It has been like, the whole school year, but I finally finished this book. Waterbrook Multnomah staff, y'all have been through high school; you know how time consuming it is. However I am very sorry that it has taken me this long to review this book you gave me. I hear my sophomore year should be easier and my summer won't be too busy, aside from the fact that I have a two-week summer camp for theatre and a new modeling job.
To begin, I must say that this was a pleasant read. Very good way of killing time at Fine Arts this year. Didn't make it to Nationals and while everyone else was blabbering about a possible trip to Disney World (which is heartbreaking for a Disnerd that didn't qualify) I read more than 100 pages in half an hour. So I finished this book in like, one weekend.
Firestorm by Lisa Tawn Bergren is the love story of Reyne Oldre and Logan McCabe (and book 6 in the Full Circle series), two people from two worlds (I'm sorry but I really had to use that Tarzan reference) who come together in Elk Horn Valley, Montana. They are both firefighters trying to get funding from the same people on different projects, and believe me, it is not love at first sight. After getting to know each other, the two begin to fall into a firestorm of love. Can Reyne face the past and battle the storm going on inside of her?
I had a feeling I would like this story but I knew it wouldn't be anything crazy good. There was nothing about the back-page blurb that really excited me. This book met my expectations, but easily could have been modified.
I recommend this book to young adults interested in Christian romantic fiction. I'm not a big fan of romance and maybe that's why I didn't like it. Who says every hopeless romantic has to like reading it? Well, maybe I do like reading romance, but not Christian romance. As bad as it may sound.
On the plus side, this book did have me a little attached. It started getting real good toward the climax. It made me smile, it made me cry, it made me think about my own life. Isn't that what a book is supposed to do? I could also relate to the book's protagonist, Reyne, very well. The whole time I was connecting her to Megara from Hercules in my mind: "No chance, no way, I won't say it, no, no!... At least out loud, I won't say I'm in love." I think she and Meg would be a great pair, bonding over being in denial even though both of their guys fell for them at pretty much first sight.
I do have a few complaints, since I think it is obvious "I won't say I'm in love" with this book. These are mainly little things. Let me start with the author's bio.
"Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than fourteen titles, including the novel The Bridge and the children's book God Gave Us You. She divides her time between writing, reading, praying, tending to her two small daughters, hanging out with friends, and finding moments to romance her husband, Tim."
Okay, maybe that's only 'cause I'm a teenager and maybe it's my fault that I was thinking that way. However, could you not, like... phrase that differently? That just sounds kind of... I don't know. Most authors would have just written "lives with her husband in Someplace, Somewhere" but hey, whatever floats your boat.
I felt like the characters weren't very diverse. They all seemed to have different versions of the same personality (with the exception of Reyne) in a way. All the girls sounded the same, all the guys seemed the same. It seemed like if they were all put in the same situation, they would all react the same way. They were all... and warning, this is gonna make me sound really bad, and believe me, I mean REALLY bad. They seemed... too Christian-y.
Now, before everyone starts thinking I've switched religions or something, I should probably explain myself. What I mean is... wow, this is so hard to explain without sounding like a heathen. So, let me just say it straight out. They prayed A LOT. It seemed like every other paragraph. Which, don't get me wrong, if you actually pray that often, that's great! However, it seemed they were all like praying over every little... maybe it would have been better if I hadn't even started writing that complaint. Now I sound like I hate prayer or something. It just seemed a little unrealistic. Like they almost always knew the answers to their prayers the minute they prayed them. And for most people---well, I really can only speak for myself---that's not the case. The answers aren't always clear-cut right then and there.
Another problem I had (a much less awkward one) is that there was like, no one who wasn't a Christian. I'm proud to be one, don't get me wrong, but I would have loved to see someone convert or something. Maybe that happened in the past five books, but I highly doubt it. I would have loved to see someone struggling in their faith a little more than these characters. It would have made it a little more real to me.
I also thought Reyne was a little predictable. Was it me, or was she almost always crying or something? The child's been through a rough time, I'm sure that's just me and my lack of compassion for fictional characters (hence putting my own through Mordor).
I will have to give this one three-and-a-half stars because that is still a passing grade. I give it a low score, but the reason it is high enough to pass (I have a teacher's mindset...) is because it actually is something I would read again and I would even let others borrow it. I liked it, it's just not in my list of favorites.
336 pages, including a novella, Sandcastles.
P.S. Thank you, Waterbrook, for lending this book to me and not tracking me down because it has taken me forever to finish.