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Book Review: Liked by Kara Kampakis

Posted by Julie on December 11, 2016 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |
Liked by Kara Kampakis

Liked by Kara Kampakis

For many girls it starts early. The desire to be perfect. The need for approval. The longing for acceptance and being liked by a lot of people.

Thanks to social media, these desires now get channeled online. Girls can curate an image, build a following, and test-drive identities until they find one that draws attention and applause.But in this quest to be liked and noticed, girls often fail to feel loved and known. The result is a generation of girls who hunger for real and authentic relationships – yet are unclear on how to create them.

From popular blogger and bestselling author Kari Kampakis comes a powerful book for girls in the digital age. Designed to empower teens and tweens through the Christian faith, it’s packed with godly wisdom and practical advice related to identity, friendships, social media, and a relationship with God. 

Topics covered include:

  • Living for God’s approval, not human approval;
  • Cultivating a true identity;
  • Using social media wisely;
  • Building a positive reputation online;
  • Spreading kindness, love, and compassion;
  • Distinguishing online friends from real friends;
  • Building deep connections that last;
  • Handling rejection, criticism, and volatile emotions;
  • Activating your Christian faith; and 
  • Making an eternal difference, not a temporary splash.

For anyone exhausted by the quest to impress – and ready to rest in God’s unconditional love – Liked is the answer. Written succinctly with thought-provoking questions, it’s an ideal resource for a small group or youth group study, and a conversation-starter that will quickly unite mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends by speaking to the female heart.

This is a comprehensive look at how to successfully navigate the teen years when the world is pressuring girls to focus on being liked. It’s easy to read, full of practical, yet Biblical tips, discussion questions, quizzes, and more. I could see me going through this with my daughter, but it also is a great book to use with a small group. I see too many girls trapped in the lie that having likes and follows determines their love and success. I highly recommend LIKED to empower girls and speak truth into their precious lives.

To purchase LIKED, click here

I received a copy for review.

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Book Review and Kindle Giveaway Facebook Party: Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door

I bet you didn’t know you can reach milestones as a book reviewer, did you?

Receiving Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door from the publisher as part of the Litfuse blog tour takes me to a new place.

I’m reviewing books for teens because I am a mother of a teenager. If you’re still at the mother of preschooler stage, don’t blink. It truly happens as fast as everyone says. Even as a teenager of three weeks I’m seeing the field is changing. There are questions, rumors, pressures and temptations surrounding him.

Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door provides the answers.

Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler give excellent, Biblical answers to questions our young people are confronted with on a daily basis. We attend a private Christian school and my son now has this book. He asked if he could pass it on to friends from school. He let me know friends from school are asking questions that are in this book.  Questions like isn’t being good enough? Why can’t everyone go to heaven? Aren’t all religions alike? The worst thing we could do as parents is pretend these lies aren’t surrounding our kids.

I can’t say enough about how informed this book made me and is helping my son. The readings are short with brain food activities to reinforce the topic.

The pages are highlighted and dog-eared already. We are passing it on to friends. THAT is how good this book is.

To purchase, click here.


Josh McDowell wrote the international best-selling apologetics references Evidence That Demands a Verdict and over 120 other books. He travels and speaks with Campus Crusade for Christ.For more about Josh visit his website
Bob Hostetler is an award-winning and best-selling writer, editor, pastor, and speaker. His books include Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door and The Bone Box.For more about Bob visit his website

About the book:

“Seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30—both evangelical and mainline—who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23, according to the survey by LifeWay Research.” (USA Today)Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door gives teens answers that make sense, even for the toughest of questions. Internationally known defender of the faith Josh McDowell and co-author Bob Hostetler offer clarity laced with humor to expose common myths about God, the Bible, religion, and life to show how Christianity stands up to the test of fact and reason. Teens will be better equipped to stick with their faith as they begin to understand why they believe and why it’s important to make a lifetime commitment to Christ and the church.

To celebrate the release of their new book, Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler have teamed up with their publisher,Thomas Nelson, to give away a brand new KINDLE!

