by Krista McGee
The orphaned daughter of missionaries, Addy is quite content to stay in the shadows and never draw attention to herself. But when she's selected for a reality TV show to try to become the President son's prom date-a show she didn't audition for-she's suddenly in America's spotlight.
The lights, the make-up, the competitions, and the blogs discussing every move she makes all make Addy incredibly uncomfortable. But through her time at The Mansion, Addy comes to realize that first impressions aren't always right, that hiding out may not be what God had planned for her life, and that her faith should affect everything she does. It may just be that her selection wasn't random at all and that she's on this show "for such a time as this."
Addy is very curious when she is suddenly called to the principal's office. And completely surprised when she finds out that the reason she's there is because she will be her school's representative in the new TV Show, The Book of Love, where Jonathan Jackson, the handsome son of the president will choose a girl from other 100 to take to prom.
She is not thrilled, not in the least, but everybody keeps saying that this is her chance to bring God to others, what with her parents having been missionaries and all that. But Addy just wants to stay home, with her friends and books, calm and quiet. Just hanging out... close to Spencer Adams, the half-cuban hottie, if possible.
But she has little choice, and so she goes to the show, planning on being sent home as soon as possible, but for some reason her honesty seems to enchant Jonathan and enrage her contestans to no end. They all think she's been planning to act nonchalantly an uninterested all along... and that makes her the enemy of many. She does get to America's heart, though. After all, she looks just like the girl next door, so simple, ordinary and clumsy, different from the beauties that are competing with her.
Between the chapters we get to see the interviews from some of the most important contestants, which gives us some great insight on their reasons for being there.
I especially loved Addy's roomate and best-friend in the competition, Kara. She's loud, outspoken and not afraid to say what's on her mind. And she's especially good when dealing with bullies (I really wanted to slap a few of those girls sometimes). Jonathan is very kind and cute. Totally smoochable.
I did like the premise for the book, it was interesting to see the other side of 'reality' TV shows, the real side of the contestants, how the shows are extremely manipulated and false. I also liked knowing more about the security proceedures involving the President and his son. It's all very complicated, poor Jon.
What I wasn't so excited about, though I knew I should have expected, was the constant and unending mentions of God and Jesus and Christ. It is a christian book (I noticed it only after I requested it, I'm afraid), but reading the word God over 96579 times gets a little annoying. Also, it bothered me that she wanted to fix everyone all the time! Maybe people aren't completely bad, sure, and we all have our reasons to be bitter sometimes, but if people don't want to be helped, you can't force them.
What disappointed me the most about the story was this: how Addy's lovely uncle Mike makes it very clear to her that if she likes Jonathan, she better be sure he 'shares their faith', otherwise they can never be more than friends. I don't mean to be very judgemental here, but isn't God all about Acceptance & Equality? It doesn't matter how great and sweet a young man Jon was, he would never be good enough if he's not a freaking Christian? And doesn't LOVE conquers it all? Addy kept going on about how much she loved him, but it was obvious she would give him up just as easily if he wasn't Christian. Talk about hypocrisy and half-heartedness.
Anyway, of course he turned out to be Christian (he was almost too perfect, after all) and very enthusiastic about learning the Bible with Addy. And they lived happily ever after.
I think this book had a lot of promise, but it turned out to be a very long religious pamphlet with short stories thrown in the middle. If you do ignore the excessive Christian content, you can actually have fun with some very well-written scenes.
If you like quick, funny, sweet, christian romantic stories, this may be your book.
*I received an eARC form Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*