We're officially back from our summer holiday break - a very hot break, at least for me. Thankfully the weather has cooled off at the moment, but summer's still got a whole month ahead.
I'll continue to post on Thursdays this year, and Jess on Tuesdays. The difference will be that our book reviews will go up on these days too, instead of on their own on Wednesdays.
And now, here is my first official review of 2013 ....
Ann Lee Miller
1st December 2012
In the tradition of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, four friends navigate college and the drama churned up by their Florida beach band to cement friendship and more. Avra wants love, but drummer Cisco—self-medicating from his parents’ divorce with sex and intoxicants—is a poor choice. Cisco hungers for fresh-baked cookies and the scent of family he finds at Avra’s. Kallie shares her classically trained singing voice only with lead vocalist Jesse and fights to keep her heart safe. Jesse feeds on fame and hides more than insecurity beneath his guitar. The friends surf ego, betrayal, and ambition and head for wipe-out. But somehow, when they’re not looking, Avra’s God changes them all.
Avra's God is Ann Lee Miller's third book release and if you've read her first two books, you'll enjoy the glimpses of some of the characters from them.
Avra's is a story that many women - young and old - can relate to. Falling for that bad boy, and wrestling between what you know is right and the runaway emotions that you feel. By clinging to her trust in God, Avra's faith impacts her friends and sets up a catalyst for change and healing.
Cisco, Kallie and Jesse have a boat load of issues between them. They all have a varying knowledge and experience of God, and each must come to Him in their own way. Most readers would find they identify with one or more of the character's issues.
I'm a big fan of Ann's novels. Somehow she completely understands the lives and minds of early twenty-somethings and brings them to life with such clarity. My skin was crawling with some of the things her male characters said - it was so accurate and typical of boys in that age group, I was instantly transported back to a similar period in my life.
This is such an exciting age group to read about, and Ann captures the emotions and drama so well that it's easy to completely lose yourself in the story. The characters' journey towards God is natural, touching and refreshing.
In terms of degree of "edginess", Avra's God sits between the sweetness of Kicking Eternity and the drama of The Art of My Life. If you haven't read Ann's books before, I'd recommend starting here - or Kicking Eternity.
Another great book by Ann :)
(If you'd like to try Ann's books, you can request a free ecopy of Kicking Eternity at Ann's website or download it on Amazon Kindle for free.)
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.