About The 12th Girl in Heaven (from Amazon):
Macy Bandele’s goals are simple: get good grades, don’t make waves at the university, and find some place to belong. The mysterious princess sorority, Rho Lambda Tau, seems like the answer to her problems. If only the handsome Dillan Noughton didn’t keep challenging her way of thinking. What sinister plans do the sorority hide? And can Dillan help save her from herself?
About RJ Conte:
RJ Conte, formerly Rachael Lynn Thomas, has kissed only one boy in her entire life. And she married him, inspiring her to write about sweet or powerful love stories ever since.
She writes a blog on parenting, publishing, painting, and perorating at http://blonderj.wordpress.com/
She also has recently begun a book review and rating website for parents to make informed decisions on what to allow their children to read: rjconte.com/books
RJ Conte writes realistic, issue-driven fiction that explores human nature and the depths of the soul, while pointing readers to their Creator.
I give The 12th Girl in Heaven 4 out of 5 stars.
First of all, I’ve been sitting on 12th Girl for about three months. My laptop died in April, and my PC went in June, so I’ve been using my Kindle for almost everything but reading, sadly. Saturday night, I was completely disconnected from the internet, and had sometime to read. Scrolling through all of the books on my Kindle, I decided to settle in with 12th Girl and I’m glad I did.
You may remember that I hosted RJ back in May to talk about human trafficking, a theme in The 12th Girl in Heaven. The novella is a is a modern twist on a truly haunting fairytale, and she manages to insert a powerful message not only about trafficking but the deception of certain lifestyles as well. While there’s a distinct moral to this story, it’s definitely not preachy.
There were many times where I was literally on the edge of my seat wondering what was going on (in a good way). Through it all, there’s a tender love story, which would ordinarily be out of place in such a tense and chilling plot, but it is really well done in this case.
I think the characters are among Conte’s best, and I’ve been reading her since her first book, Dashwood Avenue. (Dill Pickle was a nice throwback. You either get it or you don’t. Sorry.) I especially enjoyed Gidget’s complex character, but I thought Macy’s motivations made her an interesting character as well. Of course, Dillan is every girl’s dream, and it doesn’t hurt that he’d be approved by most fathers, too.
As you may have guessed from the synopsis, a large portion of The 12th Girl in Heaven takes place in a sorority. While I didn’t personally rush in college (my Greek letters were of the academic honors variety), I know girls who did, and I watched all four seasons of Greek, so I’m familiar with the process. While I’m certain the aspects of hazing that this story went into were accurate, at times, early on in the story, the rushing and pledging aspects were muddled and somewhat inaccurate, and that may be off-putting to young women who have actually rushed and pledged sororities.
Overall, however, I found The 12th Girl in Heaven to be an easy story to settle into and the pages kept turning once I did. Go get it.
Disclosure: I’ve known RJ for almost ten years, but lest you think I’m going easy on her or trying to boost her ratings because we’re friends, she will be the first person to tell you that I have always given my honest opinion about her stories, even when it has meant (what many writers deem to be) an inferior rating. (Though, okay, personally, I am the three-star rating’s biggest fan, even as a writer, but now is not the time or place for that soapbox.) When I review, I review for you, my readers, so you can determine what might be your cup of tea, and what you might want to pass over. Just sayin’…
If you end up liking The 12th Girl in Heaven, you might also like these titles that I’ve reviewed…
Fairy-Tale Retellings: Becoming Beauty by Sarah Boucher
By RJ Conte: Angel-Lover