Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Book Review: "Be Strong and Curvaceous" by Shelley Adina

After spending spring break in Mexico with her grandparents, Carly Aragon can't wait to get back to school at Spencer Academy in San Francisco. With Lissa Mansfield and Gillian Chang by her side, she's ready for anything . . . except a new roommate.

Lady Lindsay MacPhail, flamboyant daughter of the Earl of Strathcairn, quickly becomes Carly's worst nightmare. "Mac" not only swoops in and steals Carly's privacy, she's also dating Brett Loyola--Carly's biggest crush!

But when Mac starts receiving strange, threatening e-mails, she and Carly must come together to figure out who's behind them and why. In the end, the fate of one girl will lie in the other's hands. Will the two learn to trust one another and trust God?

Everytime I read a book in this series, I really wish I could have gone to boarding school for my high school years. At the very least, I wish I could have lived the live the girls at Spencer Academy get to enjoy. It sounds majorly fun with designer clothes, never ending spending accounts, glamorous lifestyles. At the same time however one gets worried that the characters could end up superficial for being used to that lifestyle. That being sad it was really nice to see that there was one girl among them that lived a rather normal lifestyle. Carly is at the school on scholarship plus she has to get a job in order to support the lavish lifestyle she wants to keep. She's ashamed that she can't afford the same things her friends do so she keeps it a secret from them. I wish though she had been a bit more open to her friends. I don't think they would have condemned her for what she had to do although it's very understandable that teens are worried about what their friends think of them.

This was probably my favorite book of the series so far. The mystery and suspense sequences in the book were written wonderfully and really held my attention throughout the story. Mac's stalker was really scary. It's very frightening to think that situations like that happen all the time. I really liked seeing Mac's character grow throughout the book. I also loved how she's the only one that was able to put Vanessa in her place.

In addition to the great clothes and the fun lifestyle, there's also once again a great sense of diversity in this book which I love. I wish more books in the Christian fiction genre were like this without resorting to typical stereotypes. Also while there's a Christian message within the story it is neither preachy or pushy. The girls share their faith but respect that not everyone will be open or accept it all the time. These girls are a total blast to be around. It's really one of the best YA series that's out there today, Christian or secular. VERY HIGHLY recommended.

Be Strong and Curvaceous by Shelley Adina is published by Faithwords (2009)


  1. I liked this one a lot, too! I've now read and reviewed all four of the books in the series. It's hard to pick a favorite for me, however.

  2. This looks like fun reading! I had never heard of those, but I think I will look for the first one. (I love boarding school stories!) It seems perfect for the summer, thanks!


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