Saturday, October 17, 2009

Altar-ed Plans, by Rebecca Cornish Talley

It's been a while since my last post--occasionally life gets in the way of our best intentions. However, during my online absense, I read another good book.

I didn’t plan on enjoying Altar-ed Plans, by Rebecca Cornish Talley as much as I did. It sounded cute, but predictable. However, I soon discovered that although I knew the outcome of the first chapter when Caitlyn is on her way to the Los Angeles temple planning to marry her high school sweetheart, Justin—I still enjoyed the ride immensely. I felt a little sadistic enjoying her unsuspecting drive to the temple and chuckling about it.

Rebecca Talley immediately proves her writing expertise and throws in plot twists, and other situations as well that keep the reader wondering what will happen next. Caitlyn has a loving, but non-member father who resents not being able to see his oldest daughter get married—there’s Lindsay, the younger and more observant sister—and then there’s the mom who tries ever so desperately to keep everyone together and happy.

Good for Mom to insist Caitlyn immediately return to BYU after being jilted. She is already a student there, and needs to get on with her life. However, just because Caitlyn reluctantly returns and attends classes doesn’t mean she’s moved on. Far from it. She has done a good job of turning herself into a veritable hermit and emotionally Caitlyn is well on her way to becoming the weird aunt with ten cats and a parakeet when she meets Travis.

Things start to change for Caitlyn when the bishop calls her to be the “mom” of her Family Home Evening group—an activity she has never attended because it’s just too social. The “dad” of the group, Travis, doesn’t give her any time to back out or to even think before she is attracted to him.

As much as Caitlyn likes Travis, and as often as Brittany tells her to give him a chance—Travis does cause Caitlyn more heartbreak. He’s too nice of a guy and has a hard time making a clean break with his longtime friend/girlfriend. It soon becomes clear that Alison—the other girl, is more of a stalker/fatal attraction type of gal. It’s just not normal behavior to put a wedding dress on layaway if you’ve not been asked the ‘big’ question. Alison is relentless and undiscouraged by Travis’s apparent disinterest and makes plans to marry him even if she has to propose herself.

Altar-ed Plans also does a good job of showing the importance of good friends with Caitlyn’s roommates, Brittany and Hannah. Brittany, although she compares guys to a salad bar, is good at getting Caitlyn away from the sofa and encouraging her to have faith and to trust again. Caitlyn, with her experience is able to give valuable and personal insight to Hannah when she becomes serious with a non-LDS young man.

Although Caitlyn didn’t want it to happen, nor did she ever dream it would, toward the end of the novel there are two eligible men waiting on bended knee. So, if you’re interested in a fun, upbeat story that’s all about the race to the altar, this is the perfect novel. It’s just full of twenty-somethings waiting for their chance at wedded bliss.


Valerie Ipson said...

Thanks Tina. Good review. Now I definitely want to get the book.

Rebecca Talley said...

Thank you so much for this review! I really appreciate it!! Thank you.

Jen in AZ said...

Fun review, Tina. You summarize details while keeping the suspense intact. It sounds like a fun weekend read.