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Fierce Beauty: Choosing to Stand for What Matters Most

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  • Posted November 19, 2012

    I am your average Jane. I don't climb mountains, run marathons,

    I am your average Jane. I don't climb mountains, run marathons, scuba dive in Hawaiian beaches, or have wildly-detailed, prophetic dreams. I don't own a ranch, train horses, explore the mountains at Yellowstone, or take week-long hikes on horseback. But Kim Meeder does. The first thing I noticed about this book is how she seems to want to relate to her reader, but for all these reasons, I just couldn't find the connection.

    I was disappointed that I found her book teetering on the line of "fluffy" Christian literature. I grew sort of tired of "the Lord" this and "the Lord" that, and of her referring to me as Friend, and by the fifth chapter, I was so over the life events/spiritual connection stories. Why can't an ensnared sea turtle just be an ensnared sea turtle? Why does everything have to be a sign from God? Sometimes I felt like I was reading something that was written for an emotional teenager. But maybe that's just me. I like sarcasm mixed in with raw, painful honesty.

    I admit, I am hard to please when it comes to books. It is rare that I pick something up and devour it, love it. It was difficult for me to receive the full message of the book without thinking, someone please remind the woman that not every word has to be italicized and not every sentence needs an exclamation point to pack a punch! Meeder's writing style is that of a cake baked with one too many cups of sugar. Take this excerpt, for example:
    Together we were immediately embraced by the cooling rush of fluid weightlessness. Swimming in suspended silence, with every stroke we drew deeper into a world beset with more color than the human eye can fully grasp. In the shallows we were hailed by a virtual rainbow of aquatic life. We streamed by schooled of brilliant yellow tangs partially mixed with black-and-white sergeantfish. Nearly every nook featured finned bits of darting confetti. Each grotto staged a lively vignette of life under the sea.
    Okay, I feel like because this is a Christian book, I need to be nice. Don't get me wrong -- Meeder is certainly a compassionate, positive person, and I know she has come from a dark place and found genuine joy in Christ, and I think that is awesome. I enjoyed her personality through the book, even if I could not connect with it. She has a beautiful, gut-wrenching story to tell, but I don't think this book was as good as it could have been. Perhaps if her story had taken a more auto-biography route (akin to Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz; but I'm a sucker for Donald Miller), I would have found it more inspiring. But I'm partial to auto-biographies.

    My own personal taste aside, the book was not exactly what I thought it was going to be. I envisioned a book about learning to love who you are, becoming a strong, independent woman who puts God first and realizes how much more important living a Christ-centered life is than being obsessed with conforming to our society's view of what makes a perfect, beautiful woman. Okay, maybe I should not have judged the book by its title and tagline. This book was, to me, less about the journey to concentrating on inward beauty from being dissatisfied with ones physical beauty (something I believe every woman goes through at some point in life, an issue about which this book could have really spoken), than it was about escaping sin and trusting God. I didn't hate it, and I certainly didn't love it; it was okay. Writing style and content lead me to rate this book two stars out of five.

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  • Posted May 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    " Friend, God is calling you to be beautiful, but not in


    " Friend, God is calling you to be beautiful, but not in the way the world demands." This quote from the introduction of Kim Meeder's inspirational woman's book "Fierce Beauty" brings to focus the main theme of this highly uplifting read. Reading this book is much like having a mentor sit down with you and encourage you to forget what the world thinks and strive instead to be the unique person that God created you to be.
    "Fierce Beauty" is full of Biblical truths that the author skillfully makes relevant by using a wide range of real life examples. The descriptive language took a little while for me to get used to but once I did it pulled me right into the scenarios. Each chapter begins with a story from the author's life and ends with a thought provoking application. By the end of the book I felt like I knew the author and that I knew more about my Heavenly Father as well.

