It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
FaithWords; 1 edition (January 7, 2010)
***Special thanks to Miriam Parker of the Hachette Book Group for sending me a review copy.***
CONTEST! For a chance to win one of two prizes: a Tiffany’s Bracelet OR an All About Us T-shirt, go to Camy Tang’s Blog
Shelley Adina is a world traveler and pop culture junkie with an incurable addiction to designer handbags. She knows the value of a relationship with a gracious God and loving Christian friends, and she’s inviting today’s teenage girls to join her in these refreshingly honest books about real life as a Christian teen–with a little extra glitz thrown in for fun! In between books, Adina loves traveling, listening to and making music, and watching all kinds of movies.
Visit the author’s website.
List Price: $9.99
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: FaithWords; 1 edition (January 7, 2010)
And now we have Lissa’s story set in her last high school term. Lissa and her friends have more money and more exposure to the world of fashion and travel than the average Jane, but they still have similar problems.
Growing pains? Confusion? Mistakes? Yes, Lissa has all those. She also has God in her life to direct her as she interacts with her friends and not so friendly acquaintances.
Some of the problems and burdens are big ones. How does she work her way through them? Grab a book and find out.
Now that Ms Adina has taken us through the lives of these Spencer Academy friends, I hope it won’t end with graduation. I can still see a lot of stories here.
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
© 2010 by Shelley Adina
LET ME PUT it right out there: I’m no sports fan—unless you count surfing, which is more of an attitude to life than a sport. I used to think that there were some things you just knew. But if God were a major league pitcher, He’d be the kind of guy who threw curveballs just to keep you on your toes. To catch you off guard. To prove you wrong about everything you thought.
Which is essentially what happened to us all during the last term of our senior year at Spencer Academy.
My name is Lissa Evelyn Mansfield—yes, I’m back again. Did you miss me? Because, seriously, this last term of high school before my friends and I graduated was so crazed, so unpredictable, that I had to write it all down to try and make sense of it.
But, hey, let’s take a moment here. The words last term of senior year need some respect, not to mention celebration. They need to be paused over and savored. Excuse me.
Okay, I’m back.
The term began in April, and by the time our first set of midterms (or thirdterms, as my roommate Gillian Chang calls them, since we get three sets of exams every term) rolled around at the beginning of May, it was just beginning to sink in that there were only seven weeks of high school left. Seven weeks until freedom. Adulthood. Summer vacation. Adulthood. Home.
“Sarah Lawrence is stalking me,” Gillian moaned from where she sat on her bed in our dorm room. “Here’s another letter.” She fished an envelope out of the pile of mail in her lap and waved it.
I looked up from my MacBook Air, where I was checking e-mail. “Don’t let Emily Overton hear you. She got turned down and her roommate has had to keep her away from open windows for the last month.”
“But I already told them no twice. What’s it going to take?”
“You could fail some exams.” I’m always willing to offer a helpful suggestion. “They can’t help it if they covet your fearsome brain.”
“So does Harvard. And Princeton. Not to mention Stanford and Columbia and Juilliard.” She threw her hands in the air so that the letter flew over her shoulder and bounced off the headboard. “How am I supposed to pick just one? Can I spend a year at each school? I could be a career transfer student.”
“I’m glad I don’t have your decisions to make,” I told her with absolute honesty. “If all those schools were after me, I’d run away and hide.”
“I’ve got to figure out what I’m doing with my life.” She glanced at me. “Or maybe I should say, what God wants me to do with my life.”
“There’s the kicker.” I nodded sagely. “I understand about waiting on the Lord, but . . . He knows about registration deadlines, doesn’t He?”
“Oh, yeah. He knows. I keep asking Him, and He keeps thinking about it. Maybe He wants me to figure out what I want, first. But that’s the impossible part.”
Poor Gillian. She has the kind of brain schools fight over for their research programs. But she’s also a music prodigy—hence the acceptance from Juilliard. Then, to complicate things even more, she also has quite the talent for drawing, and ever since she met my friend Kaz Griffin, her dream has been to create a graphic novel starring a kick-butt Asian girl with a secret identity. Kaz, in case you haven’t met him, is my best friend from my old high school in Santa Barbara. He’s been trying to get his graphic novel published for, like, years, with no success. But I have to hand it to him. He never gives up.
