Right Where I Belong / by Krista McGee.
HS, grades 9 -12, rating: 4. Paperback.
Seventeen-year-old Natalia Lopez is not surprised when her father tells her he is divorcing her stepmother Maureen, wife number three. Natalia cannot imagine life without Maureen, the woman who led her to Christ and who has been a true mother to Natalia, so she decides to leave her home in Spain and move to Florida with Maureen. Natalia is thrilled to learn she will be attending a Christian school, but life is far from perfect. Maureen is depressed and bitter over her failed marriage and career, refusing to seek help. Natalia’s parents are pressuring her to follow in their successful footprints, while she is still searching to find God’s calling for her life. She is also struggling to keep her vow to never date, thanks to Brian, the pastor’s son. Will Natalia find the answers her heart seeks and the place where she truly belongs?
In Right Where I Belong, Krista McGee brings to life a sweet coming of age story, full of heartache, confusion, friendship, and love. This book is character-driven with inner conflict, changing emotions, and developing relationships that keep the pages turning. The spiritual and emotional growth of the main characters is very evident from beginning to end. The author sensitively deals with issues concerning divorce and unfaithfulness, as well as the importance of being equally yoked in marriage. Natalia is a great role model for teens, with her desire to honor her parents and her strong commitment to serve the Lord. Brian is an excellent example of a godly young man, with his passion for Christ and his gentlemanly behavior towards Natalia. Natalia and Brian’s relationship is a great model for Christian dating or courtship. Redemption, unending love, and unlimited grace are all themes woven throughout the lives of the characters portrayed. McGee’s writing style is reminiscent of Lori Wick’s, with its wholesome quality, characters, and gentle romance. Overall, this teen novel is refreshing, with its high standards of morality and godly focus– both traits that are hard to find in most books written for teens.
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