    I would defiantly recommend this book to anyone that is feeling worn down by the world. It is unlike any other woman's book I have ever read in the way that it stresses over and over again to not be passive but to stand up and fight for what is right. One of my favorite chapters was # 17 "The Race , Don't you Ever Quit!". This quote from it might have to go on my fridge " A warrior is not distracted by the entanglements of this life. She answers God's call to fix her eyes and her energy on running hard to the end of the race... where her King awaits."

    I received a review copy of this book for free through the "Blogging for Books" program with the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

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  • Posted February 27, 2012

    Fierce Beauty Review

    As a christian woman, I often struggle with the world's idea of beauty. We are constantly bombarded with the message that constantly tell us how to dress, look, what to eat in order to be beautiful. But I know that beauty comes from withing and I often find the need to start there.

    Fierce Beauty is written much like a storybook. The author paints very vivid pictures with her words as she shares deeply about her personal life situations. At times though, the storytelling is overwhelming for me to read. She describes things in such great detail that I found myself wanting her to "get to the point" of the story. Maybe it's because I don't read fiction much.

    On the other hand, many of her testimonies are heart wrenching as she shares how God brought her through each of them. Many chapters are very heavy in a sense and cause you to take a Selah pause and sit and reflect on the message the author is trying to convey.

    At only 175 pages, this book is easy to read and has some pretty profound messages in it if you don't mind the storybook feel of it.

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  • Posted January 30, 2012

    For EVERY Woman

    I finally finished it! And although I have written numerous posts sharing the information I have learned from Kim Meeder in her book Fierce Beauty, this post serves to tell you what I PERSONALLY think of the book!

    Fierce Beauty changed my life! It is, hands down, one of the best books I have ever read. If you are a woman, this is a book for you! If you’re a teen, this is a book for you (with Mom’s permission of course).

    I firmly believe that any person involved in any sort of women’s ministry should add this book and Kim Meeder’s knowledge and experience to their physical and mental library! If you are a woman who has struggled with feelings of worth, feeling loved or accepted (which is probably 99% of us) THIS IS A BOOK FOR YOU!

    Buy it for yourself and then turn around and buy it for your girlfriends!

    Out of 5 stars, I give Fierce Beauty:

    5 stars!

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  • Posted January 28, 2012

    Inspired!! Taking Up My Sword!

    I thought this was going to be another book on the importance of inner beauty, but I was delightfully wrong. The premise of the Fierce Beauty by Kim Meeder is much deeper than that. We were not designed to be princess of entitlement but warriors of encouragement. Our calling is to let go of our crown of gems (our puny personal ambitions, desires, and agendas) in order to pursue our true identity: His crown of thorns (the will of our King). Only by doing so will we discover the value, joy, and fulfillment He intends for us. Kim Meeder is an amazing combination of athletic and poetic, adventuresome and artistic. She skillfully weaves the description of her adventures so that you feel like you are experiencing yourself - tasting, smelling, feeling, and seeing her escapades from which she always sees God showing or teaching her something. Through her explorations whether in a kayak or climbing a mountain, she exhibits the quality of a true daughter of the King as well as a warrior – a sort of warrior princess. My life may not be full of exciting adventures as Kim Meeder’s, but I find myself in circumstances that evoke similar feelings – lost, alone, panicked, or uncertain. God is in the midst of every moment of my life wanting to show me more about Him and to grow me, and Kim Meeder gave me multiple of examples of inspiration to open my eyes and experience His pure joy in routine moments, difficult moments, and even good moments. I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is ready to be inspired to lay down her crown and pick up her sword. Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from WaterbookMultnomah Publishing in exchange for a review.

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  • Posted January 20, 2012

    Inspiring- a must read!!!

    In this book Kim Meeder shows how women have been told that what we look like is more important then how we live. She gives inspiration women and that our true value is in God.

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  • Posted December 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fierce Beauty

    You really should not judge a book by its cover, but I immediately thought this cover was beautiful. Reading the book, the message is nice. We need to throw aside our pride and become the fierce yet beautiful warriors that Christ intended us to be as His Bride, the Church. The author incorporates Scripture, personal stories, and even dreams. Now, for me, I found some parts of the book boring. This may just be my personality. Lots of the stories were about outdoorsy stuff like hiking, climbing, and such. Some readers will find this exciting. I did not. Judge for yourself. If all else fails, the cover is pretty.

