The New Recruit + Giveaway
Forced to choose between military school and a Christian spy organization, skeptic Spencer Garmond signs on with the Bible geeks. But before he even boards the plane for Moscow, Spencer realizes this is no Bible club.
These guys mean business.
Stumbling onto a case involving a gang of homeless boys, a chilling tattoo, and the always beautiful Anya Vseveloda, Spencer struggles to find the faith needed to save the Mission League from enemy infiltration.
» my thoughts «
When I first heard about the premise—a sarcastic jock being recruited into a Christian spy organization—I fell in love immediately. I knew this was a character and book I’d most likely adore, and I hoped I wasn’t disappointed.
The New Recruit exceeded my expectations and more. When I first picked it up, I was thrown into the action from the very first page. It took me a little while to get my bearings, and I was a bit confused, but it wasn’t in a bad way. I figured it out and within no time I adored this story about a kid named Spencer.
From the very first page, Spencer’s voice drew me in. He is one of the best-written male characters I’ve ever read, if not the best. I connected with him in a very deep way, and I loved his sarcastic, straightforward viewpoint. What amazed me was Jill Williamson’s ability to write a male character with such accuracy. It was so cool for me to be inside the head of a fifteen-year-old boy, and it opened my mind in many ways to what a teenage boy might be thinking and feeling.
Another thing I very much appreciated about Spencer’s perspective was his outsider’s view of the Christian world. This is always something I’ve always wished was explored more, since Christians look pretty weird to those who aren’t in the “secret club.” I even feel out of place a lot of the time, and I’ve been raised knowing Jesus my whole life. I connected to Spencer so much on that level, and I appreciate the way Jill Williamson handled that issue.
And now the part you’re probably most curious about: the Christian spy organization. This was seriously right up my alley. I absolutely love writing weird things like that—being kidnapped by a boyband, anyone? The only thing I’m surprised about was that I didn’t come up with this idea. I loved the concept, the members of the spy organization, and Spencer’s skepticism to the whole deal. As Rachelle Rea said in her review, when Spencer started to believe, so did I. I felt like I was in Spencer’s shoes, actually living out the book. It was amazing.
The only con I can think to mention is that there were a few grammatical errors—which were fine, but jarred me out of the story just a bit. Other than that, there wasn’t much else that I found to complain about, which is pretty impressive.
The book kept me hooked all the way through, which isn’t accomplished very often as I have a short reader’s attention span. I’d been pretty disenchanted with reading at that time, since all the books I’d been trying to read didn’t hold my attention, so The New Recruit was extremely refreshing. I will admit that during the middle of the book I set it down for a few days. The action had lulled a bit, yes, but even then was still exciting and the reason I put it down had to do with life circumstances more than anything else. I kept thinking about it during my break, and when I picked it up again I blew through the last chunk of pages.
When I was in the last quarter of the book, I stayed up till one o’clock reading it. Then I woke up at eleven the next morning and stayed in bed for two hours reading it. I would have stayed longer, but I was pulled out of bed for my orthodontist appointment. (Because I was so caught up in the book, we were running a bit late. I don't think I’ve ever eaten lunch so fast before.) I got my braces on that day, and thinking about The New Recruit helped keep me distracted from the discomfort. I literally feel like these book’s characters were my friends, and it was a very bittersweet feeling when I finished. The story came alive in my mind.
Good books are the ones that stick in your head long after, and The New Recruit is one such book. This book has quickly rocketed to my favorites list. It has a place of honor on my bookshelf’s first shelf (which is reserved for only very special books, so you know it’s gotta be amazing). I loved everything about it, and it won’t be long until I go back and read it a second time. Thank you so much, Jill Williamson, for writing a book that made me fall in love with reading all over again.
As part of my review, I had the chance to sit down with Spencer Garmond, the star of The New Recruit, and ask him a few questions. Hopefully you enjoy meeting him as much as I did.
Hey. Sure, whatever.
Nothing. Waiting for Kip to get online to play some PoP. Don't know what's taking him so long. Probably texting Megan.
What’s your favorite color?
Lakers purple, baby. Pantone 526.
Uh... Because it's awesome.
If there’s one thing you want everyone to know about you, what would it be?
Yeah... I don't know. That I clean up at basketball.
You play basketball? When did you start?
Sheesh. I don't even remember. My dad used to play, Grandma said, and she has a picture of me in my crib with a ball that my dad put in there, so... yeah. Some kids had a stuffed animal. I had a basketball.
Why do you enjoy it so much?
Yeah, I don't know. 'Cause I'm good at it, I guess. And it's fun.
Tell me about this… Christian spy organization… thing.
Oh, it's a... wait. Uh... What? I mean... Uh... Do you like red? 'Cause if you know the right answer, you know I can't answer that for the Internet. Come on.
Okay, last question, and it’s a big one: You have two options. You can live in a cave and never have contact with any human ever again. Or you have to live in a crowded neighborhood in New York City and never be alone for any second of any day, ever. What’s your choice?
That's easy. Party in the city. It would suck to live in a cave, man.
Thanks for your time, Spencer!
Yeah, sure thing.
As you probably already know, you’re awesome.
*laughs* Awesome is my middle name. Jason Bourne learned his awesomeness from me, you know.
What would be the drawbacks?