Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Review: Finding Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson/4 Stars

About the book:

Prayer?  Really?

Scotty and Charley are headed for Marshall, Texas, with Biker Guy once more close on their trail. As Scotty tries to come to terms with the reality of her parents’ deaths, she grows friendly with the locals. That makes staying hidden challenging.

But there’s got to be more to life than fear, and through new friendships, Scotty learns that this prayer thing might work after all. Will prayer be enough when the situation is life and death? What happens when Biker Guy finally catches up to her?

My thoughts:

**I'm going to be mentioning things from this book as well as the previous book in the series, Hollywood Nobody, so be aware that you may come upon a spoiler or two.**

To be perfectly honest, I was a little hesitant to read the next book in the Hollywood Nobody Series.  I read book one, and while I loved the opening and Scotty's fun sense of humor, I just wasn't crazy about the religious portions of the book (more on that later).  But I'm a firm believer in giving an author a second chance, so I plunged ahead and read book 2, Finding Hollywood Nobody.

The opening of this book...awesome!  I couldn't believe it started out in Memphis, TN which, for one, was great for this local native, and for two, simply because it was set in the South.  Happy smiles all around.  :o)  I loved reading about Scotty's trip to Graceland, as well as trip to a local food joint, Pirtle's.  For some, seeing local places mentioned in a book may not be a big deal, but when you're familiar with an area, you like to see and hear about the *actual local places*.  So...for those of you that don't know, Pirtle's has GREAT fried chicken, and it was indeed a pleasure to see it get some love in this book.  ;o)

Scotty was her typical self in this book--pretty opinionated, maybe a little bit ADD, and frankly, more mature than most 16-year-olds that I know.  Sometimes, it was soooo hard to follow her train of thought because she kept jumping from one topic to the next.  It was more prevalent in the first book than in this book, so I was pleased that her character had a little more focus here.  I also missed the frequency of her "blog posts" in this book compared to the first, but as this book reached the end, it made perfect sense why they had slacked off.

The biggest thing I was happy about was her spiritual journey advanced a great deal in this book.  When I read book one, I won't lie....I was not crazy about how church/Christianity/denominations were portrayed.  I'm probably very much in the minority on that, but still...just my opinion.  See, I was raised in a Pentecostal church, complete with people speaking in tongues and everything else that goes with it.  As I've grown older, I've come to my own conclusions about their particular teachings, and it was just best that we parted ways.    So, when I started reading about Scotty's visits to a local tent meeting in book one, I was very surprised that a Pentecostal preacher was the one conducting the services....complete with the speaking in tongues and healing services.  You name it, it was there.  The reason it bothered me was that, for someone not familiar with all the many denominations there are (and yes, we all have some reason why we believe the way we do, or go to this church or that church), that particular denomination is so universally misunderstood.  I just think that the author didn't need to make it that complicated because even Scotty's character questioned whether or not they were legit.  I don't thing a YA book should be tackling those kinds of issues that early.  It can be overload.  Believe me, I know...I had the same questions when I was growing up and seeing it at church every week.  It wasn't that I was offended by the content...just very, very suprised.  Maybe I'm way off base here to some, and if I am, I apologize (especially if I've offended anyone...that is not my intention at all).  Maybe Scotty was more mature and discerning at that point in life than I was at her age...I don't know.

So, I said all that to say that Scotty figured out her place with God in book two, and it was written perfectly.  Her character even alluded to a bit of confusion from the services mentioned in book one, but I think it was just like water off a duck's back in her mind.  She figured out her own way to Christ...no denomination needed.  :o)

Now that I've gotten past all that I didn't like from book one, I'm really eager to read the rest of the series and find out what happens with Scotty.  Lesson for me--it just goes to show that you can never judge a book by it's cover, and just because one book experience was bad doesn't mean that all books by that same author will be bad, too.  :o) 

4 Stars

Southern?  Just enough  :o)
Sass?  Some

**Many thanks to NavPress for providing a copy for review.

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