Right Where I Belong by Krista McGee

rightwhereibelongGenre: Young Adult, Romance
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: December 2012

Natalia Lopez has watched her father jump from one woman to another for years. After he divorces yet another wife, Natalia decides to leave her home in Spain and move with her stepmother to Florida, intending to complete her senior year of high school and focus on growing in her new-found faith. What Natalia didn’t count on was Brian Younger—the pastor’s son.

Brian is a young man with a sincere love for God and a heart for people, but Natalia, influenced by her father’s example, insists on remaining single. She refuses to fall in love only to have the man walk away, like her father. However the harder she tries to escape the handsome redhead, the more their paths collide, and it isn’t long before Natalia starts to wonder if her Heavenly Father has another plan for her life.

In a society where our young readers are constantly bombarded with books and movies devoid of moral standards, Right Where I Belong is truly a breath of fresh air. Krista McGee creates a beautiful story of surrender and following God, whether or not it’s the easy or popular thing to do.

The past few years, I’ve read several YA novels (some bestsellers) and it has disturbed me to see how the protagonists show no respect for their parents. The authors attempt to justify it by creating horrible parental figures. McGee doesn’t fall into that rut. On the contrary, through Natalia, she reminds readers that we are to honor our fathers and mothers regardless. There’s no clause that says, “If they are good and reasonable.”

A Spaniard myself who, like Natalia, left Spain at the age of seventeen to complete my senior year of high school in the US, I could really relate with her. McGee carried me back in time. I once again relived the culture shock and struggle between knowing I was where I belonged while greatly missing my family, friends, and home.

Right Where I Belong is a novel I can definitely recommend to young adults. Natalia is a good character to emulate as she continually strives to grow in her love for God and her desire to deepen her knowledge of Him. Readers should be prepared to be stretched.

Review copy received from publisher via NetGalley. Thanks!

**Originally posted on Fiction Addict.

Touch (Book 1 in the Denazen Series) by Jus Accardo

touchGenre: Young Adult
Publisher: Entangled
Publication Date: November 2011

Adrenaline junkie, Deznee Cross has one goal in life, to make her father as angry as possible. So when she stumbles across a boy near the river embankment, she takes him home. However, Kale isn’t a normal teenager. The simplest things fascinate him and he avoids contact acting like his touch is lethal. When her father returns home pointing a gun in their direction, Deznee realizes that there is more to this strange boy and to her “lawyer” father than she ever imagined.

Now on the run with Kale, Deznee’s life goes from worrying about where she’ll find her next adrenaline high or wild party to how she can stay alive. In the process, her strength and courage will be tested as her life is turned upside down and everything Deznee thought she knew will be taken from her.

X-Men meets Twilight (minus the vampires and werewolves!) in Jus Accardo’s debut novel, “Touch,” the first book in the Denazen Series. Deznee is the typical ignored daughter acting up to get daddy’s attention. Kale is the tortured, naïve boy that gives her a new outlook on life.

“Touch” is a fast-paced thriller that keeps the adrenaline pumping and the pages turning. This is a book that will appeal to readers who enjoy stories with mutants and villains. That being said, while it is clearly written for a younger audience, mature content keeps me from recommending this book especially to those on the lower end of the young adult spectrum. Readers should be aware of some vulgar language, underage drinking, and sex before picking up this novel. Though all of them may be part of many teenagers’ daily lives, I cannot, with a clear conscious, recommend a book that contains these to a young audience. They were not necessary for the plot and the lack of vulgar language, drinking, and sex would have made the novel both YA adult friendly and more about romance than lust.

Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!

**Originally posted on Fiction Addict.