Of all the relationship-oriented books, blog posts, and Christian magazine articles that I have read, none have been as Biblically solid or as helpful...moreOf all the relationship-oriented books, blog posts, and Christian magazine articles that I have read, none have been as Biblically solid or as helpful as this book. Were I to go through this book with a highlighter, the entire thing would be neon yellow.
This is a book from which all Christian girls can benefit. Unlike some materials I have read, this does not focus only on specific behaviors that should be avoided or a few things that you should do to be pure. Instead, it effectively deals with the heart issues and sinful mindsets that cause these problems in the first place.
When I began this book, I wasn't convinced that it would be helpful to me. I knew that it was worth reading, yet I had no expectations that it would communicate to me on a deep level. Most relationship books geared towards teenage girls deal with issues that really aren't problems for me, but this book penetrated much, much deeper. It was convicting and instructing in ways that I did not expect, because its foundation is the Word of God, not just somebody's idea of appropriate behavior that I already adhere to anyway.
Every Christian girl should read this. Seriously. I'm not just making a generalization.
If you want to eventually get married but aren't currently interested in boys, read this. The content of this book will still convict you, challenge you, and educate you. (Though I may be just about the only person I know who fits into this category...)
If you're not going to date or have a boyfriend, but are constantly dreaming of "The One", read this.
If you have no idea how to act around the opposite sex, never talk to boys, and think that wearing a potato sack is the way to honor God, read this.
If you're boy-crazy, disgusted by your parent's standards, and can't wait until you're let out into "the real world", read this. PLEASE. For the love of humanity!!!!!!
But seriously. No matter what category you fall into, even if it's one I didn't list, you can still benefit from this book. Even adult women who remain single could benefit from it, despite the fact that it's primarily geared towards teenagers.
This book is not only grounded in a solid worldview, written through the lens of Scripture, and wise to the interactions of young people in our culture, it's also extremely helpful from a practical standpoint. As in any case, the advice given is easier said than done, but all of the practical tips are still realistic and overall pragmatic.
This book was tremendously helpful to me, and I strongly recommend it.(less)
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: "For people who like this kind of thing, it's the kind of thing they'd like."
This book was not completely awful. Though...moreTo paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: "For people who like this kind of thing, it's the kind of thing they'd like."
This book was not completely awful. Though I did not like it, I understand why others might. Some of the more believable plot elements are interesting, I just couldn't get past the bad writing, awful romance, stick-figure characters, and overall poor quality.
I'm not saying that no one should read it, I just wouldn't recommend it.
Here are some of my biggest complaints:
Many of the plot elements were just not believable. I like fantasy books, but ones like this require too much suspension of disbelief. I did not like this book enough to bother trying to suspend disbelief, so I just poked fun as I read.
The characters are not developed at all. The love interest is nothing more than a stick-figure character with a supposedly amazing physique. If you asked me to describe what he was like, I could only tell you what circumstances he was in, not what kind of person he was supposed to be.
And the main character? Gabi is a vapid, boy-crazy seventeen-year-old who makes me want to fall on my knees and thank God for making me abnormal. The book is written in first person, and part of what made it so painful to be inside her head was the realization that people really are like this. In many ways, she reminds me of the girls who were in my Sunday school class in 8th grade.
Her infatuation with the love interest is painful. I am a romantic at heart, and love WELL-DONE romance books. This does not fall into that category.
Because nothing happens to draw the two together in true friendship with the other, it appears that their mutual interest is only carnal. Neither acts out of appreciation for the other's true person, but out of how their appearance makes them feel. When the characters confess their passionate love for each other, it seems completely fake. You cannot base romance on mere physical attraction and expect me to take it seriously!
Over the course of the book, they simply do not interact in a way which would lend itself to a progressive increase in true affection for the other. It's completely "Ooooh, he's hot!", not "I appreciate the way he did such-and-such; he is a man of character." There is nothing inherently wrong with feeling attracted to somebody for their looks, but it has to go deeper than that before you can claim that you're in love with somebody.
This girl's thought life is truly pathetic, although it does improve somewhat over the course of the book. Apparently, immersion in historical Italy helps her to think less teen lingo, but on the rare occasion that she thinks something smart, she immediately goes "Whoa! What's happening to me!"
