Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My rating: 5 of 5 stars to "Maggie's Story" by Dandi Daley Mackall

Maggie's StoryMaggie's Story by Dandi Daley Mackall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Maggie’s Story”

by Dandi Daley Mackall

Genre: Christian Contemporary

Publisher: Tyndale House

Stars: ***** five stars!

Onliner Review: “A well portrayed, non-sugar coated, realistic, and modern twist to the story of Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ.”

First off, this is a lovely book, that my cousin Ashley has let me barrow. Maggie’s Story immediately caught my attention from the pitch. I’ve always wondered how Mary Magdalene thought and lived. I know that this book really doesn’t display the absolute truth, it’s only from one person’s thoughts and perspective on how Mary was. What really caught my full attention was that the time line was brought up to date. As if Jesus’s life didn’t happen two thousand years ago; but, happened now, in this day and age. It gets your mind wondering on how people would take Jesus nowadays, considering all this sin and stuff in this world of today.

It’s refreshing to not think on how it would be yourself, but to read it from someone else’s perspective on how they would think everyone would react to it. When you read this story you find it very likely on how people would act, if Jesus’s era had happened now.

I’ll officially begin my review with the run down by the basic plot.

Anyways, this story wasn’t really based on Jesus, even though he played a huge part in this—actually he was the main part of this story, because he is the main thing of everything. But I’m going to review this book of Mary—I mean Maggie’s perspective of this story. Especially when the book is title “Maggie’s Story”.

I found this story very relatable and realistic, of a modern girl that had earth shattering troubles in her life. Deaths, heart aches, loneliness, sin, depression, suicidal, and abuse. Maggie Dale’s life— as stated in the pitch— was headed nowhere. With a dead end job, abusive no good for nothing—possibly married—boyfriend, and lived in sin day in and day out. Her drug addictions became so bad that it endangered her life, she knew this and did not care. She hated her life and wanted a numbness to the horrors and trials, and if death was on the horizon for her, she would’ve took it. Maggie’s drug addiction was basically the start of her journey to/with Josh.

Josh Davidson is the modern day Jesus Christ of this story. He is well portrayed and modernized through out this story, almost just as good as in the Bible. The story follows along the lines of all the miracles Jesus had done, and gave them a modern twist, but basically the same impression is left, as they had happened in the past. Josh gathered, spoke, performed miracles, and traveled like Jesus had done. Of course, in this book, the time of Jesus hadn’t happened, Josh is the one and only Jesus in this story. Just as if God decided to wait until now to send his son to us. It’s a awesome aspect and thought.

Just think of how it would be if Jesus lived in your time. Picture the chance that you could actually meet him face to face, touch, speak, and witness his glory here on earth.

It gives me chills, just to think of the thought.

But with this concept it makes me think of the scripture. Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." –John 20:29

However, as the story progresses, Maggie grows to love and believe in Josh, with that a new dawn of hope springs into her life. Of course, it takes a few miracles and his words of wisdom for her to cave in and follow him and his disciples. But as she decides to follow Josh, her mind is still at war with herself.

Sound familiar? It does to me, and it speaks to my very core. That I am always at war with myself, even when things are good for me. I don’t necessarily struggle with her type of struggles, but my own doubts and thoughts, can give the same impact that she’s put through in this book. You know that nagging sensation in your mind that gets you thinking? I think everyone has it at some point in their walk with Jesus.

Nevertheless, things are very good for Maggie at this time. She’s traveling all around Ohio with Josh, Pete, Matt, Brad, Bob, Jude, Andy, Tom, Thad, Phil, Nate, and all the rest of the disciples that are modernized. She keeps blaming and hating herself for a past tragedy, dealing with her, her mom, her ex boyfriend Alan, and Chance. The Chance that Maggie writes letters to through out the book, almost as if writing to him is like a diary. Through these letters you can see the growth in her character, if you take notice as you read. Even though, Josh and the Father had forgiven her of her sins. Maggie still had not forgiven herself, in result, making her faith and forgiveness not as strong as it should be, for a period of time.

I, myself, can find this very realistic and relatable the most. Not forgiving yourself and letting the past go. It’s a very hard thing to do.

Also, Maggie finds herself worrying over how people thought of her, even though, Josh had said to not worry about it. As these tiny wars wore on inside Maggie, her trust and faith in Josh isn’t it’s strongest. One day, time, and miracle, she came to her breaking point, and ran away from Josh. Back to her dead end life. She falls back into her old routine, but not as bad as before, because she still believes in Josh, and he keeps her from going back completely into her old habits. Her men habits were ignored and turned down. Her ex boyfriend Ben, did not take that well. But her drug habits came back, not as bad though, and not for long.

Maggie eventually goes back to Josh, when he sends someone for her. The group welcomes her back with open arms and she feels that she is home and belongs with them more than ever. Maggie comes back to Josh just in time to witness the worst of the worst.

