I really love to read, and one thing I have never really blogged about is some of the books I've found to be really inspiring, great reads. My favorite genre is realistic fiction that has some life lessons, and bonus points if they have faith. I've also been reading some nonfiction stuff over God and different things, so here's some of the books I've read lately I've loved. These aren't actually the newest books, they're just some books I've read lately. I might even throw in some of my favorites that I've read awhile back.
Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur >> click for details: This book is about eleven year old Aubrey and what she does when half her family dies in a car accident, and her mom leaves her. It was just a sweet read that focused on what is important in life, and I really liked the ending, but you'll have to see why for yourself. ;) I read this awhile ago, but it's one I love to reread.
Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury (and be sure to click where it says "The Baxters", and read the whole dang series): I cried when I read this the first time. I mean, I was sobbing. My grandma had given it to me when I needed something to read, and I think I finished it in a day or two. This one hits you hard. It is brilliantly written and has an amazing message - hope, love, and trust in God. My favorite of Karen Kingsbury's.
-- This is the very last book in the Baxter series. I actually read this first *whoops* and then went back and read them all. You can do it either way, and it works fine, but just make sure you read all the Baxter books.
The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder: This one is a love story, I'm just going to get that out there. I am very picky about the romance novels because I just feel like a lot of them are super sappy and worldly and just make us set unrealistic expectations for ourselves, but this one was not like that. It was really sweet, and it's about a girl who faces an unfortunate situation in her family, and everything will change tomorrow.
She spends one day by herself to just think when she meets Cade. They are the cutest, and they teach us some good lessons. The ending is perfection. I think there needs to be some sort of sequel danggit, but her publisher does not want that at the moment. I don't know WHY. I would buy a whole bunch, and I know I'm not the only one because as soon as YOU read it you will be begging for a sequel.
Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder: I know, two books by the same author, but in case I haven't told you, Lisa Schroeder is amazing. Why is she not a bestselling author?! I know that's not the only way to success, but I'm just saying, makes no sense to me. Everybody buy her books, you will not regret it. Let's show the world how great Lisa Schroeder is. We need more writers like her - real stories with real lessons.
Oh yeah. The book. So first, don't flip out about the cover. I know, I did too - but really, that cover doesn't do it justice. I mean, there is a bit of a love story, but not really. It's more based on family issues and self esteem issues, and then there is a relationship gone wrong and some other friends stuff, but I don't want to say much because I'll spoil it. Just trust me - it's not all romance. This is her best book (in my opinion) in terms of the writing (great details, the story flows perfectly, and I fell in love with the characters - um, well, not the stepdad. Yeah. Definitely not the stepdad, but she did her part well because I hate him - okay, really, really dislike him. I mean, at the end he - oh, I can't tell you the end).
Also, this one had the best message I think. A message of hope, a message of love, a message of healing and forgiveness, a message of loving yourself, it has everything. Just read it.
A Charmed Life (3 books in one, the entire series) by Jenny B. Jones: Oh. My. Gosh. Make me die laughing. This series is hilarious. It's about Bella Kirkwood who is basically a New York diva (and I would call her a snob truthfully), and her dad has an affair, and her mom remarries. Her husband is a guy who lives out on a farm in Oklahoma with two boys - one Bella's age, and one younger (Bella is in high school). I thought Bella was a snob at first - everyone did, and I partially don't blame her because her life totally flips, but she was just a snob to begin with.
It was really cool to see how she turned around though, and some of the relationships she gets into (ooh la la, and they're not horribly sappy ha), and holy crap, these books get intense too. Definitely a page turner. My favorite part? Jenny brings faith into the picture which just makes the story that much better.
Wildflower (book one in the Wildflower series, book two is also awesome) by Alecia Whitaker: This is a page turning series about a girl (Bird) who follows her dreams in music, and reading her journey and the lessons she learns along the way is so realistic, you feel like you're actually going along with her. Some faith is involved too, so yay bonus points. Looking forward to book three, which comes out in about five years or so....
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins: Yes, I had to put this on. A lot of people don't have good impressions about this story (common comment is "they're gross" or "has a horrible message"), but that is just not true. I don't think it's fair for you to make those comments until you actually watch/read the book. The book will probably be better than the movie when it comes to those comments.
Why is the message good? Everyone automatically assumes that because of the Games it's this dark, gross, pointless story. Wrong! That's just a part of this series - part of the crap they have to deal with. The series is about so much more than the drama of the Games - it's about fighting for what is right. It's about being brave. It's about taking a stand. It's about loving others and trying to make a gosh dang difference.
I can see why after the first book people may not be satisfied, and that's because book one is just setting the series up, you guys. It's giving you a glimpse into the awfulness of their lives. Let me tell you though, Catching Fire and Mockingjay are much better in terms of the message, and the series is amazingly written with great details. She truly has to have a creative imagination to think up that plot.
Give this series a chance. I know not everyone will love it, but I think there is some [or a lot] good. The movies are amazing too - one of the best book to movie adaptations I've personally seen. Jennifer Lawrence is outstanding as Katniss - the entire cast suits their roles perfectly. They're intense at times while at other times they're sweet and just get you thinking about what we can do in our own world.
Last but not least, Christian nonfiction-
The Chase - Trusting God with Your Happily Ever After by Kelsey and Kyle Kupecky: Simply amazing was what I thought over and over about this book. I have like five hundred things highlighted. I recommend this for ANY girls of ANY age whether you are in a relationship or not. It will either (a) if you're young like me, teach you how to trust God with your guy and what you can/should look for, or (b) if you're older, teach you about A and how to have a Godly relationship and such. This totally settled my doubts about what to look for in a guy - you need to read this. I hope Kyle and Kelsey write more books - they are what this world so desperately needs.
Also, loyal awesome blog readers, this book inspired me so much I took tons of notes, and one of these days we're going to go over them plus I'm writing a second letter to my future husband >> see the first one here! <<
The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel: This was awesome. I wanted to read into some science behind God, and while this definitely wasn't an easy read (would not recommend this if you're just starting to learn about science) it wasn't overly hard. It talks about the science behind God. It talks about the science behind evolution and why it's NOT the answer. It talks about the science behind Jesus [this part was super interesting!]. My favorite: it talks about the science behind God and suffering [truly loved this part - I have some awesome highlights].
There's more than one in this series - truthfully, I would just recommend this one. It dabbles into everything. It's not all Christian bias either - he interviews an atheist and writes down a bunch of doubts, then goes to interview people. Jeez, they're so intelligent about it. I wish I could be like that, but I am no scientist, so I will just stick to the books.
Oh my gosh, I think that covers it. That will be $500 for each book reviewed. No, just kidding. These books really needed to be raved about, but gosh danggit, I would not mind being paid that. Contact me for your future book recommendations, ha. ;D
I hope you all find some good books to read, and you grow in your faith! What should I read next? Comment below!