Premiere (On the Runway Series #1)

( 39 )


A recipe for success or a design for disaster?

Although they’re sisters, Paige and Erin Forrester are like oil and water, night and day, denim and silk. Paige is an outgoing fashionista who loves to be the center of attention, while Erin is more comfortable sporting vintage garb and recording the action around her. When a near disaster turns into the opportunity of a lifetime, these two very-different sisters are given the chance to star in their own fashion-TV show. A guest ...

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A recipe for success or a design for disaster?

Although they’re sisters, Paige and Erin Forrester are like oil and water, night and day, denim and silk. Paige is an outgoing fashionista who loves to be the center of attention, while Erin is more comfortable sporting vintage garb and recording the action around her. When a near disaster turns into the opportunity of a lifetime, these two very-different sisters are given the chance to star in their own fashion-TV show. A guest spot on a hot teen-reality series and their first big red-carpet assignment give this unlikely partnership plenty of room for success—and even more for failure.

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  • The On the Runway Series
    The On the Runway Series  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Carlson's (the Diary of a Teenage Girl series) latest, which launches the On the Runway series, 18-year old narrator Erin, who loves being behind the camera, and her 19-year old sister, Paige, who shines in front of one, land a contract to star in a fashion-focused TV show. Erin both admires her stunning, smooth-talking, fashion-expert sister, and cringes at Paige's manipulations and thoughtlessness, which Paige has ample opportunity to exhibit when the show's producers plug them into a popular teen reality show. While trying to maintain a critical distance from the glamour, staged intrigue, and cattiness of this new world, Erin seeks a moral compass as she wrestles with her ex-boyfriend's reappearance, and wonders how to reconcile her Christian values with her work and how to be a good sister. Fast-paced action, driven by the social media of cell phones, Facebook, and Twitter, highlights both the thrills and stressors of modern teenage life, where the private becomes instantly public, and the line between reality and acting is hard to find. Available simultaneously: Catwalk. Ages 13-16. (June)
Shauna Yusko
“Teen girls who enjoy fashion, reality television, and are looking for something less edgy than the Gossip Girl series will be rewarded with this title, which looks to be the first in a series.”
VOYA - Christina Fairman
This new series follows the fortunes of Paige and Erin Forrester, sisters who have an affinity for the entertainment industry; Paige is a self-taught fashion expert, and Erin is training to go into film production. At the opening of the book, readers learn that their mother is a television producer who has inexplicably allowed her daughters to cover a local event for the evening news. The report is a disaster, but it catches the attention of another producer, who offers the girls a chance at their own fashion-oriented program. Paige is thrilled (Erin not so much) when their first assignment is to interview cast members of a popular teen reality series. The seemingly cushy job, however, drops them into a den of spoiled divas, orchestrated catfights, and drunken cast parties that test their social and ethical boundaries. This innocuous book will appeal to teens who seek realistic fiction without the graphic story lines that often define this genre. The reality show setting, though contrived and simplistic, may appeal to reluctant readers. The breezy dialogue is peppered with contemporary references from the entertainment world. Published by Zondervan, the book contains sporadic evangelical Christian references. Early on, for example, Erin decides that she must not give her impulsive sister a hard time because "that's not how Jesus would treat her." Twelve discussion questions follow the main text. This book is most suitable where there is a particular demand for Christian youth fiction. Reviewer: Christina Fairman
VOYA - Emily Petite
Here is a novel full of plain characters and even plainer first-person prose. Paragraphs could have been cut or polished to achieve crisper, more powerful narration. When a new character is introduced, we receive few details to bring him or her to life. All in all, Carlson has given us a cheesy, lazy book not worth any young reader's time. Reviewer: Emily Petite, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Christian values seem to be the antithesis of high-fashion consumerism and reality-show combativeness, but Premiere mixes these worlds with believability and appeal. Paige turns a report about a theme park that her mom is producing into a style critique. A reality-show producer sees the teen and her sister and asks that they work together on a project called "On the Runway." She promises Erin that she can work with the camera crew but Erin suspects she's really there to keep her sister from getting into trouble. When Paige falls for Benjamin, the lead's boyfriend, sparks fly. Erin has her own conundrum. She's just getting over breaking up with Blake, but now he wants to get back together. Meanwhile, Paige nearly loses her job when she sneaks off with Benjamin. Her impulsiveness contrasts nicely with the slow rebuilding of her sister and Blake's relationship, which is steeped in their religious beliefs. Those beliefs can seem heavy-handed but it's also nice to see Erin live them rather than having them tacked on. This book is worth adding whether you have a demand for Christian novels or not. The fashion and reality-show fireworks are enough to keep even reluctant readers coming back for more.—Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Kirkus Reviews
In this not-so-frothy Christian chick-lit novel, two sisters, one a fashion-savvy clotheshorse who is beautiful, self-possessed and glib, the other a pretty, smart, sensible and low-key person, are hired to co-host a TV show about the world of fashion. The story is told in the first person from the point of view of Erin, the younger and more religious sister, who, in an understandable brew of sisterly feelings, loves, envies, admires and is annoyed by the more outgoing and (slightly) wilder Paige. In a public-relations ploy, the girls are invited to be guests on a reality-TV show, similar to MTV's Real World, where they encounter a universe of moral and emotional ambiguity, a place where it's hard to tell who is having real feelings and who is acting like it for the cameras. This is the most engaging part of this rather bland tale, as it gives the girls, and thus readers, a chance to see how reality TV goes about the business of manipulating its so-called actors for mass entertainment. Serviceable, but not much more. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310717867
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 5/28/2010
  • Series: On the Runway Series, #1
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 13 - 16 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. Before publishing, Melody traveled around the world, volunteered in teen ministry, taught preschool, raised two sons, and worked briefly in interior design and later in international adoption. "I think real-life experiences inspire the best fiction," she says. Her wide variety of books seems to prove this theory.

