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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.


Emma Goiner’s pastor mother has just told the entire congregation of their church, Living Word Redeemer, that Adam was a hermaphrodite, and now her position is in jeopardy. If this wasn’t enough, Emma’s got her best friend not talking to her, a boy she’s known since childhood in love with her (and he just so happens to be the member of a family trying to oust her parents from the church board). Right now though, she’s going to head to the Crispy Dream camp, where fans are lined up to be the first customers at the new donut store. It’s her chance to write a feature story for the newspaper, and maybe score a scholarship for a non-Christian college, contrary to her parents’ wishes. And thus begins one long weekend.

This title was on my wishlist for awhile, it just sounded so good. I thought based on the summary, that it’d be a comedic story. I was wrong. While Donut Days is quite funny, it’s also a exploration of faith and family, with a realistic protagonist. As Emma tries to reconcile with the idea of her family leaving their church, she also deals with her own guilt on not being a “perfect Christian” in the eyes of the congregation, unlike her saintly little sister. I’ve never seen a teen novel approach a struggle with one’s choice in faith and beliefs, without being shelved under “teen christian fiction,” and it was refreshing to read. I was drawn to the biker gang, The Angelfire Witnesses, particularly Bear, as their appearance – rough and edgy – challenged Emma’s and possibly readers’ preconceived notions about biker gangs. As Emma accepts them instantly, it’s a testament to her character, and the very foundation of Christian ideals she follows.

This is Lara Zielin’s debut novel, and I’m really looking forward to her new book. With Donut Days, she demonstrates her knack for sharp dialogue, intriguing characters, and a fine craft.

Copy for review provided by the publisher.

Title: Donut Days
Author: Lara Zielin
Date: August 2009
Publisher: G.P Putnam’s and Sons
Pages: 256
Format: Hardback

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