by Meg D. Gonzalez
Series: International Adventures #2
Published by Clean Reads
Publication Date November 14, 2017
Genres: Christian Fiction, Young Adult
Setting: Germany Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 15-18
Written for: High-School/Young Adult
Social butterfly and closet bookworm Julia Carter is smart enough to trick her parents into sending her to Germany for the semester, but she would never let those smarts show. It wouldn’t be good for her bubbly reputation. With its antique houses and castle atop the hill, Marburg looks like it stepped straight out of a Grimm brothers’ fairytale. Yet life in this little German town is no fairytale at all—starting with the girls at school. When Julia’s offered an internship she can’t pass up, she begins the treacherous game of balancing her fledgling social life with work that risks a secret she’s kept for nine years—and her new boss’s son is out to trip her with it.
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I was so excited when I saw that Meg Gonzales had a new book out! I read her first novel, Sketchy Tacos last February and just loved it. Bubbly Schnitzel is the second book in the series and is about Julia, Mila’s best friend.
Julia has felt alone for her entire life. She is so low on her parent’s priority list, she takes drastic measures and gets shipped to Germany so she can stay with her aunt for a few months. Things, however, don’t work out quite like she expected.
Julia really needs God in her life, but when Mila has shared with her about Him, the fact that her own parents don’t care about her has her thinking that:
… my own father won’t look up from his cell phone long enough to listen to me. Why would her all-powerful God the Father be any different?
The story is very touching and deals with hard subjects like peer pressure, abandonment, bullies, fears and relationships in a sensitive and interesting way. My heart went out to her as her mom’s standards caused her to make terrible choices, and yet I could relate and understood exactly what motivated her.
I loved the various characters in the book. Each was written so well that I felt like I knew them. The descriptions of the town made me feel like I was there with her.
The ending of the book doesn’t neatly wrap things up. There is no magic wand that is waved causing all the problems to go away. But the ending is realistic and it is satisfying.
Though this is the second book of the series, it stands by itself with no problem.
Here is the first line of the book:
“Julia, this is a horrible idea.”
Join the fun with us! Take the book you are currently reading, open to chapter one, and post the first sentence (or two or three) in the comments below. Then head on over to Hoarding Books to see all of the First Line Friday pages this week.
Drugs are mentioned in the book, and one character has an overdose. There is no description of the use, however, and the point of the inclusion of them in the story makes it necessary and there is no glorification of them.
Also in the story is a boy who has hands that try to go where they shouldn’t, but again, it was a necessary part of the story and was written in such a way as to still be clean.