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Read an Excerpt


On the Runway
By Melody Carlson


Copyright © 2010 Melody Carlson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-71786-7

Chapter One

Here we are at wonderful Wonderland." Paige doesn't even blink as she flashes a bright smile at the camera crew before launching into a clever monologue about the local theme park and its recent improvements. I'm sure I'm one of the few present who knows her real opinion on this mediocre park. "This is so last century," she told our mom earlier today. But now she is all sunshine as she espouses the park's many "wonders."

Meanwhile, a small crowd gathers around her, looking on with interest like she's a celebrity. They're chatting amongst themselves and nodding toward her like they're trying to figure out just who she is. But the problem is she's not anybody. Well, she's my sister. And, in her own eyes, she's a soon-to-be-discovered star. But then who isn't down here in La la land, CA, where it seems half the girls I know have a bad case of celebrity-itis? They either want to be famous themselves or connected to someone who already is famous.

I would never admit this to Paige, but she's got the look of a star. Not to mention the attitude. Plus, she knows how to dress. And it doesn't hurt that she's got peaches and cream skin, straight white teeth, clear blue eyes, and nearly natural blonde hair that despite being long always looks perfect. Not unlike her old Barbie doll. Some people have compared Paige's looks to Cameron Diaz, but in all fairness, Paige might even be prettier. Not that you'll hear those words coming from my mouth anytime soon. And certainly not while Paige is within hearing distance. I love my sister, but that girl's head is big enough already.

Anyway, as usual, I am hiding behind my video camera, acting as if I'm a member the Channel Five camera crew, although I'm fully aware that this is live coverage and my shots will not be used. Still, it's good practice as well as my best excuse to remain behind the scenes-or in other words, in my comfort zone. Not only that, but my camera helps to cover the conspicuous pimple that's threatening to erupt on my forehead today. Okay, so I am a little self-conscious and a bit insecure when it comes to my looks. But who wouldn't be with someone like Paige for a sister?

