Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book Review: Love Will Keep Us Together by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt

Love Will Keep Us Together by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt (A Miracle Girls Novel)
Publisher: Faithwords
Publish Date: April 30, 2010
Paperback, 304 pages

My Review:
This is a quick enjoyable read.  At times I didn't really know what I thought of Riley, the main character, but by the end of the book I understood this was the point.  I'm sure Riley's indecisiveness will resonate with a lot of teenagers over deciding what to do with their life.  I enjoyed this look at "The Miracle Girls" senior year - a lot of time is covered so a lot is glossed over, but the main plot points shine through and the lessons that are learned are wonderful.

I have not read the rest of this series but was able to read this book with no problem.  I'm sure knowing more about each of the girls' background and more about The Miracle Girls would have been helpful but it is not a must.  I didn't feel lost as things from the past are mentioned in enough detail to understand how they affect the present. 

The characters are good in this book.  Riley has always had things easy but suddenly she can't decide what to do with her life.  She's trying to decide on college and what to do now that Tom is back in her life and also with Ben, the boy at school who interests her.  She grows a lot in this book and that was great to watch.  I laughed and shed tears through this book and I loved it for that.

As I mentioned earlier, at times the book feels hurried, but then again it's covering a school year in ~280 pages so it is natural that it is rushed.  I think the authors do a great job capturing a wide-variety of teenagers in The Miracle Girls and I look forward to starting from the beginning of this series to see how it all came about.

Christianity is important in this book, but yet not preachy.  I found Riley's questioning of how sometimes the church or people in the church don't always do the right thing very interesting and true.  How many of us have known someone in our church or other churches that acts like they are better and yet their actions don't show their love for Jesus.  How many of us have been that way ourselves?  I found this to be a very real and effective plot line.  It's so true and I hope it helps each of us question how we act in and out of church.

All-in-all I think Ms. Dayton and Ms. Vanderbilt did a wonderful job with this book.  It is both entertaining and thought-provoking and that makes it great to me.

My Rating:  4.0/5.0

About the Book:
Riley McGee has the whole world open before her. She could get into any college, major in any subject, become whoever she wants to be. . . . But the truth is, Riley has no earthly idea what to do. She's paralyzed by indecision, afraid of the changes she faces, and as graduation day inches closer, it feels more and more like a threat.

Meanwhile, her autistic brother, Michael, is struggling to fit in at Marina Vista and stay on top of his classes. Riley tries to keep an eye out for him, but when Ms. Moore suggests pulling Michael out of school, Riley has to fight for her brother--and against her favorite teacher. And things take another turn when her ex-boyfriend, Tom, arrives, hoping to give their relationship one more try. On top of that, an ambitious new pastor makes her question everything she thought she knew about faith.

About the Authors:
Anne Dayton graduated from Princeton and has her MA in Literature from New York University. She lives in New York City. May Vanderbilt graduated from BaylorUniversity and has an MA in Fiction from Johns Hopkins. She lives in San Francisco. Together, they are the authors of the Miracle Girls books, Emily Ever After, Consider Lily, and The Book of Jane.

Visit the authors' blog.
Follow Anne on Twitter.
Follow May on Twitter.

FTC Information: I received this book from Faithwords for review for FIRST Wild Card Tours.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.


May @ Anne and May said...

Wow! Thanks for the awesome review and I'm so glad you could relate to Riley.

We really appreciate you helping to spread the word!

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