Scripture Union’s best-selling young adult novel (when in print, 2003-2013) –
Dear Bob, a Bridget-Jones style exploration into Jude Singleton’s first year at Uni.
When was the last time YOUR unshaven armpits got YOU into trouble?! In Jude’s case it’s when… well, let’s just say she’s unable to respond in the affirmative to the challenge:
“… hands up if you lurve Jeeeeeee-sus… come on… let’s see those arms raised high!…”
Jude Singleton, the patron saint of single Christian lasses, is desperate for two things, namely a bloke… and the truth.
Yeah, you know – God, Christianity, Church, dodgy guitar chords… the whole package.
She meets with opposing forces – about ten thousand of them (give or take the odd few who dropped out in the first semester). Days after starting at Bymouth University, a ‘freaky’ dream knocks her off her cosy Christian perch… she lands in reality city with more of a bump than might be imagined, or desired. Doubt sets in, big-time. Fear pays a visit, and Confusion has a field-day.
Join her as she struggles to find the perfect bloke, learn to drive, learn to ‘club’, resist the temptation that is ‘Pringles’, fake her faith at the Christian Union… and suss out exactly what it is SHE believes in…
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Woman Alive (Click to read entire review)
It’s a long time since I’ve been a student/teenager, but I loved this book. It was funny, annoying, moving – I didn’t even mind Jude’s bad
spelling – she loves vollervonts! But at the end there were tears in my eyes.
UK Christian Bookshop Directory (Click to read entire review)
The author has managed to successfully portray the challenges that come to this character as well: emotional, psychological and physical experiences that can eventually take its toll in this tricky phase of life. I would also recommend it to any parents who have children leaving home. The experiences of the main character and the feelings alongside it are depicted incredibly accurately and so parents would do well to be prepared for these. I personally found it hard to put this book down, mainly because it actually became a personal journey of discovery and healing as I reminisced about this time in my own life.
The Methodist Recorder (a Christian newspaper, Oct 2003)
‘Teenagers and young adults adjusting to university life will readily identify with the situations faced by Jude Singleton, and 18-year-old who is off to University in Dear Bob… the book takes you through Jude’s first year at university as she writes her diary to the future husband she has yet to meet called ‘Bob’. She finds her attitudes to Christianity, friendship, parents, sex and many more areas of life are challenged as she searches for what it means to be a Christian. Written in an almost ‘txt’ shorthand style, this book covers difficult topics in a friendly, humorous and non-judgemental way.’
JAM (a Christian youth magazine, Winter 2003)
This was so the book for me! Written in a diary format, Dear Bob is the Christian answer to Bridget Jones. It’s easy to follow (if you get the lingo early on!) and shows Jude as a real person with real problems. There were many moments in the book that I saw myself in Jude and ina lot of instances I had to put the book down through laughing too much! Definately a book for the girls, although I think that you boys would get a lot out of it too. I took Dear Bob on holiday with me this Summer and no one saw me for a whole week; I couldn’t put it down!
An absolute classic!’
Amazon reviewer (2004)
This book is so real! Written in the style of diary entries, ‘Bob’ being the narrators’ future husband, it could be the diary of many young Christian women who go to University. The writing is true, the characters are real (I’ve met some of them), and life is not always easy. The narrator goes through many of the difficulties that young Christians can relate to immediately, yet this book is an easy, accessible, read. Sometimes fiction can hit home in a way that no non-fiction book (except the Bible) can, and I would recommend it to any young Christian.
Great for 14-15 year old girls, starting to think about university. Many of the questions of dating and self-image are covered as well and would speak to this age group.
Goodreads reviewer (2012)
This striking book will find a special place in your heart that any reader can relate to and connect with on such a personal and intimate level, thus I found myself entwined within the story as it spoke to me. Eye-brow plucking, how to date a guy and other girl related issues make this book an ideal read for teenagers and those females who can intimately comprehend what the main character is going through, in terms of her thoughts and feelings that are sincere. Completely realistic one reads through Jude’s diary entries as if you are being personally spoken to, as the writing is quite conversational, readable and colloquial (although not in terms of slang but rather less formal than Dickens).
This enjoyable read is the kind of book that you could take anywhere with you from the beach or when you go on holiday, or even to University or college when you need something light to relax in-between studying. The writing is true and real as the author seems to have drawn upon either her own experiences and encounters within life or from what she has observed of others, that many can see parts of in themselves as I also recognized many individuals in my own life with similar traits and characteristics.
As an avid reader who enjoys this genre I was most impressed by how engrossing, fascinating and delightful this book was but also as a Christian myself naturally it was of much interest. Not all books with a religious and Christian-based focus have to be as structured as the Bible, in that important meaning and thoughts connected with God can be told through a story that was gripping and compelling to read. Thought-provoking, witty and quite remarkable this inspired book is one that deserves to be read time and time again, and as a first novel I am most excited by an author who has surpassed all expectations with this spectacular volume. I hence predict that not only this book will be a great success but that there is much to come from an accomplished writer who has produced something of outstanding worth.
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