As I zoom in on Paige's picture-perfect face, I notice that the wind has blown a silky strand of hair across her highly glossed lips, and it sticks there like a fly on flypaper. She casually peels the strand off and continues to rattle on about the park's new and improved amenities, like it's no big deal.

"It's the twenty-fifth anniversary here at Wonderland." She addresses the camera. "And crowds have gathered here today to celebrate the reopening of the recently renovated theme park. More than two million dollars were spent bringing the park back to its former glory and, as you can see, everything looks clean and new and idyllic."

I try not to be overly wowed with my sister's natural gift for gab, but sometimes the girl totally floors me. How does she do it? still, I never let on that I'm impressed. By the same token, I never let on that I'm intimidated. Not even by her looks. It's not that I'm a dog. My friends all assure me that I'm relatively attractive. But, hey, they're my friends. What else are they going to say?

The cameras continue to roll and Paige rambles on, and she's starting to get this look in her eye, almost like she's become bored with her subject matter. Not that I blame her. I mean, there's only so much you can say about a second-rate theme park, no matter how much money they throw at it.

Fortunately for Paige, my mom is signaling for her to wrap it up by slashing her hand across her throat and mouthing "cut." And Paige, used to this routine, makes her graceful exit. "And now back to the anchor desk at Channel Five news."

"That was good," Mom tells her, but her eyes are on the monitor and I can tell by her expression that she's listening to her headset, probably taking direction from someone back at the station. She nods and says, "Okay. Sure, no problem, we can do that." Then she turns back to the camera crew. "They want us to get a few more minutes of airtime-they decided to cut the trucker story. So we'll be back on in fifteen. Everybody hang tight."

"What more can I say about Wonderland?" Paige demands, letting out a sigh that sounds like she just ran a five-minute mile. Sometimes my sister can be a real prima donna.

"I don't know," Mom says absently. She's still listening to her headset as if there's another big story she should be going after. "Just ad lib, okay?"

"How about if we go shoot near the entrance," suggests Sam Holliday. Sam's the head cameraman and a very nice guy, as well as the first person to let me handle a real camera.

Mom nods. "Good idea. Maybe we can get some of the park's guests to say a few words and give Paige a break." Now mom points to me. "Or perhaps Erin can take a turn being on camera."

This is all it takes to make my sister stand up and take notice. And I know her well enough to see that she is not ready to share the limelight with anyone-especially me. And this, I must admit, is a relief.

"I'll interview some guests." Paige takes the second mike and we head over to the entrance area. We're barely set up when mom gives Paige the signal to start. Then mom heads off to use her cell phone.

"Here we are again for the big reopening of Wonderland," Paige says with another brilliant smile. "As you can see the people are pouring into the theme park this afternoon." An overstatement since there are about six people trickling in at the moment. "And here's a fresh idea-since the Golden Globes are next month, let's pretend like this is the red carpet and we are on fashion watch."

Then with mike in hand, Paige approaches a couple of unsuspecting teenage girls. They look a bit wary as to whether they want to be on TV or not, but my sister quickly disarms them by smiling and saying, "Welcome to Wonderland, girls. Is this your first time here?"

One girl nods without speaking, but the other girl is a little braver. "Yeah. We decided to come since it was half price today."

"And did you get those Capri pants for half price as well?" asks Paige. Well, I almost drop my camera, except that I'm curious to record the girl's reaction and I have to admit the baggy, white cropped pants were a bad choice. Not only do they make her butt look big, but there's a spill stain on one knee.

The girl looks shocked, but her friend just nudges her with an elbow, then giggles. "Yeah," the friend tells Paige, "she did get them on sale. How'd you know that?"

Paige smiles slyly. "Oh, it's a gift. So how would you describe your fashion style today?" she asks the half-price girl who seems to be speechless. "Campy casual or theme park comfort or thrift shop chic?"

"Uh, I guess it's theme park comfort," the girl mutters.

