Friday, December 28, 2012

Review: Soul Searching: A Girl's Guide to Finding Herself

Sarah Stillman. New York: SimonPulse/Hillsboro: Beyond Words Publishing, 2012. 162 pp.
Rating: Striking  


"Even though soul searching may seem like a mostly mental and emotional journey, the mind, body, and spirit are closely linked. When we have negative feelings about our physical selves, it makes it almost impossible to focus on our emotional and spiritual identities" (33).

Originally published in 2000 by the author at age sixteen, Soul Searching provides young girls ways to stave off self-destructive behaviors through self-discovery. Author Sarah Stillman began her soul searching journey at the tender age of sixteen. The book begins and ends explaining soul searching is a never ending journey. It explores aromatherapy, personal space setting, dream interpretations, philosophy, various religions, and other areas. Each chapter ends with a list of resources for further research about that subject.

Quote-"Many people are threatened by female security, often because it invokes their own fear and jealousy." (34)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review: Nightshade (The Poison Diaries #2)

Maryrose Wood with The Duchess of Northumberland. New York: Balzer + Bray, 2011. 280 pp.
Rating: Worthy + 8 Scoops


**Review contains minor spoilers from the first book**
Enter, once again, the lyrical world of Maryrose Wood. The enchanting poison garden sits, beckons, and waits ready to wreak havoc. 
At the end of The Poison Diaries, Jessamine awakens from her feverish condition without Weed at her bedside. Devastated by his sudden disappearance, Jessamine, no longer the blooming wildflower loses all faith in the world's beauty. Believing Weed lost hope in her recovery, she assumes the life of a healer devoid of feeling. Upon discovering that her father sacrificed her mother's life, as well as, risked her own in the name of research, Jessamine is determined to seek revenge.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review: The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

Melanie Dickerson. Michigan: Zondervan, 2011. 272 pp.
Rating: Decent


Annabel Chapman is the youngest of three children and the only daughter to a once wealthy merchant. Each year the villagers of Glynval must assist in the harvest. To forego this duty, Annabel’s father paid an annual censum. Losing his ships in a storm, then soon after, Mr. Chapman succumbs to the pestilence outbreak leaving his family penniless. Unwilling to partake of the harvest toil, Roberta Chapman bribes the village’s corrupt steward allowing her family to neglect their share of labor for three years. Lord le Wyse, the new lord of Glynval, demands repayment of the Chapman’s shirked duties. In exchange for paying the family’s fines and to avoid working in the fields, Annabel’s oldest brother Edward, promises her in marriage to Bailiff Tom, a friend of her father’s. Unbeknownst to Edward, Tom intends to cover only Annabel’s fees. “Her brother has arranged for her to marry me in exchange for paying her censum” (34).

Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: Hidden Genius: Frank Mann, the Black Engineer Behind Howard Hughes by H.T. Bryer

H.T. Bryer. Grey Forest Press: OH, 2011. p. 110
Rating: Worthy


Recall your excitement when your fingers brushed the forgotten twenty dollar bill tucked in the pocket of your winter coat, your favorite watch wedged deep between the sofa cushions, or your lucky socks pushed far under the bed. At that moment adrenaline coursed through your reins—pure ecstasy. I received the same feeling upon discovering this buried treasure of American history.


Frank Mann, mechanical mastermind, led an interesting life: aeronautical engineer, car designer, comedian, dancer, singer—he enjoyed all life had to offer. Refusing to allow his race to encumber him, Frank set out to begin a career in engineering. Once Frank fell in love with airplanes, he spent all his time at the airport observing the mechanics. “I wasn’t getting paid, but I was learning” (15). Other than acquiring knowledge, Frank’s chance encounter with Howard Hughes at the airport would spark a lifelong friendship.