Tavia Gilbert gives an appealing and believable performance creating the characters of LOOKING FOR SALVATION AT THE DAIRY QUEEN by Susan Gregg Gilmore, particularly the first person protagonist Catherine Grace Cline, a teenage girl who lives with her father, a Baptist preacher in a small Georgia town. When Catherine acts up in church, her father bans her from the Dairy Queen for the rest of the summer--a place she'd always gone to think and plan her escape to Atlanta. When she finally gets the chance to get away, things don't turn out exactly as expected. This small town southern story is a welcome relief from all the Hollywood or New York based young adult novels (like The Devil Wears Prada). Coming of age, a young lady whose only ambition was just to escape a tiny town, learns the truth, later, that life has meaning where you are, even if that place never makes the national news. Not without heaping soft servings of drama, humor, and insight, this novel is recommended for girls wanting to understand the meaning of life and the love of their mother, and for women wanting to remember what growing up and making those choices really felt like.
(Ringgold, GA--setting for the story--was hit by a devastating tornado in April of 2011. Author Susan Gregg Gilmore lives in nearby Chattanooga.)