Saturday, February 13, 2010

CFRB Tour and Book Spotlight Revisit: Drawing Marissa and Forgiving Sean by Jessica Adriel

Back cover of Drawing Marissa:

When Marissa Gladstone's father dies, she runs to her neighbor, Sean Moffit, for comfort. Three years later with a ring on her finger Sean suddenly skips town and Marissa wakes up in the emergency room. Her heart takes its final blow when she learns the truth and tries to hold her shattered life together. But the only one who can heal her wounds is God, and getting to Him is the last thing on her mind. That is, until Sean's college buddy reveals a drawing that holds the key to her heart.

Back cover of Forgiving Sean:

Marissa Gladstone is happy and in love, or so she thinks. When her ex-boyfriend returns home after a two-year absence, he has plans to win her back, that is until he sees her with his arch nemesis, Hawke Davies. Faced with Forgiving Sean and reopening an old wound, Marissa confides in Hawke who has more secret of his own to reveal. Will Sean's troubled past finally release Marissa from his old or will Sean's old ways rekindle a flame that died way too soon?

My thoughts:

Young adult fiction has changed A LOT since I was a teenager. I was about 11 or 12 when I started reading books on a regular basis, and I started off with the Trixie Belden books and the Babysitter’s Club books. From there, I started to discover Christian YA fiction, and found books by Judy Baer, Robin Jones Gunn, and Patricia Rushford. I pretty much devoured everything by these 3 authors, and loved every minute of it. The books were great, but most of the time, they were pretty sugar-coated. In hindsight, I wish I’d had the opportunity to read some YA back then that had a little more depth.

Jessica Adriel is a YA author who has a great sense of what teenagers are facing today, and it shows in her writing. From what I have been able to glean from her website, she has “been there, done that,” and lived to tell about it. She currently has 2 books available—Drawing Marissa and Forgiving Sean—and she’s definitely given a picture of the real world of a teenager in both books. I was so impressed that she didn’t hesitate to show her characters as flawed individuals who didn’t have all the answers, but who needed to rely on God for their strength. Not only did she portray the kids that way, she cast the parents and other adults in the same light. One parent in particular really caught my attention. It was a dad who pretty much let his daughter do whatever she wanted as long as it wasn’t anything illegal. The sad thing is that I have known kids with parents exactly like this who care nothing about their child’s morals or their integrity.

These two books would be very high on my list of recommendations for anyone, but particularly teens, simply because they are the real deal. You won’t find summer trips to the beach or sleepovers with friends. Instead, you’ll get a look at the real world that some teenagers face daily, full of struggles, heartache, and love.

4 Stars for both books

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.

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