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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Serial Saturday || Review of Somewhere To Belong, by Judith Miller

Serial Saturday On Saturdays I will write a review of the first book of a series I have read.

Review of
Somewhere To Belong
Judith McCoy Miller
Date Published: March 1st, 2010
My Rating: 4/5
My Review:

The first book in the series "Daughters of Amana" was excellent. I am definitely going to read more by Judith Miller, starting with the next book in this series, titled "More than Words" (More Than Words). Only issue with this book, for me, were the plot twists...perhaps more time could have been spent on backstory and character development, and the new twists couls have been spread out through the series. I have yet to read the rest of the books however. I am excited to get the next one!

The story is about two girls who live in a small German settlement called Amana. Johanna Ilg is twenty one and longs to see the world outside the settlement, but is not allowed to leave. Berta Schumacher and her parents have just moved to Amana, and she hates everything about it - the constant prayer meetings and having to work early in the morning and throughout the afternoon, and especially the dark and plain clothing she must wear.

Johanna is forced to take Berta under her wing, much to her displeasure. Slowly, they become friends, and though they both go through bad experiences, they use their faith in God to keep their spirits high.

In my opinion, the plot twists could have been spread out more evenly throughout this series, but it was still extremely enjoyable and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good Christian-based series. I think all of you would enjoy it!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Review || The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet--A Memoir

Review of
The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet--A Memoir
Dara-Lynn Weiss
Date Published: January 1st, 2013
My Rating: 4/5
Quick Backstory: Because this is not a widely-known book, I am going to write a backstory for you. Dara-Lynn Weiss' daughter was seven years old and pronounced obese. From that point, Dara-Lynn knew she had to change things before her daughter's health got worse. This book documents the journey of her family as they all adapted to a new way of life to help her daughter, Bea, overcome her fears and challenges.
My Review:

This book exceeded my expectations. I opened it thinking I would read a depressing story from a defeated mother, and the trials of her obese daughter. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the story of the courage from both Dara-Lynn and her daughter to face the challenges, and the maturity of Bea. This story read more like a fiction novel than a real-life situation. It seems crazy to imagine a seven year old diagnosed with obesity! Reading this book really makes you think, and realize how easy it is to gain weight, no matter what your age. I applaud Dara-Lynn, and I think she did the right thing. I believe I would have done the same.
Now, I gave this book four stars because I disagreed with Mrs. Weiss on one point: her opinion on exercise. She believed it was not necessary for weight loss. Personally, I think weight loss depends largely on exercise. The diet, as well, is important, but without exercise, the heart grows weak and out of shape. Circulation is vastly improved by cardiovascular exercise. Weight-lifting builds muscle, which replaces fat and burns throughout the day. So, on this, our opinions clash.
Other than this, the book was excellent and I found it difficult to put down. Dara-Lynn Weiss should be a model for other moms. Her methods may seem ridiculous to some, or outrageous and cruel, but in my opinion, she did exactly what she should have, and her daughter is probably better off because of it. Well done, Dara-Lynn!!