Perfectly Ridiculous is a light, fun summer read for teens with good Christian messages, but the characters in the book left something to be desired.Perfectly Ridiculous is a light, fun summer read for teens with good Christian messages, but the characters in the book left something to be desired. The book is narrated by Daisy Crispin, who comes from a poor family but has a full ride scholarship to a Christian college. She, as in most teen novels, has a rich, preppy best friend (named Claire in this book).
Claire wants to take Daisy on a free vacation to Argentina. Daisy needs to do a week of mission work for school. So she does a week of mission work in Argentina. She views her parents as overprotective for not agreeing to her plan; while they eventually agree, they insist on tagging along. Daisy happens to have an Argentinian boyfriend named Max, and they seem to have a rather strange relationship - one minute he's petting her cheek and the next minute she blows up at him for not bringing her candy for the children. They break up, kind of, but they haven't really been together, even though he told her he loved her (on Skype, I believe). Alrighty then.
SO Max is not the one for her. She finds another guy who happens to be going to her same college, who happens to have the other full ride scholarship there, who happens to have chosen the same week at the same vacation bible school for his mission work as Daisy has! (His name is J.C.) After only three days they realize they are perfect for each other. So they go to college and are happy together, right? Wrong.
*spoiler alert* J.C. gets injured and has to return to the US early. He insists that Daisy tell Max to come pick him up, and she asks why he can't just call a cab. (I don't think there is ever an answer to this reasonable question. if there is, I missed it.) So Daisy and Max come to pick up J.C. An awkwardly-written scene insues, with Daisy kissing J.C. then J.C. and Max arguing and then Daisy talking privately with Max and basically, it's a long, painfully drawn-out teenage love triangle.
*still spoiler alert* The trio overcome a few other bumps in the road, including the discovery that Max is engaged?, and by the end even I was curious to know which guy Daisy would choose. At the end of the book, BAM Daisy finds out she's rich (what??), goes to a party with both her boyfriends (awkward?), and then decides she is too young for love (well okay then).
And it ends.
*end spoilers* What I didn't like: I never really feel that I knew Daisy. I didn't really connect with her, and the "shocking" twists in the plot at the end were more confusing and random. Parts of the book were narrated in Daisy's travel diary, which was odd since she tells the story anyway.
DESPITE all of this, Perfectly Ridiculous did have redeeming qualities. I liked how well Billerbeck described Argentina. I could feel like I was really there with the characters while I read, which made it a lot more enjoyable. I also liked how eye-opening the conditions in the Vacation Bible School were, although there wasn't a lot of time spent on that aspect, seeing as Daisy worked in the kitchen. I also liked the selflessness that Claire showed throughout the book.
Basically, if you're a teen girl looking to relax and not concentrate much while you read, pick this up. But if you're looking to be kept on the edge of your seat with something new and different, this isn't for you....more
Every book in this series gets better, in my opinion. The two in this book are very good - 4.5 stars - and are confusing, scary, and romantic at the sEvery book in this series gets better, in my opinion. The two in this book are very good - 4.5 stars - and are confusing, scary, and romantic at the same time.
I liked Chandler's style in the first book, but fell out of love when the same cookie-cutter plot was applied to every book. The murderer was always the protagonist's friend, always seemed really nice, but wasn't very well developed. There is always someone that's psychic and helps solve the murder. The first guy you meet is "the one," has deep, usually dark eyes, and will just happen to come across and save the protagonist.
Despite the predictability, these were still really good books. I guess I liked them, first of all, because of Chandler's intelligent, female protagonists. In many mystery novels, the protagonist doesn't think logically...they don't seem to understand that the bad guy is hiding in the closet. While Chandler's characters still make some dumb decisions, they add color and new twists to the plots of her novels.
Chandler tends to create complicated family connections and relationships that are not discovered until the very end. Sometimes the end comes so fast and is so complicated that it can get pretty confusing. But you can always count on the cheesy, happy last chapter (where the guy and girl fall in love) to wrap it all up.
Basically, this is a good late-night summer read for teens who like to be scared while having their mind wrapped up with a nice, complex plot :)...more