Friday, January 6, 2017

Review: Snowbirds by Crissa-Jean Chappell

Book info:
Author:  Crissa-Jean Chappell
Genre:  YA Contemporary
Published:  January 18th, 2017
Source:  Review copy from author
My rating: 4.5 stars

Crissa-Jean Chappell is one of my favorite authors, I will read anything that she writes.  This was another really great book.  I haven't read much about the Amish, and this book really had a lot of interesting bits to it, and I learned some things I didn't know.  Of course I'd heard about Rumspringa, I mean there was some reality tv show about it at one time, right?  

The main character in the story is a girl named Lucy, who lives in Florida with a much less strict order of the Amish.  They are allowed many things that the other Amish that are called the "Old Order" would never be okay with.  Every year during winter the northern Old Order Amish, who they call the "snowbirds" arrive in Florida and  spend the winter there.  Lucy's best friend is one of the snowbirds.  Her name is Alice.  Alice is 16, and it is time that she can have her Rumspringa, and also decide if she wants to stay with the religion, the community.  But from how Alice is behaving, it seems as if she will not be staying.  In fact she tells Lucy that she is going to run away.  Not only that, but she has a boyfriend she is meeting there, Tobias.  While Lucy's order is much more lenient, she still has a strict father.  Because of how much more accepting the Florida order is, she also does not get a Rumspringa, although she must decide whether to be baptized, which will decide if she can stay with the order.  Lucy is unsure herself because she wants to go to college.  Her father does not want her to.

When Alice gets to town, she basically dares Lucy to go out to a party that night.  Lucy goes, with Tobias and a guy named Faron who is driving the truck they use to get to the party.  At one point along the way, Lucy hears Tobias talking to Faron and she gets to see a side of Tobias that is not one she trusts, one that she thinks Alice shouldn't trust.  Faron is Amish as well, but he is shunned by his order.  That night at the party, the police show up, and everyone runs.  Lucy and Alice have already been split up because Alice is drinking and doesn't seem to like how Lucy is bringing her down.  

Faron helps Lucy get away from the police, and later on they still can't find Alice, she's disappeared.  It turns into a mystery, everyone searching for her, and there isn't any trace of what happened other than a broken cell phone.  When even Alice's mother seems to give up on finding her, Lucy refuses.  She has to find her friend, or what happened to her.  Faron will be her partner in the search, and she will learn not only a lot about what her friend's life really was, but she will learn more about herself and what she wants, as well as learn about Faron and maybe fall in love.  

As I mentioned above, I really enjoyed learning about the whole Amish community, at least as much was in this book.  The characters were so well written, and you really felt for Lucy and her father, and I really liked Faron.  A great read, another book I will be adding to the shelf in my high school library and promoting at the bookstore where I work as one of my staff picks.  Thanks again to the author for sending me an ARC of this when I asked her about it.  Chappell writes such meaningful characters in contemporary YA stories with the aspect that makes them a very real story. 

Now, I've posted the cover above that seems to be what is going to be published.  But I honestly liked the first cover I saw, the one that is on my ARC, so I've posted it below.

Her first book, Total Constant Order, is what grabbed my attention, but it was before I was blogging, so I don't have a review to share.  But you can check out my reviews of her other books at the links below: