I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up the book. It was a feel good book and the premise was that of a high school girl getting put on a reality show to win the heart of the son of the president.
McGee had me laughing at the silly antics and the easy conversations that the characters had. In the book, we meet Addy. She is an orphan whose parents were missionaries in the jungles of Columbia. Since her parents' death, she was raised by her Uncle Mike. Through her Uncle Mike, she has had a friend and guardian who continued to encourage her in her life and faith.
Addy is chosen to represent her small Christian high school on a reality television show. Although she knew it would be difficult, when she arrives on the show - she soon learns how devious people can really be and is faced with how to respond in a way that would be God honoring in difficult situations. Ironically, her attempts to show he "bad" or "real" side, endears her to both the first son and the television audience.
I liked that it was a clean book that I would be comfortable having my young girls read. In the end this was a nice, easy, enjoyable read that made me laugh out loud.
This is an awesome read!! It's loosely based on Esther from the Bible, but set it today's world, with reality tv, paparazzi, the internet and more. Addy is such a relatable character. You can't help but root for her. Fellow reality show contestant Kara is a great source of comedy and strength for Addy during their time on the show and the other characters add so much to the story. I loved the comedic elements to the story as well. Simply put this book made me smile, which as stressed as I am at the moment it's simply perfect. Can not wait for Kara's story which comes put in July-I've already pre-ordered it!!
"First Date" is a young adult Christian romance novel, though I suspect younger teens would also like it. The story is loosely based on the biblical story of Esther. The influence was strong enough I recognized the connection, but the story didn't always translate well into a modern setting.
For example, Addy strongly objected to being entered in this competition, but the adults had already entered her without her consent. That didn't seem realistic, nor did some other parts of the story. I also didn't appreciate how the adults in Addy's life manipulated her into joining the competition by telling her that this was God's will for her. It very clearly was their will, though God did use it.
Despite the somewhat rocky beginning, I enjoyed this charming story. The "good guy" characters were fun and engaging, though the "bad guys" were petty cliche. I enjoyed Addy's and Jonathon's romance. Considering how superficial their attraction and relationship could have been, these two still managed to connect based on shared interests and meaningful conversations.
There was a strong Christian element to this story. Addy feels like God is using the experience to grow her, and she prays and occasionally reads her Bible. She's scared about sharing that she's a Christian with people (though, as another character pointed out, it wasn't exactly hard to guess), and she does eventually share her faith. One reaction to this didn't seem realistic, but the others were.
There was no sex. There was a very minor amount of "he cursed" style of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this novel as long as you're not looking for a serious, realistic read.
I received this book as an egalley from the publisher through NetGalley.
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Review 4 for First Date - eBook
Light-reading, Heart Warming Story
Date:February 12, 2012
I was looking for something fresh, and I saw the cover on BookSneeze. I knew I had to read this book. The main lead is Addy. She's just an ordinary girl, trying to blend in. She was chosen to represent her school in a reality show entitled "The Book of Love". One of the main reason why Abby doesn't want to be on the show, is because she doesn't want to be famous. Her parents were killed when they're trying to stop drug deals in the area. They were missionaries, and Abby was raised by her uncle, Mike. Abby ended up joining the reality show. The idea of the show is to look for a prom date for the President's son, Jonathon. She entered the show with one focus, to quit as soon as possible. But Jonathon is quite charming, and she soon felt that she has connection with him. At the first weeks, Abby HATE to be on the show. But days passed, and she felt disappointed at her self, she felt she let her parents, her uncle, her school down, and she felt she let God down. She's too embarrassed to admit that she's a Christian, and she certainly doesn't behave like one. Until one day her roommate, Kara, asked her whats wrong with her. Abby admitted how she felt being on the show. She even started to be a good friend, and enjoy the luxury given by the show. There were ups and downs, and lots of lessons that Abby get during the show. But one thing that catch me, was when Abby was sick, and had to be treated in the hospital. She felt disappointed, as when other girls were having fun, she was stuck at the hospital. The day after she was released, she went to a diner with his uncle. They overheard a conversation, a plan to kidnap Jonathon, and subsequently kill the President. Mike move fast, and let the Secret Service know. They manage to ruin the killing plan. It was a blessing in disguise! When Hank was planning to kick Mike out of the show, suddenly Jonathon found out that Mike had saved his life, and thanked him on the show, so Hank couldn't kick Mike out. The story shows how Abby was transformed, she begin to accept God's calling, begin to involve God even in small things like trying to be friendlier to people, even to Hank. This book is cute, good for teens, young adult, light-reading, and it is totally heart warming! It put a smile on my face when I read the end of the story. Love it!
First Date is written by Krista Mc Gee. I got this book for free from BookSneeze.com, under a program with Thomas Nelson Publishing Company.
I love reality shows. In fact, I look forward to watching Survivor, The Amazing Race, and The Apprentice all week. First Date, by Krista McGee, is a story of 100 young girls competing against each other on a fictional reality show called The Book of Love. They are hoping to win a date (to the prom!) with the president's very handsome son, Jonathan. Every girl wants to be there except Addy Davidson. Addy Davidson is chosen to be on The Book of Love by her high school principal who feels she is unique and special- something different than the other girls. We follow Addy as she participates in the competition- although at the beginning she is not exactly thrilled about it. But that is soon to change...
The competition is harsh and Addy's faith is tested. With the support of her friend, Kara, and her uncle Addy becomes a role model and an inspiration. First Date was refreshing and I enjoyed each and every page! I loved learning more about Addy's background that also includes her missionary parents. Her Mom's journal entries were bittersweet. I also enjoyed watching Addy's faith in God grow stronger as she saw God's purpose for her being on the reality show. the parallels to the book of Esther were very apparent. The characters were well written, the story line was believable, and the humor was clever. I can't wait to read the book again- this time with my daughters!
Addy Davidson has been chosen as the representative for her school in the new TV reality show, The Book of Love, with the prize being a date to the senior prom with Jonathon Jackson – the son of the President of the United States. Addy is an orphan, bought up by her Uncle Mike, and although she is a Christian, like many of us, she is nervous about sharing her faith, so she doesn’t want to be on TV representing her Christian school, least of all on a show where the ‘prize’ is a date with such a public figure. But as the competition progresses and she starts getting to know Jonathon, Addy finds herself wanting to stay on the show.
First Date is a fun YA retelling of the story of Esther. I had to remind myself of this a couple of times when the plot seemed to veer off into overly-contrived situations – but situations that were consistent with the Biblical story, so had to be included. I found some of the passages a bit juvenile, but then I'm the YA's mother, so (ahem) am a little out of the target age range.
But I'm sure my daughter would love First Date, as it has all her favourite things – celebrities, reality TV, a talent show, people being voted off, tears, nasty contestants, an even nastier producer/host, bribery … all in all, quite a few lessons about the nature of 'reality' TV, underpinned by a clear Christian message.
Overall, this was a fast and enjoyable read that will be sure to appeal to older girls and teenagers. A sequel, Starring Me, will me available in July 2012. This will feature Kara McKormick, Addy's best friend from The Book of Love.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze® for providing a free ebook for review.
When picking e-books to review from Booksneeze, sometimes it is a lucky dip unless the author is one you are familiar with or in this case, the cover of this book looked really good, so I thought I would give it a read and OMG it was amazing and I loved it too bits. If you have ever watched reality TV Shows like Beauty and the Geek or The Bachelor , then it will give you an idea of what First Date is like. Jonathan Jackson, is the son of the President and his father for publicity has chosen 100 girls to compete to win a date with his son to the prom. Each school has sent a representative in and from the small christian school of Tampa, Florida - the principal has chosen Addy. Addy is definitely not the type of girl to go on shows like this and especially to win the attraction of a guy , she hasn't even kissed a guy or talked to a guy properly. When Addy arrives at the Mansion, she is in for the surprise of a lifetime as the other 99 contestants are like beauty paegent queens with talent, looks etc galore and here is just plain Addy. When Addy starts being herself and following her christian values, things start to fall into place and soon the whole of America loves Addy. Though of course behind the scenes the others are jealous , the girls think her "niceness" is just an act and the producer Hank who it seems as the show "fixed" does not want Addy standing in his way. It seems though, that whenever Hank who is like the devil in this case tries to bring Addy down or get her voted off the show , God steps up his game through Addy and she's always the one with the upper hand. As the girls are voted off and the numbers dwindle down , will Addy remain or will she be sent home ? Who will win the date of a lifetime with Jonathon Jackson in the Book of Love ? This was one of the best romance Christian Teen books I have ever read and I look forward to reading more writings by Krista McGee.
