Friday, August 19, 2011

Perhaps some things, like Grandma’s house and her dad’s inquisitions, would never change. But Christy smiled at the unknown possibilities of the evening as she made her way down the driveway.

She was the freckle-faced tomboy and everybody’s kid sister. On the other hand, what if she wanted more? What if she felt ready to encourage more in a relationship with a guy? Was that what Jana was doing when she put her head on Tim’s shoulder at the airport? What if Sierra had done that to Gregg? How would he have reacted?

Book: Departures by Robin Jones Gunn, Multnomah Books, 2011
Departures: Two Rediscovered Stories of Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen (The Christy Miller Collection) 
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 13-18
Subjects: Dating Relationships, sibling relationships
Summary: When Christy’s family goes back to Wisconsin for a family event and Christy runs into an old crush, she has to make a decision about what she wants in a relationship with a guy. When Sierra joins some friends on a vacation to the lake and her friend makes a choice to grow up and start exploring the world of flirting, Sierra has to make a decision about whether or not she wants to surrender her childhood and enter that world as well. Both girls receive opportunities to make decisions on these short trips that could have much longer term impacts on their lives.
Notes: This is a new cover on an old story. Robin Jones Gunn originally published this book, with one more story by Wendy Lee Nentwig in it, in 1999 with Bethany House Publishers. Feeling it went out of print too soon, she and her current publishing company opened it back up to the public with just her two stories in it this time. There is one story about Christy Miller and one about Sierra Jensen. Christy’s story takes place chronologically between the 11th & 12th books of the Christy Miller series. Sierra’s is at the same time – which is before we meet her in book 12 of the Christy Miller series. These are both sort of “coming of age” novellas. Each girl receives a chance to enter into a guy/girl relationship. Christy discovers that the guy she liked for years is interested in her as well. Sierra discovers that with a little bit of flirting, guys might just step up and take interest in her. Christy’s issue is thinking through what exactly she wants in a relationship and whether or not to pursue this one specific one right now. Sierra’s issue is to consider whether or not she wants to start pursuing guys. She recognizes that she likes certain aspects of it, but isn’t sure whether or not she’s ready to take that step. She makes one comment that does a great job summarizing it: “Well I think there are some definite advantages to lingering on the girl side a little longer. Once we step over to the woman side, it’s not likely we can ever turn around and go back”. These books are fun for those who have followed these characters through the books for years and do have some thought provoking spiritual elements in each. I recommend them for all girls who have reached the maturity level to start thinking about what they want in relationships with guys.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven


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