First Date is a sweet story that I would recommend for junior high or early high school age girls. Though you can see elements of the book of Esther with references to Daniel in the Lion’s Den, the story is not a retelling of either. It is its own story.
Addy’s private Christian school has been chosen to send a representative to compete on a reality show. To stay open, they need the money and publicity that come with participation. The principal chooses Addy to be the school’s representative. Addy is very opposed to this. She longs to live a quiet life, get good grades, and get into an Ivy League school. She doesn’t want the attention or distraction that comes with being on a reality show.
But Addy must go.
She finds herself competing with 99 other girls for a date with the president’s son. Not interested, she tries to get herself eliminated in the first round. Yet everything she does backfires to her and to the show’s producer’s dismay. The media just loves this reluctant contestant. The president’s son is captivated, too.
Over the course of the story, Addy learns to make peace with her past, to obey God in her present, and to trust Him with her future. She also makes some really good friends who influence her in positive ways as she learns to live in a way that influences them for Christ.
It took a few chapters to draw me into this story, but as things progressed, I wanted to know what would become of Addy, how her story would end. I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.