The Right and the Real by By Joëlle Anthony
Hardcover, 288 pages
Released April 26th, 2012 by Putnam
Description from Goodreads:
Kicked out for refusing to join a cult, seventeen-year-old Jamie must find a way to survive on her own.
Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right and the Real from the start, especially when the Teacher claimed he wasn’t just an ordinary spiritual leader, but Jesus Christ, himself. But she was too taken by Josh, the eldest son of one of the church’s disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh is the most popular boy at school too, and the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But getting her Dad involved in a cult was not part of the plan when she started dating Josh. Neither was her dad’s marriage to the fanatic Mira, or getting kicked out, or seeing Josh in secret because the church has deemed her persona non grata.
Jamie’s life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won’t be easy, but when her Dad gets himself into serious trouble, will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgive him?
When I went to Joëlle Anthony's book signing (read all about it HERE) she read a few pages in the beginning of the book and she read it so well, and picked such a perfect part to really show us the voice of Jamie, that I was hooked. And it really pushed me to pick the book up right away. And WOW, this book hooked me right off the bat. It was a book that every single word really mattered to me. Everything felt so important. And it's not full of constant action or anything, it is a contemporary, but it was never boring. And there was just so much beauty in this book, in her words and her subtle messages (yes, I got those messages!) that I devoured this. I would have liked to take notes, but I did one time and that pause to do so was as much as I could do, I was too busy soaking it all up.
This book takes place in Portland, which is a bonus for me since it's local and there were a few places mentioned I'm familiar with. But to be honest, it could have been any city, anywhere, and I would have connected with Jamie and her story just as well.
I loved Jamie. I'm not exactly sure why I connected with her so well, but I guess it's just Joëlle's brilliant writing and ability that brought that on because I don't really have that much in common with her. There were a few things, but I think mostly it's just that she's a character that everyone should be able to find some sort of connection with. And even when she made mistakes and I was telling her that she shouldn't do that, I got it. I knew why, I understood. And that's what's important. Characters need to make mistakes and not be perfect so we can relate to them, but we need to understand and I completely did.
There are a few subtle things in this book that I found were really important to me and I know they are important to the author as well. And that's one thing I love, when an author can incorporate things they believe in without it being obvious. Now I was going to mention a few things but I think it's important you go in to the book not knowing too much so that you can be surprised by each twist and turn.
I really hope you give this book a chance because this is definitely one of the best contemporaries I've read this year. I loved the story, I loved the writing, I loved everything about this book. It was a great emotional ride that got me riled up and angry one moment and giggling the next. Just pick it up, you won't regret it!
Find Joelle Anthony on her website, and twitter.
We currently have a giveaway running, right here on Novels, News and Notes From Your Northwest Neighbors where you can win books by Holly Cupala as well as some great swag from Joëlle Anthony. Make sure you check it out!
Disclosure: I purchased this book myself. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.
This review was written by:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.