Monday, April 12, 2010
Truth's Found When Beauty's Lost

#1 - Beautiful by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 15-20
Subject: Identity
Summary: "You know, Els, you don't open up. You're closed off - people don't know that. You're so nice and understanding. But who do you let understand you?". The words her boyfriend spoke to her that night set the tone of this entire book. Two sisters, as different as night and day in many ways, but in one important way they are the same - both of them are closed, unable to open themselves up to love. One night a tragic accident sets them on a new path though, a path searching for the truth. Who are they really? And how does God play into their identity?
Notes: This was a very well written book. It was harsh, dealing with things like death, abuse, sex, smoking, drinking, etc. But it was gentle, leading the girls along a path that leads to hope of identity. Unfortantely, most of the conclusion was focused on finding yourself rather than God. He's part of the picture, but not the answer Himself. It just isn't as strong of a spiritual focus as it could have been. If God had been the focus, the solution to the girls' search, this book would get a 5. It's very well done, just missing the spiritual element that could make it great.
Recommendation Scale: 3
Reviewer: J:-)mi

#2 - Island Girl by Sandra Byrd, Bethany House Publishers, 2005
Island Girl (Friends for a Season) 
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 13-19
Subject: Racial or cultural differences, fruit of the Spirit
Summary: It's summer and summer means staying on her grandparent's berry farm, and this summer it also means a new friend, a new job, and experiencing a new culture. Meg isn't so sure about the new girl whose father is working for her grandparents, but she gives her a chance. Soon Meg & Tia are friends, each learning about and experiencing the culture of the other. Meg invites Tia to the annual local celebration for those who've lived on the island for years. Tia invites Meg to a Quinceanera. In the midst of this, Meg has discovered Galatians 5:22-23 and is learning how to bear the kind of fruit she wants her life to have. 
Notes: This book is beautiful! It is well done, simple, gentle. It's as if you're right there on the island with Meg and Tia. Meg writes the first letter of each fruit of the spirit on her running shoes to remind her of them and as she encounters situations she applies a fruit to that situation. I highly recommend this one!
Recommendation Scale: 5
Reviewer: J:-)mi


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