Jesus-Shock

Jesus-Shock by Peter Kreeft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very well-reasoned book. Dr. Kreeft is able to make his points in a very accessible fashion, weaving together Scripture, anecdotes, humor, logic, and reader participation into a convincing and entertaining catechism. His main point is that you can be angered, scared, terrified, or overjoyed by Jesus, but you can’t truly be bored by Him.

I re-read this book as part of an A-Z Reading Challenge tonight, on the last night of 2018. After re-reading, I think I would upgrade my star rating to 4.5/5 stars. Dr. Kreeft really did a great job giving us a new perspective while at the same time keeping us interested.

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Xone of Contention

Xone of Contention by Piers Anthony

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a solid Xanth novel. The main characters were not my favorites, but they had good redemptive arcs and a decent adventure. They were a little flatter and more boring than a typical set of Xanth characters, but perhaps that it okay or even intentional, as they are Mundane characters.

The addition of the kids – DeMonica, Demon Ted, Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm – were cute to see.

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The Queen: History in an Hour

The Queen: History In An Hour by Sinead Fitzgibbon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was part of a series called “History in an Hour” and understandably is a very quick, abridged look at the life of Queen Elizabeth II. For all of its brevity, I think it was well done and interesting.

I would be interested in reading their other offerings. I think they would provide a good jumping off point for historical studies.

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Verity

Verity by Colleen Hoover

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! This was such a compelling read! I read it in two sittings, 25% on 12/8 and the rest this morning on 12/30/18. Likeable characters? Yes. Detestable characters? Yes. So much twistedness, that the book is finished and my eyes are still bugged out, asking myself, “What just happened?” At different parts of the book, I felt that any character could be the ultimate villain of the story. As a reader, it’s uncomfortable to not know who to trust and who to root for.

Colleen Hoover’s books typically mess with my heart and my emotions. This time, she was able to mess with my mind.

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Zombie Lover (Xanth #22)

Zombie Lover by Piers Anthony

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I selected this book to re-read so that I could complete my A-Z Reading Challenge (I’m going my titles only). I had re-read another Xanth book recently, only to be disappointed. It didn’t have the same fun and enjoyment that I had remembered from my childhood.

However, this time around, I appreciated the clever puns and fun, fluffy adventure. Breanna, the main protagonist in this book, had a great story arc and had a lot of personal growth throughout the narrative. There were a lot of side plots and foreshadowing that wrapped up nicely in the end. There was a lot of older, beloved characters who made an appearance, so that long-time fans could have something to look forward to. That being said, even though this is the 22nd Xanth novel, it could easily be read as a standalone.

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YouTubers I Follow: Emmmabooks

Hey, what’s up, hello!

Emmmabooks

I found Emma fairly early in my dive into BookTube. She is upbeat and enthusiastic and such a sweet individual. She tends to review more YA and Fantasy genres, which are some of my favorites. She also reviews a lot of popular books, which really works for me, as I’m usually too busy to be in-the-know about what is coming out or what people are talking about. Thanks, Emma, for keeping me updated!

One of the strengths of her channel is that she has a lot of very creative videos:

YouTubers I Follow: Merphy Napier

This year, I started getting into books and reading more and found BookTube (which I’m still not sure is something other than the collected YouTube videos about books and reading – is it also a specific site or membership?)

Merphy’s channel I happened upon by sheer chance one night as I was unproductively binge watching videos. She has an intelligent and critical approach to her book reviews, which I really appreciate. She is also fairly calm and straightforward in manner, which is a good change up from some of the other channels that can be a little too loud or overly bubbly in presentation.

This is the most recent video of Merphy’s that I viewed.

She reads a wide variety of books, and several genres that I’m personally interested in (contemporary, YA, dystopian, some fantasy), so we are compatible in that regard. I’ve added so many books from her suggestions to my mammoth TBR list.

From this video alone, I’ve added the following books to my TBR:

Please let me know in the comments if there are any BookTubers that you particularly enjoy watching!

Nash

Nash by Jay Crownover

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I appreciated that both of the main characters had self-esteem issues that they had to work through in order to have a healthy relationship. I liked that some of the relationships that they explored remained broken, and they learned how to deal with that. That is very true to life; not everything works out.

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Rome

Rome by Jay Crownover

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this story, possibly more than Rule/Shaw. I felt that the emotional difficulties that they had to work through in order to have a relationship read true to life. I think there was the right amount of heat and angst, of promise and roadblocks, to make keep the story engaging. I read it in one sitting in the middle of the night, if that tells you anything.

I really respected the honor and integrity that Rome had. He has always been a stand-up guy and this gave him bonus points in my opinion. It shows that a man can be a badass and edgy and complicated, without sacrificing his morals or breaking the law.

Cora was also a great character to follow around. I think she was a bit livelier and bold than Shaw, which I liked. While Shaw had to grow a bit as a character throughout her plot arc, Cora was ready to go toe-to-toe with any of the men from the start.

Did some of the plot elements veer off and feel a little contrived at times? Sure. But not that it affected the enjoyability of the story at all. It was like a good blend of reality with a hot soap opera.

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