Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter

Summary: "Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt." Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined."

Review: So I had written a review that I got really really worked up over, and it was a little more… passionate, as it were… than I wanted to be. So here’s a summary of the problems I had with the book, and just know that I feel fairly strongly about them.

-I think Daniel needs a little more self-respect. Being willing to be with a girl even though she keeps telling you she doesn’t love you is kinda pathetic.

-I think the benefits of therapy get downplayed in books like these. Yes, God can heal you, but He also created things like therapists and depression medications, and those heal you, too. And sometimes the notion that God will heal you “if you just have more faith” can make emotional distress worse, because when you don’t get better, you assume you are the problem and get even worse.

In a nutshell, those were my big issues.

That being said, the book was cute enough.  I liked the big family Jade is part of, and how supportive everyone is of her pregnancy. I liked that the religious aspects of the book are subtle; it's not preachy or anything. If anything, it could have used a little bit more; Jade's loss of spirituality is mentioned, but it's not a big plot point or anything. This book is more about the healing power of love than the healing power of God, for the most part. I like Jade and Daniel, as people. And in general, I like their relationship; it's really natural and sweet, and the sort of relationship I would want for them.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, bechdel-test, fluffy, is-this-a-kissing-book


**I received a digital ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Dancing with Fireflies comes out on March 11.**

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