“You could always do pre-med at Harvard and minor in art or music,” I suggested. “You know you’re going to need a release valve from all that scientific pressure. It would be good to have the right-brain kind of classes to turn to.”
Gillian pushed the stack of mail off her lap and leaned back against the mound of colorful silk pillows. The letter from Sarah Lawrence crumpled somewhere underneath. “But then how will I know if I’m any good?”
“Um, your grades? Not to mention, if you got an acceptance from Juilliard, you’re good. Full stop, as Mac would say.”
Lady Lindsay MacPhail, aka Mac, was a student here at Spencer for two terms, and she’s one of our little group of friends. She’s gone back to live in London until the end of term, when she’ll return to her family’s castle in Scotland, and she has none of these questions about her life. She knows exactly what degree she’s going to get, when she’ll get it, and what she’ll be doing after that: making the Strathcairn Hotel and Corporate Retreat Center the go-to place for world-class events in the UK.
I envy people who have their future in a laser sight. I’m still trying to figure out what to wear tomorrow.
“What do teachers know?” Gillian asked. I don’t think she was looking for the answer to that one. “If I’m going to find out whether I’m really any good, I have to try to get into an art program and give it everything I’ve got. Try to get an exhibition. Or a publisher. Live in a garret and try to make it as an artist.”
“That sounds scary.”
“I know.” She sighed. “Medical school is the easy path, grasshopper.”
Only Gillian Chang would say something like that.
I turned back to my notebook and saw that while we’d been talking, a message from Kaz had popped up in my inbox.
Date: May 4, 2010
I am so regretting pushing off physics until senior year. My brain hurts. What was I thinking? Instead of grabbing my board and heading for the beach, I’m stuck down here in my room writing equations I don’t know the answers to.
Does the Jumping Loon tutor over the phone? Can you ask her? I’ll give her anything she wants, including full use of my studly body, if she’ll just say the magic words that will unveil the meaning of x and y, not to mention z.
Life, I’ve got a handle on. X is a mystery.
I looked over my shoulder. “Kaz wants to know if you do physics tutoring over the phone. He says you can do what you want with his body if you help him.” I paused when she didn’t look up from a Neiman Marcus catalog. “I didn’t know you were interested in his body. Does Jeremy know about this?”
“That sounds like a jealous remark.” She flipped a page. “Ooh, nice dress. Chloé does summer so well. Which reminds me, if we’re going on a Senior Cotillion dress safari, we’d better start soon.”
I was not to be sidetracked, no matter how tempting the bait. “Is something going on with you and Kaz?”
She put the catalog down and rolled her eyes to the ceiling. “Yes. Yes, there is.”
I sat there as stunned as if someone had upended a bucket of seawater over me.
Kaz and Gillian? What? How is that possible? When did—
What is the matter with you? Kaz is your friend. You aren’t . . . like that. If he’s interested in Gillian, it’s none of your business.
“Lissa. Lissa, come back to me.” I blinked at her. My face felt frozen. “For crying out loud, get a grip.” She was trying not to laugh and not succeeding very well. “He’s teasing you. He’s helping me with a plaster mold of his hand for my art project, okay? That’s all.”
“A mold. Of his hand. And you don’t have guys’ hands any closer than Santa Barbara?”
“He has interesting hands, which you’d know if you ever paid any attention.”
Of course he did. And of course I did. Pay attention to him, I mean. He was my best friend. We e-mailed each other, like, twenty times a week.
“And Jeremy’s hands aren’t interesting?”
She picked up the catalog and flipped another page. “Write him back and tell him of course I’ll tutor him. We can start tonight if he’s desperate.”
Hm. Poor Jeremy, indeed. What was going on here? “He wants to know the meaning of x.”
“Don’t we all. Some of us wait for the universe to reveal it to us. And some of us wouldn’t know it if the universe dropped it on our heads.”
“What’s your point?”
But my friend, who usually has all the answers, didn’t reply.