Review: Destiny

Destiny (Destiny, #1)Destiny
(Destiny Trilogy #1)
by Cindy Ray Hale
Contemporary YA Romance
November 5th 2013               

Goodreads Summary:
Destiny Clark, a young Mormon girl living in Tennessee, is wildly infatuated with Isaac Robinson, the headmaster's son at her Baptist high school. When they're cast together in the school's production of Les Misérables, Destiny is horrified to find that she has to be publicly humiliated by acting out her true feelings of rejection onstage.

As their rehearsals begin, Destiny realizes the unimaginable: Isaac has developed deep feelings for her despite their religious differences and the fact that he has a girlfriend.

But will they be able to find their place amongst the backbiters of their ultra-conservative world?

Weaving around Destiny and Isaac's alternating viewpoints, Destiny is the first book in a series inspired by the characters of Les Misérables and explores heartbreak, self-discovery, intolerance, and love.


   


What I thought:
There aren't that many books out there with characters who have strong religious backgrounds that are at odds with one another and yet are also attracted to each other. I think it can be tough to pull off without offending anyone or coming off wrong if you're too close to the issues your characters might have. I was really curious as to what would happen and how everything would fit together.

The religious aspect of this book was rather difficult at parts and definitely asked some questions. I don't mean that this book was preachy, at all. It more of took different members in the community and showed how strong opinions can be and how those can turn into judgement and actions that, I felt, were very wrong. I wanted Isaac's dad to not have a problem with Destiny and her family. I wanted Destiny's parents to be fine with Isaac. He was a really, really good guy and they should have been happy for Destiny to have him in her life. I'm sure that was something the author wanted to push and get readers thinking a little bit about.

I found the characters to be really interesting. They all have their own perceptions, for themselves and for others. They also are perceived by others in a certain way. I felt that the story really showed a lot of these and how the characters dealt with them and changed as some of those perceptions changed.

Destiny and Isaac are realistic star-crossed lovers in the way they all are. They aren't supposed to be together, they have very different backgrounds, no one wants them together, and it will be a huge battle to stay that way. I don't know if I'm completely sold on their relationship. I felt like Destiny had been crushing on Isaac for so long from afar that I don't know if she really had a good solid relationship with him or that they know each other all that well. She also made a comment about not believing that she was dating the Student Body President and that rubbed me a little wrong because Isaac should be loved for him and not his status, such as because he is popular. Destiny does love him for him, but that threw me a little.

There was definitely some drama. How could there not be? Drama by parents and friends and girlfriends... There were some definite hypocritical moments. Isaac's dad really made me mad a few times. Some of that was probably a little unrealistic - at least I hope it was - specifically the way he wielded power in his position at the school. Aspen fit her character to a T.

I really loved Preston's character and Destiny's brother, Michael, and her sister, Olivia. Her friend, Hannah, was great too. Isaac is just a good old golden boy. Very charming. Very handsome. Smart and athletic. Who wouldn't crush on him? Destiny is a wallflower. She kind of hides away, but as she gains some new friends and new confidence she starts to open up and find herself.

I have to say that I loved the humor in this book! There was a dare towards the beginning that involved ALL of Preston's boxers and a freezer. It totally cracked me up! Here's an example of some humorous sisterly love between Olivia and Destiny:
     "No, he just wanted the address so he could go toilet paper the place," I teased.
     Olivia shrugged. "He's a Robinson. I wouldn't put it past him."
     "That's totally unfair. Just because his dad and his brother are total jerks doesn't mean he's one too. I mean look at us, we're sisters, aren't we?" I said with a crooked grin.
     Olivia pitched a stuffed white kitten at me but missed by about two feet.
It was fun to see how this big family got along, teased, and cared for each other. Destiny is the first book in this series, so I'm curious to see how their story continues.

Content: Clean
Source: From tour host, which did not affect my review in any way.


I'm also on the tour for Destiny today. Go take a look and see what the author, Cindy Ray Hale, had to say!









Disclosure: This review is of a book I was given for free by an author, tour host, or publisher, or through NetGalley or Edelweiss. This in no way influences the opinions shared in my review. You may see my complete policy on my policies page. This post also contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of any type using these links, I receive a small kickback.

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