Here's an example from the book:
"...As I shut the heavy door, I heard conversation erupt around all three tables. It mattered not that they were rife with gossip about me- rife? who said a word like rife? What was happening to me?"
Well, I say words like rife, and I declare that this book is rife with idiocy.(less)
The plot was believable, suitably complicated, and cleverly unfolded. It was exceptional. Especially since it's a Christian roman...moreThis book is awesome.
The plot was believable, suitably complicated, and cleverly unfolded. It was exceptional. Especially since it's a Christian romance fiction novel. This book succeeded far and beyond my expectations for a book of that genre.
The characters were appealing and did not fall into the stereotypes which appear to dominate books of its kind. The writing was quite good. THE AUTHOR EVEN USES SEMI-COLONS! Usually when I read books of this kind I want to rephrase things constantly and spot lots of punctuation errors. While reading this book, my inner-editor was able to step back and take a break.
This is a funny book, too, despite the serious subject matter. The family antics are hilarious. All of the characters have unique characteristics which mesh together to make a wonderful, crazy group. I laughed out loud several times while reading this book.
The romance was actually good. Coming from me, that's high praise. It's not that I don't like romance. I'm a sucker for romance, really, it just has to be plausible and engaging. While reading book 2 in this series, I groaned and thrashed about during the romantic parts. They weren't really all that bad from a writing stand-point, but they were sappy. This romance, however, was actually good. It was sweet, funny, and believable. I actually liked the characters as a couple, and liked the scenes putting them together.
The plot's twists and turns were well handled. I truly could not have guessed the end. The writing kept me on the edge of my seat.
When it comes to Christian fiction, I generally have a bone to pick in three areas (Well, more than three, but I've narrowed it down): plausibility, romance, and the way that faith is handled.
This book succeeds in all three areas. Faith is not handled in a way that is overly-sentimental or watered down. Characters in this series have real, serious obstacles to overcome in order to come to saving faith in Christ. Their issues are not discarded at the end so that they can just automatically "see the light" and accept Christ. Rather, the author wrestles with difficult theological issues: God's justice and mercy in book 1, unanswered prayer in book 2, and the resurrection in this book.
Arguments against faith are not only presented in an accurate and believable way, but there are actually satisfying answers given, not just trite sayings.
I intensely enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it to teens and adults. The book is perfectly clean, but there is some violence, as well as graphic (but not gratuitous) descriptions which more sensitive readers ought to be aware of. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic read!(less)
This book culminates the fifteen-book adventure of the Guardians of Gahoole series. This last book was an improvement on the last several installation...moreThis book culminates the fifteen-book adventure of the Guardians of Gahoole series. This last book was an improvement on the last several installations, but it comes nowhere near to the quality of the first two or the seventh and eighth. Overall I enjoyed it as a passive read, but I never felt involved in the story. I was planning to rate it 3 stars, but the end was so disappointing that I gave it only two. Without divulging major spoilers, I shall say it this way: In the end battle, a pivotal character dies, and their death is treated flippantly. The entire section of battle scenes is so rushed that it's hard to focus, and then the death of a major character is glossed over. None of his friends even acted all that sorrowful! After the initial moment of shock, they were like, "Oh well. He's dead. Let's just move on with life." The dramatic factor to the surprise end was ruined by the other character's passive response and overall ruined the book for me.
Here is my review of the entire Guardians of Ga’Hoole series:
For the most part, I liked the first six books. The first two were great. The seventh and eighth were absolutely excellent- I stayed up all night to finish them. From there on, the series got less interesting. The plot lines grew increasingly tired, and although there were some scenes which I enjoyed, others were so dull that the books averaged at a low rating. The books were quick reads, so I still finished the series, but I won’t re-read most of the books. One of the main things I enjoyed about this series was how it made magic out to be a bad thing. Since it was not used in a frivolous way and was shown to hold dire consequences, the story was more believable than a fantasy world where characters cast spells left and right. Characters had to work hard to succeed, instead of using magic to get what they wanted. The owls value teamwork, learning from history, and studying the natural world. The young owls are usually respectful to their elders. Many owls die protecting loved ones. We see that one’s birth and childhood don’t decide how someone will turn out. Sometimes, the morals can come across as trite, but they’re better than what you usually find in mainstream children’s fare.
