Summer Promise (The Christy Miller Series, #1) By Robin Jones Gunn

I think it's safe to say that I am not the intended audience for this book.

The best thing about this book is that my edition was written in blue ink!!! I love when authors/publishers take the extra money to do this. My favorite is Cherie Priest's BONESHAKER, published in brown ink.

Christy is a farm girl from Wisconsin who goes to spend the summer with her aunt and uncle in California. They are rich and spoil her rotten. They buy her new wardrobes, get her hair styled, buy her tons of make-up, swimsuits, etc.

At the beginning, Christy is moaning about how unattractive she is. She thinks she's unattractive because she is too thin and has blue-green eyes. OH, THE HORROR! *rolls eyes

Even after her extensive make-over from her shallow, materialistic and looks-oriented aunt, she still spends the whole book calling herself ugly, stupid, and clumsy. Self-hate much? I understand she's 14, but it's painful to read.

Boys. Christy meets a cute boy on the beach! His name is Todd. He's Christian. Not like Christy is Christian, but a real Christian who was born-again. Even though Christy was born and raised in the church and was baptized as a baby and her parents are strict Christians and she is a good-girl that's NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Todd informs her that she's still a sinner and needs to ask Jesus into her heart otherwise she is not really Christian, she's not really saved - no, she's going to HELL.

And that's the love interest.

I thought he was a lousy love interest. For one thing, I felt like he only really pays attention to Christy when she's asking him about his faith and what it means to be a Christian. He also listens to her and encourages her when she makes noise about being saved herself. Otherwise, he's a big flake. He shows up late for dates, sometimes tells her he'll be at a party and doesn't show, blah blah blah. Not worth all the angst and prettifying that Christy goes through for him, in my opinion.

Also, there's this girl named Tracy who hangs around him all the time and he is constantly driving her to work and etc. etc. Christy is jealous and acts like a brat around Tracy. Tracy seems like a great person, but I understand Christy - it's her first date, first boyfriend/sort-of boyfriend etc. and she's insecure. Unfortunately, she NEVER ASKS WHAT'S GOING ON. I mean, she should straight-up ask Tracy, or Todd (whichever one she's more comfortable with) what's going on. I mean, are you guys together? Just friends? Used to date? I fully expected Gunn to reveal Tracy was Todd's cousin, or something. NOTHING. They never explain why Tracy and Todd are together all the time. Instead, we're supposed to be judging Christy for being too insecure, or not trusting Todd enough, or something. GEEZ. It's her first boyfriend (sort-of boyfriend?)! Give her a break. Todd and Tracy give her a joint gift of A BIBLE for her birthday. o.O I don't even know what to make of that.

Then, there's this other girl named Alissa. She's seventeen and dates a 20-year-old! She's on birth control! (We are supposed to be shocked and appalled to learn she's sexually active, but I give her major props for being safe. Hopefully she uses condoms, too!) She tells Christy that there is no God. You have to enjoy life here on Earth while you've got it, because there is no afterlife. We are supposed to feel extreme pity for this woman because her dad's dead and her mom's an alcoholic. Which is why she's so messed-up. Whatever. Being on the pill and dating slightly older guys is not messed-up in my opinion. There's a scene late in the book where Christy witnesses a fight between Alissa and her boyfriend in which it sounds like Alissa's bf wants sex and is having a... difficult time with Alissa saying no. But I want to stress that Alissa DID say no and the guy leaves in a huff. I don't know what Gunn is trying to say with that. Alissa can be redeemed because she refused to give in to this guy's demands for sex? Or is she saying loose women like Alissa end up in dangerous situations where guys might pressure them to have sex and they might give in/get raped? This last one is the kind of bullshit victim-blaming that I HATE. GRRRRRR. Hopefully it's the former and not the latter.

There's one hilarious scene that made me laugh out loud. Christy gets invited to a beach party and she keeps asking people for Coke (because, of course, she doesn't drink beer), and everyone she asks thinks she's looking for COCAINE. This was hilarious to me and I laughed out loud when picturing this little innocent Christian girl asking random guys if they have coke. :)

Oh, yeah, the anti-drug message in this book. A character in the book who will remain anonymous smokes pot and dies. That's right, he DIES. From smoking pot. How, you ask? Well, he decides to surf stoned and this results in him drowning, or bashing his head on some rocks or something. Gunn's anti-drug message was a little...forceful in my opinion. The most hilarious part (to me) was when Todd uses his funeral as a platform to try and turn everyone to Jesus. Seriously. His eulogy is basically slamming his dead friend for not accepting Jesus into his heart and then begging everyone, while crying, to please accept Jesus into their hearts before it's too late. (He doesn't scream, YOU'RE ALL GOING TO HELL! but he might as well have.) o.O Very uncomfortable for everyone involved.

