Revell Young Adult Book Tour – Out With the in Crowd

I received the following book free in exchange for writing a review. While I consider it a privilege to receive free products to review, my review is my honest opinion and thoughts of the book.

I thought I would be able to let my oldest daughter read this book after me and do her own book review for her blog, but decided that she cannot. While the book is aimed at high schoolers, I don’t think this book represents what should be a typical high school experience for Christian kids.

Years ago it would be an incredibly shameful to show your face in public with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy; today it is the norm. But I question  that it should be for Christians. I don’t think it should be, regardless of what the world around us is doing.

Out With the in Crowd
reminded me of a teen soap opera with the boyfriends, break ups, teen girl meanness and teen pregnancy. It is the second in the series Stephanie Morrill has written about The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt. Skylar is a teen who is from a seemingly Christian home, but sows some wild oats by partying and drinking. Then an event occurs to get her attention back on God. The whole book is about her struggle to live for Christ when things around her are falling apart.

I don’t know about you, but we are trying to raise our children differently than the world. I realize that Christian teens attending high school are no doubt facing the very things that this book addresses, but that is one of the reasons we are homeschooling.

The book also fails to even mention Scripture verses that could help Skylar focus on truth rather than her own thoughts and circumstances.

Needless to say, I was disappointed in this book. You may or may not agree.

“Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

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  1. trisha says:

    So was this supposed to be a christian read?


  2. Hi Trisha,

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Yes, it was supposed to be a Christian read. That’s what surprised/disappointed me.

  3. I agree that it’s very sad that Christian teens have to face this kind of thing. As someone who had little choice but the public school system, I have to say that it was disturbing to see some of the situations supposedly-Christian kids fell into.

    Unfortunately, you’re right that it’s the reality for the majority of teens out there, and I appreciated Ms. Morrill’s honest way of dealing with what happens AFTER we’ve messed up. I didn’t feel she glossed over or glamorized the issues, but rather that she pointed to the grace that God offers in our darkest moments. Like it or not, sooner or later, we’re going to run into situations like these–if not in our own lives, then in the lives of our friends.

    I too love Scripture in a novel, but I can also appreciate that this book is trying to cross over to reach teens who aren’t saved, and showing Skylar’s strides without any preaching will help them connect with her. I gave this book to my niece who was reading primarily secular YA, and she loved it. It offers the realism teens are attracted to but directs them back toward God, unlike what the secular bookshelves have to offer.

    Just another reviewer’s take. =)

  4. Thanks for dropping by, Roseanna.

    I think as Christians we can share scripture to back up our beliefs without being preachy because it is God’s word that changes the heart, not our words. After all Jesus never minced words, He spoke the truth in love. As a mom of a teen and others approaching, I wouldn’t want them to read this book. However, I did pass it on to a ministry that was reaching out to women who might be able to relate to the book more than my own daughters.

    I also went to public schools, but teen pregnancy wasn’t as wide spread as it is now. I only remember a couple of teen pregnancies that were openly revealed during my high school years, most were kept a secret and it was a shameful experience really. Once one girl in high school finished out school while pregnant, that seemed to open the doors of acceptance and it became even more accepted after I graduated. Two of my own sisters were teenaged moms but they didn’t and still don’t know the Lord. I agree with loving these girls in trouble, but I also think that if the element of shame was still there and the acceptance level not like it is today that perhaps it wouldn’t be as widespread as it is. It is the church that is becoming more like the world and doing the same things, so that tells me the problem is internal – heart change needs to occur and in order for that to happen we need to use God’s word.

  5. Jesus definitely didn’t mince words, you’re right about that! But (correct me if I’m wrong–this is pre-coffee and my memory’s one big ol’ blur right now, LOL), he usually tossed all that Scripture at the religious Jews who knew it already and were trying to use it against HIM, right? When he was dining with the tax collectors and prostitutes and talking to the woman at the well, for instance, he just TALKED to them. Usually saying things that would have been pretty revolutionary to the Jews at the time. Once he had their attention, he might open the Scriptures to them, but first came the meeting, the forgiveness, the belief.

    Personally, I like to see books that cover the full spectrum. I love those novels that use verses as their foundations, where the characters are touched and guided by particular passages. I also like books where the faith message is subtle–subtle doesn’t mean not there. When I write, I’m more likely to be overt. But I readily grant that my books aren’t going to appeal to or touch everyone . . . and I believe books like OUT WITH THE IN CROWD will reach out to those who would be turned off by the overt ones.

    Does the Church have problems? Obviously! (It’s made up of people after all, LOL.) Do I think this book is an example of those problems? Well, it shines a light on them. But I don’t think it represents them. Kinda reminds me of Esther, actually–God was never mentioned once in the whole book, nor was Scripture quoted. But you can’t argue that He wasn’t present, or that the characters (for lack of a better word for the real people the book tells us about) were representative of the problem among the Children of God, can you?

    Roseanna, who just LOVES a lively debate! (Grinning. And getting some coffee . . .)

  6. Hi Roseanna,

    I had this written on February 27th and saved it to see if I wanted to still respond with it. Then forgot where I saved it, just remembered tonight!

    Thanks for taking the time to drop by and leave a comment.

    To be honest, I actually don’t care for debates because they don’t go anywhere usually. It is like talking in circles and quite frankly it tires me out. The angle of my review is one coming from my perspective as a Christian mom bringing up my children for the Lord. I grew up in an unsaved home and want life to be different for my children that is why I cannot recommend Out With the In Crowd to other Christian moms.

    Now, recommending it to the unsaved – go for it.

    Jesus didn’t just speak to sinners without using scriptures, think of the woman at the well. He spoke plainly to her. He used parables with his disciples, so I agree He used different teaching methods for different groups of people. However, with Christians He didn’t mince words and Out With the In Crowd is a book by a Christian author and publisher for a Christian audience, I thought.

    I love books and desire to give my Christian readers my honest opinion of the books I review. If I am disappointed, then I am going to share it with them. When I like a book and approve of it, then my excitement and approval will definitely shine through.

    Thanks again for taking the time to share your perspective.

    Theresa Gould
    Faith and Family Reviews
    Twitter: @faithfamilyrevws

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