Friday, August 3, 2012
Thomas Nelson, 2012
Christian YA Contemporary
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
After loving First Date, I knew I wanted to read McGee's next book. To my surprise, it is actually a companion novel focusing on First Date's heroine Addy's best friend Kara. I was expecting a standalone, although this one can certainly be read on its own.
Kara gets the opportunity of a lifetime when she is asked to try out for a teenage sketch comedy show, that would allow her to demonstrate the multiplicity of her talents. Unbeknownst to her, her famous costar is Chad Beacon, one of the most popular teens on the planet. In order to select the right costar, the finalists will live together for a month and be under the scrutiny of trusted Beacon employee Flora.
In a fun twist, Chad and Kara actually meet outside of the competition through their friends Jonathan and Addy of First Date. Their budding relationship is so cute; though both are interested, they decide to wait on God before making any big moves. This is a great example for Chad and Kara's relationship as well as for any tween/teen who reads about a lot of insta-love that permeates the category. Taking your time and learning more about your potential partner is a good thing!
Another aspect I loved was Flora. I think we would be friends especially due to her love of Austen; she draws from Emma to describe her initial feelings about what girl should be chosen as costar. Additionally Flora just has a big heart-she's a sweetheart and was probably my second-favorite character (after Kara herself).
My one complaint is about Chad's parents, who are sweetly overprotective of their son but who seemed to think that non-Christians are not good enough to be around their son full-time. I was kind of offended by their attitude and am worried that non-Christians would also get this impression and
And while this book is not overly preachy or full of Scripture, at its heart, it is about a girl deciding to commit her life to Christ, which is not a storyline that will appeal to everyone. But if you like books about backstage hijinks and drama, there is a lot to love in this book.
Cover: Love it! Kara's hair is part of her distinctive look and this girl obviously loves the spotlight.