Thursday, April 21, 2011

Book Review: "Katy's Homecoming" by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Summary from Katy's life outside her Old Order Mennonite sect becomes more complicated when she is elected to the sophomore homecoming court as a joke. When she discovers Bryce, her crush, could be her chaperone on the court, Katy has a big decision to make: follow her heart and attend the dance, or follow her faith and the beliefs of her sect.

This is the third book the YA series about Katy Lambright, a Mennonite teen who has been allowed to continue her education in a public high school. She comes from a rather strict Mennonite background which is almost practically Amish. I like the series because even though she tries to stay as true as she can to her religion and family upbringing, she is still very open about attending school and trying to fit it without compromising. She is willing to try out new things and *gasp* likes boys!

In this book, she's struggling with what to do after being selected to be apart of the homecoming court. Her reactions and everything is fine. She's curious about attending and excited about having a new dress. Then there's the whole boy situation which is portrayed perfectly normally. On top of all this, Katy's also dealing with gaining a new stepmother which she is still wary about. All of this is handled well and Katy acts like a normal teen for the most part.

What I'm more concerned with is all the legalism that's in the book. Mennonites aren't allowed to attend dances or dance so Katy is struggling with what to do about the homecoming dance. Unfortunately it's never really presented as to WHY it's wrong other than to say it's wrong. So it comes off more so that there's this rule that she has to follow and there's no explanation because it's wrong to ask. Which brings me to question, who exactly is the target audience for this book? Even though it's a YA book, I honestly cannot see a regular teen or even a Christian teen picking up this book. The cover is really bad and even then, most teens aren't going to want to read about this type of culture. If they do, some might walk away with the feeling that living in the world is wrong...aka going to homecoming, wearing prom dresses, letting your hair down..all that is not what God wants you to do. It's very conflicted...and I think teens are conflicted enough without having this in their lives as well.

Katy's Homecoming by Kim Vogel Sawyer is published by Zondervan (2011)

This ARC was provided by the publisher

Other books in the Katy Lambright series that I've reviewed:

Katy's New World (Book 1)
Katy's Debate (Book 2)

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