Saturday, June 11, 2016

Book Review: In Front of God and Everybody

I'm cheap. I admit it. When I see a book I might like at the thrift store (not even a regular price bookstore - ha), I will wait on buying the book until I find out if the book is available at one of my local libraries. This is how I stumbled upon the Confessions of April Grace series. I saw book two in the series, Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks, at the thrift store and the back cover blurb enticed. My library, it happens, has the first, but not the second book. And having read the first now, I would probably venture to buy the second.

In the first book, In Front of God and Everybody, we meet the main character and narrator, April Grace. The author has done a fine job of capturing voice and presents a colorful girl with strong opinions and not enough sense to keep them to herself. This was a pleasant Christian middle-grade novel, with great appeal for young girls who will certainly laugh at April Grace's insights into the chaos going on around her.

Here is the back cover pitch: "Growing up in the country is never easy, but it sure is funny - especially if you happen to have a sister obsessed with being glamorous, a grandma with a new boyfriend, hippie friends who never shower, and new snooty-falluty neighbors from the city who test everyone's patience. From disastrous dye jobs to forced apologies and elderly date tagalongs, you'll laugh 'til you cry as you read the Confessions of April Grace."

I agree with reviewer dSavannah who says in her Amazon review: "One of the things I like best about this book is that although it is Christian-based, it does not scream or preach at you. The Reilly family lead by example - by being beyond kind to their neighbors, by sharing, by showing tolerance and respect, by being patient. They invite the St. James' to church, but they don't try to proselytize them - they simply live their lives in the best way possible. The author also handles some weighty subjects - particularly teen eating disorders - with kindness and compassion. April learns a lot of lessons, particularly about not being judgmental, lessons that all of us can use!"

I loved the title. I loved the narrator. It was an easy read and a quick story to digest. I will certainly look up April Grace again to see what is going on in her neck of the woods.

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