I am not a reality tv show fan. I hate the fights and fake behavior. So I wasn’t sure about the premise of Krista McGee’s First Date. I wasn’t sure what to think of a Christian fiction book where a Christian teen would go on a reality show for the chance to get a date with the president’s son. I was happily surprised. I really liked how Addy had the same concerns about the reality tv show that I had. I thought that the story accurately depicted the reality behind the scenes of reality shows.
Addy came across as a real Christian teen would struggled in her walk. She wasn’t a super Christian she was someone who I could relate to. She desired to honor God and share Jesus with others but her sarcasm and frustration would often get the better of her. However Addy was sucessfully able to share her faith with a friend in a loving way even though her friend didn’t change her point of view.
I really liked the development of the secondary character Kara. She was a good contrast to Addy. I loved how Addy and Kara developed from roomates to friends through the course of the story. I was excited to learn that the next book by Krista McGee would be about Kara. I am looking forward to reading it when it comes out this summer.
The story was a fast and fun read. I ended up staying up late one Saturday night to finish it. It was wonderful to read a book without heavy physical relationships.
Note: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 9 for First Date - eBook
Passably readable with the potential to be better
Date:December 19, 2011
Based on the biblical story of Esther, I was predisposed positively towards the book... only to be let down by the lazy fall into cliches by McGee.
Although the plot was based on the book of Esther, I didn't expect it to be so formulaic: reluctant girl (Addy) gets conscripted into an amazing reality TV opportunity - win a date to prom with the President's son ("stylishly" spelt 'Jonathon'). Of course she dislikes him at first, and of course he falls for her once he meets her, and of course she surmounts mean girls and a nasty TV producer to get the guy in the end.
The good bits: - Addy does work out her faith in a real fashion, and McGee's portrayal of her as a Christian girl just going about her regular QTs and prayers very well. - Kara, Addy's reality TV roommate, is an unexpected breath of fresh air in the tired plot.
The bad bits: - Can we veer away from the myth of the perfect guy? Jonathon is ridiculously nice and non-existent in real life. - Addy's sudden preaching/sharing to the nasty TV producer, and his "candid" review of Christianity read terribly awkward in Chapter 51, almost like McGee decided "okay, this is where I'll put the preachin' and teachin' in my novel." - The assassination plot - terribly contrived; I understand the need to parallel the biblical story, but this could have been done better and added more flesh to interactions with the first family. - The sudden ending. I really, really dislike books/shows which end at the crescendo. Learn how to anti-climax!
Just passably readable - could have been better fleshed out with more critical editing and a realistic outlook on life (not to mention a real boy.)
I had high hopes for this cute cover, and thought it would be a light, fun read. But it wasn't as relaxing as I had hoped. The message in this book was a bit too heavy handed for my tastes. The story sounded like it had potential, but I couldn't get into it, and it seemed over the top for me.
Addy's best friend on the reality show, Kara, was probably my favorite character. She was spunky and was a lot of fun to read about. It intrigues me that the author's next book features Kara as the main character.
It was fun to read about the world of 'scripted reality' tv, which we all know isn't so much about reality. But sometimes it just went way over the top for me. Hank, for one, was just so mean!
A little over the top for me, but may appeal to fans of the genre.
