Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mystics, Mavericks and Merrymakers








  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (August 6, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 0814751970
  • Author: Stephanie Wellen Levine
  • Cover art: I like the simplicity.
  • Obtained: Bought
  • Overall rating: **** out of 5 stars











Mystics, Mavericks and Merrymakers by Stephanie Wellen Levine
Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews



  • From the ardently religious young woman who longs for the life of a male scholar to the young rebel who visits a strip club, smokes pot, and agonizes over her loss of faith to the proud Lubavitcher with a desire for a high-powered career, Stephanie Wellen Levine provides a rare glimpse into the inner worlds and daily lives of these Hasidic girls.
    Lubavitcher Hasidim are famous for their efforts to inspire secular Jews to become more observant and for their messianic fervor. Strict followers of Orthodox Judaism, they maintain sharp gender-role distinctions.
    Levine spent a year living in the Lubavitch community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, participating in the rhythms of Hasidic girlhood. Drawing on many intimate hours among Hasidim and over 30 in-depth interviews, Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers offers rich portraits of individual Hasidic young women and how they deal with the conflicts between the regimented society in which they live and the pull of mainstream American life.
    This superbly crafted book offers intimate stories from Hasidic teenagers' lives, providing an intriguing twist to a universal theme: the struggle to grow up and define who we are within the context of culture, family, and life-driving beliefs. (Synopsis provided by Amazon)


    I read this one as I have a friend who is Chabad Lubavitch and she is from Crown Heights. I wanted to learn more about her community as Chabad is very different from Messianic. 

    While reading this book I learned that the extreame  kindness is an attribute for the whole group. I have met a few others who are Chabad and every single one of them has been such a genuine and kind person. This book shows how that is a staple in that community. 

    Each of the ladies in that were interviewed in this book were very different. There was one girl who questioned her community and her religion, I found her story to be the most interesting in its own way, I wanted to know why she had questions why no one would answer the questions. I didn't get all the answers to her story that I wanted sadly. 

    I did enjoy how Levine describes how she went back to talk to one of the girls to get her to sign a release so that her story could be used. I was interested to see how the more "free" girls of the book had changed so much.

    Of course all of the girls are not called by their actual names in the book to protect their identities. 
    If you are interested in the Chabad community and want to know more I would encourage you to read this book.



    So say we all!

Friday, February 13, 2015

No Falling Behind this week

Hey y'all I know I didn't post a review or a FBOF this week. I had midterms this week and I am getting ready for Shabbos which starts in 2 minutes. Just wanted to let y'all know what was going on. I will have a review up on Monday. Have a great Saturday! If you observe Shabbos I wish you a Shabbat Shalom!




So say we all!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Falling Behind on Friday 9



Falling Behind on Friday is a weekly meme hosted by me. In this one, we all pick a book that has been on on TBR pile for a long time. (At least one month.) That we just haven't gotten to yet. Or a book we have been meaning to buy and haven't picked up. I know most of us have massive TBR piles and this is a great way to single out one to share with others.
To be clear the book must already be published. I am sure we all find many that we either didn't know about or that we have forgotten about.
So, to participate, simply grab the "Falling behind on Friday" graphic above, post  the cover art to the book you have fallen behind on and leave a comment linking me to your post so I can stop by and see it. Also, be sure to add the instructions in your post so others can play too!




This week I am falling behind on





Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it's too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?


Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.


What are you falling behind on?



So say we all!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Unorthodox












  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • Author: Deborah Feldman
  • Cover Art: Love it
  • Obtained: Bought
  • Overall rating:**** out of 5 stars








Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman
Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews


The child of a mentally disabled father and a mother who abandoned the community while her daughter was still a toddler, Deborah was raised by her strictly religious grandparents, Bubby and Zeidy. Along with a rotating cast of aunts and uncles, they enforced customs with a relentless emphasis on rules that governed everything from what Deborah could wear and to whom she could speak, to what she was allowed to read. As she grew from an inquisitive little girl to an independent-minded young woman, stolen moments reading about the empowered literary characters of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott helped her to imagine an alternative way of life. She had no idea how to seize this dream that seemed to beckon to her from the skyscrapers of Manhattan, but she was determined to find a way. The tension between Deborah’s desires and her responsibilities as a good Satmar girl grew more explosive until, at the age of seventeen, she found herself trapped in a sexually and emotionally dysfunctional marriage to a man she had met for only thirty minutes before they became engaged. As a result, she experienced debilitating anxiety that was exacerbated by the public shame of having failed to immediately consummate her marriage and thus serve her husband. But it wasn’t until she had a child at nineteen that Deborah realized more than just her own future was at stake, and that, regardless of the obstacles, she would have to forge a path—for herself and her son—to happiness and freedom. (Synopsis provided by Amazon)

As a Messianic woman, I was interested in learning more about a different sect of Judaism. I must say that the sect Feldman is from is very different from how I was raised and how I live. Not different in a bad way, just different. 
These types of books can be hard to review as I feel like I am reviewing the authors personal life. Instead of talking about what I liked and didn't like about the book, I'm going to talk about what happened in the book and the writing style.

I think it's safe to say that Feldman had a difficult childhood. She grew up in a very strict religious family. She doesn't tell a lot about the laws of Judaism so if you aren't very familiar with the laws and customs you may find yourself doing internet searches for terms used in the book.

I did love how she described Sukkot. Which is one of my personal favorite holidays. Her descriptions of the holiday and of her life in general, were very vivid. They make the reader feel as if they were there in the room with Feldman, which is always a wonderful experience for a reader.

