Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson

Trading Secrets

By Melody Carlson

Blurb: Back in fifth grade, Micah Knight got an Amish pen pal, and over the years, they've exchanged many letters--and many secrets. At age seventeen, Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. The only problem is that because of confusion about her name when the pen pals were assigned, her pen pal was a boy, Zack Miller. And all this time, Micah's never told Zack that she's actually a girl! While she wants nothing more than to experience life on Zack's Amish farm, she's afraid he'll hate her for deceiving him all these years. But she makes up her mind to face the music--and that's where the fun really begins.
Bestselling author Melody Carlson brings young adults another fascinating tale of worlds colliding, secrets being revealed, and friendships forming. Teens will love this story of miscommunication and mishaps along the way to the truth.

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Christian, Realistic Fiction 

Publication Date: October 21, 2014

Series: N/A

Pages: 278

My Rating: 1 star

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I am not really into the Amish Fiction thing, but having read another Melody Carlson book that had to do with the Amish, I figured I'd give this one a try. I had liked the first one, so I assumed this one would be at least okay too. I SHOULD NOT HAVE DONE THAT.

There are a ton of problems with this book; characters, plot, themes...it was a struggle to read.

First off, none of the characters are likeable. Well, I take that back. Zach's sister was likeable, though not all that exciting as a character. But aside from her, I didn't like any single character in the book.

First, we have Micah. Her problem is that she comes off as a bit stupid. First off, her plan that she hatches in the beginning of the book to dress up as a boy to meet Zach was horrible. Why would you do that. Why. She ended up causing only more trouble for herself. Then, just because she finds Zach a wee bit attractive, she starts wondering what would happen if he asked her to marry him. She also wishes to be Amish just so Zach would be attracted to her. Honey, no. First off, you've known this guy for like a week. Second off, becoming Amish for a guy...that's a recipe for disaster.

Zach's mother is a total witch. She insults Micah every other sentence of the book and just seems bitter overall. I almost felt sorry for Micah, because even though she wasn't the smartest, she really did try to get this vindictive woman to like her. Zach's father wasn't much better. He was portrayed as very stuck in his ways.

Enter Rachel. She is very snarky, and painted as trying too hard to win Zach's love. She didn't seem to like Micah very much, but when you are a star baker/cook and you meet a girl who literally thinks creaming the ingredients means you put cream in them I suppose I could see why you don't like her, let alone the fact that she's crushing on the guy you want.

The plot seemed very boring. Micah tried to leave that Amish farm at least twice, and somehow just kept coming back to lengthen interactions between her and Zach, it seemed, and it annoyed me.

Plus, almost all Amish people in this book were seen as judgemental and stuck in their ways. I felt like it was a bit dangerous, and I assume that was not the author's attention, but there were very few positively portrayed Amish.

I really did not care for this book. There were no redeeming qualities in it; the characters were the low point of this book for me, but the other factors weren't great either. Considering I've read books by Melody Carlson before that I've liked, I won't write her off as an author I won't read, but I don't think I'll be reading more of her Amish fiction books. Or anyone's Amish fiction books for that matter.

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