Here are my major complaints with the series: 1. I know that this is a fantasy story, but throughout there are many illogical things which contradict nature. For instance, owls fight with ice scimitars. Ice only stays frozen under 32 degree conditions, but the swords never melt no matter where the owls use them.
Owls catch coals in their talons and carry them about without getting burned. Coals retain their heat permanently when removed from flames. This is slightly more plausible than the ice swords, but the coals should eventually cool. One of them was magical, which might explain the longevity of the flames, but ordinary coals can’t stay hot forever.
If the author had given some explanation, however frivolous, of how this could happen, it might sit better with me. Simply saying “it’s fantasy” doesn’t convince me that this is plausible. If a fantasy world is going to seem real, it has to suspend your disbelief. If the author can convince you that this really could happen in a fantasy world, you can enjoy the story. If you’re thinking the entire time, Drop the coal! It’s going to burn you!, it’s hard to feel dramatic.
2. Throughout the books, there are occasional references to “Others”, humans who once lived in the world but are now extinct. This could make for an interesting plot-line, but it isn’t given enough time or thought. It would be better left out than just a half-baked idea. There’s also another suspension of disbelief problem here: even though Others have been extinct so long that they are little more than legends, paintings and old books remain. It’s feasible that stone structures would still be around, but if an owl can get to old books, then mildew should have gotten to them years and years ago.
3. The made-up swear words and occasional crude jokes are unnecessary and just plain irritating.
I don’t regret reading this series, because it was usually entertaining and mostly clean, but I wouldn't recommend it since there are so many better fantasy books on the market. (less)
I came upon this book while working in the library, and the attractive cover illustration made me take a peek inside. I ended up reading the whole boo...moreI came upon this book while working in the library, and the attractive cover illustration made me take a peek inside. I ended up reading the whole book, and greatly enjoyed it. The illustrations are rich and colorful, and the story is unique. Although most picture books about friendship portray a bunch of animals hanging out and having fun, this one shows a shy octopus who is frightened or annoyed by different marine life creatures. In the end, she goes off to be by herself, and then realizes that perhaps being alone is not as ideal as she thought. When she returns, she is able to find the friendly and outgoing seahorses much nicer than she thought.
The book is beautiful and well-crafted, and would be a great teaching opportunity for a small child. The rhythmic, flowing prose contains all kinds of fabulous vocabulary words, and the story provides a great starting point for talking to children about introversion. The character of Octopus will help a shy child to understand that it is really all right to be alone sometimes, and can teach a more social child that when a friend of theirs wants to be alone, they are not rejecting them. I appreciated the helpful, gentle messages and the beautiful illustrations, and would recommend this as a quality picture book.(less)
This is the dullest book I read in my childhood. I find it ironic that it stuck with me so thoroughly, since I liked it so little. My mom checked it o...moreThis is the dullest book I read in my childhood. I find it ironic that it stuck with me so thoroughly, since I liked it so little. My mom checked it out from the library for me to read because it was recommended in "Honey for a Child's Heart". I was dubious as soon as I read the book blurb on the back cover, but knew that looks could be deceiving, so I started to read. A few chapters into the narrative, I begged my mom to let me drop the book. I complained that it was the most boring thing I had ever read, but she had me persevere to the last page. I still remember the feeling of jubilation I felt when I had finally finished. It was not the wonderful rush of emotion you get when you reach the last page of a book you love. Rather, it was joy over having finally completed a miserable task.
I now see why it was the book was recommended. It was probably well-written, and dealt with issues such as insecurity, displacement, and longing for friends, which children can relate to aside from the specific historical placement for those feelings. However, nine-year-old me felt that the story was depressing and boring, aside from whatever philosophical value adults might place on it.(less)
This is one of those books that is just so awesome that I do not consider myself capable of adequately reviewing it, and yet I feel that I do a disser...moreThis is one of those books that is just so awesome that I do not consider myself capable of adequately reviewing it, and yet I feel that I do a disservice to not write a review for a book I love this much. Thus, after reading this book for the second time, I am undertaking to write in no particular order five reasons why this is my favorite book ever.
1. Witty banter.
This book has some of the most amusing dialogue of any I have ever read, and I routinely have to set it down and just laugh over the clever comments and witty retorts.
2. Intricate, complex plotting.
I really enjoy all of the different plot threads involved in this trilogy. This is not one of those books where you pick it up, read the first five chapters, and know exactly how it all works out. Instead, the plot is well-crafted, surprising, and never drags. Plus...
