Author: Cynthia Marcano
Published: February 18th, 2013
Source: e-book sent to me for review by author
Series: Book #1 of 2
Spring was the season of new beginnings. Flowers and romance were blooming and the excitement of Summer was looming. At least for Tamryn Davidson it was. Her Junior year at Barredale Christian Academy was coming to an end and the potential for Spring love filled the air, more than she could have imagined. Her recent high school crush was constantly on her mind except when the new stranger in town was within view.
High school drama was in full swing and the junior prom was hot topic of discussion amongst all the juniors. As she balances school, friends, family and her Christian life, Tamryn confronts life as a teenager with her heart being tugged in opposite directions. How will she decide who and what is right for her heart and her life? "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith... " Hebrews 12: 2 GWT
This is a clean, easy read...perfect for those looking for Christian-based high school romance. I know my teen students will love this book...and I wouldn't be surprised to find them swooning over the two main male characters :)
From what I can ascertain, this is the author's first YA Christian novel and she is self-published. While there was plenty I liked about the book, I found myself shaking my head and thinking "why...why??" more often than I want to admit.
***ATTENTION: POSSIBLE SPOILERS***
From the first paragraph, I could tell this book needed an editor. Now, let me remind you, I am NOT a professional writer...NOT a professional reviewer...these are my non-professional opinions :) So while I found the writing distracting, others may not be bothered by it.
The following two sentences were on the first page (I bolded the four words):
"She yawned once more and then stretched letting out a long stretching 'ahhh.'"
"'Hurry, your food is getting cold and I am on my way out the door.' Cecily hurriedly told her."
Perhaps this is just a pet peeve of mine...perhaps just something an English teacher repeatedly warned against...but I'm not a fan of repeating word/word roots within the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence. I found many more examples of this throughout the book. Also, I thought the author tried too hard to include too many unnecessary details. Sometimes less is more :) One final comment about the writing...the dialect between the characters seemed too formal. Often times I found myself thinking "umm...this is not how teens talk to each other" Some examples from the book:
"I'm just going to go out the front door and say goodbye to Max and Tyler and then I'll be on my way," she said slyly.
"I will see you tomorrow."
I see the conversation going more like:
"I'm gonna go say goodbye to Max and Tyler then I'm leaving...see you tomorrow." (and "slyly"??? I don't get that...)
Again, all things an editor would correct (I would assume??).
While the writing nagged me, my biggest problem with the novel was the insta-love Chase had for Tami. To quote from the book (pretty early in the book) "He didn't know her that well and it felt like he knew and loved her forever. He loved her and couldn't figure out how it happened." REALLY?! He LOVED her?! I seriously didn't buy this part. I could see him crushing hard on her...being infatuated with her...becoming enthralled by her beauty and wanting to get to know her better...but LOVE? Just didn't see that after 3-4 meetings.
I said earlier there was plenty I enjoyed about this book, and I meant it :) I appreciated the clean (no language, sex, alcohol, violence, etc) setting and characters. I really, really liked the fact there were two good, strong love interests for Tami. Typically in novels containing a love triangle you find the heroine choosing between good and bad. I'm happy to know Tami will end up with someone good, regardless of who she picks! I'm a sucker for romance...and the book provided that. The author did a wonderful job leaving me wanting MORE!!! I need to know who Tami chooses!!!!!!! There were some really sweet moments in the book, too. Nice for teen girls to see examples of how they should be treated :)
What I genuinely appreciated about this book was its Christian backbone. The YA Christian sub-genre is lacking contemporary romances...and teens want to read them! I can't wait to have this book in my library collection so my students can enjoy it. They will LOVE it. While I'm hesitant (for reasons stated above) to actively promote this book to adults, I HIGHLY recommend this book for teens. And...I simply NEED to know how the story ends!!! :):):) A huge thank you to the author for sharing her work with me...truly I am honored :)
Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Sexual Content: 1
Potential Controversial Topics: none
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: middle school
Meet the Author!Cynthia Marcano was born and raised in New Jersey. In 2003 she became the happy wife of Phil. She is the loving mother of Cailyn and Christian. In 2008, she was born again and has happily served God since. She and her family are faithful members of their local church and serve devotedly since 2009, where they serve as Marriage Ministry directors and Cynthia as a teacher. Since giving her life to Christ, she has been in love with clean, romance novels like those of Jane Austen, exposing herself only to movies and books that promote lifestyles pleasing to God. In 2011, she became the bible study teacher of high school girls and found that more than ever she wanted to help promote a Christian lifestyle in all genres of life including romance novels. With the inspiration of her student and niece, she embarked on bringing clean Christian romance novels to teen girls.