Tag Archives: movie tie-in

Hometown Legend, by Jerry B. Jenkins

Hometown Legend

Hometown Legend

This novel by the New York Times bestselling co-author of the “Left Behind” series is an interesting read.  I picked it up at a donated book sale at the public library about a year ago, during a break between safety ergonomic classes I was teaching to co-workers in the library’s lecture hall.  I recognized the author, and thought it might be a good read some day in the future.

So, it sat on my bookshelf in the dining room until a few weeks ago, when I remembered that there were a few unread fiction books I had tucked away until a day off.

I seldom read fiction, although I am repeatedly admonished by those closest to me to “lighten up” or “chill” a little more often, and to seriously attempt being less serious!  I was the child who truly read through the dictory and encyclopedia, crossed legged on the floor in front of the book shelves and engrossed for hours at a time.  As I grew into my career, technical journals, software user guides, management literature and law books replaced the encyclopedia.

One of those wise people who periodically remind me of the effort-worthy goal of pursuing more amusing reading is the Obsessive Bookworm, who knows me only too well!  She laughs at my excessiveness and can even get me to laugh at myself now and then, too.  (But then, again, who is she to talk about excessive, obsessive behavior, anyway?)

REading

What I hoped it would be

After the recent death of a family member, I was seriously looking for something not so serious to do while I was sitting around during my bereavement leave, in between dealing with his end-of-life affairs.  I needed a light, pleasant read to give me some emotional balance and to divert my mind temporarily from the soberness of the week.  Remembering this book, I pulled it off the shelf, poured a cup of coffee and dove into the welcome diversion.

This book was every thing that I hoped it would be, and exactly what I needed at just the right time.  An absorbing and believable tale centering around a small town football team, its long-time coaching legend, and the football manufacturing company that helped feed the community economy.  The well-painted complex personalities and relationships made the story engaging, depicting business and global competition for quality goods “made in America” made the story relevant.

hometown_new_poster

Available as a 2002 DVD Movie

Carrying me away into the lives of a circle of people who were struggling to establish their faith through threats against the future livelihood of their town, my heart was warmed and challenged.  Reading this book felt like the author was actually biographing his personal hero to his readers, and artfully sharing the secrets of a great man’s faith and quiet, unpublished personal heroism.  He showed the strengths and shortcomings, and revealed the inner conflicts and tough choices small businessmen often face.  The hero of the story is human and flawed, and that made it more realistic.

This book touched me unexpectedly as I saw the all-too-close parallel to the experiences I have faced in recent years, as a government manager trying to balance budgets and preserve the jobs of my staff.  I experienced this book personally, and was encouraged by the reminders to walk by faith through uncertain times, and to believe in God’s goodness through seemingly unacceptable circumstances.

The plot takes an unexpected leap that keeps the story engaging to the last page.  This is one of those stories you wish would have a few more chapters before getting to the back cover.

This book was an unexpected blessing, and I would recommend getting it new if you see it, or buying used online at Amazon.com.

Rating

Get it used...

Get it used…

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Filed under Book to film, Christian, Review, romance

Book Review: The Help

Cover of "The Help"

Book: The Help

Author: Kathryn Stockett

Recommend: No question about it. This one is an instant classic.

I’ve been hearing about this book for ages it seems. Everyone was shocked when they found out that I hadn’t read it yet. Sometimes when a book is so insanely popular, I tend to avoid it. I think it might be a bit of latent teen rebellion that’s not quite worked through my system yet. I actually am glad that I waited to read it. If I had read it when the movie came out, I know I would have been pressured to go see the movie and as much as I loved the book, I just have no desire to see the movie. I just think I would be terribly disappointed by it.

I loved this one. It tells a great story without going to one extreme or the other. Sometimes, books about racial conflict can be extremely biased. This one felt honest. Instead of taking a side, it seemed to simply share both sides of the conflict. I also love that this isn’t about the center of the civil rights movement and that there isn’t some HUGE and seemingly instant resolution.In real life, prejudice doesn’t disappear instantaneously. It is a slow progression until one day someone realizes that they have reached the end of a journey they didn’t even realize they had started.

If you haven’t picked it up yet, what are you waiting for?

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Filed under 2012, general fiction, historical fiction, Review, Summer book challenge

Book Review: Bag of Bones

Cover of "Bag of Bones"

Book: Bag of Bones

Author: Stephen King

Recommend: I am a glutton for punishment but most of the book was fantastic..

I cringed when I picked this one up. I have a love hate relationship with King’s writing. I love about 75 to 80 percent of almost everything I’ve read. I hate the last quarter. He can never end a book in the way I want it to end. I think the most spectacular example of this is Under the Dome but I digress.

