Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Book Review - Straight Up by Lisa Samson

DISCLAIMER: Lisa Samson does not and has not paid me for any review I have posted on this blog, no matter how flattering or how many there are. Honest. I just really like her style of writing!

But I did volunteer to review this book on my blog in exchange for a free copy! :) I definitely got the better end of that deal! For what it's worth though, impatient me did go out and buy a copy when it released in September. I'm glad I did! The extra copy? We'll talk about that later.

I wrote for a review on

For me, it's about the characters. I just can't relate to the girl who was raised in a Christian home, whose parents stayed together, who saved herself for marriage and pretty much lived happily ever after with a few frustrations along the way. I've never met anybody like that in Lisa's books, and it's one of the things that keeps me coming back for more. I've always been able to see little bits of myself in the characters that Lisa creates.
That is absolutely true for cousins Georgia and Fairly in Straight Up. Wasted potential, missed opportunity, inability to deal with certain aspects of life... they both find their own ways to numb the pain of the inability to deal, and they both face the consequences for their choices. These are people you meet every day. We've all been Fairly or Georgia at one time or another to some degree. There are consequences, but there is also grace from God, just sometimes it doesn't always look the way we think it will.

I'm not going to give anything away, but when I first finished reading the book, I wasn't sure I liked the way it ended. But I thought about it, and the more I thought, the more I realized that any other ending would have been wrong.

The other thing about Lisa's writing that gets me every time is the words she chooses. For example:
Jazz drives me crazy. Crazy like New Orleans on a day so hot the heat rises into your nostrils and steams your brain like a peach dumpling. You feel the humid heat waves as they spill onto the pavement from the lips of a saxophonist who loves his horn more than any woman he's ever met because the horn never disappoints him. He may disappoint himself, his woman, his mother, and the holy church, but the horn stays true and pure and loving, shining into his heart with a brassy passion, licking his soul tenderly, lapping up his affection like crème de la crème.
Is that not an amazing word picture?

All in all, Straight Up is a beautiful story of mistakes, misunderstandings, grace and healing. I highly recommend it.

Now, since I do have two copies of this book, I'm going to give one away. Here's how it works - I'd like to give it someone who has never read one of Lisa's books. Let me know by commenting if you are intersted, and in a few days I'll draw a name.


Katy said...

Connie--I am happy not to quality for the contest. I've read every Lisa book out there. Love your review! Thanks.

Katy McKenna

nina said...

Hi Connie, I would love to be in the running for her book. I have to say I have never heard of her before, but it is has been awhile since I sat down with a good book to take my mind off life! p.s. I love your blog and you are quite inspiring! Have a great day! (p.s. if I don't win I am going to get this book anyway!)

Erna said...

I've never read one of her books, nor heard of her until your review. I must say that by the comments on Amazon, I am intrigued. Count me in if you wish. :0)

mouse said...

connie you can count me in, I've never read any of her books nor seen any of her books but your review makes it sound quite interesting. I don't really read Christian books, usually pick Deen Koontz or some kind of crime book. Don't know why I don't relate to those, I mean I have never commited a crime, not a real one anyway.

dot said...

I've never read her books. Please put my name in the drawing. Thanks!

Erna said...

I know I'm commenting on an older post but I FINALLY got to Straight Up and finished it. WOW! It took me five days to read intermittently while Rachel played games on the computer. I was up late last night trying to finish it but didn't complete it until now. I think it was a fantastic book and really enjoy Lisa Samson's writing. I'll have to look up her other titles. It's always nice to read a book by an author that I truly can get into and enjoy. The word pictures are amazing! Not to mention how she makes you THINK throughout the book about various things. I admit I kept trying to guess what would happen and wondered how Clarissa fit in. Wow! I think I'm a Lisa Samson fan now. I just wanted you to know that the book didn't sit around collecting dust but was devoured. I may just have to read it again. :0) Thanks Connie!