Sunday, February 2, 2014

Worth the Wait by Laura Jackson

Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn't get it. She always does the right thing - doesn't God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait.

When I was in Junior High and High School, I, like most girls my age, loved romance.  Since I had none in my life, I lived vicariously through the heroines of Young Adult Romances, which at that time were totally secular.  I mention this because I went to a Christian School and had one of my teachers grab my books and try to embarrass me by reading them out loud or point out the obvious way they differentiated from my Christian faith.  This was extremely helpful to me because, as par for the course for an independent only child, I was extremely stupid and wasn't able to differentiate these things for myself.  

(Side Bar:  I wish you could have heard that sentence like I said it in my head, especially the word "stupid".  I had a slight British accent, which made it extremely delightful to say!).

Anyways, back on course.  As I've grown older, of course, my tastes have changed.  I don't read a book just for the romance.  I'm not a highly romantic person.  I want action, or a deep spiritual theme, or...I don't know, but something more than just hand holding and kissy face.  Since most YA romance is precisely that, hand holding and kissy face, I don't normally read YA romance because it's just plain boring.  On the flip side, I always jump at the chance to read a pre-published manuscript, so when author Laura Jackson went on Facebook and asked for reviewers for her soon-to-be-released book Worth the Wait, my hand immediately went in the air like that annoying know-it-all girl in elementary school.

First of all, I want to make sure everyone understands, this is not the YA adult romance from my youth (## years ago).  This delved right in to issues most of our youth are dealing with, making yourself over to please someone else; living your parents' dreams; should I have sex with someone I love; or should I take someone back after he cheated on me.  One of the things I really liked was Ms. Jackson did not make the responses of our 17-year-old heroine too grown up.  When she is dealing with the dilemma of whether or not to take her boyfriend back it sounded just the way I would imagine my daughter would sound.  

I was moved to tears as Ellie struggled with why, if she followed God's laws, was all of this happening to her.  Now I want to clarify something, which was absolutely huge to me.  This is maybe the third book ever to move me to tears.  When I mentioned earlier that I was not overly romantic, I am also not overly emotional.  I cry when I'm tired or on medication, but very, very rarely do I cry at movies or books.  This one moved me that much and for that I whole-heartedly applaud Ms. Jackson for making me connect so fully with the characters in the book.

There was one flaw to the book.  The ending.  For me, it shouldn't have ended there.  I want to know more.  I want to know how college was; who does Ellie marry; hat kind of foundation does she start?  You can't leave me hanging this way.  

I have already recommended this book to both of my daughters, and will happily recommend it to anyone else.  When it releases on Tuesday, February 4th, I encourage you to go and get this book.  It's worth the read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher.  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 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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