Dear John

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

What a wonderful read. I read it in one setting. This is a very poignant story about the different kinds of love. Sparks explores parent/child love and sibling love and love for the those who cannot love back and attraction and passion and long distance love and he packs it all into this book. It is astounding.

Dear John is very well done. It flashes back, yes, but the beginning is short so you don't mind flashing back. The beginning paragraph sets you up for the flashback so it doesn't matter. Then, I must confess, after the first few pages, I just had to turn to the back and read the last few pages because I was so sure that it was going to end badly. If that was the case, then I'd have to read it in a different frame of mind.

I won't tell you what I found out. However, I will tell you that this story is so incredibly touching. It is good reading... not too fluffy, but not too cerebral either. Worth the money. You can read more about it and purchase the book at the link above. Happy reading!

Never Ceese

I goofed up. I was supposed to review this book by Sue Dent on Friday. I did not. I was packing and I just flat forgot! I'm so sorry, Sue!

First let me say... this book is truly not for me because of the subject matter. It is about a werewolf (Ceese) and a vampire. Now I want to say that this book is very well written. It has also been nominated for an award, Bram Stoker Award. I think that is truly grand that in a genre which is full of the occult that a book which points to Jesus is nominated for an award.

This book is beautifully bound and is very well written. Sue did the cover art herself! I pray that if you really like this genre, that you'll pick up this book for your library.

I became friends with Sue because of a remark I made on another blog. She couldn't understand why I'd say something without having read the whole thing. Well... I read enough to get a good feel for it and it is a lesson for me to be careful of what I say and how I say it... there are people behind these computers and they have feelings... big duh, right?

With Sue's permission, here's part of our exchange...

Dear Sue,
I truly appreciate your email. I especially appreciate you wanting to understand what I wrote and meant. I said that the book was very well written. The comment to that was that it was the editor's fault for the "yawn spots". I have a lot of admiration for Lynn Scallon and I'm quite sure she is correct. I have read a little less than half the book. I read enough to know beyond doubt that it is well written. I also read enough to know that I just can't finish it. I literally get ill reading about someone drinking blood. I can't help that. I read enough to very much enjoy turning those beautiful pages and the great, easily read typeface. Since that is not why people buy books, I didn't say anything about it, but I promise you on Dec 6th or perhaps the 8th I will say something about the presentation because it is beautiful. I seriously have a problem with stories of this nature dealing with vampires and werewolves since I consider that as the next of kin to sorcery and witchcraft. It is my firm foundation of faith that gives me this. When I agreed to review books, I wasn't asked, "What kind of books will you not read?" Therefore, since I was committed to reviewing books, I read as much as I could, and then I was convicted by my bodily reaction and, I firmly believe, by the Holy Spirit, to put it down and not finish it. I truly do not know how it comes out… I expect that the two finally have a meeting of the minds and meeting of faith, but that is pure speculation. Sue, you must expect a lot of people to not like this book. You will probably find a lot of nonChristians who will scoff at it and a lot of Christians who will shun it because of the subject matter. It does satisfy a niche of fantasy lovers, though, and may even touch some stony hearts. I am quite sure that God will use it to His good purposes. I pray that is so. Please forgive me, for the cavalier way I lumped your book in with several others… but, look at it this way, it is publicizing and a lot of Book Store owners go to Lynn's blog. Please do not take it personally! I love Southern girls, for I am your next-state neighbor in Louisiana. Please forgive me for not liking the subject matter of your book. I do recognize the incredible hard work you put into it and all the research. However, I hope you appreciate honesty and that is what I have given you.

Sue Dent: I will now put you up there with the other two who couldn't finish Never Ceese mainly because of the subject matter. And they too were kind enough to confess that this was basically all there was to it. I sincerely don't expect everyone to love this book and I'm sure I'll find my toughest critics in the Christian market.

Oddly enough I've been blessed so far and found some of my most gracious reviews from those in the Christian market, allbeit readers who didn't shun the genre to begin with. I so want to touch the secular market with this, using the subject matter to show that God is everywhere and can be taught about in every aspect of literature. I find many Christian youths curious enough to want to explore this genre. I want to give them something that won't lead them astray. So many of these books point to things of a very dark nature. It is definitely a book for a certain genre.

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