Monday, July 4, 2011

On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones

Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis from NavPress: Six months into her stay with her foster parents, Katie Parker is finally adjusting to her new family. But after a tornado rips through the town of In Between, nothing is ever the same again.

When her foster mom, Millie, is diagnosed with cancer, Katie begins to doubt if God really does care. What will happen to Katie? Could she possibly have to leave In Between and the family she's come to depend on? Things spiral even further out of control when Katie juggles a science fair project, a malfunctioning best friend, spring break plans, and holding the attention of her own Prince Charming. It's going to take more than a glass slipper and some fairy dust to fix Katie Parker's problems. But will help come in time?

Review: After reading In Between, the first book in A Katie Parker Production, I was excited to read On the Loose.  One of the benefits to discovering books after a series is complete is that you don't have to wait for the release of the sequel! Although the series is designated as young adult, you do not have to be a teen to relate to Katie's struggles and to laugh at the infectious humor.  Katie is a great example for teens who are trying to find themselves in the face of pressure and doubts.

Jenny B. Jones never fails to completely draw me into her novels with the wit, sarcasm, and quirkiness that are unique to her work.  She balances such traits with relatable problems, touching moments, and infusions of faith.  On the Loose is a shining example of this balance.  There are some extremely funny scenes throughout the novel; but there are also very tender moments, especially at the end of the book. Jones' writing is so engaging that I can clearly visualize each situation and empathize with the characters.

 I love the cast of characters in A Katie Parker Production. Katie is the star of course, but the supporting stars shine as well. Maxine, Katie's foster grandmother, is particularly humorous, and her interactions with Katie and the rest of the family offer plenty of comedic moments. James and Millie, Katie's foster parents, are heart-warming examples of sacrifice and unconditional love.  I look forward to catching up with Katie, her family, and the rest of In Between in the last book The Big Picture.  I whole-heartedly recommend losing yourself "in between" the pages of A Katie Parker Production or any other novel by Jenny B. Jones.

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