In her first novel for teens, adult author Clipston (the Kaufmann Amish Bakery series) presents the conventional spiritual journey of 17-year-old Emily, whose life has been uprooted since her mother's death from cancer: Emily's father's auto shop went belly up, they lost their house to foreclosure, and had to sell the beloved '69 Camaro she had fixed up. And moving in with her wealthy aunt, uncle, and beautiful cousin Whitney (to whom she has always been compared) makes Emily feel like a charity case. Emily rebuffs repeated invitations from Whitney and her friends, the pastoral staff at their new church, and her father, preferring to stay in her room writing journal entries to her mother and pondering her uncertain relationship with God. A developing friendship with Zander, a cute neighbor who shares her passion for cars, provides some solace, but she finds his strong Christian faith unnerving. Emily's struggles with grief, difference, dependency, and the need for someone to depend on provide opportunities for growth, friendship, and budding romance. The story follows a predictable course, but the characters are well developed and it remains affecting. Ages 13–16. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011 Release date: 04/01/2011 Genre: Children's
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