"Well, comfort is important," says Paige, turning to the other girl. "And how about you?" she asks. The girl frowns down at her black T-shirt. It's well worn with a faded white skull on the front. "Sort of revisited Goth perhaps?"

I wince inwardly but keep my camera focused and running. In a twisted way this is actually kind of good.

The girl shrugs. "Yeah ... it's an old shirt."

"And it's just adorable on you," says Paige, "and it reminds me of the good old days." She's smiling back at the camera now and totally ignoring our mom, who is off the phone now, but freaking out as she sends all kinds of throat slashing "cut-cut-cut" signals Paige's direction, although no one is paying attention. I actually think the camera crew is enjoying Paige's little spectacle-or else they're too shocked to shut it down.

"And I'll be the first one to admit that fashion is subjective," Paige continues. "After all, this is only a theme park. But on the other hand, you just never know who you might bump into." She laughs then turns back to the camera. "As you can all see everyone is having a fabulous time at Wonderland today. They've put on their very best togs and are parading about for the world to enjoy."

Then Paige continues to describe outfits, turning what was supposed to be theme park coverage into a great big What Not to Wear spot. And by the time the camera crew finally does shut down after five long minutes of Paige's merciless attacks, Mom's face is getting those weird red blotches-not a good sign.

"Paige Forrester!" mom seethes. "What on earth do you think you were doing?"

"Ad libbing," Paige says lightly.

Sam chuckles as he pats mom on the back. "Don't worry, Brynn," he tells her, "who really watches the five o'clock news anyway?"

Mom turns and actually glares at him now. "Well, have no doubts that this piece will be cut out of the six o-" But she cuts herself off to listen to her headset again. Now she's grimacing as if someone back at the station is speaking way too loudly. Make that yelling, because I can hear him fairly well and it sounds a lot like her boss, Max. And the words he's using would not be acceptable on the air.

"You probably got mom fired," I whisper to Paige.

Her brows crease slightly. "No, you don't really think-"

"I didn't put her up to anything," Mom says loudly. "Listen, max, I-" But she's interrupted again and we can all hear him shouting.

I fold my camera closed and shake my head at Paige. "See what you did?"

Paige nods without speaking and her eyes look worried. For some reason this makes me feel a tiny bit better about my sister's sensibility, or rather lack of it. Still, I'm wondering what we would really do if Mom lost her job. It's only been three years since Dad died and our world was turned upside down. Since that time, Mom has worked long and hard to gain respect at the station-enough respect to land her this producing job about six months ago. And despite her hard work, there are still some Channel Five employees who think she got her promotion out of pity ... simply because her husband (our dad), Dan Forrester, the beloved anchor on the Channel Five news for more than a decade, had been tragically killed in a plane wreck. To think that Paige could've messed this all up in just a few minutes is seriously disturbing.

Chapter Two

Do you have any idea what kind of a position you've placed me in?" Mom asks Paige as we're leaving the theme park.

"I was just joking around, Mom." Paige is using her "little girl" voice now-it used to work on our dad, but mom's a lot savvier.

"You do not joke around with the news."

"But I remember Dad used to joke-"

"Your father earned the right to make a few well-timed and lighthearted comments." Mom's voice is growing sharper. "Not that he would have abused that right by treating people the way you did just now, Paige Marie."

We've reached our vehicles and the guys are quietly loading their equipment into the news van, probably trying to lay low as Mom and Paige continue their public family squabble. Good thing the cameras aren't rolling now.

"I trusted you to act professionally, Paige." mom's voice remains angry. "And you let me down. You have actually placed my job in jeopardy. Do you understand that?"


