Below is a new review on my book. I’m so thankful that people are responding and understanding my vision for teen fiction.
First, I want to applaud Wahl for telling a realistic story, weaving in the Catholic faith artfully without overwhelming her readers or detracting from the plot. When I was a young teenager, many of the Christian teen novels I read frustrated me because they were cheesy; the characters, model Christians in constant inner dialogue with the Lord, lacked depth. WithThe Perfect Blindside, Leslea Wahl strikes a harmonious balance between the Catholic faith and her moving story.
The Perfect Blindside shifts between the first-person voices of characters Sophie and Jake (i.e., every other chapter is Sophie’s perspective). Sophie Metcalf, fed up with the antics of arrogant snowboarding prodigy Jake Taylor, sets out to expose his true character. Sophie, a gentle and intelligent high school junior, despises Jake for moving to her small Colorado town. Jake wants only to focus on snowboarding and his newfound Olympic fame. But a series of odd circumstances surrounding an old silver mine forces Jake and Sophie to become partners, amateur sleuths in a puzzling mystery.
Unlike the empty Christian characters I became accustomed to as a young teenager, Sophie deals with the typical struggles of her teenage life while learning to rely on God. The Perfect Blindside is not about Sophie’s prayer life; it is the tale of Sophie and Jake and a perplexing crime. Sophie’s quiet, faithful devotion to the Lord adds depth to her character and offers a connection with young readers who are trying to live out their Catholic faith in a secular world.
What I love most about The Perfect Blindside is that Sophie and Jake are normal teenagers. They are not young Christian robots, nor are they rebellious teenaged runaways experiencing major conversions. Sophie and Jake are simply teenagers who struggle with relationships, the Catholic faith, listening to their parents, and avoiding risky situations. They deal with crushes and mean girls at school. They use cell phones and shop at the local mall. Young readers can connect with Sophie and Jake. The first-person perspective shifts allow for both girls and boys to relate with the characters. Drama and mystery lurk within each chapter so that the reader never bores.
Thank you, Pauline Media, for allowing me to review The Perfect Blindside. I recommend this book to teens, tweens, and Catholic parents searching for wholesome, intriguing novels for their children! The Perfect Blindside is the book I wish I had read as a young teenager.
Pauline Books & Media provided me with a free copy of The Perfect Blindside in exchange for an honest review.