"Hey guys! We should be there in about ten minutes. Start gathering up any trash, and make sure you have all your stuff with you when you get out of the van. I may have to park a little distance away from the school, and you will not be waking me up at midnight to go looking for the iPod you left under the seat."
Girl on a Mission by Cindy Ellis
Starring Emery Craig, our 13-year-old leading lady (or girl), this story revolves around helping those less fortunate and showing what a difference someone can make to another's life, with just the smallest actions.
On her first mission trip, going to Crawley, West Virginia, Emery starts out as a shy girl who eventually grows into her skin and gains confidence through people she meets, situations she's put in and confirmation of her beliefs. She watches real suffering, feels real pain and experiences her first real romance.
I was very fascinated with the character of Mr.Suitor. He is so very human and his story is deeply moving and well told. For me, this book has two main characters, Emery and Mr.Suitor. Together they carry the story well and, once into the second half of the book, they really shine. The plot is simple enough, but written so that you feel what the characters do, you experience the same fear, dread, happiness, love and it's all down to the writing.
Now the religious elements were done well enough. I myself am not religious and older readers or those like myself (without religion) may find certain parts of the book a little preachy or even condescending. However, I enjoyed this book, so it's not distracting enough that I couldn't appreciate the storyline.
I would say this book is aimed at younger readers, just in their teens or tweens, because the main character is more relatable, but mostly because it's very moral heavy. There are a lot of them wedged in there, so older readers may not enjoy that aspect so much, but overall it's a nice, feel-good story about growing up, overcoming obstacles and accepting yourself. I recommend it to anyone who never really felt like they fit in, who may be afraid to let their true personalities shine through, any younger readers who just want a nice read, any older readers who want to recapture memories of their youth or anyone (especially younger readers) who doubts their belief in God. Whether or not this will help your faith I can't comment on, but it's always good to get someone else's perspective and to know you're not alone.
Disclaimer: I was sent this book through a Librarything giveaway. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own. If you want to learn more about Librarything, you can do so here: http://www.librarything.com.