Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Can't Wait for Listen to Your Heart

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Listen to Your Heart

By: Kasie West

Expected Publication: May 29th 2018 by Point

336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West's adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.

Kasie West is an auto author for me. I just love her books. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Uninvited - Review

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely

By: Lysa TerKeurst

Publication: August 9th 2016 by Thomas Nelson

240 pages

Genre: Non-fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love.

In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.

With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers:

Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt. Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence. Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging. Stop feeling left out and start believing that "set apart" does not mean "set aside." End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full blown issue.

I really enjoyed Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst so when I saw that she had a new book coming out I was excited to check it out. Yet when I read the title and description, I felt like maybe this book wasn't exactly for me. See, I don't tend to get my feelings hurt when others don't invite me to specific events and while I definitely have my struggles, I'm pretty comfortable with who I am and don't feel like I need the approval of others to make me feel valuable. But then I saw it on NetGalley and thought it would be a good one for me to review. And I'm glad that even though I wasn't initially approved, the publisher changed their minds and let me review this one because it was about so much more than not being invited to places or events with others.

The truth is that we have all been rejected in one way or other in various aspects of our lives. Maybe it was a relationship that didn't last, or one that never started, or a job that you didn't get, or a parent that left, or any number of rejections. Lysa shares her personal rejections in the areas of a relationship she once thought would be her forever, a friendship that ended, her father who left, and ministry opportunities that didn't pan out. Her own personal vulnerability in sharing her struggles and her heart helps the reader understand that they are not alone with their own rejections. Ms. TerKeurst's writing style is as easy to read as her stories are relate-able. I highlighted a ton from her wording and her message.

Favorite quotes:

-In the quiet of an early morning, honesty finds me. It calls to me through a crack in my soul and invites the real me to come out, come out, wherever you are.

-As long as I suspect that honesty's intention is to expose me and hurt me, it will always feel like a dangerous thing.

-Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what's been said to me.

-Things of this world all eventually reveal what incapable anchors they really are.

-I couldn't keep my old broken beliefs, nail a little Jesus truth to the side, and expect stability.

-We must tie our identities to our unchanging, unflinching, unyielding, undeniably good, and unquestionably loving God.

-...when we go to the truth instead of our feelings for the answer to this question, we can understand God's goodness in a whole new light.

-What consumes my thinking will be the making or the breaking of my identity.

-"God, I want Your truth to be the loudest voice in my life. Correct me. Comfort me. Come closer still. And I will trust. God, You are good at being God."

Truthfully I highlighted so much that I wish I could share them all with you, but I had to cut them off somewhere.

All of this to say that Uninvited was so much more than I first assumed it would be based off the title. Lysa TerKeurst writes in a way that is beautiful at times, moving, and certainly relate-able to all. I'd highly recommend Uninvited to all women (and men too really). I love how she approached the questions "Is God good? Is God good to me? And is God good at being God?" Uninvited gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read Uninvited? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Post - 12/10/17

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

You guys I can barely remember this past week. I feel like there was a lot going on, yet I know I didn't really go anywhere until Thursday. On Thursday we had family pictures made. This was really to get 2 year old pictures for Little Girl and 1 month (really 5 week) pictures for Baby Boy. Baby Boy was fussy almost the whole time, yet we still got some good pictures. Friday Little Girl spent the day with her grandmother while I took Baby Boy to his 1 month doctor checkup. He was diagnosed with reflux and put on a prescription for that. I pray that'll make a big difference for him. He also has an umbilical hernia, but apparently those are fairly common and not a concern. He's gaining weight great and is up to 11 pounds 6 ounces already. Friday it also snowed. I realize for much of the world this isn't a big deal, but being here in central Alabama this happens only every few years. Beyond that it was actually cold enough to stick and since it snowed all through the night Friday night we woke up Saturday morning to a winter wonderland. (Or fall wonderland since it isn't officially winter yet.) Saturday we didn't get to play in the snow though because we had to travel north to an annual family reunion. No new books this week.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Bright Side (Bright Side, # 1) by Kim Holden (4.5 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Brave (Contours of the Heart, # 4) by Tammara Webber

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Can't Wait for Brave

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Brave (Contours of the Heart, # 4)

By: Tammara Webber

Expected Publication: December 19th 2017

300 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Courage means rising up to defend your beliefs... or daring to question them.

