Sydney and Calvin Have a Baby: A Book Review

One of the coolest things about blogging is getting free books in exchange for sharing my honest opinion of them here.  As I might have mentioned, I love books.  I love them so much that I have big stacks of them and so sometimes I don’t review them as quickly as I am supposed to.
But not this one! Sydney and Calvin Have a Baby has such a compelling premise that I could hardly wait to read it.  And since William had to have a root canal this week, I had a perfect opportunity to do it all in one sitting.  In fact, I had just a few pages left and I read them while sitting in the Arby’s drive-thru on the way home because I just HAD to know what happened.
I read a lot of young adult novels because my daughter loves the genre and brings them to my attention. But this one is different for a couple of reasons–one, it’s a specifically Catholic novel, and two, it starts with a rape and ends with a baby.
That’s pretty heavy stuff for a teen novel, and let’s throw in a couple of deaths, an orphan, mean girls, a close call at the abortion clinic, and dysfunctional families aplenty.  But the lovable, quirky main characters and the fresh narrative voice (Calvin, whose British accent you can almost hear) add humor and humanity without ever glossing over the truly terrible events in the story.
Perhaps when you think of a Catholic novel you imagine characters who pray all the time, lots of priests and nuns, and plenty of preaching.  That’s not what you’ll find here.  The Catholicism is mostly background–the kids go to a Catholic school, the families are nominally Catholic in that they go to Mass on Sunday and not much else.  The only truly devout Catholic we see is Calvin, and the Catholic heart of the story is in its redemptive message.
I enjoyed this novel so much that I would love to read more about Sydney and Calvin.  I would especially recommend it for a Catholic youth discussion group.

Author:  Adrienne Thorne

Publisher:  Gracewatch Media

Use the above link, or the one in the first paragraph, to purchase this book, and I will receive a small commission.

What We're Reading Wednesday

I’m linking up with Housewifespice for What We’re Reading Wednesday!
what we're reading
Maybe I should call it What I’M Reading Wednesday because I don’t know what else anyone else is reading.  John usually has about five books going at once.  Emily reads about a book a day.  She visits the library regularly, and Young Adult is her favorite genre, especially fantasy.  As far as I can tell, the only thing Jake ever reads is Tolkien.  Teddy has not read for pleasure (to my knowledge) since the last Harry Potter book came out.  William reads all the time, but not books.  The computer provides his information.  Lorelei would rather watch t.v. than read.  Where did I get these children?
So here’s what I am reading!
act of contrition
I finally started reading this (after it was already overdue at the library . . . sigh).  It’s the story of a love affair between an intellectual and sophisticated widow and a divorced devout Catholic man.   This is set (I presume) in the 50s, when annulments were rare and in his case hopeless.  He has just asked her to marry him and as yet she does not know what this means for him.  I don’t see this one headed for a happy ending, folks.  The prose is beautiful and the story is interesting.  It’s told from the woman’s point of view, and her hostility toward the Church, her inability to comprehend it and her lover’s relationship to it, are fascinating for a Catholic to read.  This is a Janice Holt Giles novel, posthumously published because it was considered too controversial at the time it was written.  In these times, it seems quaint.

Yes, I really did read the whole opinion in the Hobby Lobby matter.  I did not want to weigh in on the debate based on either personal belief on the underlying issue or headlines I read on the internet.  It’s about 90 pages long and I encourage you to read it too if you want to have an informed opinion.

I’m still making my way slowly through all the Anne of Green Gables books, in whatever order strikes my fancy.  This is one I did not discover until I was grown up (although some of the events are alluded to in Anne of Ingleside, which was actually written later).  I’m glad I didn’t.  This is a story of the World War I years for those left behind in Canada–the only such account told from a woman’s perspective, or so I read recently.  It’s an interesting bit of history as well as a good story, but of course it’s very sad and I doubt it would have appealed to me as a child when I still believed people could live happily ever after. (It does have a happy ending, however!)
Finally, I just finished reading Michelle van Loon’s book on regret.  Please read my reflection on it here, and you can also enter my giveaway for you own copy by commenting on that post.  The giveaway ends tomorrow, and entries have been few so your chances are really good!
Looking for more great reads?  Check out the rest of the linkup here!