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    Wonderful

    What matters to you most? I recently had the chance to review this book. It was the first one I have read of by this author. She has her own life stories through the whole book. Telling Women in the end our true beauty comes from our inner self. In the end what are you gonna stand for? Our inner beauty is not about how you look, it is about how you live. Too many women now days are living to please the world and earthly things that in the end is not going to matter. She takes you through many stories in her life such as losing her parents to just simple points from different times in her life. The question is mainly asked can we lay aside our own selfish desires and pursuit of earthly pleasures and find the true beauty with in us to live faithfully for the Lord inside and out. Are you willing to stand and put all trust in the Lord? This was a good book and I enjoyed her story.

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  • Posted November 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fierce Beauty - What would you fiercely defend?

    Fierce Beauty. Kim Meeder. 2011. WaterBrook Multnomah. 182 pages. What would you fiercely defend? That question is asked in the introduction of Fierce Beauty by Kim Meeder. We will stand for what matters most to us, so the choice becomes whether we live for ourselves or for our King. (Joshua 24:15) This book is a collection of real life stories from the author¿s life. Her descriptive stories are a combination of hopeful, humorous, intense, sad, and happy retellings. Four chapter were fictional dream-type stories about the choice we have as to what or who we will serve. It is written to persuade us to change our thinking from a passive ¿princess¿ attitude to that of an active ¿warrior¿ attitude. Although is was a quick and easy read, the stories were very fascinating, descriptive, and kept my attention. ¿Still standing¿, found at the end of the book, has a few small photos of some of the people and animals in the chapters as well as an update on the their story. I found that to be a nice addition. I would love to see even more photos of the many places she described in her stories. The end of the book also offers a small question section that is good for personal or group use. This is the first book of Kim Meeder¿s that I have read. In this book, she makes reference to the other books that she has written. In addition to writing, she is co-founder and director of Crystal Parks Youth Ranch, an organization that rescues abused horses and pairs them with children in need. She has helped to establish other similar ranch ministries. I give high recommendations for this book. Read first chapter here. Disclosure of Material Connection: This book was provided, by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest opinion. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission¿s CFR, Part 255.

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  • Posted November 15, 2011

    LOVED it--easy reading but deep messages

    We live in a culture obsessed with the outer shell. When I pause and think about the amount of time and energy and money we¿I¿put into our clothes, makeup, hair, schedules, cars, and homes¿I¿m uncomfortable with the way I pursue comfort. I contrast my life with that of my little girl in Africa. With the poor I see walking the streets. It sobers me. I know life isn¿t all about me¿but sometimes I live like it is. I finished the last few pages of Kim Meeder¿s Fierce Beauty: Choosing to Stand for What Matter Most last night. LOVED it. Kim and her husband run Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a ranch that rescues abused and neglected horses and invites hurting children to learn and grow by working with the horses. Fierce Beauty is her fourth book and shares her passion for living a purposeful life of serving the King. She uses one of my favorite writing forms¿analogies¿to teach lessons that reach deep into the heart. Each chapter first shares a story or experience (all of them incredible, captivating, or touching) and then relates that to our spiritual life in a unique, memorable way. I was both inspired and convicted throughout the book. I see how many times I live for myself and the ways this blinds me, burdens me. I love her analogy of the princess-turned-warrior. She describes the self-entitled princess of this world, weighed down by her own selfishness and in captivity from living for herself. She urges women to throw down such crowns of entitlement, selfishness, and pride and to instead embrace a life of taking up a sword to fight for truth and beauty and hope¿and for those drowning without it. This is where true beauty is found¿in breaking the chains of worldliness and living a life of real freedom by service to God and others. The battle is real. So let¿s put on our armor, girls(Ephesians 6:10-17). [I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing. All comments are honest and original.]