One “brainy” winner will receive a Kindle prize package worth over $150.00:

  • A Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Ink Screen
  • Don’t Check Your Brains At the Door by Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler (for KINDLE)

A perfect back-to-school prize package! To enter just click one of the icons below. Hurry! The giveaway ends August 18th. Winner will be announced on the evening of the 18th during the Don’t Check Your Brains At the Door Facebook Party! The authors will be chatting with guests, answering questions on “knowing what you believe and why” (it’s okay if you haven’t read the book – who knows, you might WIN a copy!), testing your trivia skills, and giving away tons of great stuff! (Gift certificates, books, and more!)

Blog tour schedule:


Noah at Books I Recommend This book is very useful to modern teenagers, and to other people, in refuting common myths about various Biblical topics and ideas. This revised edition has made it much more useful with more myths being torn down and explained in an easier way. For example, in some of the stories, iPads, iPods, gaming systems, etc. are mentioned. The chapters are pretty short, but comprehensive and complete. The “Brain Food” sections at the end of each chapter help the reader see for himself how the Bible refutes the myth just discussed. This is a fantastic book, and I recommend it to any struggling with questions about such myths, or even those who support any of the myths. 5 Stars. 

Abi at 4 the LOVE of BOOKS Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door is defiantly a two thumbs up book. It will help any young reader to dig deeper into the Word to know what it is they believe and why they believe it.  What is true and what is not true. Could be used as a devotional. Each topic is 3-5 pages in length (very short) with Brain Food activities added to the end of the chapter to get the ol’ brain something to think about and dig into God’s Word.    

Brevis Josh and Bob have a very conversational and story-telling style of writing, which easily draws their readers into the content. The book accomplishes what it set out to do—challenge young readers to test gospel truths found in the Bible so that they can learn to give an answer for their faith.     

Vic’s Media Room While “Don’t Check Your Brains At the Door” is written primarily for our youth to give them the answers to the questions that they have and to provide them to others who are also questioning it is also a good resource for adults who have the same questions and have never had the answers provided to them before.  The authors have done a great job in presenting the questions and giving the answers in a clear, concise format.  This book will help change your thinking by providing you the truth you need.  I highly recommend it.


Sundi Jo at Living The Lyrics

Nicole at Bless Their Hearts Mom Very approachable and easy to understand. The book is divided into different sections: myths about God, myths about Jesus, myths about the bible,myths about the resurrection,myths about religion and Christianity, and then myths about life and happiness. They give personal reflections or stories, and then offer verses from the bible to correspond to them. A good starting off place. I would recommend it to Teen Youth Leaders as a book of topics to discuss.


Kaylea at My Scrappy Life

Megan at Homeschoolin Mama

Emily at Southern Fiber Reads


Mel’s World with Melissa Mashburn

Haley at The Life and Lies of An Inanimate Flying Object

Loren at Heart of a Bookworm


Julee at Mommy’s Memorandum

Cara at Tween & Teen Book Reviews

Heather at Faith, Family and Fun

Julie Arduini: The Surrendered Scribe

Dave at As I Travel Thru This Pilgrim Land


Staci at 7 on a Shoestring

Lauren at 5 Minutes for Books

Clint at Friar Tuck’s Fleeting Thoughts

Pamela at Mommie CEOs

V.E. at Duncan Heights


Anna at The Cross Is All

Reviews by Jane

Theresa at Frugal Experiments

Laura at Lighthouse Academy

Debra at Footprints in the Butter

Sarah at Under His Wings

Debra at Footprints in the Butter

Jamie at The Tousled Apostle


Deanna’s Corner

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You Never Know

Posted by Julie on May 20, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

I bet it isn’t just me. Whether a school subject or tedious event you wonder why you’re subjected to such a thing. When will you never need to repeat this?

I learned this week you never know.





Our son earned a place on the junior high academic challenge team at school. When he told us all I could picture was that episode from the Brady Bunch but the praise is these teens were prayed up and as confident as you can get being recorded for television. The questions shot all over the place. Then came the question that answered my question.

Those mindless facts and experiences have purpose.

The question asked what movie starts off with the song, What Time is It?

Our son buzzed in because he knew the answer. His little sister played High School Musical 2 more times than I think I could count. I know the movie by heart. I’ve told others I could replay the whole movie as all the actors. Trust me, he complained as much as we did.

But it had purpose, because he got the answer!

So you never know. That mundane thing you are sure is going to be the end of you just might be a question on a gameshow for you.

