Book Review— Destiny by Cindy Ray Hale

Today’s book is Destiny, book one in the Destiny Trilogy by Cindy Ray Hale.

(Click on the image for the Amazon link)

From the blurb:

Destiny Clark, a young Mormon girl living in Tennessee, is wildly infatuated with Isaac Robinson, the headmaster’s son at her Baptist high school. When they’re cast together in the school’s production of Les Misérables, Destiny is horrified to find that she has to be publicly humiliated by acting out her true feelings of rejection onstage.

As their rehearsals begin, Destiny realizes the unimaginable: Isaac has developed deep feelings for her despite their religious differences and the fact that he has a girlfriend.
But will they be able to find their place amongst the backbiters of their ultra-conservative world?
Weaving around Destiny and Isaac’s alternating viewpoints, Destiny is the first book in a series inspired by the characters of Les Misérables and explores heartbreak, self-discovery, intolerance, and love.

Destiny is a Young Adult romance novel written in the point of view of the main characters, Destiny and Isaac. One thing that I liked about this novel was the setting of a private Baptist high school in a small town in Tennessee.  The setting alone is a point of conflict. Then, there are the main characters— Destiny and her family are Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) and Isaac and his family are Baptist; furthermore, Isaac’s father is the school director. Even though their relationship takes a while to start, it’s doomed from the beginning. There is more to the story than the old theme of crossed lovers, though. Religious intolerance, and all that comes with it, is done well, and it shows the division and consequences that it brings to individuals, families, and small communities.

Another thing that I loved was the theme of Les Misérables and all the references to it throughout the book— the music, the lyrics, the characters, and the film mentions. I had the soundtrack playing in my mind while I read the book.
Even though the novel has a satisfying ending, you can’t help but wonder what the future will bring to them. I’m very interested to read the next book in the series, and see where the author takes Destiny and Isaac’s story.