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  • Posted November 12, 2011

    Love It~ Must Read!

    Many ladies are choosing to believe the sad lie that how we look is far more important than who we are as an actual lady. That lie is straight from the devil, and sadly it is leading more and more ladies astray. Hollywood and the other media are great contributors to this lie, saying that you must be skinny or brunette or tall... There is nothing in and of itself wrong with these things, until these things take first priority in your life. Kim Meeder addresses these issues and others in her book Fierce Beauty. Not only does she give advice, she gives real stories of instances that she has been through in her own life to help us. I must say as I read through her book, I had a hard time staying focused on certain things she was addressing. But I must say it is a good read and an encouragement to all ladies who will take the time to read it. I received this book free from blogging for books for the sole purpose of giving my honest review of this book.

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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    encouraging, humorous at times, a story of faith, hope, love and joy

    Reviewed by Lynn F. for Readers Favorite

    "Fierce Beauty: Choosing To Stand For What Matters Most" by Kim Meeker is a book all women should read and ponder on. Who or what do we worship? God or our designer clothes?. Are we more enthused about our body on the outside or the part God sees-our inner beauty? It seems like in today's lifestyle we start on this beauty trip early. From the time little ones are big enough for mothers to carry them on stage in beauty pageants, our world has revolved around where beauty can get us in life. And then they grow up living their life as a little beauty princess. It's time to start looking the other way and become the beautiful person you really are in God's eyes. As the author takes the reader through this book you will soon learn to turn aside the things that matter to you right now, the designer shoes and clothes, the makeup, and your selfish ambitions. Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with having nice clothes and wearing makeup. It's when we get things out of order instead of in the proper perspective that it all matter. It's how you live, not how you look, that brings out the true beauty in a woman.

    I thought of myself as I read this book and knew I would never had made it far in the world of beauty. I do dress up occasionally but all my life I have been the tomboy sort and still am today. A pair of jeans, a sweatshirt and cowboy boots and I feel beautiful. But the book made me stop and think. Do I put what I wear over God? Do I feel this makes me look beautiful on the outside while the inside remains ugly? There is a very strong message presented throughout this book and by using examples of her own life she encourages the women to lay down that tiara and pick up the sword. There is a part in the book that I have heard many times in different books and situations and I believe it is a beautiful illustration to this book. It's about an eagle who was in a beautiful cage even though he had outgrown it. When the bars were finally opened so he could go free he couldn't fly away; you see he was so attached to the beauty of that cage that he stayed. Are we like that? We have become so obsessed over our beauty that we stay locked in its prison and cannot let go to become a soldier for Christ.

    I recommend this book for all women to read. It's encouraging, humorous at times, a story of faith, hope, love and joy, and sometimes it may induce a tear to fall. I was very well pleased with this book and will more than likely read it again.

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    this book will change your view on life.

    the book was by far amazing. i recommend every women out there to go purchase this book. reserve a copy.do what you have got to do to own this book. i don't usually like to start out a book review with my personal opinion. i know that my opinion should be reserved for last, but i just cannot hold in how much i enjoyed this read! each chapter began with a personal story which weaved perfectly into a spiritual application of how we as women of God have the opportunity to stand up for what matters the most in this life. "contrary to this world's declaration, you are far more than the sum of your exterior; you're a vessel for the living God. He's calling you to take action, to become beautiful by casting down your 'princess crown' of entitlement, to pick up your King's sword of encouragement and fiercely defend those around you who are losing their battle for hope." (p.2) we are so inundated with what the world considers to be beautiful. it is so very easy to buy into these lies and strive toward that end. in reality.that is not at all the truth. we become so focused on the outward appearance that the inward reality is ugly. our inward beauty is what is eternal. our outward beauty is fleeting. don't get me wrong! i think it is very important that we take care of ourselves. we are God's temple. BUT. when that becomes our main focus we totally miss out on what God considers beautiful. "when we allow our faith to rest in ourselves more than in the Lord, we set in motion a collision course with ruin. when i was god of my own life, i nearly destroyed myself. my desire for personal control and acceptance by others became my paltry reward. for that little glittery tiara, i gave up my King's genuine freedom, love, peace, strength, and joy. " (p.44) this book got me to ask myself some point-blank questions that exposed a lot of vanity in my own heart. for example: "am i more focused on my own selfish pursuits and the praise of others than on God's perfect plan for my life?" (p.75). "Lord, am i giving You my excess, or am i giving You my very best?" (p.99) living a life of service to others is living a life of true worship to our King. i have HOPE.& it is God's desire that i share that hope with those who are hopeless. that is what true beauty is all about. a life that is focused on standing for what matters most. kim meeder's words were uplifting. i want her as my best friend! the positiveness that she exudes is so contagious! i am very thankful for this book and the impact that it has had on my personal walk with the Lord.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Choosing to Stand, Sword in Hand

