Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Review Wednesday - The Perfect Blindside

Happy Wednesday!

Our weather is nothing but hot here in Fort Worth. We hope and pray for rain and cool air. Regardless, we are very blessed. As I shopped for items to put in the bags that Catholic Charity volunteers will hand out to the homeless, I thanked God for all I had - even if I think, sometimes it is not enough. Sigh.

I am getting quicker at reviewing books. I mean - I only got this one two months ago (if you remember my last review for Cathy Knipper of Pauline Books & Media, it took 6 months. Sigh. I am so thankful that she sends me these books and asks my opinions. What a blessing!

Today, I am reviewing The Perfect Blindside by Leslea Wahl. Before I start the review, I want to share a couple of links with you:

Lesley Wahl's Site
Goodreads Giveaway of The Perfect Blindside (this is actually Ms. Wahl's site too, but the information about the giveaway is there... and who doesn't like a chance to win a book?!)

I really enjoy reviewing books for teens because my son is about to turn twelve and I want to make sure I have "the right kind of books" here for him to read. Sure, we love all the classics, but as our Priest said on Sunday (paraphrased), 'As parents teaching your children about our Faith and morality, starts with you, at home. The love of God in your children's hearts; the teaching of virtue and commandments ALL start with you.' My immediate thought was - "NO PRESSURE!"

It is with that in mind that I know my husband and I have to make sure our almost teen is presented with the right type of reading material.  We do not believe in isolating him from society, but we do believe in insulating. He plays baseball and takes karate and is around non-homeschooled children on many occasions. Even when watching appropriate TV shows, he sees commercials we would rather him not see. He asks a lot of questions and we have constant dialogue.  

I have to be honest, at first, the chapters going back and forth between perspectives of the main characters Jake and Sophie, put me off. Chapter 1 was Jake's perspective, Chapter 2 was Sophie's perspective... back and forth it went. But after the second chapter, I got it... and I really liked it. It's different and frankly, I hope there are more books coming about these two and their little town.  

This book is about good, old-fashioned mystery solved by two teenagers that could not have misjudged one-another more... and I love it!  We talk to our children about expectations and judgments. We tell them that things are not always what they seem... that people are not always what we perceive... that situations that may seem ______ could turn out to be ______. You just NEVER know until you get to know someone or go to the _______________. I left those blank intentionally because there are a zillion things any one of you may put in those blanks.

The two main characters are:
  1. Jake. Olympic Snowboarder with a silver medal. Egotistical. Teen sensation. Struggling with all the normal teen stuff AND how to manage fame. His parents moved him to a little town in Colorado in an effort to shield him from fame. And he's torn between being cool in everyone's eyes AND wanting to fit in like everyone else.
  2. Sophie. Honors student. Budding Photographer/Reporter. Small town sweetheart. Judgmental and a little bit OCD. She and her best friend Kate are like so many teen girls. It made me smile when they planned their first day of school outfits (we all used to... awww).

There are many twists and turns in this classic story about two people so determined not to like one-another that it becomes all they think about. They struggle with jealousy and insecurity. They struggle with their families, who are really good families (but teens struggle with authority figures).  They struggle with other teens at school (you know, some teens can be so cruel).

Through a series of unexpected events these two teens have to work together, learn to trust each other, and be humble enough to do God's will... in order to save Jake's reputation and their small town from a drug ring.  SO exciting!

This book is about learning virtues; appreciating the talents God gave us, and working together for the betterment of God and His people.  And this book is a great book to have your teens read. The way Mrs. Wahl writes is exceptional. 

I highly recommend it. I'm so thankful I read it!

Blessings all,


  1. Good review Emily, I agree with you that it is necessary that learning values begins at home. I find it hard to find decent fictional books just for light reading for the adult. I am happy to see someone is writing for the youth so they will discern without even realizing it. This will build up as they grow and learn that garbage in is garbage out. Good decent books spark the imagination in a good wholesome way.

    1. That is what is key, isn't it? Good, wholesome books.
      There are several Catholic Authors concentrating on teens. Great books.

  2. You are absolutely correct... Leslea Wahl has done a tremendous job weaving a story teens will enjoy and that contains values/morals. Fantastic debut novel!


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