girly books give-away!

I read a couple books–Truth or Dare and All That Glitters–over the past week or so and wanted to pass them along to one lucky reader. It could be YOU this time!

Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from back in the day? I used to get them at our church library all the time–or was it the school library? The regular library? Anyway.

Nicole O’Dell’s new Scenarios books for tween girls are similar to those. In each book, the main character is faced with a tough decision, and you help her make the choice. There are alternate endings and everything. Pretty cool concept.

Here’s the deal: I’m tempted to gush about the books and tell you to rush out and buy them. All the reviews I’ve read have been stellar, and I don’t know the author personally, but from what I’ve read on her blog and website, she seems stinkin’ awesome. I love, love, love that people are writing wholesome fiction for my girlies to read in the months and years ahead.


I didn’t love the books. They were just a little too Christian-bookstore and contrived for me. From the way the characters talked to the sermons they sat through at church, I just didn’t buy it. I love reading secular YA (young adult) fiction, and this just didn’t measure up to some of the great stuff I’ve read.

HOWEVER, I don’t know that it’s even possible to write good, clean fiction for young girls AND share the message of the Gospel AND impart the values that Christian parents want instilled in their kiddos AND leave the reader thinking, “Wow, what literary quality!” I certainly don’t have the writing skills to do it.

So, bottom line. The author is awesome, the books are beautiful, and chances are, your daughter/niece/granddaughter/little sister will love them. Don’t let my opinion discourage you from getting them. I just have to be honest, so you’ll trust me when I review books.

Here’s Nicole’s website, her blog, and an interactive site for young girls. Girls can even ask Nicole (and her 2 daughters!) questions. She has six kids–including one-year-old TRIPLETS!! And I love this guest post she did for author Mary DeMuth about her unconventional journey to publication. Super encouraging for those of you who dream of writing a book!

One lucky duck is going to win both books. All you have to do is answer ONE of these simple questions:

1. What was/is your favorite young adult book?


2. If you had triplets, what would you name them?

U.S. addresses only. Winner will be announced Tuesday at noon. Have an awesome Labor Day Weekend!

29 thoughts on “girly books give-away!

  1. deanna f.

    I just to love the Babysitter’s Club books!

    But if I had triplets, I’d name them….

    Lyndon, Lauren, & Lakyn (girls)
    Cole, Clay, & Cohen (boys)

  2. Jennifer

    I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid. I was always afraid I would make the wrong choice, though, and would “cheat” and read ahead before making a choice. Kinda took the whole adventure out of the books, but I still enjoyed them!

  3. Daniela Lima

    Hi Marla, live in Brazil and last week I read in a Brazilian magazine about the adventure of his family, visited the site, I loved the pictures. Congratulations Urban Safari.
    I wrote in my blog about you!
    Kiss from Brazil

  4. Nicole

    I was a huge horse nut growing up and I loved the Misty of Chincoteague books by Marguerite Henry – actually all of her books helped quench my multitude of horse requests!

  5. Stephanie your sister

    Sweet Valley Twins! Is is pathetic to admit that I still read them every once in a while? And that I own about 60ish of them? I’m so ashamed…

    Triplets. Hmm. We could only come up with one name option for this little one, so I don’t think I can possibly come up with three. I’ll think about it though.

  6. Christy Lockstein

    Hey Marla,

    I’m not trying to win =) but I did want to tell you that it is possible to write YA books like that. Debby Viguie did so with her Sweet Seasons series (LOVED it!) and Shelley Adina’s It’s All About us series is fantastic too. I’ve read several other YA series lately, and I agree with you, too often, they turn into preachy sermons that no one wants to read, but Viguie & Adina are amazing.

    And I guess I’ll give you my favorite YA title, just for fun. I loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond, can’t remember the title, but I must have read it 10 times when I was in 4-6th grades.

  7. Jenny

    My favorite book(s) were anything by Judy Blume…the angst, the emotions, the humor. What a joy that I now get to hear my daughter laughing out loud at Fudge and his antics.

    I appreciate your honest review.

  8. Bethany

    Triplet Girls:
    Lyla, Myla, Kyla

    Triplet Boys:
    Jack, Mack, Track

    Oh, and I only got into Nancy Drew a couple years ago. Growing up I was all about The Baby-Sitters’ Club and Sweet Valley Twins!!!

  9. Amy H

    okay…so i LOVED little house books growing up. And I DID have triplets…Cole, Eli & Ava! That’s how I know Nicole. You’re right…she’s awesome!

  10. Denise

    If I had triplets they would be boys.. yep.. I’m doomed that way.. so they would be Hewie, Dewie, and Lewie!! hehehe
    ok. books.. wow.. a tie between The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Wrinkle in Time series, and Anne of Green Gables Series!!

  11. jess

    hmmmmmmm….i really loved almost all the y.a. books i read. one of my favorites that i LOVED and was so sad when it ended was Home to Ansonia or something like that . I don’t even remember what it was about, but i liked it. And then there’s Anne with an ‘e’ and i love her, and I also loved anything about the holocaust that i could get my hands on.

    triplets. hmm. I don’t know. BUT, i DO know (based on a conversation last week) that E. would name HER triplets Salad, Meat and Cheese.

    the girls in my youth group would love these books!

  12. Denise

    I don’t read a lot – so I will do the triplet name – If I had triplets I would do:

    Girls: Audrey, Sydney, Meloney
    Boys: Josiah, Tervor, Sawyer

    Yes, I like unique names and one boy name I did not include though I think I would probably change out sawyer for it, and thats because it’s what we want to name another boy if we have one and I don’t want anyone to steal it!

  13. Carrie

    Wow, naming triplets would be tough! 🙂 I guess it would depend on how many of them were boys/girls – and I’m kind of kitschy, so I would probably make all their first names start with the same letter. 🙂 I loved the Babysitter’s Club books when I was a young girl. 🙂

  14. Krista

    I love that you acknowledge the books as being too “contrived.” It’s been several years since I was reading young adult Christian literature, but most of what I read also seemed to have a little smacking of that, to various degrees. The characters are just a little bit too perfect sometimes. I’m not meaning to write off an entire genre, but just wanted to say how much I appreciate your honesty!

  15. Ali

    Can you believe that Matt and I have actually had the conversation about naming triplets? Actually, there were three girl names that I really loved, and I would joke that if we had triplet girls, we could use them all: Greta, Stella, and Hazel.

    Fortunately we only had ONE baby girl, and we gave her our favorite name of all!

  16. Holly

    Little House Books were my favorite growing up.

    My triplets would be appropriately named after their dad, Duey. I think Huey, Duey and Louie would be fun! 😉

  17. Lee Detrick

    The Bobbsey Twins series……….now that really dates me. And I had enough trouble naming just one baby; our #2 son was a day old before we decided on a name. He recently said, “You would think, after nine and a half months you could have come up with something better than “Bill”………I am not mother of the year…

  18. Emily Claiborne

    If I had triplets, I wouldn’t be able to name them ANYthing because I’d be locked up in a padded room. I think that would put me over the edge. Is that horrible? 🙂

  19. Kelly

    The Wind Blows Backwards by Mary Downing-Hahn. Mingled romance, teenage angst and poetry. I killed that book. I even bought it was Goodwill….to this day I will sit down and reread it. Probably not the best I could have been reading at that age, but it wasn’t like lust in the dust or anything.

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