Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Right Where I Belong by Krista McGee

Right Where I Belong
Author: Krista McGee
Publication: December 11, 2012
By: Thomas Nelson
4 STARS!

Pretty cover

How do you find your place in the world?

Tired of watching her father flit from one wife to another and having formed a true bond with her most recent stepmother, Natalia decides to move with her from Spain to Florida when the divorce papers are finalized.

There are a couple things Natalia knows for sure: 1) She's being groomed to take over her father's international business. Success is expected. 2) There is no such thing as true love. Just look at her father. 3) Her stepmother's faith is real. And Natalia wants more of it.

Being in a new place, though, has a way of challenging one's preconceived notions. Natalia is still searching but before it's over, she hopes to discover right where she belongs.

Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for this ARC. Once again, Krista McGee has proven that the message of Christ's love can be presented in a way that is neither preachy nor cheesy. (I think I love her.)  Right Where I Belong, a modern day retelling of the story of Ruth, is a fun read about friendship, love and the blessings of God's gifts. (There may also be a swoon worthy boy or two. *winks*)

Figuring out what you want to do with your life can be hard, especially when your parents seem to have your future all mapped out for you. Knowing where you fit in can be even harder when you're starting over in a new country with language and culture barriers that seem too complicated to master all while helping your latest step-mother get through her divorce from your Dad. 

Natalia's dad goes through wives faster than you can say, "I do." and it does a real number on her heart and skewes her view of love.  She's spent years watching him mishandle all of his relationships, and as a result has sworn off boys and love - forever.  When her latest step-mother cast-off, Maureen, decides to move back to Florida, Natalia follows her in the hopes of finding a fresh start and God's calling on her life.  She meets new friends and has heart rending adventures and discovers that sometimes what we want and what others deem best for us aren't the same thing.

I liked Natalia.  She's kind, compassionate and her willingness to do what she feels is right is both brave and admiral.  She also doesn't focus a lot on what others think which is refreshing but while Natalia makes herself available to others, she has a hard time letting her own guard down. This is a companion novel to McGee's other books, so we get to hang out with Addy from First Date. (Love this girl!)  Addy, along with her BFF Lexie, become friends with Natalia and help her navigate through her new surroundings.  Addy and Lexie are kind and patient and Lexi is HILARIOUS! I love her sense of humor and outlook on life.

"Me and Jesus need some more of those little meatballs, though. Catch you later." ~ Lexi

One of the first people Natalia meets is Brian, the pastor's son.  He's the tallest, palest person she has ever known but there's something about those kind blue eyes and that hair...Natalia isn't sure she's ever seen hair so red. Brian is cute, funny and has a heart for God but he's no Spencer, the school's "it" guy.  With his stunning good looks, athletic skills and big bucks, Spence is used to having any girl he wants and he wants Natalia. This creates a bit of a problem for the girl with the "no dating" rule but it won't be long before she learns that God gives beautiful gifts and those gifts can look an awful lot like true love sometimes.  

A discussion guide is included in the back making this perfect for small groups.


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