Just 18 Summers

Gutteridge, Rene. Cox, Michelle. Just 18 Summers. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. 2014.

SUMMARY:
18summersFour different yet connected families, all in different stages of life, come to terms with just how short and fast life can actually seem. With only 18 summers in which to make lifelong memories, create lasting impressions, teach necessary skills and truly make a difference, each family must complete these tasks with everyday-life getting in the way. From becoming first-time parents to watching their daughter get married, each couple must make the most of time before it slips away…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Usually a screenplay is derived from a book, but in this case, the novelization is done in reverse. Through humor, emotions and faith, the authors did a wonderful of making one realize just how short 18 summers can be when children are involved. Too often, everyday busyness can get in the way of living to the fullest…we tend to put things aside, work too much and take people for granted rather than play with our children, teach them the basics and take care of ourselves in the process. Just 18 Summers is definitely a story that will make you pause and ponder your life and quite possibly, make some needed changes…before those 18 summers are over.

(After reading this book, I am having a hard time not joining my teenage son in the Tough Mudder Race he suggested…yikes!)

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Just 18 Summers from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

Heart of the Country

Rene Gutteridge and Ward, John. Heart of the Country. Tyndale House Publishers. 2013.

SUMMARY:
heartofcountryBorn into a very wealthy, dynamic, business-minded family, Luke Carraday has it all and lives life to the fullest. Faith Kramer, a native of rural North Carolina with a loving widower father, a beautiful voice and lots of emotional baggage, flees to New York. When the Luke and Faith meet, things just seem to click and they live a “fairytale” life…until Luke is involved in a Wall-Street based Ponzi scheme which turns their world upside down. Both Prodigals must face their deepest fears, greatest losses, and innermost emotions while facing struggles within their own families. Heart of the Country deals with many matters of the heart while leaving and ultimately finding home.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though usually not one to “devour” my books, this was a novel which kept me engaged to the finish. Creatively and successfully written from multiple first-person points of view, the characters were intensely charged. Based on the parable of the Prodigal Son, Heart of the Country depicts it in a very real-life way. Interestingly, John Ward (Enchanted), wrote the screenplay first and Rene Gutteridge (Ultimate Gift) then wrote the novel. Both authors obviously are passionate about their characters, story lines and Christian-based approach according to the Questions and Answers included at the end. Having read the novel, I definitely will watch the movie and read/ watch more books/ movies from these authors/ screenwriters.

Watch a trailer for the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4DXfARALE8

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Heart of the Country from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*