Book Review: A Fine Piece of Chocolate

_140_245_Book.1576Choc.coverFrom the Book Description

“Showing that love doesn’t have to be a four-letter word and that redemption is possible, this novel follows three women all involved in the universal search of finding love. Instead, they find lust, betrayal, compromise, and finally, redemption. Banks sends a powerful message through these characters, encouraging readers to know their values, love themselves, and never compromise what is near and dear to them.”

My Comments

When I was picking out a complementary book to read for the BookLook Blogger’s Review Program, I was given the option to pick a second e-book as well. There were three books to choose from but the other two books were historical fiction, and I am not a fan of historical fiction, so I choose A Fine Piece of Chocolate. However, I would have been better off not choosing any book at all. In fact, as much as I hate to be blunt, this sadly has to be the worst book I’ve read in a long time, if not ever.

Firstly, the book is poorly written and contains many grammatical errors – and I’m not talking about the occasional missed typo. It seriously needs some professional editing and proofreading.

Secondly, the book is confusing. It starts out as if it is a non-fiction book with the author giving advice and describing a couple of characters but then jumps into the story with no warning. For example, the book states, “Let us examine Arneatha’s character,” then a few sentences later it changes to a first person point of view of Arneatha talking, and then a few more sentences later the point of view changes to 3rd person from Kim’s perspective. Then the author (seemingly randomly) interjects her own advice, and to top it off, every so often discussion questions are thrown into the mix.

I think the author was trying to point out various scenarios and then give advice about how to (or how not to) act in certain situations. Unfortunately, it is not done effectively. The interjections feel more like unneccessary intrusions and come across as preachy and condescending. They take away from the story and makes the book choppy and difficult to read.

To make it worse, the stories themselves are boring. The characters themselves are relatable, to a point, but they are not well developed. If it were not for my commitment to read the book in full for the review, I would have abandoned the book before the first chapter was over.

Nevertheless, on a positive note, toward the end of the book there is a chapter called “Chocolateisms.” In this chapter, the author gives straight-out “nuggets of wisdom” in how to deal with difficult relationships. The way they are written come across as bossy or preachy, but they are definitely pieces of advice for single women that should be taken.

Unfortunately, I would not recommend this book at all, and give it one (1) star.

 

Book Review: A Mother’s Secret by Amy Clipston

A Mother's SecretFrom the Book Description

“Carolyn Lapp dreams of marrying for love. But will the errors of her past destroy this dream forever? Carolyn Lapp longs to have a traditional Amish family. But she lives on her brother’s farm with her parents and her 15-year old son, Benjamin. Carolyn has never revealed the identity of Benjamin’s father and lives daily with the guilt and shame of her youthful indiscretion. Her brother simply will not forgive her. His answer is to arrange a practical marriage for Carolyn to Saul, a widower with a little girl. But Carolyn isn’t convinced that Saul really loves her and believes he is simply looking for someone to help raise his daughter. When Benjamin causes trouble at a local horse auction, horse breeder Joshua Glick decides that he must be taught a lesson. Carolyn and Joshua are unmistakably drawn to each other, but Joshua mistakenly assumes that Benjamin is Carolyn’s brother. Carolyn fears that if he discovers the truth, her past will destroy their budding romance. After years of shame and loneliness, Carolyn suddenly has two men vying for her attention. But which of them will give her the family – and the unconditional love – she’s longed for?”

My Comments

Amy has done it again. Over and over Amy proves why she is one of my favorite love-inspired, Amish novelists, and A Mother’s Secret is no exception. I didn’t realize, when I chose this complimentary book to read and review through the Book Look Bloggers Review program, that it was the second of a series of books. It doesn’t matter though, this book is easily read on its own.

What I love about Amy’s writing is that she focuses on compelling themes, in this case forgiveness and restoration. She writes characters that are believable and likable, and in some cases, not so likable. 🙂 When I read her books, including this one, I am transported into another world, and yet, I can so easily relate to the struggles and joys experienced by the Amish characters. Who hasn’t made mistakes, been judged, and/or needed to forgive or be forgiven at some point in their life? Most of us have, Amish or not.

Amy also writes in a way that keeps me interested and turning the pages. As a matter of fact, I read this book in one sitting because I didn’t want to stop reading! It is an easy read, for sure, with a predictable ending, but that doesn’t take away the enjoyment of reading the book.

A Mother’s Secret is the perfect end-of-summer light read and I give it four (4) stars.