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Sparks Fly by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Take every love-at-first-sight movie; add to that every romantic movie of falling head-over-heels in love with someone in a ...

Girls Who Pray by Evelyn Dar

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆★

So this is a book you’ll be reading at an even pace, enjoying the writing, the characters, the environment that is built so well – and bam! along comes an unexpected twist that makes the book simply exhilarating…and you almost want to start re-reading the whole thing from start again to see if you’ve missed anything.

Claire Roberts is a bestselling author who writes about mermaids. Till she doesn’t – and writes a non-fiction titled Girls Who Pray instead. She writes about the relationship between two young teenaged girls, Rachel and Sarah, in the strict, almost suffocating confines of an extremely orthodox Amish community. The story is narrated primarily from Rachel’s point of view and ends in a cliff-hanger. Claire is sued by the community she has written about. Well, not so much the community as the Bishop Zimmerman, who contends that the novel slandered a good, wholesome Amish woman’s reputation.

Rampant attraction, simmering sexuality, insane chemistry…we were enjoying the book till Rachel with her feinting to and away from Sarah got way too irritating. Especially since Sarah remained steadfast and unashamed of her vast, open love for Rachel. Our complete absorption with the book lagged with annoyance at Rachel and we started feeling that this is simply a very clever re-version of Disobedience – replace Jewish Orthodox with Amish. However, this one promised a happy ending and we laboured on, because Disobedience with a happy ending is much needed.

And then…the twist. And what a twist! With that one scene, in that instant, the book pole-vaulted into the must-read category.

The writing is so flawless that there isn’t a hint of any twist, or clues dropped about what could be anywhere – till it slams into you.

Definitely, definitely recommended.

One small peeve: A supporting character, Taylor, who’s used as something of a comic relief, is so not given her due. She is a lovely person and deserves much more love and respect than she gets in this book. That bit was so not nice.

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆★

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