Monday, January 14, 2013

The Choice, by Robert Whitlow

The Choice, by Robert Whitlow, is a story that explores both the legal and social aspects of teen pregnancy, abortion, and adoption.  Sandy Lincoln is a happy and well-adjusted teenager whose life is forever altered when she finds herself pregnant.  The first part of her story deals with the decisions she makes as a pregnant teen in 1974, and it continues in the present day where she is a high school teacher who befriends and counsels a young student who's faced with the same problem.  While dealing with the student's issue, she simultaneously finds herself confronting head-on the choice she made about her own pregnancy as a teen.

Whitlow is a good story teller, and he's created a page-turning book here.  The characters are well-written and likeable, and there are plenty of twists and tension to keep you reading and wondering. 

My only issue with the book is that it is fairly heavy-handed with its anti-abortion stance.  While the message is good, and it delves into the topic relatively fairly, it comes off as a bit "preachy" at times.  It's a shame too, because it makes certain sections of the book feel a little clunky, which is in stark contrast to the otherwise smooth and enjoyable reading of the rest of the story.

Overall though, this was an enjoyable and heartwarming read about an important issue, one that will be relatable to many. 

 I received this book for free from Booksneeze. All opinions are my own.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Unstoppable, by Nick Vujicic

Unstoppable:  The Incredible Power of Faith in Action is the second book by Nick Vujicic, a young man born without arms and legs who inspires millions through his stories of faith, perseverance, and triumph over adversity.  In this book, he gives a glimpse into both his personal and professional life, as well as at the lives of others he's encountered along the way, and shows us the power that comes from stepping out in true faith.

I had the pleasure of listening to Nick speak at my church a few years ago, and he is a wonderful speaker.... touching, funny, engaging, and full of expression.   While some of that didn't seem to come through as strongly in his book, his heart did.  Two stories in particular that made an enormous impact on me were the story he told about the time that he was sidelined with depression and how he came out of it, and the story of how he met his wife.

One of the things that this book does so well is illustrates what it means not to never fall down, but how to pick yourself up when you do.  His story of the time he basically shut-down, depressed over circumstances beyond his control, was a very real and powerful testimony of a flawed human being who admitted weakness and ultimately re-gained his strength through his faith in God.

And the story of meeting, dating, and ultimately marrying his wife?  It's worth reading the entire book for that one story alone.  Beautiful.

This was a quick and inspiring read, with an overall positive message of believing in yourself, stepping out in faith, and trusting that "with God, all things are possible."

You can read more about Nick on his website, follow him on Facebook, and read Chapter One here.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.