Tag Archives: Christianity

The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert

If you enjoy Christian books with a capital C, then you might like The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert, but don’t expect a squeaky clean story. This novel deals with issues such as alcoholism, failed relationships, sex before marriage, teen drinking and drug use, and swearing. Yet interspersed between these “sinful” behaviors are various scriptures and reflections about God and Jesus (which at times become a bit preachy). It’s easy to see why the main characters have doubts about their religion when they can relate better to the Book of Job than to the Gospels.

Two estranged half sisters end up together battling their personal demons. Carmen, a successful meteorologist on a local news channel, is numbed by her inability to have a child, lashing out while keeping her distance from a loving but clueless husband. Gracie is compulsive in her actions reflecting her anger at the world, but she gets a fresh start at a new high school and even begins to make friends despite her negative attitude.

Yet life is not fair and this is definitely not a fairy tale as even simple solutions are unattainable. Despite the hard work and dedication towards setting things right, more often than not failure is the result. Watching the hypocritical achieve their desired outcomes without a struggle, the sisters each wonder about God and why he doesn’t seem to be there for them.

A series of “coincidences” leads one sister to save the life of the other, but there is no resolution to their dilemmas, just more questions.

Three stars for an interesting, though depressing read.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This review also appears on Goodreads.

Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer by Catherine DeVries, illustrated by Ryan Jackson

Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer by Catherine DeVries begins with four year old Emma, a cute little girl with an appealing face, greeting the reader and inviting them upstairs to her room for a play date. Immediately the reader will feel like a welcome guest as Emma shows us one of her favorite things, a Teddy bear named Blueberry. Emma’s mom calls us down to the kitchen for a snack, but before we eat, Emma says a prayer. She then tells us about a new prayer she is learning, the prayer that Jesus taught us, the Lord’s Prayer. As Emma repeats the Lord’s Prayer she explains what the words mean with illustrations by Ryan Jackson to reinforce the concepts. Afterwards she explains that this prayer is a way to express our thanks to God. Back up in her room, she begins playing with Blueberry, teaching him the Lord’s Prayer as well.

The appealing illustrations and engaging tone create an enticing atmosphere for children to learn about the Lord’s Prayer. By having Emma introduce the topic, a child can learn about the love of a God and Jesus in a non threatening atmosphere. Most of the text consists of simple sentences and the prayer itself is broken down into small chunks which is perfect for Sunday School teachers or parents to introduce preschool or young elementary students to one of the basics of Christianity. Although simplified, the text might still be too difficult for some of the younger tots, although they will enjoy the coziness of the illustrations. This is the first book in the Introducing HeartSmart series exploring various key scriptures. There is also a website containing a custom song of an adapted version of the Lord’s Prayer. Three and a half stars.

This ARC was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This review also appears on Goodreads and Amazon.