During my Blog-Warming Party, I gave away a copy of Just Between You & Me: A Novel of Losing Fear and Finding God by Jenny B. Jones. And then I promised a review . . . which never happened.
Until today. It’s happening right now. In case you hadn’t figured that out.
That’s a long title, right? Honestly, if I hadn’t seen the book on a list of recent award winners, I wouldn’t have requested it from the library. It sounds serious. And when it comes to my fiction, I almost always prefer, well, NOT serious.
Thankfully, I did check out this book. It was GREAT. As soon as I finished it, I got online to stalk research Jones. I HAD to know if she’d written other books. And if she had, you better believe they were going on reserve at the library, pronto.
Sadly, her other books – which look adorable and fun – are more of the YA variety. And while I like my chick lit fluffy, I don’t typically resort to reading YA. (Typically. I’m not saying never, because I loved As You Wish by Jackson Pearce.)
With the wonder that is Twitter, though, I found out that Jones (or Jenny. Should I call her Jenny?) has another adult contemporary coming out in a few months. I can’t wait.
Until then, I’m reading Jenny’s blog (Yeah, I decided first names are better.) and telling everyone I know that if you read Christian fiction, you should read this book. And, actually, even if you just like adult contemporary, read this book. The Christian aspect is not heavy-handed at all.
So, why do I like this book so much? Well, I’m so glad you asked. I like it because the characters talk like real people. The main character even thinks like a real person, saying things like, “I’m so sure.” and “Crap.”
Yep, that’s really all it takes for me. (See: Brad Meltzer’s first couple of books and my disappointment in his later novels.)
The novel follows the usual pattern of contemporary romance, but the situations play out a little more realistically than a lot of the fairytales – I mean, books – I read. I was hoping it would end differently, but I didn’t mind the story’s resolution too much.
A few times while I was reading it, I thought that it felt a lot like reading someone’s blog. And while I never want blogs to replace books completely (The horror!), I do enjoy hearing Jenny’s characters use a genuine conversational tone.
Here’s the summary:
The only thing scarier than living on the edge is stepping off it.
Maggie Montgomery lives a life of adventure. Her job as a cinematographer takes her from one exotic locale to the next. When Maggie’s not working, she loves to rappel off cliffs or go skydiving. Nothing frightens her.
Nothing, that is, except Ivy, Texas, where a family emergency pulls her back home to a town full of bad memories, painful secrets, and people Maggie left far behind . . . for a reason.
Forced to stay longer than she intended, Maggie finds her family a complete mess, including the niece her sister has abandoned. Ten-year-old Riley is struggling in school and out of control at home. The only person who can really handle the pint-sized troublemaker is Conner, the local vet and Ivy’s most eligible bachelor. But Conner and Maggie keep butting heads—he’s suspicious of her and, well, she doesn’t rely on anyone but herself.
As Maggie humorously fumbles her way from one mishap to another, she realizes she’s going to need to ask for help from the one person who scares her the most.
To save one little girl—and herself—can Maggie let go of her fears and just trust God?
What does it take for you to consider a book great?