Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book Review: Perfectly Ridiculous by Kristin Billerbeck

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Perfectly Ridiculous by Kristin Billerbeck
Revell, 01 July 2012

Daisy's ready for summer fun--but it seems summer has something else in store.

High school is over, and Daisy Crispin is happy to leave it in her past and look forward to a bright new future at college. In the meantime, she is planning an all-expenses-paid trip with her best friend Claire to Argentina--home of exotic food, the tango, and her handsome sort-of boyfriend Max.

When Daisy discovers she needs to do missions work to fulfill the requirements of her scholarship, she chalks it up to her monumental bad luck in life and kisses her vacation goodbye. What was supposed to be a relaxing time in the lap of luxury turns into hard work, sleeping on a cot, avoiding scorpions, and stressing about where she stands with Max. Daisy wonders if anything in her life will ever go according to plan . . . 

Perfectly Ridiculous is the third instalment of Kristin Billerbeck's "A Universally Misunderstood Novel" series.  I had thoroughly enjoyed the first two books, and was excited about this third release.

Daisy has an opportunity of a lifetime to spend two weeks in Argentina with her best friend Claire.  But nothing goes according to plan.  She makes it to Argentina, but with her parents in tow and a change in accommodation to a bare bones mission location.  From there on, Daisy's "holiday" is fraught with drama, chaos and misunderstanding.  

Perfectly Ridiculous is a fast paced read and kept me guessing about what on earth was going on.  Is Max a good guy - or not? He was adorable in the first two books, but now it seems he's a jerk.  Thank goodness for J.C. appearing on the scene.  He's a cute, genuine guy - so why can't Daisy get Max out of her head?

And why oh why has Libby, the woman running the mission, got it in for Daisy? Poor Daisy is unfairly picked on and I felt frustrated and indignant right along with her.

There's great relief when Daisy finally catches a break in the end, and a light bulb moment when she comes face to face with her inability to let God lead the way.  This is a great lesson for Daisy - and the reader - to learn.

However, I'm just not sure the average young adult is going to buy the ending and the lack of resolution between Daisy and J.C.  Nor am I sure they would excuse Max's behaviour, despite the explanations.  I sure didn't.

Perfectly Ridiculous is lighter on the romance than the previous books, and is my least favourite of the three.  The antics and bumbling escapades still provide plenty of humour and entertainment.  Perhaps it's just a matter of taste, because I felt that this book was missing the sweet, innocent, romantic elements of the first book.

Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element.  She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA.  She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.

Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.

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