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This month’s theme is Romance. February always makes me think of Valentine’s Day, love, and romance. Whether you enjoy contemporary novels, historic fiction, or medieval fairy tales these books not only are stories of romance but are full of adventure, intrigue and faith.
Before we begin…
In case you are new to my blog, besides writing YA novels, I love reviewing them as well. Every month I post about 3 YA books that I’ve read each month in a new genre. I also send out quarterly posts marked UPDATES regarding news about my own work.
But for those of you who have kids, or grandkids, or you yourself like teen books (like me!), each month, I’ll introduce some of my favorite Christian and Catholic YA books.
I’ve decided to provide more reviews because there are a few things I’ve learned since I had my first book published:
1 – So many of the teen books published by the big publishing companies contain messages that don’t match the values of many families.
2 – There are a lot of fantastic, clean, faith-based books out there – books that are entertaining yet wholesome and reflect Christian values.
3 – These types of books can be difficult to find. So, I’d like to introduce you to a few new adventures.
Ella’s Promise by Ellen Gable
This is the third book in the Great War, Great Love trilogy by Ellen Gable. While this book is part of a series about young couples who meet amid the heartbreak of war, it is a standalone book as well. There are a few characters that are in each of the books, but this story is mostly about Ella, a young American woman working at a field hospital during World War I.
It’s hard to know for sure since I enjoyed each of these wonderful books, but I do believe this is my favorite of the three. I adored the strong, competent, faithful Ella. I also enjoyed the secret agent intrigue of the story.
Each of the books in this series highlights a beautiful, Catholic love-story, but they also showcase interesting historic elements as well. I think these passages will be quite interesting for today’s teens – such as medical advancement, roles of men and women, communication technology, etc. This would be a great supplement to a lesson on the Great War.
While the books can be read without having read the other stories, the author also provides a nice conclusion to the series for those fans that have read them all.
18 Hours To Us by Krista Noorman
Every once in a while, I love a fun, light-hearted romantic adventure. And that is what I was expecting with this Christian YA novel. But this story turned out to have a few more layers to it.
A senior class road trip on a bus to another state turns into something Natalie never expected when a car accident prevents her from getting on the bus. Instead of riding with her friends and classmates, she makes the 18-hour drive with popular football player Colton Daynes.
The first half of the story was filled with playful banter, touching getting-to-know-you moments, and cool stops along the journey. The second half of the book had a lot more teen drama infused into the story. I’ll be honest. Parts of this book were absolutely delightful, other parts made me cringe because they pushed the boundaries of what I prefer in clean teen novels.
But I did appreciate how this book touched on some serious teen issues – depression, suicide, the hook-up culture, and bullying. We all wish teens didn’t have to deal with these kinds of things, but in many schools, this is the reality kids face daily. It’s always nice to find a book that can show that these topics exist but offer a positive alternative. This Christian YA novel had two fantastic messages. 1 – Stick to your beliefs. If someone truly likes you, they will respect who you are. 2 – Anyone, no matter what has happened in their past, can change if they really want to.
I would probably recommend this book for older teens, but it depends on what your teens have read and the atmosphere within their schools.
Evermore by Jody Hedlund
This is the first book in The Lost Princesses series. This medieval romance is the story of a destroyed kingdom. Years before, the beloved King and Queen of Mercia were overtaken and killed by a ruthless neighboring Kingdom, but not before their three daughters were all safely hidden away.
Evermore is the story of the oldest princess, Adelaide and her discovery of her true identity, what that secret entails, the fight to help her people, and the search for the other two princesses. Apparently, there is a prequel novella that sets up the premise of the whole story, but I found it easy enough to understand the storyline through this first book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful love story and main characters. This enticing tale is full of battles, mystery, and an intriguing connection to King Solomon and his treasure. I really liked the strong, smart Princess Adelaide, and am curious about her sisters. I have a feeling the villain better watch out when these three princesses finally reunite.
All these books can be found on Amazon. I’ve set links – just click on the highlighted titles. For those who don’t use Amazon you can also check Barnes and Noble online or www.indiebound.org where you can search for books and the local bookstores that might carry them or order them directly from the website. You can also ask your local bookstore or library to order the books for you.
Next month I’ll be reviewing three more Christian/Catholic teen novels. But if you’d like more reviews before then you can always check out my recommendation section on my website: YA Recommendations.
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Until next month – Happy Reading!