Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book Review: Departures

Departures by Robin Jones Gunn
Two rediscovered stories of Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen
Click the cover to buy
For my first ever book review for Blogging for Books, I chose Departures by Robin Jones Gunn.  The book is actually two short stories that go with her Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen series.  Since they are two separate stories, I'm going to write a mini review for each story.
The first is "Now Boarding at Gate 10," starring Christy Miller. She's headed to Wisconsin on a family vacation, to celebrate her grandparents' fiftieth anniversary. What she doesn't expect is the possiblity of a romance with her junior high crush.
While the story was as well-written as all the Christy Miller books, I felt like it wasn't really great.  Almost all of the characters have already been met by the readers in the Christy Miller series.  The plot is easy to follow and flows nicely, and the characters are all true to form. But, partly because I know how the series ends, I felt this story didn't fit with the rest of Christy's life. True, there are real-life experiences during which you may have a 'What if..' moment with a romantic interest.  Still, I felt that the idea of Christy and Matthew dating seemed unnecessary to Christy's life story in general.  I give this story three stars out of five.
The second story was "In the Event of a Water Landing," starring Sierra Miller.
Sierra, her friend Jana, Jana's brother Gregg, and Gregg's friend Tim are on their way to a vacation in Montana.  An airline mix-up and a trip to a huge mall delay their plans.  When they do finally arrive, Sierra is confused by Jana's strange behavior and the mixed feelings both girls are having towards guys.
Now, I was never a huge fan of the Sierra series.  However, this story is the exact opposite of "Now Boarding at Gate 10."  I feel this little 'preview' of Sierra's life - which comes before the Sierra books - better helps the reader understand Sierra's thoughts and beliefs throughout the rest of the series.  While the plot was nothing extraordinary, the characters were completely realistic. Sierra discovers a few things - about herself, about guys, and about relationships in general.  I found that I connected much better with this mini-book on Sierra than the entire rest of the series.  This story definitely gets all five stars.
I received this book for free through WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing's Blogging for Books Program in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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