Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Asking for Trouble

The first in a new series by bestselling author Sandra Byrd, Asking for Trouble introduces readers to Savannah Smith, a.k.a. "Savvy." This fifteen-year-old Seattle girl dreams of being an ace reporter, but having just been transplanted to the UK, she's got a few bigger worries to manage first. Like learning to live without her best friends and youth group back home. She also needs to learn the British lingo if she hopes to survive at Wexburg Academy, a school that has not exactly sent out the Welcome Wagon.

When Savvy applies for position with the school paper, she doesn't get the journalist job she had hoped for. Instead she gets a stinky newspaper satchel and a gig delivering papers. The Wexburg Academy Times is in bad shape, too. The school intends to pull funding if they can't increase their readership. That's when Savvy has a great idea: to start an advice column. But even though it's her idea, she may not get to write it. The staff doesn't feel she has enough experience and she certainly isn't British enough. Can she prove herself in time?

Meanwhile, Savvy and her family (mom, dad, and little sister) struggle to find their place in this new country. Will they ever fit in? Will they ever find a church that makes this place feel like home?

What I Like: I love that Savvy continually redirects her focus on God. Even though she doesn't have a youth group or friends pointing her in that direction, even though she doesn't always do or say the right things, she consistently knows where to go to find the answers. She uses Scripture as her source of wisdom and truth. I really like that her prayers are natural, a wonderful example for teen readers who struggle to have a personal relationship with God. The author has done a fabulous job making this easy to read and relate to. Readers won't find any stuffy, cookie-cutter characters here. Savvy is into boys and fashion and culture, all while still loving God. Her parents try to do what's right, but they have "off" days, too. All around, this is a great book.

What I Dislike:
The author spends too much time translating stuff for Americans. While a degree of this nicely relates Savvy's fish-out-of-water experience, the frequency feels a little redundant and even condescending at points. Most readers will have seen movies that take place in England (What a Girl Wants, Princess Diaries, etc.) and won't necessarily need the constant reminder of how things are said by Brits.

Overall Rating:
Very Good.

Age Appeal:

Publisher Info:
Tyndale, 2010; ISBN: 1414325975; Paperback, 265 pages, $6.99

Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $5.99!

OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $6.99.

You can also purchase the entire "London Confidential" series (four books in all) at Christianbook.com for just $22.96.

Special Info: Learn more about the author and her other books at her website: www.SandraByrd.com. Sign up for her newsletter and be entered in monthly contests. The next prize is a collection of London-themed goodies!

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