Jun 5, 2014

Book Review: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is a classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below." At once wildy comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation - and triumph over it - ever written.

Buy this book here: The Screwtape Letters

Title: The Screwtape Letters
Author: C.S. Lewis
Pages: 209 
Publisher: HarperOne

While I was still in college I took an entire semester-long course dedicated to the writings of C.S. Lewis. It was a really fun class, and I really enjoyed it!! The Screwtape Letters is one of my favorite things that we read that semester.

In this book Lewis masterfully joins the religious and fictitious sides of his writing. While some of his other writings are much more 'religious' heavy, such as Mere Christianity, this book is not. The Screwtape Letters is a lighthearted examination of heaven and hell.

This book is basically a collection of letters written between Satan and his assistant, Screwtape. They are mainly made up of Satan's advice to Screwtape to help his 'human' not go 'astray' (or towards heaven).

This is really a fun book to read, and it is quite fast. It also will get you to examine your own life, as you start to look deeper into the tricks that Satan uses to get us to follow him. I'd give this book overall 4 arrows. Its fun, quick, and an altogether great read! If you haven't read it or read any other books by C.S. Lewis, I'd highly recommend that you check it o

Jun 3, 2014

Classics: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Widely considered The Great American Novel, and often remembered for its epic film version, Gone with the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intesnsity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction

This is the tale of Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, in the pages of Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.

Buy this book here: Gone With the Wind  

Title: Gone With the Wind
Author: Margaret Mitchell
Pages: 1024
Publisher: Warner Books

I'm going to come right out and say this. This is my favorite book of all time, and I will likely go to my grave absolutely in love with the characters, the atmosphere, and the feelings that reading this book first gave me. It is an adventure that every single person should have the opportunity to go on!

Scarlett O'Hara is spunky, sassy, and opinionated. Yet despite her faults and seemingly difficult attitude, she is courageous, smart, and hard working. She enters into young adulthood, right as the Civil War breaks out in the South. As an entire civilization and way of life is destroyed, Scarlett O'Hara must learn to live in a totally different world than the one she grew up in.

This is the first book I've ever read that made me sad that the South didn't win the Civil War. Mitchell weaves a magnificent story of heartache, love, struggles, and war. It is a great book to read, and although the page count can be disheartening to some, the overall story is so worth it! Don't get intimidated!

As far as classics go, this one is one of the best. It is a fairly easy read as the story moves quickly! Please go out and buy this book. It should be a staple in every household! I give this book 5 arrows, so get it quickly!


May 31, 2014

May in Rewind

I cannot believe that May is over and summer is finally here! Despite the 90 degree weather we have been having the past few days, I still feel like it should be the middle of winter. Most days time feels like it is going incredibly slow, but in retrospect the days have flown!

May has been a fun month for me because it has been my inaugural month here at Found in the Fiction.   It took me awhile to decide if I wanted to start a book blog, but I'm glad I finally made that leap. Lets take a quick look at everything Found in the Fiction has accomplished this month! This way, if you missed anything you'll be able to see it all here!

Here is the list of books that I was able to review this month:

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The Algorithm by Jason Ford
Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Beauty by Robin McKinley

Then there is the list of books I actually read during the month of May:

The Algorithm by Jason Ford
Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Hourglass by Myra McEntire

This list is a lot shorter than I expected. I can't believe how crazy busy life can be sometimes, even when I feel like I haven't accomplished that much this month. But despite that, this is more books than I have read in a single month in quite some time! It really was a blast! I've had so much fun filling lots of free time with books and writing!

The last list, which is also a lot longer than normal months, is the books I bought this month. I was lucky to have a husband who helps me fill my love of reading!

So here is that list:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jacques
The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

This month has been a great one! I got a lot accomplished, and I had a lot of fun keeping up this blog! If anyone has any suggestions on how to make it better, blog-types that you would like to see, or anything you'd like added on this blog, I'd love it if you'd leave comments below! Any advice would be appreciated! I hope as the months go by this blog will become better and better, and I appreciate your help getting there!

May 29, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy's gift - the "gift" of obedience. Ella must obey an order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head!

But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse - and live happily ever after.

Buy this book here:Ella Enchanted  

Title: Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Pages: 240
Publisher: HarperCollins 

This was another one of my favorites from childhood, although I guess that makes sense since I probably won't post many Throwback Thursdays about books I hated. I also think as a kid, its easier to love everything you read. I read so much, and there are very few books I can remember disliking from those days.