I was able to review the book First Date by Krista McGee. This fictional book is based on the story of Esther from the Bible. The story centers around a reality TV showed called The Book of Love where 100 girls from across the country are competing to be the prom date for the President’s son. At first I thought, “oh great. I have picked some teeny bopper book to review.” But as the story progressed I was truly drawn in. The main character Addy, has a surprising depth of character. Like Esther, she was orphaned and raised by her uncle. Throughout the story, we learn about her parents and how they died and the faith that she inherited from them. Addy, again like Esther, at first has no desire to be there competing for a boy’s attention. As the story progresses she begins to see how God is truly at work in her and around her. All in all it was a great read, but with a bit of a slow start. I am glad that I had the chance to read it!
I haven't really read much young adult fiction since . . . well . . . probably since high school. However, I've wanted to stretch myself a bit this year so I'm choosing a few young adult novels to round out my bookshelves.
First Date by Krista McGee was a dynamite initiation back into the young adult world. A cross between (a much, much cleaner version of) Gossip Girls and The Bachelor, First Date reminded me of all of the things I loved and hated most about my teen years. (I have no desire to be back in the world of catty high school girls.)
I instantly connected with Addy. Wants to do what's right. Also wants to fit in and be "popular." Struggles with how to reconcile God's way with the world's way. But overall has a good head on her shoulders. I loved the fact that she spoke her mind so freely . . . even when it got her into trouble or introduced a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease. :)
The spiritual elements are strong in this novel. It felt like a real girl working out her faith and how that should look among real people (even if the setting—a reality TV show—is totally unreal). Addy's uncle reminded me of some of the adults in my life during my teen years—that adult friend type who is willing to tell you like it is and you're willing to hear it from them because they're not your parent. :) I also loved the journals from Addy's mom. What a great way to help Addy wrestle through things and still have the perspective of her mom (who died when Addy was a child) . . . and to allow her to see that her mom was flawed too.
I thoroughly enjoyed First Date and look forward to reading the Krista's next novel (coming out this summer). [5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.
To be honest, when I chose this book I was thinking based on the cover and the title that it would be a book of fluff, no substance, some romance novel. I don't really enjoy romance novels except for some by Grace Livingston Hill. So when the book came I put it aside. Finally, this week I picked it up because I didn't have anything else to read. As I started reading I realized my preconceived notions were all wrong. I should know better by now than to judge a book by its cover. I really enjoyed this book. It is about a 17 year old girl who is chosen by her Christian school principal to be a contestant in a reality TV show where girls compete to be the prom date for the President's son. Addy, the main character, has no desire to be a part of this. However, the principal tells her it will help their struggling school with their finances because the publicity could get them more enrollees. So she prays about it and decides that this will be a situation sort of like Daniel and the lion's den. She will go there but she will not like it. The book is humorous and moves quickly. I read it all in two nights. The writer has really developed her characters and I felt like they were young girls I might meet in our church youth group. Addy is not a perfect Christian girl. She struggles with what God would have her do, with her attitudes, with fear, and with sharing her faith. However, she learns from this experience and draws closer to God through it all. I think any young girl would absolutely devour this book. I am in my 40s and I ate it up! The writing was excellent. The story line showed how God can use any situation for His glory if we are only obedient to Him. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from Ms. McGee!
"With thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishing through the Booksneeze program for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion."
In Krista McGee’s debut book, she sets the story of Esther in modern day times – substituting a good-looking president’s son for King Xerxes, and using a reality TV show as the setting. The main character, Addy, is a real-life, natural person – especially juxtaposed against the other girls – and as each competition on the show arises, you wonder, “what will she do now?”. This book is lighthearted but not cliché and predictable, which I appreciated.
This book also helps you to look at the story of Esther with new eyes, and to appreciate how (pardon the language of my generation) “epic” it really is! Sometimes I look at Bible stories, such as Jonah and the whale, or Noah, only seeing the coloring book images from Sunday School, and missing that the stories are true and those were real people, and the same God we worship today. This book reminded me to look at the familiar story again, and to appreciate Esther’s bravery and faith.
In short. If you’re the kind of person who will enjoy this book, or the kind of person who won’t, you will be able to tell by looking at the cover and reading the synopsis. If you enjoy the writings of Melody Carlson and Robin Jones Gunn, you will most likely enjoy this book. If you are a young woman looking for a quick and lighthearted read, you will enjoy this book. I felt that the author did a good job with a good idea, and personally recommend this book. Allow it to help you see the story of Esther with new eyes.