In short, I have read Gunn's Gardenias for Breakfast and liked that it was a little more subtle with the Christianity. This one is very forceful and brutal with it's BE A CHRISTIAN OR BURN IN HELL message, and I didn't appreciate it. Especially since the book was blatantly saying, Even though you think you're Christian, you're not really. You're not really Christian until you're MY KIND OF CHRISTIAN. Even Christians who aren't born-again are going to hell. This is very depressing and isolating and self-defeating. I can't understand why Christians insist on dividing each other so much. When I was young, I was shocked to learn about all the animosity between Catholics and Protestants. You'd think people would have some sense of reality, but I guess not.

Christy, the main character, was also unlikeable. Whiny, self-hating, manipulative, insecure, bratlike (throwing temper tantrums a few times), and judging other females and hating on them just because they are prettier than her. Fail.

P.S. The Dieting. Christy's image obsessed aunt is always a.) lecturing Christy about how much fat is in food, b.) urging her to eat salad, c.) urging her to eat less, d.) shaming her for ordering chocolate cake in a restaurant. If Christy lived with this woman full-time she would end up either a.) morbidly obese or b.) anorexic. She's already hiding food from her aunt, sneaking food when she thinks her aunt can't see her, and eating even when she's not hungry to spite her aunt. Horrible, horrible child-care on the aunt's part. Way to screw up Christy's eating habits and self-image, Aunt Marti. Paperback I've heard so much about this series and I finally read the first book! I LOVED how Christy grew spiritually throughout the book, the beach setting, the outfit descriptions, and the Disneyland scene. I didn't like that teenagers so young and far away from marriage kissed. I liked seeing how the different characters reacted to an unexpected death. Warning: There are some teen partying scenes and mature themes. That's why I didn't read it until now. Paperback I finished Summer Promise. In short, it was all so shallow it was bad. Now here is the long version.

Christy makes me sick. Her shallow, stereotyped, self conscious crybaby attitude and her mood swings. Literally bleh. She is the most general boring girl contemporary character ever. She struggled with her self image and yet not really the way a girl who actually struggled with it does. The author touched on most topics that girls struggle with, but just touched on them. That's all. Christy felt like a bag of problems and emotions with no backbone. And her amazing turn to Christ at the end was a little dull. Like maybe it was forced so that the rest of the series she would be a Christian.
Sorry. I don't mean to bash your guys' fav character, but so far the only thing she's done for me is make me sick.
So did Todd and his drop dead gorgeousness. *eyeroll* the line where the second day she meets him she says she realizes she felt for him something that was more than a crush I snorted SO LOUD the people around me stopped talking for a moment. He seemed so shallow! My heart is crying out for someone who actually has a backbone. The whole deal with Shawn was so predictable. And the way he led Christy on, making her think that he was taking her to the concert, and then all those other folks in the van. And then when he took her to Disneyland totally leading her on. It was horrid. He is an awful character. If he wasn't hiding the fact that her aunt had funded the escapade then he would have mentioned it earlier, like when she said that she appreciated him buying all those things for her. *eyeroll* I think that was a mistake on the authors part maybe? The way that there were places he should have told her and he didn't. Either he is a jerk, or the author didn't do a very good job.

There were two things that I liked in the book, that I could relax and actually enjoy reading. The Disneyland trip (beside the above mentioned) and when Tracy came in. She felt like the only person in the whole book that I could trust. She was sweet and honest and forgiving. I just didn't know where she stood with Todd, which I blame on Todd. Note, (just my personal opinion, I'm not pushing this on any of you guys) you can't be such close friends with a guy ESPECIALLY a Christian guy-girl relationship without any further attractions. Anyway.

And Christy's aunt and uncle killed me. Literally. Her aunt, so shallow. Her uncle, no backbone. At all. A floppy jellyfish that bent to whatever Marti said.

I can't believe how badly I sound like a hater. I am not. I just was so disappointed with this book. I still got the next to in the volume that I'm reading, so we'll see if she gets any better. Right now. Bleh. Paperback this book is awesome i gave my life to christ before i even finished the story. two of my friends did too. its amazing. Paperback The first time I heard about the Christy Miller series I was only ten or eleven years old. I had won them in a Focus on the Family reading contest. I barely understood the choices that Christy faced and many of the concepts were a little over my head at the time. But when I reread the first 6 or so books again after turning 15, they made a big impact on me. I love Christy. If she were real she would be the closest of my book friends- except for maybe Mallory from the Babysitter's Club or Kate O'Connell from the Northwoods Series. She is so sweet and when she doesn't understand something she sits and listens rather than reacting.

I remember my copy of the book, Summer Promise, it looked like an adult romance novel- not at all like the nice updated versions. I learned about drugs for the first time. Not up to this point can I recall hearing the expression stoned. The Guess teddy-bear t-shirt she wears to the party- I had one of those. I can relate to the way Christy picks out her clothes- underdressed for one event, overdressed for the next. I am rereading this book for I would say fourth or fifth time. Christy's innocences and the simplicity of the story are what I love about Robin Jones Gunn. As I reread the chapter Questions and Answers, I am a lot more emotional about Shawn's funeral. I barely knew Jared Nagel (he was a Christian- praise God!) when he died at age 18 or 19. The youngest person's funeral I have ever attended. Todd is an amazing and to use Doug's word awesome young man. Every girl needs a Todd (or Gilbert if you are an Anne of Green Gables fan)!!!

