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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: Destiny by Cindy Ray Hale

Destiny (Destiny #1) by Cindy Ray Hale
Genre: Young Adult (Contemporary Romance/ Religion)
Date Published: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Self

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.

Destiny is the first book in the Destiny series by Cindy Ray Hale. This is a forbidden romance brought about by religion. I don't know much about Mormon beliefs, but I consider them to be Christian, unlike some of the characters in this book. Destiny is a Mormon and her family doesn't want her dating any non-Mormon boys. Isaac is a Baptist, and his family doesn't want him dating a Mormon girl. Both sides are very passionate about this and aren't always nice when they defend their beliefs. This story did its part to debunk some of the common Mormon stereotypes, but didn't really offer the same courtesy to the Baptist stereotype. This book made Christians, mostly Baptists, look horrible. This took away from my enjoyment of the book, because not all Baptists behave this way. It hurts to see Christians portrayed so poorly. Unfortunately, you see it in fiction a lot. Too much.

Religion aside, I enjoyed the story. Destiny was easy to like. I needed more time to let Isaac grow on me, but he eventually did. I'm Team Preston though. He had a personality that attracted me the most. Destiny could be herself with him whether she was acting girly or being a tom boy. I liked their chemistry. The supporting characters were fun. Especially Hannah. She was a hoot. The story as a whole was entertaining. I'm curious to see what happens next.

I'm a Les Mis fan, so that is what initially attracted me to this book, and I really liked how it played a big part within the plot line.

Destiny by Cindy Ray Hale was kindly provided to me by YA Bound for review. The opinions are my own.

“All my most unreachable dreams were suddenly, so unbelievably, about to come true. But they were forbidden. The right thing to do would be to pull away, turn from him, run back to the house. My head screamed at me to flee, but my heart begged me to stay.” 

Cindy Ray Hale is a Young Adult author and a book blogger. She lives in a little slice of wooded heaven near Atlanta, Georgia. She spends way too much time following up-and-coming musicians on YouTube and dreams of joining their ranks one day. She’s a bit of a health food nut and can’t live without her daily green smoothies. She tries to stay sane as she juggles writing with four kids, staying active on social media, and keeping up her book blog In addition to writing and self-publishing two Young Adult Contemporary novels, she has also written articles for "New Era" magazine and The American Preppers Network.

To learn more about Cindy Ray Hale and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

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