Review: First Date by Krista McGee
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Age recommendation: Teens, Young adult
All Addy Davidson wants is to maintain her good grades and obtain a scholarship to an Ivy League college. Hence, she felt rather annoyed when she got selected to join a reality TV show, The Book of Love. The prize? A prom night with the President’s son, Jonathon. Even worse still, her uncle and school principle told her that this “random” drawing for the 100 contestants nationwide isn’t so random at all because God must be having a purpose for Addy in the show. Addy does her best to get eliminated quickly so that she wouldn’t be in the Top 30, but she gets into the Top 30 anyway. The longer she remains on the show, the more Addy learns how to put aside what she wants, and instead be in-tuned to God’s leading, because after all, God definitely has His plans for her in The Book of Love.
Firstly, I need to say this before commenting further about First Date. First Date is the first book I’m reading in the Christian contemporary Teens genre that has romance in it but no kissing scene. It was squeaky clean throughout. Not that kissing scenes are always dirty, but I constantly expected Addy and Jonathon to kiss, but they didn’t. I’m still trying to decide if I should be disappointed with that or not.
Addy wasn’t a very likeable character at first, but she grew on me. Her dependence on God’s guidance is amazing. She didn’t always made the right decisions at first, but the longer she stayed on the show, the more she grew to depend on what God wants her to say or do. Since this book is in the Christian genre, it had obvious Christian overtones in it, especially since Addy is a committed Christian. I didn’t mind that at all as I agreed with most of her convictions.
There were out-of-the-blue interview scenes of characters to introduce them. The first time it came out in the 4th chapter, I thought that it was a result of a printing error and that maybe it was a misplaced chapter. But as another out-of-the-blue interview of a not previously mentioned before character came out, I had to assume that the interview scenes were to introduce the characters to readers. This is the first time I’m reading a book with this tactic, and I found it confusing. It didn’t work well with the flow of the story. Addy’s interview scene came late in the book, and I couldn’t wait to read her interview.
First Date is mainly about Addy in a reality TV show. I know reality TV shows aren’t always spontaneous and are sometimes scripted
thanks to reading about the Kardashians’ not so reality shows and I wasn’t really surprised at the shenanigans that goes on in the back scenes when the cameras are not shooting. Still, it was interesting and I think the concept of a reality TV show for a President’s son to choose a prom date is fascinating.
I wasn’t excited or happy about the final results of The Book of Love. (Warning!) The next sentences are going to be a little spoiler-ish, so skip them if you haven’t read First Date. The character I wanted to win the show did not win it. I thought it was a little unfair since some hanky-panky was probably going on between the winner’s parents and Hank, the producer of the show. Nevertheless, the people we want to win shows don’t always win them and it wouldn’t be realistic if First Date had given us the person we are rooting for as a winner. Despite all that, there was enough suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat, wondering who would be the winner.
About the author
Krista McGee writes for teens, teaches teens, and, more often than not, acts like a teen. Along with her husband and three kids, Krista has lived and ministered in Texas, Costa Rica and Spain. First Date is her debut novel. It was published in January 2012. Her next novel for teens, Starring Me, will be released in July 2012. Visit Krista’s website at www.kristamcgeebooks.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the NetGalley of 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.”