Old Fashioned (2014)

Film reviews are subjective. I tend to rate films not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Old Fashioned (2014) from Skoche Films
Rated PG-13. Drama, Romance, Faith Film


Description (from the film case): Former frat boy, Clay Walsh (Rik Swartzwelder), has given up his reckless carousing and now runs an antique shop in a small Midwestern town. There, he has become notorious for his theories on love and romance as well as his devout beliefs. When Amber Hewson (Elizabeth Ann Roberts), a free-spirited young woman with a restless soul, rents the apartment above his shop, she finds herself surprisingly drawn to his strong faith and noble ideas. Together, they attempt the impossible: and old fashioned courtship in contemporary America.

My thoughts: I don’t think this film’s description does it justice, as I’ve found the story to be so much more than two people trying to attempt an old fashioned courtship. The style of their courtship isn’t the point, so much.

Since I read Old Fashioned as a novel before the movie released, I was already aware that the story isn’t about giving folks pointers or rules on chaste dating. That would’ve made for a noble but likely pretty simplistic, flat tale—and if you watch the movie and only see “chaste dating rules” in it, then you’ve missed the movie.

This story is about a guy and girl who must each decide if they’re going to finally get to the nitty-gritty of their individual fears and deal with them head-on, or if they’re going to continue to use their chosen methods of running and hiding. Neither one of them is completely right. Neither one of them is completely wrong. Neither the characters who’re Christians nor the characters who aren’t Christians are either right or wrong about everything. There’s tension and layers to this story.

Sure, I had to get past the obvious fact that the leading man here is rather, um, mature for the young man he plays. Some parts of the movie are too slow, the bar dancing is corny, and though none of the acting is bad, not all of it is my favorite.

But the writing here is excellent. It ties so many thoughts, points, and images together and doesn’t waste them, no matter how small. And although the leading man may not have been my first choice for that role, the fact that he also wrote, produced, and directed the film himself is nothing to sneeze at.

Old Fashioned is one of my all-time favorite novels, and although I didn’t cry, oh, quite as hard at the end of the movie (I literally wept after reading the novel’s last page), the movie didn’t disappoint me and even exceeded my expectations.

My corresponding reading: Old Fashioned by Rene Gutteridge.


Giveaway: The Movement of Crowns

Is it the perfect or the worst time for the kingdom to…change?
The Movement of Crowns by Nadine C. Keels

“The author has done an excellent job by blending a love angle with…war and power.” ~Readers’ Favorite

Find the giveaway for this book in the Faith, Hope, and Book Love group on Facebook.
Giveaway ends April 28, 2017.

Nana’s Gift and The Red Geranium by Janette Oke

fiction-books-3 nadine keels

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Five Gold Stars

Nana's GiftNana’s Gift and The Red Geranium by Janette Oke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

A husband spends years saving for a special gift for his wife, and a family legacy is birthed. A little boy must find a way to bring back his great-grandmother, who seems to have given up on life. Two families will realize how there are expensive gifts, and then there are priceless ones in Nana’s Gift and The Red Geranium, two tales by author Janette Oke.

This duo of novellas is worth checking out for Janette Oke fans. I’d even recommend these stories for reading with or aloud to someone. And the illustrations–oh! Love the charming drawings in this little hardback. They give you that warm and cozy Christmassy feeling, regardless of the fact that these aren’t holiday tales or anything. 🙂

The Red Geranium is my favorite story of the two.

The Blood Moons: Wrath of Elijah by Kachi Ugo

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a free copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

The Blood Moons: Wrath of Elijah by Kachi Ugo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“I am Angelus Mikhail, servant of Elohim. Your life has been weighed with the Scales of Yeshua and you have been found worthy of the Wrath of Elijah. Follow me.”

Growing up in the slums of Ajegunle, twelve-year-old Johnny Akinwale has always been feverish on a frequent basis. Johnny’s doctors were never aware that his fevers are the effects of an ancient power he possesses as a descendant of the biblical prophet Elijah. Once Johnny learns of his power and true ancestry, he’s pulled into a mission with other young warriors to thwart an evil scheme of epic destruction in The Blood Moons: Wrath of Elijah by author Kachi Ugo.

While this is a middle grade fantasy with juvenile readability, I was very much drawn to this tale and remained engrossed as I read.

There’s a richness and balance to the story: a boy who finds it hard not to hate his impoverished life and his neglectful parents, even as he knows he’s destined for greatness. Coming into his supernatural power doesn’t release him of all natural rules, such as his having to get to school on time. And even with its dangerous, high-stakes adventure, the story makes room for humor that had me laughing out loud.

The illustrations toward the beginning of the book are a nice bonus! It would’ve been great if they’d continued throughout the story.

I found the development to be a tad awkward in places, particularly in an instance where foreshadowing might have helped. There are several grammar and technical errors in the book, along with one word choice I wouldn’t deem appropriate for a children’s book. However, my main disappointment was in finding that the story essentially ends with a cliffhanger. Even if the first book in a series may not tie up the loose ends of a subplot or two, I prefer a book to have a complete story where the main plot is resolved by the end.

I’d like to continue this series—but not because the cliffhanger left me hanging. I’m truly interested to know what will happen with Johnny and the other young Descendants of the Patriarchs.