    I only just finished reading Kim Meeder's book 'Fierce Beauty' this morning and I stand amazed, my sword in hand. This was not just a small 182 page book about seeing yourself as a beautiful person. It was a book that taught about being beauty in this world...becoming a beautiful vessel for our living God. These pages held many truths and lessons, simplistic and the-harder-ones-to-learn about how to truly live beautifully for Him and in such a way for others to glimpse that beauty within us daily. Meeder speaks through her many life experiences, adventures, trials, sufferings, joys and even the animals in her life, wild and domesticated, to speak boldly about what it means to choose to stand for what matters most. And what matters most in this world is to take a stand, living courageously and beautifully for Him. From snakes to sea turtles and from scary mountainsides to skiing for her life at all costs Meeder's stories are engaging, humorous and insightful. I thoroughly enjoyed how poetically she wrote throughout the whole book, and I also adored how every chapter told a chapter of the author's own life and then at the end of each chapter everything was neatly wrapped up with a small chapter and word from the heart of God. If you are a lover of The King and of animals then this book is for you. If you are seeking to live a life of beauty that is not about how you look then this book is for you. If you are struggling with an untimely death, thoughts of suicide, anorexia/bulimia or learning to possess a heart of forgiveness then this book, my friend, is indeed written for you. {I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.}

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    Great Stories...

    I recently had the opportunity to read Fierce Beauty by Kim Meeder. Without knowing any of her story or background beforehand, I had no idea what her take was on godliness, biblical womanhood, or what exactly "fierce beauty" was. As I was reading, I was challenged by her observations on obedience to Christ and glorifying God. While I found her continuing short sections on the woman with the crown and the sword a little perplexing (what exactly was she trying to say?), I was very entertained by the stories she told from her own life, the biblical parallels she drew, and the concise, clear way she made applications for godly, daily living.

    The book reads like a devotional book -- each chapter is connected to the others but can still be read as a "stand alone." It can be read in one sitting or stretched out over time so that the reader can fully absorb and appreciate each chapter.

    Many thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed are mine entirely.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Battling the Darkness with "Fierce Beauty"

    Kim Meeder has an amazing capacity for story telling and her latest collection of stories, Fierce Beauty continues to show her talents. Her return to a short story, first person narrative format is reminiscent of her first books, "Hope Rising" and "Bridge Called Hope" in which she chronicled many of the stories of both horses and humans touched by the work of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch.

    "Fierce Beauty" covers seemingly diverse topics from horses to house fires and zippers but, with the grace of a dancer, brings the reader back time and time again to the deeper spiritual truths that can be found in each story. I love that Kim never seems to beleaguer a point. She tells her stories with an easy elegance then turns and makes her point without preaching a sermon.

    "Fierce Beauty" is a quick read but one you'll want to have on your shelf to read again and again.

    Now, good and bad news. The good news is that you have a chance to win a free book from Water Brook Multnomah by going to their site and ranking one of my reviews. Now, you will have to give them your email address but they promise not to do anything nefarious with it!