The plot follows to Josh’s demise. But not through crucifixion, but an hypodermic needle execution. A different way to go at it, but still the very same impact. Before he is put to death, Maggie gets to talk to him about Chance. Well, she didn’t get to talk to him, he pretty much told her he knew, and he was the only person who knew. Maggie had kept Chance a secret, from fear of what people would think. But he knew. At this very part I was crying, where it was so bittersweet and heart wrenching.

The death of Joshua Davidson, is still just as heart breaking as the real demise of Jesus Christ. It tops your mind with how people would really react to the kindness and goodness of God’s Son sent to save us. I know it was supposed to happen, but it don’t make me feel any less ashamed of how people could be, and had been back in the day. But it was in God’s will, it was supposed to happen for us to have eternal life.

The plot stays true to the events and impact, just as they had done in the past. And is very likely, if Jesus were to live and die in this time, would have came about. And also, how the beloved Mary Magdalene would have lived, thought, and felt. This perspective and concept is exceptional.

The characters, are amazingly written and portrayed.

Maggie’s character is relatable and realistic. Relatable, because her situations in life could very easily happened to a person, it could even be totally completely different approaches, and find yourself in her same position in life. Realistic, because she’s a very true character, that has had reality aspects dealt into her story, that anyone can see their selves or someone they know in it.

Josh is portrayed as Jesus very well in this story, in a realistic, modernized manner. Realistic, with how he reacts like nowadays’ person. Modernized, because he has the modern aura about him, with his slang. It makes you feel comfortable and understand the Son in a better sense, sort of way.

All the other characters has a refreshing, realistic mannerism, about them. I’m only going to name a couple off the top of my head, and leave the rest for you to decipher and read about.

Pete and Andy (Peter and Andrew), are brothers that run a auto repair shop. Pete’s the baseball player that was heading for the majors, but turns them down to follow Josh. Andy is the laid back hard working man, that shuts down the business to go along with his brother and Josh.

Jude (Judas) is the greedy, paparazzi, that is only following Josh to get money and fame and obviously still betrays Josh in the end to the politicians that condemn Him to death.

This story is so refreshing, and has became one of my favorite books! I really recommend this to anyone! It’s such a amazing, inspiring read!


With lots of love, Kristia S.<3<3<3
God Bless<3<3<3
1 Peter 4:10<3<3<3

View all my reviews

Monday, May 9, 2011

"The Clearing" by Heather Davis. My review on this lovely book! [Book Suggestion Monday!]

The ClearingThe Clearing by Heather Davis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The Clearing” by Heather Davis.

***** stars!

Oneliner review. “An epic bittersweet ending, that’s both depressing and lovely all at the same time, and you’ll love every second of it.”

Full review:

“ What attracted me to this book was the mentioning in the pitch was “1944”, and plus the beautiful book cover that made me drool. The design is so lovely with the light foggy green background, with Henry transparent in the corner, and the middle of the cover stands Amy in the clearing with no mist at all, in her red pretty dress. The theme is so beautiful and attention capturing. I had to get it and read it.

Anyways, true love is for surely timeless in this lovely, little novel. A book I can find my own writing relating to, with the time traveling and all. The romance is sweet and yet innocent in a passionate way, even when these two teens yearn for each other on the ultimate level, which should make it not innocent in the long run. But I still felt it as being innocent, considering the circumstances in the end.

I loved how Henry was old fashioned—because he was really from the time 1944, which made him in the truest of old fashions. I’m just like Amy, with how she was attracted to him in that aspect, where Henry didn’t use her or just told her sweet things so she would hook up with him—unlike modern, typical guys these days. I loved how he said that Amy deserved a white wedding, that made my heart swell and fall for him alongside her.

I can feel for Amy, with her trials, troubles, dramas, and hardships. She’s such a realistic character that is at first in distress, and runs away from her problems to her aunts. I however, do not blame her from running away from the dramas of her ex-abusive boyfriend Matt. I see myself in her shoes, even though, I have never experienced anything she went through. I feel a deep sympathy for Amy, and have a understanding how she felt about her certain situations. I loved how she never seen the strength she had in herself until the end.

Henry and Amy’s relationship was beautiful, epic, and well portrayed through out the book in a intoxicating realistic way. My stomach did some major tingles while reading the romantic scene, which only occurs when the book is splendid in my opinion. My tummy don’t give me butterflies when a book isn’t good, and that’s the truth. Their romance is easy going and Henry doesn’t expect Amy to give herself to him. This made me love their love even more. They yearned for each other in the truest way and not out of just pure lust and expectations. I adore romances like that into oblivion. I give Heather high praise for writing such an addicting relationship between Henry and Amy.

