Friday, May 5, 2017

"Flummoxed" by Kristin N. Spencer

About this book:

  “Just when Olive feels her life come together, it threatens to fall apart. Isn’t junior high supposed to be fun? After Olive’s controversial, award winning essay is published in the local newspaper, she receives threats from a stranger. When intimidation escalates to hate crime, can Olive find victory through God’s brand of love? Will the local police figure it out before someone she loves gets hurt by the mysterious stranger who wants to silence her voice?
But that’s not all she has to deal with. When Olive’s aunt gets engaged, the joy is evident until her aunt realizes that prince charming isn’t perfect. As her aunt’s struggles worsen, the tension puts pressure on every member of Olive’s family.
  When it comes to her first crush, Olive is still confused. How does God want her to deal with their budding relationship? Is there any choice that won’t result in Olive’s broken heart? Olive is more desperate than ever to understand real love.”

Series: Book #2 in the “Desires & Decisions” series. Book #1 review Here!

Spiritual Content- Many, many Prayers, thanking God, & blessings over food; Many, many Scriptures are mentioned, read, quoted, referenced, & discussed; Reading devotions (they are written out to read along); Some witnessing; Church going, youth group going, worshiping, pastors, & sermons/lessons; Easter Sunday; A home group & a lesson/discussion (about if drinking is a sin or if getting drunk is); Many, many talks about God, Jesus, praying, fear, sin, & His plans and will; Talks about dating & marrying unbelievers; The majority of ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Olive calls herself the Jesus freak of her friends’ group; Many, many mentions of God & His plans and will; Many, many mentions of prayers, praying, & thanking God; Many mentions of churches, youth group, going to both, worshiping, pastors, & sermons/lessons; Mentions of talks about God; Mentions of God’s peace; Mentions of faiths, being saved, beliefs/convictions, & Christians; Mentions of Bibles, Bible verses, & books of the Bible; Mentions of Bible reading & studying; Mentions of those & events in the Bible; Mentions of a devotional & devotions; Mentions of a church play; Mentions of Easter, Passover & the Jewish calendar; Mentions of Heaven & Hell; Mentions of blessings & being blessed; Mentions of sins, sinners, & sinning; A few mentions of a missionary family; A couple mentions of Jesus freaks; A couple mentions of hymns; A mention of VBS;
*Note: Olive’s crush/friend was raised an atheist, his parents have told him that religion people were weak and believe in supernatural fairy-tales & he doesn’t see any reason that he and Olive should share her beliefs (he does go to youth group with her once in this book); Mentions of religious people.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘crap sticks’, two ‘gah’s, two ‘stupid’s, and five ‘dumb’s; A bit of eye rolling & sarcasm; Passing out (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of 9/11, the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, & World War II; Mentions of terrorists, ISIS, anti-refugees, hate crimes, threats, a hate letter calling Olive a traitor and threats against her family; Mentions of racial slurs spray painted at a school & Olive’s garage (only one is written), prejudice towards minorities, & racists; Mentions of vandalism & threats; Mentions of violence; Mentions of arguments & threats; Mentions of bullies; Mentions of lies & lying; Mentions of drinking, drunks, alcoholics, wine, champagne, ouzo, margaritas & an event being alcohol free; Mentions of nightmares about a crash & death; Mentions of passing out & vomiting; A few mentions of stalkers; A few mentions of mean pranks & drawings (some come across as racist); A few mentions of divorces; A couple mentions of running away from home; A couple mentions of a bathroom situation & large human waste; A mention of poker;
*Note: Mentions of social medias; A few mentions of zombies (that they’re not real); A few mentions of aliens; A couple mentions of Star Wars characters.

Sexual Content- A few (hand) Touches (barely-above-not-detailed); A bit of Noticing & Smelling; Wanting to hug a guy (but Olive doesn’t because her father explained “the kind of things that happen in a boy’s mind when he touches a girl; even nice boys like Dean” and have warned her about physical affection); Olive isn’t allowed to date, but is allowed to hang out with a male friend (who they have mutual crushes on each other) with chaperones watching; five ‘hot’s; Many mentions of a dance, dates for the dance, going on dates, dating, couples, crushes, liking someone, & chaperones; Mentions of girlfriends, boyfriends, exes, & breakups; Mentions of married & engaged couples kissing; A few mentions of flirting; A few mentions of blushes; A couple mentions of honeymoons; A couple mentions of swooning; A couple mentions of a cute boy; A mention of a wedding night; A mention of a boy crazy girl; Liking someone and hanging out with him, but not dating;
            *Note: Mentions of a young girl sending photos of herself in a bra to a guy (that she’s sexual harassing him & making the text conversation a sexual nature is mentioned); Mentions of a mom worrying about how her arms look at she’s getting older (& therefore not being a good role model to her daughter, Olive); A few mentions of a man answering the door in his boxers; A couple mentions of a bully ripping a boy’s underwear with a wedgie (Olive wonders if that should be counted as sexual harassment); A few mentions of bras, supportive bras, & sport bras; A couple mentions of when Olive started her period; A mention of underwear with superpowers to hold up a strapless dress; A mention of a mini skirt (but Olive wears leggings underneath); A mention of homosexuals during World War II; A mention of sexual immorality; A mention of the woman in the Bible who was living with a man with wasn’t her husband; A mention of a pick-up line.

-Olive Callis, age 13
                         P.O.V. mainly of Olive but does switch to others’ P.O.V. (like her parents’)
                                                        272 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
{Add 1 ½ to 2 ½ stars for girls in Public School}
Just like the first book in this trilogy, there is so much faith content it’s honestly impressive, and there’s also some hot topics discussed. The topics being refugees, racism, getting a hate letter and threats, there’s also the debate of “is drinking alcohol is a sin or is getting drunk is the sin”, dating someone who isn’t a believer, and even mentions of a male friend of Olive’s getting text messages of pictures of a girl in her bra.  
Not really easy topics to discuss without coming across wrong—but, I felt I was looking at the author’s heart while reading. That said, while I might not have agreed with every single thing said, I completely give props to Olive for standing her ground for her beliefs in a respectful manner to her uncle who has a differing opinion on the topic of immigration & refugees. I relate to debating with family members on political topics so much, I was honestly crying/laughing at that part.
In my personal opinion, I didn’t feel like anything was too over the top, though. I can see where some might get upset at different topics discussed or might not want their preteens/teens reading a certain something without having discussions as a family, however.
Truth of the matter is that Olive is a sweet and caring girl. Her faith is admirable. I don’t think a reader could deny that at all. Her group of friends is a neat addition to the story and I would have enjoyed seeing more of them all. This series has been very diverse and it’s talked about topics I haven’t seen too often in Christian Fiction, and also the amount of faith content is always so nice. :)

See y’all on Monday 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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