If there are two things you should know about me by now it’s these items: I love YA novels, and I’m trying to break into publishing my own book. These two passions are reflected in this week’s book review of the novel Truest. Why is that? Some of you may recall that I attended the Northwestern Christian Writer’s Conference last year. Photo proof:


I plan to go back again this year. I am meeting for a convo with Author, Jackie Lea Sommers, to discuss all things writing, publishing, and being a Christian author. I wanted to know a little more about Ms. Sommers before meeting with her, so I thought I’d pick up her book. Lucky for me, she writes Young Adult Fiction!

Westlin Beck is a small town girl with her whole summer stretching ahead of her. Unfortunately for West her best friend has gone out of town and her boyfriend seems permanently stuck on his family farm. When West meets Silas Hart and his mysterious sister, Laurel, the summer suddenly seems much more interesting. Now West needs to figure out where exactly her heart lies, and what to do about the problem of Laurel. 

Fans of John Green will find much to love about Truest. Featuring teens figuring out their place in the world, a rare medical condition, and phrases teeming with poetry, Jackie Lea Sommers’ debut novel doesn’t pull any punches. I found her novel to be entertaining and engaging. Recommended to mature readers with the caveats below.

Buy the book HERE!

Cautions and Caveats: *Spoiler Alert* There is swearing throughout the book. Not as much swearing as in other YA novels, but it’s still there. Also, there is underage drinking, a ton of sensuality and, after everyone is safely eighteen years old, one sex scene. Though common in most YA books, these things took me by surprise as I knew Ms. Sommers to be a Christian author. The book is published by Harper Collins however, so I wonder how much that affected the content. I plan to ask her when I see her!

UPDATE: I enjoyed meeting Ms. Sommers. I can't believe I didn't get a picture! She explained to me some of her writing process and also some of the reasons for including the "iffy" elements noted above. She was writing to a more general (read: secular) audience, and her prayer is that her words and characters would cause people to think about spiritual things while not being preachy. If you want to learn more about Jackie Lea Sommers and her next book visit her website by clicking HERE