Friday, October 9, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up (Oct. 9) | Friday Memes

This is the Weekend Wrap-Up, inspired by Melanie at Christian Bookshelf Review. This is where I will tell you what I've read in the past week, what I'm currently reading, and what I plan to read in the week ahead. I might also share some interesting events from the past week!

The past few weeks, I have been in a reading slump. I just couldn't muster up the energy to pick up a book and that made me sad. I think I've over come it and I'm slowly getting back on track!

What I've Read
Last Chance Hero: A Novel 

Reviews Posted
Last Chance Hero by Cathleen Armstrong

What I'm Currently Reading

What I am so behind on reading, it's not funny!:
2253612423647120Ties That Bind24605318248560692493398520014890

The Question: What's your favorite "Halloween" snack to munch on while you're reading?
My Answer: I don't really have a favorite "Halloween" snack. I just like to snack! 

Hosted by: Rose City Reader

"Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name."

"Sitting in his cockpit, Captain Roger Greene scanned the heavens. He searched left to right, overhead, below and behind. No sign of enemy aircraft. Just formation after formation of B-17s droning along below, plus his own umbrella of Thunderbolts providing escort cover." - The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry

My Thoughts: As I've gotten a little farther into this book, I realize the beginning is just as intriguing as the story is turning out to be. I was drawn to the book by the description, and it's proven a good choice so far!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Your Bookish Quit List

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

This Week's Topic: Ten bookish things i want to quit or have quit, specifically books we had to dnf (which I assume means "do not finish"). I try to avoid books that I know I will not finish, or not finishing a book once I start it at all costs. I hate to leave something un-done. There has only been one time that I have absolutely not been able to finish a book.

In the Company of Secrets (Postcards from Pullman Series #1)
The description of this book sounded so exciting. Mystery, Intrigue, Secrets - what could possibly go wrong? I found this book the exact opposite of exciting. I'm not sure why. It just wasn't for me.

There have been a few books, since then, that I haven't wanted to finish, but was obligated to because they were for review. I am trying to be more selective with my review books, as a result.

What about you? Are there any books you've added to your "do not finish" list?

Last Chance Hero by Cathleen Armstrong

Last Chance Hero: A NovelOverview: The inhabitants of Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica McLeod has opened an office right on Main Street. Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has ended his short career in the NFL and has come home to coach the mighty Pumas of Last Chance High. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot when she admits that she's never seen a football game, isn't really interested in doing so, and, in fact, doesn't know a first down from a home run. Meanwhile, Coach Ryan is discovering that it's not easy to balance atop the pedestal the town has put him on. When this unlikely pair is drawn together over the future of a young player--whose gifts may lie in the laboratory rather than on the football field--they begin to wonder if they might have a future together as well.

With the flair that has made her Last Chance books a favorite among readers of contemporary fiction, Cathleen Armstrong draws on the passion Americans have for the traditions of small-town high school football.

ISBN-13: 9780800726478 | Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/15/2015 | Series: A Place to Call Home Series, #4
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: Last Chance Hero took me back to my good ol' high school days. Football games, traditions, and all of the in between. I loved coming back to Last Chance and catching up with characters from other stories. Cathleen Armstrong has a way of making me feel right at home in Last Chance. Like I could walk into the Dip n' Dine and chat with Juanita, or walk down the street and visit with Sarah, Elizabeth Cooley, and Kaitlyn and Olivia.

While I enjoyed the setting and the folks in the town, I didn't connect well with either of the main characters in this story. I found Dr. Jessica MacLeod to be kind of "high and mighty" in the beginning, and only slightly better towards the end. Andy Ryan seemed like a genuinely good guy, but the development for his character just wasn't there. I felt like the whole situation with his dad was just kind of thrown in at the last minute. Their romance was a little lacking as well. I just couldn't picture them together at all.

I also think Jess' sudden belief in God was a little shallow. There was no real transformation that I could see. The point of the story was about God's plan for your life. While I didn't really feel that was portrayed through either of the main characters, Kaitlyn makes a good point in her conversation with Jess that I feel I need to share: "..I have no idea why I got the results I did. It certainly wasn't because I deserved it. It was just part of the plan God has for my life. And if the results would have come back the way I was afraid they might, well, that would have been part of God's plan for my life too. Not as punishment, or judgement, but as a natural consequence of my actions. and he would have had a plan for my life that included that too. And you know what? It would have been a good plan." So many times as Christians we think bad things happen because God is punishing us. That is not at all the case. Bad things happen, not as punishment, but as a part of God's bigger plan and picture for our life.

Overall, while I enjoyed coming back to Last Chance and while the author does a good job of making me feel at home there, I didn't connect well with the main characters. It kind of took away from the story for me, but I still enjoyed it.

*I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher through the Revell Reads blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*

Cathleen ArmstrongAbout the Author: Cathleen Armstrong is the author of Welcome to Last Chance, winner of the ACFW Genesis Award for Women’s Fiction in 2009 and the first volume in the series “A Place to Call Home.” She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ed, and their corgi, but her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives. Contact Cathleen:

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