Here's a book I read straight through. It first interested me just from reading what it was about: a teenage girl goes to Ireland on an exchange to find peace following her brother's death, and on the way over is seated next to "teen vampire heartthrob, Beckett Rush". As she seeks to hear God's voice again after her devastating loss, God puts in her path just the people she needs to bring her back to Him.
What I really liked about the book besides the great dialogue (especially between her and Beckett), was how difficult issues weren't wrapped up with a tidy little bow. The book takes a deep, honest look at how people deal with problems like loss--often covering their hurts with difficult persona, or by developing other serious problems. I appreciated that this book was not the kind that went "girl with issues meets boy with problems and their love heals all wounds". It took several different types of people and friends to help point Finley in the right direction--from an insightful nun, to a cranky old lady, to simply a friend that cared enough to say something. It was amusing and riveting, and a book I would recommend even to those over the age of thirty...after all problems don't go away just because you cease to be a teenager.
I just discovered Jenny B Jones a few months ago and I love her work. She writes with such humor that it's so refreshing, but when she delves into the spiritual aspect of her novels, it's heart shatteringingly deep. Moves me like no other.
This book touched me in such an enormous way that I've tears in my eyes typing this review. I was sobbing at the end. Out loud.
She touches spiritual depths that I rarely see in a book. Never like hers, anyway. Just blows my mind.
Please read Jenny B. Jones. You will be enormously blessed. ( )
I am literally at a loss for words right now. I just finished this book, and it's been a long time since I've been this impressed with every aspect of a book like I was with this one. Jenny has managed to write a witty, sassy, yet quite painful, novel that had me on an emotional roller coaster that I didn't want to end.
From the beginning, I knew that Finley was a hurting soul. Her life was in shambles--the death of a brother, a stint in therapy, a semi-public image tainted--and God had never felt more distant. On top of her personal turmoil, the stress she was under to complete a musical piece for a prestigious audition was intense. But then she meets a boy. And not just any boy, either. This one was Beckett Rush...THE hottest young movie star on the Hollywood scene. And the funny part? She couldn't be less interested in him, which threw him for a big-time loop. Gradually, they become friends, then more than friends, and he slowly starts to break down her walls. Before too long, each one of them realizes things that they'd rather not face, yet know if they don't, their lives won't go any direction but downhill.
I've said it before...I wish books like this had been available when I was in the young adult stage. I found this story to be so honest and real. It was not a book I could wrap in a box with a fancy bow. There was no fluff. Instead, it was a brilliantly told, coming-of-age story that I will never, ever forget. Yes, there was wit, sass and snark, but there was also pain, loss, and deep emotional hurt. I found myself laughing along with Finley as she verbally sparred with Beckett (considering he had met his match there), and on the flip side, reaching for the Kleenex when Finley succumbed to her lowest point and realized that God had been right by her side all along. She had just filled her life with so much noise that she couldn't hear God's voice. That was my "aha" moment right there because I have done that very thing more times than I can count. Like Finley, I think that if I can just do this one task, or wrap up this one commitment, or help this one person, I'll have accomplished something really great. It becomes all-consuming, and I lose sight of the things that are eternally important.
Leave it to a novel to bring my focus back where it needs to be. Thanks for that, Jenny. :o) Thanks for using all those editors and going through all those rough drafts (as you mentioned in your acknowledgments) to get this story just right.
This book was more than I would've ever expected from a Christian author-I've read many Christian teen books that seemed too preachy and which lacked a solid story and this one completely changed my outlook on Christian YA books. It was witty and romantic all while having a deep-rooted story to back it up. As a Sarah Dessen fan, I was delighted to find an author that could write a strong coming of age story while appropriately incorporating a great message of hope and faith with amazingly believable characters that could relate to anyone. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to both Sarah Dessen fans as well as Young Adults looking for a book that has just the right amount of realism, romance, wit, as well as an encouraging message.