I grew up in California so I knew about many of the places in this book. Especially when they go to San Francisco. Makes you want some Rice-a-Roni. When I go to San Francisco again I am going to find that music box and an Alcatraz sweatshirt for my husband.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book...Christy is responding to her Uncle Bob about being true to herself.
I'm not sure I want to live on the edge like that. I mean, what about God? Where does He fit in? Does He just let me go my merry way, and if I don't happen to 'pull myself in' in time, then splat splat, that's that, too bad Christy? Paperback

Download Summer Promise (The Christy Miller Series, #1)

I first read this book a little over a year ago and now I'm coming back to it and reading it again - partly because I am desperate to finish my 2016 Reading Challenge and I can finish three of these books in a day, and partly because I just love it so much.

This book is super sweet. Part of what I love about it so much is the main character, Christy Miller, and her thoughts and feelings are so relateable. I mean sure I can't really relate to going to parties like the one Christy went to, but her thoughts about Todd and friendship and things like that I can definitely empathize with.

I think it's also super fun to have read all the way up to Christy and Todd: The College Years and then go back to the very first book. A little remark or scene like the green-bean bathing suit makes you grin as you think about the scene in later books where Christy learned that THAT was actually the first time he saw her. ;)

The only thing is Christy is technically going out on what she considers a date when she is 14 which is something I would never do but you know yolo Christy do what you want your family has your own standards. xD

Since this book deals with more serious issues I wouldn't recommend these books to, I don't know, 8-year-olds but any mature 11-year-olds and up would be a good age-range.

5 stars out of 5. Love it!! :D Paperback Check out more reviews at Books to the Sky.

(I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.)

I honestly couldn't finish this book. I had no idea this was going to be religious.

The entire time I was reading the book I felt like I was being preached at. There was a part where Todd, Christy's love interest, made it seem like if you weren't Christian then you weren't worthy.

I strongly disliked her Aunt Marti. From the beginning she was trying to change everything about Christy; what she ate, what she wore and how she acted. I did like her Uncle Bob though. He told her to be herself and that was good enough.

Note: This book was originally published in 1988, it was republished this year for the Kindle. Paperback This was a great Christian teen book. After making a promise to her parents not to do anything she will regret, 14 yr. old Christy goes to stay at her aunt and uncles at the coast of California. Here she learns, as her aunt tries to change her and make her into a fashionable girl, that getting everything you want can't bring you happiness.
She meets a girl named Alissa and really wants to be like her, not knowing how hard Alissa's life is.
Then she meets handsome surfer Todd Spencer. She gets to be friends with him and his friend group. They are all Christians but Christy is not. She thought she was, but she hadn't trusted in Jesus as her savior. Todd helps her understand what it is to be a Christian.
After bad influences, tragedy, and help and prayers of friends, Christy finally makes a life changing decision which is definitely something she will not regret!
Paperback I've seen countless reviews complaining about how whiny Christy is and how she's a brat . Whiny she may be and at times a brat yes I agree but guess what this is an accurate picture of a teenager . She's awkward , insecure , doesn't really know how to act around people , and may I remind you that she's ONLY FOURTEEN !

Good grief when I was fourteen I was a lot worse ,and let me just say if you were such an angel and never had a single thing to apologize for , well good for you sweetie I'm happy for you .

The other point people make is that whenever Christy meets someone that's not a Christian they ALWAYS have a terrible problem with something ,while the characters that are Christians don't . I can see the point in this truly I can . I know so many Christians that have had problems with things that are sinful or mental health issues . Becoming a Christian doesn't make you perfect all of your problems don't just go away. While I do think her Christian characters could use a few problems . I think she kind of uses the problems of the ( non Christian) characters as something that can help Christy talk to them and show them the love of God . I don't remember really what happens with said characters but that's just what I assume .

With that being said it was so great to be back reading a book that I read so long ago ! Not everything was as I remembered it , and I won't say that it was perfect but let's be real there isn't one excepting the Bible . Paperback I first read this series when I was 12 years old. I was absolutely in love with Todd and I adored the lessons that I learned in this book. I am now seventeen and I still am such a huge fan of Christy Miller. The first book, this book, is my least favorite book in the series but I still enjoy it. I just have trouble getting through it because Christy is such a whiny little baby!! I am not an emotional person and I have trouble trying to be patient with Christy because all she does it cry... She does mature later on though and love watching her grow!! If you're a Christian lady and want to grow spiritually while enjoying a cute romantic series, I suggest you pick up Christy Miller!! :) Paperback

Teens across the nation have made this series from Robin Jones Gunn a bestseller! Readers can find out for themselves why the series is so popular as they, too, become friends with Christy Miller. She becomes the perfect role model for today's teens by making a commitment to Christ in the first book and then growing in her walk with the Lord in the next eleven books. Throughout the series, Christy learns about friendships, dating, becoming responsible, waiting on God, being faithful, and God's rewards for obedience. Summer Promise (The Christy Miller Series, #1)