Whether you're meeting her for the first time or have known her for years, Christy is a Forever Friend.
Bestselling author Robin Jones Gunn packs each one with enough action, romance, and drama to keep you reading and wanting more. It all starts the summer Christy vacations on a California beach and meets two friends who change her life forever. But after moving across the country with her family, Christy must begin her sophomore year of high school uncertain where she’ll fit in. A red-headed new best friend, a try at cheerleading, a job at a pet store, and expectations for the prom fill Christy’s high school years with a string of laughter-and-tears moments. Fireball Katie keeps everyone guessing what she’ll do next, and surfer Todd keeps showing up while popular Rick has determined to get her full attention! As these memorable years unfold, Christy and her God-loving friends find out what it means to be a “peculiar treasure.” Follow Christy Miller as she stays true to her identity in Christ, drawing closer to God for help in realizing her dreams and dealing with her disappointments.
To be up front with you, my lovely readers, this is not my typical book review. I actually first read this series as a thirteen-year-old and completely fell in love with the older-and-cooler-than-me Christy Miller, who was so totally lucky to have rich Aunt Marti spoiling her and the amazing Christian friends Todd and Katie, not to mention the attention of two great guys at once! Then, a few years later, I re-read the series - and discovered that, while I still loved the books and the characters, I had definitely grown (both in life and as a reader) since first reading the books. Now, as I read them again at seventeen, it's amazing how growing up with Christy and reading the books several times has affected my life.
The first time I read the books, I loved everything - characters, setting, emotions, writing, everything! Ten stars out of five! This was the best author ever and I just had to get the Sierra Jensen and College Years books that came next! (Now there's also the Katie Weldon books, which personally I love the most.)
The second time, I still loved it. I noticed a few things about the writing style that didn't quite sit right with me, although they were grammatically correct. I had grown as a reader, so I knew my preferences in how books were formatted. I also noticed a few things I hadn't before that dated the books - the lack of cell phones and email, the abundance of scrunchies and sweatshirts and perms, the slang and speaking style used. Nothing huge.
Now, the third time, I've noticed how Christy can be a little too whiny and/or insecure at times. As a thirteen year old, I thought fifteen-year-old Christy was uber-mature and totally cool. At fifteen myself, I related to her so well. Now at seventeen, I can look at some things that scare/upset Christy and smile remembering when it happened to me; other times I can see just how immature I (and all preteens/teens) can be, thinking in the moment that something's a big deal and realizing later that I blew it out of proportion and adults really do know what they're talking about. It really makes me look at the big picture.
My favorite part about the re-readings is knowing how things end up, how everything works out, and sort of laughing at, sympathizing with, or being super happy with Christy. Sometimes I even get frustrated, because Christy gets so worked up over things I know don't end up mattering at all! It makes me feel a lot closer to God, because I've learned a bit of how He feels watching us live in the moment and worry about things when He knows exactly what's ahead for us and what He wants us to do in every situation.
I still think some of the writing formatting and 80's remnants from the first publication of these books (1988-on) could use a little facelift. Other than that, though, these books are unlike any others and probably the number one books I would recommend for girls ages 12-18. I have absolutely loved growing up with Christy and her friends, and it's an experience I won't want my future daughters to miss out on, either.
I give this book 4.5 stars and am thoroughly enjoying re-reading the rest of the series as well. :)
While I already owned this book, I received a free copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. All thoughts expressed are entirely my own.