It was an interesting story plot, but I felt like I was reading a normal secular with a few handfuls of mentioning God thrown in just to make it Christian. I would recommend either Carlson's much earlier fiction or the Christy Millers series by Robin Jones Gunn instead.
This book is horrible! I felt contaminated after I read it. Melody spent 2 pages describing a "passionate" make-out session in the back of a car, and there is no way I will ever read any of her books again. While I understand why some girls thought it was great compaired to secular books, I disagree.I'm 14, and when I finished reading, I was so horrified I asked my Mom to look at it, and she threw it away. A much better author would be Robin Jones Gunn, and her Christy Miller and Katie Weldon books. Please do not buy any of this series!!!
If you are looking for a clean alternative to secular YA fiction, then this is the series for you. I adore Melody Carlson's books. I'm past the age of the intended audience, but I can read her books and still feel like they relate to my life. This series is no different. While there are rich girls in this story, the situations that they go through, seem all too familiar. The diverse cast in this book is great. The boarding school scenario is the hot thing in YA fiction these days and it was fun to see it put to use in this book. It helps to bring out the characters and lets you get to know them better. Each girl is very different. Taylor and Eliza were just like girls in my high school and I felt exactly the same way DJ did. I really liked DJ. She's a great character, the "everygirl" one that most girls will be able to relate to. I really did not like DJ's grandmother. DJ manages to hold her own with her grandmother, but it's plain to see that Grandma would rather have a skinny backstabbing model who has sex and smokes than an athletic, smart, normal girl for a granddaughter. While those on the extreme conservative side might have problems with this book, I applaud its frankness. Unfortunately most teen girls do not live in sheltered homes where there is a Bible study and prayer time every night. A lot of girls have to go to their high school and face other teen girls who act just like Taylor. Even as a Christian, there are going to be times when teen girls are just going to get really angry and jealous of other girls. Also the relationships with the boys are very well handled and everyone acts according to their age. I believe Melody Carlson is an expert at relating to teen girls and being able to show them realistic situations that they will understand and enjoy reading. This is a series that you can pass along to a reader of secular YA and they will still enjoy it. HIGHLY recommended
This story was pretty good for YA fiction. If I could imagine being in a boarding house with a bunch of different girls it might look something like this story, even though the girls in this book are rich, or at least half of them are. I enjoyed reading about Conner and DJ's developing relationship and about DJ's innocence when it came to dating. I thought the author did a good job showing how difficult it is to understand what guys are interested in. Girls always think it's about beauty but with Conner he wanted a girl he could relate to. It's got a great message about the pressures of fitting in and provides a good platform for expressing different struggles teens deal with. The polaroid picture being taken at the hairdresser was a bit outdated, though. I don't know anyone who even has a polaroid camera these days. I ordered the next three books in the series because I am very interested in reading more about Conner and DJ and finding out who gets the guy in Stealing Bradford. Of course, I'm rooting for Rhiannon. So far I like this series.
When I first started this book, I was not too sure of how I would like it. But then as I left it and went to do some other things, I realized that I kept thinking about the story, and could not get it out of my head! This is the first, I think, of Melody Carlson that I've been able to read.. meaning get my hands on. It is a great little story that should be read by all mid-high school girls. It is so real to life and it does meet up with every type of girl. You can see yourself and remember you...more When I first started this book, I was not too sure of how I would like it. But then as I left it and went to do some other things, I realized that I kept thinking about the story, and could not get it out of my head! This is the first, I think, of Melody Carlson that I've been able to read.. meaning get my hands on. It is a great little story that should be read by all mid-high school girls. It is so real to life and it does meet up with every type of girl. You can see yourself and remember your painful history within each individual girl. I was shocked when it ended, because it is one of those wonderful books that has previews of the sequel in the back, so I had though there was much more. But it was really a great story!