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Author: Jenny B. Jones
Published By: Thomas Nelson (2009)
Synopsis: New York’s social darling just woke up in a nightmare: Oklahoma. Problem is, it’s right where God wants her.
Bella Kirkwood had it all: A-list friends at her prestigious private school, Broadway in her backyard, and Daddy’s MasterCard in her wallet. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model.
When Bella’s mom falls in love with a man she met on the Internet–a factory worker with two bratty sons–Bella has to pack up and move in with her new family in Truman, Oklahoma. On a farm no less!
But before long, Bella smells something rotten in the town of Truman, and it’s not just the cow pasture. With her savvy reporter’s instincts, she is determined to find the story behind all the secrets.
How can a girl go on when her charmed life is gone and God appears to be giving her the total smackdown? (Taken from Goodreads)
This book was AMAZING! Jenny B. Jones is such an incredible author. While I could definitely see similarites between Bella and Katie from A Katie Parker Production, Jones’ other teen series, there was still enough of a difference that Bella was totally her own person. This was, overall, and incredible work.
One thing I really love about Jenny B Jones’ books are that they are so long. Most of the time I tend to find long novels unnecessarily drawn out, but in this case, this book is just incredible. You meet the character, come to love her, and then get three or more 300+ page books on her! Once you meet a character from Jenny B. Jones, the few long books there are written on her don’t even seem long enough. You come to care so much about these characters that simply following them around in everyday life is amazing. If Jones wrote a book where nothing happened but literally was just following her character around in her life, no matter how boring it was you can bet I’d be reading that book the second it came out.
This book was really, really well done. The characters and plotline were well developed. The writing was great; Bella sounds just like an average teen, without all the slang and casualness. Her friendships are well written, as well are her relationships with family and step family. The one thing I felt was missing was we did not get a lot on her father, only that he doesn’t really care and that it hurts Bella. Beyond that, there was really no further development. Luisa seemed a little one-dimensional, too, but mostly just because she was in so few scenes. Besides that, though, every other character was phenomenal.
The plotline was definitely for an older audience, but it wasn’t too intense; rather, there were more mature elements. I will note everything is appropriate and wholesome, however.
Speaking of which, I really, really liked Bella from a Christian perspective. Differing from Katie Parker, Bella’s definitely a Christian girl. She feels distant from God, but she’s not embarrassed and prays on a regular basis. And not praying as in get-on-my-knees-formally-because-I-have-to, but more spur-of-the-moment “Help me, God,” which seemed more realistic (and more genuine). Bella still has her doubts and worries, but they don’t hold her back.
And I have to mention the romance. It was not at all inappropriate, but rather a bit hilarious. The way this was done—in a clean, Christian voice—was excellent and very entertaining. Unlike most YA, it actually seemed like part of Bella’s story, rather than being some pointless clichè added on to make the story more dramatic. Because of this, I didn’t even mind when the story dived a bit toward a love triangle. (It never really ended up that way, though.)
All together, though, this was another amazing work from Jenny B. Jones. I am so happy I discovered her books, and I’m highly looking forward to the next books in this series (two more! yay!) Wholesome, intriguing, and straight-out hilarious in some parts, So Not Happening was an incredible read!!
None that I can remember.
Rating: A definite 5.0!
Recommended to: All teens ages 13+!