Thursday, July 30, 2009

Review: Around the World in 80 Dates.

My latest review for the NavPress Blogger Review program!

Christa Ann Banister
Around the World in 80 Dates: Confessions of a Christian Serial Dater

Christa Ann Banister’s Around the World in 80 Dates is an enjoyable approach to Christian dating. While the subject of a late-twenty-something trying to find her Godly match and fumbling her way through first dates may sound trite, Banister has a casual and direct voice that invites the reader in and dispels any sense of irritation at the familiar topic. The reality of the main character, Sydney’s, faith is woven into the story and cannot be missed. The gospel is presented clearly between dates at P. F. Chang’s and assignments at the heroine’s travel magazine writing job. The constant reality of the woman’s faith is not obnoxious—it is endearing, imperfect, and feels real. The book deals well with both Christian and non-Christian dating contexts, and doesn’t vilify the non-Christian or exalt the perfection of a Christian partner. Banister confronts the reality that even Christian men can be jerks, and that each of us has to decide who we’ll be within the world of relationships. The supporting characters are sweet and provide an entertaining chorus that supports Sydney as she explores herself and her relationships. Banister is also careful to create a real sense of longing in her lead and several other women in the novel, but is not indulgent or depressing on these points. The only real downside to this faith-filled chick-lit is the constant appearance of brand and pop-culture references that will undoubtedly, in only a few short years, become obnoxious for a reader that doesn’t remember their context. However, this current background now will most likely entertain one reading the book. If you’re looking for a happy ending with a dose of Jesus and a few laughs, pick this one up.


melissa o said...

My favorite part... "...(she) confronts the reality that even Christian men can be jerks"

Weird. Cause mine's a saint. :) You know I'm kidding.