Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

A decent Fantasy. Aimed at children, I found this book to be entertaining and fairly well crafted. I am curious to read what happens in the next book of the series. The beginning of the book (the first couple chapters) is a little slow, and not as well written as the rest. The intrigue starts almost suddenly, and it is enjoyable to read and try to figure out what is going on.

Violence: Moderate
The violence described is not done gruesomely so. There is some fighting, with people being thrown around. A woman has blood dripping from her mouth. Guns are shot, but no victims are described.

Sexual References: Light
A couple people are mentioned to have no clothes on, but the description stops there.

Offensive Language: None

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

An interesting look at the lives of women in China during the 19th century. The story revolves around the lives of two friends. I became very engrossed with this book, despite some of the content. As a very sensual book, I cannot recommend it very highly.

Violence: Heavy
Mentions spousal abuse. Describes a miscarriage. Describes in detail foot binding. Describes the death of a few different people, including blood poisoning. Has some parental abuse seem expected and right.

Sexual References: Extreme
Somewhat explicit about marital "bed business." Lisa avoids using explicit language, but gets the point across. Snow Flower and Lily seem to have a very sensual relationship, sleeping in the same bed together. The sexual references seem to permeate the book, with only a few breaks. Snow Flower walks the line between Heavy and Extreme. Personally, it is a book that I probably should have put down.

Offensive Language: Light?
I do not recall any swearing or cursing, but have a hard time giving it a "None" rating, as I may have just been distracted with the other content.

Overall Content Rating: Heavy

New rating scale for Content

I have realized that a star system for rating content is unclear. So, I will be using the following ratings:


Hopefully this will make my reviews easier to understand.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

An idea I have had for a long time . . .

I have been participating in a book club for a few years, and have been disappointed multiple times at how difficult it is to find what I feel is a "clean" book. And while I don't consider myself to be an accomplished writer or critic, I have felt it would be worthwhile to create a place where I could share with others good books I have found. I hope to hear others' opinions on the books I have read, as well as ones I have not. I do not know where this blog will go. Maybe nowhere. But then, maybe it can become something wonderful. I am making this up as I go along, so all I can do is see where it leads me.

My reviews here are very subjective, as I am not counting how many times any particular thing happens in the story. As I have learned from books such as Kite Runner, one scene, one page is enough to make the entire book unclean.

As a warning, my reviews may contain spoilers. I have decided to give a 5-star system. 5 stars will be the best, or concerning "cleanliness" 5 stars is absolutely clean. First, I will rate how much I enjoyed the book. Then I will rate how much violence, sex , and foul language (including taking the Lord's name in vain) I found. This may change as time goes on, but it is a start.

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

A very riveting book. I read it all in one day. Although her native language is not English, her prose is frequently poetic. At the same time, this is not a difficult read.

This book is about the author's experience with the holocaust. As such, you cannot expect a happy, light story. And yet the book is inspiring and empowering. There are many Christian references and quotes from the King James Bible throughout the book. The author emphasizes forgiveness and love as well as conversion to Christ. I highly recommend this book.

Warning - Descriptions below may include spoilers.

Violence: Heavy
Violent scenes and images are scattered throughout this book. Sometimes only the resulting injuries are described, other times how they are acquired is included. She does not include the most gory descriptions, and does not dwell on them constantly, but they are frequent. Most poignant is a description of a form of torture at a concentration camp, and the treatment of the bodies of the dead.

Sexual References: Moderate
Mentions "sexsin", without describing what it is. Describes men ogling the naked women during their physicals, but does not say much sexually about the women themselves. Mentions prostitutes being among the prisoners.

Offensive language: None
I cannot recall any swearing or cursing in this book.

Overall Content Rating: Moderate