Friday, January 8, 2010

The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth by Shelley Adina

book cover

The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth
by Shelley Adina

Trade Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Faith Words
First Released: 2010

Source: ARC from publisher

Back Cover Description:
Lissa Mansfield has come a long way since transferring to Spencer Academy two years ago. She's made a great group of friends in Gillian, Carly, Mac, and Shani. She's strengthened and grown her relationship with God. She's even gotten over the Callum McCloud "incident" from her first semester. Now, she's ready to graduate and take on college life!

But with the girls about to separate and head in different directions, Lissa is faced with some of her biggest challenges yet in her last term at Spencer. Her archenemy, Vanessa, has a shocking secret--one that could destroy her reputation forever. Can Lissa reach out to her foe when Vanessa needs a friend the most? And with college on the horizon, will Lissa and Kaz finally come to terms with their feelings for each other? School may be ending, but the excitement s just beginning!

The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth was a well-written Christian romance novel for young adults. This fast-paced novel had realistic characters facing realistic problems: what college they should choose, what role their significant others will play in this decision and their future, and so on. I especially liked how the author handled Lissa's reaching out to Vanessa and how Vanessa, Lissa's friends, and the other kids at the high school reacted.

At the beginning, I didn't really like Lissa. She was generally good-hearted, but rather oblivious to what was really going on with people and preoccupied with clothing and listening to the latest gossip about her nemesis. However, her focus slowly changed, and I ended up really caring about what happened to her.

This novel was definitely written for Christians. The characters attended a weekly prayer gathering and discussed things like how to tell God's will for their lives. However, it wasn't preachy--there was no all-wise character handing out advice, and no one was entirely sure what the answers were. They did find some answers, but the author didn't make a big point of it.

While, overall, I liked the Christian message woven into the story, I did have one concern. I understand that many people believe this, but Lissa and her friends felt that God was too busy to pay much attention to them and that they shouldn't "bother" God with anything but the most critical, life-changing problems. But the Bible teaches that God hears our prayers, cares deeply about us, knows what we're going through, and wants us to come to Him (and trust Him with) the smallest details of our lives.

There was no bad language. There was no sex. The story was written in past tense except when Lissa spoke directly to the reader, but this style read naturally. Overall, I'd recommend this book to teens as long as they understood the truth about the concern I brought up.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
Let me put it right out there: I'm no sports fan--unless you count surfing, which is more of an attitude to life than a sport. I used to think that there were some things you just knew. But if God were a major league pitcher, He'd be the kind of guy who threw curveballs just to keep you on your toes. To catch you off guard. To prove you wrong about everything you thought.

Which is essentially what happened to us all during the last term of out senior year at Spencer Academy.

My name is Lissa Evelyn Mansfield--yes, I'm back again. Did you miss me? Because, seriously, this last term of high school before my friends and I graduated was so crazed, so unpredictable, that I had to write it all down to try and make sense of it.

But, hey, let's take a moment here. The words last term of senior year need some respect, not to mention celebration. They need to be paused over and savored. Excuse me.

Okay, I'm back.

The term began in April, and by the time our first set of midterms (or thirdterms, as my roommate Gillian Chang calls them, since we get three sets of exams every term) rolled around at the beginning of May, it was just beginning to sink in that there were only seven weeks of high school left. Seven weeks until freedom. Adulthood. Summer vacation. Adulthood. Home.



"Sarah Lawrence is stalking me," Gillian moaned from where she sat on her bed in our dorm room. "Here's another letter." She fished an envelope out of the pile of mail in her lap and waved it.

I looked up from my MacBook Air, where I was checking e-mail. "Don't let Emily Overton hear you. She got turned down and her roommate has had to keep her away from open windows for the last month."

"But I already told them no twice. What's it going to take?"

"You could fail some exams."

Read more from chapter one.

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