Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Wednesday Book Recommendation

Wow...where did the week go? 

It's been a busy week at the Chestnutt household with no slowing down in sight!  Lots of commitments, travels, and activities in the coming weeks so blogging will be less frequent, or maybe more so now that I've proclaimed it won't be.  We all know how that goes, right?

Well, onto my latest book review.  I branched out with this latest book selection, it's a NY Times Bestseller and I like to mix in a few serious, life changing books here and there. 

But I have to admit, this week's review will be my hardest to date.  This book has me a bit torn and as I looked at other Goodreads reviewers today, it appears I'm not alone.  I found it really interesting how diverse the ratings were.  Most readers either LOVED this book and gave it 5 stars or HATED it and gave it only 1 star. 

As for me?  I'm going with three and a half.  But before I get into the details, let me show you the cover and the Book Description first.  I love the cover, absolutely great, gorgeous images that speak volumes to your heart after reading this book...

Goodreads Book Description:
Mackenzie Allen Phillips's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrevelant THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!

My thoughts:
There were things I adored about this book and others that bothered me badly. I certainly have mixed emotions and I'm going to do my best to share both the pros and cons, in my opinion, for this book.

Part of the problem is the hype, before I picked this book up I'd heard how great it was over and over and over again, so my expectations were pretty high. And honestly, I was hugely disappointed, it just wasn't to die for in the way I thought and hoped it would be.

As for the story itself, the concept is great and the tale moving, but for me the biggest disappointment was the middle. It was like a vaccuum of creativity and I felt like someone else's ideas about religion were being explained to me in a boring format. It was kind of the formula of, you know about this, well this is why. And guess what? This is why this is why it is. I got bored easily and it was very hard to make it through these mundane conversations that felt too much like reading and not enough about getting lost in a story.

However, I have to say there were amazing parts throughout Mack's journey as well.  Even typing his name floods my mind with thoughts of his heart wrenching story and I wish he were alive and I could meet him.  I loved his character that much.

Not to mention there were moments that will forever live in my mind and make me think. Beautiful painted pictures and scenes that bursted of creativity that I previously mentioned was lacking towards the middle. I laughed and cried several times throughout the reading of this book.  And when I say cry, being a parent, I mean bawl-tears spilling down my cheeks-I can hardly breathe-crying.  So be forewarned.

All in all ~Was I moved? Yes. Did I think about some of the subjects for days afterward? Yes. Did I love the ideas behind the entire book? Definitely.  Could it have been even better?  Uh huh.

Anyone else out there read this one?  I'd love to know what you thought...feel free to leave me a comment.

Up next for me are a few less serious but fun page turners, so look for upcoming reviews on these beauties:

That's it for me this Wednesday.  Hope everyone's week is going well!  Half way to the weekend! 

Is anyone else melting?

*take care*


  1. I was just talking about this with some of my CP's, it seems that now that I have become a better writer I am way harder to please as a reader. Which in way sucks because before I wouldn't have noticed things that bother me now like info dumps. I'm sure I was a tad bothered before but not like I am now.
    Yay! Shiver is a really great book I hope you enjoy it :) Thanks for the review!

  2. I'm melting too! Our A/C has been out a week (mice destroyed the fan outside!) but the A/C guys are fixing it today!
    I read The Shack last year. Everyone said I HAD to read it. So I hear you on high expectations, I was just slightly disappointed, but I'm glad I read it. It does make you think a lot after you read it about God, fate, etc. It's not the kind of book I usually read, it was slow at parts, not one I'll reread. But glad to know what the buzz is about.

  3. Hype really can ruin a book for me too. It sets so many expectations in your mind and it's impossible to live up to it all.

  4. Not melting. It's still in the fifties and raining in Alaska, like it has been all summer this year.

    So, The Shack is on my shelf, waiting to be read. I think yours is the most helpful review I've seen. So, thanks. I'm curious about what you think on the other two as well, since they're both on my list. Enjoy your reads.

  5. yea time flew this week.. for that matter all summer has flown by.

  6. My mom read this and had much the same reaction that you did. Which kinda made me not want to read it (that and my TBR list could kill an elephant). Thanks for the great review! I may still give it a try at some point. :)