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Author: Melody Carlson
Age Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Christian fiction
Length: 226 pages
Release Date: January 1, 2012
Rating: 3 STARS
Blurb: When Chelsea Martin's future stepmother helps her transform from gawky and geeky into the hottest girl at her new school, Chelsea is pretty sure it's the best thing that ever happened to her. But her hot new look has a downside. She's attracting lots of guys who all have one thing in common: they're jerks. And stealing the attention of all the guys in school doesn't endear her to the girls either.
Chelsea finally finds a true friend in Janelle Parker, and a non-jerk, Nicholas, catches her eye. Janelle keeps telling her to be herself, but Nicholas is the only guy around who doesn't give her a second look. Can Chelsea and Janelle come up with a plan to get his attention? Or will Chelsea's new image ruin everything?
Teen favorite and bestselling author Melody Carlson helps girls uncover the real source of beauty in this true-to-life story of young love, friendship, and being yourself.
Kara's Review: I belong to a group on Facebook called Avid Readers of Christian Fiction. It's a fantastic group with very lively and enlightening discussions about Christian fiction. And if you need a recommendation for any type of book, this is the place to go. Which is what led me to this book and author. I'd posted asking for contemporary YA, and once I had a list of authors, I happily went to Amazon and began searching. I was really craving a fun, contemporary YA with strong Christian elements, so this book was an easy purchase for me.
Unfortunately, it wasn't as easy of a read as I had hoped it would be. It's very heavy on the narrative, and I felt as though I was being told the story rather than immersed in it with the characters. That made it difficult for me to get through, and it took me longer than normal to read this. The emphasis on outward appearances, while sadly accurate in today's world, was a bit much at times. There were also a few scenes that were a bit...icky, I guess. Like when Dad refers to his daughter as a "smoking hot babe." That was a little too over the top for me.
Despite all that, the characters were like-able, and the friendships were great! The faith elements were very well done and consistent throughout the book. The ultimate message is positive and something all teens can relate to, even if it did feel a little preachy toward the end.
I was a little disappointed there wasn't a romance, but I guess I can't have it all, can I? lol. Overall, it's a good story with a timely message, and I would recommend it to any one who enjoys contemporary young adult fiction. As for me, I'm going to give this author another chance and check out some of her other series.