Plot Summary: Jasmyn Albright was comfortable and contented with her life in small town Valley Oaks, Illinois. Until a tornado completely destroyed her home on St. Patrick’s Day. Devastated, she takes a solo trip to San Diego and immediately feels a strange sense of welcome and belonging. The residents at the condo neighborhood of Casa de Vida are a mixed and sometimes kooky bunch but they come to find that they need Jasmyn as much she needs them.
My Book Review: I was really looking forward to this book on my reading list because of the topic of friendship. I like stories of heroines who start over to find themselves and Jasmyn was one of those characters. She is not the only person who changes over the course of the book, as many characters exhibit growth. In that way, it was a great story of the power of friendship, community and belonging.
But it wasn’t the most amazing read ever. I think I was expecting the story itself to be more powerful. It just didn’t get to me down deep inside. I felt like there were too many “coincidences” to be believable all in one book.
There is some romance that springs up for a couple of the heroines, but I wouldn’t say romance was the starring genre. In fact, there was hardly any kissing so there was obviously no need for concern over content!
People won’t find this a preachy Christian book and they may like it that way. I don’t necessarily need the four spiritual laws spelled out in every book I read. However, when I read a “Christian story” I do look for characters that genuinely live out the Gospel of faith. The older motherly figure in the book, Liv, certainly lives out grace, mercy and love and is always in prayerful dialogue with the Lord. Jasmyn and her friend Sam do come to realize the love of God, but I hope they come to an even deeper personal knowledge of Jesus as their Savior.
There is a sequel that continues with the story of these and other characters from Casa de Vida, but the first book wasn’t enough for me to want read it. However, others may be looking for a quintessential beach read and find it in “Between Us Girls.”