Monday, August 17, 2009

Book Review and Giveaway - Nicole O'Dell's Scenarios for Girls

of the first two books in Nicole O'Dell's Scenarios for Girls series!
Scenarios Series Description:
Decisions, decisions! How is a girl supposed to choose? Lessons of right and wrong are put to the test in the Scenarios series, where you can test your decision-making abilities in an eye-opening, but safe, way. Each book follows a character up to the point where she has to make an important, life-changing decision—then it’s your turn to choose. Will your choices lead to a happy ending?
This series is authored by my friend and new critique partner, Nicole O'Dell. I'm in awe of this woman who finds the time to write with triplet babies - yes, I said triplets!
You can WIN a copy of both of these books by leaving a comment on this blog posting. I will randomly select one winner on Friday morning at 6:00 AM. The winner will be announced in my Friday post.
Now, on to the review. Here is a brief description of each book:

Lindsay Martin is faced with a tough choice: Does she give in to peer pressure and make her friends happy or does she do what she knows is right—even if it means losing her friends forever? Tween readers make the choice in this interactive story and see how the consequences change Lindsay’s life. Includes a contract and prayer to remind the reader of the importance of making godly decisions.

Drew Daniels finally has what she thought she wanted—popularity and a cute boyfriend. But now she’s faced with choosing between pleasing her boyfriend and doing what’s right. Tween readers make the choice in this interactive story and see how the consequences change Drew’s life. Includes a contract and prayer to remind the reader of the importance of making godly decisions.

MY THOUGHTS: When I first met Nicole and she told me she had written two books in a potential 8-book series for tween girls, I was thrilled to find out that those books were interactive. The Scenarios for Girls series is written specifically for tweens/teens and offers the ability to choose the story's outcome and become aware of the consequences of making poor choices. Having a 12-year-old daughter myself, the concept sounded wonderful!

The first book in the series is about standing up for what's right in the face of peer pressure from friends. Specifically, Truth or Dare deals with alcohol. If the main character, Lindsay Martin, doesn't perform her "dare" of going down to the corner store to buy a can of beer, she will be banished from her group of "friends." It all comes down to Lindsay's decision. Will she choose to give in to the pressure or say no and risk losing her friends? You decide.

The overall story is wonderful, as the issues of peer pressure and alcohol are prevalent today in junior high schools around the country. And while some of the dialogue and actions seem naiive and old fashioned to me, the message comes through loud and clear. The biblical aspect is strong and honest and Nicole does a great job of showing God's marvelous grace and mercy. Each scenario plays out nicely and leaves the reader with food for thought.

All that Glitters also deals with peer pressure, but this story focuses more on boyfriend pressure. Drew Daniels, head cheerleader, starts sneaking around with her new boyfriend, Trevor. When he invites her to a big party after the football game, Drew knows if she agrees to go, it would mean more lying to her parents. Will Drew give in to her desire to please her boyfriend or will she do what's right? You decide.

Again, great story. I especially think the "wrong choice" ending was more realistic and showed the honest consequences of teen partying. Like Truth or Dare, some of the actions and dialogue were young and old-fashioned, but that may be because I personally prefer edgier writing. But I found myself emotional during several parts, due to emotions rising up in me remembering my own teen years and the effects of my own bad choices.

The Scenarios for Girls series is recommended for girls aged 10-15, but my personal opinion is that they are suited for girls 10-12, as the stories read slightly young for a teen. Regardless, overall, this series offers a wonderful opportunity for discussion, either in a youth group or at home. These books deal with the choices and issues young girls are faced with today and the situations the characters find themselves in are ones that should be talked about.

Girls will certainly benefit from reading these two books. Look for Magna and Making Waves, books 3 & 4 in this series, to be released in April, 2010.

DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT on this blog post for your chance to WIN both of these books!

Nicole has a heart for young girls and a special passion for the relationships between mothers and daughters as they approach the teen years. She has recently created a book series, Scenarios Interactive Fiction for Girls, that is designed to help girls develop sound decision-making skills.

She also writes devotionals and other materials for women and families and loves to meet them directly at speaking engagements and ministry events.

Visit Nicole's Website


Renee S said...


These sound great, I might pick them up to have for when the girls get a little older. I like how she is going to show the girls the results for both options.


Stina Rose said...

What an interesting way to write a book...I like it! Please enter me in the drawing!
Stina Rose

K.M. Weiland said...

Sounds like a great premise for tween books. I remember loving those "choose your own adventure" books when I was young.

Dara said...

I was just gonna say the same thing as K.M.--sounds like the awesome choose your own adventure books :)

Cari said...

Lynda, 6AM drawing? Wow. I'll look forward to checking my email when I get up around 9AM. :)

Joanne Sher said...

I'm in here too (LOL just signed up for this over at Patterings too!). Really sounds good.

Colleen said...

My niece stays up half the night reading...these sound great...would love to enter to get these for her.

Cherie J said...

I would love to win these for my teenage niece. They sound like wonderful stories. Thanks for the chance to win these copies.


Nicole O'Dell said...

Thanks so much for all of the wonderful comments!

Thanks to you, Lynda, for the great review and for having me take up a spot here on your awesome blog.


Patty Wysong said...

I think my girls would LOVE these!! =) Okay, so I KNOW they would! =)

Brimful Curiosities said...

I'd love to win these for my "Mother's helper" She is at the right age to appreciate and enjoy the books and loves to read.