Title: Perfectly Ridiculous
Author: Kristin Billerbeck
Series: Universally Misunderstood
Published: July 1, 2012
Daisy Crispin is happy to leave high school behind and is looking forward to starting new in college. Before she goes away she is planning an all-expenses-paid trip with her best friend Claire to Argentina. She can’t wait to sink her teeth in some exotic food, watch the tango, and possibly assess the relationship between her and her sort-of boyfriend, Max.
Her vacation comes to a screeching halt when she learns that she has to do missions work to fulfill the requirements for her college scholarship, not to mention her parents insist on coming with her. Now what was supposed to be a relaxing time in the lap of luxury turns into hard work, cots, avoiding scorpions, and stressing about her relationship with Max.
However, as she learns what life is like in true poverty, she becomes thankful for her life surrounded by toilet paper, homemade close, and too much family stuffed into one home. She also meets a boy who shows her what a healthy relationship can look like. If only she could forget Max and start something that doesn’t make her feel less than worthy.
Can Daisy finish her scholarship requirement or will she be stuck not going? Will Daisy learn to put more trust in God or will she rely on herself her whole life? Will trouble find her like it always does or will she finally have some time that’s trouble free? Will she be able to move on from Max or will she still allow him to have some hold over her?
Having never read a book by this author, let alone this series, I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a book filled with adventure and trouble. Not reading the first two books in the series seems to be a mistake not just because of the mention of previous stories but because I missed all the trouble and sticky situation that Daisy and her friend seem to get into.
I connected with Daisy right away because of her parents. Like her, my parents are overly protective, but thankfully that’s where most of the similarities end. My family doesn’t make our own clothes, I don’t live in the garage surrounded by toilet paper, nor do my family use our home as a storage unit for the rest of my family’s stuff. Despite that, I felt a kinship with Daisy because, though I don’t know what it feels like to go to school with knockoffs and homemade clothes, I do know what embarrassment feels like. The portrayal of that embarrassment and teen angst that comes with wanting to grow up, is spot on and I give the author huge credit for being able to portray that in a way that someone not even close to being in that situation can understand.
My favorite part is her parents on vacation. I loved it. Her parents are the A-typical tourist floral shirt, muumuu and all. Which is totally embarrassing but I felt that it was a slightly humorous quirky touch to the story. Another thing I liked as well, was her parents role in the story, in the end, they trusted her and vice versa, and were really cool when Daisy needed them to be most. It really makes you appreciate the role your parents have in your life.
One thing I was really looking forward to was the ministry part of the book, unfortunately the author decided to not delve into that part and I was a little disappointed. In my opinion it was a huge opportunity wasted. I wanted to be shown the need there is for ministries in poverty stricken areas and the change it can bring the people who need help and the volunteers. Unfortunately, I wasn’t given that, only slight touches and mentions, but because I wasn’t painted a real picture, I have to take the character’s word on how they live. Not to mention Daisy’s view on her role in this amazing thing is something she has to check off her list, not something life changing for her an those around her.
This book was a quick, enjoyable read. It wasn’t one that I would make my favorites list, but it was one that I feel most teen would probably enjoy. Though this book didn’t make this author one I have to read again, I will look forward to any more releases by her and will probably read more from her later.
Overall, an enjoyable, quick read, but not one that makes a real lasting impression. I recommend this to any teenage girl and those who love a young adult genre book that involves a lot of trouble. I give it’s book a three and a half out of five.
*I received this complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*