Erin McIntyre was captivating, but forbidden
His professional subordinate
The embodiment of unearned privilege
The daughter of his sworn enemy

Isaac Maat was impossible to read
Smart, ambitious, and emotionally detached
Hotter than anyone's boss should ever be
And definitely hiding something...

He told himself that getting to know her would help him take down her father.
She told herself that getting under his skin would distract her wrecked heart from its misery.

Neither predicted their private war would lead to an intimate battle in which the victor would be the first one to SURRENDER.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Bright Side - Review

Bight Side (Bright Side, # 1)

By: Kim Holden

Published: July 4th 2014 by Do Epic LLC

423 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Secrets.
Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you ...
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

I'm not sure why, but the last three out of four books I've read have involved a very similar topic. I haven't sought it out. This has actually been quite random as one was recently recommended to me just as a really good read, one was recommended several months ago and just happened to go on sale recently, and the other was one I received for review. I didn't know anything about the two that were recommended to me, and only read the book description for the other before requesting it for review. Yet each book has been a good bit different from the others. I'll just focus on Bright Side for this review, but I had to mention the coincidence.

As the description says, Kate is extremely optimistic. This is a choice she's made and continually makes to live and think this way. She could easily be negative or pessimistic considering the things that she's been through in her life. Yet she isn't. And this was by far my favorite character trait that she possesses. It takes an incredible individual to choose to see the bright side of every situation they're faced with. So many times characters, and people, just whine and complain and portray themselves as victims. But Kate chooses not to do this.

Kate is also loyal and kind. Because of the difficult things that she's been through and endured she understands how much it means when someone is there for you through your worst days. And how much of a difference it makes when you reach out to someone else, be it to offer them a kind word, take them on as a friend, or to simply sit by them when they make the toughest decisions of their lives.

Yet Kate, and Bright Side, touch on a few subjects that I don't personally support. Despite that, I still fell in love with this story. One of my biggest frustrations with Bright Side was the amount of language. There are f-bombs all over the place. I mean it was really quite ridiculous and this caused me to put the book down rather frequently while reading the first half.

The other characters are vivid as well. Keller and Gus...boy it wasn't always easy to choose between the two. I expected (because I didn't read the description of this book before picking it up), that Kate and Gus would work things out and move past their friendship and into a relationship. Yet when Keller enters the story, I could easily see that Gus wasn't likely to win Kate's heart. Yet Gus still remained my favorite character besides Kate due to his intense friendship with her. Clayton, Peter, Shelly, Duncan, and Stella round out the main cast of side characters. Each added a necessary component to who Kate really was.

I should also mention that Kate doesn't claim to be religious, yet she frequently talked to God throughout the book. Characters that actually believe in God enough to talk to Him are incredibly rare in mainstream young adult and new adult literature. At least that I've found. (Excluding the Christian genre.) I appreciated Kate's relationship with God and this being included throughout the book even if I wish Kate took this relationship a bit further. Either way, thank you Kim Holden for not portraying God in a negative light, and for not having Kate resent Him for the things she's experienced in her life.

Favorite quotes:

-A person knowingly doing harm to his or her body is a pet peeve of mine. A lot of people would give anything for a healthy body. Your body is a temple.

-The happiness, the thoughtfulness, the humor was part of her, but it was also deliberate, a conscious choice.

Bright Side wasn't a perfect read for me as I struggled with the language, and a few side stories don't fit my personal reading preferences. However, this story broke me down. I cried FIVE (let me say that again....FIVE) times while reading this book. Granted, I'm sure a bit of that relates to pregnancy hormones. Plus every time I got to a scene that made me cry, I'd put the book down and come back after I'd composed myself...only to find myself in tears once again. I loved Kate's attitude and her tendency to talk to God. Bright Side gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read Bright Side? What did you think? Let me know!