June 7, 2010

The Road Show - A book Review

*sigh* I love books. I love to read. Have I mentioned that before? Oh yes, only about 24,572 times.

Well, I love reading as much as I love chocolate!

Ch'ya, it's THAT serious.

I mean, when I imagine reading a good book while eating chocolate, it's like seeing a bit of heaven. And it brings a tear to my eye.  *sniffle*

When I get to reading a good book, all else becomes as fruit candy in my chocolate dish. My kids get cold hot dogs and crackers for lunch and my house looks like it threw up on itself.

Well, I already knew Braden Bell was an amazing writer. See, *whispering* psst, I've already read an unpublished book of his. And it was so good my house totally threw up on itself.

Even though it is a completely different genre, when he asked if I'd be willing to do a book review for his book "The Road Show" that was just released, I may or may not have blushed and I may or may not have been thinking to myself, "Pish, does a chocoholic want a candy bar? I'm all over it like my three-year old's peanut butter and jelly sandwich!"

Although I'm pretty sure I left all that out of my email so I'd sound somewhat professional in my ponytail and sweats.

I've never officially reviewed a book before so those of you with experience may scoff, but only in secretive silence. My ego is fragile.

Here are my thoughts on the book. And yes, these thoughts are all mine and I did not make this up just to make Braden like me.

So there.

"The Road Show" is an LDS fiction (don't let that frighten you) that features five main characters, all dealing with very different, very real struggles. They are all brought together in an unusual setting, in which they do a road show together and experience healing through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

What's a Road Show? Think cheesy church musical on an almost non-existent budget. The last road show I was in, I was a penguin singing "I like to be in Antarctica to the tune of "I like to be in America" from the movie "West Side Story".

Oh ya, it was awesome.

Now, as I mentioned before, I already know that Braden was a fantastic writer. But I wasn't prepared for how true and real his book is.

I believe strongly that there is something for everyone in this book and that everyone can relate in one way or another to his characters on a very deep level, even if it's only on a small scale.

I cried at one point and laughed at another. And while I wouldn't call it a "funny" book, it was still fun and had some parts that were indeed funny.

The book left me feeling so uplifted that I actually had a strong desire to go out and share what I was feeling by uplifting another.

Due to the nature of the setting the book is written in, it seems that it would be more easily understood by LDS (Mormon) members. Not the struggles the characters are experiencing, for those are universal, just the overall setup. But Braden has a glossary for people not of the LDS faith so that they can understand the Mormon lingo.

What I loved about this book, aside from the fantastic writing, was that the atonement of Jesus Christ was made very tangible in the way it was written, very attainable. I say that because I think we know with our minds what the atonement is, but often fail to grasp it with our hearts.

As I read "The Road Show", C.S. Lewis' book, "The Screwtape Letters" came to mind in the way Braden described that mental and spiritual battle we have within us when we sin or are struggling. How easy we make it for Satan to squash the whisperings of hope and the love the Savior tries to make us feel.

Powerful, poignant, and amazingly real to life, Braden wraps it all up perfectly in a mere 128 pages.

I give it 4.8 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

To find out more about his book or to read sample chapters, be sure to check our Braden's website and blog!

Disclosure: I found out AFTER I agreed to do the review that I would get a free copy of the book for doing so. Woot woot!

This disclosure was written for Braden's lawyer brother, Ryan.

Because he told me to.

And when a lawyer speaks, I listen. Because I'm chicken like that.

21 super cool people speak:

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Sounds interesting. The last roadshow I was in, I played Buckwheat from the Little Rascals!!

Saimi said...

Great review Serene, I truly want to read the book. With summer fast approaching, I have nothing but time!

Doran & Jody said...

I can't wait to read it. I too am a bookaholic! I usually have a book tucked in my purse and pray for red lights, not to go green but to turn red, so I can get a few paragraphs in.

My favorite store is Seagull. I have spent so much money for books and no where to put them so I donate them. Now I discovered the library! However, we still rack up the dollars spent on CD's so we have something in the vehicles for commuting.

I had the opportunity to 'review' a book last year and I panicked because I am NOT very good with English so she found someone else. Kick, kick, kick in da butt.

Ryan@dontdodumbthings.com said...

Serene, the review was great, but the disclosure was just excellent. Really, an extraordinary achievement in legal disclosure writing. You made me proud.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Braden, you know I don't take my chocolate lightly. Which means your book is just THAT good.

Ryan, do you mind if I get a signed copy of your statement for my records? :D

Mama Smith said...

I want you to know...I was looking for a good book to read...Seems that this book should be my next..."time out from real life"...opportunity!!! LOVED your review...Know...I TRUST your judgment in such matters!!! After all...I did RAISE YOU RIGHT!!! (smile)

gigi said...

I have only read one book this year until two weeks ago and since then I have read 5. I so don't have time but when we start summer and traveling I just want good books. I'll really check this one out. I think you did an amazing job with your review. It made me want to read it, so there you go! You are good.

Sue said...

As you already know, I liked the book, too! (And I liked your review of it as well...)


Garden of Egan said...

Great review Serene! I'm so excited to see this book get to this end of the country. I keep checking Deseret Book but so far no luck.

Sorry about the house barf. Been there done that. I'm bad with a good book too, I just read and read and let the house fall to pieces.

Lisa said...

Excellent review. I want to read it~and I couldn't even tell you were wearing sweats or a ponytail. It was THAT good.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Loved this! Somehow I missed the glossary . . .(Oh, wait, that's b/c I read a PDF file. Gotta get the book!)

Marie said...

Definitely want to read this now! Thank you!

M-Cat said...

I've been intrigued with the book, your review sealed the deal. I love me some CS Lewis so to have some comparisons makes me anticipate the read that much more!

Great review

Kazzy said...

I have been hearing and hearing and hearing about this book! I am going to have to get a copy. Great job, btw. :)

Patty Ann said...

Oh Serene, I so can't wait to read this book! I read all the chapter available on Bradens website and now I am biting my nails and really wanting to finish this book!! Can't wait to find it!! Thanks for the review that pretty much seals the deal for me. I have a 13 year old that is also interested in reading it. I love it when I can find good books with a message for her!

Evelyn @ Hanging by a Silver Lining said...

I thought you did a great job of being professional in your review. I could use a good distraction...I mean read!

The Damsel In Dis Dress said...

Great review, Serene! I loved the book.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I'm obviously the only one that did NOT know Braden Bell until all of ya'll started reviewing his book. Guess i'm going to have to read it now!

Mr. Stupid said...

Great review, Serene. I will check on that book. Though, I am already running 17 incomplete ones. Most of them are halfway and one has just got to the Cover... LOL

Hilarious as always. Smiles...:)

Sheri said...

Sounds and looks like a great book, even though we aren't supposed to judge a book by a cover... that cover is lovely!

Natalie said...

You are so funny! This is a perfect, wonderful review of an amazing book! And yeah, my house throws up on itself on a constant basis, darn it.

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