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249 of 260 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2008
Stuck In The Middle is an aptly named book revolving around Joan Sanderson--whose life has been put on hold while she looks out for her Grandma, who is wedged between sisters that Joan thinks are far more gregarious and personable than she is, and who is stuck in a superficial relationship with God. Stuck, that is, until a handsome, single doctor with an intensely personal relationship with God rents the house next-door and involuntarily drags Joan out of her rut.

As Joan struggles to break free, the reader is blessed with the genuine interactions between sisters, and family as a whole that Smith has woven into the story line so well. The dialogue is strong and realistic, the situations true to life and sometimes quite comical, and Joan, though a dejected character in many ways, is likeable and one you cheer for right from the beginning.

This alone would have made the book an enjoyable read, but Smith along with entertaining the reader reinforces the need for a personal relationship with God. She takes Joan, a Christian who has had a superficial relationship with God into discovering how to connect on a deeper level. Smith also does an excellent job of portraying the fear that Joan's sisters have of the kind of Christian Joan wants to become simply because they don't understand it.

Stuck In The Middle is not different than many other Christian fiction titles in that is has a spiritual message, but often, that message is dealt with in heavy handed and stilted way. Not Stuck In The Middle. This is the sort of book that while you read it you find yourself pleasantly entertained, seriously not wanting to put the book down even when you should be doing other things, and in the end you are surprised when you come away with a strong spiritual message.

Stuck In The Middle has something for everyone--romance, shopping, dating advice, sibling rivalry, family and spiritual relationships, and real life issues like caring for elderly family members all wrapped up in an entertaining package. Pick it up, today. You won't be disappointed.
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55 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2008
Viginia Smith does it again in "Stuck in the Middle". Her characters are realistic, artfully crafted, and endearingly flawed (aren't we all?) and will pull you right into the story from page 1. Here's a warning, though -- don't give the book as a gift unless you're prepared for trouble. Now I have several friends calling to complain that they're chomping at the bit to read the next installment in the series. Please bring us book 2 soon!!!
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60 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2011
I'm very glad I got this for free, it was billed as a romance but it should have been categorized as Christian fiction. I found the main characters very tedious. I am a Christian however I despise those who bemoan their lot in life and look to the sky asking God when they'll get theirs without putting any effort into it. I thought the male lead was exceptionally obnoxious and extremely critical of how others choose to conduct their relationships with God. I will definitely steer clear of this author in the future, I could barely make it through the book.
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90 of 110 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2012
I want to first say that, I am a believer and a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I, however, am really disappointed in, not only this Christian "romance" but all the others Ive read.

I'm tired of these single Christian women moping around, waiting for Mr. Right to come along and sweep them into a full fun life. GET A LIFE!! don't wait for sum man to show up to get inspired. That's so far from real life (I guess that's why they call it fiction). The women in these novels don't have any depth and hardly ever think beyond finding the right man.The only good part of the book was the doctors encounters with the 10yr old boy, it was believable and genuine. There first and only date was nice. We are left to assume that they eventually get married.

Joan was the last straw. A 25 yr, college educated woman, sitting around doing absolutely nothing until a handsome doctor comes along. It was clear from the beginning that she was confused and had some serious "daddy issues" but that's no excuse for not living. She was stuck because she was a fool and for no other reason. So what sum guy dumped you...happens everyday. She had no friends, no activities or interests other than work and taking care of Granny. I didn't care for how Joan suddenly didn't understand Christianity until she conversed with the doctor.

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179 of 240 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2010
Joan, the middle sister, feels overshadowed by her two, more succesful sisters. She still lives with her grandmother and her mother, does a job that bores her and has been jilted by her fiance. Also, she still misses her father, gone since her parents' divorce.
The grandmother is getting old and there is talk of moving her to a assisted-living facility, something Joan is vehemently against.
A young doctor, Ken Fletcher, moves next door. Joan is interested in him but so is her younger sister. Who will he choose ?

I am sure that the christian content (some of the book is about Joan's seach for God) will be appreciated by some. For me, it was just too much of a good thing. I don't want to preached to when I'm reading romance novels.

But mainly, I found Joan really annoying. She spends most of the book complaining (about her name, the fact that she is quiet, her job, and even her relationship with God) and feeling sorry for herself. Ken is not much better. He almost rejects Joan because she does not seem religious enough. I found the scenes where the two sisters flirt and buy new clothes to attrack Ken corny and childish. You should'nt have to gilt the lily to be appreciated. I kept waiting for Joan to get a grip and grow-up.

I'm happy I got it free and would not pay for other novels by the same author.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2008
Such a fun book by Virginia Smith! Stuck in the Middle is the first in the Sister-To-Sister series and starts things off so well, you'll be looking forward to the next one by the time you've turned the last page. Hopefully book 2 won't be long in coming.

Joan and her sisters truly come to life as you read. It's interesting that Smith decided to start the series focused on the middle sister...a good choice. Joan struggles with trying to find her purpose in life and break out of her comfort zone to find out what God has planned for her. And of course along the way we get to meet her crazy family of women and one unsuspecting doctor who just moved in next door. One of my favorite things is when Joan becomes annoyed with someone periodically throughout the book and can "see" the morning's dramatic headline in her mind's eye. Pretty hilarious.

You'll enjoy this book!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2011
Story was so calculated and predictable.meant to be inspiring but fell really flat..Joan's character seemed to be that of a 12 year old rather than 25 year old..not worth being the time of a free price tag. Especially if Christian fiction is not your thing..
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2011
I enjoyed the second half of the book much more than the first. All in all, it was a decent read, but started very slowly. The main character is hard to like because she is so whiny and her anger toward her mother for her father leaving is a bit unrealistic at her age. She is supposed to be an adult, but doesn't act like one until the last fourth of the book. I thought the two sisters competing for the handsome doctor's attention was silly and contrived.

Unlike others, I didn't mind the religious aspect of the book at all. After all, it is listed in the religious fiction section! In fact, after Joan seeks to become a more "real" christian, the book becomes much better. However, I object to the author's premise that churches who sing traditional hymns are cold and far from God, while mega-churches that have movie screens with worship songs on them are sincere and closer to God. At least this is the stereotype that she seemed to use.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2011
If 2 1/2 were a possible rating, I would give that.

I appreciated the message that the author was trying to convey--finding purpose for one's life. At least I think that's what she was trying to get across. It was difficult to tell at times...

There was nothing particularly romantic about this story. Since it was labeled as romance and not self-discovery, I think more emphasis on the relationship portion of the story would make it much, much better.

I found Joan, the main character, to be extremely immature and petty. Many of her thoughts and actions would've been more fitting of a high school teenager instead of a grown woman. While I like stories with believable characters who have believable flaws, I found little to like about Joan. She does care a great deal about her grandmother, but even that seemed to be for selfish reasons. She was just becoming someone of substance when the story ended.

The "churchiness" of the story took away from it instead of adding to it. In my opinion, stories that weave a character's evidence of faith into the story without beating readers over the head with a Bible have a much greater spiritual impact.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2011
The storyline was not bad. The characters are not terrible. But, I would not have paid money for this book. The writing by the author is not the best in my opinion.

The storyline is interesting and did hold my attention - I didn't care for the very strong Christian themes in the book (and I typically don't mind them and enjoy reading Christian novels - I just felt this one was overkill).

Overall, a cute book to read - just be aware of the strong Christian themes and the meh writing.
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