Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Book Review: "Tidings of Great Boys" by Shelley Adina



Finals week is approaching and Mac is still undecided on where to spend the holidays. Normally she'd go home to Scotland, but spending two weeks alone in the castle with her dad isn't as appealing as it used to be. So she invites Carly, Lissa, Gillian, and Shani to join her for the holidays!

Mac is determined to make this the best Christmas ever. She even decides to organize the traditional Hogmany dance for New Year's Eve. If she can get her mother involved in the dance, maybe her parents will finally get back together.

But when Mac and the girls arrive in Scotland, they are faced with bad news: the castle is falling apart and Mac's parents are struggling financially. Not only that, but Shani is in big trouble with Prince Rashid's royal family. Can the girls find a way to celebrate the holidays, get Mac's parents back together, save the castle, and rescue Shani from her relentless pursuers? There's only one way to find out. . . .

I have loved this series since the first book came out. It's one of my favorite YA series, both Christian and general. It's a really fun series to read and the girls are portrayed as real, down to earth characters who enjoy fancy labels every now and then. I've always appreciated how Shelley has gotten teen speak down to a T. You'd think actual teens wrote this book from the way she uses correct slang and just enough pop culture to make it relatable without being cheesy or dated.

I was geeked to read that this book would take place in Mac's homeland and this would involve the girls getting to travel to Scotland. I love book that take place in foreign countries especially those in Great Britain. This is partially because I want to go visit there myself one day, and until I do, reading about others' travels is the next best thing. I really liked how Mac has done a complete 180 since her introduction into the series. When we first met her, she was stuck up and very withdrawn. Of course the reason why, as we learn in the third book, makes total sense as to why she acts in this way. Therefore it's really nice to see a book from Mac's POV and see her loosen up and be comfortable. The interaction between her and the other girls is excellent as always. I was really glad to see her tense relationship with family begin to ease down.

While usually series books are sometimes read as stand alones with this series, I highly recommend reading the previous books before picking up this one. There are several references to past events and there is a huge subplot that follows what happened in book 4. Without spoiling too much, it's just amazing how technology manages to spread things likes wildfire and causes incidents to happen that could have been cleared up easily. One small thing I have noticed about the books is the consistent use of the same cover models. It's a small detail but one I have appreciated. I really can't stand when they change models halfway through a series and then you have to guess again who each person is supposed to be.

Now as for the boys, as stated in the title, there are quite a few of them. I think it's great how these girls DO date and they are responsible about their feelings and actions towards guys. It is very realistic and I think most girls can relate to this. I really enjoyed reading this book and getting to know Mac more and learning about her home country. Also this book put me in the Christmas spirit which is always a plus. If you're a fan of this series, you MUST pick up this one!

Tidings of Great Boys by Shelley Adina is published by Faithwords (2009)

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