Book Review: Stuck in the Middle, by Virginia Smith

25 Aug

1371854Genre: romance; Christian Inspirational fiction; humor

Plot Summary: Joan Sanderson is 25 years old and has her life ahead of her, but instead of being excited she feels bored and stuck in life.  The middle of three adult sisters, she seems like a misfit compared to bossy Allie who is married and starting her own family, and flirty Tori who has a budding career and all the success.  She loves living at home with Mom and Gram, but Mom seems to be dropping hints lately about moving Gram to a nursing home, and Joan can’t afford to lose another person in her life.  But then life suddenly becomes a little more interesting when an attractive doctor moves in next door and seems to take an interest in her… or is it Tori he likes?

My Book Review:  For some reason, I felt in the mood for light reading –contemporary chick lit in particular.  This was my first book in the genre and I hoped it would keep my interest, considering all of the bad reports I’ve been hearing about modern Christian fiction lately.

I have to tell you, I actually liked it!  As far as depth or shallowness goes, it wasn’t Christianity’s most thought-provoking novel (there were no quotes I found for my quote book), but it wasn’t the worst I’ve read either.  I was pretty impressed that it managed to stay a cut above many Christian romances out there in that the plot couldn’t be summarized as, “a prelude to a kiss,” and the hero wasn’t the answer to all of the heroine’s problems.  Instead, Ken stays back while Joan works out her own problems with God.

This book peaked my interest because of the plot the main character finds herself in.  I felt like I could identify in so many ways with Joan: age-wise, feeling stuck, her fears, her past.  I even had to chuckle a little as it seems her grandmother (and maybe even Joan?) exhibit some symptoms of OCD(?), as I do as well.

I loved reading the scenes where Joan spends time with her sisters.  The sleepover, shopping, even the fighting was a lot of fun!  It felt like I was a sister joining them and just hanging out.

There were some things I didn’t love about it, though.  I did feel like the plot was a little unbalanced in that the first part of the book seems to be about Joan trying to compete with Tori for Ken’s eye.  But soon after, that plotline gets dropped and other events become the main focus.  Ken didn’t really seem to be very interesting to me and okay, I did have to roll my eyes a little over his attempts to flirt and unnecessary moments like when he answers the door with no shirt.  These few instances made me feel uncomfortably like I was reading the romance novels I abhor.

Jeremiah 29:11 I have made it through the last year since January 24, 2013 by standing on this verse. With the lost of a child there seems like no hope and a future. I don't understand God's plans but I must trust Him that he has a hope and future for me. It's in His Word. So I know it's true.I did not feel this Christian novel became preachy.  Instead, Christian characters live out their lives realistically and help each other to grow deeper spiritually.  I was even able to read some helpful thoughts for my own life, and was reminded of key Bible verses that spoke to me, in particular Jeremiah 29:11.

If you’re looking for a nice light summer chick lit read, I think you’ll enjoy this.  Know that this is the first in the Sister-to-Sister series by Virginia Smith and is followed by books centering on Joan’s sisters Allie and Tori.  For myself, I don’t plan on continuing with the series even though I had fun with the first.  I primarily read Joan’s story because her life seemed similar to mine, but I couldn’t say I have the same interest for Allie or Tori.  I wouldn’t mind reading future books by this author, though.

Have you read this book?  Share your comments below!







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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Book Reviews


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