The concept of the story is out of this world and into another time. The story basically starts out with Amy in modern time, not really stating what year really, only that it is up to date with us. I like how Heather didn’t really mention the exact date where Amy lives, it made me wonder how long ago was 1944. As the story is beginning you get some hints on how Amy’s life was before her move to live with her Great-Aunt Mae. That in itself motivated me to read on to find out what was her real reason of moving to Rockville was. I adore Aunt Mae and her caring ways towards her niece, and my heart went out to her for her health problems, she’s such a sweet woman. In the first chapter the snob crowd is introduced and I immediately dislike them, of course. Then in the next chapter Henry Briggs is introduced, and I immediately knew I was going to like him. I love how he lives so simple and easy, sometimes I wish life was still like that. After the second chapter it all just was set into motion when Amy took that first trip into that clearing to meet Henry. From then on the book was thrown into a lovely, addicting adventure that leaves you wondering what was going to happen next.

The whole idea of Henry and his family stuck in the summer of 1944, which all started with a prayer one night from Henry himself. Ever since, 1944, Henry knew the outcome of summer’s end and wanted to avoid it completely. Henry was obviously terrified of the future. He of course, had grown tired of the same routine every day for the years ever since 1944, stuck in the World War II. I wouldn’t be able to even grasp onto the concept of forever living in that time of war. And especially with knowing of my brother being in the war. All of this changes when Amy comes into the clearing and stumbles upon the Briggs farm. With her presence in the never ending summer 1944 and Henry falling for her every time he seen her, of course, things would change.

What would you think when future would meet the past?

The conclusion to this lovely novel left me in a confusion of how I felt about it. I was twisted, turned, and spun in so many emotional levels. First I was crying slightly, but not for long. Then on the last page left a smile on my face, even though, it wasn’t all that clear and kept me wondering. I find myself wandering in that mist in my mind, trying to find Amy and Henry, or perhaps find my own Henry and never-ever let him go. The Clearing has changed my mind of books that ends on this specific note, I usually stay clear of anything that may end like this. However, Heather Davis, has me converted into actually liking this haunting note, that’ll keep my mind spinning in wonderment.

Such a bittersweet, epic tale of love, drama, and time travel!

I’m left with desiring a sequel madly and yet have a feeling that I would be fine with this ending if there is no desire from Heather to continue it. I think this plot has more potential to be continue, if Heather ever decided to do a sequel!

This book has become one of my favorites! Brilliant work!

With lots of love, Kristia S.

God Bless<3<3<3
1 Peter 4:10<3<3<3

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I've been tagged, by a meme!

  I've never been tagged before! So this is interesting!

If you could go back in time and relive one moment, what would it be?
Well...I would like to relive the moment I met the actor Peter Facinelli (aka Carlisle Cullen from Twilight) a few years back. ^_^ I would like to remember what exactly I said to him. I was in SHOCK while I was standing there, talking, talking, and talking, and I don't remember what all I said. I think he said, "Thank you, sweetheart." but I am not for sure. So that moment would be AWESOME to relive, so that I could remember it throughly! ^-^
If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
However, if I could go back and change one thing in my life, without the consequences of the butterfly effect and screw up the progress in my life now. I guess it would be...the night I lied to my mom about how I wasn't out with my BFF one night with two practically thirty year old guys. :/ That moment really haunts me, that night broke my mom's heart, made her extreamely mad at me, and not trust me for a long time. The two guys were drinking, while driving in a snow storm, and doing donuts in a parking lot, almost colliding into a pole many times. I HATE that night, and I still hold a grudge about it. So the moment when I decided to go with my friend that night, is the moment I would change my decision to an absolute NO.
What movie/TV character do you most resemble in personality?
Some say I look like Hilary Duff (aka Lizzie McGuire)--I don't see it because she's absolutely beautiful! And my sister says Megan Park (Grace off from The Secret Life). *shrugs* I have no idea! lol.
If you could push one person off a cliff and get away with it, who would it be?
Oh there's this one person I would like to...but I can't name him/her, it would cause a big rigmaroar. Let's say this person had done bad things, and I would like to see something done about it. And if pushing this person off a cliff is something to do about it and get away with it, then I would.
Name one habit you want to change in yourself.
I think I talk about myself too much, out of habit. :/ I think the cause of this habit is where I'm by myself a good bit ,where I was homeschooled. So talking about myself is mainly what all I can talk about. :( I hate that I may have this habit, I don't want to come off as self-centered. :/
Describe yourself in one word.
Optimistic. ^_^ (I like to view things in a better view, and that things could be worse. This is what that keeps me sane most of the time.)
Describe the person who named you in this meme in one word.
Lovely! (Mariella is a such a lovely person! Her soul and personality just radiates lovliness!)
Why do you blog? Answer in one sentence.
It keeps me sane, clears my mind, keep the people updated about my projects, and I like to write about my journey through life and faith.
Name at least 3 people to send this meme to, and then inform them

Hannah ^_^
Zoey ^_^
Marisa ^_^

Enjoy, girlies!