I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson, through the program BookSneeze, with the criteria that I review it. I was not encouraged in any way to post positively: all views are my own.
The President's son and a girl from a Christian school in Tampa, Florida, who wouldn't normally be in the same social circles, find themselves on a game in which a prom date is up for the winning.
Addy doesn't like attention. She has goals in life and none of those goals include going on a reality television show where the President's son gets to choose his prom date. However, her school was chosen to send someone and so Addy was the one appointed to go. She tries to resist, but figures there must have been some reason God wants her there so she goes. None of the girls like her, except for one, Kara. They all think that she is trying to get all of the votes and will do anything to win the attention of Jonathan. She is far from that, though. She really is the opposite of what everyone is making her out to be. She's a girl who is struggling to let Christ shine through her discomfort and has to find a way to stand for Christ in a place where Christ is not popular.
Jonathan likes Addy from the beginning and would love to go on a date with her but Hank stands in his way. Hank hates Addy and will do anything for Addy to be off the show. How far will Hank go to get rid of Addy? Who will Jonathan choose? Or will his choice even really be his choice? Will Jonathan and Addy be together or will it be Jonathan and someone else? All these questions but one thing is clear: Addy wants to make it known that she will obey Jesus when her heart is scared.
This is a cute book that I enjoyed reading. I'm not sure what category it would fall under because it was almost a chick lit book but would make a great read for a teen. Some of the ideas were far fetched, but honestly, I never mind that when I'm reading a book. I think that a book is a place for me to escape to anyway, so anything can happen within the pages of a book. Some people don't like that though, so that would be my only caution about the book. Like I said, though, I liked that and it didn't deter me from enjoying this book. If you have a teen daughter who likes to read, this would be a great book for her.
I should also say that this book is a modern retelling of Esther and Mordecai. That in itself requires some scenes that are hard to believe. So do keep that in mind when you are reading this book. You may even want
_______________ I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
When 17 year old Addy Davidson is picked by her principal to represent her school in the new reality show The Book of Love Addy is anything but thrilled. Addy has avoided the spotlight and has instead focused on her school work and getting into college. But everyone thinks this is a great chance for Addy. Principal Lawrence feels Addy would bring attention to their struggling school. Uncle Mike feels that Addy would be a light for Christ just as her parents were. Addy’s BFF Lexi thinks any chance to appear on TV is fantastic and with the chance to possibly date Jonathon Jackson, Addy would be a fool to turn it down.
But Addy is determined to get off the show as quickly as possible and with 99 other girls trying to stay on it should be no problem. But Addy’s attempts to get kicked off back-fire and make her America’s Overnight Sweetheart! Unlike the other girls Addy doesn’t try to be something she’s not.
As the show progresses Addy becomes friends with Kara McKormick, one of the other contestants; Eric, one of the assistant directors; and even Jonathon Jackson the President’s son! But no matter what Addy tries the other girls and the show’s host Hank Banner are openly hostile towards Addy when the camera is not rolling.
Can Addy find the strength to depend on God and share her faith or will The Book of Love becomes Addy’s Book of Missed Opportunity?
First Date is a modern retelling of the book of Esther. When a threat against President Jackson is uncovered a Mordecai / Haman situation arises. First Date is an interesting story that shows God will take us out of our comfort zone so that we may be used by Him for a greater good!
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
"First Date" is a sweet story that I would recommend for junior high or early high school age girls. Though you can see elements of the book of Esther with references to Daniel in the Lion’s Den, the story is not a retelling of either. It is its own story.
Addy’s private Christian school has been chosen to send a representative to compete on a reality show. To stay open, they need the money and publicity that come with participation. The principal chooses Addy to be the school’s representative. Addy is very opposed to this. She longs to live a quiet life, get good grades, and get into an Ivy League school. She doesn’t want the attention or distraction that comes with being on a reality show.
But Addy must go.
She finds herself competing with 99 other girls for a date with the president’s son. Not interested, she tries to get herself eliminated in the first round. Yet everything she does backfires to her and to the show’s producer’s dismay. The media just loves this reluctant contestant. The president’s son is captivated, too.
