Book Review: "It's Not About Me" by Michelle Sutton

Lots of Kissing for a Good Cause

Annie is dating Tony. They've been dating for a while and he's begun to put pressure on her. Pressure that she doesn't know how long she'll be able to hold off. Then there's Dan, Tony's older brother who's everything he's not. Secretly Dan's always admired Annie for a far but hasn't said anything. Then a horrific incident happens that will change the three lives forever. Annie starts to see both Tony and Dan in different lights. Tempers begin to flare. Rumors being to spread. Hearts get broken. It's become a fight with brother vs. brother. Who will Annie choose?

Lots of smooching! That was my first thought when I read this book. This book has more kissing in it than half my Christian fiction collection! However it's kissing that pertains to the story which I got drawn in very quickly. This is a fast easy read but it leaves a major imprint on you that you will think about for days to come. I could relate with Annie throughout the book, it sounded quite a bit like my reckless teen days. I think a lot of girls could place herself in Annie's shoes. This book shows that even Christian girls go through the exact same temptations as everyone else even if they don't want to admit it. While the book is very edgy for a Christian fiction novel, it didn't blow my socks off. I think the problem was because I had just read an It Girl book right before and this book was practically tame compared to this one. Which is good, as Christian fiction should include all that sordid stuff, lol. I would recommend this book for older teens because of the kissing and "other things" in this book. Nothing graphic but not something you would want a tween to see. And that's the wonderful part of the book, that it's a Christian fiction novel that you want to hide from young kids! Who would ever think you could say that about the genre?

There was one thing about the book that I would change though. I felt that something things in the book seemed outdated. For example, one of the character's name was Susie. Maybe it's just me, but I don't know any 19 year olds named Susie. It's a very old fashioned name that I think most teens would avoid using if that was their given name. Also Tony had magazines of distasteful nature in his room. I think, though, in this age of technology, most teen boys would have used the internet to access that material. It's easier to access and there is a sense of anonymity. To get a magazine means someone would have to go out and buy it and show their face. Also he drink a lot of whiskey. Again most teens would just resort to drinking beer because it's cheaper and is easier to access. I'm not supporting any of these activities at all, I just felt that these incidents seemed dated in a story involving teenagers.

That being said though, I really did enjoy this story. These topics are ones that tend to stay on the back burner and are only hinted at in most Christian fiction. It's a great book to give to mature teens who are ready for the subject matter, and also for college students as well. I enjoyed reading this and I think that Michelle has written an excellent debut novel. I'll be looking forward to the next book in the series!

It's Not About Me by Michelle Sutton is published by Sheaf House (2008)


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