PaperBackSwap.com - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free. is a fun site! I check books out from the library (and I hoard books, they are my most precious possessions) so I thought I wouldn't use this site very much, but it's coming in handy to fill in my series that have books missing, to get large books that I typically have to renew multiple times from the library (and still end up having to pay a late fine), and to get books that my husband and brother will also enjoy so that I can pass it on to them. And I managed to clean off my shelves a little, as hard as it was.

I just discovered that the site has a map that shows you where you've shipped books to and where you've received books from. Very cool! Of course, I am a geography major, so I guess I'm kind of geeky like that. ;-)

PaperBackSwap.com - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free.

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Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry
by: Audrey Niffenegger

Challenges: TBR 2010

Published: 2009

# of pages: 416

What a unique and interesting book! Niffenegger also wrote The Time Traveler's Wife and while Her Fearful Symmetry isn't as good (in my opinion), it is still a great read.

The story follows twins Valentina and Julia as they travel from their home in America to London, to move into their deceased aunt's home. Their aunt leaves mysterious instructions, which adds to the mystery of the London flat that overlooks Highgate Cemetery. The girls meet some interesting characters as they settle in: a man who was the lover of their aunt and an OCD man who hasn't left his flat in years. The twins have always been inseparable, but they start to drift apart in their new home after being drawn to different men and discovering that there's a reason why Valentina often feels like she's being watched in the apartment.

The story is creepy, but not scary. It's definitely a Gothic tale, but I felt that it flowed well unlike many Gothic stories I've read in the past that seem disjointed in parts. I liked the connections Niffenegger made between Valentina and Julia and Elspeth and Edie. The ending was a complete surprise, I have to admit I didn't see it coming at all. There were actually several surprises throughout the novel, but the actions of Valentina and Elspeth shocked me.

This would be a great book club choice. It's interesting that I often think that books that don't have happy endings or go the way I want them to go make good book club reads. I think it's because they are thought provoking. After I finished this story I told my husband about it because it's a little frustrating...it made me want to tell someone just so they could say, "weird," haha. It's not that I didn't enjoy the book, I thought it was great, but it is definitely not at all like The Time Traveler's Wife. I want to read it again now that I know how it turns out because it's one of those books you can read multiple times and continuously discover new things.

I recommend this to lovers of the Gothic genre or anyone looking for a book that is full of surprises.

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

Blog Luv Fest: Unique Love Stories

In order to take part in the Blog Luv Fest, I wanted to list a few books that contain some of my favorite love stories. They aren't technically romance books, but they are still great love stories.

Daughter of the Forest by: Juliet Marillier

The story of Sorcha and Red is one of my all time favorite romances! This book is the first in the Sevenwaters Trilogy, which is a great fantasy series. This book is my favorite of the three for several reasons, but mainly because of the romance.

I haven't reviewed it, but HERE is a review by Nymeth from things mean a lot.

The Gargoyle by: Andrew Davidson

This is a unique love story because it doesn't contain your typical romance. The main characters experience true love that goes beyond physical attraction. I think it's very touching and shows how strong love can be...it survives all else.

The Host by: Stephenie Meyer

The Twilight books by Meyer get all of the attention, especially as far as romance novels go. And rightly so! But The Host is not only a cool sci-fi novel, it also has one of my favorite romance storylines. I can't talk about that part too much without giving something away, but it's worth getting through the first few chapters (which I admit, are slow moving).

The Zion Covenant Series by: Bodie and Brock Thoene

One of my favorite series of all time which contains one of my favorite love storylines of all time. This is a Christian historical fiction series that takes place in Europe just before the outbreak of WWII. Elisa and Murphy cross paths and start a crazy relationship in spite of (well, because of, really) Hitler's restrictions and the groups that form to save those he is persecuting. Murphy is one of my favorite characters of all time: funny, smart, brave... what I wouldn't give to be Elisa. ;-)

The Mark of the Lion Series by: Francine Rivers

Once again, one of my favorite series...mainly because of the love storyline. It's Christian historical fiction that takes place in the Roman Empire. I can't go into many details, but although there are several storylines in the series, my favorite follows Haddassah, a slave. I have to admit, I loved this series so much that I wanted to name a future daughter Haddassah (my husband talked me out of it, lol).

I'm sure I could think of more, but this is it for now!

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In Search of Eden

In Search of Eden
by: Linda Nichols

Published: 2007

# of pages: 443

First of all, I thought the cover of this book was really cute. :-)

I received this book for Christmas from my grandmother. When I was in jr high and early high school I used to read Christian romance novels all the time. That and Christian historical fiction were my favorites. There's a lot of great Christian fiction out there, but it got to a point where I felt like I had exhausted the well written Christian novels and series (except that a couple years later I discovered Ted Dekker, who wrote some great books!). Now I rarely take the time to read Christian fiction, but my grandma gave me this book and a few others for Christmas, so I'm reading and reviewing them along with the books I normally choose for myself. Anyway, I have to admit this book is nothing special as far as the writing quality, but it was an easy, nice read.

The story follows Miranda as she moves from place to place in search of home. Her life has been rough so far: her father left, her mother is overbearing and critical, and she has a baby at 16 years old and is forced to give it up for adoption. 11 years later she is still wondering about her baby: if it was a boy or girl, if it is happy, if she should try to find it. A series of events happens and she decides to track down her child...even though she still hardly has any information about it.

She ends up in a small Virginia town and everything (miraculously) comes together. She learns about her parents' past (which explains a lot about her own past), meets a nice family (including a certain 11 year old girl named Eden), meets a great guy (of course!), and finds a home.

To be honest, a lot of times Christian fiction frustrates me because of all the sermons that take up so much of the text. I feel like those sermons shouldn't be there. If you are a Christian, the last thing you should want to read is the same repeat sermon that is in every other Christian fiction novel. If you aren't a Christian you don't want to read a stuffy sounding sermon full of words and phrases that aren't familiar and that takes up an entire page. Either way, you skip it. The secret to writing good Christian fiction is to put encouraging and informative things about Christianity in there without having to make it in a sermon form. Just talk about a Christian character living their life. You don't have to use specific Christian terms and you don't have to make it a sermon. It can be simple, which is what people in this day and age need!

Anyway, I think I only skipped a few paragraphs of this novel, so it really isn't that bad. Would a non-Christian enjoy this novel? I think so if you are interested in the story. Like I just said, it isn't overwhelming and the story is interesting. I recommend this to all adults who like a good sentimental story or who enjoy the Christian romance genre.

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

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Wife, mother, bookworm.
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