A Christian coming-of-age novella

Nicole "Nikki" Johnson has never gotten along with her mother, so when she meets a great new guy, it's no surprise that Matt's age is all her mom sees. Just because he's twenty-four and she's sixteen doesn't mean he's a creeper! Thankfully, Nikki's dad allows Nikki and Matt to be together and see how things work out. Their relationship is fantastic and Nikki is on cloud nine...

Until the Fourth of July picnic, when things go too far. Now a very changed Nikki has to make choices that will affect her every relationship - with Matt, her parents, her best friend, and most importantly, God.

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Also in print!

Reader Reviews


Sixteen is a sweet and thought-provoking story. Debut author Emily Rachelle writes from an interesting point of view: a mother relaying her story to her teenage daughter. While this was a new technique to me, I'm happy to say the story captured my attention throughout. The writing reads like a breath of fresh air and tackles significant themes such as familial relationships, forgiveness, and believing in God.

Although I recognize this is a novella, I would have liked to get to know the characters a little more. The story seemed to rush through important plot points, and I felt that the end came abruptly. However, I enjoyed this novella overall. There is a strong Christian theme throughout, and I thought the characters were all memorable. I would recommend it to Christian teenage girls.


Teenager Claire Monroe is anxious to graduate, leave home and be free of what she sees as restrictive parents. Her mom, Nicole, doesn’t want Claire making the same mistakes she made …

It’s 1995, and Nikki Johnson is sixteen, working part-time as a ballet instructor. She meets Mark, the 23-year-old uncle of one of her pupils, and a friendship develops that gradually changes into something more …

The story moves back and forth between the present (2014, with Nicole telling her story to her daughter) and the past (1995, Nikki’s story). As I was reading, I was thinking, “This isn’t going to end well.” I’m not going to tell you how it did end (obviously), but it was a satisfying combination of expected and unpredictable.

Sixteen is a very good fiction debut. The writing is strong, the characters realistic and the situation all too believable. What is especially good is the way the author has got into the mind of Nicole, showing that teenagers haven’t changed (and their parents really do understand them).

Overall, this was a well-written story, with the main issue that it was a bit on the short side. I would have liked to have seen more of Mark, to understand his thought processes, and I thought there could have been more emphasis on Nikki’s motivation and reactions, especially with the dress scene (I don’t want to say more, for fear I’ll give away the story, but you’ll know what I mean if you read it).

Sixteen is written by a teenager, and while it’s aimed at teens, older readers will still enjoy it. This is an excellent first novel, and I’ll look forward to seeing what Emily Rachelle can produce next.

M. Myhren

This is just a short review so as to not give too much away. Claire is about to go away to college, but with just minutes before she leaves she and her mother have a talk. A talk that Claire hasn't had time for before. But this talk is Claire's story and also that of her mother and her father.

This is a story about choices and how the choices we make have lasting effects on the lives we will live. But this is also a story of the heart.

Sixteen takes place in both the present and the 1990s as Nikki and Claire's story is revealed to both the reader and to Claire. Some stories are worth hearing and this is one needs to be heard. Sixteen is a short story that should appeal to teens and it packs a lot into 70+ pages. Mother-daughter relationships, dating, and spiritual matters are the main focuses of this story which comes together in a manner that isn't forced or 2-by-4 to the head preachy.


Emily Rachelle just published a book called Sixteen. This book is about mistakes made as a teenager and is very dramatic. This book is full of themes such as redemption, love and forgiveness. I feel that Sixteen is especially relevant in today's world where this happens so often. Emily also demonstrates that witnessing is about relationships and unconditional love. My only complaint is that it was way to short! I wish I had been able to get to know the characters more and spend more time with them. This book had me on the verge of tears at one point. Because of the mature content I would not recommend it for anyone under 13 and I would suggest a discussion between kids and parents. Anyway I highly recommend this book...

Ryan Paige

I don't normally read this kind of genre. Teen romance is really not my thing, but this lovely novella holds so much more than that.

Emily Rachelle did a wonderful job for her first published work!

