Author: Jenny B. Jones
Published by: Thomas Nelson Publishers (2009)
My Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭
This book was great! Jenny B. Jones is such an incredible author. While I could definitely see similarites between Bella and Katie from A Katie Parker Production, there was still enough of a difference that Bella was totally her own person. This was, overall, and incredible work.
Notes: One thing I really love about Jenny B Jones’ books are that they are so long. Most of the time I tend to think long novels are drawn out, but in this case, they are 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, you never get bored and the few long books there are 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.
Writing: 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.
Plot: 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.
Themes: 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 Him, 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 legite). Bella still has her doubts and worries, but they don’t hold her back. She likes to do things her way, but ultimately, from what I’ve read so far, it seems she relies a lot on Christ.
And I have to mention the romance. It was not at all inappropriate, but rather a bit hilarious. Generally I am not a fan of YA romance, but the way this was done—in a clean, Christian voice—was really good; it was actually entertaining. It was written realistically without being inappropriate, and 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 and I’d recommend it for all teens (ages 13+). FIVE STARS!!!!