When 17 year old Addy Davidson is picked by her principal to represent her school in the new reality show The Book of Love Addy is anything but thrilled. Addy has avoided the spotlight and has instead focused on her school work and getting into college. But everyone thinks this is a great chance for Addy. Principal Lawrence feels Addy would bring attention to their struggling school. Uncle Mike feels that Addy would be a light for Christ just as her parents were. Addy's BFF Lexi thinks any chance to appear on TV is fantastic and with the chance to possibly date Jonathon Jackson, Addy would be a fool to turn it down.
But Addy is determined to get off the show as quickly as possible and with 99 other girls trying to stay on it should be no problem. But Addy's attempts to get kicked off back-fire and make her America's Overnight Sweetheart! Unlike the other girls Addy doesn't try to be something she's not.
As the show progresses Addy becomes friends with Kara McKormick, one of the other contestants; Eric, one of the assistant directors; and even Jonathon Jackson the President's son! But no matter what Addy tries the other girls and the show's host Hank Banner are openly hostile towards Addy when the camera is not rolling.
Can Addy find the strength to depend on God and share her faith or will The Book of Love becomes Addy's Book of Missed Opportunity?
First Date is a modern retelling of the book of Esther. When a threat against President Jackson is uncovered a Mordecai / Haman situation arises. First Date is an interesting story that shows God will take us out of our comfort zone so that we may be used by Him for a greater good!
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
"First Date" is a sweet story that I would recommend for junior high or early high school age girls. Though you can see elements of the book of Esther with references to Daniel in the Lion's Den, the story is not a retelling of either. It is its own story.
Addy's private Christian school has been chosen to send a representative to compete on a reality show. To stay open, they need the money and publicity that come with participation. The principal chooses Addy to be the school's representative. Addy is very opposed to this. She longs to live a quiet life, get good grades, and get into an Ivy League school. She doesn't want the attention or distraction that comes with being on a reality show.
But Addy must go.
She finds herself competing with 99 other girls for a date with the president's son. Not interested, she tries to get herself eliminated in the first round. Yet everything she does backfires to her and to the show's producer's dismay. The media just loves this reluctant contestant. The president's son is captivated, too.
Over the course of the story, Addy learns to make peace with her past, to obey God in her present, and to trust Him with her future. She also makes some really good friends who influence her in positive ways as she learns to live in a way that influences them for Christ.
It took a few chapters to draw me into this story, but as things progressed, I wanted to know what would become of Addy, how her story would end. I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
During the holidays, I wanted a really light book to read every night and this was perfect. It was a simple romantic story about how true love can blossom. It focuses on a girl named Addy who loves her school and highly ambitious to get into a Ivy League college. But it turns out that God wanted to take her through an experience that she has never dreamed of. The story is slightly based or resembles the story of Esther from the Bible. Esther never wanted to be a queen but God gives Esther unmerited favor with the king so that her people would be saved. Addy's character is like Esther and the story goes on to talk about how she yields herself into the experience prayerfully . She is one of the contestants who would win the contest to go to the prom with the President's son. Will she go? Does she win? It is worth the read, so go on and find out!
The last thing Addy Davidson wants is to be on a reality TV show to win a date with the President's son, even if he is super cute. She wants nothing more than to get into an Ivy League school and go on with her quiet life. But here she is in a whole new world she could never imagine. From the start she realizes several things, the show's producer hates her, pretty much all the other girls hate her, and the President's son seems to really like her despite the 99 other far more gorgeous and glamorous girls. Can she survive in this harsh world or will she cave to the pressure?
So to start off this book is a modern take on the story of Esther. Esther has always been one of my favorite stories so I really liked the idea of a modern take. However this book seemed almost unprofessional, almost more like something a highschooler would write (a very talented highschooler to be sure but still....). I really liked the characters, although the manager drove me nuts (but hey that was the point of his character so I guess that's a good thing), especially the President's son (he sounded like a guy I would have a crush on in real life). So to end, I would say this is a great take on a great story, if a little unprofessional.
I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.
All Addy Davidson wants is to study hard and go to an Ivy League college. So when she is selected to star in a reality TV competition for a chance to go to prom with the President's son, Jonathan Jackson, she is reluctant to accept. After being convinced by her uncle to appear on the show, Addy discovers that the spotlight is not for her, but Jonathan Jackson may be. Addy must face the heat of the other girls in the competition, the scrutiny of America, and, most of all, the possibility that this may all be part of God's plan for her.
I have to be honest and say that I found this book disappointing. Although the premise is extremely cliche, I still enjoy those reality TV competition stories. This was not the case for First Date. The protagonist, Addy Davidson, is a likable and realistic seventeen year old, but I felt like the author's efforts to make Addy seem ordinary and normal compared to the other girls in the competition was extremely forced. Beyond that, the story was plagued by cliche secondary characters and a painfully predictable plot line. There was the snobby rival during during the competition, the beautiful and supportive new best friend/roommate, and the self-centered show host/producer. The plot did not help this situation, and there were virtually no twists in the story.
First Date is a Christian fiction novel, but that is not the reason I did not enjoy it. I actually really like Christian fiction, and I admire the way some authors can craft a believable yet clean romance laced with Christian themes. But in First Date, I found the Christian references to be incredibly distracting. I understand the reference to the bible story this book is inspired by in the beginning of the story, but I grew tired of Addy mentioning her religious faith several times each chapter.
Despite the many aspects of this book that I did not like, there were a few that I did. Kara, Addy's roommate and confidante during the competition, is very likable. She carries a New York spunk that pairs nicely with Addy's much more quiet persona, and I think I might read the next book, Starring Me, dedicated to her character. Also, I could detect a hint of chemistry between Jonathan and Addy towards the close of the novel, but I wish it could have been explored more so that I could actually understand the attraction in their relationship. I think this problem stems from the fact that the pacing of this novel feels a bit rushed even though it is over 300 pages. Otherwise, First Date is just another one of those books that had potential, but just fell flat for me. I would recommend this book to younger readers interested in lighthearted Christian fiction.
I graciously received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review