Monday, November 16, 2009

Redefining Beautiful

If you have a teenage girl in your life who you think is even remotely likely to read this book, I highly recommend you get it for them. Redefining Beautiful by Jenna Lucado, is an encouraging conversation about "what God sees when He sees you." Jenna relates God's love for us to a good earthly father's love, and Jenna's own dad, well-known Christian author and pastor, Max Lucado, contributes advice and encouragement in each chapter.

Redefining Beautiful conveys a message essential to girls growing up today--God made you beautiful, and the negative messages you may receive from the rest of the world don't matter. In fact, they aren't even true! Jenna focuses on eight "Life Accessories." They are:
"Security--trusting that no matter what, we have a God who loves us.
Identity--in knowing who we are and whose we are.
Value--knowing we are treasured.
Love--knowing God's love for us so we can love others.
Self-control--for making good decisions.
Peace--in believing God is in control.
Joy--in knowing the Source of all joy.
Contentment--in who God made you to be."

Jenna begins by helping readers explore who they are, based on personality, up-bringing, life experiences, and what the Bible says. Jenna's style is chatty, with lots of quizzes and space for journaling. As girls learn more about who they are, they apply this to how they interact with friends, families, boyfriends, and God. Jenna compares our relationship with Jesus to a Facebook page, where you can check, "single, in an open relationship, it's complicated, or in a relationship." She then tells us how to move our relationship with Christ from single, open, or complicated, to "in a relationship."

Jenna provides a loving and affirming view of all of us, based on biblical passages like Psalm 139, which she quotes from The Message Bible (a Bible paraphrase written in contemporary, easy-to-understand language.) She also discusses how our relationship with our earthly father affects our relationships with boys and with Jesus. She shows readers how to honor boys and gives ideas for what to do if our earthly fathers were less-than-perfect, or even cruel.

What I Like: I like anything opposing the negative and suggestive messages surrounding us in today's movies, television, etc. . . . It can be hard to be content in who God made us, and Jenna's book is a breath of fresh air.

I like Jenna's conversational style. She is easy to read, and you feel like you are visiting with a friend. Jenna understands the heart of girls and takes care to address all types. Her explanation of salvation feels like she genuinely cares about you and just wants you to know her favorite person.

I also like her beauty and fashion tips. She includes fun checklists like "seven uses for Vaseline," and "What to wear on a first date."

This is a must-have for any girl who will read it. Even if it sits on a shelf for a year, you never know when a girl may pick it up in a moment of boredom or desperation.

What I Dislike: Nothing

Overall Rating: Excellent!

Age Appeal: Teens--I would say 12 and up

Publisher Info: Thomas Nelson, 2009; ISBN: 978-1-4003-1428-7; Paperback, $12.99

Buy it Now at for $8.29

OR Buy it at for $9.35.

Special Note: Jenna does reference her own experiences with under-age drinking, as well as Joyce Meyers' autobiography Beauty for Ashes in which Meyers discusses being sexually abused by her father.

Check out our reviews of books by Jenna's dad (Max Lucado), here.

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