Skylar Hoyt may have vowed to change her partying ways, but it's not so easy to change her friends. She's trying hard to live a new life, but her old one is constantly staring her in the face. Add to that two parents battling for her loyalty, a younger sister struggling with a crisis pregnancy, and a new boyfriend wishing for more of her time, and Skylar feels like she can't win. After all, how do you choose favorites among the people you love most?
I had really enjoyed reading the first book in this series last year and was greatly looking forward to this read. Multi-cultural characters are few and far between in Christian fiction so I'm really glad that at least Christian YA has been very active in changing that. Therefore I'm also really glad that Skylar is portrayed accurately on the cover with a model that does look like the half Hawaiian/half Caucasian that she is said to be in the book. I felt that the storyline was relevant to teens - dealing with teen pregnancy, parental issues and relationship issues. Even though this is a Christian book, I did not feel in anyway the story to be preachy at all.
Skylar's parents got on my nerves several times, especially her mother. It annoys me when parents are going through problems but refuse to talk about it with their children. Even if the argument was between the two adults they should have realized that this was going to affect the entire family and inform Skylar and Abbie about what was going on. As it happened, they were both quite immature in their actions and decisions. The biggest one for me was that they missed out on Abbie's doctor's appointment that they both swore they wouldn't miss. Then they wondered why she's debating about giving the baby up for adoption. Actually that bit bothered me while reading. Abbie is very hesitant about thinking she can raise the child by herself at such a young age. The home she lives in currently is not stable at all and the father of the baby is not in the picture. Yet everyone wants her to keep the baby and gets irritated whenever she brings up adoption. I understand where that storyline was going but at the same time it made it sound as if adoption from teen pregnancy was not what God wanted.
I was so glad to see the ending with Skylar and Connor that was portrayed in the story. Connor's actions really pissed me off throughout the book and I would have been really angry if he would have gotten away with it. I was just really glad that this situation was portrayed and played out the way it did in the book. Too often in Christian fiction, guys are always given the "get out of jail free card" and always get away with things leaving the girl to apologize and be the one that takes the blame. I applaud the author for showing a more realistic situation and one that hopefully teen girls will learn from and take note in their own life.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Skylar is a character I can relate to and I enjoyed reading her story. It's extremely realistic and the characters are a lot more mature than in other teen fiction. I really cannot wait until the third book comes out.
FYI: This book is the second book in the series and while it can be read as a stand alone, I really would recommend reading the first book in the series, Me Just Different.
Out With the In Crowd by Stephanie Morrill is published by Revell (2010)
This review copy was provided by the publisher