Monday, April 9, 2012

Blog Tour: Growing Pains by K. P. Smith Book Review and Promotion

Summary (from goodreads):  Growing Pains; Kendras Dairies is the first book in the series chronicling the journey of Kendra Foster from adolescence to adulthood. I aspire to encourage, entertain, and inspire young adults. Life has its ups and downs, its bumps and its bruises. But with perseverance, determination, and faith you can be all you were born to be. Never Give Up!

This is coming of age young adult literature dealing with difficulty family relationships and the struggle to make ends meet. The author of this book grew up in New Orleans, but began her writing career when she was evacuated to Atlanta during Hurricane Katrina. This is the authors first young adult novel.

Growing Pains: Kendra's DiariesGrowing Pains: Kendra's Diaries by K.P. Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will begin by saying that I am not a true young adult book fan, but the book description sounded okay so I thought I would give it a go.  All too often, YA books are filled with bad language, sex, drugs, and much more.  I understand why the books are written that way, but I do get tired of those kinds of stories.

What an absolutely pleasant surprise this book was!  It was simply written from the perspective of Kendra.  In fact, it read much like a diary or journal from her perspective.  She is a typical eighth grader in the 1980's (I could so relate!).  She lives in New Orleans (before Hurricane Katrina), and she attends a parochial school. She is the typical girl who wants to go steady with a cute guy, wants to be a cheerleader, and looks forward to high school.  Her story is straightforward and delightful.

Don't be deceived.  Not everything works out for Kendra.  In addition to her normal adolescent struggles, her family has struggles.  Some are unexpected, and there are those struggles that are completely unexpected.  But isn't that life?

The best part about the book is that there is absolutely no profanity and no sex!  This was so refreshing to read a clean young adult book!  And the characters actually had morals--go figure!

Something else I really appreciated was how Kendra prayed to God.  While I am not calling this a religious book, much of the story happens in a Catholic school, and Kendra is a good Catholic.  She shoots up simple prayers to God at difficult times in her life and times when she really would like a miracle to happen.  And I love her faith in those times.  It reminds me that being real with God is a good thing!  And Kendra does that.

K.P. Smith is an author I absolutely adore!  Her characterization and plot are simple but well-written.  I highly recommend this book and hope that she writes more installments in Kendra's stories in the years to come!

I was set a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews

 Exceprt- As soon as I walked out of the bathroom, the smell of bacon beckoned me to the kitchen. I sat down to a nice plate of golden brown pancakes—the steam was still wafting from them into the air—with a side of bacon fried extra crispy just like I liked it, and orange juice on the rocks. Okay, there was a second plus to my mom taking us to school. If it were my daddy, breakfast would have been a bowl of cereal, and toast, courtesy of Chef Kendra.
"Kendra, have you decided which high schools you are going to apply to?" my mom asked as I was taking my first bite of breakfast.
Oh, and she warmed the syrup! I thought, as the pancakes melted in my mouth. Mom you made my favorite breakfast please let me eat it in peace.
That morning above all others, I didn’t want to engage in any conversation. I wanted to keep my mind clear and focused on the most important matter of the day: cheerleader tryout practice.
"Yes mom, I have been thinking about it." I was hoping that would be enough and she would drop the subject.
She continued, "I know you have your heart set on The Academy, but your daddy and I want to make sure you apply to other schools, just in case you can’t go to The Academy."
I nodded. I glanced at Patrice, who was enjoying her breakfast. Wasn’t there something going on in her life that my mom wanted to discuss with her?
"What does the counselor at school have to say? Have you met with her yet?" It was obvious I was going to have this conversation whether I wanted to or not.
"Yes, I met with Ms. Marina. Yes, she also advised me to keep my options open. We agreed I will apply to other schools, plus The Academy. Yes, I will mail off all the applications soon. I am waiting for my teachers and Ms. Marina to write their letters of recommendation. Ms. Marina told me that with my good grades, I will definitely get accepted to all of them, and there is a good possibility I will get more than one scholarship offer. Now, can I please just eat?"
"Don’t get smart with me, little girl. We have sacrificed, and with the help of the good Lord, we have been able to pay for you and your sister to attend St. Peter, Paul & Mary. But high school is much more expensive, and without a scholarship we can’t afford it. But we want you and your sister to have the best education possible. You need to be prepared, in case you have to go somewhere other than The Academy. Like Ms. Marina said, you have to keep all of your options open."
It amazed me that my mom never tired of saying the same thing over and over again. Lord knows, I got tired of hearing it. I didn’t live with my head in the sand. Our money problems were no secret. They argued about it all the time.
I know they can’t afford to send me to any of the schools I am applying to, let alone The Academy. I just get tired of being reminded all the time.
Mom, I would love to tell you how hypocritical this sounds. I’d love to point out how you always say how good God is, and how He answers prayers—how you have to have faith, no matter what, no doubt. "No matter how impossible things seem, you had to keep your faith," you always say.
What I really want is to ask her, "So, where is all that talk now? Can’t I believe God will answer my prayers? Can’t I have some faith and believe that I could go to The Academy? I have been studying and making very good grades for years. Is it so farfetched, too much to ask for, to believe that I will get the scholarship to The Academy? Is that too much to ask for?
"Do you hear me, God? Are you listening?"

Buy the book: 

K.P. Smith has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Xavier University in New Orleans, LA. She also has a Masters in Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing from Loyola University in Chicago, IL. K.P. Smith has a successful career in the Insurance Industry.
She has been an avid reader since her youth. Writing has always been a passion of hers. She is the author of The Growing Pains Series. The first book in the series titled Growing Pains:Kendra’s Diaries was published in 2012. The second book in the series titled Growing Pains:New Beginnings is scheduled to be released Fall 2012.
K.P. Smith is committed through her writing and interaction with the youth to be a source of encouragement and inspiration.
She currently lives in New Orleans with her two sons.
Contact K.P. Smith at for speaking engagements at schools, churches, retreats, youth programs, writers workshops and conferences.

Follow her on facebook and twitter.

Follow the entire tour here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting, I am glad that you liked this book!


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