- Title(s): Just a Little Faith
- Author: Amy J. Norris
- Series: N/A
- Genre(s): Contemporary, Inspirational
- Publisher: Astraea Press, May 2012
- Source: Amazon ($2.99 ebook)
- Length: 237 pages
- Trope(s): Celebrity & Commoner, Halo Heroine, Magical Bible Verse, You’re Not Worthy Enough For My Love Until You’re As Godly As Me
- Quick blurb: Jaded ballplayer Sebastian finds personal and spiritual renewal when he meets Paxson, a shy but intriguing non-profit organizer.
- Quick review: Promising first half, blah/blech/oh-NO second half.
- Grade: C
Once again, I get the squee bucket ready, and then…. Never mind. *~*SIGH*~*
The completely believable set-up, likeable characters, and low-key spiritual themes carried me through the first half. I came >thatclose< to giving this a B- because it’s definitely memorable, and I loved the meet-cute and early relationship-building.
Maybe she was boring him to tears? Was this his standard behavior? If so, his looks must be what attracted others to him, because as far as Pax could tell, his conversation skills were clearly lacking.
Sebastian turns out to be a good beta hero, and Pax even has some fun with her internal prayers:
“And also, give me the strength not to kill Sebastian when this is over. I don’t think the team would appreciate him not being there this season.”
But then the tragedy and the angst and the drama went into overdrive, and the “oh no, please please please don’t go there” moments became more frequent. The tone of the story completely changed from an intimate character study to a generic sermonizing soap opera.
It was a precarious path she was treading down. How do I show Seb Your love for him without entangling myself into a web of emotions I might never escape?
Somehow showing Seb the distinction between going to church for her, and going with the intent of worshipping God could be difficult.
QUESTION: How will she know when this transformation takes place? Will God send her a text message?
More than that, she needed to decide if waiting on Seb to change was worth the turmoil raging in her heart.
When the heroine started polishing that holier-than-thou halo, I almost quit reading, but I managed to make it to the end. Unfortunately, that wasn’t a good thing, because I hate the “Magical Bible Verse” trope, and this was a particularly cringe-worthy example in the form of a page-long speech by the newly-FULLY-repentant hero, who is FINALLY God-ified enough for Her Holiness the Heroine.
I’m finding that the “You’re Not Worthy Enough For My Love Until You’re As Godly As Me” trope — which I detest even more than the Magical Bible Verse — is much more prevalent in contemporary inspirationals than historicals, which makes me very reluctant to try new inspie authors.
I read inspirationals because I love stories of faith and doubt and trust and redemption. But those elements need to happen on both sides of the h/h relationship to make it worth reading about in the pages of a novel.
[NOTE: I gave a little extra credit for that lovely cover.]