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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Review: Love Thy Sister, Guard Thy Man

Love Thy Sister, Guard Thy Man
by Kimberlee R. Mendoza

While camping in the Cuyamaca Mountains above San Diego, shy Melena Harrison meets surfer Dylan Hart and is floored that an attractive man would actually fall for her. Especially since she hasn’t had a date since, well, birth.

They share a romantic late night hike, trips to the beach and chemistry that can’t be bottled—everything is going great. That is until Cassi, Melena’s spoiled sister, falls for Dylan, too. And what Cassi wants, she usually gets. Manipulation, sordid tricks and revealing clothing—Cassi will do whatever it takes to get her man. Even if Melena is left heart broken.

Can Dylan and Melena’s budding relationship survive Cassi’s vindictive meddling?

I’m full of praise for Love Thy Sister, Guard Thy Man. I blame Ms. Mendoza for causing my lack of sleep because I just had to know what would happen next. Every page screamed “read me!” and it took incredible effort to stop pushing myself. I finally relented and went to bed so that I would be able to wake up the next morning to go to work. I wish I could quit my day job and read engaging books like Love Your Sister all day, every day.

Melena Russell spends a week of summer vacation at a youth camp with her best friend, April. She is beautiful with an athletic frame, but utterly shy and blushes easily. And, get this – she has never dated. She meets Dylan Hart at camp and develops a deep crush on him. The mere thought of him makes her cheeks go crimson. It turns out that Dylan likes her, too. Soon, they begin seeing each other. Then, Melena’s bratty younger sister, Cassi, comes into the picture. She is determined to snatch him from right under Melena's nose.

The whole novel is fun, and there are lots of laugh-out-loud moments. It's interesting to see how Cassi is so determined to cause misery to her older sister, plotting and scheming. A huge misunderstanding ensues and Cassi hangs around Dylan every chance she gets.

There are huge lessons to draw from the story: friendship, family, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, and relationship with God. Another clear lesson is to not jump to conclusions. It causes unnecessary heartache for Melena and Dylan. Melena, when faced with difficult situations, turns to God and asks for His guidance. The thing is, she is also human and at one point, got into a fight with Cassi and causes a scene at – of all places – a party organized by their pastor.

Ms. Mendoza penned an edifying story with highly likeable characters. Natural dialogues, clever and witty conversations -- things just seem to flow effortlessly. All you need to do is just go with the flow. I felt connected with the characters as I devoured the novel. It is definitely an easy-to-read treat and I am already looking out for more of her novels. I highly recommend this!

Review by Tulip