USA, UK, Canada)
By Donna Freitas (website, book website, ClassOf2K8)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Macmillan)
Antonia Lucia Labella has two secrets: at fifteen, she’s still waiting for her first kiss, and she wants to be a saint. An official one. Seem strange? Well, to Antonia, saints are royalty, and she wants her chance at being a princess. All her life she’s kept company with these kings and queens of small favors, knowing exactly whom to pray to on every occasion. Unfortunately, the two events Antonia’s prayed for seem equally unlikely to happen. It’s not for lack of trying. For how long has she been hoping to gain the attention of the love of her life – the tall, dark, and so good-looking Andy Rotellini? Too long to mention. And every month for the last eight years, Antonia has sent a petition to the Vatican proposing a new patron saint and bravely offering herself for the post. So what if she’s not dead?
But as Antonia learns, in matters of the heart and sainthood, things are about as straightforward as wound-up linguini, and sometimes you need to recognize the signs.
This one, like Amanda Ashby's You Had Me at Halo seems almost too quirky to work. However, it has garnered some WONDERFUL reviews, including starred reviews at School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist. I don't think I have ever announced a novel with so many starred reviews. I'm delighted that a novel for teenagers with a Christian theme has been so well received; I hope its sales has similar success.