Thursday, April 23, 2009

How Sweet It Is

Title: How Sweet It Is

Author: Alice J. Wisler

Date Finished: April 19, 2009

Personal Book Count: 32 out of 100

Rating: 4 out of 5

Genre/ Subject: Christian Fiction

First Line: When single people pack up to relocate, they often have a dog.

Summery: From the back cover-

“When Deena Livingston moves into her grandfather’s cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, she plans to keep to herself, start a cake-decorating business, and recover from the heartbreak she left behind in Atlanta. But a special request from Grandpa Ernest compels her to interact with the Bryson City Locals, who have some surprising stories to share with the new girl in town.

Can a Dr. Seuss-quoting plumber who shows up at the most unexpected times, a handsome social worker who seems to know exactly what Deena is thinking, and a classroom full of mischievous middle-school students teach Deena to once again embrace the sweet things in life?”

Why did I pick this book? :
I received it as an ARC off of librarything. I thought the summery looked interesting, and like a light, fun read I would enjoy.

Review: Deena felt realistic. Both her and Zack felt like real people to me, and not just forced together to make either a romance story or a Christian story work. It felt like the author put more thought into these characters then just slapping labels on and calling that good enough. Maybe Christian Fiction has changed quite a bit since I last read it. Or maybe I was reading different kinds. But this one (and the last) book I read, felt so much… softer? Like I wasn’t being beaten over the head every second page. (Who does that help anyway? At that point, you’ve either got me, or you’re going to scare the bejesus out of me and push me away). Christian aspect is not overpowering. Ok, enough said.

It had enough characters throughout to keep it interesting, to provide different interactions, and to learn something different from everyone.

I felt gripped from the beginning of this book by an emotional hook. The first chapter had a little humor, which I like, but you see a lot. I guess it is a good standby way to grab people. But it was the second chapter (about the 3rd page) that got me invested. I like the contrast of the abrupt change. Without revealing anything, Deena has a bit of a panic attack, and I instantly CARED. I felt for her. I wanted to hold her in my arms and soothe her.. I wanted to find out more about what was behind it. And I like her spunk talking herself through it, and making herself push on, despite the fact it is probably the last thing she wants to do at that point in time. I knew I would like her then.

I also like the ending. It was practical. It’s wasn’t a crazy- jump- into- each- others- arms- because- everything- is- instantly- better. It was a logical starting place for the characters. Not everything had to be wrapped up perfectly neatly. It was ok to say, hey, look, we have a really good start. (Hm, could there maybe be a sequel? I would LOVE that, and would be out there the day it was for sale.) And yet, when it finished, I felt satisfied. Will definitely read more by this author. =D

Agree? Disagree? Recommendations? Any insights, suggestions, or comments on the book or format, or blog at all are most welcome. If you have read this and/ or review it yourself, please let me know. Can you think of any books like this? Give me a recommendation! =D


Melissa said...

I have a little something for you on my blog. You can pick it up here.

Alice J. Wisler said...

Thanks for this review, Lissa! I do hope you will continue to read my novels and feel good about them. :-)

~ Alice J. Wisler
author of Rain Song and How Sweet It Is