Category Teens

Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean

Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria JeanTen Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean
By Britt Leigh
Pauline Media
Retail Price $10.99
Amazon Price: $9.85

 Book Description:   Enter into the life of Gloria Jean Wisnewski: a 14-year-old girl who comes up with a very specific set of rules for what thou shalt and thou shalt not do to be granted her long-awaited first kiss. Between best friends, lip gloss, boys, homework, pimples, fashion, cliques, and gossip, Gloria Jean has a lot to keep up with as an eighth grader. Oh, and her public school has just started Sex Ed, which only complicates things even more because she is also taking her first year of Confirmation studies. STIs, STDs, TOB, the four “Fs”…what does it all even mean? As if all of this isn’t enough to deal with, Gloria Jean has “The Troubles”: cringe-inducing stomach problems that ruin her very first date and cause the most embarrassing moment ever in school. These run-to-the-bathroom bouts are nothing to laugh about-especially when Gloria Jean gets diagnosed with Celiac disease and realizes her condition not only means that she must follow strict dietary rules and avoid contamination from certain products (and people!) but also that she can’t receive the Body of Christ! How could this be-a Catholic who can’t receive Communion? After all, God made her body. And why does the Catholic Eucharist have to be made out of wheat? What do all of these rules mean, anyway? Looks like Gloria Jean has some figuring out to do.


This is a young adult novel geared toward the teenage girl of faith.  Gloria Jean is a middle school teen with a strong Catholic faith, but she is faced with all the trials and temptations of that age that make good life choices difficult at times.  She wants to stay true to her beliefs, yet does find it challenging at times. The story is quite engaging and the character of Gloria Jean quite loveable.  The author does a great job capturing the mind of young teens with all the hopes, dreams, and confusion that accompanies them.  Both teens and adults alike will find this book a heartwarming, touching read.

~Reviewed by Allie B.


    By Krista McGee
    Thomas Nelson
    Retail Price $9.99
    PB & N Price: $8.45

    Book Description: 

    Thalli thought escaping to the surface would mean freedom. But is she any less of an anomaly aboveground?After escaping an underground annihilation chamber, Thalli, Berk, Rhen, and John find themselves fleeing across the former United States, aboveground for the first time. As the defectors cross the for gotten landscape, the three youths see things the y had only read about on screens: horses, rain, real books—and a colony of unsanctioned survivors living the ancient way in a town called New Hope.When the citizens of New Hope reveal the truth of what happened years ago, Thalli is left unsettled and skeptical of everything she’s ever been told. Can she trust anything from the State, including her own feelings for Berk? When she volunteers for a peace mission to New Hope’s violent neighbor, Athens, her confusion mounts as the supposedly ruthless Prince Ale x turns out to be kind and charming. Although everyone in New Hope warned her not to, she can’t help but fall for him.Meanwhile, John’s unwavering faith in the goodness of the Designer begins to make its mark on Thalli’s heart. But can Thalli really come to trust in a generous, protective Designer who rules over all things? Would that not be setting herself up for another betrayal?The time for her to decide is now . . . because the State is closing in.


    This book is the second book in a series by Krista McGee that is set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world.  The characters from the first book really evolved over the time that has lapsed.  I really loved Thalli and in this book she grew, not just physically but emotionally and mentally.  The plot of this story was very intriguing and there was plenty of adventure as well as hint of blossoming love.  If you are looking for a clean, Christian, dystopian novel, this series is for you.

    ~Reviewed by Josh M.

      Love or Lust?

      Product DetailsLove or Lust?
      Chastity Project
      Retail Price $17.99
      Amazon Price: $17.98

      Book Description:  Why save sex for marriage? Scare tactics, guilt trips, and teen pregnancy rates don’t inspire anyone to love. Discover the difference between love and lust while getting straight answers about dating, relationships, and sexual purity. In this new DVD, filmed before a live audience of hundreds of high school students, Jason and Crystalina present a compelling case for the virtue of chastity. This talk has been delivered to more than one million teens on five continents. Watch as Jason and Crystalina Evert reveal the compelling vision of God’s plan for human sexuality. By addressing the issues that teens struggle with most, such as sexual pressure, pornography, modesty, and starting over, Jason and Crystalina offer encouragement for teens to maintain their purity or begin again if they’ve made mistakes in the past.


      This is a wonderful resource for teens.  Whether you are a Christian youth worker, a teacher, or a parent, if you are involved with teenagers, you will want to get a copy of this dvd. The presenters are a husband and wife team Jason and Crystalina Evert that minister to teens all over the country, promoting chastity. They reach teens where they are by sharing their own stories, warts and all, in a meaningful, entertaining way.  They touch on heavy topics, but in a light way that isn’t scary.  They also reach out to teens that have made mistakes and want to start over.  This is a fantastic resource.

      ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

        Genius Under Construction

        Genius Under Construction
        By Marilee Haynes
        Pauline Media
        Retail Price $9.99
        Amazon Price: $8.00

        Book Description:

        Gabe Carpenter-St. Jude Academy’s resident genius-is back for his final year of middle school. Some things have certainly changed from last year: his ‘locker-won’t-open’ days seem to be over, his rolling backpack has been replaced by his grandpa’s briefcase, he’s now the basketball team’s official analyst, and he, along with all of the other eighth graders, are allowed to sit on “The Rock.” Other things have stayed exactly the same: Gabe has yet to figure out girls (especially his second best friend and crush, Maya), he’s still in that class for gifted students, and his embarrassing bodily functions continue to well, embarrass him.On the cusp of graduation, this eighth grade status brings some inescapable realities. Gabe, along with all of the other graduating students, must complete fifteen hours of community service. Thinking his talents would be best used in service to others academically, he picks tutoring. But when he finds out he will be working with a student who has a learning disability, things become a bit more complicated than expected.At home, an envelope with an unfilled application to Carolina Science and Math High School is shoved in the bottom of his closet. With the deadline quickly approaching, Gabe is being pressured by his parents, grandma, and the memory of his dead grandpa to make a decision of whether or not to apply. He loves science, but is he willing to leave his friends behind to go there next year? Leave Maya? At least Gabe can still turn to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, to help him along the way…Join Gabe as he finishes up his last year of middle school, discovers how his giftedness can serve others, and follows his academic passion.



