Kelly Klepfer

Kelly Klepfer came on board Novel Reviews several years ago as the Senior Editor through her connections with Gina Holmes, Ane Mulligan and Jessica Dotta of Novel Journey fame. Novel Reviews is the baby sister of the popular Novel Journey. At Novel Reviews we offer honest reviews of Christian and secular fiction titles and love to promote exceptional fiction. We began to do so after we met the authors via their interviews at Novel Journey. Disclaimer: Our reviewers are not paid for their reviews. Some may consider the receiving of a complimentary book or loosley bound manuscript (by publisher or author), as a form of compensation, so, be forewarned that our reviewers RECEIVE BOOKS. In our defense, it would be difficult to review without them. (Also, we are not affiliated or paid for any links to online bookstores.)

Novel Reviews


Temptation Temptation: A Novel
Solitary Tales Book 3
By Travis Thrasher
April 2012
David C. Cook


As a reluctant student at Harrington High’s summer school, Chris meets a fun-loving senior girl who offers a welcome diversion from Chris’s past. Soon Chris no longer searches for the truth about the town of Solitary. He no longer tries to pierce its shadows. He no longer questions his role in its mysteries. He makes a new choice: he runs. What he doesn’t realize is that he’s running the wrong way—and is very close to being beyond any choices at all.


As a reluctant student at Harrington High’s summer school, Chris meets a fun-loving senior girl who offers a welcome diversion from Chris’s past. Soon Chris no longer searches for the truth about the town of Solitary. He no longer tries to pierce its shadows. He no longer questions his role in its mysteries. He makes a new choice: he runs. What he doesn’t realize is that he’s running the wrong way—and is very close to being beyond any choices at all.

Move over Stephen King. Travis Thrasher is da man! If creepalicious is your thing, then Temptation is the book to you. In my opinion, it’s the creepiest of the series thus far.

I confess there were times I wanted to slap hero Chris upside the head. In this installment, he makes some pretty stupid choices, even though he knows he’s making them. Dare I admit that I resorted to calling him an idiot during one scene? Yeah. It earned me a few strange looks as I read on the treadmill at the gym.

But that sure didn’t stop me from loving this book. As if the plot weren’t gnarly enough, a few new twists and turns are introduced—one I totally didn’t see coming—which is exactly what attracts me to a story in the first place.

As eerie as Temptation is, the tale ends with an incredibly hopeful tone. Though there’s definitely some big conflict coming down the pike, without giving anything away, for once I think Chris will be okay.

If you haven’t read books I and II in this series, grab them off the shelf first. Then go ahead and settle yourself into a comfy chair with a beverage of your choice at your side.

And make sure the lights are on.

Reviewed by: Michelle Griep at: Michelle Griep

By Melody Carlson
Published by Revell (Jan 1, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0800719623
Paperback: 218 pages


When Chelsea Martin's future stepmother helps her transform from gawky and geeky into the hottest girl at her new school, Chelsea is pretty sure it's the best thing that ever happened to her. But her hot new look has a downside. She's attracting lots of guys who all have one thing in common: they're jerks. And stealing the attention of all the guys in school doesn't endear her to the girls either.

Chelsea finally finds a true friend in Janelle Parker, and a non-jerk, Nicholas, catches her eye. Janelle keeps telling her to be herself, but Nicholas is the only guy around who doesn't give her a second look. Can Chelsea and Janelle come up with a plan to get his attention? Or will Chelsea's new image ruin everything?

Teen favorite and bestselling author Melody Carlson helps girls uncover the real source of beauty in this true-to-life story of young love, friendship, and being yourself.


I love Melody Carlson’s writing no matter who her audience is, in this case it’s for the youth. Chelsea Martin has just found out her dad has a girlfriend and it’s serious. Surprise to her.

Chelsea was still dealing with her mother being dead, ok, it had been 5 years but she wasn't ready to move on to having a step-mother. Chelsea doesn’t have much time to process the news before her dad hits her with another boom, they are moving. She’s loosing her dad and the only home she’s ever known in the same year.

