Friday, July 14, 2017

The Coronation: A Book Review

Today I'm honored to be a stop on Livy Jarsmuch's blog tour for the release of her newest novel, The Coronation! Yay!

Remember when I said my reading list was short because I was keeping a steady editing roster last winter? This was one of my projects! And, as far as editing projects go, this has been one of my most favorite, yet! Livy is truly budding into a beautiful author! I don't use the word 'author' lightly, either, because she is so much more than a good writer—she's great at plotting, character sketching, and creating depth and emotion with just 26 little letters.

She's got something special.

AND. I promised a book review. Not that anyone had to twist my arm for it or anything...

The Coronation is just what a modern royalty story should be. It's like Princess Diaries meets the Arnold Pent family from Ten P's in a Pod! If you're thinking, "What?! Why are there not more books about funny, big, homeschooling royal families?!", I'm right there with you!

The Coronation is centered around Addison, the eldest son and heir to the Tarsurellian throne, and the events all surrounding—before, during, and after—his coronation. The point of view throughout the book bounces between characters, giving us glimpses into what's going on in each person's thought life. I loved that bouncing perspective, especially, because everything effects different people in different ways, and sometimes we forget there are more points of view than our own. I loved seeing the excitement, nervousness, and tiny twinge of fear in Addison's heart, in preparation for his coronation, contrasted against the yearning for freedom and acceptance from some or the rebellion in others'.

The fun, modern references keep it light, and the picture so clearly painted of a King and his kids just playing around and grilling burgers in the backyard is such a quirky, unusual setting. I'll admit that I did eye it critically at first, but in the end I really loved the playful, raw quality it leant to make us feel like we knew our characters more intimately than most.

Most YA books, Christian or not, have some sort of love triangle, and I'm not saying this is an exception. But. The message is that we should wait until we're old enough to marry before perusing relationships meant to end in marriage. And, further, if a relationship is being perused without intent of marriage, it is no good. I stand behind this message so much, you can't even see me in its shadow. When's the last time that message was laid out so clearly?! In a new YA book, no less?! The lack of romantic relationships was probably one of my favorite things about this book. I know that sounds funny, but sappy romances and predictable endings where everybody falls in love are just not my thing... (says the girl obsessed with Jane Austen novels 😝).

There have been a few reviews on this book that it's leaning more worldly than some people'd like for something called a Christian title, and I want to touch on that, because I see it, too. Pop bands and fashion trends—why do they hold a prominent place in any Christian's life? Surely this is evidence of a lukewarm relationship with God... right?

Yes. And maybe that's the point.

I respect the setting, and I think any author trying to set the stage in book one for Spiritual growth later on in the series knows you can't start out at the peak of righteousness. So really, no, they're not just the most pious royal family, which maybe would be ideal, but it feels more realistic to me as it is. Giving us a super conservative, modern, royal family right from the beginning... it just starts to require too much suspension of reality (this is why, in my opinion, most very conservative Christian Fiction titles are placed in old-fashioned settings—the same stories in a modern setting wouldn't make sense, or else prove completely unbelievable).

I, personally, do tend to like more old-fashioned things (and stories), so I probably wouldn't have ever picked The Coronation up off a library shelf in the first place, but I'm glad I got to get out of my personal preference rut and read it anyways! And read it I did—I went through the manuscript three times in my phase of editing!

So, yes, to the crowd who already knows they like this setting and genre, it's gold!

And get ready, because we're starting editing on book #2 this summer! So excited to see what happens next!

So that's all I have for today.

If you're just here visiting my blog as a stop on the book tour, welcome! Please feel free to look around and read some of my personal favorite blog posts, here and here, or maybe scroll my book list posts!

Blessings! ☺

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for being part of the tour, Kimberly! And YAY for Book #2!!!


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