Colors of Christmas: Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate the Hope of Christmas Review

Colors of Christmas: Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate the Hope of Christmas

By Olivia Newport

I’m sorry and sad that I didn’t get this review out before Christmas. BUT please save this book on your list of ones to read next Christmas! 5 out of 5 chickadees singing! This was a truly enjoyable addition to my Christmas reading this year! These stories had sadness and loss, yet also hope and love. I loved that they delved into deeper issues, yet were also very heartwarming. 

I am fascinated by World War II, so I really enjoyed the first book. It’s about a woman who survived World War II who is now living in America and was just semi-forced to move into an assisted living facility. Her physical therapist is dealing with a stalker ruining her life. An unlikely friendship forms between the two at Christmastime. 

The next book is about choir director Angela whose dear friend has just died. She gets put in charge of An Event to Remember Christmas celebration with no time to plan and absolutely everything goes wrong! An unexpected visitor comes to town and ends up uplifting and helping Angela. The Christmas Eve service scene in this book was truly magical! 

I absolutely loved the heart in these stories. They were well-written and engaging. I highly recommend them!

Read More

A Nest of Sparrows Review

 A Nest of Sparrows

By Deborah Raney

Genre: Christian fiction

5/5 chickadees singing! I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected to. I thought it would be predictable, but instead, it was more realistic. 

Wade’s fiancée dies suddenly and he unofficially keeps her three kids living with him and tries to make single fatherhood work. Their biological father, who hasn’t seen the kids in years because their mother left due to domestic violence, comes back for them. Social services decides both dads need some help before either can parent so the children go into foster care. Point of view switches back and forth between the children’s aunt, Wade, and the social worker. 

This book made you feel so many emotions of the characters. I loved how realistic it was. I also loved that there was at least some redemption for the “villain(s).” It was a very engaging story with positive messages. A definite must-read for fans of Christian fiction.

Read More

The Note II: Taking a Chance on Love Book Review

The Note II: Taking a Chance on Love

By Angela Hunt

Genre: Christian Fiction

This might get 2.5/5 stars. I haven’t read the first book for years, so I had forgotten most of it. I don’t know if that influenced my reading of the second book or not. This book is kind of interesting because it’s a sequel to the movie more than to the book. Angela explains in her afterword that she changed a name and location, but that’s it. I wish that explanation had been in the beginning of the book, though. I could see how people could get confused if they’d just read the first book. This story is about Peyton and Kingston’s continuing relationship and her difficulty to commit.

The investigation that Peyton is doing in this story isn’t nearly as interesting or in-depth as the first one (from what I remember). This story just felt so short to me. Every time a problem came up, I never had the opportunity to actually be worried about it before it was resolved. I didn’t really care about the characters because I didn’t feel like I had enough time to get to know them. It wasn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t that interesting or engaging. I would recommend only reading this book if you’ve just read the first one. Otherwise, it falls short.

Read More

Child of Mine Review

Child of Mine

By Beverly Lewis

Genre: Christian contemporary fiction

4 out of 5 stars! I haven’t read a Beverly Lewis book in a very long time. I loved them when I was in Jr. High. I was pleased to find that I still enjoy her work. I listened to this one on Audible. I wasn’t a huge fan of the narrator, but I liked the book itself.

This book starts with Kelly Mains, a woman whose daughter was kidnapped as an infant 9 years ago. Kelly has dedicated her life to finding her daughter, even when it means stealing possible matches’ DNA. Kelly works a low level job so she can have the flexibility to fly as needed to investigate these possible matches. She’s cut off nearly everyone in her “old” life, only associating with the couple who helps to finance her search and her private investigator.

The novel switches to the story of Jack Livingston, a pilot who adopted his niece, Natalie (or Natty), after his brother in sister-in-law died about 5 years ago. Natty was adopted by her first parents. Jack employs a nanny that Natty has had even before her parents died. Her nanny is Laura, an Amish woman who was shunned from her old community and now lives with cousins who are beachy Amish (less strict rule). Beverly Lewis loves writing about the Amish and I had to laugh to see that she inserted her favorite topic even into this story. It did add an interesting extra storyline, though. Most recently, Natty has been obsessed with the idea of a mother, pushing Jack to ask out her favorite nanny.

Kelly meets Jack when Natty comes up on her list of possible matches. Is Natty really her kidnapped daughter? Kelly meets Jack under false pretenses and can’t figure out how to tell him the truth, especially when they begin dating and she comes to care for him and Natty.

There are a lot of twists and turns in this story. I figured them out before the characters and it was annoying at times to watch the slow characters finally catch up to certain realizations. However, the twists and turns definitely weren’t obvious at the beginning of the story. It was not predictable and I loved that. Sometimes Natty seemed bratty and annoying to me, but that may have been the narrator’s little girl voice. All of the adult characters showed a lot of development. It was easy to care about and want the best for them. The story moved at a good pace and definitely kept my interest. There were some beautiful messages in the novel about sacrifice and trusting God. It is a Christian novel, but not preachy at all, and I think anyone would enjoy it, regardless of beliefs. This book certainly made me want to find more novels of Beverly Lewis that I haven’t read yet. I would highly recommend this to fans of Christian fiction or just fiction in general.

Read More

Violette Between Book Review

Violette Between Book Review

Title: Violette Between

Author: Alison Strobel

Genre: Christian Fiction

Pages: 266

3 out of 5 stars! Alison Strobel’s books seem to be hit or miss for me these days. From the synopsis, I thought Violette was actually being transported back to the past, rather than just re-living old memories. In reality, Violette is in a new relationship with a man named Christian. She is still haunted by memories of her deceased husband, Saul, though. She is having trouble fully committing to Christian. Christian is also a widower, but he is ready to move on with Violette. Violette falls off a ladder while painting and is in a coma. During this coma, she re-lives memories of her husband and must decide whether she wants to stay there or move forward with Christian.

I liked the character of Christian and felt for him trying to move on with Violette. He seemed to be a very good man and was very patient with her. I couldn’t relate to Violette as much. I understood her being caught up in the past, but I could never really tell where she was in her faith. I also didn’t really understand the artist side of her, as I don’t have a creative bone in my body. It was sometimes hard to understand the reasoning behind her actions. I could see her being a character others can relate to more, though.

My main issue with this book was that there wasn’t enough of a plot. This is the same critique I had with her book, “Worlds Collide.” Although this book wasn’t a collection of conversion stories like that one was, it was nearly all flashbacks. I never felt that invested in their future with all the focus on the past, I guess.

Overall, this book was just so-so for me. I was motivated enough to finish it, but it never fully engaged me.

Read More