3. The plot has a satisfying resolution.
This book is the final installment in the trilogy, and it adequately ties together all of the many plot threads from the preceding two books. Even if some things are not totally resolved, but are left up to the reader's imagination, no major plot thread is just dropped.
I am very impressed by the way that the author was intentional about crafting a good plot. One of the reasons that this book is so satisfying to read is that it not only ties together all of the major plot threads, but also includes in the climax all kinds of things which she hinted to in earlier books. This adds not only an extra element of surprise and excitement, but makes the whole journey just seem that much fuller and more complete.
4. The romance is actually quite good.
The love between Achan and Vrell is realistically portrayed, and because of that realism, I really enjoyed reading about. These were the first books involving romance which I ever read without feeling an element of disgust. Usually, I enjoy laughing and groaning and poking fun at romantic plots in the books I read, but this was totally different.
Even though the circumstantial aspects are wildly different than what would happen in everyday life, the fundamental emotions, thought processes, and interactions are all founded in reality, and thus are enjoyable to read.
5. Christian worldview.
I have read plenty of Christian fantasy books, and this stands out as the best of them all, for neither the character's relationships with God nor the supernatural involvement is cheesy or contrived. The entire book is written through the lens of a Christian worldview. This is not one of those books where you have some wise character come along and offer a few corny words every now and again about how the characters ought to be behaving. Instead, every single page is influenced by the author's worldview, and it is really refreshing to read a book that is not just "Inspirational fiction" but is deeply and intrinsically Christian.
Another thing which I really appreciated was the way that whenever Arman, the God character, spoke or was quoted, it was actual Scripture. The author applied true words of God to the fictional situation, instead of just coming up with something that sounded wise and inspirational. This makes all the difference in the world. It's not cheesy, because it's Scripture, and it avoids the trap of theological inaccuracy which too many well-meaning authors fall into when trying to write allegorical/Christian books.
Well, I guess that's it. I have no idea how to end this review, since it is not well organized and rather stream-of-consciousness. Even if it's kind of terrible, at least I can take satisfaction in the fact that I finally written a review for my favorite book.(less)
This was a well-written, thought-provoking book, and I greatly enjoyed it. Introverts were not overly victimized, and the book was written from a bala...moreThis was a well-written, thought-provoking book, and I greatly enjoyed it. Introverts were not overly victimized, and the book was written from a balanced point of view, but what I really appreciated was the Christian worldview from which it was written.
It is called "Introverts in the Church", so that should hardly be surprising, but I found meaningful not only the chapters specific to church-life, but also the chapters explaining about introversion. None of it was new to me, but it was refreshing to read the same information from a worldview that was not secular, but openly Christian. Introversion is explained through the lens of a God who created people in His own image, intentionally selecting specific personality types for different people. I did not just happen to be born an introvert, but a sovereign God chose to make me that way. I knew that all along, and when I read other books about introversion, I could filter them through my worldview, but it was really encouraging to read a book like this.
Also, the book makes very clear that true healing is not found through an understanding of our temperament and gifts, but only found through God. This perspective on introversion was so refreshing! (less)
Scumble is a hilarious, rollicking, fun-filled adventure. If not for the groan-inducing romance, I would have given it five stars. Brilliantly conceiv...moreScumble is a hilarious, rollicking, fun-filled adventure. If not for the groan-inducing romance, I would have given it five stars. Brilliantly conceived and written with down-to-earth yet fanciful prose, it’s a vivid story of a boy trying to harness, or “scumble”, his “savvy”, a unique power which runs through his family, manifesting itself on each person’s thirteen birthday.
The havoc which ensues during the wedding reception scene made me giggle like a small child. The prose wasn’t overly descriptive, but the vivid imagery left me playing the scene out in my mind as I read, making it even more hilarious. Sometimes when I read, I feel like the author is telling me what happened in their own imagination, this time, I “saw” it happen, making it much more hilarious.
Speaking of hilarious, Fedora or Fe, the little sister of the protagonist, is fantastic. Her brother, Ledger, has a savvy which breaks stuff apart- stopwatches, toasters, bicycles… (And I could say much more if not for SPOILERS!) Armed with her second grade teacher’s often punny safety tips, Fe marches around with an oversized football helmet, prepared for the havoc which follows in her brother’s wake. She’s hilarious and mostly true-to-life. I only have one complaint: We’re told she’s EIGHT. But her antics and speech more befit a kindergartner. She’s often just like my 5ish sister, not at all like eight-year-old kids I know. Despite this, she’s a fun and realistic representation of little kids, even if she acts younger than her given age.
