First Date is a fun, lighthearted book about Addy Davidson, a high-school student at a small Christian school, who is chosen to be one of one hundred girls vying for a chance to win a date to prom with the President's son. Addy resists the idea from the very beginning, not even wanting to participate, but allows her Uncle Mike and principal to convince her to at least get on the plane. Convinced that she still doesn't want to be a part of the reality show, she tries to get kicked off as soon as possible. Being herself without the pretenses and ambitions of the other contestants, however, draws the positive attention of the First Son, and the negative attentions of the producer, as well as the majority of the other contestants who feel she is making a mockery of their chance for stardom. Addy comes to the conclusion that if God has put her in this competition, then she needs to be the light He has made her to be, whether that means being nice to the girls who are out to sabotage her or sharing her faith in a very public forum.
After the last several books that I have read, this was a welcome change. A light, quick read, I enjoyed the characters and found Addy to be easy to relate to. A quiet, hardworking student, who wants to stay out of the spotlight and focus on getting into college, you wanted to root for her. The setting of a reality show was current and enjoyable as a light read, and the ambitious backstabbing of the other contestants felt all too plausible. It was nice that Addy had someone who stuck up for her, though, and I enjoyed watching Addy transition from doing everything she could to escape the situation to doing what she could for God. Not perfect, by even her own admission, but courageous enough to try what she felt called to do. I also enjoyed that even though there were predictable aspects to the story, they felt natural and occurred with reasonable lead-up and follow-through. And the ending was not entirely predictable, but that made it enjoyable. It also looks like there will be a sequel, with Addy's roommate and friend, Kara, as the main story; I look forward to following these characters.
I give this book 3.5 stars - a nice break from heavier reading, but no life-changing depth or revelations.
I received this book for free as part of the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze books for bloggers program. I was not required to give a positive review.