Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: Crazy Dangerous

Do Right. Fear Nothing.

It can be hard being a preacher’s kid. It puts pressure on you to be perfect, and causes people to treat you differently. This is the struggle that Sam Hopkins faces, and he is tired of it.  So, he starts to run with a bad crowd, breaking the law and living dangerous. But when the bullies he has been “friends” with begin to attack Sam’s bizarre schoolmate, Jennifer, Sam has a choice to make—should he do the right thing, or the easy thing?

Sam’s choice pushes him into a plot deep in suspense, excitement, fear, and (naturally) danger.  Jennifer seems to know more than anyone about the scary things that are happening in Sam’s town, and her visions of demons begin to appear more and more credible as Sam's world spins out of control.

High speed chases, moving character relationships, and striking faith-filled themes make Crazy Dangerous a masterpiece.  This was the first book I have read by Andrew Klavan, and I was left wanting more.  Even if you are not a huge fan of teen fiction, this book is worth a read. You will be amazed by how captivating it is!

My thoughts on this book:

The other day, after I finished Crazy Dangerous, I was thinking about the powerful statement the book centers upon, “Do right. Fear nothing.” It reminded me of 1 Samuel 17—the David and Goliath story. Reading it, I discovered David’s reason to not fear as he faced Goliath: “for the battle in the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands (verse 47).” Sam's response to his fears was the same--he chose to trust God even though no one believed him, and he chose to do the right thing even though it did not feel right.

I also thought it was interesting that the words “fear” and “not” occur simultaneously in 66 different verses in the NIV, like these two:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” –Isaiah 41:10

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” --1 John 4:18

A remarkable lesson that I learned from the character Sam in Crazy Dangerous is that we must simply do the right thing before we can claim the promise of fearing nothing. We may be terrified when we strike out into the unknown, but if we go anyway, we will not be alone. 

I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my review.

Celebrate with Andrew Klavan by entering his Crazy Dangerous giveaway and connecting with him during the Author Chat Party on 5/29!

One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A $100 Visa Cash Card
  • A copy of Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan for YOU and 5 of your Friends!
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on May 28th. Winner will be announced at the "Crazy Dangerous" Author Chat Facebook Party on 5/29. Andrew will be hosting an Author Chat, testing your survival trivia skills, giving away books and gift certificates to iTunes and! Don't miss a second of the "danger"!

Grab your copy of Crazy Dangerous and connect with Andrew on the evening of 5/29/12 for an author chat and lots of giveaways.

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 24th!

Friday, May 18, 2012


Hello beautiful bloggers!

It's official--I'm done with my junior year!! I seriously can't explain how excited I am :D.  Although I'm happy that my school is done, I definitely want to attempt usefulness with my time this summer (as I am rather the Phineas and Ferb type:P) because if I don't, I'll wind up spending 3 months watching videos like grav3yardgirl and Sherlock :P.

1. Become Sherlock Holmes. My current (actually on going and thus totally rational :P) obsession with Sherlock Holmes has included regular watching of the 2010 film, waiting for the release of the second film, reading Hound of the Baskervilles, and now watching the BBC version.  I'm planning to sharpen my deductive reasoning skills through reading these "reasoning" books that I fortunately own from some class back in the past. After that I'm planning to go to college and major in physcology physiology phychcology psychology (learning to spell it's gonna be the first step). Totally kidding. :P

2. Work out. Groan...this was something I tried in January. It lasted.......okay, I admit it. It lasted 1 stinking day. BUT I SHALL PREVAIL. I have these (disturbing) videos to help me now!

3. Read LOTS of classics. This one will hopefully actually happen, and I'm totally pumped. The only one I've decided to do for sure is Les Miz (NOT GOING TO TRY TO SPELL IT). But if you have classic suggestions, let me know! I think I'll try Persuasion by Austen again too...and there was one by Dostoevesky which I have forgotten the name of... 
I'm for certain reading Bleak House by Dickens--excited!

4. Finnish Geometry and Spanish 1. *cowers in fear* please don't stone me! I know I'm a horrible student! But they will be completed, I hereby promise.

5. Get a tan. Come on, it's the all-american summer pastime. I'm a conformist. So far this one has resulted in more burning than tanning. :/

What are your summer plans/goals/ridiculous hopes?