I just loved the writing style of this book! It was fresh, funny, and VIVID. I didn’t have to try to picture the surroundings, I just did, and the book was a lot more realistic and believable than I expected- barring the romance, that is. Only one savvy comes to mind that I thought was far-fetched or silly. All the others are clever, interesting, and believable. It’s especially fun to read how characters learn to balance their savvies, control them, and use them as helpful tools. Another nice aspect is that the story isn’t set in a fantasy world; it’s right here in America. Fantasy blends in with the reality we all know to be true.
As a sequel, this book performs well. It is not only superior to its predecessor, but includes characters from the previous book in a fun way where you’re excited to see glimpses back into past character’s lives, yet does not bewilder someone who hasn’t read the first book.
This was a good read, and I’d recommend it to ages 11 and up. (less)
I read this book partly to satisfy my own curiosity, and partly to preview it on my little sister's behalf. Frankly, I expected that it would be garba...moreI read this book partly to satisfy my own curiosity, and partly to preview it on my little sister's behalf. Frankly, I expected that it would be garbage. Imagine my surprise when I found it was actually an excellent book!
The last three American girl series were disappointments to varying degrees, but this one far surpasses the low standard set by Julie, even Rebecca, and Cecile/Marie Grace. The book is remarkably well-written, especially in comparison to that last AG installment. This prose was simple enough for a young reader without sounding stilted and disjointed.
The writing is solid, the lead character is likable, it's an interesting story, and there are lovely illustrations. If I liked it this much as a sixteen-year-old, then I would have enjoyed it even more when I was still within the targeted age range! It's great that the American Girl company has come out with a new series that measures up in many ways to the originals.(less)
This book is so bad that it isn't even funny! I don't know how this book got published. I've read stories by my unpublished writer friends which are f...moreThis book is so bad that it isn't even funny! I don't know how this book got published. I've read stories by my unpublished writer friends which are far better than this.
I stumbled upon this book in the library, and checked it out because it looked intriguing. It's a juvenile book by an author that I'm familiar with, so I assumed it would be decent, and it was. But the story was absolutely horrible. My complaints could carry on as long as the book itself, but I shall narrow them down.
The untold story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian obviously is going to have some romance in it. But the romance was awful! There are very few moments where their attraction shows, and when it does, there is no chemistry whatsoever. The dialogue is quite stilted. At the end, we have no reason to believe that they should get married, or that their love is real at all. Their attraction never passes the adolescent puppy-love stage, and barely reaches that, come to think of it.
The beginning of the book was interesting enough, but soon it was just plain weird. It was difficult for me to keep up with what was happening, because the story seemed to go in several directions at once. Plot devices would appear one moment and be forgotten about the next. Nothing particularly exciting happened, and when something vital finally occurred, it was written in such a way that I had to re-read the paragraph to figure out what had happened. At first I thought I just must be dense, but after reading other goodreads reviews, it looks like I'm not the only one who had trouble keeping up with the story.
The main character, Matty/Maid Marian, was an irritating "Mary-Sue" type heroine. She was good at everything and became a falconry expert practically overnight, even though it would take an ordinary person a long time to develop the new skill. Fynn/Robin Hood would make comments about "you can't do such-and-such because you're a girl", and she always had to one-up him. Sure, he shouldn't be demeaning; men and women should be equals. I know how it feels to get left out just because you're a girl. But the story isn't trying to teach equality. Instead, we were supposed to learn that Matty was BETTER than Fynn. He was the poor clueless male who had to be guided along. She had almost all of the good ideas, and pretty much orchestrated everything.
I shall refrain from giving spoilers, but the end was extremely odd. Random, unexpected things happened all at once, leaving me confused. It's still fuzzy in my mind. The story was dragged to an unsatisfying conclusion, making me wonder why I wasted my time reading the book.(less)
I really wanted to love this book, but the premise of a twelve-year-old successfully publishing a best-selling book was simply too preposterous for me...moreI really wanted to love this book, but the premise of a twelve-year-old successfully publishing a best-selling book was simply too preposterous for me to suspend my disbelief. I enjoyed the book a great deal, but even though it is a sweet story and teaches kids about the publishing process, I can't take it seriously. I would like to give it four stars, but the suspension of disbelief problems pushes it down to three.
