Saturday Review: Just Between You & Me

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?


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15 Comments Saturday Review: Just Between You & Me

  1. Brittanie August 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I love all of Jenny B. Jones books. I am 27 and still enjoyed her YA books. Her trademark humor comes out in them. I thought this book was good too. :)

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect August 29, 2010 at 8:27 pm

      Oooh, good to know. I’ll have to add her YA books to my to-read list!

  2. chelleybutton August 28, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Well, if it has Harry Potter in the title, I’m likely to enjoy it. ;) Speaking of that, you could also spend the time until her next book comes out reading the second HP book. ;) (The last time I read it, it became my new favorite HP book!:) And if you finished it by next weekend I could take it off your hands, saving you the cost of a stamp or two. ;) No pressure, of course; I just remember that you “loved” the first one. :D

    Btw, when I saw the author’s name, I thought of the talk-show host Jenny Jones and was very curious. ;) Did you keep thinking of your cat as you read the book? ;)

  3. chelleybutton August 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    No, but I hardly call that a reply. :P ;)

    Maybe it has to do with me having a Mac? Hmm… I’m considering buying one for myself, but maybe I should reconsider…

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect August 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      Okay, I’m trying it again. Did this one show up in your email? (Sorry. Just bear with me. I’m trying to figure this dumb thing out!) :)

  4. Vanderbilt Wife August 29, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Can I just tell you how happy I was to see this book is “between you and me” and not “between you and I”???

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect August 29, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      Why, yes, yes you can! :)

  5. chelleybutton August 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm


  6. Mary August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Brittanie, I was going to say the same thing, except for the age as I am 40+something… I read my first jbj book because I was checking out what my daughter was reading. (I will randomly do this) Loved it, and have now read all her books.

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect September 2, 2010 at 10:49 am

      Thank you for the recommendation. I’ve requested one of her YA books from the library!

  7. Kristie May 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I realize I’m about a year late to this conversation, but I just linked here from your recent YA post. Did you read “Save the Date” by Jenny B. Jones? LOVED IT! That was the first of her books I’ve read, but I will have to go back and check this one out, too, as well as some of her YA titles.

    1. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect May 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      I haven’t read it yet, but I’m looking forward to it! It’s on reserve at the library, and I’m trying to be patient. :)

    2. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect June 1, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      I just read Save the Date this week and loved it!

      1. Kristie June 2, 2011 at 8:33 am

        Yay! I loaned my copy to my sister, and as soon as I get it back, I plan to re-read it. :)

  8. Pingback: Why I Love Reading YA {young adult} Books — Giving Up on Perfect

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