Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Review: The Princetta

The Princetta by Anne-Laure Bondoux

This book is an adventurous fiction novel for young adults. I've never read anything by this author before, so I didn't know what to expect. It was a fairly good book, but different than I expected. The main character, Malva, is a teenage princess who decides to run away from home when her parents tell her she must marry a man she has never met.

But that's where the normal princess story ends. Malva and her chambermaid face many dangers and new lands that test them and their companions to the limit. Will they survive the sea and the monsters within?
                                                      This story was different than I thought it would be, but I still enjoyed it. I liked the adventures and new places the characters go. The story had several sad parts, but I think these made the story more realistic and pulled the reader deeper into the plot. Sometimes I felt disconnected from the characters and would have liked more detail about the places and creatures at times. But it's still an exciting and fun read.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ekphrasis and Peter Pan

In my Creative Writing class we are learning about Ekphrasis, where you write a poem from a painting, photograph, sculpture, or any other kind of artwork. The poem can be descriptive, a story of what's going on, or basically anything you want. It's actually pretty fun (but this coming from an English major!), and I recommend you trying it. Here's one I did for class:

As if in a dream
I hear a knock on the window of my heart.
The one who never grows old has come for me.
“Come fly away with me” he says.

So I jump out into the unkown,
my hand held tightly in his.
I gaze at the world below me
sleeping through the wonders just over the stars.

The one who never grows old
takes me far beyond,
beyond the grayness and quietness
to a place where only dreams come true.

Light, laughter, and love
fill my eyes
and I never want to leave
this terrifying adventure.

When the fantasy is over
and I am safe in my soul,
I can still hear his whisper, “come fly with me.”
I eagerly grasp his hand once more and
leave this dreamworld behind. 

-The painting is by Max Lucado. He has done a lot more Disney paintings which are beautiful.  


Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Review on The Heaven Trilogy by Ted Dekker

I love all of the Ted Dekker books I've read, (quite a lot) and these three were no different! The imagery and symbolism was beautiful, and I stayed up late several times reading these awesome books.

Heaven's Wager
In Denver, Colorado (where I am now :) Kent has finished a project at work that will make him super rich and give him the perfect life, so he thinks. But when tragedy comes to his family not once but twice, his life is turned upside down. Then tragedy strikes yet again at work when his bosses take credit for his work, and he feels like there is now nothing for him. In revenge and desperation he plots to get back the money taken from him, believing he can buy a new life. But what Kent doesn't know is that there is a plot for his soul, both by Heaven and Hell, and his mother-in-law, Helen, is in on it. Who will win this fight for the soul of Kent? Will he be able to find true joy?

This book took me longer than the others in the trilogy to get into, but once I did, I could barely put it down. Ted Dekker weaves together the here and now with the reality of Heaven and Hell masterfully and in a way that everyone can relate to. He shows the fight between the two realities in a striking and powerful way. I loved the plot and characters, but even more, I love the way Ted laces his stories with deeper, richer meaning. A definite must read!

When Heaven Weeps (this story takes place before Heaven's Wager, but should be read second)
This book begins by telling the story of the priest mentioned in Heaven's Wager, Ivena, her daughter Nadia, Jan with a group of soldiers in a village in Bosnia during World War 1 I believe. The captain of the band of soldiers, Karadzic, sees the village in Bosnia and decides to wreck a little havoc on them. Jan doesn't agree with his captain, but what can he do? He is his captain after all. Both deep sorrow and deep joy fill the small village town that day as Heaven meets Hell, and many lives are changed.

Many years later in America Jan wrote a book about that eventful day in Bosnia and has a great life set before him with money, a fiance, and his friend, Ivena. But then Helen, the drug addict bounces into his life (from Book 1) and he feels a deep love for her. But she is bound to a ruthless and powerful man, who she both loves and hates. This man, Glen, will give anything to keep Helen with him. How can Jan love a such a messed up person like Helen? Is he willing to give it up, possibly even die for her?

This was my favorite book of the trilogy. The beginning was a little confusing at first because it goes into the past, but I love how Ted made the present and future of the characters intersect in the one important day in Bosnia and how their lives are still twined together. The book is filled with suspense, love, and passion and I couldn't wait to see what would happen at the end. It is a beautiful twist on Hosea and Gomer's story and shows how deep Christ's love truly is. It definitely opened my eyes to the wonder of the cross and Christ's love again by showing it in a unique way. These books, that bring you closer to your Creator, are the best kind!

Thunder of Heaven
Helen is the only character from the other books in this story. Her adopted granddaughter, Tanya, lives in the jungles of South America with her missionary parents. It is a beautiful paradise, especially with the plantation owner's son, Shannon, whom she loves deeply. Then, as in the other books, tragedy strikes (I won't say what kind) and Tanya is suddenly on her own at age seventeen.

Eight years later in America she keeps having the same vision over and over again, and Helen persuades her to go back to the jungle where she grew up. So Tanya leaves, hoping to put her nightmares of those terrible events to rest. What she doesn't know is that there is something evil going on in the jungles and she is to be a part of something larger than herself.

This book had some great twists and turns that added a richer layer of meaning to the story and kept me riveted to the story. I loved all the action and how the book wasn't just about the main conflict in the story, but the character's pasts and their relationships or lack of relationships with God. I love how the main characters change in the story and everyone can relate to them. It wraps up the trilogy nicely, but also with much excitement. An excellent read.

-Everyone should read at least one of Ted Dekker's books, and this trilogy is a great place to start because they aren't as intense or 'dark' as some of his other books, but also have the great qualities his other books do: suspense, love, passion, mystery, action, and awesome biblical metaphors.

Check Ted Dekker's other books out at: 

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Bible is the most important book, so I'll talk about that today. This morning I read these verses:
       "By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
        and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
        He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
        He lays up the deeps in storehouses.
        Let all the earth fear the Lord;
        Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him." Psalm 33:6-8

I just love this whole Psalm; it's about the Lord's mighty power and how great He is. So often I forget this, or maybe I don't even forget, I just choose not to think about it. This is so sad, because I realize that when I am thinking about the Lord and His awesomeness, by troubles become less and I am so much more joyful and positive. So why don't we do this more often? Sometimes for me its easier to think about the things I can see and touch than the spiritual realm which sometimes seems so far away. But life is like the snowflakes falling outside my window, one day it's here and the next it's gone. So I want to live every day dwelling on the King, no matter how much it makes my head hurt or how much I'd rather be doing something else. Thank you Lord for being good and lasting longer than snowflakes! :)