Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Review and Blog Tour: Spring Breakdown (Carter House Girls) by Melody Carlson

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!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Zondervan (February 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Bridgette Brooks of ZONDERKIDZ for sending me a review copy.***

My Review: 
Rating: 9.25/10.0

I have not read any of the Carter House Girls series, but this didn't affect how I read this book.  I fell right into the plot and in with the characters.  Enough description and characterization is given that it feels like picking up a book from the beginning of the series.  Things are referenced during the book, but they are brought to enough life that you understand what is going on.

First and foremost the relationships and characters in this book are paramount.  It's about the relationship of the girls.  As typical teenagers, they like each other one minute and don't like each other the next.  DJ is the girl next door, she loves sports and she is very Christian.  Taylor is a recovering alcoholic and she's trying to clean up her life and make it day by day with her new friends and her new faith.  Casey is a friend of DJ but she is starting to become a little misguided.  Rhiannon is feeling a little cast aside by new friendships forming and Eliza is still the princess of the group and expects everything to go her way.

This book is well-paced and between the characters and the plot, it moves very well, is easily read and very enjoyable.  I look forward to reading this series from the beginning as well as reading the next book which will be out in April.

If you enjoy young adult novels that deal with girls from different walks of life and their relationships and problems they run into and tests of their faith then this is a wonderful series for you.

Rating Overview:

Characterization:    2.0/2.0
Plot:                     1.5/2.0
Writing:                 2.0/2.0
Attention-holding:   1.0/1.0
Ending:                  1.0/1.0
Believable:             0.75/1.0
Genre:                  1.0/1.0    
Rating:              9.25/10.0

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. Before publishing, Melody traveled around the world, volunteered in teen ministry, taught preschool, raised two sons, and worked briefly in interior design and later in international adoption. "I think real-life experiences inspire the best friction," she says. Her wide variety of books seems to prove this theory.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (February 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 031071494X
ISBN-13: 978-0310714941

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER: Just press the button!


Between The Lines & More said...

Very nice review. This sounds like a book my granddaughter would enjoy. I'll have to steer her in that direction.

RAnn said...

Does the lack of an adult authority figure (sorry but Mrs. Carter is anything by an authority on anything other than fashion) bother you in any way?

Crystal said...


Since this was my first one - I really didn't think about it, but you are right there is no adult authority figure. I think while reading I thought Mrs. Carter was, but now that you mention it I realize that she usually just mimics whatever D.J. says. So I see D.J. as more of the guiding force. She seems to have a strong head on her shoulders, but then again she would need guidance too.

I saw the book as enjoyable. Truthfully there are very few YA books with any adult authority - I can think through most of the ones I have read lately and only one or two come to mind where the parents actually play a role (Freaksville by Kitty Keswick is one) - does this comment on our society today? I think so and it makes me realize I need to take a very active role in my parenting, especially as DS#1 is approaching teenage years.

I will keep this thought in mind about adult authority (especially in Christian YA) in the future - thanks for bringing up a very valid point.

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