Monday, February 15, 2010

'Swinging on a Star' by Janice Thompson - Book Review

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There are times when I am in the mood to just be transported away to a different place.  ‘Swinging on a Star,’ Book Two in the Weddings by Bella Series, written by Janice Thompson, does just that!

This book provides a glimpse into the life of the Rossi family from Galveston Island, Texas.  The main character, Bella Rossi, is a twenty-something wedding planner who has just taken over Club Wed, the family business after her parents have run it very successfully for many years.  Bella has decided to take the business in a different direction – planning themed weddings.

This book is chock-full of colorful characters – primarily highlighting Bella’s large Italian family all living under one big roof.  Bella’s mama, Imelda, is an opera singer who is always well put together.  Her pop is lactose-intolerant – a real hindrance in an Italian family!  Her sister, Sophia, follows in her mother’s footsteps.  Aunt Rosa, the sister of Bella’s mama, is a wonderful cook who is featured on ‘The Food Network.’  Uncle Lazarro, the brother of Bella’s papa, owns a pizzeria named Parma John’s and is constantly bickering (or is it flirting?!) with Aunt Rosa.  Joining in on the frivolity is D.J. Neeley, Bella’s sweetheart of three months.  D.J. is a handsome country boy from Splendora, Texas who works in construction and is an all-around nice guy.

The latest wedding that Bella is planning is a Renaissance-themed wedding.  The couple getting married are Rob and Marian.  During one of their planning meetings, Rob reveals that his best man will be his best friend since childhood, Brock Benson – who also happens to be the hottest actor in Hollywood!  Hilarity and antics ensue as Bella works to ensure that the wedding is not ruined by reporters and paparazzi, etc….  Janice Thompson writes with humor and lots of wit!

Most of the characters in this book are Christ-followers.  The first member of the family to meet Jesus was Uncle Lazarro, after he was involved in a car accident in their hometown of Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

I was happy to see Jesus being glorified and lifted up in this wonderfully entertaining book.  Here’s one example:

Was this how God felt, perhaps, when I finally relinquished my fears and gave myself over to his protection during the storms of my life?  Did he want to reach down and pat my head and say, “It’s gonna be okay, Bella, just sleep.” (p. 178)

Here’s another powerful passage:

“I guess the real difference is in figuring out that we’re all royalty.  We’re God’s kids.  So the whole princess theme is very real.  That’s why it resonates with women so deeply.  We’re waiting for Prince Charming to sweep us away, of course, but that’s just a symbol of God sweeping in and loving us in spite of our flaws.  He doesn’t see our warts.  Or our wrinkles.  He only sees that we’re his little princesses.  And he wants us to hang out in his throne room.”  (p. 283)

Mrs. Thompson, who lives in Texas herself and has personal experience as a wedding planner (both as a business and in the weddings of her four daughters), spares no expense in the details.  For instance, each chapter of 'Swinging on a Star' is named after a song title – ‘High Hopes,’ ‘Blue Skies,’ ‘Come Rain or Come Shine,’ etc…  The only detail I found that was not accurate was that one of the characters owned a (pink!)1983 Ford Pinto; the last year of production of that model was 1980.  But I digress!     
This book is lots of fun!  It is not necessary to have read the first book in the ‘Weddings by Bella’ series, ‘Fools Rush In,’ in order to enjoy this one (I have not read that one as yet, and it didn’t stop me from wanting to keep reading this one!), but I imagine it is just as creative and imaginative as is this one!  I will be reading and reviewing Mrs. Thompson’s ‘Allegheny Hopes’ shortly – stay tuned!

You can order this book here.

This book was provided to me for review purposes by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Jo said...

I read "Fools Rush In" and loved it and now am wanting to read "Swinging on a Star". Please enter me in the giveaway.


Andrea Schultz said...

Hi Jo -

Thanks for stopping by. I am holding onto this book; no giveaway this time. Sorry about that.

However, you can click on any of the 'Swinging on a Star' links to order; it's well worth it!

Blessings -


Janice Thompson said...

You're so sweet. Thanks so much!

Andrea Schultz said...

Hi Janice -

Thanks for stopping by!

And I meant every word of it! : )


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