I received this book at ALA and when I saw that it was a Zondervan publication, I was hesitant to read it. Not because I have anything against Zondervan; I just have never read a Christian YA book before. When my daughter picked it up and asked if she could read it, I decided to check it out.
Kate Carter is a cute girl, and she's funny. She has a great relationship with her parents, and I really thought that came through in this book.
What didn't come through were her real authentic
feelings. I know, I'm always saying that. But it's true. She didn't seem anything at all
like a typical sixteen year old girl to me.
Here's the thing. Christian teenagers aren't any different from "nonchristian" or secular teenagers. They have the same feelings, the same aspirations, and the same problems in life. They want a swoony boy to notice them. They want their parents to get off their backs. They want the same things in life. Of course, I'm generalizing here, but I think that's a safe thing to do with a book aimed at teenagers.
I just didn't feel her personality was real. She swore off boys because of a bad experience. I was really surprised that there seemed to be a build up of her relationship with Justin, and then--nothing. Her best friend had typical boy trouble, but there was no reaction from Kate.
Don't get me wrong, I realize that this was supposed to be a mystery. And to an extent, it was. I didn't like how the end played out at all. I was all for the big build up--but the explanation for the characters actions was nonexistent. Kate's reaction to what happened at the end was not given, and I think that would be a fairly difficult thing for her to come to grips with. The pacing of the book was kind of slow to me with a lot of extra details that were unnecessary and unanswered in the end.
Add to that that her questions where her faith (or lack of) were concerned were never answered, and I felt let down. It was cute, and I think it would be fine as an upper elementary school book or possibly middle grade. In the end, her behavior was a little too sketchy for me.