Thanks to everyone for entering the drawing for Nico Medina's Fat Hoochie Prom Queen! Rhonda wrote all the entries down and drew this name: cheryl!! Congrats, cheryl -- please email the Fictionistas at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and mailing address so we can get your book sent out. We hope you enjoy!
Today I'm blogging a review of an ARC I recently read, Shelley Adina's THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK (FaithWords, August 2008).
This is the second book in Shelley Adina's fun new YA inspirational chick lit series, the "All About Us" books. The series is billed as an alternative for girls who want hip books relevant to their faith. Think "Gossip Girl Finds Religion."
It's the second semester at exclusive Spencer Academy boarding school in San Francisco, and overachiever Gillian Chang is ready to kick some academic butt. With a difficult schedule, she certainly doesn't need any distractions.
Enter Lucas Hayes, the class brainiac and future physicist. She's thrilled when he asks her to help him prepare for a major science competition. As time goes on, she falls hard for him, and what's great is that he likes her too! But for some reason, she's never able to be the perfect girlfriend he wants.
Gillain starts spending more and more time with him, keeping more and more secrets from her friends. When she's accused of hacking into the exam database, even her friends wonder whether it's true. Can Gillian get out of this downward spiral?
I have to admit that I'm not a regular inspy reader. Some inspirational books are, shall we say, a little too preachy for me. But Shelley Adina hit a perfect balance. Her characters are strong Christians, and their faith is a big part of the story (and certainly helps her in her story journey), but she never really hits you over the head with it. It's just a part of their lives, just like shopping and cute boys are a part of their lives.
Shelley's conversational style draws the reader in. She does a fantastic job of drawing her characters, and it feels just like you're dishing with an old friend away at school.
I laughed out loud during many of Gillian's descriptions of her family, actually hearing my Asian husband's aunties' voices in my head. Shelley provides a fantastic glimpse into Chinese-American culture and the struggle of trying to fit into two different worlds.
One thing that I thought was really funny was the cross-promotion between Shelley and her friend, Camy Tang. Gillian and her suitemates are passing around the latest Camy Tang novel. (A shout-out to Camy...her books rock! Her recommendation of this series was the reason why I wanted to review this book, actually.)
Anyway, if you like inspy fiction or are looking for some good clean fun, check out THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK. It's guaranteed to put a smile on your face. I look forward to reading suitemate Carly's story, BE STRONG AND CURVACEOUS (January 2009)
To celebrate the release of the "All About Us" books, today we're giving away a copy of the first book in the series, IT'S ALL ABOUT US, to one lucky commenter. (Gillian's roommate Lissa's story.)
Just post, and we'll pick someone at random!
And be sure to preorder your copy of THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK: