Thursday, February 6, 2014

I LOVE This New Book for Girls

A Review of "Family Reunion" by Kelsey Bryant (Buy from Amazon)

Every word, every moment matters … Welcome to the Austin Family Reunion! 14-year-old Marielle Austin’s parents and grandparents are hosting family for a week in the Texas hill country, and Marielle’s five girl cousins are staying at her house. Emma and Caroline are her best friends – like her, they’re homeschooled and passionate about the Lord, the past, and books. Abby, Kailey, and Reanna are from Wisconsin and just as far away in background and interests – what’s hot in the world now is what matters to them. Grandpa Will Austin has devised a series of projects for the six of them to complete. There’s a shed to fix up, a missionary to interview, and a trail of clues to solve, leading to a treasure. If they finish by the end of the week and work together with love and understanding, they’ll earn a prize beyond anything they could imagine! But difficulties surface right away. Bad attitudes and work ethics seem all Abby, Kailey, and Reanna can offer. Marielle, Emma, and Caroline are at a loss – what can they do to push the projects through? And more importantly, what can they do about their cousins, who won’t welcome their friendship? How can they show love when it’s hard even to feel it? Will the mysterious prize slip away, and with it any chance of relationship? This book, recommended for ages 12 and up, helps instill the importance of loving others, understanding differences between people, and focusing on what we have in common. Small things matter and every day counts when it comes to building good relationships. (Description from Amazon)

When I first heard about this book, I was pretty sure I'd found a gem. Then, when I won a copy from a Homeschool Authors giveaway and began reading it, I knew for a fact I had found a rare gem.

What do I love so much about "Family Reunion"?
  • It's a story set in a very normal world--just regular, everyday drama, folks!
  • It's set in a family--hurrah for families!
  • It's well written--you won't find self-pubbed syndrome here!
  • It's full of realistically growing characters--get ready for conviction right along with them!
  • It's safe to hand to a girl of any age--in my ever-so-humble opinion.
  • It's full of relatable feelings, struggles, and triumphs--and that's even coming from a 22-year-old!
It is so difficult to find a decent "girl book" without a mega-dose of feminism, attitude, boy-craziness, and overly dramatic situations. Well, "Family Reunion" is far beyond just decent, it's downright uplifting. Though the protagonists do struggle with their attitudes and motives, they struggle with them in a thoroughly Christian way. The arcs of their struggles are so real, so similar to what I experience in my own life. I love this. 

I really enjoyed the characters of their grandparents, and the varying dynamics between all the extended family members. The girls were delightfully written; their relationship so sisterly and sweet. I appreciated the way they could look at life both poetically and realistically without stereotypical teen-girl drama.

All-in-all, I completely, entirely, hands-down recommend this book. I wish everyone would read it, and I wish the author (and others out there) would write a gazillion more with as high a standard of excellence!

Run along, now and get a copy! Shoo!

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review; all thoughts are mine and 100% honest. As always, I recommend that parents pre-read all books according to their family's standards before allowing their children to read them.


  1. I really want to read this book now! :D

  2. Aww, man! I just read the first chapter online, and now I'm hooked! :) It looks like a great book that Maggie would especially enjoy. Now I'll have to be on the look-out for it! Thanks for the review, Perry!

    1. I know, I do the same thing all the time. I'll read a sample and then I can't quit thinking about the book... o.O

  3. Read it and loved it! It has some really helpful concepts in it, and the author is really good at writing!