Hey all! As we’ve seen from guest posts on my blog this year, fiction plays an important role in the lives of Christians. Here are five new (or recently released) Christian young adult novels that are packed with meaning and will inspire us as we strive to shine in the world’s darkness 🙂
What happens when the girl everyone thinks has it all together is the girl who is secretly falling apart?
Katie Carter has lived as many adventures as the stars that color the skies at night in Africa with her missionary parents and her older brother, Jackson. That is, until one day, her parents make an announcement that changes everything. She is moving to California and starting her sophomore year at Winter Oaks High School.
Now, in a new school for the very first time, Katie must navigate the jungle of lockers, bullies, and boys. She also must navigate the minefield of starting up a brand-new Christian club on campus, with the help of the cute, book-loving boy next door and her English teacher, Mrs. Reams. But will the pressures of high school be too much for Katie to handle? And can she handle the storms at Winter Oaks High School when she cannot even handle of storms of anxiety within herself?
I had the opportunity to alpha read this powerful book (that is now available for pre-order), and here are my thoughts:
The Fall is a story of sorrow and healing, of stage fright and overcoming, of living and loving whole-heartedly, all woven together with larger-than-life Christian characters. We fell in love with young songwriter Emery in The Crush. The development of her beautiful, broken story in The Fall will have us cheering for an encore.
And the blurb:
When you’ve lost all you’ve desperately sought to keep, why bother hoping for a second chance?
With her pent up faith in love unraveling, former hopeless romantic Emery Brooks is a shell of the girl who once craved a love story that mirrored her grandparents’ fifty-year marriage. Taking all efforts to guard her heart, she isolates herself from everything she’s ever loved, including her music and faith, now battling the same cynicism she worked so hard to protect Sawyer from.
When Emery is asked to post the video for the song she and Sawyer wrote online, her first instinct is to resist. No one understands their story. No one can relate to what they’ve gone through. Grief should not be publicized.
Resistance proves to be futile, as the video plunges Emery into a world of new possibilities. Will Emery succumb to her stubborn tendencies and avoid all risks, or learn to leap again into the comfort of God’s arms, despite uncertainty?
Nicholas Sparks meets contemporary YA in this tear-jerking continuation of The Ballad of Emery Brooks trilogy. Fans of A Walk to Remember will appreciate this throwback to timeless romance, along with the themes of overcoming hardships and learning the basis of faith.
The devastation of a ruined summer.
The gift of a second chance.
Can Josie learn the lessons she needs ito discover her true self?
After a humiliating event and overwhelming peer pressure, 16-year-old Josie flees her home to spend the summer with her aunt on a South Carolina Island. Her fresh start turns into the summer of her dreams as friendships grow, romance blossoms, and a series of thefts surround her with excitement.
However, when tragedy strikes someone close to her, Josie realizes there are more important things than her reputation. As she sets out to solve the mystery she has become entangled in, she not only realizes the importance of relying on her faith but along the way also discovers who God wants her to be.
Detective Redwyn “Red” Deathan will stop at nothing to uncover those behind the ruthless kidnappings of multiple children. But things are not as they seem, and Red’s efforts are thwarted at every turn. With each discovery the danger grows, putting Red and the lives of those she cares about at risk. Can she reveal the mastermind’s identity before she herself becomes a target?
One moment, one choice can change a life forever.
Two years ago, Evgeny Yurlov’s dreams shattered on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre. Without many options, he lands a job–far different from ballet–and returns to Moscow. There, he’s reunited with old friends–friends who need his help as government scrutiny intensifies on Grace Baptist Church.
Sasha Dvornikova isn’t the woman she once was, but Dmitri Rykov’s shadow is relentless. Reminders of her past lurk everywhere, and her sins have branded her undeserving of a man like Evgeny.
As mounting danger surrounds both the church and his job, Evgeny finds past struggles reignited, struggles that reach even Sasha. Amidst so much darkness, will Truth prevail, or will Evgeny’s choices destroy him–and those he loves?
Note from me: While this book may not be in the Young Adult category, I would encourage mature teens to read it because of the very strong faith elements. When Russia outlaws the Christian church’s activities, the characters must decide whether to obey God or man. An injury has ended a beloved career, so Evgeny must consider where his worth comes from, and when his new job lands him in a tangle of mysterious government security missions, he learns what it really means to love your neighbor. Sasha and Evgeny both face the weight of feeling unworthy of Jesus’ sacrifice and love, one character goes through a severe depression and is suicidal, and both main characters must learn to fully believe God’s promise of forgiveness. These are valuable lessons for all readers (and many YA readers don’t bat an eye at weighty content). Because of an intense gun scene and mentions of foreign spies and Christians being tortured, readers should be mature (but I’m kind of a scaredy cat and I handled it!).
Well readers, it’s your turn. In the comments below, let me know what Christian YA books you recommend 🙂 For more about the importance of fiction, check out the guest posts written by a variety of authors on my blog page.