For a debute novel this book is impressingly well written. Last Chance people were filled with love and understanding which created a great cushion for a poor lost soul like Lianie's. I love that about the community. Her background and current run from Nick was a great twist. What bugged was Ray's behavior at the beginning.
He treats her like a tramp when he firstmeets her and she was dressed conservative then, their next meeting she blows up and he totally thinks she is a crazy person, the following meeting he offers to pay her ticket to anywhere just to get rid of her split personality.., next day is sunday and our dear Lianie is dressing like a true tramp and goes to church and boom Ray is asking her on a date!! Thats just wrong and upset down, and to top it off at the date after some rich kissing she is trying to pull him in bed and after he refuses she calls herself a tramp and he gets all protective of her reputation. I would have had a better respect for him and their relationship if he was keeping it as friendship at the beginning not blow all the guns and then slow down.
But besides those first chapters the book went smooth and nice. I liked the change in Lianie and all the other excitement in the town.
I appreciate Author's courage to take a really bad girl and turn her into a christian not any author risks to start their story this low and aim so high.. I look forward to more books by this author.
Enjoy reading it dear readers, besides the little spoiler in the beginning the book is great!
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from Revel Publishing, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.
I love stories about small towns. They're attractive because of the close-knit family feel they bring, yet this attractive quality also repels many. Last Chance emanates warmth and kindness. Its residents share the love of Christ to any wanderers, especially people running from something, like Lainie. I loved how Lainie learned to appreciate people, despite their obvious flaws and imperfections.
The change in Lainie from her arrival at Last Chance to the final pages is subtle, though she certainly is different by the end. Personally, I wanted to see more of her internal transition. However, I liked Lainie's courage. As for other characters, Fayette and Elizabeth have left a permanent mark on my memory. Elizabeth's stubbornness and Fayette's determination combined to eventually straighten Lainie out.
I did not like how Armstrong never gave us a description of Ray. I thought he was some older man at first, but after Lainie began to have an interest in him, I decided he must be younger than I thought. If anything, it was a minor frustration for me. The ending felt a little rushed with no post-climax. I finished the book longing for a little more faith presented in the story; however, given Lainie isn't a Christian at the onset that's okay. Armstrong's writing is easy to read and keep up with, but this isn't a favorite. I do look forward to where she takes this series and with whom.
I'd recommend this book to older teens, due to minor adult content (drinking, Ray owns a bar, drug dealing and using are brought up once or twice.)
I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
"Welcome to Last Chance" is a Christian general fiction novel that involves some romance. The characters were complex and acted like real people with both good and bad points, but they were also likable. I was pleased that the fictional small town was not populated by "quirky characters" but by people from varied backgrounds with realistic personality traits. It felt like this could really have happened somewhere.
The romance read like a side thread rather than the main focus. Most of the scenes didn't involve the romantic pair doing things together, and they didn't act like they expected it to be a lasting relationship. He was going to leave the town to return to his city life and felt that there were too many personality issues between them to overcome. They never really talked about a future together. Yet at the end, though the personality and where-to-live issues were never talked about or resolved, they're suddenly getting married. After making a big deal about these issues, I felt like there was a transitional scene missing where these issues were resolved.
The book covered about a year of time, so the story is a series of highlight moments and life-changing events for a number of different characters. Time frame allowed the changes in Lainie to seem natural and reasonable, but the author also left out a few transitional scenes. For example, a choir member made it clear that Lainie wasn't welcome in the choir and Lainie had no desire to join the choir. Yet the next time the choir is mentioned, Lainie is singing a solo part in the choir. I would have liked to know what changed her mind and the other person's mind.
Many of the main characters were Christians, and they're portrayed realistically with good and bad points. The few mentions of God flowed naturally from the character's beliefs. God wasn't the focus of the story, yet you could see He was at work arranging events, like the car breaking down when it did. There was a very minor amount of fake bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
When Lainie finds herself stuck in the tiny town of Last Chance because of car troubles she intends to be on her way in a couple days. She is running away from her increasingly terrifying boyfriend and his drug habit and business and plans to go live in El Paso with her friend Lindsay. she's nearly there, but when she calls to let Lindsay know about her car troubles she finds out Nick has already been asking about her. Time to formulate a new plan.
While she's deciding what to do, she stays in Last Chance and hires on at the local diner. She's also taken in by an older lady, Elizabeth, since the mayor/hotel owner is out of town. She starts dating Ray, Elizabeth's grandson, but they both have a lot to work through before it can go anywhere. Somewhere around here my interest started to fizzle. I kept figuring something would suddenly start happening, but well, not so much. It's fairly predictable and most of the characters are pretty much exactly who you'd expect to see in a small town story - but then one or two are surprising and that didn't feel right either.
It is an easy read and if you need a book to accompany you to the beach, this just might do the trick nicely.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.