Zeph. 3:17

Friday, May 4, 2012

My last day as a 16-year-old!

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them." -Ecc. 12:1

I'm not kidding, time seriously flies!  It legit feels like yesterday that I wrote a post about my last day as a 15-yr-old. How did a year go by?!

Today was super duper fun--partially because my mom already gave me an awesome gift (love you Mom!) which was going to get my hair colored! I decided to go with two blue streaks on the underside of my hair (which is basically subtle craziness :D)

Other than that, today I totally *rolls eyes* did an excellent job (read: barely studied...this article is how I feel about it :P) studying my SAT prep book. I'm thinking that tomorrow's test will consist of me panicking over the not-so-subtle differences between the ACT and SAT. Oh well :)

Also, I went to a riding lesson which was really good!  I've been really bad about riding lately so it was great to actually spend time with Arrow and to ride with my sisters and mom :)

And now I'm watching Fantastic 4! :D Did anyone else not realize 'til now that the guy who plays Johnny in Fantastic 4 is the actor for Captain America? O.o I was clueless.


Something I realized today is that I have to choose who I will serve. 

I can choose whether this year ends with me trapped in sin, sinking in despair, lost with no sense of direction... or it can end with me praying this:

And I'll stop searching for the answers,
I'll stop praying for an escape,
And I'll trust You God with where I am,
And believe that You will have Your way--
Just have Your way.
Even if my dreams have died, 
and even if I don't survive, 
I'll still worship You with all my life --Britt Nicole

Life isn't about everything working out perfectly according to my plans. I'm going to face trials. But I'm not going to let anything but You define me.

Thank you for following my throughout my 16th year! Love you, readers!
Zeph. 3:17
"I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Why do I put my hope and trust in things that fail?

Why do I hold so many grudges and never forgive or forget?

Why do I return to the same sin habits every time that I lose sight of You?

Why do I doubt everything?

Why do I judge other people when I am the same or worse?

Why do I just feel like crying almost every day?

Why do I lose control of my own words and say things I shouldn't?

Why do I care so much about things that don't matter?

Why do I have feelings that are misplaced and mistimed?

Why do I forget that You have a purpose for my life?

Why do I stay up all night, wondering why my world is all wrong?

Why do I lose sight of the path while trying to see the finnish line?

Why do I forget that an undivided heart is the most important thing?

Why do I feel so depressed, when I know that there are so many worse things in other people's lives?

Why do I ignore the possibility that the pain is the only way to learn?

Why do I forget all those hard learned lessons?

Why do I fail to submit myself to God and resist the devil?

Why do I have wicked thoughts?

Why am I wondering all these things, instead of going out and living? Can I really reverse my regrets? Why don't I just stop being depressed and go out and change things? What if I really lived for You? What if I stopped being selfish?  Could I be a different person?

The only answer for me is that He is here. He loves me. I don't have to live up to any standard because He loves me.

The pain ain't gonna last forever - its only gonna make you stronger...He's gonna help you get through this. --Mandisa

Zeph 3:17


Happy May!

Last night I decided to look into a certain word--pure--that had been coming up for me in several verses I was reading. I was really curious about the roots of the word and what exactly it means in the Bible.

First, the definition of the word has many possible meanings, but two that I particularly found interesting were

 without any discordant quality; clear and true
being that and nothing else
free from adulterating or extraneous matter.

But, I still wasn't sure which--or all--could be what the Bible meant when it used it.  I also looked at the root of the word...and I was really surprised to see the earliest possible meaning was "unmixed." 

Unmixed.  Unpolluted.  Free from anything that disturbs clarity.  Nothing but itself.

I moved on to see how exactly the Bible treats the word "pure" throughout.

occurs 108 times in 103 verses in the NIV

It's in there SEVERAL times.  Scanning the list of verses, I found lots of verses that I had been familiar with but had never connected them, as I do now, because of the word pure in each.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. ~Psalm 51:10
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. ~Psalm 119:9

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. ~Titus 1:15

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. ~James 1:2

                    Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. ~Philippians 2:14-16

                    The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to Him. ~Proverbs 15:26

We're called to have undivided hearts (Ps. 86:11). Purity is focusing on Him and Him alone.

I hope you found this nerdy word examination as intriguing as I did!  It's amazing to think about the weight of importance that every single sentence in God's word holds :).

Zeph 3:17