Or not.

But I still thought that was a great illustration.

I’m waiting on Pre Calculus to come back and redeem me some way…

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Book Review: Heather Munn/Lydia Munn Deliver with How Huge the Night

Posted by Julie on May 12, 2011 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

I’m a history fan and devour any book that sheds light on either the Civil War or WWII. When Litfuse had an opening for the WWII based novel How Huge the Night, I signed up right away.

Heather Munn and Lydia Munn deliver a haunting look at the Nazi threat and eventual takeover through the eyes of teenagers.  Julien starts off wanting to see action and not really understanding the seriousness of the Germans. Thrown together with another teen who had to flee his home Julien finds more action than he bargains for. Friends have to choose allegiances and Julien has to watch his mother who is still haunted from experiencing the same thing during the previous war.

Heather and Lydia Munn deliver a fascinating novel set during WWII.

Nina is a Jew with a leg/foot deformity who watches her father die. She follows his advice and leaves her home with her brother, but for her, it isn’t so easy.  She must not only hide her religion, but her gender. She cuts her hair and turns herself into Niko in an effort to save her and her brother.

I won’t give anything more away because eventually Julien and Niko are going to meet and I thought it was a gripping story showing how teenagers in this era in Europe had to be so confused.  Julien starts to see the German “Heil Hitler” salute from his friends and is upset, and we understand why. Yet for many of those boys during that time they were listening to their parents, or the propaganda. They didn’t know the evils, they thought they were getting a strong leader. I found the entire backdrop and constant conflict right at your heels devastating and fascinating at the same time.

If you’re a history fan this is a must but I recommend it for anyone who would love to read a WWII era book from a teen point of view. I thought that aspect was handled with excellence. The setting and imagery still has me believing I can see the hungry refugees and the school yard conflicts.

You won’t forget How Huge the Night. I don’t think you are supposed to.


About How Huge the Night:

Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens. Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father’s dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.


Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.


Based on the true story of the town of Le Chambon-the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust-How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens turning the pages as it teaches them about a fascinating period of history and inspires them to think more deeply about their everyday choices.


Link to buy the book:


This book was provided to me through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: C.J. Darlington’s Bound by Guilt

Posted by Julie on March 21, 2011 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

I could make this book review for C.J. Darlington’s Bound by Guilt really simple.

I read it in one sitting. I didn’t take a break, go somewhere else, use the bathroom, none of it.

I didn’t plan to read Bound by Guilt that way, but it was inevitable. C.J. Darlington tells a captivating story making every single character come alive.  Even background characters have dimension and as an avid reader, that’s a rare find for me.

C.J. Darlington's Bound by Guilt

Product Description

Roxi Gold has been shuttled from one foster home to another for most her life. She longs for a family and will do anything to fit in even if it’s against the law. Soon she’s traveling the country in an RV, stealing rare books from unsuspecting bookstores. She knows it’s wrong, but if she refuses, she’ll be put out on the streets.
Police officer Abby Dawson has seen the worst of society, and not just at work. Her ex-husband wrested her daughter away from her in a bitter custody battle. The job she once loved has become a chore, the world isn’t any safer, and there’s no joy in her life.
One fateful night a man’s innocent blood changes both Roxi’s and Abby’s lives forever. One searches for justice; the other finds herself on the run until a first edition of
The Great Gatsby catches up with her. Will the power of forgiveness set them free, or will they both remain bound by guilt?

I enjoyed Bound by Guilt because C.J. Darlington weaves these characters together effortlessly with emotions and circumstances readers can relate to. I believe this can be read as a stand alone but the setting and some characters are from her first book, Thicker Than Blood. She also uses her own knowledge of rare books as a key aspect of the plot. It’s obvious she knows what she is writing about. I know when I read author interviews they admit to being either character centered or setting focused. C.J. Darlington masters both.  Again, a rare find.

I don’t want to say too much because there is a lot to the story and I don’t want to leak details because it’s worth your time to read. From the cover to the last page it is a mesmerizing and fulfilling read. What I love is C.J. Darlington promotes books and authors, often saying the same thing about others. I’m glad to write these things about her and her work. She’s top notch and I can’t wait to see more from her. Pick up Bound by Guilt and enjoy. I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

To purchase, click here.

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