Hey guys! I'm here with another book review! I have the pleasure of participating in Sarah Jane Jacob's blog tour for her first release: "A Season of Hope". Make sure to check out the other blogs hosting the tour and definitely join in the raffle for a chance to win some awesome prizes! ;)
ABOUT THE BOOK:
When Amanda Jarvis prays that a special friend will move into the vacant house near her isolated mountain home, she isn't upset when God sends a boy instead of a girl. But Amanda's not the only one receiving unexpected answers to her prayers. After fleeing with his mother from an abusive father, Tyler Armstrong finds much-needed love and acceptance with Amanda's family over the next ten years.
As high school graduation nears, Tyler is shocked when one carefree afternoon with Amanda churns up an inner turmoil he would have never imagined; he's crushing on his best friend. And for the first time in his life he's hiding a secret from Amanda. Convinced the timing is all wrong, Tyler pushes his feelings aside as he and Amanda prepare for the future. He will soon begin training to pursue his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL, while Amanda makes plans to spend the summer in Manhattan with her aunt and then return home to the community college.
When Amanda's summer job catapults her into a modeling career, she readily accepts the much-needed distraction. Tyler's impending deployment is turning her world upside down. Along with the fact that she's falling for her best friend. And, for the first time in her relationship with Tyler, she's hiding a secret, too.
Phoebe Garrison, Amanda's controlling aunt, is thrilled when she is given the power to act on behalf of her underage niece. Bored with her Fortune 500 advertising agency, becoming Amanda's manager is just what she's been looking for to rekindle her aspirations. But as Tyler becomes aware of Phoebe's obsession to push Amanda into supermodel status, tensions rise. As the three of them become entangled in a mass of concealed ambition and desire, each will make decisions that will send ripples of turbulence across their futures.
This story reads slightly differently than most of the Christian romance I've read, simply because it is a story that spans over ten years. The story opens up with a prologue which is actually a scene that comes up later in the story. I don't believe the prologue sets the right tone for the rest of the story though. It all starts with 7 year old Amanda who prayed for a new friend as a neighbor and meets 7 year old Tyler who just moved "next door" on their mountain. And thus begins a pretty amazing friendship. And that's what I love so much about this book and what makes it quite special, their friendship. Tyler is that faithful best friend every girl would wish they had. From 7 year old to 18 year old, he is kind, loving, caring, supportive, encouraging...basically almost like a dream. He's just plain awesome, full stop. I love the way he always encouraged Amanda and loved to teach her things. I believe Sarah Jane Jacobs did an excellent job painting the relationships in this book. From Amanda and Tyler's friendship, to Amanda's parents' relationship to Amanda's father's relationship with Tyler and the friendships between their parents. All of it were beautiful.
It was interesting watching the characters grow from kids to their high school graduation. However, some of the time during the 'childhood' scenes, I did wonder where the story was going. I was almost halfway through the story before I felt it started to look a little more like the back cover summary. And that's when things really got interesting, in my opinion. The story line seemed to have a clearer direction, had a better pace and held my interest more. It felt like a "part II" to the previous part of the story. I liked that both characters, although growing and transitioning in life, held on to their beliefs and principles and never once compromised. Both were very easy to like, right from the first moments their name showed up on paper.
What bothered me was the fact that as children and even teenagers, Amanda and Tyler's vocabulary and speaking style appeared quite old fashioned it made their age unbelievable and didn't let the dialogue flow as well as it should have. Secondly, the point of view in the story (especially the first part) ping-ponged from an omniscient POV to one character's perspective within the same scenes. This rather made me feel as if I was an outsider just observing it all play out before my eyes like a movie. As opposed to feeling like I am in the story, feeling what the characters are feeling and experiencing what they are experiencing alongside them. I was mostly told their emotions instead of being shown by their body language and reactions what they felt and what they were going through. All this puts a slight distance between the reader and the story.
While the ending was satisfying (I loved it!), I wasn't expecting it to end where it did and was taken off-guard. But keep in mind there is more in the series and more to Amanda and Tyler's story. I am definitely looking forward to seeing their story completely unfold.
Well done to Sarah Jane Jacobs on delivering this sweet story on a beautiful friendship and lovely relationships.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I began writing as a hobby while raising my two children. In 2015, I dusted off my stories and my dreams to see if I could turn my hobby into a career. My first story, , was inspired by summer vacations which always included a trip to Franklin, North Carolina, to visit family and explore The Smoky Mountains. When I'm not writing, I enjoy spending time with family. I love most any activity that involves being outdoors, especially camping, hiking and spontaneous excursions to splash in the ocean. I currently live along the Emerald Coast of Florida with my cat Selah and her delightful offspring, Colby, Jack and Tuesday.
AUTHOR CONTACT LINKS:
Enter to win the SEASON OF HOPE giveaway! One person will win the following items…
- A copy of the DVD, Sabrina (featured in the book)
- Costa Rican Tarrazu Dark Roast Coffee (a character’s favorite French Roast)
- ·An eBook of Season of Hope
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
June 26 – Truth to Shine
June 27 – ASC Book Reviews
June 28 – Meagan Davenport
June 29 – Linda Shenton Matchett
June 30 – Barbara Brutt
July 3 – Ink From an Earthen Vessel
July 4 – Faithfully Bookish
July 5 – A Real Writer’s Life
July 6 – Smiling Book Reviews
July 7 – Bookworm Mama
July 10 – Tell the World
July 11 – 2014 and Beyond
July 12 – Tammy Karasek
July 17 – Laura Bennet
July 18 – All Betts Are Off
July 19 – Rachel Scott McDaniel
July 20 – Rebecca Van Daniker
July 21 – Leslie L. Mckee
This blog tour was coordinated by A Latte of Literature Blog Tour Services. Find out more: