The last thing Addy Davidson wants is to be on a reality TV show where the prize is a prom date with the President’s son.
She’s focused on her schoolwork so she can get a scholarship to an Ivy League college, uncomfortable in the spotlight, never been on a date, and didn’t even audition for it.
But she got selected anyway.
So she does her best to get eliminated on the very first show. Right before she realizes that the President’s son is possibly the most attractive guy she has ever seen in person, surprisingly nice, and seemingly unimpressed by the 99 other girls who are throwing themselves at him.
Addy’s totally out of her comfort zone but that may be right where God can show her all that she was meant to be.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
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|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
About the Author
When Krista McGee isn't living in fictional worlds of her own creation, she lives in Tampa and spends her days as a wife, mom, teacher, and coffee snob. She is also the author of Anomaly , First Date , Starring Me , and Right Where I Belong . Twitter: @KristaMcGeeYAFacebook: krista.a.mcgee
Read an Excerpt
By Krista McGee
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2011 Krista McGee
All right reserved.
Chapter OneYou're going to be on television, Addy," Mr. Lawrence said, as if it were a good thing. As if all seventeen-year-old girls dreamed of being told that and Addy should jump up from her seat, squeal, and thank him for the opportunity.
"The show is supposed to be a cross between America's Next Star, Survivor, and The Bachelor, with a little Miss America thrown in."
Addy tried to calm herself. On the walk from her AP US History class to the office, she had imagined dozens of possible scenarios as to why the principal would want to see her in the middle of the day. Suddenly my fear that I've bombed the SATs doesn't seem quite so awful.
"It's called The Book of Love." Mr. Lawrence looked at Addy with eyebrows raised.
The wrinkles on his forehead were very much like the lined paper Addy left on her desk when she was called out of her class to come here. The paper she should be working on right now.
"The president's son is going to choose a date for his senior prom on live television."
Addy wasn't a big fan of teen magazines, but she would have to be blind not to know about Jonathon Jackson. His movie-star looks and leader-of-the-free-world father made him the poster of choice for many teenage girls across the country.
"But I thought he was dating that girl from the Disney Channel," Addy said.
"Janie Smart?" Mr. Lawrence leaned forward, his eyes dancing. "Where have you been? They broke up last month. It was huge news." He clicked his mouse a few times, then turned his computer screen to face Addy.
She read that Jonathon had asked Janie to come to a state dinner with his parents and she refused. Apparently, Janie had already made plans to promote her new TV movie in LA. Jonathon was supposedly very upset—as was the journalist whose article Addy was reading.
"Who turns down a chance to meet heads of state so she can schmooze with Mickey Mouse?" He shook his head.
So Jonathon ended the relationship. Teenage girls across the country must have rejoiced at the news. "He broke up with his girlfriend and decided to choose his next date on reality TV?" Addy rolled her eyes. "That makes no sense."
"Actually, it makes a lot of sense. Jonathon Jackson will make a fortune from this." Mr. Lawrence looked at Addy, his expression full of hope. "Our school stands to make a fortune as well."
"You will represent our school in the competition," he announced with a clap. "If you win, even if you make it to the Top Thirty, our school will receive so much publicity, our numbers will double, maybe even triple, next year."
Addy knew her small Christian school was struggling to bring in new students. With the economy crumbling, many couldn't afford to pay its rising tuition costs. She had heard rumors that if something didn't change soon, the school would close next year. While she certainly didn't want to be forced to transfer schools her senior year, she was not about to sacrifice her self-respect in order to keep it open.
"I'm honored you think I could do this, Mr. Lawrence," she began, hoping she wouldn't hyperventilate midsentence, "but I'm really not interested."
Addy was the last girl who wanted to be in a reality TV show. I don't even try out for school plays. Not since that time in third grade when I was forced to play a molar in Tooth or Dare.
"It's already done." He leaned back and reached into his desk drawer for a large white envelope. The envelope had a mock presidential seal on the front, the eagle replaced with a chubby, winking cupid holding "The Book of Love." Addy's name was drawn on a piece of parchment paper in one of the cupid's hands. Jonathon's name was on the other.
Her face got warm. "People on reality TV are there for a reason." She stood and looked toward the door. "They want attention. I don't want attention. I want to get good grades and get into an Ivy League school. Period."
