PILLS!”

No explanation necessary.

The long line of fans.
The long line of fans.

Let’s just say it like it is- Maggie Stiefvater is a little bit crazy, and I LOVED it! Kimmy and I patiently (ok, not so patiently…) waited in line for about an hour to have our books and swag signed by the kooky author, and it was totally worth the wait. She’s sarcastic, bright, and totally bad ass. I want her to be my best friend.

I MET MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!! I MET MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!! #fangirling
I MET MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!! I MET MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!! #fangirling

Now, if you’ve been following Maggie’s blog, then you know that she has been travelling across the country in her vintage Camaro named Loki. The naughty Nordic god is an appropriate name for the temperamental ride, who keeps breaking down at inopportune moments throughout the trip.

OMG LOOK! It's LOKI! :D
OMG LOOK! It’s LOKI! :D

She casually mentioned the parking structure a block or so away from the library, and I bristled with excitement. WE had parked in the parking garage, too! WE COULD MEET LOKI! We traipsed through every level of the concrete monstrosity until we found him, and of course, I insisted on a #LokiSelfie. Bookish stalker for the win!

TaDAH!
TaDAH! #LokiSelfie

Y’all, I had so so SO much fun on this bookish adventure! I now want to read every novel Maggie Stiefvater has ever published, she was THAT cool. My stomach STILL hurts, I laughed so much. Do yourself a favor- follow Maggie Stiefvater on Twitter, and get yourself a copy of her latest book, Sinner!

***Pictures from the event are my own, from my handy dandy iPhone. Photo of the novel from Amazon. I do not get paid for my reviews or to attend events, but I DO, however, receive a small commission if you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking on the link above. ***

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Throwback Thursday- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

By Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes is one of those classic characters from literature. Today, we have the BBC show Sherlock, the CBS show Elementary, and the movies Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, all based loosely on these books. Sherlock Holmes is not QUITE as tactless and harsh as he is in the shows; that’s a little bit played up. While he is very focused on the facts, he is still polite to women in distress. He’s just as intelligent and clever with his deductions as he is in the shows, though.

If you’ve never read Sherlock Holmes before, I believe this book is the best place to start because it has short Sherlock Holmes stories. It’s always fascinating to see how Sherlock solves the mystery, but some of the longer stories drag on forever and it takes too long to get to the solution. The short stories are definitely my favorite! The one I like best is the very short “A Scandal in Bohemia” because this is where Sherlock meets Irene Adler, which is the closest thing he ever got to a love interest (and still very far away from that in the stories). It’s also very clever on the part of both characters.

Watson, of course, plays the more human companion to Sherlock’s genius. These two unlikely friends somehow go so well together. Watson reminds us what an anomaly Sherlock is, but their friendship also reminds the reader that Sherlock is indeed human. Human enough to have a friend like Watson by his side.

Read this book if you’ve had any interest in Sherlock Holmes whatsoever. This collection of short stories will gear you up for the longer mysteries!

***The photo above is from Amazon.com. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking one of the links above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted byBreaking the Spine. Every week, book nerds everywhere gush about upcoming books we CANNOT WAIT to come out!

This week’s Waiting on Wednesday is The Jewell by Amy Ewing, releasing on September 2nd.

You guys, you guys! LOOK AT THIS COVER!!! Soooooo pretty! It reminds me of Keira Cass’ The Selection series, but this cover is so much more emotionally provocative.

 

Book cover photo obtained from Amazon.
Book cover photo obtained from Amazon.

Then, of course, the description is riveting. Being sold as a surrogate to the royalty? What the what? Why? Ahhhhh!!! I can’t wait to find out!

“The Selection meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this darkly riveting debut filled with twists and turns, where all that glitters may not be gold.
The Jewel means wealth, the Jewel means beauty—but for Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Born and raised in the Marsh, Violet finds herself living in the Jewel as a servant at the estate of the Duchess of the Lake. Addressed only by her number—#197—Violet is quickly thrown into the royal way of life. But behind its opulent and glittering facade, the Jewel hides its cruel and brutal truth, filled with violence, manipulation, and death.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her life . . . all while trying to stay alive. But before she can accept her fate, Violet meets a handsome boy who is also under the Duchess’s control, and a forbidden love erupts. But their illicit affair has consequences, which will cost them both more than they bargained for. And toeing the line between being calculating and rebellious, Violet must decide what, and who, she is willing to risk for her own freedom.”

And you know what’s even cooler?! THIS BOOK HAS A GIVEAWAY! Be sure to check it out on Goodreads, and enter to win! Or preorder the book by using the link below.

Good luck, and happy reading!

 

**Photo and Description Credit: Amazon.com**
***I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking on the link above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way. ***

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