Some of the scenes were painful to read. The way Feldman writes is so powerful that the emotions almost leap off the page and we can feel what Feldman felt.

I do think that she was brave to leave everything she knew behind and to move out into the secular world, that is something that many people could never do. I know I would never be able to leave all that I knew for  a world foreign to me.

If you are interested in learning about the Orthodox Jewish community or if you like to read stories of strong women, I would highly recommend this book.



So say we all!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Falling Behind on Friday 8






Falling Behind on Friday is a weekly meme hosted by me. In this one, we all pick a book that has been on on TBR pile for a long time. (At least one month.) That we just haven't gotten to yet. Or a book we have been meaning to buy and haven't picked up. I know most of us have massive TBR piles and this is a great way to single out one to share with others.
To be clear the book must already be published. I am sure we all find many that we either didn't know about or that we have forgotten about.
So, to participate, simply grab the "Falling behind on Friday" graphic above, post  the cover art to the book you have fallen behind on and leave a comment linking me to your post so I can stop by and see it. Also, be sure to add the instructions in your post so others can play too!



The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper



A Shakespeare type story! I love those there has only been one that I truly hated. That one I put in the recycle bin. It was awful! I have had this one in my TBR Pile for a long time. I need to pick it up and give it a read. 
What book have you fallen behind on? Leave me a comment and let me know. I'll be sure to stop by.





So say we all!



Monday, January 26, 2015

Heaven is for real mini review










  • Paperback: 163 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Original edition (November 2, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0849946158
  • Author: Todd Burpo
  • Cover art: Simple, but less is more sometimes.
  • Obtained: Bought
  • Overall rating: **** out of 5 stars.









Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews.

When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren't expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed--a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy's trip to heaven and back.

Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery-and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.

With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how "really, really big" God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton's uniquely simple words, "Heaven Is for Real" offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, "Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses."

"Heaven Is for Real" will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child. (Synopsis provided by goodreads.)


This book was a very quick read. The writing is more simple, but I think that due to the nature of it, that actually helps the book. I think 12 year olds could easily read this and be able to understand what Burpo wanted to communicate. I do think however, that it's a book that needs to be discussed. It is a conversation starter.

I was intrigued by Colton Burpo's descriptions of Heaven. As a Messianic, I believe in Christ, and Heaven. Yes, this book is "aimed" to believers, but it's not preachy, and non-believers can enjoy it as well of course.

I found it interesting how the child knew a ton of things that no one had ever told him. 
I would recommend this book if you liked the movie (which is super close to the book) or if you want to know what a boy saw when he went to Heaven.




  

Monday, January 19, 2015

The One










  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Not Indicated edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Author: Kiera Cass
  • Cover art: Love it!
  • Obtained: Bought 
  • Overall rating: ***** out of 5 stars












The time has come for one winner to be crowned.



When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants. (Synopsis provided by Goodreads)

Alright, I want to start this off by saying it's been several months since I read this one. I loved it! I was anticipating this one since the end of the first book. I guessed who the "winner" was going to be. I was right, however the way she became the winner was not how I was expecting.

There were several things in this book that I "saw coming". There were several things I had no idea would happen. The middle of the book and close to the end were far from what I was expecting. The surprise was  welcome though. 

I loved the way America's character developed. I know a lot of readers had issues with her in the first two books. I always liked her, however, I do see how others may not have liked her. That being said, I believe that she really grew into her own in this last installment.

Maxon, Maxon, Maxon, Maxon. What I can I say about the Prince? He was amazing in this one! He faced a lot of difficult issues in this book and he came through better then I can say I would have if I had to face even a sliver of what he faced.

If you liked the first two books, I would highly recommend this one. I am looking forward to reading more  in this world when The Heir is released this spring!




So say we all!

Friday, January 16, 2015

I am back!

Hey y'all just a quick note to say I now have computer access more then just a phone and I will be getting back to blogging. I have a stack of books I need to write reviews for. Look for the first of these on Monday! I missed blogging, but the break was nice.
We had a few deaths in and around the family in the past 6 months, school has started up again and work has slowed down so that means more time for blogging. I did't forget about you I promise!





Friday, April 11, 2014

Falling Behind on Friday 7


 


Falling behind on Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Moirae the Fates book reviews. In this one we all pick one book that has been in our to be read pile for a long time (One month or longer) that we just haven't gotten to yet. Or a book that is on our to buy list that we haven't gotten a chance to pick up yet.  I know most all of us have massive TBR piles and we can all find one book to post about and share with others. I think it will be a great way to learn about already published books that a lot of us may not know about or may have forgotten about.
To be clear these books MUST already be published!
So, to participate simply grab the Falling Behind on Friday picture above and post the cover art of the book, and leave a link to the books goodreads page and let us all know what book you've "fallen behind on." And in your post don't forget to let others know how to participate! Sounds like fun right?
So to kick things off here is the book I have fallen behind on:

Pretty Little Liars.    



  Three years ago, Alison disappeared after a slumber party, not to be seen since. Her friends at the elite Pennsylvania school mourned her, but they also breathed secret sighs of relief. Each of them guarded a secret that only Alison had known. Now they have other dirty little secrets, secrets that could sink them in their gossip-hungry world. When each of them begins receiving anonymous emails and text messages, panic sets in. Are they being betrayed by some one in their circle? Worse yet: Is Alison back? A strong launch for a suspenseful series.


That's what I've fallen behind on what have you fallen behind on?





So say we all!