"Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all."-Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Becoming Bayley by Susan Auten

Grade: A+
Rating: PG+
Recommendation: Read it.  NOW.

I have probably read this book about five times now. Really, I'm not kidding.  When I want to read something good, I grab this book and flip open to just about anywhere and let myself get sucked into its pages.

This is one of those books that I wish more people knew about, because it is just so good!  At this time I believe it is only available via e-book and it makes me so sad/mad because it is honestly one of my top five favorite books I've read to date and I'd really like it sitting on my bookshelf (my real one, not my virtual one).

When I first read the set-up and say the cover, I really thought it was a YA book, marketed to LDS youth between the ages of 12-19. And it is, but THIS BOOK IS SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. 

What I liked:


The way Auten writes is like vanilla ice cream smothered in hot-fudge with a red cherry on top... Divine.  She has this way of creating characters that aren't perfect, who are struggling, but are just so real and likable and just perfect. I fell in love with the whole cast. Well, everyone except for Matt's mom.  I loved Bayley.  She felt like a real person to me.  I could picture her going away to soccer camp and getting all dolled up for the dance, I could see her strained relationship with her sister.  I could FEEL her pain each step of the way.  And I fell in love as she fell in love.

And Matt.  Ahh Matt.  More than most book boyfriends, he felt like a real guy to me.  He was so cute, especially with Bayley.  And even better, he surprised me a few times.  I liked all the sides of him I got to see:  Pre-mission, soccer player, son, brother, post-mission... Loved that. He did a few things I wanted to shake him for, but that just made him seem that much more real.  I loved him.

Really, I loved all the characters, but what made this story really special was the storyline and the challenges they encountered along the way.

What I didn't like:

I have nothing to say at all about the story. Loved the beginning, middle and end.

But...Here's the thing.  The cover is beautiful and yes, the book is about soccer, but it's also not, I mean it is, but it's just so much more than just soccer.  It's about Bayley, and her struggles and her quest to find herself, her worth and of course her love story. While the cover is absolutely beautiful, I don't think it does enough justice to the story and unfortunately might  dissuade some readers from buying the book. Ah, I hate saying that because it really is pretty, it just made me think more YA, less LDS romance/BYU.  So when you look at the cover, I want you to picture the back of a gorgeous brunette girls head looking in the mirror, but what she sees is a red-headed girl losing all her hair.  Now on her wall is a poster of all the cute BYU men's soccer team, front and center is her love interest and on her desk is a stack of mail missionary mail and on the floor is a well loved soccer ball.  Okay, that pretty much sums the story up for me... Kinda, sorta?  Okay, I suck at cover art.  But what I'm trying to say is that this story has so much too it than just a soccer ball.

So buy the book and thank me later.   I promise, if you love LDS Romance, you will love this book, there's just no way you won't love it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow.

    Best. Review. Ever.

    I'm so glad Melanie tagged me on Facebook. Trust me, I wish it was a regular book sitting on a shelve as badly as you do. I'm so glad you felt all the things I was hoping you'd feel as you invested time in Bayley's journey. I will post this on my blog and on Facebook!


    Susan Auten