It’s Not About Me

Title: It’s Not About Me (A Second Glances Novel, #1)
Author: Michelle Sutton
Primary Audience/age group: 16+
Genre: YA Christian Fiction
# Of pages: 352
Publisher: Sheaf House
Year of Release: 2008
Part of a Series? Yes, 1st in the Second Chances Series
Rating: 3 (View Scale)
Recommend?: Yes, 16 and up!
Description: From back of the book: Annie has it all. Shes attractive, graduated with honors, was accepted at the college of her choice, has supportive parents, good friends, and a steady boyfriend who loves her. The focus of her life is to please everyone and not make any waves. Her reputation means everything to her.
But one night Annies safe world is shattered. As she fights to put the pieces of her broken life back together, against her will she is caught in a war between two brothers, both of whom claim to have her best interests at heart.
Who will Annie choose? And will she finally come to know the One whose love will never fail, even in her darkest hour? Will she learn the truth about life – that its not about me?
Review: Watch out Judy Blume! The whole time I was reading this book I kept thinking it reminded me of the Judy Blume books I read as a teenager (Forever, Deenie) – but much better – because Sutton includes characters who rely on Christ to guide them through the tough teenage years. The issues are tough ones that all teens face – Christian or not; sex, alcohol, choosing friends wisely, bad things happening to good people, betrayal, anger, and authority. However, in a non-preachy, very real way, one of the characters pushes another to examine their relationship with Christ. Is it real? Has it changed you? Why do you go to church? This is the type of book teen girls should be reading rather than the trashy Gossip Girls or Clique series. To remind teens to take their difficulties and their relationships to Christ, to pray for help in making their choices is great life-changing fiction
Rating: 3, includes mild talk/intent of sexual situations and a couple instances of intense violence

Positive: Annie is a very likable girl who I believe most teens will identify with in one way or another. Her relationship with her parents is one of respect. Many of the characters in the book express their desire to save sex until marriage.
Spiritual Elements: It was refreshing to read a teen book that explored real teen issues within the context of being a Christian. A challenge to examine your relationship with Christ is clearly presented.
Violence: There were several instances of violence, one was an attack on a teen girl by a stranger. A knife is used and blood is spilled. Later in the story there is a fist fight between the brothers.
Language: I dont recall any bad language being used. Yea!!!! See, you can write edgy fiction without using curse words – it just takes skill and creativity!
Sexual Content: There is a lot of pressure by one boy for a girl to have sex. He puts his hands in some inappropriate areas, though it is mentioned, no detail is given. It is revealed that one of the minor characters had multiple partners and was raped one night after having passed out from drinking.
Other: There are some characters who drink alcohol. Alcohol use is not glamorized in any way and consequences are clearly seen. One character tells her friends that her dad beats her.
Recommendation: I highly recommend Its NOT About Me to teen girls ages 16 and up. The content is too intense and sexual for teens younger than that. Though the topics are tough – sex, alcohol, obedience to parents – they are real issues that teens deal with. To have a book that shows teens that Jesus loves them, and forgives them despite their mistakes, is refreshing and exciting. I wish I had access to books such as these when I was a teenager, it may have pointed down a better path than the one I took. Michelle Suttons style is easy to read and pulls you in – I couldn’t put it down until the last page was turned.

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