Thursday, April 1, 2010

London Confidential Series Review

If you haven't been reading my blog for a while, then you don't know that I have an 11 year-old daughter that loves to read (like her mother). I remember when she was younger, I convinced myself that I would read everything that she read. Yeah, right. (make sure you read that with sarcasm). It is NOT possible. But, there are some things that I know I don't want her to read. Things that I wouldn't even read myself. I am so glad that there are some edifying things like the London Confidential series out there that are geared to her age group. I have read other adult novels by Sandra Byrd. She inserts humor and writes her characters with depths of feeling that are scarily similar to feelings I have experienced. I didn't expect any different from her new London Confidential Series for Young Adults.



Her protagonist is Savvy Smith, 15 years old, transplanted to London with her family. Savvy has to deal with culture shock, adaptation and finding her place in her new school. Asking for Trouble and Through Thick and Thin are the first two books in the series. In both books, Savvy is presented with choices to make and the consequences (good and bad) for the decisions she made. Byrd does a great job having her character pray for wisdom and consult scripture. AND, the character isn't perfect. She makes mistakes too, just as we all do. Watch this trailer for Asking for Trouble.

Of course I have to add my daughter's two cents. She devoured the books and wrote these synopses for you!

Asking for Trouble

What Savvy really wants in life is to be a reporter at a new school in a new country. When a job opens she sees her opportunity, but she has no experience. She believes she can do it, but can she convince everyone else?

Through Thick and Thin
Savvy Smith sees the perfect way to get her own full column, a chance to fit in at school. When her mother can't go shopping with her she goes into London alone, leading to serious consequences. Will she miss the photo shoot? Will Savvy ever fit in?

And for a glimpse into the mind of Sandra Byrd the author -

Why did you write the London Confidential series?

Each of us, as women, remember what it's like to be a young woman, struggling to find our place in the world. Some girls have family issues, some have friendship issues, some have school issues, most of us have more than one concern. Whenever I write for young women I hope to provide them with an enjoyable read that validates their concerns, shows them that they are not alone, and provides encouragement to stay the course and see what wonderful things the Lord has just around the next corner.
The world feels a little depressed right now, too. I wanted to provide a happy, hopeful read and not a heavily issues-driven series. The London Confidential books are, I hope, fun to read.

What are some of the biggest struggles for teen girls today? What do you hope teen girls will take away from the series?

Truly, as Eccelsiastes says, there is nothing new under the sun. The issues that young women had when I was growing up are the same ones that my daughter has. Who am I? How can I make a difference? Where do I fit in? Am I loved? Why are people hurtful? While they may have different formats, for example, the internet, texting, or movies, the issues remain essentially the same.
But that's good news! That means that we women have walked these paths and have hopefully found our way. It enables us to be Girl Guides, the British world for Girl Scouts, in a physical, emotional, and spiritual sense. Just as we're instructed to do in Titus 2. We can do this in person, or we can do it by buying a good book to pass along to our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and friends.

What can readers look forward to in the final two London Confidential books?

The final two books in the series release on September 1, 2010 and talk about good friendships and bad, why it's important for Christian girls to stick with only liking, even crushing on, Christian boys, how to persevere in times of trouble, and taking your first adult steps in your faith. When girls open any of the books, they'll find a girl who is a lot like them, with dreams and hopes and fears like theirs, and God who works things out in ways they would not have imagined. There are friendship ups and downs, school ups and downs, guy ups and downs, family issues and lots of fun. I wanted to write books that would be fun to read, and yet still be meaningful. I hope the girls find the books to be just that.

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd went on to publish more than three dozen books including her widely-acclaimed adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake and it's sequels, Bon Appétit and Pièce de Résistance. Her new series, releasing this month, is a tween/teen fiction series, London Confidential.

A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra is also an accomplished non-fiction writer and author. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications such as Radiant, Focus on the Family's Clubhouse Magazine, Christian Parenting Today, Today's Christian Woman, Pockets, Decision, and Guideposts. During the past eight years Sandra has mentored hundreds of students through the Christian Writer's Guild.

These were provided by Tyndale for review.

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