Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Truth or Dare and All That Glitters by Nicole O'Dell (Book Reviews)

Title: Truth or Dare
Author: Nicole O'Dell
Publisher: Barbour

First sentence: The first bright yellow light of day was starting to peek through the blinds covering her window.

This book was about four girls - best friends - just starting 8th grade. Just having a daughter graduate from 8th grade myself a couple of months ago, these girls seemed more like 6th graders to me than 8th graders. It was very hard for me to relate to them as 8th graders. Now, maybe my daughter just grew up a lot in the last year and I am forgetting what she was like at the beginning of the year. But - with that being said - there is also the argument that in order to teach the lesson that the author was going for, it was better to keep things simple. Let's get on to what I really liked about the book.

The lesson was wonderful and put in a language that a young girl could understand. It talked about the line between right and wrong - and to be careful how close we tread to that line. As you allow yourself to be more exposed to sinful behaviour, that over time, it won't appear so bad and you will be more likely to give into temptation. It also touches on the "guilty by association" and how even if you are a Christian, but it "looks" like you were doing something, that people are going to think you are a hypocrite.

When the book gets right to the big decision making point the reader has 2 choices - do the right thing for one ending - or do the wrong thing and read the other ending. I think this aspect of the book would also appeal to the teen reader as it would give them a feeling of control over what the characters do.

So, despite my initial misgivings, I found this book to contain a wonderful lesson - one that, even as an adult, was good to be reminded of!

Title: All That Glitters
Author: Nicole O'Dell
Publisher: Barbour

First sentence: A fancy sports car on one side and a shiny, brand-new SUV on the other, Mrs. Daniels slid her car into a parking spot at the mall.

Again, I had the same issues with this one as I did with the first one. It was about sisters - twins - Dani and Drew who where freshman in high school. Some of the things that seemed surprising to them in this book, I might have been surprised by 25 years ago - but I don't think that kids these days are as sheltered in school as we hope.

The lesson in this book had to do with letting go of your own will for your life and letting God be in control. Again, I found the presentation of it to be perfect for the young adult age group - without being in your face, pushy. The twins have begun to take separate paths were friends/boyfriends are concerned. When the big decision comes - after winning a big game - does Drew lie to her parents and go to the party with her boyfriend at a home with no parents? or does she go home with her parents and tell them what has been going on? Well, that would be the reader's decision!

I think these books would be great book group reads for YA girls - or maybe even as a Bible study tool of some sort. They are not long - less than 200 pages. Oh, I almost forgot - at the end of each book contract that the reader can sign - stating that they have learned whatever the lesson from the book was - then there is a prayer and a place for the reader to sign with a witness - someone to hold them accountable!

Truth or Dare
Publisher/Publication Date: Barbour Books, August 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60260-399-8
192 pages

All That Glitters
Publisher/Publication Date: Barbour Books, August 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60260-400-1
192 pages

1 comment:

Sheila Deeth said...

I was interested in your comments about the apparent age of the protagonists, especially as I'm trying to write about kids that age too. I remember being told that younger kids always want to read about older kids, so maybe it's okay to let the characters seem younger if you're portraying them to kids who are younger. Real eighth-graders might know stuff that sixth-graders reading about them don't. Just a thought.


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