    The bad news is that "Fierce Beauty" wont be on sale until October 4, 2011. Mark your calendar or pre-order the book now, I think this is one you wont want to miss!

    I received this book for free from Water Brook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as part of their "Blogging for Books" program.

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  • Posted July 13, 2011

    Great Bible Study!

    "True Beauty is not about how you look, but how you live. Women are constantly bombarded with the lie that how we look is far more important than who we are. It's time for a clarion call back to the truth. Journey with gifted storyteller Kim Meeder as she encourages women to see that true value is defined by our Creator and that we have worth of eternal proportions. Real beauty isn't a look, it's an action. It can be found by making one crucial, life-defining choice: to lay down personal ambitions and selfish desire, pick up your sword of encouragement, and fight for those who are losing their battle for hope. As you do, fierce beauty is revealed--along with lasting value, fulfillment, and joy." I love how each chapter of this book starts out with a real-life story, a few pages that from the author's life that draws you in and grabs your attention. After the story, Meeder finishes each chapter drawing similarities from her story to our life with Christ. While there are discussion questions at the back of the book, if using this in a bible study setting, you may want to come up with additional questions for your group. There are 3 parts to the book, 5-6 chapters in each part. However, the discussion questions are lumped together by parts, with only 4 questions per section. I give this book 4 stars and am considering using it for my own bible study later this year! (Book does not release until October 4) I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group and was not required to post a positive review.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Love It

    I have just finished reading Fierce Beauty by Kim Meeder. The book was full of wonderful stories. Most of them left you wanting to know more. Which she left you little notes at the end of the chapter to let you know which of her other book you could fine more on, which I thought was nice. The whole meaning of the book was to realize that women are more than just beauty on the outside. She beckons the reader to realize their own strength within, that which we are given by Christ.
    The author loses her parents in an accident at a very early age. She and her two sisters go to love with their maternal grandmother. I loved the stories of her "Mimi". She was a strong person to put aside her grief in the death of her daughter to devote her life in raising her granddaughters. God uses the author's tragic experience as a young girl to touch other hurting children.
    I really related to the author in the aspect that she and her husband run a ranch for injured and abused horses. She tells stories about the children who come and learn to care for the horses as a way to heal their sometime troubled souls. The real meat of the book wants you to learn through her stories how to transform, surrender, and serve your King. I feel she gets this across to the reader. At times it drags, but all in all a good read.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Intriguing Stories!

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a book that would title itself Fierce Beauty. My first thought was Tyra Banks telling me to be "fierce" while making frightening model expressions at me, and while this book did give me some of that vibe with the constant repetitions of the word "princess" I was thankfully able to find stories that were well tied to how we can view our beliefs.
    Kim Meeder leads a very adventerous life, and I felt she was even a tomboy, so the crown, and references to princess I believe hurt the vibe. She begins the book about talking about her experience mountain climbing, and the rest is highly focused on her stories involving the ranch she runs. The message of the stories are riveting. One particular story about a horse named, Hero, almost had me crying. Most of all I liked how each story was able to convey something about how we can relate it to our beliefs, or understand how God conveys his love for us.
    The constant references to other books she has authored at the end of several chapters was a tad annoying. I felt like this book was a marketing ploy to her other works. I would arrive at the end of the chapter and then it would have a note at the bottom to purchase another book for more information. Shouldn't I be able to read a book without the author having to tell me to read her other works to get the whole story?
    I feel like when a woman writes a book similiar to this they feel they can only market it to women, so they dress it up by putting a princess crown on the front, and only make references to extremely girly things. I was never a girl who pretended to be a princess, so that part of the book made me cringe slightly. Then again the author may feel she wants to only address women, and that is all good too. This book could have a much broader audience, because God doesn't only want women to think about the things presented in this book, but I'm sure men could find something in each of these stories too. This book made me feel something, which is what is most important to me when I'm reading.

    This complimentary copy was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for a review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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