Tag Archives: humour

Book Review: On the Bright Side: The Starling series, Book 1 – by S.R. Johannes

Book: On the Bright Side
Author: S. R. Johannes
Publisher: Coleman & Stott
Date: February 15, 2012
Genre: tween paranormal (directed at ages 9-12)
Pages: 256 paperback
Price: $8.99; less on Kindle
My rating: an interesting, unusual paranormal with humour for young readers

From the author I received an electronic copy of On the Bright Side to read on my pc kindle in exchange for an honest review.

I began reading this book as I usually do, with a serious take-it-all-in attitude. It didn’t take me long to discover that, for one thing, there are few, if any, similarities to the real Heaven.

But, let me back up a little.

This story is about a teenage girl who dies suddenly and is transported to Haven (that’s not a misspell), otherwise known as Cirrus. So begins her afterlife as a ‘Bright” and her training to be a guardian angel. Knowing that people do not become angels (since angels are angels and people are people), at that point I began reading this story with a different attitude, one of simply enjoying the author’s amazing imagination and the world she created based on good and evil. It was quite interesting, entertaining, and captivating.

The main character, Gabby, is now a BIT (Bright in Training) and being prepared to protect a former friend she would rather ignore. To add insult to injury, that friend is strongly interested in Gabby’s still living almost-boyfriend. The added frustration is that the angel she befriends in Cirrus is assigned to … ahh, but I must be careful to not spoil the read for you. I will just say that Ms. Johannes has written a story that young readers are sure to enjoy as they follow Gabby defiantly – and not without serious mishap – set out to earn her wings.

A few things of note:

  • There may be young readers who will take parts of this book seriously, therefore misunderstanding what Heaven is really like.
  • There are many puns and plays on words, such as Skyfone, and there is much technology used in Cirrus (amusingly, there is not a perfect cell phone connection there either), and skyolations for when rules were broken (violations).
  • The outcome of the battle between good and evil is dependent upon the actions and abilities of the Brights.
  • The characters’ personalities are very flawed (meaning jealous, temperamental, scheming) as they live in death with much the same human attitudes and problems as they did in life.

I did find S.R. Johannes’ imagination to be intriguing as she came up with ingenious inventions, humourous situations, and surprising plot twists. It became obvious that she was not trying to use Cirrus as an actual perfect setting but a fictional, imaginary, outlandish one which made for quite a different easy-to-read story.

If you want your young reader to enjoy a fantastical fictional experience, this could be a good book to pick up. It had me pulled along as I kept wanting to find out what’s going to happen next.

On the Bright Side by S.R. Johannes is the first book in a planned series called The Starlings, so start with this one.

You can find On the Bright Side listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

What makes you laugh?

I love to laugh.

I love to just throw my head back and laugh out loud, from deep down inside. To giggle uncontrollably can get a little embarrassing, though – ever have that happen? Something struck you so funny that you got an attack of the giggles at not the best moment? Like during the preacher’s message in church? or in a sad situation? or in some other place where laughing is inappropriate? or maybe when you were alone in a crowd somewhere and no one else was laughing – and everyone failing to see the joke looked at you as if you were crazy?

When I was a troubled teenage girl, growing into an equally troubled young woman, I used to look at myself in the mirror and pleadingly pray, “God, please make me pretty and witty.” At the time it seemed to me that the best way for me to be accepted by people was to be pretty and to make people laugh. Well, it seems the Lord answered that prayer of my heart because I can be pretty witty at times.  😉

As I said, I love to laugh. There have been times in my life where laughter was extremely hard to come by, when I wouldn’t laugh for weeks on end. Now that was gloomy. And no fun at all.

Some days laughter is truly the best medicine. I’m sure you have heard about people who were terribly ill with no help in sight until they found things to laugh at which began their healing. Funny movies, funny stories, slapstick humour such as The Three Stooges kind of stuff. Laughter releases endorphins into the brain, and that relieves stress, lowers high blood pressure and .. simply makes you feel better.

What makes you laugh? Is it a good joke? Is it things people do? Is it you yourself that you find the most humour in, maybe things that happened to you or things you said by mistake? (Ever commit a comical faux pas that gets you laughing every time you think of it?)

Or are you someone who just cannot laugh at yourself? Are you too serious — maybe?

What do you find so funny that you have to laugh out loud or burst?

If there a good clean joke or story that you have found to be the funniest you have come across to date – and that you would like to share – I would love to read it, as I’m sure others stopping by would, too.  🙂

Now, having said all that, there are things that do not make me laugh, such as things done at the price of hurting someone else. I like the chance to enjoy a good laugh if it is uplifting and not malicious but true good humour.

A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. – Proverbs 17: 22

Here’s a thought for anyone who might be interested: Ever think about what Jesus was like when here as a man over 2000 years ago? I think He must have enjoyed making people laugh. (Laughter is healing, remember?) Do you think He would have known all the best ‘jokes’? There is no mention in the Bible of Him ever laughing, but would children be comfortable around Him if He were not one to smile and laugh? He was here to open the way out of religious trappings and into relationship with Father God. Would people be drawn to Him the way they were if He were ill-humoured? I think our God has an amazing sense of humour, we just have to look for it. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