I had high hopes for this cute cover, and thought it would be a light, fun read. But it wasn't as relaxing as I had hoped. The message in this book was a bit too heavy handed for my tastes. The story sounded like it had potential, but I couldn't get into it, and it seemed over the top for me.
Addy's best friend on the reality show, Kara, was probably my favorite character. She was spunky and was a lot of fun to read about. It intrigues me that the author's next book features Kara as the main character.
It was fun to read about the world of 'scripted reality' tv, which we all know isn't so much about reality. But sometimes it just went way over the top for me. Hank, for one, was just so mean!
A little over the top for me, but may appeal to fans of the genre.
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 settingÃ¢â¬âa reality TV showÃ¢â¬âis totally unreal). Addy's uncle reminded me of some of the adults in my life during my teen yearsÃ¢â¬âthat 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.