I was able to review the book First Date by Krista McGee. This fictional book is based on the story of Esther from the Bible. The story centers around a reality TV showed called The Book of Love where 100 girls from across the country are competing to be the prom date for the President's son.
At first I thought, "oh great. I have picked some teeny bopper book to review." But as the story progressed I was truly drawn in. The main character Addy, has a surprising depth of character. Like Esther, she was orphaned and raised by her uncle. Throughout the story, we learn about her parents and how they died and the faith that she inherited from them. Addy, again like Esther, at first has no desire to be there competing for a boy's attention. As the story progresses she begins to see how God is truly at work in her and around her.
All in all it was a great read, but with a bit of a slow start. I am glad that I had the chance to read it!
I haven't really read much young adult fiction since . . . well . . . probably since high school. However, I've wanted to stretch myself a bit this year so I'm choosing a few young adult novels to round out my bookshelves.
First Date by Krista McGee was a dynamite initiation back into the young adult world. A cross between (a much, much cleaner version of) Gossip Girls and The Bachelor, First Date reminded me of all of the things I loved and hated most about my teen years. (I have no desire to be back in the world of catty high school girls.)
I instantly connected with Addy. Wants to do what's right. Also wants to fit in and be "popular." Struggles with how to reconcile God's way with the world's way. But overall has a good head on her shoulders. I loved the fact that she spoke her mind so freely . . . even when it got her into trouble or introduced a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease. :)
The spiritual elements are strong in this novel. It felt like a real girl working out her faith and how that should look among real people (even if the settingâ€”a reality TV showâ€”is totally unreal). Addy's uncle reminded me of some of the adults in my life during my teen yearsâ€”that adult friend type who is willing to tell you like it is and you're willing to hear it from them because they're not your parent. :) I also loved the journals from Addy's mom. What a great way to help Addy wrestle through things and still have the perspective of her mom (who died when Addy was a child) . . . and to allow her to see that her mom was flawed too.
I thoroughly enjoyed First Date and look forward to reading the Krista's next novel (coming out this summer). [5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.
To be honest, when I chose this book I was thinking based on the cover and the title that it would be a book of fluff, no substance, some romance novel. I don't really enjoy romance novels except for some by Grace Livingston Hill. So when the book came I put it aside. Finally, this week I picked it up because I didn't have anything else to read.
As I started reading I realized my preconceived notions were all wrong. I should know better by now than to judge a book by its cover. I really enjoyed this book.
It is about a 17 year old girl who is chosen by her Christian school principal to be a contestant in a reality TV show where girls compete to be the prom date for the President's son. Addy, the main character, has no desire to be a part of this. However, the principal tells her it will help their struggling school with their finances because the publicity could get them more enrollees. So she prays about it and decides that this will be a situation sort of like Daniel and the lion's den. She will go there but she will not like it.
The book is humorous and moves quickly. I read it all in two nights. The writer has really developed her characters and I felt like they were young girls I might meet in our church youth group. Addy is not a perfect Christian girl. She struggles with what God would have her do, with her attitudes, with fear, and with sharing her faith. However, she learns from this experience and draws closer to God through it all.
I think any young girl would absolutely devour this book. I am in my 40s and I ate it up! The writing was excellent. The story line showed how God can use any situation for His glory if we are only obedient to Him. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from Ms. McGee!
"With thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishing through the Booksneeze program for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion."
This book also helps you to look at the story of Esther with new eyes, and to appreciate how (pardon the language of my generation) "epic" it really is! Sometimes I look at Bible stories, such as Jonah and the whale, or Noah, only seeing the coloring book images from Sunday School, and missing that the stories are true and those were real people, and the same God we worship today. This book reminded me to look at the familiar story again, and to appreciate Esther's bravery and faith.
In short. If you're the kind of person who will enjoy this book, or the kind of person who won't, you will be able to tell by looking at the cover and reading the synopsis. If you enjoy the writings of Melody Carlson and Robin Jones Gunn, you will most likely enjoy this book. If you are a young woman looking for a quick and lighthearted read, you will enjoy this book. I felt that the author did a good job with a good idea, and personally recommend this book. Allow it to help you see the story of Esther with new eyes.
I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson, through the program BookSneeze, with the criteria that I review it. I was not encouraged in any way to post positively: all views are my own.
The President's son and a girl from a Christian school in Tampa, Florida, who wouldn't normally be in the same social circles, find themselves on a game in which a prom date is up for the winning.
Addy doesn't like attention. She has goals in life and none of those goals include going on a reality television show where the President's son gets to choose his prom date. However, her school was chosen to send someone and so Addy was the one appointed to go. She tries to resist, but figures there must have been some reason God wants her there so she goes. None of the girls like her, except for one, Kara. They all think that she is trying to get all of the votes and will do anything to win the attention of Jonathan. She is far from that, though. She really is the opposite of what everyone is making her out to be. She's a girl who is struggling to let Christ shine through her discomfort and has to find a way to stand for Christ in a place where Christ is not popular.
Jonathan likes Addy from the beginning and would love to go on a date with her but Hank stands in his way. Hank hates Addy and will do anything for Addy to be off the show. How far will Hank go to get rid of Addy? Who will Jonathan choose? Or will his choice even really be his choice? Will Jonathan and Addy be together or will it be Jonathan and someone else? All these questions but one thing is clear: Addy wants to make it known that she will obey Jesus when her heart is scared.
This is a cute book that I enjoyed reading. I'm not sure what category it would fall under because it was almost a chick lit book but would make a great read for a teen. Some of the ideas were far fetched, but honestly, I never mind that when I'm reading a book. I think that a book is a place for me to escape to anyway, so anything can happen within the pages of a book. Some people don't like that though, so that would be my only caution about the book. Like I said, though, I liked that and it didn't deter me from enjoying this book. If you have a teen daughter who likes to read, this would be a great book for her.
I should also say that this book is a modern retelling of Esther and Mordecai. That in itself requires some scenes that are hard to believe. So do keep that in mind when you are reading this book. You may even want
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255