Small Town Sinners
By Melissa Walker
Lacey Anne Byer is a good girl, always has been, and the label is more firmly attached because she lives in a small town, where the kids she went to grade school with are the kids she is now in high school with. Lacey Anne's dad is the children's pastor at their church, and she and her friends are involved in all church activities. Lacey has a very clear idea of what right and wrong are. Right and wrong are even more firmly established by her church's yearly outreach, Hell House, in which the teens act out various sin-filled situations and the consequences in order to shake people into a 'decision for Christ.' But within a few short months, Lacey Anne's black and white world is going to be rocked to its core.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Even though I found myself bugging my eyes out over the Hell House outreach event (because I'm not sure a Hell House fits very well into what I consider Christianity to be-- maybe it's that it reminds me more of the prophets and less of Jesus), I found myself identifying with Lacey Anne. I remember when my world was defined in black and white, when my parents never made mistakes, and when choosing the right thing was always an easy choice. The author did an excellent job of depicting the turbulent years for a teen in which the world gets a little wider and a little more confusing. Even through the confusion, Lacey Anne makes amends with her parents, begins to make decisions for herself, and learns to balance judgement with love.
This is an excellent book that I'm excited to read and discuss with our online teen book club!
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