        Along with a great plot, the author has created an easy to read novel for the middle school age that is an inspirational tale with great take away value. Haynes uses humor to keep you engrossed in this faith-based story that shares many life lessons.  I felt good about giving it to my son to read and the best thing about it was that he really enjoyed it.  The author truly knows how to speak to this age group.  I hope she turns this into a series!

        ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

          Both of Me

          Product DetailsBoth of Me
          by Jonathan Friesen
          Retail Price $16.99
          Amazon Price: $13.17

          Book Description: 

          It was supposed to be just another flight, another escape into a foreign place where she could forget her past, forget her attachments. Until Clara found herself seated next to an alluring boy named Elias Phinn—a boy who seems to know secrets she has barely been able to admit to herself for years.When her carry-on bag is accidentally switched with Elias’s identical pack, Clara uses the luggage tag to track down her things. At that address she discovers there is not one Elias Phinn, but two: the odd, paranoid, artistic, and often angry Elias she met on the plane, who lives in an imaginary world of his own making called Salem; and the kind, sweet, and soon irresistible Elias who greets her at the door, and who has no recollection of ever meeting Clara at all. As she learns of Elias’s dissociative identity disorder, and finds herself quickly entangled in both of Elias’s lives, Clara makes a decision that could change all of them forever. She is going to find out what the Salem Elias knows about her past, and how, even if it means playing along with his otherworldly quest. And she is going to find a way to keep the gentle Elias she’s beginning to love from ever disappearing again.


          I thought it was interesting that the author for this young adult novel chose a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) as a main character.  DID was previously referred to as multiple personality disorder or split personality.  It is a mental disorder on the dissociative spectrum that is characterized by having at least two distinct personalities emerging from one person.  In this book we get a look at the disorder from different perspectives. The author brings together Clara and Elias in an unlikely meeting and shows God’s hand in seemingly random acts.  The book is quite intense and has several twists and turns to keep you hopping.  I thought it read very well.  For a Christian book, it did have a few worldly things like characters swearing and dark thoughts.  So I would leave this book for the older teens.  All in all I think it was a good read.

          ~Reviewed by Julius M.

            Making Manna

            Product DetailsMaking Manna
            By Eric Lotke
            Brandylane Publishers
            Price: $16.00

            Book Description:  Libby Thompson is just fourteen years old when she flees her abusive home with her newborn son, Angel. Now they must build a life for themselves on hard work and low wages, dealing with police who are sometimes helpful-but not always-and a drug dealer who is full of surprises. As Angel gets older, he begins asking questions about his family, and Libby’s tenuous peace threatens to crumble. Can a son without a father and a young woman without a past make something beautiful out of a lifetime of secrets? Making Manna explores the depths of betrayal, and the human capacity to love, flourish, and forgive in the face of heartbreaking odds.


            While I wouldn’t call this book a light read, it certainly was an interesting one.   The author takes a compassionate look at the victims of sexual abuse and all that they have to overcome to make it in this world.   The care and detail Lotke took in creating his characters was touching.  This is much more than a book with a message.  It was a book with a call to action. Lotke brought Libby to life for me and made her real.  And Libby’s story made me more sensitive to the topic in real world situations and made me think on how I can help those who are victimized. 

            ~Reviewed by Sharyl K.



              Lucky Me

              Product DetailsLucky Me
              By Saba Kapur
              Amberjack Publishing
              Retail Price:  $11.95
              Amazon Price: $9.95

              Book Description:  

              For eighteen year old Gia Winters, having a movie star for a father, a former Playboy bunny as a mother, a Hollywood mansion, and a closet stocked with Chanel is simply another day in the life. But her world is turned upside down when her father mysteriously hires a group of bodyguards to trail the family 24/7 and threatening phone calls from a “Dr. D” start buzzing daily.

              When Gia scores the coveted role of Miss Golden Globe, she is forced to strike a deal with her bodyguard, Jack, who is almost as arrogant as he is attractive. Juggling Gia’s romantic failures, fashion faux pas, and celebrity obsessions, the duo investigate a series of clues with the help of a police cadet, who has a special set of skills and an even better set of dimples.

              But with the Golden Globes just around the corner, danger levels rise higher than her stilettos as Gia learns that the biggest secrets might be the ones buried in her own home. In a place where the hills have eyes, high school nemeses, bad hair days, raging parties, and stolen kisses, there can only be trouble for a girl who was just starting to consider herself lucky.


              I read this with my sixteen year old daughter so that we would be able to discuss the plot, characters, and overall story line of the book.  We’ve done this before, but not for quite some time, so it was the first time we have read the same book that had more grown up themes.  Our experiment was a success and this was a good book to begin with.

              First of all I thought this was good “coming of age” novel and I found the main character quite intriguing.  The author did a good job narrating the story through Gia’s eyes, which was appropriate since it was HER story.  The author used humor to draw you in and make Gia both likeable and real.  Of course the sub story of the love interest with her bodyguard, Jack,  was a good twist and kept the reader connected to the book always looking for the time that they would figure out their attraction to each other. I found the mystery itself was intriguing and the ending satisfactory.  I would read this author again for sure as would my daughter.

              ~Reviewed by Lisa J.