I really loved the first 75% of this book. I loved the main character. He was compelling in a way only a couple of King’s characters are. Everything in me wanted everything to work out for this writer. After the death of his wife, he never really recovered. Then he finally went back to their summer lake house, where almost immediately, Mike knew that something strange was going on with his house. There was something else there – something not quite alive but not completely gone either.

I loved the book.  I honestly thing one of the best things about this book is the large amount of references to Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, a great book. Through those references, it gave the readers an idea of where the story was headed, although it is obviously not the same. If it had been, it would have had a better ending!!

The main character was enough of a skeptic to be believable but not so much that it hindered the storyline. As great as Mike was, little Ki and her mother Mattie made the book. I cant’ say much more about it, without giving away too much. I think this basically goes without saying, but just in case you haven’t read a Stephen King book there is a fair amount of adult content in the book. I definitely did some skipping in certain places, however it was the kind that is at least somewhat important to the plot.

Now I really want to see the A&E special based on the book. I just hope the ending is better than the book.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Filed under 2012, mature themes and subject matter, Review, Summer book challenge, thriller/horror

The world of Cassandra Clare

Books: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, Clockwork Angel, and City of Fallen Angels

Author: Cassandra Clare

Recommend: Yes with a slight reservation…

Okay, I picked these books up quite a while ago and read the first three. Over the summer I picked up Clockwork Angel and just never got around to reading it. I have so many different fantasy novels that I’ve devoured lately that I wanted to be clear on the details since this is a very complex mythos. So when the new book came out, I knew I had to pick them up and read through the first three again before getting to the other two. It took me 4 days to get through all five books and I’m still reeling a bit from the ending of the last one.

City of Bones- Clary is just an ordinary girl who can see some very strange things- or so she thought. Her delicate world comes crashing down when she meets a pompous boy named Jace. Her life will never be the same again.

I loved this book. The author introduces you to a complex mythology that combines many different mythos in a new and different way. In a way it almost reminded me of something from the mind of Joss Whedon. I loved the romance and the twists she took with it. I have never read a book like this that took quite that turn. It was unique and heart-wrenching.I honestly can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about this one except that I’m a sucker for a happily ever after but since there were three books, I hoped that if I kept reading I would get it.

City of Ashes- In this book we watch painfully as Clary and Jace struggle with the truth of who they are to each other and the reality that the are both a part of something that has been dragging on since their parents were their age.

This book and the last book somewhat merge for me honestly. The two story lines flow int each other. I love though that they know the truth and can’t seem to fight it. One of my favorite themes is that yo can’t fight love, no matter what happens. No matter how hard you try to fight it. They both try so hard to fight against what they feel but are unable to, even though it is wrong. In this book you start to see some of the history behind what is going on in their world and you start to get answers that you didn’t have before. I think the only fault I would have with this was the fact that even the first time through I had a feeling of what was going to happen at the end, although it probably wouldn’t be obvious to most people.

City of Glass- This book brings the conflict to a head. It honestly is one large climax. This is the point that the other two books have built towards. I really enjoyed the fact that everything wasn’t tied off in a simple and easy to handle conclusion at the end of each of the first two books. I was glad that I discovered the series once all of the first three books were out though. I don’t want to ruin too much of it by giving away too much plot or how it will end but I promise the ending is worth reading to the end for!

Clockwork Angel- This story is set in London during the late 1800s and is a departure from the first three books and is appropriately it’s own series. However the two are set in the same world of shadowhunters. I loved that this book seemed very orginal from the first even though it did bring in a familiar face or two. I loved Tess and honestly was begging the whole time to know what was up with Will and I think every reader will be wondering that one as well. The end of the first book left me somewhat unsatisfied though because I was wanting a simple and neat conclusion on it, which I didn’t get-yet.

City of Fallen Angels- I just finished this one this evening and I’m honestly very frustrated with this book. I was hoping that she was going to leave Clary and Jace be for a book at least but that doesn’t seem possible. Instantly you can sense that something is wrong with the happy couple but no one has any idea what or why something is going wrong. I love the player version of Simon and that for a while things seemed to be centered around his drama. However we were very quickly back to an impossible mess for Jace and Clary. A character thought gone from the first three books will make a reappearance towards the end and honestly, it is the one thing in this whole series that I genuinely haven’t liked. I know that there is more to come but I want some resolution at the end of a book, especially when I am going to have to wait months if not more than a year for the next installment. I didn’t mind this in the first three books because I didn’t have to wait. This time though, I think I’m going to get annoyed with it. I may have to write something to get my frustration out honestly.

