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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

On the night her 2 sisters died in a horrible accident Marianna Sommers was born. Raised in an Amish community in Indiana Marianna has tried her entire life to make up for the loss of her sisters.

Marianna is almost 20 and starting to think about having a home of her own. Aaron Zook has been taking an interest in her. He is building his own cabin and has dreams of one day living in it with Marianna.

Marianna’s brother Levi has left the community. He has caused embarrassment and heartache for his parents. When Uncle Ike comes to visit he talks about his life in Montana and how the Amish community there is not as strict as Indiana. Marianna’s father decides to move the family to Montana for a year to see what it is like. This causes Marianna great heartache at the thought of leaving Aaron and her brother behind. Her parents ask her to go with them for just 6 months as her mother is pregnant and needs Marianna to help with the younger children.

Marianna is determined to not like Montana. She is only there for 6 months to help her mother and then she plans to return to Aaron and her more strict Amish community. What she doesn’t count on is meeting Ben. He is not Amish, but he is a good friend to the Amish community. Hearing Ben talk about God as if he is a close friend raises all kinds of questions for Marianna. Marianna slowly learns to love the community of people, but she also realizes that she is coming to care for Ben and that cannot happen.

Meanwhile back in Indiana Aaron has tried to forget Marianna by trying to learn to love another girl. Naomi is heartbroken over Levi leaving, she too is trying to mend her broken heart. Will the two of them find comfort and love in each other’s company?

The story and characters grew on me as I progressed through the book. The second book in the series comes out in October and I am determined to get it so I can find out what happens. I am not normally an Amish fiction fan, but I did enjoy Beside Still Waters.

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We Be Big is the story of two “sexy fat guys” that do a morning radio show in Alabama. Their story is told in alternating chapters between Rick and Bubba. They tell how they became the successful morning show stars that they are today. The premise of their success throughout their career has been to “keep it real”. They share their lives on the air. In the book they share about their successes and failures leading up to the Rick and Bubba show. On the air they have shared humor and heartache and even when it is not popular with their sponsors or bosses, they share their faith. Throughout their story they share how God has brought them every step of the way in their success. They give Him the glory.

I really enjoyed reading their story. I have never heard the Rick and Bubba show but it sounds like it would be very entertaining. There is something about them sharing their lives that draws people in. Their stories brought a smile to my face and at times tears to my eyes.

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Mona’s dreams of opening a coffeehouse/bookstore are about to be realized. She has just purchased an old Victorian house with every dime she has saved up for the last 10 years. Mona is stubborn and determined to do all of the work herself. She realizes after her first look at the place though that she is going to need a handyman to help her in order to get it ready for the opening of tourist season in 6 weeks.

It is not easy for Mona to hire Joe. Mona is independent and does not need any romantic entanglements in her life. Plus there has yet to be a man who meets all of her requirements. She has only found that man in Jonah, a character in her favorite author’s books. He is her ideal man and she refuses to settle for anyone less.

After she hires Joe several things happen to make her realize that someone is trying to sabotage her dream. She feels that she does not deserve to realize her dream. She feels that God could not possibly want to bless her with granting her dreams because of the deep guilt that she is carrying around.

Joe has his own secrets to keep. He has been wandering around for most of his life. He can’t afford emotionally to become attached to Mona. From the moment they meet though he is drawn to care for her. Unable to forgive the father who left him and his brother and mother when he was 15 he can’t seem to grasp that he has become just like him. Always running away from his troubles.

Joe has come to Deep Haven to visit his brother that he hasn’t seen in years. He feels guilty about that but soothes his guilt with the fact that he has paid for his brother to stay at a group home. Even when he realizes he has feelings for Mona he cannot reveal to her the true nature of his brother’s handicap. But he is keeping another secret from her that may even be more damaging than that.

For the most part I liked the characters of the book. I did get a little tired of the constant battle that both Joe and Mona had within themselves to keep their “deep dark secrets” and to deny the attraction that they felt for each other. Also there seemed to be a lot of teary eyes in this one. I’m not a fan of a character that constantly cries. It seemed like both Joe and Mona were always welling up. It got kind of old. Not only did Mona and Joe keep secrets from each other, it seemed that the author wanted to keep these secrets from the reader too. Maybe if some of Mona and Joe’s reasons for keeping secrets had been revealed sooner in the story the tears and fears would have been more understandable to the reader.  

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Welcome back to Otter Bay! This is the 3rd book in the Otter Bay series. I have read A Shore Thing but haven’t read Sweet Waters yet. In Fade To Blue we read about Suzanne’s story. She is Gage’s(from A Shore Thing) sister who came with her son Jeremiah to live with him after her husband was sent to jail and divorced her.

Suz is working for a company that restores art. She is learning how to do the tedious job of restoring a piece of art to its original beauty. She finds out quickly though that this isn’t her passion. She loves to paint murals.

