Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: House Rules

House Rules House Rules by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book from my personal collection. This review is my personal opinion and was not influenced by the author or publisher in any way. 

From the cover:

When your son can't look you in the eye...does that mean he's guilty?
Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject - forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he's always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he's usually right.
But when Jacob's small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob's behaviors are hallmark Asperger's, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob's mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

My review:
Jodi Picoult does an excellent job of weaving this story. She not only builds characters that you can relate to, but she does it in such a way that you understand them. I did not know much about Asperger's or Forensic science prior to reading this, however, I feel I have a much better understanding now. I also like the authors approach of short chapters which represented the thoughts of the main characters.

When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure if it was going to keep my interest. I should have known better! After the first few chapters, I was hooked. It's well known that the court systems cater to a specific "normal" type. To bring in the unknown was BRILLIANT. Whether this is a realistic situation, I don't know but it seemed realistic. The scene that stuck with me the most is when Jacob was in jail. His reactions to the environment was so scary and my heart hurt for him. Then Jacob went through the trial and we get to see the reactions and thoughts of him, Theo, Emma and Oliver, it really brings the story together. The special accommodations and Jacob's reactions to certain stimuli, really gave the reader an understanding of what this situation could be like for someone with Asperger's. It seemed like Henry was more of an afterthought and that is my only complaint, I would have liked him to be woven into the story or eliminated altogether. To wait until the very last second for the climax is unusual but it worked in this situation. It did leave me wanting to know more, like what happened with Henry after the trial and what was the court's reaction when they came back with this new information? Overall a great story and I would recommend it.

From a Christian perspective:

While there wasn't much "religion" in this book there were some good elements. Like the House Rules teach about loving one another and being your Brother's keeper. I don't think it was meant exactly the way it was presented but it was there. For young readers there was one instance of extramarital sex and hints of domestic abuse. I don't think this was enough to prevent recommending this book because it was so well thought out and there are many good elements.

Love and Blessings!

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Welcome back!

Hello everyone,

Not sure who is still here but I got away from blogging for a while!  Much longer than I anticipated but I'm really back now!

There's been a lot of experiences in my life that I feel God is leading me to share at this time.

Spiritually I feel I'm at a turning point and I want to share some of the things that are causing me to grow and step out of my comfort zone.  I love the Lord with all my heart!  But sometimes it all seems so overwhelming especially when you are facing challenges in the everyday.  I'm learning to repent more on Him and less on me.  That affects all aspects of my life.  For this area, I plan to share scriptures and some of the devotions I'm studying.

I was doing really well on my healthy journey but I've had some setbacks.  However God is a God of
second chances and I'm ready to begin again.  I hope to share some exercises and recipes that are part of my plan.  I'm "super-sized" so while it will take me a while to reach my goal, I've learned a lot about what works and doesn't work for me.  I hope you'll take some encouragement from my journey.

I've started reading again so I'm excited to start sharing some of my book reviews with you.  They won't all be current books as I'm trying to read some of these books I've had stacked up for a while. For my review, I'll share what the cover write up is, what my thoughts are and specifically what my thoughts are from a Christian perspective.

There will be some personal aspects to my blog this time around, there are a lot of challenges that our family is facing right now.  I hope to share my experiences and maybe receive feedback on what I could do differently. 

Well if you are still here, I look forward to interacting with you all and getting to know you better!

Love and Blessings!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hello again!

I'm not sure what happened.  I planned to take a few weeks off from this blog, then it became months!  Time is just slipping by!!

I'm back for a bit, I have LOTS of book reviews to catch up on, I have some news to share, and I hope to have some giveaways very soon!!

A few things of note:

I do review books on here, some I've purchased or downloaded for free, some I've received in exchange for a review. I will note which is the case when I do a review.

I do conduct the occasional giveaway, usually I have received the product or a coupon to try the product.  Again I will note this in my posts.

I am on a healthy living journey. In the past I have not shared a lot about me personally.  However, I feel God is leading me to share my journey at this time so I will be posting about that some.

Anyway, that's about it for now, looking forward to engaging with you all again!

Love & Blessings!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Shop my AVON store!

Shop my AVON store!: Here's a sneak peak at some of the latest products available at Avon. Be sure to click

Friday, January 18, 2013

Christian Book Review: Cruel Harvest: A Memoir by Fran Grubb

Cruel Harvest: A MemoirCruel Harvest: A Memoir by Fran Elizabeth Grubb
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the book:
"Get out here, now, or I'm gonna kill you!" he hollered.

Little girls are hardwired to hold their daddies in high esteem, so it comes as a shock the first time a daughter feels the back of her daddy's hand across her face . . . or watches him punch and kick her mother to within an inch of her life.

How could this be? Her older sisters teach her how to survive, even when he comes for her in the night.

A girl learns to become invisible, to look the other way, to say nothing when a curious stranger asks if she's okay. To lie. To expect nothing, not even from relatives.

To cry without tears.

To pray silently.

When she is fourteen, and weary, a girl begins to wish she were dead. Cruel Harvest is the compelling story of how she lived instead.

My review:
It was very hard for me to read this heart-wrenching story. The trust between a little girl and her Daddy is like no other relationship. There is an inherent trust and when it is broken, it's like the world ended! For Fran Grubb, it didn't take long to learn that to love her Daddy was to experience hurt, pain and embarrassment ...often.

From the time she was a little girl, all Fran knew was to hide from her father when he was mad or drunk... which was often. Her mother tried to help them enjoy life and let them know there was still joy in this world but it became more and more difficult. Her sisters tried to protect her but there was only so much they could do. Fran and her sisters and brother endured the harsh treatment of their father, not being able to go to school, having to work cotton fields, apple orchards, constantly moving, for all of their young lives, until one by one they escaped. One by one.

For a life story, Cruel Harvest reminds us how we need to look after our neighbors. So many people had contact with these children but somehow they never received the help they need. Fran Grubbs was "lucky" but there are so many children who are not. She chose to use her experience to help others and now goes around the country singing, speaking and raising money for her charity, Feed the Hungry Children.

This book is certainly not an easy read, but it is well written and flows nicely.

From a Christian perspective, it's a wonderful example of God's redeeming love and the freedom received from forgiving others. God bless Fran Grub and her husband Wayne for sharing this story and choosing to bless others thus breaking the chain of abuse. For more info about Fran Grubbs you can go to her website

You can purchase your copy of Cruel Harvest: A Memoir on
Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the Booksneeze blogging program, for the purpose of review.  I am an Amazon affiliate.  Any Amazon links I provide will generate a small stipend.

Love and blessings,
View all my reviews

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's Like Riding A Bicycle...

This blogging thing that is.  Even if you've been away for a while, you can just pick up your pen (well it didn't sound right saying keyboard!) and start writing again!

I've been busy y'all!  Lots has changed and I've been focusing on rebuilding ME!  Sometimes you have to do that!  I've changed a lot about myself which I'll share more about in future posts. 

I've been reading, not as much as I like but I've got other things (good things!) occupying my time. 

So what's this NEW blog going to look like?  Well you'll learn a little bit more about me!  I'll still be sharing books that I've read, I'll be sharing some healthy recipes, and sharing some exercises for big ladies like me!

I hope you'll stick around and I appreciate you waiting me out! 

Love and blessings!