Wow, it's been a while since I posted! I haven't been able to find anything good to read, and since I haven't been able to read much, I've gotten out of the habit of reviewing when I do read :/
Anyway, here's a review of a series I read a while back. It covers three books of the series-- Me, Just Different, Out with the In Crowd, and So Over It.
Title: The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt
Author: Stephanie Morrill
Published by: Fleming H. Revell Company
My Rating: ★★★★☆
While reading this series I neglected to review out each one as I finished, and now having finished, all three books have meshed together in my mind and it would be nearly impossible to try to distuinguish them again for the point of three separate reviews. So instead I have decided to review all three in one review of the whole series. * MINOR SPOILERS.*
Book One. It drew me in, so it gets points for that, if for nothing else. The opener was inciting and the characters immediately intriguing. I really liked the way the series started on Skylar’s life change, rather before; it gave it a slightly different feel than other Christian YA I’ve read. I liked the way Skylar was ready to change. Though at times it felt drawn-out, for the most part it was concise.
Book Two. Book two was probably the most boring of the three. Nothing really happens that couldn’t have been condensed between books 2 and 3, much like almost every other trilogy ever. So that was a downside. Yes, she goes to Hawaii and has a life change. Yes, Owen is born. But those two events don’t need their entirely own book. And the extra drama around Eli/Connor was unnecessary, too.
Book Three. Also as typical with trilogies, it was the best in the series. For the first time, I actually really liked Skylar and Connor (more on this below). I really liked Abbie and Owen and Jodi and all the others. They became my real friends. Eli is finally told off and Skylar finally gets the memo she should avoid her other friends and that Connor is indeed the one for her. After page after annoying page of annoying Skylar, it felt very refreshing to see her finally see things. Is the delay in these situations true to real life? Absolutely. Is it always the best course of action to draw out upon when writing a book series? No.
Book summaries over, here we go.
Characters. I loved Skylar, but she also drove me absolutely crazy. I loved her, but I also couldn’t stand her. Consequently, I read this book in breaks. I couldn't do too much at one time, haha. Like I’ve mentioned, I finally really liked Skylar in book three, but before that she was just so annoying. Her relationship with Connor was the main part that irked me. She was so blind, but the problem isn’t with that as much as it is with the fact we were given example upon example upon example upon example of her blindness. It drove me crazy! The seventieth time she ditched Connor I was ready to throw the book across the room. We get the point!
And I also disliked the fact she couldn’t seem to grasp the idea that she had to stop hanging out with the bad influences. She spoke as if seeing them was absolutely inevitable, but how small of a town do they live in that she’s seriously running into them at every corner? Ditch them and move on—they’re bad infleunces! Do you not get it, Skylar!? You’re trying to turn your life around, yet you can’t let go of all former influences. Can you still be a light to them? Yes—once you’re distant and stable enough! UGHH. Now Jodi eventually ended up being great, but that wasn’t until the last few chapters. And don’t even get me started on Eli. UGH. Though really I hated Skylar’s actions toward him more than Eli himself, who I thought was kinda wimpy and pathetic when it came down to it.
Abbie I adored! I absolutely loved her. When the book started I hardly expected her to be developed much, as siblings usually aren’t, but she surprised me by being one of the most developed characters in the series. I loved her heart. Similarly Skylar’s parents were fantastic and real, too.
Connor was … Connor. Sometimes I hated him, sometimes I didn’t. I was mad at Skylar because they’re so obviously meant to be together. Girl, when you find a loyal, honest, Christian guy who loves you, you can’t just ditch him. Yes, it possible he’s not the one, but when you find a guy like that you gotta give him at least a few chances. I felt sometimes the author was trying too hard to make him fictional-crush material—but other than that he was great; not too goody-two-shoes-perfectly-righteous-Christian guy, but not a “bad boy” either.
The writing wasn’t anything incredible. It was a lot of dialogue and little description, so it was solely the characters and nothing else pulling me through the story. I still don’t know what Jodi or Connor or Eli looks like, but I know what they're like. That sort of thing. Some of the emotion at times was a little unreal or not deep enough, but for the most part it was good.
Soooo…yeah. It was a little stereotypical, a typical girl-finds-Jesus-and-her-life-changes type series, but it was pretty unique. Not cheesy for the most part, and simply a journey of following Christ. 4.0 stars.