Friday, February 25, 2011

ARC Review: IN FRONT OF GOD AND EVERYBODY

The Book: IN FRONT OF GOD AND EVERYBODY: CONFESSIONS OF APRIL GRACE
The Author: K.D. McCrite
The Publisher: Tommy Nelson (a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers)
Release Date: May 10, 2011

Summary:
Eleven-year-old April Grace Reilly is even more fiery than you'd expect of any redhead.  Her smart mouth and tendency to call things as she sees them gets her in hot water more often than not, especially since her parents are--in her mind--too nice for their own good.

The summer of 1986 starts out peacefully enough...that is until Ian and Isabel St. James move in next door.  Their city ways and superior attitudes rub April Grace the wrong way right from the start, and things don't get much better when April's mama and daddy invite Ian and Isabel to stay at the Reilly place until renovations on their house are complete.

Add into the mix April's kooky Grandma--who not only just discovered make-up but a social life--a pair of old hippies who love the earth so much they refuse to wash themselves regularly, and an older sister who idolizes the snooty Isabel, and you've got a recipe for disaster...albeit, a pretty funny one.

My Take:
April Grace kind of reminds me of myself when I was that age.  No, I am not a redhead, and no, the town I grew up in, while small, was not so rural as the backwoods place she inhabits.  But, my mouth often got me into the kind of trouble that April finds herself in...which really doesn't help her cause none too much.  So, I can definitely relate to April's comments about the people in her life, all the while I'm thinking, 'girl, you need to quit with the snap judgements. it's the pot calling the kettle black.'

McCrite nailed little April Grace's voice beautifully all while creating a backdrop of charcters that while a little on the two-dimensional side at times, still kept me enthralled.  I would've loved to see more depth to the Freebirds, hear more about what happened in Lily Reilly's past and how it shaped her...also, Mike's role in it as well.  And, until the very end, I sincerely disliked Isabel.  By the time, that she 'saw the error of her ways' I really couldn't find it within myself to sympathize with her feelings of displacement from all she'd known and forgive her her transgressions.  I wanted to like her at the end, but I just couldn't do it.

That said, this was still a fun, fast read.  April's humor shone throughout, and the 'lesson learned' portion of the story was not preachy at all, although I did find myself nodding along as April got to her big epiphany.

FYI: There were many lines in this that made me laugh/snicker, but my favorite has to be when on page 61, April is ranting about her sister and her addiction to daytime soaps and says, "How anyone can be that dumb and still be able to eat with a fork is beyond me."  AHAHAHAHAHAH

So friends, if you're looking for something not so dark, gloomy, and tragic, you should check this out.  I guarantee you will chuckle more than a few times.