I've been a twelve-year-old writer, and I know how the creative process works, so I struggled to believe that the main character could possibly write a book so captivating and meaningful to adults. People her age have published books before, but no publishing agency believed that they were by adult writers. Nor would such a book receive rave reviews and become a best-seller. As nice as the story was, its implausibility hindered my ability to fully enjoy it.(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Having already read "Heartless" and "Veiled Rose", I had high expectations for this book, but it still blew me away. W...moreI thoroughly enjoyed this book! Having already read "Heartless" and "Veiled Rose", I had high expectations for this book, but it still blew me away. With each new release, the author only improves.
I got to meet Anne Elisabeth at a book signing, where I bought my copy of this book. Now, a week later, I've finished the story. Usually, I speed through books that I enjoy, but this time I found myself reading it slowly, savoring the story and beautiful prose.
Remarkably well-crafted, this fantasy series stands out among its competitors. This is world which is vivid and believable. Not just a backdrop for the events, this world is fascinating in and of itself, yet even in such a fantastic setting, the characters are still very human.
Flawed yet likable, each character is a startlingly accurate portrayal of human nature. In my opinion, Prince Lionheart's story of redemption was the most powerful.
I generally can't stand the characters who bumble things up, show poor judgment, and make major mistakes, but I could not bring myself to hate Lionheart. Despite his sin, he wasn't a bad, unfeeling, corrupt person. He was just like you or me. His mistakes were tangled up in a mess of partially good intentions- they did not come from the depths of a wretched heart. He wanted to do the right thing, but his perspective of right was skewed. He wanted to save his people, to save his kingdom. Though he went about it in the wrong way, and the mistakes only snowballed from there, his initial intentions were not as wrong as you might guess when seeing the results of his actions.
Yet despite Lionheart's failings, he was not without hope,and neither are we. In a beautiful portrayal of Christ, he is redeemed. The allegory, though tenuous at times, culminates here. It was beautiful to see aspects of the gospel portrayed in this fantasy story, and it moved me in a way that I did not expect. Because Lionheart was so human, so real, so was the story of his redemption.
This was a very satisfying series ending. The book tied together the overlapping story threads which carried through the first two novels, turning them into one whole, solid story. I appreciated how we had a chance to see certain events told more than once throughout the books, each time from different a perspective, while still remaining fresh and new. It was wonderful to see how all of the stories fit together in the end, and I cannot wait to read the prequel series!(less)
This book is so good that I assumed it was published fifty years ago. Then someone mentioned a computer. This book is truly unique for something publi...moreThis book is so good that I assumed it was published fifty years ago. Then someone mentioned a computer. This book is truly unique for something published in the past decade, capturing the sweetness of family life and a fun summer in a way that most modern books simply cannot. It was a pleasure to read this book, and it inspired me in my own writing. The prose was laugh-out-loud witty, the story relied on character relations and "real life" instead of flashy hooks, and the characters came vividly alive in my mind. Even in the first chapter, there was no way to confuse the four Penderwick girls. I identified with them each on some level, and greatly enjoyed how well the author fleshed them out.
I highly recommend this book to everyone, whether they're in fourth grade or forty. I can't wait to read the other books in the series!(less)
What a sweet book! I wish that this had been around when I was the target age. Despite the easy reading level, the prose was rich and engaging, and th...moreWhat a sweet book! I wish that this had been around when I was the target age. Despite the easy reading level, the prose was rich and engaging, and the occasional black and white illustrations were cute and detailed. The content of the story and character interactions were realistic, and I appreciated the sweet portrayal of family. With so many books trying to reflect reality with fractured, broken families, it was a nice change to have a loving, two parent household presented as a healthy norm.
In the actual plot of the story, a beautiful turquoise marble went missing from an exhibit at school. Influenced by Nancy Drew novels, Nancy Clancy and her friend Bree were determined to crack the case. There were a lot of cute references to that series, and the girls' excitement over the mystery reminded me of how I would have been when I was their age. Overall, the story was realistic and believable, and I would highly recommend this book to young girls.(less)