Excerpted from Premiere by Melody Carlson Copyright © 2010 by Melody Carlson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 39 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it! A clever reality TV story for teen girls

    When Paige and Erin are helping their mother with a live, on location segment for the news with Paige in front of the camera and Erin filming, Paige starts critiquing people’s clothing. Erin is mortified at how rude her sister is and worries her mother’s job is now in jeopardy. But a reality show producer saw the segment and asks Paige to be the star of a new fashion reality show called On the Runway. Paige’s mother has one condition: Erin goes on the show too, as a cameraman. And so Erin is thrown into a world of glitz, glamour, and drama, whether she likes it or not, pretty much to babysit her impulsive older sister.

    Loved it! With the reality TV craze, this book is a clever addition to Christian fiction for teen girls. The book sucked me in. I couldn’t put it down. It was so fun and realistic and slightly horrifying as we watched Paige barge onto the set of another popular reality show and make waves. I guess that just means I relate more with Erin’s practical personality. The characters were so real, I felt like this was happening in Hollywood right now and if I flipped to the right channel on my TV, I’d see Paige and Erin doing their thing. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. If you haven’t read this book, what are you waiting for? Two girls getting the opportunity of a lifetime, a little romance, a lot of Hollywood drama. This is a perfect for teen girls.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    PREMIERE: For those who love fashion, drama and excitement of reality TV minus the cursing.

    Premiere (On the Runway) by Melody Carlson, the first book for the On The Runway series, is about two sisters, Paige and Erin Forrester. Both very different from each other but both love the camera. Though they have different ways of love for the camera. Paige loves being in front of the camera and being the star of the show. While Erin loves being behind the camera and working behind the scenes.

    Paige has it all - blond hair, blue eyes, a great smile, peaches and cream skin, the height of a model and a personality that can light up a whole room. She sometimes can be a little selfish but has a very loving side. She may not make all the right choices, but with her sister by her side, they¿ll face it together,

    Erin, on the other hand, is the total opposite. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She likes vintage style rather than the designer clothes that Paige wears. She is wise and helpful. Erin always saves her sister from disasters. In my opinion she is one of the most dependable 17 year olds out there. The On the Runway series of books are written in Erin¿s point of view.

    In Premiere (On the Runway), the Forrester sisters were given a chance to have their own fashion TV show after a near disaster on a news program that their mother produces. They first guest starred on a hot teen reality show called ¿Malibu Beach¿ (kind of like ¿The Hills¿). Unexpectedly, a little catfight ensues between the star of ¿Malibu Beach¿ and Paige. Will their show be in trouble like a clueless outfit or will it come out on top as high as Tyra Banks¿ heels? Buy the book and find out.

    MY REVIEW (Artsy Princess):

    Premiere (On the Runway)isn¿t all about fashion. It¿s also about Paige and Erin trying to make the right choices with the help of God. Although Erin is the only Christian in the family she tries her best to share the word of God to her family. Not only is it about God but it¿s also about relationships and friendship.

    I was so attracted to the book when it first came to the house. My mom opened the box and there it was lying down waiting to be read. The cover itself is already enough to get my attention because of the outfit in the front and the shoes at the back. But when I started to read it I never wanted to let go of it.

    The book not only has a great story but the way that author Melody describes all the Items of clothing made me want to go to a mall and try to find the same items. I just turned 13 in last November 2011 but I started reading the series when I was still 12. So I definitely recommend this to girls my age. Although the series might be too old for girls under the age of 12. But all in all this is one great book.

    MY REVIEW (Mom of Artsy Princess):

    If you¿ve been following my blog, you¿ll know that my children and I are big fans of Melody Carlson. We already own several of her books and I have reviewed most of them here.

    The On The Runway series of books are very entertaining. In Premiere (On the Runway), they get their first taste of reality TV and all the goings-on are very interesting to read. I appreciate Erin¿s character as the Christian sister because she is always striving to live as a Christian and be a good model to her sister and viewers.

    Paige keeps everything interesting. While she says she believes in God but hasn't prayed for a long time, she also is a model for style, good manners and charm.

    Once again, bestselling author Melody Carlson has come up with a series that will defin

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2010

    Good premiere

    A book about Fashion an TV? I thought to give it a try and was supprise how good is was. I really liked it and cloudn't wait to see how it will go on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Which is the real reality?

