December 31, 2012

Review: Be Still by Tania L. Ramos

When Jack learns he is dying, he attempts to restore the relationship with his son. As Jack struggles with living, an unlikely friendship forms between self-proclaimed archenemies, Travis and Jack's close friend, Dr. Amity. After a serious accident, Travis finds he must make the harsh decision whether his father will survive on life support or be taken off and left to die. Meanwhile, Jack is thrust into an enchanted world somewhere between life and death where he is reunited with his dead wife and daughter—but not everything is as spectacular as it seems.

This emotional story follows the journey between a son seeking the truth and resolution from an absent father before it’s too late, and a father caught between living and dying, who must mend relationships on both sides while confronting his own guilty demons.

My Thoughts:
I was super exited to read this one because I went to elementary school with the author. Be still is kind of two stories in one. It's the story of Jack's son Travis making peace with his father before his death and the story of Jack in the "in-between" while he's on life support.

I enjoyed both stories but Travis' drama seemed to drag on too far at the end. The resolution seemed like it would have been more natural if it happened earlier in the book. I was really sucked into the beginning of the story but lost a bit of steam finishing the end. Jack's part of the story was a lot more engaging.

I also loved the elements of supernatural. They were well done and not over the top. Overall the book is very well written with beautiful descriptions. 

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one for anyone who loves a good contemporary romance.

December 19, 2012

Review: The Journey by John A. Heldt


Seattle, 2010. When her entrepreneur husband dies in an accident, Michelle Preston Richardson, 48, finds herself childless and directionless. She yearns for the simpler days of her youth, before she followed her high school sweetheart down a road that led to limitless riches but little fulfillment, and jumps at a chance to reconnect with her past at a class reunion. But when Michelle returns to Unionville, Oregon, and joins three classmates on a spur-of-the-moment tour of an abandoned mansion, she gets more than she asked for. She enters a mysterious room and is thrown back to 1979.

Distraught and destitute, Michelle finds a job as a secretary at Unionville High, where she guides her spirited younger self, Shelly Preston, and childhood friends through their tumultuous senior year. Along the way, she meets widowed teacher Robert Land and finds the love and happiness she had always sought. But that happiness is threatened when history intervenes and Michelle must act quickly to save those she loves from deadly fates. Filled with humor and heartbreak, THE JOURNEY gives new meaning to friendship, courage, and commitment as it follows an unfulfilled soul through her second shot at life

My Thoughts:
In June of this year I read book one in the Northwest Passage series, The Mine (read my review), and loved it. I thought the writing in The Mine was a bit choppy at first but none of that was evident in The Journey. From page one the writing flowed smoothly and the story was well paced.

I'm sure that most of us have said "what if" at some point in their lives. I've never regretted becoming a mom at fifteen but occasionally I've wondered what I would be doing today if I didn't get pregnant when I did. In The Journey, Michelle Richardson gets that chance and uses her knowledge of the future to steer her younger self, Shelly, onto a much different path. I don't agree with some of Michelle's choices 100% but I can see why the author chose to let things play out the way they did. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the characters and felt a connection with most of them. The ending was pretty shocking but I loved it!

If you've read The Mine, you'll also notice a small cameo in The Journey by the lead character Joel, which I thought that was awesome.

My Recommendation:
Overall this was a great read and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves romance with just a hint of suspense.

December 9, 2012

Review: Double Blind: A Novel by Brandilyn Collins

Twenty-nine-year-old Lisa Newberry can barely make it through the day. Suddenly widowed and a survivor of a near-fatal attack, she is wracked with grief and despair. Then she hears of a medical trial for a tiny brain chip that emits electrical pulses to heal severe depression. At rope’s end, Lisa offers herself as a candidate. 

When she receives her letter of acceptance for the trial, Lisa is at first hopeful. But—brain surgery. Can she really go through with that? What if she receives only the placebo?

What if something far worse goes wrong?

Written in the relentless style for which Brandilyn Collins is known, Double Blind is a psychological thriller with mind-bending twists. Lisa faces choices that drive her to the brink, and one wrong move could cost the lives of many.

My Thoughts: 
Double Blind is a unique suspense read. The premise is a technology that I truly believe is plausible in the near future and the suspense was perfectly spaced. The only reason why I didn't rate the book 5 stars is because the ending was a little bit of a let down. The motive behind everything was weak for such a strong plot line. 

I also liked the way the Christian elements are worked into the book. It's not too over the top or pushy so that if you're not a Christian the book is still enjoyable. 

My Recommendation: 
I recommend this one for anyone who loves suspense.