Charming, clever, and heart-warming. Carol Lynch Williams' novelization of the motion picture Once I Was a Beehive is sure to be a family favorite. Sixteen-year-old Lane Speer spends her family vacations camping in the mountains, taking the memories for granted until she loses her father to an unexpected bout with cancer. One year later, as Lane is still reeling from her father's death, her mother remarries a guy who Lane hardly knows. To top it off, he's a Mormon. Worst of all, while her mom and new stepdad are on their honeymoon, they arrange to have her stay with her Mormon step-aunt who takes her to a bible-themed girls camp with a bunch of Mormon girls. Confronted with memories of camping with her family, Lane tries to find peace with her new surroundings as she deals with the death of her father.
Carol Lynch Williams, who grew up in Florida and now lives in Utah, is an award-winning novelist with seven children of her own, including six daughters. She has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College, and won the prestigious PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. The Chosen One was named one of the ALA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and Best Books for Young Adult Readers; it won the Whitney and the Association of Mormon Letters awards for the best young adult novel of the year; and was featured on numerous lists of recommended YA fiction. Carol’s other novels include Glimpse, Miles From Ordinary, The Haven, Waiting, Signed, Skye Harper, and the Just in Time series.
Connect with Carol:Goodreads / Amazon author page/ Website
Lane is still reeling from her father's death and can't believe her mother is remarrying only a year after his passing. To make things worse, her mom and new husband are going on a honeymoon and dumping Lane with her new step-father's sister's family for three weeks. Lane's new aunt Holly and cousin Phoebe are about to embark on a four-day camping trip with their church group, except Phoebe, who has anxiety, doesn't want to go. Lane has a bit of a soft spot for Phoebe and loved camping with her dad, so she agrees to go camping to support Phoebe. Back out in the wilderness for the first time since her dad's cancer, Lane starts to finally find the peace that has been eluding her.
This was a really cute book. Carol Lynch Williams always does such a good job connecting the reader to the character's heart, and that was definitely the case here. I really liked seeing Lane's journey. It's a sweet story without being sappy and was just a really enjoyable read.
I read an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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