Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: Below the Surface

Something is wrong with Cooper. He’s plagued by a fear he doesn’t understand and can’t control. Cooper just wants to escape, and a summer vacation aboard the restored cabin cruiser, The Getaway, with best friends Gordy, Hiro, and Lunk seems like the perfect way to do it. Two weeks of fun---with no mysteries or life-and-death danger. That’s the plan. But their plans are shattered the very first night when they witness a murder. Or did they? Despite their intentions of leaving the investigation to the police, narrow misses and creepy encounters lure them in. Is there really a body floating in the underwater currents of the lake? The closer they get to the truth, the deeper into danger they get. Too late they see the trap. Now each of them must face their own buried fears . . . just below the surface.

Having read the previous installment to this series, I was glad to re-visit with friends Gordy, Cooper, Hiro, and Lunk. They proved very entertaining with their typical "teen" behavior/speech, antics, and pranks. All jokes aside, this book dealt with important and in-depth topics like facing fears, making important decisions, and doing the right thing. 

The author geared this series for boys, but it is very versatile for girls as well. The suspense is enough to draw and maintain the readers focus throughout the story, without being a bore. The suspense, touch of humor, and spirituality of the book were well balanced throughout. 

The a word from the author was very informative. Because the main theme of the book was fear, Tim discusses fear in a candid way and shares tips on how to overcome them.

I would recommend this book for preteen boys and girls who love a good mystery. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for this independent and unbiased review. 

Monday, April 07, 2014

Book Review- Destination Unknown

It’s senior year, and Whitney Richards is tired of the constant pressures to be perfect. When she gets a D in Calculus, her mother immediately hires a tutor, worried Whitney won’t get into the “right” college---her alma mater---with imperfect grades. Her tutor, Taylor, is a quiet, mysterious boy who is unlike anyone Whitney has met before. But Taylor’s rougher upbringing has her mother and friends discouraging any type of relationship. Tired of having to play a part for everyone else, Whitney quits the cheerleading squad that once defined her social identity, and begins spending more time with Taylor. Her mom and friends worry Whitney is making a huge mistake, and even Taylor begins to show concern for some of her choices. But for the first time, Whitney is in the driver’s seat of her life. Will she be able to find her identity---and God’s plan for her life---before she throws everything away?

As I head towards the finishing high-school and getting closer to college stage, this book really seems  to resonate with me. Amy Clipston took your average perfect cheerleading teen with the privileged lifestyle and overbearing parents and transformed it to a real life story.

Whitney is a very hard character to describe. She has good intentions, likable, naive, and a tad bit spoiled. At times you applauded her for her change in character and other times you wondered what is going on with her.

Throughout this story I kept on wondering if this family really had a relationship with Jesus would they act this way. Would the mother be so overbearing and judgmental? Would Whitney be friends with who she was with, lie to her mother, and feel so overwhelmed. Whitney did pray in the book, but if she had a true relationship with the Lord she could have avoided so much hurt. 

Though the man focus of the story was finding your identity many other lessons are also presented. The importance of truth, handling
betrayal, good friendships, and getting closer to the Lord.

I really enjoyed the applicable plot, the overall message of the importance of finding your identity, and the many sub-messages. It is an easy to follow story that hopefully will help to draw you closer to your parents, friends, and most importantly God.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, from Zondervan, in exchange for this independent and unbiased review. 

Saturday, April 05, 2014