Review – Fallen by Annie Lobert

fallen

Book description:

After more than a decade as a victim of the commercial sex industry, Annie Lobert shares not only her redemption story but those of others involved in sex trafficking.

Annie Lobert was not so different from most girls. She grew up in a small town and had common struggles with friends, school, and boys. Her home was filled with turmoil, and, as happens far too often, she was sexually abused by a family friend. She knew heartache, but she didn’t know love. Sadly, Annie’s story is not uncommon. (Read the full description here)

First Impressions

I knew about Annie through the sex trafficking documentary called Nefarious. Her story and ministry impacted me a lot so I didn’t hesitate to enter to this book tour for her book called Fallen.

Content

Fallen is read as a powerful testimony about Annie’s life. Though sex trafficking is real, sometimes we cover our eyes trying to cover the issue from our lives. It feels so foreign to our everyday activities. Unless we personally know someone that has been through this problem, our attitude tends to be that of indifference.

Through Annie’s eyes we read a story that doesn’t start in the drama of being abused by a pimp. She boldly lets us have a glimpse into her childhood, into the interaction with her family. And no, not because it’s the introduction to her life it means it was a happy or easy life, on the contrary, it was a hard one. If you read with a pessimistic view you can easily feel overwhelmed by the many troubles Annie faced when she was young. But as you go through the pages you’ll notice the importance of this experiences being told. You’ll notice a great story of redemption that starts to unfold.

Annie’s experiences as a call girl or sex worker when she was under the control of her pimp, are the central content of Fallen. But believe me, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This story not only serves as a great demonstration of how sex trafficking works or how you can avoid it, but it’s also a great example of God’s love into action in the life of anyone that is willing to accept it.

I’d like to point to the strong, detailed and obvious situations that are mentioned in different parts of this book that some people can find extreme, offensive or unnecessary. I strongly believe they are completely necessary to illustrate the reality we’re living as a society and many of us is not willing to accept. One the other hand, I’d suggest guidance through the reading if you’re underage as many questions and doubts may arise.

Conclusion

Yes, Fallen is a book about sex trafficking but it’s also a book about God’s power to deliver those in bondage, to embrace those who feel unloved and to give purpose to those who feel trapped. Annie’s story is a reminder of man’s evil, but most important, of God’s goodness. Make sure you stop by Annie’s ministry, Hookers 4 Jesus to know more about sex trafficking and how you can get involved.

Rating: 

I received this book from Worthy Publishing in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Reseña – RVR 1960 Biblia de Estudio Arco Iris

RVR60_RainbowBible_HC_r4.inddarcoiris

Descripción

La característica principal de esta biblia es la codificación de los versículos en 12 colores, que representan diferentes temas bíblicos tales como Dios, discipulado, amor, familia y profecía, entre otros. Además esta biblia cuenta con el plan de salvación, una armonía de los Evangelios y las palabras de la Trinidad subrayadas para darles mayor énfasis. Introducción para cada libro de la Biblia, mapas en el texto, concordancia, ocho paginas de presentación y registro familiar, selección especial de versículos para memorizar, palabras de la Trinidad subrayadas, referencias en columna central, bosquejos de los libros, 365 citas bíblicas populares, calendario anual de lectura bíblica diaria, el plan de salvación, concordancia de 88 páginas, cinta marcadora.

Primeras Impresiones

La Biblia de Estudio Arco Iris es una Biblia bastante conocida y que lleva años en el mercado. Me llamó la atención la presentación de esta nueva edición. Una Biblia de Estudio de pasta blanda no es tan común de encontrar y mucho menos que sea de un tamaño práctico para uso diario.

Características Especiales

La descripción del principio resume bastante bien las características de esta Biblia y al tenerla más de cerca pude comprobar que no exagera ni minimiza ninguna de ellas. A pesar de ser una Biblia de Estudio, es bastante accesible para el lector común.

Tomando de ejemplo la introducción de cada libro, uno se puede dar cuenta que la intención de esta Biblia no es la de ser tan exhaustiva ni detallista, sino la de dar un vistazo general al lector con puntos y palabras clave para una mejor comprensión.

Presentación y Diseño

La Biblia viene en una caja de cartón grueso bastante llamativa pero que cumple con la tarea de proteger bastante bien el producto. Aunque no soy partidario de la práctica, he visto como muchas personas llevan su Biblia en su caja para que no se maltrate. Sin duda esta es una caja bastante resistente.

