🎁 Polishing Jade by Tekoa Manning

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Description⎮Reviewed Jul. 2016

Narrator: Felisha Caldeira
Length: 7h 11m
Publisher: It’s All About Him Inc⎮2015

4.25 ★ Audiobook⎮ The Christian Lit. genre isn’t something I normally gravitate towards, so I didn’t really know what to expect from Polishing Jade. I’m glad that I knew it was a faith-based story when beginning it or I would have been rather taken aback at the prominent role religion played in the plot. It’s not something heavily featured in most mainstream novels. I think the genre is important to keep in mind when reviewing this because there were several elements of the story that I might not have as readily accepted if this was supposed to be anything other than Christian Lit.

The first 85% of the story could have possibly passed as mainstream contemporary fiction, but as the story drew to a close, the religious themes became more intensive. The underlying messages about teenage sex, pregnancy, and adoption didn’t always sit well with me. While I understand and respect that these are valid viewpoints, they didn’t completely harmonize with my beliefs.

I think it’s important for potential readers/listeners, especially those not accustomed to Christian fiction, to be prepared for the possibility that their opinions may be challenged.

However, if I were to view this from the perspective of someone who greatly enjoys Christian literature, it would likely be seen as a heart-warming, “feel-good” story of faith and redemption. Jade was a very likable, relatable character. I was definitely rooting for her. This was an enjoyable story that was surprisingly light, especially considering the rather “heavy” themes discussed. It left me with the same sort of emotions I usually have after watching a Hallmark movie.

Obviously, I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys Christian literature and faith-based stories. To anyone else, this story could be seen as having several “problematic” elements, but I won’t go into those because the story was clearly intended for a certain audience and I believe that audience has a higher chance of appreciating the story than I did.

To be clear: I liked it fine. It was a good story. I’m just not sure I’m capable of fully appreciating it the way it was intended, if that makes sense.

Narration review: Felisha Caldeira absolutely embodied Jade Gentry. Felisha’s voice, along with the cover model combined to give me an incredibly clear mental image of Jade as the protagonist. This was my first experience with Felisha as narrator and she definitely impressed me. I don’t think I have ever heard another narrator with a voice like hers. I wasn’t immediately sure that I would like it, but it soon became clear that her narration style fit the main character “to a T”.

Not only did her style fit the character, but I also think it enhanced my understanding of her in a way that eloquently complemented the writing. Caldeira’s Southern accent was soft, slow, and pleasing to the ear. Her character distinction was subtle and unobtrusive. I greatly enjoyed her performance! ♣︎

➜ This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its narrator, Felisha Caldeira, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Felisha!

$ Available at The Book Depository (paperback) and Audible

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