An Amish Second Christmas by Beth Wiseman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Amish Second Christmas is a collection of four Christmas Amish romances. It has been a while since the last time I read an Amish book. As always, the stories are sweet, light and at times funny. Reading this kind of book makes me want to visit one of their communities and experience the simplicity of their life.
Second Christmas: The Christmas church service may or may not be held on December 25th, but both Christmas and the following day, sometimes called "second Christmas," are holidays for the Amish. This second day is usually one of relaxation or visiting others. (http://www.amishnews.com/amisharticle...)
Out of all the four stories, "When Christmas Comes Again" is my favorite. The story was like an ordinary one but the appearance of the Englischer (non-Amish person) made it an extraordinary story. The twist made my heart ache for Elias, Katherine's husband I never "met" (died in an accident). I am giving the story five stars.
“Her Christmas Pen Pal” by Ruth Reid. I can't imagine Amish people having penpals. From what I understand, they live in a small area, and most Amish are shy and rarely go outside their community. This one was unexpectedly a nice story.
“A Gift for Anne Marie” by Kathleen Fuller. Best friends. . . . sweet story for teens....
“The Christmas Aprons” by Tricia Goyer. I don't like stories with a character that has low self-esteem especially if the character is no longer a 'teen'.
All in all, it was a good read! Looking forward to reading more Amish stories in the future!
*****Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Friends told me Divergent's story is similar to Hunger Games. I didn't like HG, can't stand the violence, brutally killing teens for fun. So told them, why would I watch this one. According to their reviews, this was better. Although the story is similar to HG, this was less brutal. So I went and watched the movie last year. Surprisingly, I liked the movie, book? Not much.
I liked Four but I haven't decided yet if I liked Tris (up until book 2). She seems like a nice person, may be a best friend material, it's just that her 'divergent' attitude and decisions annoys me. She is so unpredictable. Sometimes I compare her to Bella, a weakling and then she would be like a very smart likeable hero. If it's okay with other readers, I am not happy with that kind of character. As for Four, he is definitely a very realistic and memorable character which I think the reason why I continued reading the series up to book 2 (got free book 3 - thanks to Audible!) Other characters are fine. Villain? I much hate Eric than Jeanine. I see Jeanine as Rose Dawson, so not possible to hate her LOLs...
Plot and writing style are both okay except I initially got confused with all the factions. Took me a lot of back reading to understand how it works. What I still don't understand is why factionless peeps are all homeless? They are the largest faction so why don't they all work together and build houses for everyone? I know it was explained in the book but really, are they all stupid to just roam around the city streets and never realized the need to have a place to live in? Romance part as you guessed is not good enough for me since I have mixed feelings about Tris. Hmm, overall, it was an okay book.
Not sure if I'm going to post my review about the second book. . . . felt like I have nothing good to say about that book....
Secrets of the Elusive Lover, Book 1 by Mike Wells
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I don't really have half stars here but considering I liked some parts of the book but disliked the main characters, I decided to push my rating up to 3.5 stars.
Adam is a typical handsome "loverboy" (the term my friends and I use to refer to a player). He has his wonderful ways of luring beautiful women to making them his fuck buddies but I just couldn't accept that this "loverboy" is into astrology... I have guy friends who are much worse than Adam but I could never imagine them into astrology. As for Bethany, I don't really dislike her. It's just that I like Cassandra more (one of Adam's fuck buddies). Frequently I was skipping because I wanted to know more about Cassandra, and actually continued reading because of her.
Oh the ending. . . You can't end the book without resolving the first and only major issue. I don't really know how to explain it, sorry. I love trilogies, and often they have cliffhanger endings, this one just didn't work for me.
Overall, it was still an entertaining read.
Gooseberry Island by Steven Manchester
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The story of Gooseberry Island focuses on David McClain, a ranger who had a one time war trip in Afghanistan. When he met Lindsey Wood, he believes he found his soul mate in her. Both tried to make the long distance relationship work and have been counting the days til his return to Gooseberry Island.
Bad things happened with David and his war brothers. Right after they traveled back home, all of them suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is so common for those who served in combat. Lindsey is a daughter of a war veteran who after I guess more than 20 years, the man is still suffering PTSD. Although she loves David so much, she believes it is highly likely that they would separate as she saw this happen to her mom and dad.
Gooseberry Island for me is not at all just a love story. It talks about friendship, family, pride, honor, etc. It was such a heart-warming story. I love every character, not just David and Lindsey. Every story made my heart ache especially Big Al's and Max's. I know someone who married a soldier who is on a war tour and recently she was complaining that she didn't get too see enough of her husband and their babies are looking for their dad. Ok, it was not really complaining but more like a frustration over raising their kids alone. I know she loves the man so much and she reminds me of David and Lindsey.
I highly recommended this book especially to those people on LDR (long distance relationship) / who are married to a soldier.
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