Finding Faith Information Added!

Hiya! You may have noticed the onslaught of posts here about my Young Adult series called Finding Faith. I've been meaning to add information about the series since I started this blog, and now I'm more or less finished. All I have to do is go back and spruce up the pages/add images that are missing/fight some more with formatting/things of that nature. Let's see how long it takes me to get around to that! XD

Everything can best be found by using the links in the sidebar rather than wading through all the posts I've made. If Finding Faith sounds interesting to you, please let me know. This isn't a pathetic cry for attention, honest. It's just that I don't know you're out there wanting to see what I've written if I don't hear from you, so I end up feeling like there's no point in trying to shar my writing.

As always, thanks for visiting!

Old Reviews of Finding Faith #1 - Planning It Right

Here are a couple of reviews for Planning It Right. They reflect the first edition of the book which is no longer in print and are posted here for archival purposes only.

Review from yabookscentral.com

Review from insidepulse.com

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Originally posted at yabookscentral.com , September 2006

Finding Faith: Planning It Right (Book 1) by Samantha R. Anderer
What would you do to get the man of your dreams?
a review by Alyssa Feller


Kim Carlisle is on a mission! It's the beginning of Sophomore year, and she is determined to have the greatest year ever. First on her list: a perfect boyfriend.

It all starts at an end-of-the-summer sleepover with Kim, her twin Kara, and friends Nikki, Jackie, Lisa, and Alexis. When the subject of boys comes up Kim admits she's got her eye on a neighborhood cutie named Nicholas Lamoreaux. Intent to have all of her friends paired off by the end of the year, Kim suggests they leave anonymous notes to each of their love interests. Everyone agrees, except Alexis. Brushing aside Alexis' newfound stony behavior towards the group, the girls carry out their scheme.

The note plan works out perfectly. Kim and her friends are slowly pairing off with their intended guys. But Nicholas thinks Alexis sent him Kim's note. Is he Alexis' newest crush? When Kim observes Alexis' behavior towards Nicholas on the first day of school, she is positive that he is the reason for her friend's new cold behavior. No way is Kim going to give up on her man. After all, she saw him first…right?

Soon things turn ugly, and Alexis tells Kim to back off Nicholas or risk their friendship. Kim isn't about to let Alexis win, and concocts a fool-proof plan to help her win Nicholas once and for all. When her plan backfires, Kim realizes it's time to make some changes. Will she remember her Sunday School lesson about kindness, or will Alexis need to watch her back?

I must admit that at first I was very skeptical about this book. Romance novels are not my thing, especially when they involve love triangles. To my great surprise, after three chapters I was completely hooked with Kim's story, and I was almost sad when the book ended.

Planning it Right isn't just your average romance. Filled with realistic and engaging characters, the book is a delight to read. Kim's spunky and headstrong attitude will relate to any reader who has ever felt the need for a little competition. Although the plot wraps up nicely, there is enough questions left unanswered to have readers clamoring for a sequel.

Recommended for readers 14 and up, as they will understand high school situations the best. Also suitable for younger readers who may be interested.

© Alyssa Feller, yabookscentral.com

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Review from insidepulse.com

Paper Cuts: A Review of Planning It Right (Finding Faith #1) by Samantha R. Anderer
Posted By Carla Lee on 09.18.2006
Planning It Right (Finding Faith #1)
Samantha R. Anderer
PublishAmerica
1-4241-3012-3

I'll be upfront with my reservations about Planning It Right. Even beyond the bad reputation of self published books, it's a Christian romance aimed at young adults. Neither of those are genres I enjoy, though I do read a number of books written for that age bracket.

However I'm glad I ignored my misgivings. Planning It Right is filled with interesting characters dealing with realistic issues and acting in believable ways.

This is the story of Kim Carlisle, her twin sister Kara, and their group of (mostly) female friends. They're starting their sophomore year of high school in the fictional Winchester Commons, Colorado, and Kim has one goal: to have the best year of her life. This includes dating Nicolas Lamoreaux.

