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
Isn't it always a wondrous thing to behold a shooting star as it crosses the sky? It's something special and new each time and sort of a thrill to get to see. Those are my thoughts in meeting this new author Krista McGee. Her first novel entitled First Date is a charming novel. I love the creativity behind it. I mean who would have thought to cross the ages old Esther story with a little contemporary reality TV show ala "The Bachelor" style and oh yeah, let's make it a YA book making it G rated and appropriate for a great teen read. (Although I am not a teen and enjoyed it very much.)
Meet teenaged Addy Davidson singularly focused on her studies and getting into an Ivy League University, hand selected to represent her small Christian school as their representative on a reality TV show called "The Book of Love". On this show the "Bachelor" or rather Prom date seeker is none other than Jonathon Jackson, the movie -star looking ,son of the leader-of-the-free-world, which makes him sought after by teenage girls all across America_but not by Addy. Being on this show is not on her list of things to do and she makes her feelings known_in front of millions of viewers. But somehow this very fact endears her to Jonothan and to America and as Addy goes on this little adventure filled with all kinds of challenges ranging from athletic prowess on the golf course to academics to good manners and etiquette, she finds herself making friends and a few enemies and also becoming more than a little enthralled with this Jonothan Jackson guy.
Krista McGee does a great job with her first novel. She makes Addy a very likeable heroine and does it by giving her that perfect balance of spunk and vulnerability. Her back story is heartbreaking as she lost her missionary parents when she was a young child and this very fact drives her to succeed in her studies and life. Addy is not perfect and makes mistakes along the way, but the reader sees that she truly allows God to guide her path and trusts Him with the outcome.
To sum up, I think the premise is fun, characters interesting and pacing just right. I really enjoyed this story and am always on the lookout for great YA Christian fiction for my own daughters and am very pleased to be able to recommend this one without reservation. I look forward to seeing more novels by this author !
First Date is a fun, lighthearted book about Addy Davidson, a high-school student at a small Christian school, who is chosen to be one of one hundred girls vying for a chance to win a date to prom with the President's son. Addy resists the idea from the very beginning, not even wanting to participate, but allows her Uncle Mike and principal to convince her to at least get on the plane. Convinced that she still doesn't want to be a part of the reality show, she tries to get kicked off as soon as possible. Being herself without the pretenses and ambitions of the other contestants however, draws the positive attention of the First Son, and the negative attentions of the producer as well as the majority of the other contestants who feel she is making a mockery of their chance for stardom. Addy comes to the conclusion that if God has put her in this competition, then she needs to be the light He has made her to be, whether that means being nice to the girls who are out to sabotage her or sharing her faith in a very public forum.
After the last several books that I have read, this was a welcome change. A light, quick read, I enjoyed the characters and found Addy to be easy to relate to. A quiet, hardworking student, who wants to stay out of the spotlight and focus on getting into college, you wanted to root for her. The setting of a reality show was current and enjoyable as a light read, and the ambitious backstabbing of the other contestants felt all too plausible. It was nice that Addy had someone who stuck up for her, though, and I enjoyed watching Addy transition from doing everything she could to escape the situation to doing what she could for God. Not perfect, by even her own admission, but courageous enough to try what she felt called to do. I also enjoyed that even though there were predictable aspects to the story, they felt natural and occurred with reasonable lead-up and follow-through. And the ending was not entirely predictable, but that made it enjoyable. It also looks like there will be a sequel, with Addy's roommate and friend, Kara, as the main story; I look forward to following these characters.
I give this book 3.5 stars - a nice break from heavier reading, but no life-changing depth or revelations.
I received this book for free as part of the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze books for bloggers program. I was not required to give a positive review.
For most teen girls, the chance to be on a reality TV show and compete for a prom date with the president's son would be a dream come true, but for quiet, small-town Addy, it's more like a nightmare. As the show progresses, will Addy realize that perhaps God has bigger plans for her (and the show) than just a first date?
Loosely based on the Biblical story of Esther, First Date is a fun read. Although the premise of the book is light, the book does delve into deeper topics of faith and family without being preachy or condescending. The characters are real, and I especially like Kara, Addy's roommate and friend, and Mike, the uncle who gave up his career to raise Addy after her parents were killed. Hopefully, the teens who read it will want to check out the story of Esther in the Bible and perhaps even realize that whatever situation God has them in, He placed them there for such a time as this.
Fans of YA will enjoy this book. The author's voice and style reflects her familiarity with teens.
I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
First Date was ok, it wasn't a book I fell in love with but I didn't not like it either. I thought Abby was a little rude in parts and I didn't like that. I thought Jonathon was way to nice I'm sorry but he was like bubble gum nice and lets face it that is rare I wish he was more human.
I did like that she was herself and didn't change and that he feel for that and not the pageant queens. I liked her room mate (probably a little more then Abbie). All in all it was a cute clean, innocent take on the bachelor. The ending will not be what you except or foresee.
thank you booksneeze for allowing me to review this ebook.