Monday, February 13, 2012
First Date by Krista McGee
First Date is loosely based on Esther. Unlike Hadassah (link to review), which sticks faithfully to the story and time period, First Date is a much looser interpretation of the story. The story is shifted forward to our time period and the king becomes the President's son Jonathon. Apart from allusions to the names (Hank for Haman, Mike for Mordechai, etc) and broadly similar events (attempted assasination), the story is more like a "first love" story than a Biblical story.
What I liked most about First Date was Addy (based on Esther). I can relate to her completely. If I were in her shoes, I would be even grumpier. Like her, I have a problem with my temper, and I can relate to her fears of what will happen when people find out she's a Christian. Basically, all her flaws made me like her. Plus, I can really empathise with her.
The only problem I have with the story is its ending. I don't know why, but everywhere I look (ok, on almost any disney show with a competition in it), it seems that it's no longer acceptable to have the protagonist win first place. Nooo, she has to place second. And why? To prove that life isn't a bed of roses? But since the protagonists are (ideally) not Mary-Sues, then we're already rooting for them to win. Just watch Sister Act 2. I'm fairly sure they won and I'd been crushed if they came in second place.
To make things worst, it has to be the nastiest girl (Lila) who won. If she had to lose, why not let her best friend (Kara) in the competition take first place? It makes sorta-logical sense for Lila to win (read the book to find out why), but since it was done by voting, Kara could have won. And seeing how popular Addy was with America throughout the competition, it doesn't make much sense that she lost.
But apart from the ending, which only irked me because it was exactly like the others, this book was excellent. It's one of the few ebooks that I couldn't put down (others include Camy Tang's Protection for Hire and Andrew Van Wey's Forsaken) at night.
Disclaimer: I got this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.