I would definitely recommend reading this and getting started before the series gets much bigger. Each of these is somewhere between 300 and 500 pages. They are quick reads considering how long they are but definitely is going to take the average reader a while to get through. I enjoyed reading them thoroughly and have been hearing rumors of a movie, which I would LOVE to see.

Cassandra Clare isn’t getting quite the exposure she deserves honestly. She should be getting talked about as much as Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins honestly. I would put this series on par with Twilight or The Hunger Games. Definitely worth your time.

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

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Filed under Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Teen Book review

Three in One

Book: Three

Author: Ted Dekker

Recommend: Yes- it reminds me a bit of the movie Seven though

Okay, my friend’s husband (from the last post) lent me this book quite a while ago and for one reason or another I just had never gotten to it. I picked it up the other night, determined to get through my lent book stack which was growing to the point of ridiculous, and started on this one.

This story feels like a blend between one of the Hannibal Lecter movies, a TV crime drama and a good ole Nancy Drew. I would warn you that this book does get violent at times. There are bombings, gunshots and fighting going on through the telling of the story. The basic plot is that a man named Kevin is suddenly targeted by a psycho named Slater, a man obsessed with sin and threes. Kevin is a seminary student who is very interested in the natures of man. I don’t want to give up too much but I think the author did a great job of creating doubt until about halfway through the book where he was protesting the truth too much for it to be anything but. I still enjoyed getting through it and there was one twist at the end that I didn’t see coming.

It was well written and focused on telling the story, allowing Christian elements to come into play as the story lent itself to it. It was not overtly Christian but Dekker did not shy away from it either. I think he could have spent just a little longer talking with the seminary professor and highlighting a few things but other than that it was a great read. I wouldn’t call this author the next Tolstoy but he does have the makings of a new Stephen King if he continues to work at it.

I haven’t seen the movie yet but I am now interested after reading the book 🙂 Hmm… I wonder if it’s on netflix????

Final Rating:

Get it free

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Filed under Christian, mature themes and subject matter, mystery, Review, thriller/horror

Number 4

image

Book: I am number four

Author: Pittacus Lore

Recommend? Definitely.. Was a good read

So I took today for myself and decided to go bum around the book store. I had been wanting to read this book for a while but just hasn’t gotten to it yet. I want sure if I would like it or not but I was intrigued. I also had to get it read before the movie came out. I hate seeing a movie before I read the book and avoid it when I can.

The time flew by while I read and before I knew it, I had finished the whole thing.

The book tells the story of a boy who is one of nine surviving gifted members of his race. He was sent to earth as a young child running from the cruel race that had killed all the people of his world. They have been found but must be killed in order. Three are already dead and he is number four.

The story us really well written and fun to read. The characters are believe and contain some depth.

The only complaint I would have about this book is that the author needs to be a bit more descriptive sometimes. I don’t think you get a real good sense of what is going on at the ‘ climax. It gets a bit tough to follow.

That being said, it’s a fun fast paced read that well make you not want to put it down. I’ll be reading the next one when it comes out.

Final rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Hungering for more Hunger Games

Books: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay

Author: Suzanne Collins

Recommend: Yes yes and yes!

The Trilogy

I was reluctant to pick these books up. Two of my friends recommended that I read them and so I half-halfheartedly tried to find it at the library. It was harder than finding a copy of a Stephenie Meyer book, which is saying something. So, I went to the book store and bought the first book. One of my coworkers began to bug me and so I picked it up. I started reading and didn’t put it down until I finished. I called my coworker and begged her to bring the next two to work with her so I could read them. I finished them that night.

These books are a futuristic look at what was once the United States and what had become the country of Panem (meaning Bread). The country is divided into 13 districts and the capital. Their lives center around the hunger games. 2 children from each of the 12 remaining districts are chosen to compete against each other in a fight to the death where only one can come out the victor.

The story centers around a girl named Katniss who takes her little sister’s place in the hunger games. She unknowingly starts a revolution, changing the face of their civilization for good.

This story was a unique blend of so many different genres and it created a fresh and gripping story line that held me until I had finished them all.

There are of course the necessary love triangle, ultimate opponent and seemingly insurmountable odds. The only fault I could find with this amazing series is that some of it is a bit too predictable. I knew who would win the first set of the Hunger Games. I knew who Katniss would choose (although if you don’t- I won’t spoil it).

With a movie to look forward to (and hopefully the rest to follow), I can’t wait to see how this book gets interpreted for the big screen. I just HOPE I am not as disappointed in their choice for Katniss as I was with another favorite heroine of mine from a book series that was turned into a movie…

Definitely something to check out for readers of all ages!