The summary sounds fairly standard, as is the love triangle between Kim, Nicolas, and Alexis Harker, one of Kim's friends, but the story itself is more than the sum of its parts.

The writing is straightforward, the detailed descriptions used to good effect without crossing the line into florid, and there are enough complications that the ending seems earned.

Kim is not a perfect girl. She has trouble controlling her temper, she's self-absorbed, and she's devious, especially when she's angry. These seeming flaws make her more interesting, and, along with her loyalty, faith, and intelligence, present her as a fully fleshed out character.

The first person narrative is used well in the story. In a first person narrative it's easy for the narrator to get caught up in a self-analysis of every word and thought, which removes the reader from the action, but Samantha Anderer manages to keep the immediacy of the story through Kim's crisp, short descriptions.

One major problem is the tone of both the characters' voices and the story as a whole. It's very formal, though there are interjections of casual contractions and phrases, and the characters don't sound like modern teenagers. There is almost a feel of nostalgia to the text, as if Kim and her friends live in a more idealized world a decade or two back, but without the details to create a concrete setting.

This is not to say that the characters have easy lives. Though most of them come across as upper middle class, there are a variety of issues they deal with which are not just relationships and homework. (In one example pertinent to Planning It Right, Alexis has a horrible family life, siblings who drink too much and parents who couldn't care less about any of them.)

The tone is consistent, however, and after a few pages it fades into the background, no longer a distracting anachronistic style. The characters' personalities, especially Kim's personality, shines through the formal phrases.

Despite all the negative assumptions surrounding self published books, Planning It Right is a well-designed book.

All together, this is a powerful testament to the idea that self-publishing can produce quality books. Anderer packs a one-two punch with an interesting plot which is not conveniently wrapped up at the end of the story and characters who are flawed but wonderful and about whom the readers can care. Don't let the self-publisher put you off, this is one story fans of teen romance, teen fiction, Christian romance, and just plain good writing will enjoy. I can say without reservation I can't wait to see the next book in the series.
 

Best Quotes from Finding Faith #1 - Planning It Right

Here's a list of my favorite quotes from Planning It Right, compiled via a very quick overview of the book. If I have more time, I'll go over it more carefully and add more quotes.




  • "Maybe they don't even know we're having a sleepover tonight. It's not like we put an announcement in the newspaper." -- Kim
  • "You aren't lame. Just a little stiff." -- Kim
  • "That just makes it all the more fun." -- Kim
  • "You're not a selfish monster--just a little clueless sometimes." -- Kara
  • "I'd be willing to bet on it, if gambling wasn't habit-forming." -- Kim
  • Matt, who had been leaning all over his chair in a way that almost defied gravity, looked slightly taken aback at being called on. -- Kim
  • "So, if you want people to dump on you, then go ahead and be a jerk to everyone." -- Nicolas
  • "Plus, I graduated from high school. That helped a lot." -- Valerie
  • "You should have seen Lisa's face. The minute she saw Jason, her skin paled, her eyes widened, and her mouth formed a small o." -- Jackie
  • "He probably knows it was me by the spastic way I was acting." -- Lisa
  • "But it wasn't like I was peeking in your window or had binoculars. I'm many things, but I'm no peeping tom." -- Austin
  • "You must have done some serious arm-twisting to get Lisa to leave a note for Jason." -- Lauren
  • "You'd think after all the years students have been stuck learning things like history and geography, they'd find an interesting way to teach it." -- Jason
  • "My dad and granddad are named Brendan, too. You should see us at family gatherings. Whenever someone says, 'Hey Brendan,' we three turn our heads and say, 'What?' in perfect unison." -- Brendan
  • "Hmm...if sexy means wearing outfits that keep getting tinier while guys' clothes keep getting baggier, then gee, I think I'll pass. I'm about equality, you see." -- Jackie
  • "It means what it sounds like it means." -- Kim
  • "Why does he have to live in Sunset Hollow? Why not Canada, or India, or even Jupiter?" -- Kara
  • "By tomorrow we'll have four-thousand books to lug around." -- Jackie
  • "Austin would kill to be part of this conversation. He's dying to know who likes whom." -- Kara
  • "It's not your job to like or dislike it." -- Kim
  • "Nearly late to class and slacking off already. Sorry, but I can't in good conscience contribute to your delinquency." -- Kim
  • "Oh, yes, what was I thinking? If it's from your judgment then it must be law." -- Alexis
  • "Well, we can't all be as perfect as you, Kara, but we'll keep trying." -- Kim
  • "Wait'll they figure out I have two Driver's Training classes now. The joke will finally be on them." -- Brendan
  • "It doesn't make a lot of sense now, but that's how it seemed at the time." -- Nicolas

