Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#20: Redemption (Karen Kingsbury)

I needed a break from crime stories, so I decided to head back into the realm of Christian family sagas. I have had several people recommend the novels of Karen Kingsbury to me over the years, but I have not read one of them before now. I decided that the Redemption series sounded like a good place to start with her works and was pleased to find a novel that engaged me while providing encouragement at the same time.

The first novel in the series focuses on the marriage of Kari and Tim. Over the years, they have become complacent with their relationship; ultimately, Tim enters an extra-marital affair with a student as a result of Kari’s perceived neglect and lack of interest. When Tim asks for a divorce, Kari refuses to sign the papers, citing her desire to fight for her marriage.

Tim turns to alcohol as he deals with his guilt. Kari learns that she is pregnant. The situation is further complicated by the return of Kari’s high school boyfriend, Ryan. Through prayer, determination, and lots of forgiveness, Kari and Tim’s marriage survives….until the unthinkable happens.

Redemption is certainly not a book that I would normally pick up to read. Now that I’ve finished the novel, I must admit that I have been charmed by the characters and look forward to following their story in the subsequent books in the series. So far, it is a beautiful story of faith, love, and hope in a perilous situation.

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#19: The 6th Target (James Patterson)

the_6th_target_pic_2Last weekend, I finished the 6th installment of James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series. After reading this volume, both Mom and I think we are going to take a break from the series for a bit. I’m not sure if this novel seemed inferior to the others or if I’m just finding them to be rather predictable now, but I didn’t enjoy The 6th Target as much as the other books I’ve read thus far.

One of my major complaints with this installment was that the storyline was simply too intense for one book. With a serial killer on the loose who claims to be innocent by reason of insanity in the court proceedings following his capture, the central plot is riveting on its own. When you add the horror of child kidnappings that are leading to the enslavement of young girls in sex trafficking to the mix, you have far too much for the reader to handle. Our heroine, Lindsey, also experiences several ups and downs personally as well. Her break-up with Joe followed by a short tryst with her handsome partner was acceptable. However, when Joe returns to Lindsey’s life a few short chapters later and now declares his love and proposes marriage, the character development seems rushed and forced. By this point in the series, the readers are invested in Lindsey’s story and deserve a better treatment than what was presented in The 6th Target.

Now I’m ready to head back to the library this afternoon to pick up another novel in hopes that my faith in the craft will be restored and I’ll find a new read to thoroughly enjoy.

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#18: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (J.K. Rowling)

The seventh and final installment in the Harry Potter saga was nothing less than enthralling. Harry faces mortal danger as Voldemort rises to power until the two come face to face at the Battle of Hogwarts. Just when readers think the ending is clear, Rowling masterfully twists her plot and keeps us on the edge of our seat until the final page.

As our heroes mature, so do the topics in the novel. Discussions of death are prevalent. More characters we have fondly followed throughout the series die in heartbreaking episodes. Harry, Ron, and Hermione explore the physical aspects of love in a manner suitable to their ages.

Simply put, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows is a fitting conclusion to a marvelous story. I am glad to say that I finally read the series and will look forward to returning to Hogwarts in the future!

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