When Lydia Bontrager's parents discover that her 4 year old sister has a life threatening illness, the family's world is turned upside down. Lydia is suddenly thrust into the adult responsibilities of caring for her home and her siblings. The problem is that she is still a child herself. At sixteen years old, she is already working as a Teaching Assistant and at her grandmother's bakery. All Lydia wants is for her family life to get back to normal and for Joshua Glick to ask her to be his girlfriend. Feeling all the pressure coming down on her, Lydia unwisely chooses to get drunk with Mahlon and his friends. She begins lying to cover her tracks and the time she spent with Mahlon. Members of her community become concerned when she befriends new neighbors, an English teenager named Tristan, and his family.
Lydia felt that it was unfair that she had so much responsibility on her shoulders. All she wanted to do was go to singings and be with her friends, not run a household. That is exactly how any teenager would feel. Lydia was also confused about what to do with her future. Everyone else seemed to know the path she should take but her. Teenage readers could definitely relate to this as they are searching for their place in the world. Worst of all, she was unsure of her little sister's well being. Anyone who's had an ill sibling will feel for Lydia.
I really enjoy Amy Clipston as an author but this book fell a little short for me. It seemed slow moving. I know that the Amish are Pacifists but I think that Joshua should have told what he knew about Mahlon and the situation. I don't want to give anything away, but some other way should have been used to solve Lydia's problem. Everything was resolved too quickly in the end for my liking. This doesn't mean there isn't anything worthwhile in the book. As I read through the story I was reminded why it's labeled Christian fiction. Lydia and her family trusted God with her sister's life. Tristan was a terrific example of what a true Christian is. Lydia choose the harder path of telling the truth to everyone she had lied to. Lydia's grandmother reminded her several times in the story what the Bible says a Christian is to do. Reckless Heart reflects Christian values that any parent would want their child to read about.
Kauffman Amish Bakery Series:
#1 A Gift Of Grace
#2 A Promise Of Hope
#3 A Place Of Peace
#4 A Life Of Joy (read my review here)
#5 A Season Of Love
Novellas in the series:
A Plain And Simple Christmas
Naomi's Gift (read my review here)
A Kauffman Amish Christmas Collection
I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan's Z Street Team and NetGalley for my honest review.
September 24, 2012
This product teaches a good lesson to all.
This book reminded me of how sometimes we are all tempted to do something that we will regret later. It provided a good life lesson and how admitting the truth is not easy but the best thing to do.
July 29, 2012
Story line is for young women
Very little drama in the story line. Very predictable.
July 27, 2012
YA with susbstance!
Lydia Bontrager's little sister is sick. While her parents are busy taking care of her, having tests run, and taking her for treatments, Lydia is left to care for her siblings, clean the house, and make sure things at home run smoothly. The harder she works at home, the more frustrated she feels. When her parents refuse to let her attend youth socials and the boy she dreams of marrying one day stops coming around, Lydia rebels and goes out drinking. Add in a budding friendship with the English teenage boy down the street, and tongues begin wagging throughout the close-knit community. Will Lydia find her way back to her family? Or will her rebellion cause her to lose everything?
I've been reading more young adult fiction this year than I normally do, and Reckless Heart by Amy Clipston is one of the best I've read! The story was captivating and I really connected with Lydia. Amy did such a great job of expressing the feelings, thoughts, and emotions of a teenage girl that I felt myself flashing back to my own teenage years at times! The stress on the family due to a serious illness was also spot on. Having been in a similar situation during high school, I really identified with Lydia and the situation she was in. At times Lydia's dad really frustrated me. I just wanted to shake him and tell him to talk to his daughter!
When I was in middle school, I loved a series of books by Lurlene McDaniels and A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry (my cancer stories, as I called them!), and Reckless Heart reminded me of them. It's refreshing to read a YA story that tackles a variety of tough issues and has such substance, made even stronger by the faith elements woven throughout.
I highly recommend Reckless Heart for young adults or not-so-young adults! [4 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my fair and honest review.
July 18, 2012