First Date / Krista McGee
HS (MS) Grades 7-12 Rating: 4 (out of 5)
Krista McGee presents a contemporary story of a Christian teen on a TV reality show where the final prize is a prom date with the President’s son. She struggles to maintain her faith while being in the spotlight and trying to follow God’s plan for her life.
In First Date, 17-year-old Addy is chosen for a reality show – The Book of Love – something she didn’t apply for and has no interest in. Convinced by her uncle and the principal to go on the show, she tries to make a bad first impression, so she will be sent home early. While the other girls fawn over Jonathan, the president’s son, Addy’s lack of attention makes her appealing to him. She discovers that being there just might be God’s plan for her. Addy and her Uncle Mike overhear a plot to kidnap Jonathan, and prevent it from happening. Trying to hold onto her faith in the midst of the competition and the excessive attention is challenging. Eventually she learns how to put aside what she wants to do what God wants.
McGee has written a delightful modern version of Esther. Anyone familiar with the story will recognize the parallels. However, it is still a good read for those who are not. It is a fun, light read, with good character development.
Teens will relate to Addy and the other main characters. After her less-than-Christ-like behavior (honest but almost rude) during the early days of the show, Addy wrestles with her attitude. She also deals with the cattiness of other contestants and her interest in Jonathan. Though there is an attraction between them, it is a clean romance; they do not kiss nor act inappropriately.
Recommended for public and school libraries.
— reprinted from Christian Library Journal, June 2012.