When it got to be time for me to choose my next young adult, I kind of freaked out. There were so many books that I had been wanting to read for such a long time that I couldn’t make a decision. I ended up grabbing the first Christy Miller because I had been suggesting this series to kids who wanted inspirational fiction for a while but I had no grasp on anything about it. The books seemed to check out a lot so I figured that they couldn’t be that bad and my curiosity got the best of me.
I was reading a chapter of a YA book before bed every night and this actually ended up being a great book for that. It’s very fluffy but tries to touch on edgy subjects. I am definitely not the intended audience here. I’m a 33 year old woman and I am not a Christian. Though, I actually ended up really enjoying this book. As much as I was reading it tongue-in-cheek, it was fun and amusing and completely and utterly unrealistic.
Christy is spending the summer with her aunt and uncle in California. Back home, her parents are having some financial problems and her aunt seems to think that Christy needs help blossoming. Here we have our typical makeover scenario. Her aunt buys her all kinds of new clothes and makeup and takes her to get her hair cut and highlighted. Christy feels like a “real” California girl afterward and goes back to the beach where she promptly makes a fool of herself. Christy is one of those characters who reminds me a lot of my tween self. She doesn’t have a lot of confidence. She’s always over reacting or making mistakes that feel like the end of the world to her. She whines. She realizes that she’s been ungrateful or mean and then feels bad. Very human. Not perfect.
Christy makes a couple of friends at the beach that day, Alissa and Todd. Alissa abandons her when everyone is laughing at her but Todd is nice enough to help her out. Christy LIKES Todd. He’s so cute, giggle giggle. Todd is a Christian though, with a capital “born again”. When Christy goes to a party with Alissa and Todd and some of Todd’s friends, she is innocent to go looking for Coke to drink and instead everyone thinks she wants coke to snort which was actually the funniest thing I had read in a while. After the party, one of Todd’s old friends gets into an accident and dies, sending Christy down a road of questioning. The only person she feels able to talk to about all of her new questions is Todd. She really wants him to like her, so she even pretends to like nuts on her ice cream because he does.
This whole book is supposed to be about Christy finding herself. Her aunt is pushing her to become a social butterfly. Her uncle keeps telling her to be true to herself. Her parents tell her not to do anything she’ll regret. It’s actually a pretty great message and a well handled theme until the end when Christy pretty much says, “I don’t need to be true to myself! I’ve got Jesus now!”
There’s a pretty good chance that I’ll continue with this series some day. It was pretty enjoyable, like a tame soap opera.