Final Rating:

Buy it new 🙂

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Filed under political thriller, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Teen Book review

Decided to rent the movie after reading the story

Button Button or The Box

Book: The Box

Author: Richard Matheson

Recommend: If you are a Matheson fan or like short stories.

I got this book at the used bookstore and took it with me to work out this evening. I finished it in two hours. This book is a collection of short works by Mr. Matheson. I am a big Matheson fan having read Somewhere in Time. I have also seen most of the movies based on his work. I plan to at least read What Dreams May Come but I am not sure about I am Legend .

The book starts with the story “Button, Button,” the basis for the movie The Box. I can see why they made this into a movie. I felt like there was a lot more to the story that what Matheson decided to give us.

Definitely an interesting and fast read. Worth taking a short time to read.

 

Final Rating:

Library book

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Filed under Classic Literature, Review, thriller/horror

Controversial Triology

Book 3

Book: The Amber Spyglass

Author: Philip Pullman

Recommend: No- it’s a not so subtle attack on Christianity.

I finished the third book in the trilogy a few minutes ago and breathed a sigh of relief. I have never been so glad to be finished with something. It takes everything in the Bible and twists it. It turns God into an angel who dies and is controlled by others (Enoch to be exact).

The main characters continue to be compelling and the story is inventive and original, as well as a way to say that believing in God is childish.

This books is not one to be read by children, even though that is the intended audience. Their impressionable minds will be effected by this series. I am thankful that I did not stumble across this one when I was younger.

 

Final Rating:

BURN IT!!!!

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Filed under Children's book review, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Teen Book review

Sequel to Controversy

Book 2Book: The Subtle Knife

Author: Philip Pullman

Recommend: I’m finding more issues with this series as I go on… I would be very careful…. reader beware!

I really enjoyed the first book and so I jumped into the second with great enthusiasm. However the more I read, the more blatant Pullman’s anti-Christian agenda became. This is a book I would NOT recommend for children. Even as an adult, you better be firm in what you believe before picking this one up. Pullman makes persuasive arguments that are veiled in this fast-paced story with beguiling characters.

While this book has been compared to Harry Potter and other books that are anti-Christianity, this author did not write to entertain, but to persuade which becomes very clear in the second book.

I am going to complete the series, so that I can give a full opinion of the story as a whole, but at this point I am reading with weary eyes.

 

Final Rating:

TRASH IT!!

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Filed under Children's book review, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Teen Book review

Tearjerker!

So good!!

Book: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Author: Audrey Niffenegger

Recommend: Definitely

I just watched the movie (finally) and was reminded that I haven’t talked about this one yet! This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read lately. The characters are amazing. However it will make you cry. I’ve read it three times and have cried every time I read it.

The story centers around Henry and Claire. Henry meets Claire for the first time when she is six. He arrives in the meadow by her parent’s house without a stitch on. She gives him her blanket and a remarkable relationship begins. The only hitch is that Henry’s life is complicated because he travels through time.

There really is no downside to this book in my opinion. This is a read that you should expect to not put down!

The movie’s pretty good as well. It doesn’t deviate too far from the book.

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

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Controversial but good

Book: The Golden Compass

Author: Philip Pullman

Recommend? Yes with some reservation

Okay I just finished the first book of the His Dark Instruments series and was completely blown away. The writing is engaging and compelling. The main character Lyra is uncomplicated(in a good way), spunky and determined. The conflict she finds herself in the middle of is dramatic and unpredictable.

All that being said, there is some issue with the book due to it’s Biblical ties. I can see how many Christians would find the book to be a problem. There is conflict against a church called the Magisterium which is the Catholic Church for all intents and purposes. The heroes are out to prove the church’s conclusions about the cause of sin as false. I can see how this would cause issues for many Christians. However I am not sure that I completely agree with their protest. There are many things that make this book purely fantasy starting with the daemons which are animal companions. It takes place in a parallel world similar to ours but with a more mystic feel. The second book is to take place is our universe, so it should be interesting to see fantasy characters injected into this author’s version of our world. Honestly I would compare the conflict here to the ones around the Harry Potter books. It’s fantasy and which they are using familiar elements, they are twisted in a way that make them fantasy.

I would NOT recommend this book for children or anyone who is not secure in what they believe however as it might cause some confusion. This is a book to be read with some caution and discussion. I would caution parents to discuss this heavily with their children or have their kids wait until their are older to read it.

I am excited to read the second and third book in the series to follow little Lyra and see where her adventures take her next.

 

Final Rating:

Library book

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Filed under Children's book review, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Teen Book review