Dreaming in Black and White (Laura Jensen Walker)

Rating: [rate 5]
Dreaming in Black and White by Laura Jensen Walker (image courtesy of thomasnelson.com) She’s smart. She’s savvy…She’s…well, she’s working on the thighs. And with God as her witness, she’ll never let that man spoil her happy ending!

Phoebe Grant is everyone’s favorite movie-geek — unbeatable at trivia, convinced that all the world’s a movie screen. She can organize a four-hankie chick-flickathon with a wave of her tall, nonfat, double-mocha. And she’s a shoo-in for the job of her dreams — movie reviewer for the newspaper where she works.

Enter Alex Spencer — not only gorgeous but also a film-buff, perfectly cast for a celluloid kiss and a fade to sunset. Unfortunately, Alex is the villain who sends Phoebe packing to the last place on earth she wants to be — back home to boring little Barley, California.

But wait. It couldn’t be. Dark, handsome and annoying Alex…in Barley?

Can Phoebe protect her hometown — and her heart — and prove It’s a Wonderful Life? Or is her promising future truly Gone With The Wind? – Blurb at the back of the book

The most of Christian fiction that I’ve been exposed to is mostly of Frank Peretti. I like the way he writes because he writes Christian novels in a way that they do not sound like it. He writes with such simplicity that it feels like his novels are true to life.

I never expected that there would be Christian novels that would fall in the chick lit genre. I’ve read a couple of chicklit books (specifically the Shopaholic series) but I don’t really buy them because (1) I don’t know what to buy because there’s so many books under that genre; and (2) most, if not all, are not 100% Pure. So I just resolved to borrowing them instead of buying them (and yes, they are quite expensive).

So I was really surprised to find a Christian chick lit last Friday. Biruin nyo yun. Surprised, curious and excited, if I may add. :) So now let’s go to the review. :P

Laura Jensen Walker‘s debut novel features Phoebe Grant, a thirty-one year old movie junkie and journalism graduate who writes obituaries (obits) at the Cleveland Star, goes on blind dates and a member of the No More Lone Rangers singles group at her Presbyterian church. She knows and can quote from any movie (especially Casablanca), and she dreams of being the newspaper’s movie reviewer. She knew she was a shoo-in for it, but then things take another turn that involves a handsome guy (who also happens to be a newcomer at her church) named Alex Spencer that leaves her jobless. With the help and support of her best friend Lindsey, she looks for temporary jobs to make a living. With more turn of events, she ends up having to go home to “boring little” Barley, California, to help her mother who broke both arms, not showing up in a blind date with a potential guy.

Phoebe couldn’t wait to get out of her hometown because she knows she’s made for the big city, so she keeps in her mind that her stay in Barley was only temporary. However, God has other plans for her as she falls in love with her hometown again as she works to save the town’s theater (which houses most of her childhood memories with her late dad) from being closed down.

It’s definitely a breathe of fresh air from all the novels I’ve read in the past years. It has a light atmosphere of Shopaholic or Sloppy Firsts (Megan McCafferty) but less of the darkness and ominous atmosphere that Peretti novels have. It features a normal single woman who worries about her weight and thinks about wrinkle creams sometimes, with her struggles that could well happen to anyone, including me. It was refreshing to read a woman praying (seriously) as well as reading the Bible and being pure and trying to be content with her singlehood (haha, I can definitely relate).

The novel tackles some of the issues that everyone goes through: looking for the perfect job, being single in the midst of couples, family conflicts, friendships and God’s plan unfolding in the midst of everything. Phoebe Grant is so normal (except for her movie-madness) that I could easily see myself in her shoes (and that’s a lot of shoes ha). :P

I read this book overnight, and I loved every bit of it. It also makes me want to watch the old movies mentioned in the book. :) Though some of the events and mysteries in a book are a bit predictable, it still leaves a warm and fuzzy feeling inside as everything unfolds. :)

Dreaming in Black and White is a great novel, and I recommend it to chick lit lovers as well as Christian fiction fans. =)

Final note: I want to write something like this. Haha. The Filipino and Catholic version. :D Wohoo.