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Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the third book in the "Christy Miller" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

During Christmas break, Christy Miller gets to spend a week at her aunt and uncle's house in Newport Beach, Calif. Before she can go, though, she needs to give her friend Rick Doyle his Christmas present. Christy goes to the church gym, where Rick is playing basketball, and exchanges gifts with him in the parking lot. When Rick unexpectedly kisses Christy, she leaves feeling confused about their relationship.

Once she arrives at her aunt and uncle's house, all Christy wants to do is be with her old beach friends — especially Todd. But things are not turning out the way she planned.

Todd asks Christy if she would like to have breakfast on the beach with him on Christmas morning. Christy is unsure if her parents will let her go with just Todd being there, so she stretches the truth and makes it sound as if a bunch of other friends are joining them. Her parents insist she take her little brother, David, so he can make some friends, too. Christy's romantic dreams fall apart when Todd ends up spending most of the morning teaching David how to skim board. She resolves to spend the rest of the week with Todd so they can figure out where they are in their relationship, but this does not happen.

When the gang decides to go ice-skating, Christy ends up skating the entire time with her friend Doug. He and Christy act like a couple for the rest of the night, making Todd jealous and upsetting her friend Tracy, since Tracy secretly likes Doug. Eventually, Doug asks Tracy on a date, Christy apologizes to Tracy, and Todd gives Christy an ID bracelet with the word Forever engraved on it. Todd explains to Christy that no matter what happens in their relationship, they will be friends forever.

Christian Beliefs

Todd is open about his relationship with the Lord. He prays to God as if he's talking to a close friend. Christy's Aunt Marti commends Christy for praying before meals even when her parents are not around. When Aunt Marti announces that she can help Christy become a stunning young woman, Christy says she wants to be the person God wants her to be. Later, when her friends are angry with her, Christy asks God why He doesn't stop her from messing up. She thinks if He allowed her to do things right the first time, she wouldn't have to keep asking Him for a second chance. After Christy's dad prays at their New Year's Eve dinner, Aunt Marti says she has given up on prayer and God altogether. Todd tells her that even when people give up on God, He never gives up on them.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Christy's parents will not allow Christy to date until she is 16 years old, but they do let her hang out with a group of friends. When Christy implies that she is going to have breakfast on the beach with several friends, her parents agree, but only if she takes her little brother, David. Later, when Christy admits that she had made plans with just Todd, her dad reprimands her for lying. He also reminds her that she needs to earn their trust by making wise choices and by being honest. Christy's dad is hesitant about letting her go to a friend's house for a party on New Year's Eve because he does not know her friends in Newport Beach. However, he allows Todd to come to dinner at Bob and Marti's house and then take Christy to the party.

After a stressful week, Christy's mom lets her daughter cry on her shoulder and patiently listens to Christy explain what happened with her friends that week. Christy is surprised at how easy it is to confide in her mother about her relationships. However, she finds it difficult to communicate with her Aunt Marti. Marti likes to be in charge and to tell Christy how to look and act. After the two of them fight, Christy's mom tells her that Marti wants to be involved in Christy's life because she lost her own daughter during childbirth. Uncle Bob listens to Christy's problems and offers her advice. He also tells her parents that she is a responsible and trustworthy girl.




Before Christy leaves for her trip to Newport Beach, she goes to the church gym to give Rick his Christmas present. Rick says his gift for Christy is in his car and leads her out into the parking lot. He gives her a wacky book as a joke but says that his real present does not come in a box, and he quickly kisses her. Christy is startled and, in response, gives Rick the CD she had bought for him. Rick is not enthused and says he wishes Christy's gift did not come in a box either. Then he kisses her again. Christy is uncomfortable with the kisses, so they go back inside the gym, where Rick returns to his basketball game and Christy sits on the bleachers. As she watches Rick play ball, she compares his aggressive kisses with the innocent kiss she had shared with Todd the previous summer. On New Year's Eve, Todd gives Christy an ID bracelet and then kisses her twice — once on the lips and once on the head, which Christy thinks is sweet.

In a letter, Christy's summer friend Alissa tells Christy she's pregnant. Alissa is 17 years old and not married. She tells Christy she considered having an abortion until she found a Christian crisis pregnancy center; now she has decided to give up the baby for adoption. Todd tells Christy that although what Alissa did was wrong, she is doing the right thing by giving her baby life.

Discussion Topics

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Additional Comments/Notes

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

12 and up


Robin Jones Gunn






Record Label



Bethany House Publishers, a division of the Baker Publishing Group


On Video

Year Published





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