Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Review: Grounded

Grace Meredith's life couldn't get better. She has a successful career as a Christian pop star, she's engaged to a great man who makes her feel "worth the wait", and she's on tour doing what she loves- sharing her purity message. Grace has always been a good Christian girl and she loves to share messages about abstinence with the teens and young adults who come to her concerts. However, things don't always go as planned and life can get complicated really fast...

Grounded is a cute Christian fiction book that I would place in the chick-lit genre. It's a light read with a dash of serious issues and heavy topics. Throughout the book the authors handle the heavy stuff (which I won't mention here because of spoilers) with kindness and sensitivity. The overall theme of the book itself is grace

I enjoyed reading Grounded and I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. I think my biggest issue, which caused the book to lose a star, is that I did not care for the main character, Grace. I think it's just a personal thing, other readers may actually really identify with her. But, she was just not my kind of person. I found her very needy, whiny, co-dependent, selfish, and entitled. For example, I know she's a star in the Christian music world- but, really who in the world takes a limo to the Amtrak station?! It's a passenger train, not a yacht. The selfishness and "me, me, me" attitude were endless. There was an instance in the book where Grace shared with her assistant, Sam, a very important event that happened when Grace was a teenager. She had been working up to finally share what happened and when she was done Sam was very moved by her story. So, Sam asks to share something heavy that happened to her and Grace says something along the lines of, "not now Sam, maybe another time." I wanted to slap her. Things like that were constantly happening, it's as if she never learned any manners or social skills. 

There were only two other minor annoyances I had with the book. One was that Grace was not believable as a 29-year-old. I'm 26 and up until the authors state how old she is (about 12% into the book) I thought she was in her late 30s to mid 40s. I couldn't believe I was reading about someone only three years older than myself. She just had a crankiness about her and stuffiness that just didn't seem to fit someone not yet 30. It was just a vibe I got from her moods that she was much older. It really threw me off because her fans were teenagers and Grace's ministry is all about abstinence and staying pure until marriage, which didn't seem to fit a middle-aged woman. Then, her fiance's name is Roger. So, I was definitely thinking they were in their 40s because a name like "Roger" is a big context clue (to me at least) that someone is over 40. Without any description the automatic image in my head is not of a man who is only 32. The only other thing was there seemed to be a lot of product placement. The book was almost like a big advertisement for Curves and Amtrak. 

There also seemed to be an awkward fascination with Grace's breasts and the authors always let the reader know when she undressed. Grace is a character who has had a negative sexual experience and to see lines like, "she was sweating between her breasts" just seemed highly inappropriate and I felt like by reading that I was violating her myself. It was a little creepy that the authors even came up with something like that. It definitely could have been left out. 

Despite it's minor flaws, I would recommend Grounded to readers who are interested in contemporary Christian stories and/or chick-lit. If you enjoy books that deal with heavy topics, but not in a way burdensome to the reader this is also a great book for you. Anyone interested in the topic of forgiveness and God's grace will enjoy this one, as well.

I received an advanced reader copy (ARC) of this book courtesy of Worthy Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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