No, I haven't gotten all melodramatic on you, well, not today, anyway. This is a short review of a book I was honored to have won in a Facebook giveaway.
The book, The (Desperate) Diva Diaries: Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship, and Fashion Disasters is written by Angie Spady. I'll admit, I was really hesitant to read the book because of the title. My daughter, who is 8 going on 21, really struggles with vanity and pride so we work really hard to avoid pretty much anything with the word "diva" anywhere near it. But, I know the people who published it and they've hit it out of the park on everything else I've seen from them, so I gave it a try. And I am glad that I did!
Sophie and I read it together, mainly because I didn't want her to read it if I hadn't read it first and I simply didn't have the time to read it first. It has been really fun for us. (Admittedly, we aren't quite finished, but very close.) It deals with all those things tweens (especially those in private or public school) deal with on a daily basis: boys, clothes, friends, popularity, etc. It also deals with a lot of things Christian kids, or at least kids in Christian families, deal with: sharing their faith, praying for and serving others, priorities, etc.
A few things I really loved about the book:
1) The parents were not stupid buffoons! In an age where every show targeted at children has parents who are so dumb and moronic, it was nice to see parents as being responsible, smart, loving, and someone to turn to with any question or concern. Catie's relationship with her parents has rocky moments (what kid doesn't ever get upset with their parents at some point), but the love between them is very evident.
2) In nearly every chapter (which are all written as journal entries), Catie lists things she knows she needs to pray about or people for whom she needs to pray. She takes her struggles and turns them into prayer requests. She doesn't always see the answer she wants, but she recognizes God is the One to turn to with every fear, hurt, pain, or question.
3) I really enjoyed the friendship aspect in the book. (It didn't hurt that Catie's best friend's name is Sophie!) Within the friendship we see that each person brings something totally different to the table, you can disagree and still get along, choosing friends who support and believe the same things is always a plus, and the importance of choosing good, trustworthy friends.
4) Through her struggle with the most popular girl in school, Miranda Maroni, we see Catie constantly turning to God, asking Him to help her love and deal kindly with Miranda. I'll admit, I was not expecting that in a book with "diva" in the title. But it was a great way to show tweens that sometimes God uses other people to grow and stretch us.
5) One of my favorite parts of the book is that the family takes a mission trip together, at a very inopportune time for Catie. But, because she is obedient and goes with her parents, God shows her some big things while serving at an Indian Reservation for a week.
This is a fun, silly, heart warming book that would be a good read for any tween; whether on their own or with mom. It would be a great weekly mother/daughter reading date book! Two thumbs up from this gal! (And two more from Sophie, too!)