Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tender Love, Raw Emotions, and Powerful Perspective | Review of Intermission

Join me in offering a well-deserved round of applause to Serena Chase and Intermission, her foray into the world of contemporary young-adult fiction! I'm excited to share my review (along with the author's giveaway!) on this, the novel's official release day. :)

About the Book

Sixteen-year-old Faith Prescott eagerly awaits the day she will exchange her small Iowa hometown for the bright lights of Broadway, but her success-driven parents want her to pursue a more practical career, labeling “artsy” people—including their daughter—as foolish dreamers worthy of little more than disdain.

When Faith meets nineteen-year-old Noah Spencer she discovers someone who understands her musical theatre dreams . . . because he shares them.

Faith’s mother despises everything about Noah—his age, his upbringing . . . even his religious beliefs—and she grasps at every opportunity to belittle his plans to study theatre and pursue a stage career. When those criticisms shift further toward hostility, resulting in unjust suspicions and baseless accusations, an increasingly fearful stage is set for Faith at home, where severe restrictions and harsh penalties are put in place to remove Noah Spencer from her life.

But Faith has never connected with anyone like she has with Noah, and no matter how tight a stranglehold her mother enforces to keep them apart, Faith will not give him up. Behind the curtain, Faith’s love for Noah continues to grow . . . as does her determination to hold on to her dreams—and him—no matter how high the cost.

Available Now!

My Rating


My Review

While I'm nearly a decade older than Faith (the heroine) at the start of Intermission, certain themes of her story profoundly resonated with me. I have limited experience in the world of theater, and I didn't grow up with the same struggles Faith faces at home. But the ache of waiting, wondering, wanting...the eagerness to fast-forward life and the fear of what might be lost in life's intermissions...these are trials of a sort that many of us can relate to and remember, no matter our current stage.

The structure of Intermission is brilliant, clever, and poignant. In Act I, I enjoyed watching Faith and Noah's relationship unfold. The sweet moments. The tender introduction to romance. The way they inspire each other—not only in their career dreams, but (more importantly) in their acts of love and integrity.

In these scenes, real questions arise, the kind we really ask: What does it mean to obey God and honor my parents? Are my prayers genuine? Why did God bring me to this place of blessing, only to press pause or take me through more pain?

Seeing Faith (and Noah) wrestle with these questions moved me. And—as with all great fiction—it comforted me to spot reflections of my own feelings and uncertainties within these authentic characters.

As for that intermission and the act and conclusion that follow, I leave it to you to discover where the plot leads. I'll just say there are some twists in store. That's usually the case in life, isn't it?

With some beautiful descriptions mixed in to raw emotions, Intermission is a powerful read for those longing for hope, encouragement, and perspective in the midst of relational strife or difficult delays.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of the book.*


From the author: Five winners will receive a signed paperback (or a Kindle copy, if preferred) of Intermission. One Grand Prize winner will receive a signed paperback (or a Kindle copy, if preferred) of Intermission, plus a $40 Ticketmaster gift card.

Enter the giveaway using the form below!

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Serena Chase said...

Oh, thank you Amber! What a lovely review. Thanks for "seeing" the heart of this story.

Unknown said...

"But the ache of waiting, wondering, wanting...the eagerness to fast-forward life and the fear of what might be lost in life's intermissions...these are trials of a sort that many of us can relate to and remember, no matter our current stage."

LOVE that! It's so true. I'm also around a decade older than Faith, but when I was reading, I realized how much I related to her. I admit to tearing up a bit during the last chapters. Now that I think about it, I think I teared up when reading ALL of Serena Chase's books! haha

Brittaney said...

What's not to love about musical theater? I love how the songs tend to help the story stick with you much longer.

Rissi said...

As usual, beautiful review, Amber. I've no doubt this will be a 2016 favorite of mine when I finally read it. Hopefully I'll snag a copy on my next Amazon shopping spree - for reasons! :)

Courtney said...

Music brings another level of emotion to a story--especially live music. I think the emotional experience is what makes musical theater so special.

Savannah Grace said...

This was a wonderful review, Amber! I've heard good things about Serena Chase's books - I'll have to try one sometime soon! :)

~ Savannah

Amber Holcomb said...


My pleasure! I'm so glad you like the review, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to read this story and be encouraged by it. :) The faith elements are powerful!


Amber Holcomb said...


Aww, thank you for your kind words! And I so agree that Faith's story has some totally relatable elements - I'm glad to hear the story resonated with you too. :) Definitely some tear-jerker moments! Beautifully done. :) Serena Chase has talent!


Amber Holcomb said...


That's a great point! There's something about music that really brings emotions home and helps moments and messages stick with us. ♥

Thanks for stopping by!


Amber Holcomb said...


All the reasons!! ;) I think you'll love this one too, friend, whenever you get the chance to read it! Thank you so much for your sweet words about my review. :)


Amber Holcomb said...


Very true! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! :)


Amber Holcomb said...


Aww, thank you so much! Serena is a wonderful writer, and I've enjoyed all her stories so far. :) Her first four books are great for fairy-tale/fantasy fans, and her latest is an intense, sweet, and meaningful contemporary romance. Lots to love! Hope you'll enjoy her books too!


Kara said...

Yes! So well said, friend! This story, and particularly Noah and Faith, just blew me away. Such powerful emotions throughout the whole thing. Serena is definitely an amazing writer. :)

Amber Holcomb said...


Serena is a wonderful writer, for sure, with a great imagination and a skill for expressing emotion, as you noted! :) These two main characters and their story were great! So glad you were moved by them too. :)