Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 10, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-1401684884Um, hmm ... not sure what to say about this book because I hate to be mean, but it just had nothing great. No deep characters that made me care, no compelling plot, no vibrancy or cool phraseology to tickle my ears, no sensory impressions to ground me in any scene and help me to identify with the MC. All the characters were boring, except Kara, who I wish had been the MC because she had way more personality. I know it wouldn't have worked given the story's context, but I just couldn't get behind Addy, even with her tragic past giving her a good reason for her complaining and curtness. Hank had some humor and bite and could've been given more detail. Jonathan, the love interest, was way underdeveloped and seemed unrealistic.
I thought this was going to be a button-cute, fun and sugary tale like an ABC Family movie with some Christianity thrown in or something, that's what it should have been, but it was painfully boring at times and took forever to get rolling, and it was still snail-slow once it did ... regarding the romantic element. The Reality Show does kick off a few chapters in and had some fun elements.
I did like that Addy, the MC, was able to be a witness in the end and that she stood strong in her convictions in the midst of her involuntary placement in a TV show to date the President's son, but she was so drab and colorless and excruciatingly unhappy for most of it that I was never able to warm up to her. She almost always reacted in the wimpiest, whiniest way, but also the most righteous. Though she did overcome tests, which was good, and she opened up more in the end, it wasn't enough to make her a memorable, well-rounded character. She seemed too unreal, like a poster child for Christian Teens, like the author wanted to create an exemplary example that teens should strive to emulate, minus the complaining and reluctance.
She was scared to reveal her faith, but otherwise, she was just so dedicated to all things holy, always going to prayer first, always putting God first, always thinking heavenly thoughts. Of course every Christian has their own level of spirituality and this kind of thing can be adopted, but when you have such squeaky clean characters in fiction, you can't show true struggle, overcoming temptation, repentance for failure or any sort of victory, and that's where you can SHOW a Christian walk instead of telling about it, as this book did with the nonstop reiteration about God's plan for Addy.
I just can't stand complainers, in real life or in books. It's one thing to vent about a bad day or your circumstances every now and then, but to go on and on and on for days in stubborn misery? No. Get over it. Yeah, she did realize she was being sour and acting childish, but that was what, a 1/3 of the way through?
And to compare this silly TV journey with Daniel's plight into the Lion's Den or Queen Esther's dangerous request to go before the King was laughable. It might have been more closely-aligned in scope if the stakes had been higher somehow from the beginning. I did like the interwoven aspect of her missionary parents' death in Colombia. With more development all around, this could've been a much, much better read ... much closer to the adorable story I thought it would be anyway. "The God's plan" theme seemed to overshadow everything else. I think it's an important lesson for teens, but it was just so weighty here. Subtlety can be even more powerful.
*I got the book FREE from Booksneeze and that did not factor into my review.
~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.