I'm off for the night! Got church in the morning. :) I'll blog sometime tomorrow, maybe give you an update on Time With Seleste. :)
Night all!

With lots of love, Kristia S.<3<3<3
God Bless<3<3<3
1 Peter 4:10

Monday, May 2, 2011

Double news hitter on 5/1. First, Hitler in 1945. Now, Osama in 2011.

      I remember the day almost ten years ago. I was laying in bed then I was woken up by my grandmother. She was pointing to the TV and I saw the most horrible thing. But at that age I really didn't think on it much other than it was sad and people were dying. I was only a little kid. It wasn't until years later that I understood the devastation that 9/11 caused. So many innocent lives many lives suffered from the losses.
     I'll tell you this I never hated the person that was the cause of it all, I never thought on him much actually. I mainly thought about the sadness that was bestowed on people he caused the sadness. I honest to God, never thought about hating him, I only thought of justice being brought down on him, either it would be death or an enternity in a jail cell somewhere. I wanted it to come to full circle and that he would pay for what he did.
     Praise the Lord! Now he is paying for what he has done. He's Lucifer's best friend right now! I would say this to Bin Laden right now. "Do you feel the burn?"
     Before I get all these hate comments on how I'm suppose to love my enemies and have compassion for Bin Laden. As I said I never hated him and I never said I liked or even loved him. I never thought on him at all, other than that he needed to pay for what he did. And for those who feel they need to give me their ten cents about it. I say this to you. "Proverbs 11:10 --When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting." Right out of the Bible baby. Also here's a commentary translation from a well known preacher.
"When it goeth well - An upright, pious, sensible man is a great blessing to the neighborhood where he resides, by his example, his advice, and his prayers. The considerate prize him on these accounts, and rejoice in his prosperity. But when the wicked perish, who has been a general curse by the contagion of his example and conversation, there is not only no regret expressed for his decease, but a general joy because God has removed him."
    GOD has REMOVED HIM! Bin Laden was removed. Bin Landen was wicked.
     What's the use to love him, anyways? He wasn't going to repent from his sins he committed, he never loved God--even if God loved him. As it is said, whosoever obeys his commandments loves God-- that falls along the same lines of what is said. Yes, there is a concept to be more like Jesus. And to be like Jesus is to love everyone. But no one is going to be just like Jesus, he was PERFECT, no one else is going to be perfect again. If not showing compassion towards this monster in his death is a flaw in perfection, then it's going to have to be. No matter what, people are not going to show compassion towards him, even if they say that they do. Deep down they are pittyless like the others. Basically, he was going to go where he is now, no matter what or amount of compassion we would have given him.
    Some say I'm rejoicing in Bin Laden's death. No I am not. I'm celebrating that he won't be able to murder innocent children, women, and the troops over in the war again. It is indeed a sad thing of a loss of a soul to an eternity of Hell. It is one less soul of God's, but he was never his to begin with, where God never knew him. Bin Laden knew of his sins and he continued them on and on, he was planning another attack for crying out loud! Would it be worth more lives to be lost (that possibly are not saved when faced with death), than to not end this life of Bin Laden's that'll never come to know God? With this one death, many others are spared, not just by the earthly death, but an afterlife death. Think of how many on 9/11 that wasn't saved and died on that day. Look at how many he caused God to lose due to that day. Think of the people he would have continued to murder, if something wasn't done. It would not have been worth losing more to earthly life and hell, than to let this monster live another day?
   Yes, God could have forgave him, but Bin Laden didn't want forgiven, or he wouldn't have continued his ways. He was given almost tens years chance to be forgiven. As the news said, he was gathering an army to attack us and kill more innocent people. He wasn't going to change.
   Sorry, guys, but I had to get that out; even though, it was rambling and probably made no sense. O,0 I'm still in shock at how Bin Laden is finally dead. And I am shocked at how my friends have different perspectives on the matter. I thought everyone would feel the same that Bin Laden should to be dead, so that all those people that died on 9/11 and in the war would have justice. But I guess not.

  Anywho, I have no compassion nor any emotional feelings (hatred, loved, or liked, just nothing but numbness) for this monster that died on 5/1. As it would went for those who witnessed what Hitler had done to the Jews all those years ago on this same date.

  Well, I'm off for the night! I'm dog tired.
  With lots of love, Kristia S.<3<3<3
  God Bless<3<3<3
  1 Peter 4:10<3<3<3
  Proverbs 11:10

  P.S It is possible to not feel hatred, love, or likness, towards someone that has done wrong. I personally, am in a situation that I don't hate, nor have any other emotional ties to this wrongful person in my life. It is possible to just feel numb towards that person and not think on it anymore than that.