Title: Carter House Girls Series Book #1, Mixed Bags
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: YA Fiction, Christian
Abbreviated Summary (from the Back Flap): When her mom died, DJ had to move in with her grandmother... Now Mrs. Carter's opened a boarding home for young ladies, and DJ--who would rather wear her basketball team uniform than haute couture--is just sure they'll be unbearable fashion snobs. One by one, the girls arrive and begin to figure out how to fit into this new family, getting to know each other and forming friendships. There's a few aspiring divas and even a closet Christian. Before long, the Carter House girls are dating, fighting, laughing, shopping, sharing clothes, purses, shoes... and their deepest secrets. DJ may not turn into the perfect little lady her grandmother has in mind, but one thing's for certain--with all these new "sisters," her life will never be the same!
Review: Apparently, when it comes to Christian YA fiction, it's a toss-up. You either get good writing and a some-what interesting storyline (see the Sweet Seasons novels) or you get a book that's not too preachy-preachy (like this series), but you can't have your cake and eat it too. What's unfortunate, in my opinion, is that Melody Carlson is a prolific writer--she's got literally tons of books in the Christian fiction genre. What does that say about tastes?
Some of the characters in these books are interesting--mostly the guy that DJ gets a crush/quasi-romance with, and the cliff-hanger at the end of the book is probably enough to keep me reading these books. (I've bought the next three in the series, there will be eight in total.) Don't really read too much into that, I need something to read while I'm on the theoretical toilet. It's something you can read while you're watching TV or riding the stationary bike... not too many brain cells required.
I gave it a C because Carlson sells so many books some people must like them, just not me.
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