Chelsea meets Kate, her dad’s girlfriend and sees how well put together she is, she’s nice too. Kate offers to help Chelsea with her clothes, hair and make-up. Her Dad's new bride to be has some bonding time with Chelsea as they talk about beauty. It reminded me of when Julie Andrews talked to Mia about how she dressed, wore her hair and have good table manners. They were grooming her to be the princess and she had to have a certain look in the Princess Diaries movies.

Kate says back, “I think the exterior is hurting the interior – I see you becoming as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside. Just think of it, you’ll be going to a new school this fall, and who knows how great your last two years of high school might be.”

Before they start Chelsea says, “I don’t see the point in all this you can dress me differently but I’m still the same on the inside!”

Kate then talks to Chelsea about her interior dialogue, “You need to change your interior dialogue Chelsea.” What you think about yourself shows on the outside.

Chelsea resisted in her head the things Kate had told her to think, “I am an attractive, intelligent girl. I have a lot to offer other people. People want to get to know me.”

But when Kate gets Chelsea all dolled up to perfection - male heads turn and she gets attention she never had before. Is this what she wants? All this attention may not be a good thing.

Had Kate gone too far with Chelsea’s new look? She thinks so when a friend says to her, “Look at yourself. Just like Dalton said, you look like a hot babe, and to a jerk like him, a hot babe is like dangling raw meat in front of a hungry bear. Or in other words, a jerk magnet.” (The guy will say and do anything to be with you – not in a good way)

Chelsea was baffled. Her friend went on, “In the same way you attract guys who are jerks, you repel the guys who aren’t- at lease the ones

Chelsea and Janelle try an experiment at the youth group retreat and get surprising results. Chelsea then starts to think about whom she is dressed up to be and who she really is and/or wants to be. Great

I enjoy Melody Carlson books. I was so thankful for the review copy of such a fun and honest book about the pressures girls have in high school. That's what my daughter and I loved most about the Diary of a Teenage Girl series by Melody, we could read them separately and talk about the content. We can talk about the book and characters and not have to bring up specifics about our lives. Melody's books open up a dialogue between your daughter and yourself that is safe.

She also puts things in the book you're glad your child heard from someone else because maybe, just maybe they might listen to it. In the teen years it's hard to listen to your parents when you are trying to figure out this whole big world and where you fit in.

I liked how the author dealt with the subject of beauty. Chelsea was hot and the guys were all over her but is that what she really wanted to be known for? Is this the attention she wanted to be known for her body and looks alone? There are so many feelings and situations to deal with in High School, I like the way Melody shows how Chelsea navigates through her transition from one school to another.

I enjoyed this book very much. I highly recommend it for any age group, but especially the middle schooler/early high school age. It's a keeper!!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent at: The Book Club Network

The Enchanted Attic The Enchanted Attic - Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame
L. L. Samson
Paperback: 141 pages
Publisher: ZonderKidz (May 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0-310-72795-8


A hidden attic. A classic story. A very unexpected twist. Twin twelve-year-old bookworms Ophelia and Linus Easterday discover a hidden attic that once belonged to a mad scientist. While relaxing in the attic and enjoying her latest book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ophelia dozes off, and within moments finds herself facing a fully alive and completely bewildered Quasimodo. Ophelia and Linus team up with a clever neighbor, a hippy priest, and a college custodian, learning Quasimodo's story while searching for some way to get him back home---if he can survive long enough in the modern world.


Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame is an excellent first book to a new children's series. While older readers (say 13 and up) will find a few of the characters a bit off, younger readers probably won't notice a thing (than again, what do I know about people under 12?) The combination of self sufficient twins, a street smart London transfer student, and an enchanted attic create the perfect environment for a magical summer vacation. As an added bonus, the book mentions classic literature such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Moby Dick.

Scattered throughout the writing one can also find new vocabulary words accompanied by a definition by the local university's janitor (I learned a few new words too). This could make the book a hidden English lesson (or a visible one), but whether used that way or not it should find it's way onto any child’s reading list.

Reviewed by: Jayshua Nelson