Monday, July 29, 2013

Anomaly by Krista McGee

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  

Title:  Anomaly
Author: Krista McGee
Genre: Christian, Young Adult, Dystopian, Fiction
Buy the Book: Amazon / Thomas Nelson

Find the Author Online: Blog / Facebook / Twitter

Blah!  Another dystopian book...was my first thought when I received the book in the mail to review.  These days, it's hard to find anything other than dystopian literature for young adults.  Oh well, at least I could add it to our school's dystopian collection for the projects our tenth graders do each year with them.

W.O.W!!  Is all I can say right now.  Anomaly is one of THE best books I've read in a long time.  (And I'm not just saying that because the author teaches almost across the street from me from me.)  The story sucks you in and won't loosen its grip until the very last page.  Even now I'm frustrated that I have to wait until January for book #2, Luminary, to come out. 

I think what's so realistic about this society, is that I can see we're headed down this path--tampering with food to make sure it's "healthy" for us, genetically modifying/creating people to be more resilient, "big brother" watching our every move to monitor and maintain orderliness of conduct, virtual reality simulators and learning "pads"...all of these issues and technologies are prevalent in the society that our characters live in.

Obviously this takes place in the future--after we all decide to annihilate one another using nuclear bombs, but this story takes place in the underground laboratories/living pods that are created in case a national/world disaster does occur.

Thalli and Berk are part of the 3rd generation of humans to be created in this world.  Every human has a place in society and everyone lives in harmony because pesky emotions do not get in the way.   Any differences have been "bred" out of humans and any anomalies are annihilated to restore harmony to each pod.

Berk has been chosen to be one of THE scientists for their civilization and Thalli is just a musician that must play for her pod-mates so they will continue to be productive.  The problem lies in the fact that Thalli has emotions so she must be annihilated--a process she does not (understandably) want to go through.  Thankfully, Berk recognizes her and launches a plan that places them both in danger.

Along the way they meet many characters, one whose name is John, an older gentleman who introduces them to the Designer, the one who made all humans--even the scientists.  Will Thalli be saved from annihilation by Berk, or will they both be cast out of society?  Who is this Designer, and will He be able to help save them from the scientists?  How did John meet the Designer and what roles do they play in the quest for Thalli's life?  You'll have to read Anomaly to find out!!!!!!!!!

Overall Impression: Rating: 5 out of 5 
Let me know what you think!  Happy Reading!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

YouTube Thursday

Yay!  Beckah Shae has a new release--Turbo Style--and I'm loving it!

Hope this gets you moving today.  One more day until the weekend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Brotherhood Conspiracy by Terry Brennan

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Kregel book blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Title: The Brotherhood Conspiracy (book #2)
Format: trade paperback
Genre: Christian, Suspense, Thriller, Fiction
Published: Kregel Publications / 2013 / ISBN: 978-0825443176 / 368 pages
Buy the Book: Kregel Publications 

Find the Author Online: Website / Blog

 Another AMAZING book by Terry Brennan!  I read the first book in this series, The Sacred Cipher, back in 2009 and have looked forward to this sequel ever since!

The Brotherhood Conspiracy takes place not too long after Tom Bohannon and his friends unearth the secret below Jerusalem's Temple Mount and the Muslim's Dome of the Rock.  A large earthquake completely obliterates both structures, causing a temporary truce between both factions. 

Unfortunately, more secrets are yet to be revealed from the scroll. Commissioned by the President of the United States, Tom and his cohorts are entrapped in a deadly mission--one more dangerous and with higher stakes than before--to decode the cipher and find the Tent of Meeting before they are killed by unscrupulous groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

Will they be able to uncover the secrets in time?  Who will survive the attacks by assassins?  And why is this Tent of Meeting so important to various countries and rulers?

You'll have to read the book to find out! 


I thoroughly enjoyed the action and adventure in this novel.  At first, it was a little hard to understand who the key players were because it has been a few years since I read the first book; however, once I became engrossed in the story and the actions of the characters, it didn't matter so much because I could tell who they were "working for" and which "side" they were on, with a few surprises here and there.

I enjoyed the details and the descriptions of the characters--especially the unforgettable Rizzo with his theatrics and tough-talking demeanor and a heart of gold.  I also enjoyed the history and biblical aspects intertwined to create an adventure that is worthy of the big screen.

I found The Brotherhood Conspiracy to be scary in the sense that it closely mirrors what is happening in the Middle East and other current events.  As Terry Brennan states, many of the items in the book are based upon research and fact, but there are parts that are completely fictional (So he says...Just how much inside information is the author privy to?)  It's also very thought-provoking because just as the President in the book and Tom's friends mentioned, we are heading in the "end days" and it's going to be quite a roller-coaster ride.

If you're looking for a suspenseful and action-packed series that will keep you on the edge of your seat (and quite possibly researching events on your own), look no further because Terry Brennan's books are MUST READS!!

Overall Impression: Rating: 5 out of 5 

Let me know what you think!  Happy Reading!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Popcorn Maker Fun

OK, so school starts up soon and of course I'm sitting in workshops.  Most of the time they're pretty boring, but this one (Popcorn Maker) is actually fun.

If you're not familiar with Popcorn Maker, it's kind of like Photo Story 3 on steroids.  You can manipulate web materials and graphics to create your own montage of works.  Both are free downloads, so don't worry if you're on a budget.  Don't worry--as a teacher, I completely understand.

Normally, I would follow copyright laws and ask for permission to use the content I "borrowed," but since I needed to have a finished product before I left the workshop, I went to my favorite place (YouTube) and grabbed some of their content to use for my Popcorn.   Mea Culpa.  Mea Culpa.

After working several hours and playing with the different features, here's my (1 minute) result:

Popcorn Play

Let me know what you think!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

YouTube Thursday

If you really want a laugh before you start the weekend, you have GOT to watch this video...

 Sad Cat Diary

I am still laughing because I can see my own "child" narrating this video.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Enter to win an iPad Mini from @KristaMcGeeYA | “Anomaly” Giveaway!

Krista McGee is celebrating the release of Anomaly, the first book in her new YA dystopian series, with an iPad Mini Giveaway!

One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A $25 iTunes gift card (download Anomaly to the iPad!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 31st. Winner will be announced at Krista's website on August 2nd.

Spread the word about Krista and her giveaway HERE!