"Listen, Addy, you can be exactly who you are, and if you generate a large enough fan base, you can write your own ticket." He motioned for her to sit down. "Look at what has happened to some of these reality TV stars." He began clicking again, but Addy turned the computer screen back toward her principal.
"But I don't want to be a reality TV star." She slumped back into the leather chair. "I don't want to be any kind of star at all. Why don't you ask Alice Harrington or Tiffany Weaver or one of those girls? They'd kill for an opportunity like this."
"That's exactly why I didn't choose them. One hundred schools were contacted. They were chosen at random from every secondary school in the country. We are privileged to be one of them. We can each send one girl. I imagine most of the principals will be picking their drama stars and head cheerleaders. I think we can have an edge in the competition by sending you."
"Is that supposed to be a compliment?" Addy bristled, once again standing to leave.
"Sorry. That didn't come out right. Please, sit back down." Mr. Lawrence waited as Addy dropped back into her seat. "I don't believe our school was chosen by chance. God was in that 'random' drawing." He walked around his desk and sat beside Addy. "Mrs. Lawrence and I talked about this for a while last night. We've watched you grow up, and we know the kind of young woman you are. You will represent our school well, but you will also represent Christ well. That's why I believe our school was chosen—to give Jesus some good press for a change."
Addy's heart raced. From the time she was young, people expected her to be a spiritual giant because her parents had been missionaries. She knew she could never live up to those expectations, so she learned to stay quiet and live in the shadows. So far, that tactic had worked for her.
"Look what you and Lexi have accomplished this year with the girls' Bible study." He blinked back tears. "Twenty girls staying after school on Mondays to study God's Word. And you initiated that."
Addy shook her head. She and God had had many arguments before she finally talked to Lexi about starting that Bible study. Her friend was thrilled at the idea, but Addy was nervous about being in charge. What if she messed up? What if no one came? But in the end, she knew it was what God wanted her to do, so she obeyed.
But this TV show. This is a lot more difficult than leading a Bible study for girls at my school. She didn't mind talking about her faith with other Christians, but sharing her faith with those who didn't believe terrified her.
"I can't," she said, her voice barely audible.
"Pray about it, Addy. Please. I have, and I am convinced God wants you in this."
"But, Mr. Lawrence—"
"God will let you know if this is right for you."
That was exactly what she was afraid of. "When do I have to make a decision?"
"Your flight leaves at nine o'clock tomorrow morning."
Chapter TwoThe Book of Lo-o-ove," Lexi, Addy's best friend since third grade, said, looking at the glossy folder with the chubby cupid on the front.
The pair had been given permission to leave school early. Mr. Lawrence wanted Addy to have time to peruse the information packet from the show. Lexi was allowed to go along as moral support. Settling into a booth at their favorite coffee shop, the girls sipped frappuccinos.
The bell above the door announced another customer had entered.
"It's Spencer, Addy." Lexi drew out his name, like a second grader beginning the song, "Spencer and Addy, sittin' in a tree ..."
Addy put the menu in front of her face. "Lexi, what have I told you about whispering?"
"That was loud?" Lexi looked at Addy with a frown.
Addy peeked over her menu. "Oh no. He's coming over here. I'm going to kill you."
Lexi waved at him. "Hey, Spencer. Want to join us?"
Addy put down her menu and looked up. Spencer Adams was the cutest boy at school. Because of his Cuban heritage, Spencer had creamy olive skin and dark brown hair, with eyes to match. And suddenly those eyes were looking right at Addy.
"Thanks, but I have to get right back to school." He motioned toward the door. "I'm an office aide, and the coffeemaker in the teacher's lounge isn't working." Spencer pulled out a piece of paper containing several orders.
Lexi opened her mouth to say something else, but Spencer was already walking away.
"That went well." Lexi watched Spencer walk to the counter and talk with the pretty barista. "He spoke to you. That only took five years. Maybe by the time you're thirty, you can have an actual conversation."
Addy fanned herself with the menu. "I doubt he even knows my name."
"Because you don't talk to him. You've been crushing on him since we were, what, twelve?"
Addy looked at her friend. "I find him attractive. That's all. I like brown-eyed boys."
"Jonathon Jackson has brown eyes." Lexi grinned.
"Please. If Spencer Adams won't give me the time of day, then the president's son definitely won't."
"You never know." Lexi picked up the packet. "Your names could be written in The Book of Love."
