Saturday 3 December 2016

An Unexpected Role- Leslea Wahl

An Unexpected Role
Leslea Wahl
eLectio Publishing

ISBN 9781632133045
eISBN 9781632133052

This was the second book by Leslea Wahl I have read in the last month. It was a nice surprising read. A little bit mystery, a little bit, romance, and a bit of coming of age. But all of that is written around a young woman who is away from her family and figuring out who she really is?  Who she wants to be? And who has a growing faith. One of the key criteria I have when judging young adult books, or really any book for that matter is would I want to read it with my children when it is age and maturity appropriate? Can I recommend it to parents of tweens or the tweens I know? This book gets a resounding yes! 

Leslea Wahl writes in a very easy and engaging style. Her books that I have read to date and specifically this book are what I would categorize as realistic fiction.  Or books much like Madeleine L'Engle's Chronos books, the Austin Family Chronicles. There is nothing supernatural, extraordinary, about this book. It is very grounded. As I stated it is 'realistic fiction'.  I read this book over a few days, there were a few twists in the mystery plot that I had completely guessed wrong. It is good when a mystery throws you a bit. The style of Wahl's written creates enjoyable characters and the protagonist is very relatable.  It is also interesting reading a story where the main characters is a teen daughter of a writer, who often includes her mishaps in her books. 

The big problem in our book is that Josie's mom has gone from writing middle-grade books to writing teen or young adult books. And after her first book in this style comes out Josie is relentlessly harassed by students from school. Yet this time there is nothing in the book that was actually taken from her life. It gets so bad that Joie flees home in Colorado to spend the summer with her Aunt, a painter in South Carolina. Living on an island, and spending days on the sand sounds like just what Jose needs. That is until her first night there and she runs into one of the jocks from back home, Ryan McNaulty. But with a rash of robberies on the island, Josie and Ryan team up to try and help the locals and solve the crimes. But the scuba instructor also has his eye on and plans for Josie for the summer.

This book deals with a number of issues both big and small. Learning to face being bullied, true friendship, standing up for what is right, respect for veterans. And also learning to apply your faith in day to day life. It was interesting watching Josie get post cards from her mother with bible verses written on them. To see her memorize them, and recall other verses in times of need. Her Catholic faith is growing throughout the novel. The book however is not preachy in any way the Christian message in the novel is subtle, no bible thumping.

This was a great fun read. And I really look forward to sharing it with my girls in a few years when they are a little bit older. An excellent read and I look forward to more book by Wahl in the future.

Books by Leslea Wahl:
The Perfect Blindside
An Unexpected Role
Where You Lead
Unlikely Witness

eXtreme Blindside
Christmas Angel 
Contributed to:
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books

Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens
Treasures: Visible & Invisible 8 Stories for Teens
The Gift of the Angel Tree 

(Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)

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