Skip to main content

Amen, L.A.

Amen, L.A. is a YA contemporary novel by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld.

Seventeen-year-old Natalie Shelton is used to being a minister's daughter in ordinary Minnesota, but after her Mom is offered a more lucrative position at the Church of Beverly Hills they pack up and head to California.

It's a bit of a culture shock - but her sister Gemma and brother Chad are loving it. They're living in Ricardo Montalban's old mansion with a view of the ocean and finding themselves befriended by rich kids galore.

Yet Natalie finds herself also making enemies, and managing to become friends with the one girl she's told not to. But she's a good girl and she has morals. Surely the glitz, glamour, and partying of Beverly Hills won't manage to suck her in.


I found Amen, L.A. to be a refreshing change from the usual Gossip Girl type fare. Instead, we get a girl as our main character who has real morals and is struggling with the fact that she compromised one of her big ones right before leaving Minnesota (in just the first few pages of the book).

What's also nice about Nat is that the authors don't go the cliche route and make her a wide-eyed naivete but a smart, mature girl that recognizes the behavior of L.A., just doesn't want to embrace it. She has a kindness to her, as well as an occasional sarcastic streak, that makes her more willing to give second chances. And the fact that the authors make Nat a Christian is almost shocking in YA literature, sadly. But it's very, very cool to get a different perspective in what can often be a very tired and overused setting.

The narrative style of Amen, L.A. is also unique in that Nat is almost talking directly to us in first-person. I couldn't help but smile at the direct tips to the reader to watch the movie Clueless (I second that) and read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (again, I second that). Without being rude or snobbish, Amen, L.A. reveals the superficialities that sometimes come with wealth and beauty, as well as the hypocrisy that can come with being outside of it. This is a sunny, fast-paced book with a conscious and a pulse on issues.

Glittering with sunshine and incredible cars, Amen, L.A. is a mixture of fun and fallout as it follows bad decisions and new decisions - and looks like a series I'll be wanting to follow-up on!


Popular posts from this blog

Real Live Boyfriends

Real Live Boyfriends is a YA contemporary novel by E. Lockhart, and the fourth novel in the Ruby Oliver quartet.

Here we are on the last day of “Ruby Oliver Week” and if you aren’t already reading these books – well, why not?

But I’m more than sure most of you are – and hopefully you’re all caught up, and therefore not at risk of being spoiled by my review of Real Live Boyfriends. You’ve been warned!

Ruby Oliver is beginning her senior year of high school with a real live boyfriend: Noel.

At least she thought she was.

After having spent the rest of junior year and the beginning of summer being fully in love (okay, they never actually said the word, but the vibes were strongly in that direction), Ruby is now confused.


When Noel went to visit his brother in New York for a while, almost every day they talked on the phone and exchanged funny emails. She never once felt insecure.

Until all of a sudden – communication stopped. Ruby would call and he wouldn’t answer. She’d leave a voice mai…

Titanic: S.O.S.

S.O.S. is the third and final book in Gordon Korman's middle-grade Titanic trilogy.

This is the third book in a trilogy, book addicts! You must, I repeat, must read the first two books (Unsinkable and Collision Course) before you read this review. Otherwise you are just going to ruin all the twists! Sure, we know the Titanic sinks - but the surprises that are revealed about our characters, among other things, should not be spoiled!

But all of you that have read the first two books (which I hope are many of you, because this a great series), can rest assured that I won't spoil anything from S.O.S. itself - just a basic recap and my opinion.

Here goes:

The Titanic is sinking. No one wants to believe it, but the bow is almost imperceptibly starting to dip into the freezing Atlantic Ocean - and our four main characters are thrown into a race for survival.

Paddy is locked up below deck, having finally been caught as a stowaway. In one cell over are the very criminals that wish him dead…


Why hello there, loyal readers!

It's been a long, long time since I last wrote about a new novel - or wrote much of anything original. Life has definitely changed for me in many ways, changing how and where I devote my time.

But... whaddya know? I managed to finally finish a book!

Gardenia is a YA genre mash of murder mystery with a dash of sci-fi/fantasy, written by author Kelsey Sutton.

When Ivy's best friend died, it wasn't a surprise to her.

Because, ever since she was little, Ivy has seen the numbers over everyone's heads. Their countdown, if you will.

But she didn't know the cause of her best friend's death would be... murder.

Labled as a bit of an outcast, due to her odd behavior and reaction to Vanessa's death, Ivy finds herself more alone than ever as she is determined to find her friend's killer.

And she doesn't have much time, herself... as she's known her whole life.

Now, she realizes, it may be that she may give up her life to catch…