"What kind of name is that, anyway? The Book of Love?"
"It's from an old 1950s song, Lex."
"Who listens to music from the 1950s?"
"Uncle Mike." Addy shot Lexi a "duh" stare.
"That's oldies music?" Lexi snorted. "I thought he had committed some crime and listening to that music was his punishment."
Addy laughed. "You better not say that to him."
"Why not? I'm just about as big as he is now. I can take him." Lexi flexed her biceps and grinned.
Addy looked at her friend and had to agree. At just under six feet tall and just over two hundred pounds, Lexi Summers was a force to be reckoned with.
"Oh, I see." Addy pointed to the middle of the first page of information. "Chad Beacon recorded an updated version of the song. It's going to come out the same week the show premieres."
"Chad Beacon? Who's that?"
"Lex, seriously. Where were you last spring? Chad Beacon is our age and won America's Next Star. Don't you remember how half the girls in school kept talking about him? They put posters up in the bathroom stalls and everything. It was crazy."
"Last spring." Lexi tapped her fingers on her chin. "What was happening last spring? Oh, I remember. Last spring I was the first sophomore ever to hit one thousand points in basketball."
"Anyway, back to the reason we're here, please." Addy straightened the papers on the table. "You have to help me find a good reason to tell Mr. Lawrence I won't do this."
"Interesting, because Mr. Lawrence told me I was here to help you find a reason to do this." Lexi sipped her drink. "Quite a conundrum we're in, isn't it?"
"You can't honestly be thinking this is a good idea."
"Why not, Addy?"
"You've known me almost my whole life. Why would you think this is something I'd want to do?"
"You didn't ask me if I thought this was something you'd want to do." Lexi sucked the last of her frappuccino. "You asked me if I thought this was a good idea."
"And why is it a good idea?"
"Hello." Lexi put her elbows on the table and leaned toward Addy. "Number one, Jonathon Jackson is super hot. I mean, come on. Have you seen him?"
"A perfect reason for me not to go." Addy leaned back. "He's got all kinds of girls throwing themselves at him all the time. Which means, number one, he wouldn't ever be interested in me. And number two, he's probably incredibly conceited."
"Fine, let's say you have no chance with the boy."
Addy rubbed her temples.
"Reason number two: You're on TV. Addy Davidson, a television superstar. Every girl at school will want to be you. Every boy will want to date you. Spencer Adams will be the first in line." Lexi lowered her voice in an attempt to sound like Spencer. "'Oh, Addy. I've been blind all these years. Why have I been dating the cheerleaders and the pretty coffee girls when you've been right here, right under my nose all this time? I love you, Addy.'" Lexi made loud kissing noises and several customers turned to look. Spencer, grabbing the last of his order, among them.
Addy sank farther into her seat. "Shh."
Spencer walked past the girls without even a nod. The bell rang as he left the shop and Addy sighed. "Look, I don't even want to date. Not right now."
"Because nobody's asked you out."
Addy stuck her tongue out at her friend. "We've talked about this before. God first, boys later."
"I know." Lexi sighed. "But we can appreciate all the fine merchandise without having to buy anything."
Addy laughed. "I don't want to window shop. I want to get through high school with a good GPA."
"And get into an Ivy League college," Lexi finished. "I know. But, Addy, seriously. You have been chosen to be on TV. And it's only for, what, a month? A month out of your life to enjoy fame and pampering and ... what else?" Lexi looked through the papers in the information packet. She pointed to the second page. "Ooh, challenges and contests. That sounds fun."
"Are you even listening to me?" Addy tried to pull the papers from Lexi's hand, but her friend turned to the side and kept reading. "I don't want to be on a show where I'm trying to win a date with a boy. It's embarrassing."
Lexi pointed to the third sheet. "Look, it says you won't even get an actual date with Jonathon until the very end. Once you've proven your worth."
"I don't want to prove my worth." Addy grabbed the papers and stuffed them back into the envelope.
"Stop being so stubborn. Go on the show. This is a oncein-a-lifetime chance."
"I know you mean well, Lexi. But I can't do this. It's not for me." She looked at her phone. "I'm going home. At least I know Uncle Mike will be on my side. He'll help me tell Mr. Lawrence no."
* * *
"You told Mr. Lawrence I would do this?"
Her uncle had been waiting for Addy when she got home, her suitcase out and clean laundry folded on her bed.