Finding Faith #1: Planning It Right




















Summary:

If there's one thing I believe in, it's taking control of my life. Right now I'm making plans for my sophomore year of high school, and they include the handsome and charismatic Nicolas Lamoreaux.

The complication? I can't tell if he likes me or my best friend, Alexis Harker. What's up with her, anyway? First she lies about liking Nicolas, then she threatens to end our friendship if I don't back off. Well, one underhanded turn deserves another, right?

My twin sister Kara says "Wrong!" She says I have to tether my temper and do the right thing, but how am I going to figure out what that is in this huge mess I've made? When my plans go awry, there's only one thing to do: pray that my conscience will show me the way.



If Finding Faith were a new TV series, think of Planning It Right as the pilot episode. This book introduces you to Kim Carlisle, her twin sister Kara, and their four best friends, Alexis Harker, Niki Sandoval, Lisa Scothern, and Jackie Reeves. Their sophomore year of high school is about to begin, and Kim is planning to have the best year yet. At their final slumber party of summer vacation, the girls decide to deliver anonymous (and non-electronic) notes to the guys they like. What seems like a great idea quickly deteriorates into a full-blown disaster when Kim finds out that Alexis also likes Nicolas Lamoreaux, and when Kim decides to make Nicolas jealous with Brendan Murphy--but ends up having genuine feelings for Brendan, too.

This book contains many important points such as the harm selfishness and deceitfulness can do to others. It also shows the value of loyalty to friendship, taking responsibility for your misdeeds, and being mindful of more than your own desires and respecting the feelings of others.

More:





Where to Buy the Book:

Planning It Right is currently unavailable for sale. I'm not sure when it will be published. To be honest, I'm going through a horrible period of depression which may never end, and I don't feel like anyone would be interested in anything I write.

The Guys of Finding Faith


Austin lives next door to Kim and Kara and is almost constantly at their house. He likes to joke around, but he acts this way to hide his inward pain. His mother ran away and his father is neglectful, but Austin is determined to keep his spirits up.












Nicolas is intelligent, charismatic and mysterious; he seldom comes right out and says what he thinks or how he feels. He loves sports, particularly baseball and football, and he loves to play the drums. He is also very good at flirting!











Matt is a very nice guy and is shy around girls. He has a strong sense of right and wrong and strives to be fair, but can often be unforgiving when someone betrays his trust. When someone earns that trust, however, he is a loyal friend.











Jeremy is a very magnetic guy; he is intelligent and perceptive, and unafraid to show his feelings. He works on the school newspaper as a photographer and page editor, and enjoys drama club, as he is a very dramatic person.












Jason can charm the paint off a wall. One of his greatest interests is girls, and he is not at all shy or afraid to flirt. The only other thing worthy of Jason's attention is drama class. He loves acting and is a very theatrical person.












Brendan is an adventurous show-off; he used to be a little on the shy side, but he turned over a new leaf and now enjoys receiving attention for his funny stories and antics. He is also a sincere person and possesses a great deal of charm.











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