Ella Enchanted is a fun book about a girl who must do anything that anyone asks of her. This gets her in some very sticky situations, especially when the evil bad-guy uses this to hurt the people Ella loves most! Its similar to Cinderella in the fact that she has two obnoxious step-sisters and a step-mom who is quite the piece of work.

It is a funny, quick read, and is recommend for kids age 8 - 12. And once your kids have read the book, you can sit down with them and watch the movie with Anne Hathaway! Both are fun and energetic!! They are sure to be hits all around!

May 27, 2014

Book Review: The Algorithm by Jason Ford

James Heart is a fresh talented programmer who has taken his first job with a multibillion dollar tech company in the middle of silicon valley. He is paid well, drives an expensive car, and is loved by a beautiful fiancé. All is going well in James life, until his morale conscience is used against him. James is catapulted into a complex web of plots that will ultimately threaten his life and the well being of millions of others.

Get this book here: The Algorithm

Title: The Algorithm
Author: Jason Ford
Pages: 202
Publisher: Self-published

This is the first book I have ever read on my iBook app for iPad. I thought I wasn't going to like reading on my iPad, but it was actually really nice. A lot of times I'll lay in bed at night playing some sort of a game, and when I got bored it was super convenient to just switch over to a book. 

The Algorithm is an extremely fast paced book. Once you start, it is pretty easy to get sucked in. The pages go by quickly, and before you know it the book is over! I thought this was a great feat for a first time writer. The first page was intriguing, and I found myself sucked in. 

The story revolves around James, a college graduate who has landed his first job at what he thinks to be a software company. James is extremely good at seeing patterns where normal people would not, and because of this he advances quickly through the company. He sees binary code in the alignment of train cars and codes in the way tail lights flash on the freeway.  These codes end up helping him in his job and allow him to advance. It was intriguing elements like these that made me keep reading the book. 

In the end, it turns out that James is not working for the company he thought he was. The company he is really working for is much more powerful and unescapable than he could ever imagine. 

I did have a few problems with the book. There are a fair amount of grammatical and spelling errors, which at times can detract from the story. At least they can for me, because I tend to be kind of OCD about that. But, all considering, that is a fairly easy fix and it didn't take away from the storyline or character development at all.

The ending was also problematic for me. I felt like everything came crashing down quickly (I hope this makes sense, since I don't want to give away the plot or anything, especially the ending!). The entire story was a build up to the end, and then once the climax hit there were only a few pages until the story was over. Also, the ending was a bit confusing for me. It got pretty high-tech sounding, and was a little big difficult for me to follow. 

Overall I would give this book a 3 arrow rating. It was quick to read and intriguing, but I found the ending difficult to follow and out of place. 

May 25, 2014

Book Review: Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured and rejected three marriage proposals.
Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain sooner rather than later and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free?

Buy this book here: Blackmoore

Title: Blackmoore
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Pages: 320
Publisher: Shadow Mountain

I just finished reading this book, although by the time I actually post this review it might have been a few days ago or longer. Reading this book right after The Winter Sea, I'm realizing I'm totally on a Historical Fiction kick, and I'm loving them! I totally into the olden-day love story, so this book fit in perfectly with my mood!

I really enjoyed reading Blackmoore. It was a fun, light, enjoyable read that kept me entertained. It was a super quick read that only took me a day or two to get through. I had read Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, but the books are in no way related or necessary to read in a certain order. 

I was shockingly surprised while reading this book when Kate actually ended up in India, although that was only a very small portion of the book. I feel like so many times these types of books end with love curing all. And, obviously (it is a romance novel) this book definitely did end that way, it was pretty nice to see a strong female character who went on a major adventure first. I do wish that Donaldson had maybe written more on that part of the story, but I totally understand that as a romance novel it wasn't important to the genre or story being told.

Overall I thought this was a fun, simple, romance novel. There is nothing risque about the story at all, and so would be appropriate for just about any age. Here are a few sweet quotes from Blackmoore.

“You are not The Giver of My Heart’s Desire.” I took a deep breath and smiled. “You are my heart’s desire.”

“You are brave and loyal and true. You have such a good heart." He held my hand close to his chest and covered it with his other hand. "It is only afraid. But I would take such good care of it, love, if you would give it to me.”

Overall I would give this book a 4 arrow rating. Sweet, simple, quick to read, and fun; everything that a good historical fiction ought to be!