Bad Connection (The Secret Life Samantha McGregor, Book 1)

Bad Connection (The Secret Life Samantha McGregor, Book 1) - Melody Carlson "Bad Connection" by Melody Carson seems to have more parallels in its title than a little bit - not only describing the loose connectivity in which protagonist Samantha MacGregor receives visions from God about certain events in her life, but also about the choices made in the primary relationship of the girl who goes missing in this story.When one of her former friends, Kayla, disappears from school, it's enough of a burden, and topic of conversation, at school. However, Sam's more troubled in the measure that she has unique visions about Kayla's life being in danger, and she doesn't know how to interpret them. Sam turns to her father's former partner in the police force and teams up to try to find the truth behind her visions.The premise behind Bad Connection is well plotted, and I did like the prose when I read through it. Very fluid, very easy to understand. However, I did have to suspend disbelief many times at some of the actions/reactions that went into this story. The characters did genuinely feel flat in places, and I don't think the emotional reactions were necessarily played up enough to make it genuine/real. Granted, there are some points in the novel where the setting descriptions are well done, but I half expected the reactions to Samantha's "gift" to be met with more skepticism and cause more alarm - though it was met by resistance from Samantha's mother. The conflicts were loosely progressed. Some of them were good, others took a bit longer to get to the full thrust of the situation. I wish that the novel had more rounded treatment of both the characters and the situations to give them more weight. I do understand this genre and have read novels in its progression, but some have actually treated it from a perspective that's incorporating for both Christian readers and those who might be outside of the faith (some might find Carson's descriptions to be somewhat preachy, but I kind of understand the effect she attempted to go toward, so it didn't feel that way to me).I'll admit it was a decent read, in spite of its flaws, and I did like Samantha enough to continue reading the series (especially with that thread of an ending!).Overall score: 3/5