Wednesday, January 11, 2017

"In Search of Livi Starling" by Karen Rosario Ingerslev

About this book:

  “Despite her best efforts, Livi Starling will probably never make the history books. Her life is far too ordinary. Unless you count her talent for animal noises, her inability to tell the truth, her insatiable desire for a mother, or the fact that her only friend is a painfully shy Jesus-Freak who collects banana stickers.
  Having been brought up in the sleepy countryside by her older sister, Livi is endlessly curious about the great life she could have had and takes no time in reinventing herself upon their arrival in a new city. However, her quest for greatness is about to be disrupted by two small things:
  Her father is just around the corner.
  She is not who she thinks she is.

Book #1 in the “Livi Starling” series.

Spiritual Content- John 8:32 at the beginning; Scriptures are read, quoted & mentioned; Livi tries reading the Bible near the end; Some prayers (two that start off “God if you’re real..”); Going to church, a sermon & listening to the music; Being witnessed to; Thinking about God; Talks about God, the meaning of life, believing, faith, sins, & creation; ‘H’s are not capital when referring to God; Livi isn’t sure God is real & if He is, wouldn’t like her; Livi starts to wonder about God half-way through the book & realizes she’s angry at Him; Livi & Jill are invited to church, but do not go together (they say they’re not religious); Ruby says Jesus is her best friend and talks about Him & things He did; *Spoiler* Livi wants to believe in God near the end, but when her sister says she still doesn’t, Livi doesn’t either. At the very end, though, Livi asks Ruby what to do. *End of Spoiler*; Mentions of God & Jesus; Mentions of talking to God, prayers & blessings over food; Mentions of Bibles & reading; Mentions of those & events in the Bible; Mentions of a painting of Jesus on the cross; Mentions of a church, church bulletins, church going & being invited; Mentions of Christians; Mentions of Heaven; Mentions of saving others from the fires of Hell & going to Hell; Mentions of Christmas and a nativity; Mentions of a Religious Studies class & pretending to be Jewish and a rabbi; A couple mentions of Mother Teresa; A mention of someone being a saint;
*Note: Jill says she believes in evolution; Livi calls her sister “a highly evolved monkey”; Livi thinks at one point that she is nothing & lives for a moment in a vastness of the universe and then will die; A mention of the afterlife; A mention of a child of the devil; A mention of a death angel; A mention of an atheist; A mention that Ruby doesn’t believe dinosaurs loved millions of years before humans; A mention of those who believe animals roamed the earth for millions of years; A mention of asking “what will humans evolve into in a million years time?” (she gets no answer); A couple mentions of in a billion years something will happen; A couple mentions of a boy blaspheming Jesus; A couple mentions of a poster of Muslims & Livi keeping her options open; A couple mentions of connecting to the universe through nature; A few mentions of prayer against the devil, a prayer dance & not believing in the devil; A few mentions of starting a religion; Mention of evil people; Mentions of millions of years, evolution, monkeys & evolving from animals (Livi starts to question it in the middle of the book); Mention of ghosts; Mentions of a spot of mold that looks like Jesus; Mentions that God hates Halloween and having a Light party instead.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: two ‘flipping’s, three ‘shut up’s, eight forms of ‘dumb’, twelve forms of ‘idiot’, and 47 forms of ‘stupid’; A bit of sarcasm; Eye rolling; Lies & Lying; Mentions of curses (said or cut off, not written ); Mentions of deaths, dying, murderers, murders, killing & being killed; Mentions of horror, murders, murderers & gore (also, Livi tells (lies) to a teacher that she saw a man murder his wife); Mentions of an alcoholic, whiskey & drinking; Mentions of dead animals (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of frozen lambs/sheep & cooking them; Mentions of eating animals & meat; Mentions of a bar, pubs, drunks, beer (and a beer-belly) & pints; Mentions of hitting & blood (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of lies & lying; Mentions of hatred & hating someone; Mentions of gossip & rumors; Mentions of jealousy; A few mentions of bullies; A few mentions of fake blood; A few mentions of kidnappings; A few mentions of nightmares; A few mentions of peeing in a hat; A couple mentions of suicides; A couple mentions of cannibals; A couple mentions of a boy peeing on a wall; A couple mentions of picking at scabs; A couple mentions of throwing up; A couple mentions of divorce; A mention of terrorists; A mention of sucking up; A mention of fake IDs; A mention of smoking; A mention of a boy who ate his scabs;
*Note: A mention of making peace signs in a picture; A mention of the grim reaper; A mention of Marilyn Monroe; A couple mentions of Doctor Who; Mentions of Big Foot & the Loch Ness Monster; Mentions of Hitler, Nazis & those they murdered.

Sexual Content- Jill never met her father (Livi thinks Jill was a mistake, since their mom was 16 when she had Jill); Livi’s parents weren’t married (she asks if she was an accident and gets no official answer); *Spoiler* Livi starts to wonder if Jill is actually her mother, she’s not. Livi does learn that Jill was forced to have an abortion (to which Livi is shocked and asks “You killed a child?”, and learns her father was the baby’s father as well. Jill says he took the thing she really didn’t want to give away.) *End of Spoiler*; Mentions of kissing & kisses; Mentions of dates, dating & boyfriends: Mentions of flirting; Mentions of fancying someone & who fancies who; A few mentions of a wife leaving her husband due to years of suspected infidelity; A mention of being friends with nice-looking boys; A mention of a teacher dating a student; A mention of someone acting like a lovesick puppy;
            *Note: A mention of a breast; A mention of a period; A few mentions of hormones; A mention of rather running naked around a place than to ask someone for a favor; A couple mentions of being naked.

-Livi Starling, age 14
                                      1st person P.O.V. of Livi
                                                 268 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
Honest-to-goodness, this was nothing like what I was expecting. I didn’t realize it was set in the UK which was a neat thing, but all the bonus footnotes added to the charm of this first-person point-of-view book. Sure, there were some parts I wasn’t a fan of—one being Livi lying so much. I’m having a hard time trying to think what age range this would be for…Livi did seem very immature at many times, but there also was content that I don’t think would be the best for younger girls. While this might not have been my favorite cup of tea, I did really like the ending. :)

See y’all on Friday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Author for this honest review.

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