Saturday, May 23, 2009
Donut Days by Lara Zielin
Release Date: August 6, 2009 from Penguin Juvenile
Emma has a lot going on. Her best friend’s not speaking to her, a boy she’s known all her life is suddenly smokin’ hot and in love with her, and oh yes, her evangelical minister parents may lose their church, especially if her mother keeps giving sermons saying Adam was a hermaphrodite.
But this weekend Emma’s only focused on Crispy Dream, a hot new donut franchise opening in town, where Harley bikers and Frodo wannabes camp out waiting to be the first ones served. Writing the best feature story on the camp for the local paper might just win Emma a scholarship to attend a non- Christian college. But soon enough Emma finds the donut camp isn’t quite the perfect escape from all her troubles at Living Word Redeemer.
Before I started this book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. I'm not a religious person, so my admittedly judgemental self saw "evangelical minister parents," and thought maybe this wasn't the book for me. I decided to give it a try anyway and as soon as I read that first line I knew I was in for a treat.
First line: "I'm no Biblical scholar, but I'm pretty sure Adam--as in the guy who named all the animals in the Garden of Eden--wasn't a hermaphrodite." (taken from ARC)
What's not to love there. I was hooked from page one. Donut Days is just a really lovely read. Zielin's writing is witty and fresh; I could have read it all day...and I did.
Emma is a fantastic character. Her friends have turned on her. She doesn't feel like she belongs in her parents church, and it's causing her to question her faith. Deep down she really wants to be accepted by her parents for who she is. Meanwhile, her mom and dad are going through a lot of drama at the church and yet Emma feels further away from them than ever. Instead of pulling together, they are falling apart.
So, Emma turns to the Crispy Dream Donut Camp to hopefully earn a way to choose her own future. The characters that she meets at the camp, help Emma realize that not everyone is perfect, born-agains included, and that it's okay to be different and to worship in your own way.
I love the folks Emma meets at the camp, especially Bear and the Angelfire Gang. I've known people like this in my life who look completely scary, but have a heart of gold. They were a joy to read about as was Emma.
I liked this book from start to finish. It has a little romance, a lot of laughs and a huge amount of heart. I highly recommend it to anyone who has every felt like they don't fit in, or to anyone who just wants a wonderfully written feel-good read. I can't wait to read Zielin's next book. Thanks Lara for letting me check this one out.