In The Water They Can't See You Cry by Amanda Beard
I enjoyed this memoir by four-time Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard, who competed at her first Olympics in Atlanta 1996 when she was only 14 years old. She discusses her experiences in the pool as well as her courageous battles to overcome problems out of the water-including body image issues, an eating disorder, depression, and unhealthy relationships. I love reading books by athletes, and since I used to swim competitively (although nowhere near Amanda's level) I especially liked reading the memoir of a swimmer.
The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark
This light and entertaining read is a variation of the Pygmalion story. Lucy Jo Ellis is a plain and ordinary girl from the Midwest who dreams of making it big as a fashion designer in New York. After a chance encounter with Wyatt Hayes, a prominent figure in New York City society, her dream could potentially become a reality. Wyatt makes Lucy his personal project as he spends three months coaching her on how to hold her own amongst the top-notch NYC society ladies. What begins as a simple project becomes complicated as deeper feelings develop.
Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury
I highly recommend this stand-alone novel by Karen Kingsbury. It is the story of an unlikely friendship between two high school seniors: popular cheerleader Ella Reynolds-the lead in the school play, and autistic Holden Harris-the target of bullies. After noticing Holden's love for music, Ella convinces the drama teacher to let him observe rehearsals for the spring musical, Beauty and the Beast. Ella then discovers through old photo albums that she was best friends with Holden when they were really young, and becomes curious to learn more about the kind soul that is locked inside Holden's own private world. She also stands up for Holden when her former friends from the popular crowd make fun of him. As Ella spends more time with Holden and his family, she is drawn to their strong faith in Christ that has carried them through the trials related to Holden's autism. And as Holden spends more time in the drama room with Ella, miracles through a song begin to happen. I found Unlocked to be somewhat of a Christian fiction version of Disney's High School Musical, in that a school musical helps bridge gaps and bring members of different social cliques together.
Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
I just finished this newest novel by Emily Giffin, so I have now read all six of her books. Marian Caldwell is a rich and successful television producer in New York City and is dating rich and successful TV network bigwig Peter Standish. Late one evening 18 year-old Kirby Rose appears on Marian's doorstep, and she is forced to confront the one secret she has kept from everyone except her mom for the past 18 years: the summer after high school Marian got pregnant and gave her baby up for adoption. Marian had given the adoption agency her contact info, so that the daughter she gave up could contact her after her 18th birthday if she desired. However, Marian never expected she would see this daughter again, and life as she knows it is completely changed the minute Kirby shows up. Marian and Kirby begin to develop a friendship as they both embark on a journey of self-discovery and learn who they are and what they want.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?