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 Laura Jackson

Today, I’m interviewing Christian author Laura Jackson about her new book and how she became a writer.

2013-07-08 23.15.16-1 (2)Me: Hi, Laura. You must be excited, having recently published your first novel. How long has it been since you began your writing journey?

Laura: Not very long but forever, I guess. I remember writing as a kid, and I wrote some in high school for fun. I taught middle school language arts, so I wrote with my kids. When I became a librarian, I missed writing with my students. So, I started writing a book. The first attempt was so bad I quit in the middle. Worth the Wait is my second attempt.

Me: What have been the highlights and lowlights in your experience so far?

Laura: I’m new at this, so I don’t have a lot of experience. I got an early review from a reader I’ve never met. She wrote about how much the book affected her even though she’s an adult.

The worst thing is just seeing my “baby” covered in red ink from the editor. It was so discouraging for just a minute, and then I dived into it and enjoyed making it better.

Me: I can relate to that – seeing the track changes in a manuscript is disheartening, but once you get into it, it is exciting to see how much better it will be. How long did it take you to write Worth the Wait?

Laura: I wrote Worth the Wait during NaNoWriMo 2012. I did over 50,000 words that month and then added to it the next two months. The book I’m working on now is going so slowly…maybe because I was editing Worth the Wait, working on marketing, etc in addition to my fulltime job as a librarian.

Me: As a librarian, you must come across a lot of books. Do you have a favourite author/s?

E.A West: I love reading just about everything. I love the Pigeon books by Mo Willems to my library kids. Have you read them? SO FUNNY!

YA—I love Jenny B. Jones, Sarah Dessen, and Ally Carter.

Romantic Suspense—Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon, Dani Pettrey.

Chick Lit—Kristin Billerbeck, Erynn Mangum.

I could list a ton more, but those are my favorite.

Me: That is a great selection. Thanks for the tips! Can you tell us a bit more about Worth the Wait?

9781938708268Laura: Ellie 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.

Me: That sounds fantastic. I’m already hooked 🙂 What kind of readers do you think would enjoy your book?

Laura: Christian teens as well as older women. I’m 33, but I love YA. It’s always my first choice for reading although lately, a lot of it seems really dark. I hope Worth the Wait will be an encouragement to teens to wait for God’s best…not just about sex but about every aspect of their future.

Me: I’m sure it will be. I also enjoy reading YA, even though I’m in my thirties too – we must be young at heart! Now that you are out of your teenage years, looking back, what advice would you give to your teenage self?

Laura: Focus less on boys! I was boy crazy. My poor parents!

Me: A great piece of advice! I’m sooo not looking forward to when my daughters are that age. Thanks for visiting my blog today, Laura. I hope God uses your book to touch many hearts.

Laura: Thanks so much!

Author bio:

Laura Jackson loves books – reading and writing them. A life-long reader, Laura studied English in college and taught 7th grade language arts before earning her Master’s degree and becoming a school librarian. Now, she spends her days sharing great books with kids and her evenings writing books about teenage girls discovering God and His plan for their lives.

http://authorlaurajackson.blogspot.com/

Worth the Wait, a Christian YA novel, was released on 4 February 2014.

Find it on Amazon: Worth the Wait on Amazon
Find it at Barnes and Noble: Worth the Wait on BN.com