Suz’s world is set on end when she runs into an old flame. Seth was her boyfriend when she decided to marry Len her ex husband. It’s a small world when she starts running into Seth everywhere she goes. He has bought a window washing company and they seem to be working on the same places. Seth is bitter about their old relationship.

When Len is set to be paroled he writes Suz a letter letting her know that he is a changed man and he wants to be involved with Jeremiah’s life. Suz is confused about her feelings for Seth and her desire to give Len a chance to prove his new life.

Throughout all of Suz’s struggles, her brother and his fiance’ Callie are there to support her and offer advice and love. Also her friend Letty whom she works with. I’m hoping that there is another installment to the Otter Bay series and that it will be Letty’s story.

I enjoyed Fade To Blue. I did get a bit frustrated with Suz lack of seeing the true colors of her ex husband. I think that she should have been more searching into the truth of her ex’s conversion. For the most part I am becoming attached to the characters that make up Otter Bay.

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Brianna Stone has the perfect beach life. She has the perfectly hunky/lawyer husband, the perfect son, the perfect home on the beach and the perfect job. Things seem to be spiraling downhill though.

Bri’s perfect husband Douglas is working long hours. When a snide remark from one of her acquaintances points out to her that maybe her life isn’t so perfect, Bri begins to feel that maybe she needs to make some changes in her life to keep her husband interested in her.

Bri embarks on a mission to change things. She takes her mother-in-laws advice to remodel her livingroom to make it more presentable for Douglas as a rising lawyer. She buys a new wardrobe to make herself look more dignified instead of the beach/comfortable that she normally wears. She has her hair streaked with new color. She even takes some cooking classes so that she can present home-cooked meals to her family instead of the take-out fare that they are used to.

Things are not rosy at her work either. Bri loves her job as a tour guide. When the owner of the company decides to leave the business in her son’s hands things start getting weird there for Bri. She tries setting the son up with her best friend Gaby. She thinks that Gaby and Ty are hitting it off, but Bri misses the subtle hints that Ty is more interested in her.

Bri realizes finally that she needs to be who God made her to be. She needs to be herself. Bri’s spunk and sarcasm had me smiling and laughing throughout the story. I even shed a tear at a tender moment between Douglas and Bri. I especially enjoyed the sailing off into the sunset ending!

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Lindsay Scott can hear everything that anyone is saying about her no matter where they are in the world. She used to be a famous actress but has been in seclusion for several years. Her house is the only place that she can go that she cannot hear what people think about her.

When a couple of teenage boys read a tabloid article stating that Lindsay is being held against her will by her overbearing father they decide to “set her free”. So they kidnap her. Thinking they are doing Lindsay a great favor the boys are confused when all she wants to do is go back to her home.

In reality Lindsay’s father has just died and she is living on her own. She has never known her mother whom she assumes abandoned her and her father when Lindsay was a baby. What Lindsay doesn’t know is that her “gift” is not something that she alone has. There are others out there that have her gift.

Through the help of the boys and Roz, Lindsay learns how to deal with and appreciate her special gift. She learns to think about others and to see that she can make a difference in her world instead of being cooped up in her safe house.

I liked the story, the only problem I really had with it was that it was slow-paced. Not like other more exciting books written by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

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Imagine that you can hear what every person and creature around you is thinking. This is what Todd and the men of his village have to deal with every day. They call it Noise. It is constantly buzzing in Todd’s mind. The random thoughts of men, their evil thoughts, their desires, all out there for everyone to hear.

One day while in the swamp with his dog Manchee Todd senses another person there. He can’t hear their noise though. It freaks him out. When he tells his caretakers Ben and Cillian they panic and pack him up to send him away. The town hear though and come to get Todd and the person that they can’t hear the noise from. While escaping Todd runs into that person~a girl. She won’t speak to him. Todd has to rescue her from Aaron the “preacher” from the town. Aaron tries to stop Todd and the girl from escaping. While struggling he falls into the swamp and is attacked by crocodile’s. Thinking this is the end of Aaron, Todd and the girl take off for the next settlement.

After days of travel the girl finally is able to talk. Viola and her family crash landed in their space ship. Her parents died. They were a scouting trip to this new world. Viola is trying to get to a place where she can notify the rest of her people coming to settle on the new world. Once they reach the first settlement they find that an army is chasing them. This starts a race of survival hoping to reach the biggest settlement of all before the army catches up with them.

The Knife of Never Letting Go kept me on the edge of my seat! I kept hoping for Todd and Viola to win. I fell in love with Todd’s dog Manchee. I wanted everything to end well…It didn’t. I now have to get The Ask and the Answer that hopefully picks up where The Knife of Never Letting Go ended. A couple of things that I didn’t like were the language and the constant one-thing-after-another that kept happening. It got old after a while. I will have to take a break before I start the next one because I need something a little lighter.

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