Friday, June 19, 2015

How I Came to Sparkle Again

How I Came to Sparkle Again
by Kaya McLaren

Genre: Chick-lit-Christian-women's-fiction (yes, I know that isn't a "real" genre)

Synopsis:  Jill Anthony spent her young in the ski town of Sparkle, Colorado, but more than a decade has passed since she left.  Then a devastating tragedy, coupled with the worst kind of betrayal, makes her want to run away, but the only place she knows to go is home: Sparkle.

Lisa Carlucci looks in the mirror once morning and realizes that she no longer wants to treat her body like a Holiday Inn.  She's going to hold out for love.  The only problem is, love might come in the form of her ski-bum best friend, who lives next door with his ski-bum friends in a trailer known as "The Kennel."

Cassie Jones, at age ten, has lost her mother and no longer believes in anything.  Her only solace comes from the messages she believes her deceased mother is spending her through the heart-shaped rocks they once collected in the streams and hills of Sparkle.

Three people at the crossroads of heartbreak and healing.  Three lives that will be changed one winter in Sparkle, Colorado.  One tender, funny, tear-jerking novel that you won't soon forget.
from the book jacket

Review:  To be honest, I almost abandoned this book after 20 pages because I thought it was a Christian fiction book.  There was so much talk about God and people losing faith.  It was so heavy on faith and it turned me off.  I checked online to see if it is a Christian fiction book and it is not, it's actually a chick lit book.  That surprised so I kept on reading.  Then we are introduced to Lisa and her crew of male friends and the book just gets crude and immature.  But I stuck with it because the story of Cassie who has lost her mother and is going through a really tough time intrigued me.  But don't get me started on Uncle Howard, the philosophical zen skiing dude who just seems way too over the top and a caricature of a real person.  I did, however, keep going and found myself tearing up at the raw emotions that Cassie and her father, Mike, portrayed.

This book seems to have an identity problem.  Is it a Christian fiction book masquerading as a chick lit book?  Is it supposed to be a light, chick lit book intended for a younger than myself audience?  Is it an emotional story of the struggles of a young girl?  I have no idea how to classify this book but the author really should have picked just one genre of book.  It's far too heavy on religion for the everyday reader but it's far too vulgar for the Christian fiction reader.  If the author had left out all the sex talk by Lisa and the sex-crazed male neighbors next door this book would be more appealing as these sections of the book are highly crude and immature.  If the author had toned down the come-to-Jesus moments that Lisa had and the struggles with faith that Mike had, the book would also be more appealing.

But yet, I had a hard time putting this book down.  Cassie's story really tugged at my heart strings as did Jill's story.  (I do wish that the author had picked different names for Jill and Lisa, I had a hard time remember who was who).  The faith part of the story really dropped off after a while and it makes me question why the author even included some of it in the first place.  The author did tie everything together at the end and the reader is left with a warm feeling.  It makes it very difficult to rate this book!

Rating:  2 1/2 stars

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