I know I haven't been around for a while. Things have been SO BUSY! So busy, in fact, I haven't even been checking my email every day! Gasp! Between the kids, my husband being gone most days, church, the boys school, birthdays, the coming holidays... I have hardly had time to catch my breath!
But my integrity compels me to make time for some book reviews that I have promised to do. One of which are a series of books written by an old and dear friend of mine, Melody Litton. I know what you are thinking, Oh, she is going to give them a great review because she is her friend and wants to help her out. Wrong. Well, mostly wrong. I would like to think that I can give an honest opinion about any book that I read regardless of who writes it. That being said, let me introduce you to the Totally Awesome Series by Melody Litton.
Now here is where I am going to be totally honest. When I saw that Melody had written some books, I was really thrilled for her, truly. But I was a little skeptically about how the books would really be. They didn't sound too interesting to me... I am a huge fan of mysteries, well-written fantasy (emphasis on "well-written"), and the classics. Recently, I have had to step out of my reading comfort zone to read some books for this blog and discovered my love of military non-fiction. I have also discovered a great dislike for military fiction -- makes me roll my eye so much I get a head ache reading it!
So here I find myself agreeing to review Melody's self-help books... which I knew would come sooner or later, since I have reviewed a couple others for old friends of mine, I knew she would ask. She was so cute and excited about sharing them with me, though, that I actually looked forward to giving them a go.
I am glad I did.
I started with How to be Totally Awesome. This is a great book to have on your bed stand, waiting room, coffee table, or (Melody, forgive me) in your bathroom. It is a compilation of thoughts mostly, and a great quick-read for times when you are taking a bath, getting ready to drift off to sleep, waiting to see the doctor... or whatever. You don't have to gear yourself up for a long night with these books -- you can get a lot out of just a few pages.
I LOVE how Melody proves each of her points with a personal story. She isn't just lecturing you on how you can improve yourself. You SHOWS you how you can improve in a positive, uplifting, and sometimes funny way. I am still chuckling over a story she shares about kicking the trash out of a would-be attacker that had been lurking behind a coke machine... (no more spoilers, got to read the book yourself! AND make sure you read to the end of the chapter for the outcome!)
Next I read How to Be a Totally Awesome Spouse... and once again, Melody was spot on. After my almost 9 years of marriage, I can tell you that her advice is exactly the advice I would give on how to have a great marriage. Although, she words is much better than I would :)
How to be a Totally Awesome Zombie is a hoot. Read it if you are a zombie fan. And I dare you not to laugh!
How to be a Totally Awesome Employee was also a great read. Honestly, I mostly just skimmed through this one... but I plan to read it full on because I was impressed with what I did read.
The one I was putting off reading was How to be a Totally Awesome Missionary. See, I served a mission myself and really unless you have been there in that situation, you really can't know what they go through. If I remember correctly, Melody had gotten married before I even left for a mission. And I will be honest, when I saw that she wrote a book about Missionary work, I was a little like: "What the heck... how would she know?" Sorry, Mel... I thought it in a loving way, I promise.
So when it came in the mail with the others I put it in the back. I was stoked to read the others, but that one just rubbed me the wrong way... I think because I have read and reviewed books about the military by people who never personally served and they never quite GOT it. I was kind of having those feelings about this missionary book.
I was planning on actually writing this review without having read it... but Melody trusted me to give her an honest and COMPLETE review when she sent me the books. So the other night I finally pulled it out and cracked it open.
I was pleasantly surprised!
Instead of what I thought (Melody telling everyone what she thought a good missionary was), her whole book is based on stories from real missionaries and their examples that they have set for her and for the world.
I loved it.
I should have read it first!
But my most FAVORITE part of ALL her books is the last page in each one. She reminds us all that being awesome is a CHOICE that we make. No one can do it for us. And I love that! Because it is so true! Life will often throw things our way, but it is ALWAYS our choice how we will face those challenges and come out on top.
I want to thank Melody for asking me to do this review. It has been a lot of fun!
So pop over to her Facebook page RIGHT NOW! BE totally awesome, and get your copies of this series from Amazon (they even have it for the kindle)!! They would make FANTASTIC Christmas gifts!!
Have a totally awesome day,