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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Love Will Keep Us Together by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt is up on CFBA, with bonus review!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Will Keep Us Together

FaithWords (April 30, 2010)


Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt


ANNE DAYTON graduated from Princeton University and is earning her master's degree in English literature at New York University. She works for a New York publishing company and lives in Brooklyn.

MAY VANDERBILT graduated from Baylor University and went on to earn a master's degree in fiction from Johns Hopkins University. She lives in San Francisco, where she writes about food, fashion, and nightlife in the Bay Area.

Together, the two women are the authors of Miracle Girls series


Riley McGee has the whole world open before her. She could get into any college, major in any subject, become whoever she wants to be...But the truth is, Riley has no earthly idea what to do. She's paralyzed by indecision, afraid of the changes she faces, and as graduation day inches closer, it feels more and more like a threat.

Meanwhile, her autistic brother, Michael, is struggling to fit in at Marina Vista and stay on top of his classes. Riley tries to keep an eye out for him, but when Ms. Moore suggests pulling Michael out of school, Riley has to fight for her brother--and against her favorite teacher. And things take another turn when her ex-boyfriend, Tom, arrives, hoping to give their relationship one more try. On top of that, an ambitious new pastor makes her question everything she thought she knew about faith.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Will Keep Us Together, go HERE.

My review:

This was an enjoyable conclusion to a good series. I read the book from cover to cover in one day. The issues addressed were realistic and relevant to teens today. There was even a bit of romance that made me smile. While nothing written took any risks in regards to confronting some of the tougher issues in life, I still found it enjoyable.

One thing was a downside for me as a reader and social worker. The scenes with Michael, the brother with Asperger's Syndrome, were not what I've experienced in my work over the past eight years with hundreds of children and adults who have a diagnosis of Autism. Michael definitely exhibited more traits of classic autism than Asperger's based on his characterization in this novel, but that wasn't enough to ruin the book for me.

On a different note, the realistic thoughts the heroine Riley had regarding her feelings toward their church and how things had changed (and not necessarily for the better) was refreshingly honest. Same goes for the situation with the teen pregnancy and the church's initial response to it. The overall theme of this book was to be true to yourself. The conclusion was for young people to be true to their own dreams and not just do what other people expect of them. Also, it's okay to admit your faults and mistakes as long as it keeps you real. I appreciated the message that not making a decision is still making one. That's a great lesson for today's youth.

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