"Calm down, Addy-girl." He pulled travel-sized shampoos and conditioners out of a Walmart bag. "This is nothing to be afraid of. It's an amazing opportunity. Talk about being a light in the darkness. Your parents would be so proud."
"Don't bring them into this, Uncle Mike. This is not the same."
He opened his mouth to respond, but Addy held up her hand to stop him. "And even if it were, I don't want it. Mom and Dad died being a light in the darkness. Is that really the goal you want me to strive for?"
It was a low blow. They both knew it.
Mike put down the bag and squeezed her shoulder. "I know this isn't something you'd choose, but God can use you—"
"Why would God want to use me?" Addy pulled away from her uncle and hugged herself, fighting panic. "I'm not like my parents. I'm just ... me."
"Addy-girl, sit down." He waited as she reluctantly dropped to her bed. "Have I ever told you that your mom was scared when they left for the jungle? She told your grandpa and me at the airport she was worried she'd let people down. She sounded a lot like you do now. She was sure others could do a better job than she could. You know what your grandpa said to her?"
She shook her head.
"He told her those thoughts were from the enemy, not from God. God had called her to that village, so she could trust that he would help her accomplish his tasks for her there."
"But they were killed, Uncle Mike." Tears rolled down Addy's cheek and she fought to keep herself from completely breaking down.
He sat next to Addy and held her. "God had a reason for taking your parents home. He brings good even out of evil."
Addy doubted she would ever think of her parents' murder as a good thing, but she had decided long ago that trusting God was a wiser choice than hating him.
"You know the first thing that came into my mind when Mr. Lawrence told me about this?" Uncle Mike asked.
"This is crazy—my niece doesn't need to embarrass herself by going on a dating show?"
"No." He put his arm around Addy. "I thought of Daniel and the lions' den."
Addy looked at him. "What?"
"Daniel got thrown into the lions' den for his faith. But what happened because of that?"
"God saved him," Addy said.
"And?" Addy asked.
"And then the king knew Daniel's God was the true God and it changed the entire country."
"I might buy that reality TV is the lions' den." Addy pulled away from her uncle. "But I'm no Daniel."
"I bet Daniel didn't think he was Daniel either." He kissed the top of Addy's head, then left her alone, knowing she needed time to think.
Excerpted from First Date by Krista McGee Copyright © 2011 by Krista McGee. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Loved this book! Great story based loosely on the Bible story of Esther, told in the present day. A very funny and endearing book. Can't wait for July when the sequel "Starring Me" about the character of Kara!!
really loved this book! Being a christian is not easy. I am in no way perfect. In fact, it is daily choice to live right. And any other christian will tell you that there are days when you just want to give up. In this book, the reader meets Addy. A young lady of faith who is struggling with who she is. One thing I loved about this book is that the author didn't paint to main character Addy to being a "perfect little christian." Addy is messed up. She said things she shouldn't have said. She has attitude and most importantly she fought against God. I can totally relate to that. When my husband got chosen to be the worship leader in the new church, I was immediately was upset. I prayed and said,"God, just what do you think your are doing? I don't want to be a leader. I don't want responsibility. I don't want people looking at my family. I DON'T WANT THIS!" I fought God. I told him, " I didn't ask for it and I don't want it." But God works in mysterious ways and TADA! Were in a new church plant, with me standing by my husband as the new worship leader. I'm scared. YES! Me. Little Savannah scared out of my mind. Why? Because I'm not perfect, I'm broken. Messed up. Then my good friend told me something. She said," Savannah, that is the exact reason why God chose you. People don't want to see perfection. They want to see someone who has been through trouble times and made it out. Just like Moses, who didn't want to lead people out of Egypt, he fought God, like you. Moses was great not because of what he did, but because of who he was in God." And deep breathe... The book showed Addy's struggle with who she was and her past. I like that she wasn't perfect and carried her past with her. Through Ms. McGee's writing, the reader felt emotions of Addy's struggle with God, her life and her future. She prayed constantly, asking for help. I also adored that there wasn't super supreme being moments, like reigning shine of glory moments. Addy moments with God were small, precious, and life changing. The things he did in her life brought Addy closer to God. And through his grace, Addy was able to fine her way out. My favorite line in this book was," If your not talking to God about it, how do you expect to get through it?" It's so TRUE! That line, makes my heart ache. Cause like so many people out there, I like to do things on my own. And then, when I am drowning and can't find my way out is when I finally pray. *Sigh* You think I learn by now, but my walk with God is getting better and better every day. If you want a real christian book with real life struggles read this book! I can't tell you the amount of times I had some sort of revelation as to what do about certain things in my life. I like that it wasn't fake but a real relationship with the Lord. The struggles of life, a hurtful painful past and learning to love when you have nothing left. It all happen with the grace of God.