Over the course of the story, Addy learns to make peace with her past, to obey God in her present, and to trust Him with her future. She also makes some really good friends who influence her in positive ways as she learns to live in a way that influences them for Christ.
It took a few chapters to draw me into this story, but as things progressed, I wanted to know what would become of Addy, how her story would end. I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
During the holidays, I wanted a really light book to read every night and this was perfect. It was a simple romantic story about how true love can blossom. It focuses on a girl named Addy who loves her school and highly ambitious to get into a Ivy League college. But it turns out that God wanted to take her through an experience that she has never dreamed of. The story is slightly based or resembles the story of Esther from the Bible. Esther never wanted to be a queen but God gives Esther unmerited favor with the king so that her people would be saved. Addy's character is like Esther and the story goes on to talk about how she yields herself into the experience prayerfully . She is one of the contestants who would win the contest to go to the prom with the President's son. Will she go? Does she win? It is worth the read, so go on and find out!
The last thing Addy Davidson wants is to be on a reality TV show to win a date with the President's son, even if he is super cute. She wants nothing more than to get into an Ivy League school and go on with her quiet life. But here she is in a whole new world she could never imagine. From the start she realizes several things, the show's producer hates her, pretty much all the other girls hate her, and the President's son seems to really like her despite the 99 other far more gorgeous and glamorous girls. Can she survive in this harsh world or will she cave to the pressure? So to start off this book is a modern take on the story of Esther. Esther has always been one of my favorite stories so I really liked the idea of a modern take. However this book seemed almost unprofessional, almost more like something a highschooler would write (a very talented highschooler to be sure but still....). I really liked the characters, although the manager drove me nuts (but hey that was the point of his character so I guess that's a good thing), especially the President's son (he sounded like a guy I would have a crush on in real life). So to end, I would say this is a great take on a great story, if a little unprofessional. I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.
Rating: 2/5 stars Level of Recommendation: N/A Recommend to: N/A
All Addy Davidson wants is to study hard and go to an Ivy League college. So when she is selected to star in a reality TV competition for a chance to go to prom with the President's son, Jonathan Jackson, she is reluctant to accept. After being convinced by her uncle to appear on the show, Addy discovers that the spotlight is not for her, but Jonathan Jackson may be. Addy must face the heat of the other girls in the competition, the scrutiny of America, and, most of all, the possibility that this may all be part of God's plan for her.
I have to be honest and say that I found this book disappointing. Although the premise is extremely cliche, I still enjoy those reality TV competition stories. This was not the case for First Date. The protagonist, Addy Davidson, is a likable and realistic seventeen year old, but I felt like the author's efforts to make Addy seem ordinary and normal compared to the other girls in the competition was extremely forced. Beyond that, the story was plagued by cliche secondary characters and a painfully predictable plot line. There was the snobby rival during during the competition, the beautiful and supportive new best friend/roommate, and the self-centered show host/producer. The plot did not help this situation, and there were virtually no twists in the story.
First Date is a Christian fiction novel, but that is not the reason I did not enjoy it. I actually really like Christian fiction, and I admire the way some authors can craft a believable yet clean romance laced with Christian themes. But in First Date, I found the Christian references to be incredibly distracting. I understand the reference to the bible story this book is inspired by in the beginning of the story, but I grew tired of Addy mentioning her religious faith several times each chapter.
Despite the many aspects of this book that I did not like, there were a few that I did. Kara, Addy's roommate and confidante during the competition, is very likable. She carries a New York spunk that pairs nicely with Addy's much more quiet persona, and I think I might read the next book, Starring Me, dedicated to her character. Also, I could detect a hint of chemistry between Jonathan and Addy towards the close of the novel, but I wish it could have been explored more so that I could actually understand the attraction in their relationship. I think this problem stems from the fact that the pacing of this novel feels a bit rushed even though it is over 300 pages. Otherwise, First Date is just another one of those books that had potential, but just fell flat for me. I would recommend this book to younger readers interested in lighthearted Christian fiction.
I graciously received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review