Esta edición es de pasta blanda con diseño de portada como la de la segunda imagen del inicio. Esta hecha de símil piel y cosida lo que garantiza una Biblia de buena calidad. He usado Biblias similares por más de cinco años (dándole un uso normal) y aun conservándose en buen estado.

El interior es sin duda lo que más sobresale. Todas las páginas están a color, con tonos diferentes de acuerdo a diferentes temas. Viene incluido un separador con el índice de colores para tenerlo presente en todo momento e identificar fácilmente la relación de color-tema.

Siendo una Biblia de Estudio, también incluye referencias en una columna central y en algunos casos también incluye mapas entre los párrafos, haciendo mucho más fácil ubicarse en tiempo y espacio.

Conclusión

La presentación y contenido de ésta edición hacen de la Biblia de Estudio Arco Iris una herramienta de estudio ideal para aquellos que están interesados en ir más profundo en su lectura sin perder el enfoque en el texto. Cada una de las características son bastante útiles sin ser abrumadoras como en muchos casos. Si estás buscando una Biblia para regalo, está nueva presentación junto con su distintivo colorido la hacen una buena opción.

 Aclaración: Recibí una copia de este libro gratuitamente de B&H Publishing Group a cambio de una reseña honesta. Todos los pensamientos y opiniones expresados son propios. 

Reseña – El Secreto de los Duendes por William Alexander

elsecretodelosduendes
Descripción del libro

Una seductora novela de fantasía y aventuras situada en un país imaginario llamado Zombay. Allí, un chico se escapa de la casa para niños huérfanos en la que vive y se une a una compañía de teatro de duendes para encontrar a su hermano desaparecido. Muy pronto comienza a participar como actor en piezas teatrales. Pero estas obras no son sólo para el entretenimiento, y las máscaras que utilizan los actores son más que una fantasía.

Primeras impresiones

Desde hace tiempo me había llamado la atención esté libro. Disfruto de fantasía y ficción de middle grade y después de haber leído Fablehaven, pensé que El Secreto de los Duendes llenaría ese vacío.

Historia

Los primeros capítulos me parecieron bastante atractivos. Comenzando por la descripción de la ciudad y de los alrededores, la historia prometía bastante. Una bruja que mantenía cautivos a niños huérfanos en una ciudad bastante peculiar y una carabina de duendes que presenta una función fuera de lo normal. Lamentablemente conforme llegaba a la mitad del libro, todo empezó a perder sentido. Parecía que había muchas historias contándose al mismo tiempo pero ninguna de ellas lograba tener la fuerza suficiente para guiar el resto del libro. Según la descripción Rownie, está en busca de su hermano Rowan y sin embargo la historia no sigue un desarrollo y todo termina de golpe.

Lo más rescatable de El Secreto de los Duendes es el tema de las mascaras, del que no puedo hablar mucho para no arruinarles la historia. Pienso que es bastante original y tenía mucho más potencial para una buena moral al final de la aventura de Rownie.

Personajes

Rownie es el protagonista de la historia es un chico que vive bajo custodia de la bruja y que carece de personalidad. Al menos así lo percibí. No mostró ningún rasgo sobresaliente que lograra que me identificara con él o con su meta en particular.

Graba es la villana de la historia, un personaje que parece ser inspirado por Baba Yaga, y que lamentablemente no aparece tanto como hubiera querido. Terminó sintiéndose como un personaje extra que sirvió de excusa para forzar algunas situaciones.

Creo que lo más atractivo de la historia es la compañía de duendes. Cada uno tiene una personalidad única y parecen tener más que contar que el resto de los personajes. Lamentablemente tampoco fueron explotados y solo fueron un medio para llegar al fin de Rownie.

Conclusión

En verdad quería que me gustara este libro, sé que saben de lo que hablo, pero no disfrute su lectura. Fue una de esas experiencias en las que disfrutas más terminar el libro porque ya no quieres volverlo a tocar de nuevo.

Calificación: 

Aclaración: Recibí una copia de este libro gratuitamente de editorial OCEANO para esta reseña.

