month I’m highlighting author Jenny B. Jones. I have never read a book
that made me laugh as long or as hard as the first book in the Katie
Parker series, In Between.
Review: Katie Parker is not
happy. Her mom is in prison, and Katie is being shipped off to live
with “pretend-o-parents,” James and Millie Scott, in the small town of
In Between, Texas. When Katie discovers that her new foster dad is a
pastor, she is certain they will hate her, so certain she tries to
sabotage her time with the Scotts. She figures if things aren’t going
to work out, she might as well get it over with soon and get back to
her old life. Her plan? Dress in Goth for the first day of school. This
way she is sure Millie won’t let her out of the house, she won’t have
to go to a new school, and she’ll get to go back home. Her plans
backfire in a big way. When Millie doesn’t overreact, Katie has no
other option but to go to school in her black ensemble complete with
black fingernails. She ends up sitting at the Goth table at lunch,
since that’s where she looks to fit in.
Unfortunately, a couple of her
new friends are not the best influence, and Katie unknowingly is
recruited for a midnight vandalism jaunt to the local vintage theater.
Katie is the only teen nabbed by the coppers, who take her down to the
station and inform her that the Scotts are the owners of the theater.
Humiliated, Katie waits for her foster parents to send her packing.
They don’t. Katie experiences some awesome tough love for the first
time in her life, which includes being grounded. Unfortunately, that
doesn’t keep her from riding around with her “pretend-o-grandmother,”
Mad Maxine, on a bicycle built for two.
Katie struggles to adapt to her
new strange world, which includes adults who care, church, smart
friends, a massive dog, and a crazy foster grandma. She tries out for
the school play and falls for a cute and troublesome senior guy. Her
new girlfriend doesn’t approve, foster granny doesn’t approve, but
Katie is of the opinion that what the Scotts don’t know won’t hurt
them. It’s a good thing God is watching out for Katie Parker, even
though she doesn’t have a clue.
Reading this book is like
reading stand-up. It’s one comical situation after another with Katie
Parker, whose fun, sarcastic voice keeps you laughing so hard you’ll
need a box of tissues. My absolute favorite part is Katie’s letters to
Iola Smarty, her social worker. The references to David Hasselhoff
alone are worth getting a copy of this book. Jones entertains while
giving the reader a view of what grace looks like to a teenage girl.
This is a wonderful book.
joy!—this is a three-book series. The second book, On the
Loose, and the third, The Big Picture,
are just as entertaining as book one. And I’m not the only one who
thinks so. Women of Faith must have heard of Jenny B. Jones’s sense of
humor because Jones’s next series, A Charmed Life, has the Revolve logo
on the front. How cool is that?
Revolve is Women of Faith for
teen girls. (I’ve been to three of their
conferences so far and they are awesome! If you’ve never been, go to
www.revolvetour.com and see when the tour bus is coming your way.)
The first book in the Charmed
Life series is titled So Not Happening. It’s a
funny story of Manhattan girl Bella Kirkwood’s move to Cow Town, USA.
The next Charmed Life novel comes out this November and I can’t wait.
some other books that are
sure to tickle your funny bone, check out these:
Hero, Second Class
by Mitchell Bonds (Marcher Lord Press, ages sixteen and up)
Here’s one for the guys. A fun, medieval parody novel that follows
apprentice Cyrus on his journey to become a real hero.
by Renee Riva (RiverOak, ages eight and up)
This is a funny, sweet, coming-of-age novel about a Catholic girl who
spends her summers at the lake with her endearing, and slightly wacky,
by Lisa Samson (NavPress, ages twelve to sixteen)
Another quirky girl book about Scotty Dawn, who lives with her food
stylist mom in their RV on various movie sets.
Romance Rustlers and
Thunderbird Thieves by Sharon Dunn (Kregel, ages sixteen and
Ruby gets thrown into a hilarious mess of an adventure—complete with a
kidnapping—as she tries to solve two mysteries.
Miss Match by
Erin Mangum (NavPress, ages sixteen and up)
This modern twist on Pride and Prejudice follows
Laurie, a chocolate-eating, coffee addict with a knack for matchmaking.
She’s Out of Control
by Kristin Billerbeck (Thomas Nelson, ages sixteen and up)
Ashley has finally found the man she wants to marry, but her
commitment-phobe boyfriend seems afraid of the “M” word.