Fab Four Book Picks

Book reviews by the Fab Four and our Fab Friends

Monday, August 07, 2006

WHAT A GIRL WANTS by Kristin Billerbeck

WHAT A GIRL WANTS by Kristin Billerbeck (The Ashley Stockingdale series, book 1)

From the back cover:

Ever felt like the last item left on the clearance rack?

As a successful patent attorney, Ashley Stockingdale has all the makings of a perfect catch-the looks, the brains, even a convertible. But at 31, she's beginning to wonder if she's been passed over for good.

Deciding to adopt a new attitude, Ashley suddenly becomes the romantic interest of three men within a matter of days. While her heart enjoys turning the tables on the dating game, the rest of her previously predictable world is being turned upside down. Is it more than Ashley can handle? Or is it exactly what she wants?

Award-wining author Kristin Billerbeck combines comedy with spunk to create a memorable story in What a Girl Wants--an all-too-realistic picture of a single girl's search for being content with who she is...with or without a man.

Camy here:

What a Girl Wants is laugh-out-loud funny. Racy, edgy and romantic without a gratuitous sex scene every other chapter. The heroine Ashley is a real character, not a generic super-Christian woman with a sweet smile and a heart of gold who the hero instantly falls in love with (but not in lust) and wants to marry. No, Ashley is like any girl I'll meet at Valley Fair or Stanford Shopping Center.

As a post-modern Christian, I can entirely relate to Ashley. Her sassy, sarcastic attitude and neuroses are WAY too familiar. Her faith is central to her life, as indicated by her thoughts and decisions, but the way she talks about it is in language that is different from our parents' generation of Christians. The language can come across as flippant and slightly irreverent, but it's the way she makes God more real, more personal and more intimate in her life. For Ashley, God is her friend (albeit a pretty powerful and absolutely holy Friend) rather than Thou-Almighty-God-Maker-of-Heaven-and-Earth.

The book shows Ashley's spiritual journey from a more distant relationship with God to a fully submissive and joyful interaction with her Creator. It doesn't preach. It shows the actions of a woman of God who makes mistakes and needs constant guidance and direction from her Lord, which is how He wants us to be anyway. It is culturally hip and trendy, so that a world inundated by reality TV, web-access pocket PCs, and other forms of ultra-stimulation can relate and laugh and maybe even question the material things they value.

The book perfectly captures the essence of northern California--the attitudes, the environment, the ENGINEERS (I can say that since I married one). The social culture is brought to life and drawn with both love and tongue in cheek. The author brilliantly colors the ethnic melting pot that is the San Francisco Bay Area.

As a hopeless romantic, I'm sometimes left flat by many women's fiction novels, but this book has enough sparks to light the San Francisco Airport runway. I highly recommend this to any romance reader.

This is terrific entertainment, and a message suitable for those of us post-moderns who struggle with what the world says and what God wants. In Ashley, I see the other Christians of my generation who don't want to be influenced by the morals of the world we live in, but at the same time don't want to be total hermit-recluse-bananas in our own exclusive Christian circle. Ashley's discovery of how to be herself, be content, and be God's child is a worthwhile spiritual take-away.


At 3:06 PM, August 07, 2006, Blogger Camy Tang said...

Yes, I've gone old-school for today. I just haven't read a lot of good books recently.

Sorry I missed last week--RWA and all. Hopefully I'll have something for next week.


At 3:15 PM, August 07, 2006, Blogger Heather Diane Tipton said...

hey I loved this boook! It turned me onto chick lit!


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