Source: From Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.
Series: Lena in the Spotlight #1
Lena Daniels never thought she’d get the chance star in a movie. Headstrong and determined, she has her life planned out to the minute. But when her best friends, Savannah and Emma, tell her about an audition, she knows there’s nothing else in the world she’d rather do. And now that she’s gotten her wish, Lena finds that being in the spotlight is harder than it sounds. She got everything she never wanted! Her face turns up everywhere she goes, and everything in her life is flipped upside down. Lena wonders if this is a dream come true or a horrible nightmare. Even a visit from her best friends during filming turns into a disaster.
With her little sisters—Ansley, Ashton, and Amber—and her mischievous pup, Austin, constantly at her side, Lena must face the challenges of everyday life while chasing her dreams of being a model and actress on the big screen. Lena tackles tough choices, learns the value of perseverance, and keeps her hopes high. She knows her faith and family will keep her feet on the ground and her eyes on the stars.
I know that by working with Booklook Bloggers I am getting Christian Publishing. Up to this point, I have chosen books that either I feel will hold their own without religion being presented outright and in a prominent way - with values and morals versus scripture. On some occasions I have even reviewed books with bible verses shared before a story so that you know the moral going into the tale in books for younger kids. All that being said, I don't mind when there is religion in books, however I am not religious and with this particular book I had a few issues.
Lets start with the good stuff - I thought this tale overall was a pleasant one. The characters were interesting and the theme overall was pretty good. I also really liked that it is a youth writer with her mom. It is also a pretty short read and I liked that the main character journals - I think that is very important in a young persons life.
The issues that I had were not with the prominent prayer or things like that - it was that the parents are teaching the children that God is responsible for all lifes paths - they should try for things but everything is in God's hands. I can't really get behind that - why would your kid try to succeed at anything if nothing they do matters and God has already chosen anyway?... I know this is a huge debate, I am not trying to start anything, I am just saying how I feel.
I think that prayer and motivation can be used to push people, I don't think that conveying 'God's got it' is the most important thing. There was even a moment when the parents told the girls that they "can't" make important decisions by themselves and would always have God and them around to help. Teaching kids that they can't do things ... that is not learning to me.
All that being said, I think that is you are religious and need a book for your middle grade reader this is a good one, they are just not beliefs that I share (sorry).