    Paige and Erin Forrester are two young ladies with the chance of a lifetime, to star in their own reality TV series about fashion. Paige, the older sister, is way into fashion and the Hollywood scene, while her younger sister is more down-to-earth.

    This book is written from the viewpoint of Erin as she tries to keep things together for her family in a spiritual way. Erin is a new Christian and is struggling to be a good testimony to her widowed mother and her starry-eyed sister.

    Premiere is a well written book that is aimed at the teenage girl crowd. It shows young girls that it is still possible to find God, even in the world of today. I don't think that this is the main focus, which to me is a let down. Erin's internal struggles with morality is what made this book strong in certain areas.

    Melody Carlson understands good character study. Erin plight's are really heart-felt and easily identified with. This also gave me mixed emotions about the characters and their bad choices in boyfriends. It seems the bad choices made by the "bad boyfriends" were easily forgivable while the good choices made by "good male friends" were dismissed by a brush of the hand. I do think this happens a lot in the real world with many young women, they go after the "bad boys". I just don't like that promoted in books. I enjoy the good overcoming the evil in reality or fantasy.

    Other than that this book is hard to put down. The book has a feel like a reality television episode, there really is no conclusion, just the end of an episode. Carlson is a good writer, and I think this may be the first book in a series.

    Review by Mick McArt
    Author, Tales of Wordishure

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2010

    First in On the Runway series is runaway success

    Premiere by Melody Carlson is the first book in the On the Runway series. Paige and Erin Forrester have just been tapped to star in their own reality television show about fashion. Paige is a natural in front of the camera and looks like a model while having an encyclopedic knowledge of the fashion industry. Erin is far more comfortable behind the camera where she doesn't have to worry about competing with her gorgeous and stylish sister. When their producer wants to introduce their show by having them appear on another reality show (think The Hills), Paige's chemistry with star Benjamin soon has his onscreen girlfriend Mia fighting mad. Erin is still battling her feelings of betrayal about ex-boyfriend Blake, but his interest suddenly returns when she's going to be on television. All she can do is turn to her faith in God to get her through this confusing time. This is by far Carlson's best young adult series yet. Erin is down-to-earth and immediately relatable to teenage girls who feel like they will never measure up to the popular girls, but she has a strength of character that is admirable and will be inspiring to readers. When I finished, I wanted to immediately read the next book in the series, Catwalk, because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the characters. This is a series sure to go far with teenage readers (and their moms!).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2010

    Fun for moms and daughters

    Premier is the first in a new Melody Carlson series, On the Runway, and it gets started with the kind of excitement teens can get into: fashion and reality shows. Through the adventures of sisters Paige and Erin, Carlson shows us the behind the scenes of "not so reality" reality TV. Just on the basis of debunking reality TV, the book is worth recommending to teens. But Carlson throws in the universal questions teens have about who they are and how they can find their place in the world.

    A great read for moms and daughters to share.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2014

    I've read this whole series and I am in love with it! This is my

    I've read this whole series and I am in love with it! This is my favorite series at the moment! I also like that it is Christian based but not overdone like some authors do. I could relate to both Erin and Paige's troubles at some points. Erin and Paige have their own reality tv show about fashion. Erin likes to be behind the camera and is more shy. Paige is the more outgoing one and she is a gorgeous girl and she critiques other  models and brands. While they do their show  they run into different troubles. From boyfriends to jealous models. Every book they travel to different places and run into different troubles. You can really relate to both of them. I loved this book series and I recommended it to my friends and they enjoyed it just as much as I did! This is a book series that will keep you hooked and won't be able to wait for the next book. I've also read some other books Melody Carlson has written such as Damaged and the True Color series. This is a must read series!

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    Posted August 30, 2012

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    Posted December 4, 2010

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    Posted February 21, 2011

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    Posted August 17, 2011

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    Posted February 13, 2011

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