Amazing book. Vary well writen. Fits the story of Esther but it modernized.
I really really enjoyed this book. Looking forward to the next one she writes... Highly recommend for a teenager who wants a clean, but still funny and romantic, book.
Its kind of hard to find food teen fiction these days, but this a nice clean story, that makes you keep reading. I highly reccomend for someone trying to find an appropriate book.
Pretty soon I'm going to have to give in and read, and then review, and nonfiction book. For now I have attacked a fiction book by Krista McGee entitled, "First Date". This wonderful book is a cross between the TV show "The Batchelor" and the book of Ester from the Bible. Jonathon Jackson is the President's son. Addy Davidson is a bookworm who avoids the spotlight. Both of them find themselves on a reality TV show called "The Book of Love" to find Jonathon a date for his senior prom. Jonathon must pick one lucky girl from the pool of 100 young ladies from all over the United States. This was a very fun read. I could not put it down. This would be a wonderful book for a young teen girl to be encouraged when trouble comes. I enjoyed the modern day twist on the book of Ester. It brings the lessons we are supposed to get from the Bible in to better focus. As Christians, this book reminds us to not answer anger with anger, and to try to understand those who might be against us a little better. While there are lessons to be learned from this book, it is not a heavy read, nor one filled with suspense or terror. I enjoyed the well crafted storyline and the way the author mixed the contestant interviews between the chapters to allow us to get to know the girls a little better. If you have just finished a long book that required lots of contemplation between chapters (or sentences, for that matter) and need a "refresher" book to help clear your mind and bring a little joy to your heart, this is the book for you. I recommend this book to anyone who just wants a light read. It will get you to thinking about yourself and how you handle those troublesome people in your life. As you read this book, you will cheer for Addy, feel for Jonathon, and despise Hank. Then you will finish the book and find that your initial reactions may have been off base. I am looking forward to reading many more books by Krista McGee. If they are anything like "First Date", I'm sure to enjoy them all!
I actually read the second book (Starring Me) before reading this one. I liked it much better, but this was good to. The writing was good in that I never expected what was coming. The storyline was more interesting in Starring Me, but I would recommend reading this one first to help answer some questions that you might have in the second one.
I cant talk today bye
Date her im ganna date someone else
Hey i sent you a friend request please accept it! ill talk to you later and im glad you and chaz fixed everything! Lisa ;-)
HEY! YOU DITCHED ME=(
Baby, I'M REALLY SOOOOOOO SORRY!!!!! I went to my dad's that night and he doesnt have wifi. Babe, let me make it up to you. Just tell me how. I'll do ANYTHING if it means I can get you back. I love you Nadia!
A very enjoyable read with some great insights on the world of reality tv. The characters feel very real and I loved watching Addy change over time. The prose was simplistic and the novel isn't going to be considered a classic, but it is still a worthwhile read. It is very clean with little or no cursing, drug use, or sex and it's simple romance was very refreshing. It has a very religious message that still remains real and doesn't feel too preachy. The characters definitly have their flaws but they are not goody two shoes. It is a light read but worth it.
This is a great book!!!!! I loved it!!!!
FYI: This is a Christian contemporary fiction. I know some people like to know that upfront. I really enjoyed this book. It was fun and light. I liked the characters and wanted to see how it would all turn out. Addy wasn't exactly happy to be on a reality tv show to win a date with the President's son. This wasn't just any date though; it was a date to Jonathan's senior prom! The story line was so fun. The realty show started off with 100 girls from all over the nation, and basically Addy was the only one not excited and falling all over the first son. The villain in the story was great. He was annoying, mean, bitter, and laughable all at the same time. This story is about friendship and overcoming your fears, and I enjoyed taking the journey with Addy.
This book is based on the story of esther and it is almost funny when some parts of the story mirrored the story of esther . This book i must say is my new favorite and i can't wait to read starring me also by krista mcgee hope you read this book!