The only thing I didn't like and this could be something that might turn others away, was Matt's age. I wish she would have made him just a little younger like 20. It would have still fit the story well. Matt indeed was not a creeper and Emily did a nice job on writing him, but in real life I would have frowned upon the relationship. Most people would. He should have know better being 24... after all he's a man.

With that being said I recommend reading this sweet story and passing it on to others. It's for sure more of a girl read and surprisingly a good one for mothers and daughters. I have a wonderful relationship with my mother and I can see that Emily does too. I really liked this sweet side of her story.


Rebellious Nikki starts dating a man several years older than her, against the advice of her parents. Eventually, that decision leads to a terrible a terrible mistake for both of them. This is the story of the consequences, both good and bad, of that mistake.

I liked Sixteen. It was a short, sweet story. Everything worked out perfectly in the end--a little too perfectly in fact. But it was still a good story. With a lot of hard work and sacrifice, the young couple worked out their problems and the consequences of their decisions and did the right thing, which I appreciate.

Also, Sixteen helped show that teen girls and their moms can get along and restore their broken relationships, which is something the media tends to tell us is nonexistent or impossible. Many different broken relationships are restored in this book, which I love.

Sixteen seemed a little rushed overall. Things happened too quickly from the time problems came to the time they were restored. In addition, it seemed too perfect, as though everything would work out exactly perfect even though it must truly be terribly hard in real life. But overall, it was a lovely little story of hope.


My review: 4 out of 5 stars. A very interesting story. I liked the unique way it was told, a story from a mother to her daughter. It was also cool to be able to look into Nikki’s emotions as the story unfolded, but then also Claire’s as she was being told the story of her parent’s romance. The ending was pretty sweet, too.

The characters were relatable and enjoyable to read about, though honestly, I did wonder where Nikki’s head was at sometimes. And I also didn’t understand the big deal about the dress scene (don’t want to give away any spoilers, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when you read it). Other than that though, I really liked the characters, especially Christy. She was a really good friend, the exact person that Nikki needed standing by her during that time.

I don't read many love stories, but I’ve never seen one quite like this before. It was an all-around good read and a great debut.


[Posted with review of another book] Sixteen is kind of a similar story. It is told through flashbacks - Nikki's flashbacks as she tells her daughter about her birth. Nikki became pregnant as a teen, but again, it was handled well - in that I mean the Author didn't go into details. The story is mostly about how Nikki's life was changed by the choices she made after it happened. This one was a shorter story - which was kind of sad because I would have liked to spend more time with the characters - and the ending was happy. I love happy endings.


I really loved this book. The way the author used flashbacks made the story all the more touching. Even though it's short, the emotions were strong. I cried for Nikki when she was saved and when Matt was crying at the wedding. On top of that there are multiple instances where I was awed by beautiful imagery! Overall this is a great first publishment for a breakout author.

Fantastic job Emily!


Sixteen was a great debut novel for Emily Rachelle. I have been waiting for it since I first heard of it almost a year ago. I would recommend this for a book club or discussion group, especially because of its length.


I'm so excited for Sixteen to come out in book form! :D I'll definitely buy it.

The love story is believable, even though starts quickly. Nikki does not care one little bit if Matt's several years older than her. I mean, it's not like he's 60. He's 24.

I'm impresses how clean Sixteen is, considering it deals with teen pregnancy. If one of the middle schoolers I know wanted to read this, it would be totally appropriate. Sixteen shows that teen pregnancy is wrong, but after Nikki's pregnant, what can she do? The way she and her friend, Christy, handle the situation is very well done.

I wish the characters were more relatable to people other than teen moms. I would have loved to see more of Nikki's and Matt's characters.

Also, I remember three of my mom's pregnancies, and I'm pretty sure a pregnant woman can eat the same things she always has (except alcohol). Sixteen often mentions that Nikki has to be careful about what she eats, but considering she's only sixteen, she should't have to worry about dietary things while pregnant.
Favorite quote? Christy says, "In the end, after all the evidence from Christians and all the doubts from others, you just have to decide if you believe God or not." Christy's got it right.

Edited by Rachelle Rea.
Smashwords formatting by Zara Hoffman.
Cover art by Najla Qamber Designs.
Formatting by Inkstain Interior Book Designing.

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