Book Review: ‘Worth the Time’ by Laura Jackson

From the back cover:

Routinely ignored by her single mother, high school senior Lindsey Hamilton hides her loneliness behind a mask of flirtatious self-confidence that has many boys wrapped around her finger. However, during community service required for graduation, she meets a shy guy with a haunted past who barely gives her the time of day. Why doesn’t he like her? Then the father she thought had abandoned her before birth wants to meet, and she discovers everything she believed about him is a lie. How will Lindsey learn to trust so she can realize that she has been loved all along?

My review:

After reviewing Laura Jackson’s debut novel, Worth the Wait, last year, I quickly volunteered to review her next book in the series, Worth the Time.Worth the Time

Worth the Time tells the story of Lindsey, a young lady with a cool exterior, but layers of hurt underneath. In her final year of school, her mum reveals a secret that rocks Lindsey’s world – the father she thought had abandoned her now wants to meet her. As well as coming to grips with what this means for her future, Lindsey starts to develop feelings for a guy at the community centre where she is volunteering, but becomes frustrated when he doesn’t seem to fall for her charms. Through the help of key people in Lindsey’s life, she begins to understand God’s love for her and learns that she is worth His time.

Similar to Laura’s first book, a great theme in this book is that despite our sin, we are precious to God. There are second chances for all who will come to God seeking his forgiveness.

I liked how this novel included some of the character’s from Worth the Wait. It made me want to go back and read it once again. However, I found that Laura had done such a good job of making Lindsey unlikeable that I didn’t warm up to her as quickly as I would liked to have. Perhaps if there had been more depth to some of Lindsey’s conversations and internal dialogue, I might have got there earlier. Having said that, it was encouraging to see Lindsey’s transformation as she learns that she doesn’t have to pretend to be someone else in order to be loved.

Overall, it was an enjoyable book that kept my interest and reminded me not to dwell on past sins and to look to God when life seems crazy. Recommended for teens, young adults, and the young at heart who enjoy a fun Christian read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for my honest review.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

To see my ratings system, click here

Book Review: ‘Worth the Wait’ by Laura Jackson

From the back cover:

9781938708268Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn’t get it. She always does the right thing—doesn’t God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait

My review:

When Laura Jackson was looking for some early reviewers for her début novel, Worth the Wait, I read the synopsis and eagerly volunteered. I’m a fan of YA Christian romance, even though I’m in my thirties now, and I had high expectations of this book.

I’m pleased to say that it was an enjoyable read – a book I wish I’d read in my teenage years. The main character, Ellie, had a picture perfect life with a dream boyfriend, but when she returns home from a summer in Nantucket, she notices things with Dylan have changed. As the truth comes out, Ellie finds herself struggling for answers. Thankfully, God puts the right people in Ellie’s life who help her navigate through this dark period and realise that despite being rejected, she is valued by God and worth the wait.

The book deals with common issues for teenagers, such as premarital sex, binge drinking and schoolyard gossip, from a Christian world view. Laura’s writing reminded me a little of Melody Carlson’s books.

For a first novel, I thought Laura did an awesome job. There were some scenes, mainly towards the beginning, that felt were a bit rushed and it would have been nice to dwell in them some more, but overall, the book moved at a good pace. Most of the twists and turns in the plot didn’t take me by surprise, but I didn’t mind.

I felt that the characters of Ellie, Dylan, and Joshua were built very well, and the romance elements were sweet. The descriptions of how Ellie felt when her mom was diagnosed with cancer were spot on – I speak from experience as my mother went through the same thing when I was a teen.

The book had strong spiritual themes of finding contentment in God and waiting for God’s best – I think these would encourage not only teens, but adults as well.

Recommended for teens, young adults, and the young at heart who enjoy a romantic Christian read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for my honest review.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

To see my ratings system, click here

Interview with author Dayo Benson

I’ve been following the blog of Christian author Dayo Benson for some time now and I recently had the opportunity to interview her about the inspiration for her books and some other interesting things about her. I hope you enjoy getting to know her too. [Dayo also interviewed me on her blog, which you can read here -> click here]

dayobensonMe: Hi, Dayo. Thanks for joining me. First off, can you tell me how long have you been writing for?

Dayo: For about ten years, now. Time flies!

Me: I totally agree. Over that time I imagine there have been some highs and lows in your writing journey. What is your best experience as a writer, and what is your worst?

Dayo: My best experience as a writer has to be finishing a book. The sense of accomplishment is amazing. Hearing from readers is also great too. The worst thing is doing revisions. I don’t like reading my books over and over, but it’s necessary.

Me: I actually don’t mind the editing process, but it does get tedious after the twentieth time. How long does it generally take you to write one of your books?

Dayo: I’ve gotten faster the more I write. These days it takes on average about six weeks.

Me: Wow, that is very efficient. I imagine that keeps you very busy. I know from your blog that you are an avid reader. What kind of books you enjoy reading?

Dayo: I used to read just about anything, I’m more selective now. Maybe because I have less spare time and want to make sure I’m going to enjoy a book before I read it. My favourite authors (at the moment) are Denise Hunter and Dee Henderson, but it always changes.

Me: You have recently released a new book called ‘Lust‘. It doesn’t sound like a typical Christian fiction book. Can you tell us more about it?

Dayo: It’s not as racy as it sounds, ha ha. It’s about a woman who was abused as a child and engaged in all kinds of destructive behaviour as a coping mechanism. As an adult she struggles a lot with low self-esteem and other issues. The book starts with her as an adult and she has booked herself into a sexual healing retreat where she is hoping to find restoration.

It’s also a love story, and the hero in the book is all the things that a wounded woman needs. However, their relationship is not all smooth sailing and there are a few twists, but the overall message is that God heals and makes everything beautiful in the end.

Lust is book one in a series of standalone novels so my current work in progress is the next book in the series, which doesn’t have a title yet. It’s about a woman who is on the run from an abusive boyfriend and the organization that they both work for. While in hiding she runs into her first love.

Me: Your books sound very gritty and powerful. What kind of readers do you think would enjoy them?

Dayo: Some of my books fit into the New Adult category, some are Young Adult, and the series I’m currently writing is Women’s fiction, but I think that anybody who likes fast-paced plots and romance with an inspirational message would enjoy my books. I’ve even had a few guys tell me they read my books even though I write with a female audience in mind.

Me: That is very cool. A common question I’ve been asking on my blog is ‘what piece of advice would you give to your teenage self?’ What would be your answer?

Dayo: To stop seeing just the ‘here and now’ and start seeing the bigger picture of my life. It would have helped me to put a lot of things in perspective and make better decisions.

Me: That is wisdom I’m sure can be applied by women & men of all ages. Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview and I look forward to reading your future books.

Dayo: Thanks, Alison, for having me on your blog.

lustbookcover

Author bio:

Dayo Benson is passionate about using fiction to convey powerful messages about redemption and God’s love. She is the author of the inspirational Beauty for Ashes Series, Drew Ashley series, and standalone novel Prodigal. When she is not writing she enjoys music, reading and going for long walks. She lives in North West England with her husband and their two daughters.
Learn more about Dayo and her upcoming books at www.dayobenson.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.