Review of Danika's Journey
by J. E. B. Spredemann
Danika Morales is devastated when tragedy strikes close to home. She is forced to move from her friends and beautiful home in sunny California to Amish country in rural Pennsylvania to live with her uncle. This surfer girl believes she'll never be able to adjust to a land-locked Plain lifestyle until she meets her new best friend. Still, being an outsider and of a different ethnicity, Danika faces many challenges on her journey to adulthood. Inspirational teen fiction - Approx. 100 pgs.
MY REVIEW Danika Morales has faced a great deal of loss in her young life. Her mother passed away at birth along with the baby brother she delivered. Her father then develops cancer and comes home to tell her that she must go to live with her mother's only brother in Pennsylvania when he passes away. She begs him not to die and leave her and before he even has a chance to explain more to her, he takes his last breath! She finds herself on an airplane to Pennsylvania to live with an aunt and uncle she has only seen once. The ride home in a friend of her uncle's vehicle then ends with them picking up Uncle Phillip's horse and buggy for the final leg of the journey. Danika thinks it is a treat that her uncle has arranged to surprise her but he informs her that it is their main source of transportation.
All this took place in the first pages of the book. It is a short (approx. 100 pages) work of teen fiction so but I did feel the death of her father happening before he even finished telling her that he has arranged for her to live with her uncle to be a bit contrived. Her Uncle Phillip and Aunt Naomi do not sit her down and explain about their Amish lifestyle and the Ordnung. I can not imagine taking any teenager in to live with my family without giving some explanation as to household rules and expectations. Living one day as an Englischer and the next as Amish would be a shock to anyone but particularly to someone who is unfamiliar with the Amish ways. As you can imagine, this will lead to several misunderstandings and quite a bit of trouble. I found the story to be quite interesting in spite of these issues and finished it one afternoon while riding in the car on a short outing. I think this book is one that adults will enjoy reading as well as young teens. Reading them in order is helpful in order to keep the characters in mind but I do believe that they could be read out of sequence as the author does give detailed explanations of characters and their relationships. I appreciate the use of a scripture at the beginning of each chapter which is used in some way in the chapter. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series: Chloe's Revelation.
I received a pdf version of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
J. E. B. Spredemann currently resides in central California and writes Christian fiction.