Top critical review
A good read for fans of Miranda, but it didn't blow me away
on 4 June 2013
This book gave me mixed feelings. It was a quick and enjoyable read, but there were also a lot of deep issues that were dealt with. The first being Kate's guilt over what she sees as a 'sin' she helped her friend commit. I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, so I won't go into extraneous detail, but the way Kate feels about this incident is really interesting. Seeing her side - the point of view of someone who is very religious and is constantly scared of disappointing God - and the view of her best friend, who is slowly becoming a 'disbeliever' makes for a really intriguing and unique conflict.
Kate's internal struggle was interesting to watch unfold but, to be honest, after a while I got kind of tired of her constantly bringing up how bad this 'sin' was and how she needed to pray for forgiveness. It got kind of old hat and when Kate was constantly judging people on how they acted because of her strong religious beliefs ... well, girlfriend really needed to chill out. At times she was way too high-strung and judgemental for my liking.
Then again, I suppose the point of the book was Kate's journey and how she learned to be more accepting. Don't get me wrong, Kate's actually a really nice person and she never wants to offend anyone and there definitely was a change in her at the end of the novel. I just wish it didn't take so long for her to get there.
Her relationship with Matt is a key part of the novel. They had some pretty swoony moments and her relationship with Matt really taught her a lot, which was fantastic. But they just didn't leap off the page.
Though I hadn't read Stealing Parker, when Parker appeared as a secondary character in this book, her relationship with her boyfriend was just wonderful to read. They were so fun together and their chemistry was undeniable. Parker herself was also a great character and really stole the show - she was a lot more complex than Kate and tbh she was a lot more interesting.
I think the thing I loved most though, were Kate's parents. She has them on a pedestal and at first you get the impression that they're just as super religious as she is. But, actually, her parents are really understanding and they don't see things as simply as Kate does. It was so refreshing to have parents in a YA book be supportive and offer sage advice. So often in this genre parents are absentee and judgemental to create tension, but I'm happy to say this wasn't the case here. Kate's parents were awesome and it really helped Kate find her way when she realised that even her parents weren't the 'perfect Christians'.
I enjoyed Kate's story - she really did just want to be a good person and was so afraid of going to hell that I just wanted to give her lots of hugs. So all in all this was a good read, it just wasn't fantastic.
For more reviews on YA & Contemporary books check out my blog: http://littlebirdiebooks.blogspot.co.uk