Thursday 17 November 2016

Book Review: Intermission by Serena Chase (and a giveaway)

Review by Iola Goulton

I’d heard good things about Intermission, so when the opportunity came to read a review copy, I was in.

Intermission is written in first person present tense—which is common in Young Adult novels, but something I always find takes me a little while to get in to. It just doesn’t feel as natural to me as past tense. The other slightly weird thing was that it started in the present, then slipped three years into the past, and my brain said that definitely should have been written in past tense. As such, I did find the opening a little odd.

No matter. I always have that reaction to present tense, and I always get over it. In the case of Intermission, I was hooked by the end of the first chapter and could probably have read the whole book in one sitting if I’d been allowed. If you’re like me and bothered by present tense, don’t let it put you off. Keep reading, and I’m sure you’ll be hooked as well.

Our first person narrator is Madeline Faith Prescott, known as Faith because Madeline is her grandmother’s name and her mother and grandmother don’t get on. Even though they live in the same small town Iowa. This should have been a clue …

Faith is sixteen, a sophomore in high school, and wants to major in musical theatre at college. Her father is a doctor and her mother is an accountant, and they’d rather she majored in something more practical. Less artsy. They have their reasons and some of them are even good reasons, but that doesn’t stop Faith auditioning for a major part in The Sound of Music … and falling for Noah, her blue-eyed co-lead.

Is that cute or what?

Noah isn’t perfect, and every time I suspected he was he pointed out to Faith (and me) that he wasn’t. But he’s a gentleman who has a real faith in God, and who is doing his best to live according to that faith. Sure, he makes mistakes … but he’s the kind of boy I’d want my daughter dating (hint, hint).

The shame is that Faith’s mother doesn’t see it that way (despite obviously being the woman who signed Faith up for dance classes, and paying for her vocal lessons. Who knows why. I guess because she knew Faith would have to have strong extra-curricular talents in order to get into the ‘right’ college).

Anyway, Faith’s mother sees Noah as too old for Faith … and while that might (might!) be the case when they are 16 and 19, many couples have far more significant age gaps when they marry, and always have (although I do admit to not liking the sixteen-year age gap in Jane Austen’s Emma. That always struck me as a little creepy).

As the story progressed, I found myself getting more and more angry with Faith’s mother, for her over-the-top reactions and pronouncements. And they were all too believable, as was Faith’s wimpy father. I won’t say more. Just read the book. The plot is excellent, the characters are excellent, the writing is excellent.

Recommended for fans of YA fiction that gives you the feels (like The Fault in Our Stars, or Me Before You, although I think I can give this to my daughter to read without her threatening me over the ending. Unlike Me Before You, which she’s still angry about).

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Serena Chase

SERENA CHASE is the author of the critically-acclaimed Eyes of E’veria series and a regular contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog. A lifelong performer who sometimes speaks in show tunes, Serena lives in Iowa with her husband Dave, teen daughters Delaney and Ellerie, and a 100-pound white Goldendoodle named Albus, who is the biggest star of her Instagram account. Connect with Serena Chase by visiting her website and signing up for her newsletter, “like” her official Facebook page to stay up-to-date on new release news, and enjoy her sometimes poignant, but more often chuckle-inducing random observations of life on Twitter.

If you'd like to win a copy of Intermission, Serena is running a giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Iola Goulton

I am a freelance editor specialising in Christian fiction. Visit my website at to download a comprehensive list of publishers of Christian fiction. 

I also write contemporary Christian romance with a Kiwi twist—find out more at

You can also find me on:
Facebook (Author)
Facebook (Editing)


  1. Present tense novels evoke emotions a lot easier as it is more personal. However, I agree with novels like these I prefer past tense too and prefer present tense for novels akin to Susan Townsend's Adrian Mole series. But being an unconventional writer myself, it would be interesting to read Intermission

    1. Well, there's plenty of emotion in Intermission (and even some humour, although nothing like Adrian Mole). I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy Intermission.

  2. Lovely review, Iola! I'm glad you were able to enjoy Faith and Noah's story... even though it is first person, present tense. ;) Thanks for taking the time to read and review. <3 ~Serena

    1. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read it, and thanks for stopping by.

  3. I signed up for the newsletter. I enjoy musical theatre and have been in several productions as a young high school and college student. But those days are long gone! Wish they weren't.

    1. I was in one production, but would have liked to have been in more. Unfortunately, it wasn't something my high school offered. But I loved the musical references.

  4. Fab review, Iola. 2nd great review of the novel I've seen this week.

    1. Thanks, Ian. I thought it was excellent!

  5. I love first person, present tense, but you already know that, Iola! And Serena, I can't wait to read your book - I've just downloaded it. A print copy would be fabulous though ;)


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