Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie by S. J. Adams
I totally loved this. It was sweet, but with a tiny bit of an edge. It had fun, relatable characters that were a delight to read about. The whole "Church of Blue" things was weird at first, but then ended up being quite nice.
I liked that all the action in the book takes place over one day. Just one day. And what a day it was! We get to see Debbie, through each crazy adventure that happens over the course of the evening, take it in and realize something about herself. By the time she actually manages to find and talk to Lisa, she is in a very different place then she was in that morning.
Debbie comes to the realization that she has no idea who she is as a person. Lisa is religious and attends Active Christian Teens meetings, and Debbie has been spending her life trying to be the person that Lisa would want. The realization that Lisa is serious about Norman (yes, Norman) who Debbie thinks is a complete bore, sends her into a tailspin. She knows something needs to change. She needs to confess to Lisa, and then, whatever happens, become her own person. Debbie has lead her life like a character from Full House. Debbie has watched A LOT of Full House. She decides she needs some adventure and excitement, and where better to find it than in detention? So Debbie shows up in detention after school and meets Emma and Tim (also who just showed up in detention) and learns about the Church of Blue.
The Church of Blue is a religion that Emma and Time made up. As the book goes on, we learn more about the reason Emma and Tim felt the need to make up a religion. But a main tenant of their religion is having ridiculous adventures to fulfill quests they make up. For example: Locate a guy with the same name as a U.S. president and get his autograph. See a naked person of each gender (live and in person) in the same place at the same time. Break something expensive.
Emma and Tim agree to help Debbie track down Lisa to declare herself, and perhaps they will fulfill some of their Bluish quests as well. You'd think this would be easy, but Debbie has left her backpack at school with her phone, and her car keys are in Lisa's car, and now Norman, of all people, has her backpack and there's a note in it saying her real feelings for Lisa! So step one is get the backpack back, then find Lisa.
Of course, hijinks ensue. While issues like homosexuality, sex and drinking are all present, nothing is ever gone into in detail or depth. This is not an Issues book. It's a buddy adventure road trip story. I don't think it would have been appropriate to do so. It just wasn't that kind of books. There are other books that do that. This one was very light and fun and things work out OK. Totally recommended.