Review – Authority in Prayer by Dutch Sheets

authorityinprayer

Book Description

God Needs You

Authority in Prayer will show you how to take hold of God’s promises and pray with the authority He wants you to have. You can reign in life and be the overcomer God intends you to be, taking charge of your personal world and changing the world around you. Don’t allow sin, Satan, or the circumstances of life to weigh you down.

Beginning with your private world–your thoughts, body, actions, and ultimately your God-ordained destiny–you can take charge. Authority is yours for the taking.

First Impressions

I love books about prayer, because I love prayer. It’s one of those subjects I’m always trying to dive in to actually put into practice in my prayer life, so this seemed to be the ideal book for me and it was about to be the perfect one.

Content

Governmental intercession is the main topic the Sheets starts to develop from the very beginning, with easy-to-follow examples from daily life. According to him:

To exercise authority is to govern. Praying with authority therefore is governmental intercession. p.14

While most of the content is focused in Sheets’ passion for governmental change in America, the principles can be applied to any situation. Sheets’ making a wake up call for Christians to rise and use the power given to them by God in their spheres of influence.

Jesus truly is building His church, but it is not what we have thought of as the church – a social club, a building on the corner, or even a teaching center or place of worship. It is a government headquarters, a parliament, discerning and insisting on God’s will over the earth. – p.78

The tittle of the book fits perfect with its content. Sheets starts and closes the book with personal stories to illustrate the different principles he’s teaching and some anecdotes in between.

On one hand, this is really good since it helps the reader to see the principle being put into action by the author himself and see what actually works and what not. It’s always interesting to read about the life of those doing ministry and changing government and society through prayer.

On the other hand it started to become a little too much after some chapters, and started to feel formulaic. By too much I mean when the author decides to quote himself. Nothing bad about quoting oneself for the purpose of making a point, but quoting a whole paragraph from the same book, a few chapters later from the source? It was weird.

Putting that aside, I learned a lot about the main subject. There are gems hidden in each chapter and powerful principles about prayer and intercession that can be used in both, personal and corporate levels.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed and learned a lot while reading Authority in Prayer. I’d recommend this book to those looking for someone with experience on this field. Sheets is definitely someone you should pay attention if you want to actively participate in prayer, changing your environment and interceding for your nation.

Rating: 

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – Ester, Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt

esther
Book Description

When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people.

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king’s heart and a queen’s crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king’s permission to exterminate all Jews–young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people…and bind her husband’s heart.

First Impressions

I received this copy for review almost at the same time than A.D. 30, both historical fiction, both biblical, and I was really excited to read one after the other. One of the reasons I picked this one was the colorful and beautiful cover with Esther, looking really intriguing and mysterious. After a few pages I was not intrigued at all.

Plot

This book should have been called Esther & Harbonah “through the eyes of a queen and her eunuch” or something like that. I have nothing against stories with different PoV’s but I expected to read a story about Esther and not a story about the Persian kingdom. I’m not saying the additional information about customs and traditions did not help to make the worldbuilding more believable, but suddenly I felt I was reading a history book. I didn’t like that feeling.

It was after two hundred pages or so that every turning page stopped being tedious. Finally there was some action, finally there was some… Esther. It’s been said before, it’s not good to sacrifice plot development for the sake of character development.The second half of the book is a retelling of the book of Esther from the Bible with interesting twists and a great ending.

Characters

Esther is introduced as a teenager with teenager needs. I liked the way Angela Hunt portrayed a young Esther that was not devoted to God and was more worried about her living in the royal palace. I was impacted when my notion of a girl having a good life at the palace was challenged.

Harbonah is the palace eunuch. Sometimes his interventions felt more stronger than Esther’s. I liked the way some chapters would finish with Esther sharing her experience and then Harbonah taking up the pace right in the next chapter.

Hebrew Vocabulary

It was really annoying when suddenly I’d find a Hebrew word that wasn’t translated nor explained. I guess the author did this to respect the Hebrew tradition, but maybe a glossary would’ve been helpful.

Examples:

shitre erusin p.77

Tehillim p. 209

Conlclusion

Esther, Royal Beauty is a good historical fiction book, but if you’re looking for fast paced action this one is not for you. The storytelling was slow and would feel stuck at times. But if you like the historical character of Esther and are fond of details not related to the story then I’d recommend this novel to you.

Rating: 

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.