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In Front of God and Everybody (The Confessions of April Grace) Paperback – May 9, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
April Grace tries to be kind to others like her Mama wants her to be but she can't help not liking her new neighbors. She hasn't had much great experience with new neighbors before. The last time she had a neighbor she met the parents and other family members of this nice girl she hung out with. Then they all started making fun of her right to her face. Ugh. You know when she starts off her story like that you know that her new neighbors are just going to be exactly the same. April Grace is a spunky girl who's always saying funny things whether anyone else agrees. She's very smart and quick witted. She was a pleasure to read about. Her new neighbors on the other hand... The man, Ian, seemed to become a better person but his wife, Isabel, just kept on being her rotten self.
April Grace's mother is a saint. She's always talking about being nice. She goes so far as letting the new neighbors live at their house while they are fixing up their home. Ian is originally pretty rude especially to his wife. They both fight a lot but he gets better as the book progresses. Isabel was a former dancer and she can't stand the country. She really just wants to go home but that's impossible and I wish she'd just get over it. She's this skinny little thing that hardly eats. She's always rude to April Grace's family. I don't know how her mother can stand it. I would have thrown her out when she first criticized my cooking. You are a guest at someone else's home. Act like it.
April Grace's sister, Myra Sue, worships the ground that Isabel walks on. She's just so glamorous... She gets an even bigger attitude when Isabel starts staying over. I couldn't stand both of them together. They needed to be separated as well as her grandmother and her new boyfriend that April Grace knew was no good. She tried telling everyone but would they listen? No. Her mother doesn't like her attitude either. She keeps on talking about being nice but April Grace is realistic and once again because she's just a kid she isn't taken seriously.
April Grace's life is just one crazy drama after another. Her life feels like a soap opera. I love watching soap operas so it's a good fit for me. I really want to read more of her. I want to read what happens next. The ending was amazing and I want to read how the author tops this book. I haven't read many southern family books. This was a real treat. It gets serious towards the end and I like that. It was a fun read but it deals with real life situations. I think a lot of girl's will like reading about April Grace like I did. It's a family values type of book but with April Grace it feels like a book that's perfect for anyone.
The book is told from the point of view of preteen April Grace who, as a narrator, can get under your skin a bit. I can overlook that bit of irritation, though, because she has an important revelation AND because she genuinely cares for the other members of her family. As a country girl myself, I think that some character reactions (Isabel's at times) were overwrought, but other parts were spot on.
Not my favorite plot, but the story is easily carried by excellent pacing and a strong voice. While some of the characters irritated me at the outset, I grew to love all of them--but one--by the end. My favorite character? Grandma.
In general this is a well written character-driven piece of southern fiction. I enjoyed it, and my hat's off to the author.
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