Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Princess Within for Teens by Serita Ann Jakes

The book The Princess Within for Teens by Serita Ann Jakes is written for teenagers (obviously!) I happen to have a teenaged daughter, so I was interested in reading and reviewing this book.

No beating around the bush, I did not care for this book. Why? Primarily readability. It jumps from topic to topic to topic without much cohesion or follow-through.

The author tries to put too much "cutesy" type stuff in (Cinderella story updated, in bits and pieces; suggested music; quizzes (but no answers or interpretations!), personal stories, stories by others, letters to her "secret keeper", etc) So much stuff and it doesn't really follow any logical pathway or lead you to understand the topic at hand any better.

I get that the author is trying to catch girls' attention by offering all these different styles of writing, but it's just too much, in my opinion. She covers some good topics, things that are a part of teen life. Scriptures are used to support her writing and encourage girls to seek God's help.

I wouldn't really recommend this book. It's pretty confusing (in layout) and though it covers lots of topics, I just think that I've read much better. I'm sure some people will really enjoy this book and this style of writing, but it just wasn't for me.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House publishers for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Snap Decision by Nathan Whitaker

Ahh! Time to read a book designed for my middle child, an almost junior-high boy! :) I actually like a lot of his reading choices right now (Hardy Boys, Hardy Boys, and Hardy Boys! haha); occasionally he does take a break from the Hardy Boys and read other books :) SO I knew this book would be a great one to review!

Snap Decision is written by Nathan Whitaker (I recognized his name from his co-writing of books with Tony Dungy); just a look at the cover lets you know it's all about football. The main character, Chase, and his friend, Tripp (sound like two good football names, huh? haha, just my corny sense of humor I guess!) are 8th graders, football players, and good buddies. Tripp plays varsity, while Chase is on JV, longing for varsity. The story follows the boys and their football experiences and family experiences somewhat~~kind of day to day stuff and thoughts. Chase eventually gets the chance to join the varsity squad and the book talks about his thoughts and feelings about that as well.

The conflict part of the book comes when Chase sees something and doesn't know whether or not he should tell the responsible adults--though it might hurt his friend (I DON'T want to give it away, so I'm not going to give more details). It's a good message, though he has to deal with some repercussions.

All in all, it's a fine book. I truthfully thought it was quite boring and filled with rabbit-trail-type material -- very peripheral to the story, though given big chunks of text. Not very cohesive. It was not objectionable, however, a good, clean story with a lesson, just kind of slow and boring. I'm not sure if it's the first book in a series, maybe some of these things will be developed more in future books.

Would I recommend it? Sure, it's a fine book. It did seem very different from the middle school-aged books that are written these days -- so many of them deal with topics like death of a parent, abandonment, major physical difficulties, stuff like that. This book was unlike that (which I think is just fine). My issue with it is that it is very bland and just. . . slow. We'll see. I'm giving it to my son to read, so we'll see how he likes it.

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.