I’ve Moved!

Well, I’m (finally) announcing my official move to Tumblr! My new blog is called ProjectUn, or I Want To Live (ProjectUn is the URL). No, it’s not book reviews; as you might have guessed, I’ve lost interest in that project. So even though my new blog is titled “ProjectUn” which of course means project one, I guess it’s really project two… Anyway, my new blog is more about photography, and Tumblr supports images much much better than WordPress; it’s kind of their specialty. Since I can’t move my archives over, however, this blog won’t be going anywhere. After all, I might find a use for WordPress again one day, and why make a whole new blog when I’ve got this one? So follow me over? For those of you that do, prepare for a bumpy road as I experiment, lol. For those of you don’t, so sorry to say goodbye! Perhaps we’ll meet again. 😉  (also, my more standard, re-blog Tumblr blog can be found here: Heartbeats)

Thanks for following me, and happy reading!

A Review On “Hangman’s Curse”

Hangman’s Curse by Frank Peretti

First off, I’d like to give a disclaimer: I am a little too old for this book, so I have found faults with it that age appropriate readers probably  wouldn’t notice. Also, being a writer, I am highly critical of style as well as content, and make notes to myself the entire time I read most anything, which makes me a little nit picky. That being said, let’s get to the review.

The whole idea behind the series is that there is a private organization, called the Veritas Project, which investigates bizarre crime scenes with the object of finding the truth using a Christ-centered perspective. The thing about this that I found rather hard to swallow is that it reports back to the President, without actually being federal. The individual cases are even discussed on the phone with him before the group takes them. I can’t really imagine any of our recent Presidents, even the “Christian” ones, supporting something outside of their federal control, let alone taking the time for private phone calls with them. I think Peretti would have been just as well off making it a completely private organization.

I also felt that it came off a little preachy in the beginning, when the goals and methods of the organization were being explained, and in the end, when things were being wrapped up. I have nothing against explaining Christianity in fiction, but I do have something against dumping all of one’s beliefs, or a character’s beliefs, into one conversation, no matter what those beliefs are. It’s too much explaining. Even in a conversation full of tension, it can still be dry and boring, and, well, preachy.

A very minor thing that bothered me was the one main character, a girl named Elisha, is straight out described as “attractive.” I have no problem with good looking characters, but I want to be shown that they’re attractive, not told. Paired with a perfect Christian personality, it just made her seem less real, like an ideal. Tell me she has blond hair, tell me she has a sweet smile, but don’t tell me she’s “attractive.” It just feels lazy to me. Anyway, that’s more of a pet peeve than anything else.

Those are the only things I have to say against the book, however. It was intense, interesting, had well thought out and diverse characters, kept up the suspense, and had you double-guessing till the very end. The danger was real and frightening, the stakes were high. I think this book is perfect for eighth through tenth graders, though be forewarned: it does deal with occult stuff. There’s nothing terribly detailed, but it is there; if your kids are in school, however, I doubt any of it will shock them. If your kids are homeschooled, you might want to make sure they know what a Ouija board is first, as, chances are, they’ve never seen one. I first heard on them when I was in sixth grade, but I’m pretty sure my brother, who is in seventh, doesn’t know about them. I guess I’ll have to ask him when I’m done with this.

So, my conclusion is, four stars for Hangman’s Curse. I still like the Cooper Kids series, by the same author, and for just a slightly younger audience, better though.

A Review on “My Name Is Not Easy”

My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson

I expected to cry. The very title says this is not going to be an easy read. After reading the description, I put the book back on the library shelf. Eskimos being mistreated at boarding school? I knew it would make me cry, make me angry. But I went back for it, because sometimes, crying is good. I never remember, though, when I get a book like this, just how upset it makes me. I expected white people who treat Eskimos and Indians like half-humans. I did not expect an insane priest who beats them with a two-by-four, yelling at them that they were destined for Hell at birth. I did not expect the military to come in and treat them like lab animals. I did not expect so many things, so many things that made me so angry, made it so that not only did I cry, but I couldn’t stop. Because even though I did not do those things, nor did my father, nor did my grandfather, nor even my great-grandfather, I feel responsible. Because I am white. Because no matter how much people say the color of your skin doesn’t matter, it does. If I were to go to Alaska, the Eskimos, the Inuit, would look at me through the lenses my people have shaped; they would see all those things reflecting back on me. That’s why it makes me so sick. I never wanted any of that. This is not a true story, but it’s fictional accounts of true stories. It’s only too real. These things happened, and they happened to people still alive today.

I’ve probably made you never want to pick up this book, but you should. Even though it completely tore me apart, I was right when I went back and pulled it back off the shelf. Sometimes crying is good. Knowledge is power, knowledge is inspiration. Inspiration to do something about what has been done.

A Review On “The Three Musketeers”

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

I find the title of this book a little deceiving; it should really be called “D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers”, because the story is actually about a young Gascon man named D’Artagnan. The Musketeers are only his friends. They are certainly very amusing friends. Anyone who has read this book will never forget Arimis, Porthos, and Athos, their unique personalities, or the scrapes they all get each other in and out of. The two downsides to this book I found was that it started out rather slow (but then again, most old books do), and that there are places where one plot ends and you wonder where the next one will begin? This made more sense when I learned that this, like many books of it’s time, started out as installments in a newspaper. The characters’ way of looking at women and their relationships with them also caught me off guard; this story takes place in a time where marriage was not regarded as much. In fact, it seems that if one fell in love with a married woman it only made the romance more exciting! Of course, because this is a comedy first and foremost, nothing serious or objectionable ever happens. All they do is visit each other in the middle of the night and exchange handkerchiefs. Despite these things, however, I ended up loving this book. Adventure after adventure, characters that become your best friends… you can’t get much better. It’s huge; it took me a long time, it sometimes made me roll my eyes, but it also made me laugh, sometimes even out loud, and it made me hold my breath in suspense; especially at the end. I would definitely recommend this book for high-school students, though it would be too much for most middle-schoolers. My favorite character would have to be Athos; I will forever remember the picnic in the fort tower. But you will have to read the book to figure out what I’m talking about! Then you can come back here and tell me who your favorite character is!

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A Review on “Lies My Teacher Told Me”

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

Prepare to have your mind blown. Prepare to be outraged. I’m homeschooled, which means I don’t even read the standard textbooks, but there are historical lies in here that I have still heard. That’s how much they’ve seeped into our culture. That’s why they’re so hard to get rid of. Even worse than the lies, it seems to me, are the things we leave out, the important things in our past that we never hear about. I would recommend this book to everybody. In fact, I can’t say enough for it. It will not only inspire you to have your children learn history differently, but it will also inspire you to look deeper for yourself. And, as my one friend and I have discussed, it will make you want to write your own textbook. I do not think I am really up to that, though. I do want to read more about the parts of my past no one ever told me about, however; the parts that the “experts” say aren’t important. Because I have read some, and I know for myself that they are important. History doesn’t have to be the dry stuff they write in textbooks; if you read books by people who have been there, either in real life or even just at the dig sites, the stories start to come alive. They start to mean something. They start to do what history is meant to do: show us our past so that we can learn from it and hopefully do better. Good history can inspire us to run just as hard, even harder, than the amazing people we read about; to respect what they did and to reach even higher. That’s what history is all about, and no one shows is better than Loewen. You can’t miss out on this book!