Saturday, September 13, 2008

Renaissance Beauty Heather Simonsen

Avery Rose takes a trip to Italy with her grandparents after her high school graduation. They wander around Florence and while in the Uffizi Gallery falls in love with a painting of Lucrezia Panciatichi. On returning home from her trip to Italy she enters Relief Society, and starts college. Then the Relief Society president asks her to help Katelyn Jamison, who has become pregnant out of wedlock. Avery finds this assignment a challenge, as she and Katelyn didn’t really walk in the same crowds during high school, but as Avery explores the true meaning of beauty and love she learns to become the person she wants to be.

The beginning of this book was a little hard for me to get through. The writing was a bit choppy and some scenes awkwardly executed. I wasn’t sure that I would want to finish it, but then Avery’s trip to Italy ended and the book started to get more interesting. It was interesting to see Katelyn struggle with the decision to give her baby up for adoption, and to see Avery grow and become a better person despite her weaknesses. It was nice that the book didn’t make the adoption black and white, but treated the situation with the complexity that it deserved. There is also a really cute romance between Avery and her best friend Barclay, who has lived across the street from her. I wasn’t extremely into that part of the book, but I can see a lot of young girls swooning. I really wished the book was more polished, and didn’t like it extremely well. Though, I did end up getting into the story line and caring about the characters.

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