Thursday, August 31, 2006

SHE’S ALL THAT by Kristin Billerbeck

SHE’S ALL THAT by Kristin Billerbeck

From the back cover:

Contemplating life, love and the pursuit of the perfect pedicure.

Best friends since Johnny Depp wore scissors for hands, "The Spa Girls" live very separate lives, but stay in touch with regular--and sometimes emergency--visits to California's Spa Del Mar. There's diamond heiress Morgan Malliard, who's self-sacrificing to a fault; alternative healer Dr. Poppy Clayton, who can't meet a man without asking about his colon; and finally, up-and-coming fashion designer Lilly Jacobs, who thinks her bad hair is the root of all her troubles.

The first novel in the Spa Girls Collection focuses on Lilly, whose coveted promotion is given to a less-talented co-worker, and who then finds her boyfriend with another girl . . . all on the same day! Lilly needs a spa weekend and then some.

But it's going to take more than a facial and a massage to fix her problems: She's given herself just six months to succeed in her dream career. She's got abandonment issues from her childhood. And a nagging grandmother, an unpredictable roommate, a vixen boss and mixed signals from three very different men certainly aren't helping matters.

What does God have in store for Lilly and her friends? Lay back, kick up your feet and escape with the gals in this great new chick-lit series by acclaimed author Kristin Billerbeck.

Camy here:

This was so much fun to read. The story was quirky and fast-paced. I also liked the glamour-non-glamour aspect of fashion, which focused on the characters rather than the industry/career like in other secular chick-lit books.

I love how Lilly is so realistic, as are her friends (both Christian and non-Christian). The spiritual struggles are very seamlessly woven into the characters and the plot. It never turned into a preachy beating over the head except at one point, but the high emotions of the moment completely explained the character’s sudden spiritual tone, and it was very believable for me.

There were some points at which I didn’t quite follow the characters’ emotions during the dialogue. Often during her interactions with Nate, I think. The dialogue moves back and forth and then suddenly she’s mad as a cat. Then a couple lines later she’s depressed. It seemed a quick transition for me, maybe because the dialogue moved so fast. It made it hard for me to feel her emotional swings, and I just had a hard time getting the emotions in the scene.

There were a LOT of characters in the book. Maybe it was just that so many of them were introduced at once—Lilly’s ex-boyfriend, his new girlfriend, Sara, the guy who took Lilly’s promotion, Morgan, her father, Poppy, Kim, Nate, Max, Nana. All within the first quarter of the book. It was hard to figure out who was a major figure and who was not.

The storylines involving Lilly’s friends and her (almost) lovers are clear and easy to follow, but they seemed to resolve in a rather hasty, choppy way. I also didn’t quite buy some of the minor characters’ reasons for their actions.

The story itself was interesting and captivating. The last half of the book is non-stop action, and I couldn’t put it down.

I think that even teenaged girls would like this story—there’s nothing really age-specific that they wouldn’t get, and nothing objectionable for parents to worry about. This is a light-hearted tale that both singles and marrieds would enjoy.

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