Saturday, November 22, 2014

Review - "Trading Secrets" by Melody Carlson

Cover Art
Trading Secrets
by Melody Carlson
Published by Revell
288 Pages
Target Audience: Teen Girls
Genres: Christian Fiction, Youth Fiction, Young Adults, Contemporary, Amish
About this book:
"The truth may set you free--but it might also land you in some uncomfortably hot water.

Over the years, Micah Knight has exchanged many letters--and many secrets--with her longtime Amish pen pal, Zach. But Micah's kept quiet on the biggest secret of all--the fact that despite her name, she's a girl.

Now Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. She wants nothing more than to experience life on Zach's Amish farm, but she's more than a little anxious. Will he be angry at her for deceiving him all these years? And will she risk losing his friendship to find something more?"
I don’t normally read Amish fiction, but this book sounded interesting and I’ve liked other books written by Melody Carlson, so I picked this one to read. I really liked it! It did seem a bit unrealistic, but it was a sweet coming of age story for young adults with themes of friendship, trust, and truthfulness. It was interesting to read about some of the Amish culture and I liked reading about the characters’ reactions to each other’s lifestyles and the contrasts shown between the Amish and English lifestyles. I also liked that the story was mainly about friendship instead of romance. I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it for teens. I would also love to see a sequel!

Some of the questionable content: References to actors and movies including Twilight; crushes, flirting, and mentions of kissing; Micah and Lizzie watch Amish reality shows; mentions of girls’ undergarments

Language included: stupid; dumb; 1 crud; skanky; “Amish goddess”; hottie and hot used multiple times in reference to guys’ looks

* I received this book for free from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review - "The Christmas Cat" by Melody Carlson

Cover Art
The Christmas Cat
by Melody Carlson
Published by Revell
176 Pages
Target Audience: Adults
Genres: Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Contemporary, Holidays, Animals
About this book:
"He felt his face flushing as Cara opened the door. Wearing a garnet-colored knit dress and with her dark hair pinned up, she looked even prettier than he remembered. Suddenly he wished he'd thought to bring a hostess gift. Like a cat.

After years abroad, Garrison Brown finds himself at the home of his beloved grandmother who has just passed away. He must sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While he hopes to dispense with the task quickly--especially since he is severely allergic to cats--his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends.

Can he match the cats with the perfect new owners? And is it possible that he might meet his own match along the way?"

The Christmas Cat was a cute, heartwarming, and sometimes funny holiday story. It was a quick and lighthearted read that seemed just the right length for a holiday story. It was funny reading about how Garrison (who is allergic to cats) had to deal with the cats that were left in his care and had to find homes for them based on very specific instructions. I liked reading about the personalities of each of the cats and finding out who would become each cat’s new owner. The only thing I didn’t like about the book was that it seemed to end a bit abruptly and the ending seemed a bit rushed. Overall, it was a sweet story and I enjoyed it. Although I’ve read books by Melody Carlson before, this was the first Christmas story I’ve read by her and I’m now interested in reading more of her Christmas stories. I would recommend The Christmas Cat to animal lovers and to those looking for a lighthearted Christmas story to read.

* I received this book for free from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.