Summer Rain by Cherlisa Starks Richardson
Age Range: 12 and up
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Purple Phoenix Publishing LLC (November 27, 2013)
Source: From publisher for tour
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
About the Book:
Sixteen-year-old Summer McClain seemingly has it all—a doting mother and father, two best friends who stick closer than glue, and a grandmother who can cook the pants off any chef who dares to go up against her. Her world is perfect in every way—until tragedy strikes the core of her family. When Summer thinks the worst thing in her life has happened, she’s dealt more blows that make her question her young faith. Her two best friends, who should be there to love her through her devastation, have personal issues of their own, and on top of that, a girl at school starts bullying her for no reason. Will Summer be able to withstand the heartache, pain, and pressure she has to endure? In her debut novel, Summer Rain, Cherlisa Starks Richardson has woven together a gripping novel that shows the faith even a child must have to endure when challenged with the pain life sometimes presents.
About the Author:
Cherlisa Starks Richardson is a graduate of Indiana State University and also has an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. Mrs. Richardson is a motivational speaker and a school board member in her township. She and her family lives in Indiana. For more information, visit her website at www.cherlisarichardson.com.
Why is faith important for the rising generation and what it can do for teens?
Faith is of utmost importance for the rising generation because it’s the foundation that is needed in order to get them through challenges when they are faced with them. As parents we would like to shelter our children from those challenges but we know that it’s inevitable that trouble will come. I believe faith have always been important even in generations past. It’s just as important in today’s rising generation, particularly because teens today are faced with different types of challenges than ever before.
The challenges that today’s teens are faced with are endless. For example, there are several different types of drugs that weren’t available in the past including prescription drugs that are so easily available to them. In addition, peer pressure is just as much a factor for today’s teens as it always have been. On top of that, bullying is at an all time high, in part because of the social media. Years ago, teens were bullied at school but once they went home they were able to get some relief. That isn’t the case now because of social media. There’s no avoiding it and many time kids feel that they have no way out. Sadly, far too often it results in suicide.
Life is guaranteed to have problems and even tragedy. Far too often, when teens are faced with their first hard situation, they believe it will never get better. There will be time that their faith is tested. Matthew 17:20 says, “So Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Therefore, although faith will at times be tested, I is faith that will help our teens get through challenges that life presents. They will need something to lean on when times get hard.
My Thoughts on Summer Rain:
I felt oddly detached from this book. It was like I was walking alongside the story, but never actually part of it. The story itself is quite interesting and well thought out. The mystery is intriguing and I liked the way everything that seemed random throughout the book all came together to make sense in the end. There is a lot of religious (Christian) content, which you may love or hate, depending on how you like your fiction.
There are two reasons I had a difficult time connecting with the story. The first has to do with telling, rather than showing. The words told me what the characters were feeling, but left me feeling disconnected from them. The other problem I had was that much of the dialogue felt awkward. There was a lot of slang, which may be accurate for real life, but it makes a book harder to read.
In spite of my issues, I still enjoyed the book. I usually quit reading a book if I don’t connect to it, but I read Summer Rain in its entirety because I really liked the story and I wanted to see what happened. One of the things I liked about the book was the relationship between Summer and her parents, both individually and as a couple. I also really liked the fact that Richardson gave us a protagonist that isn’t Caucasian. It’s exciting to see more and more books pop up with diversified main characters.
This author has a lot of potential, and some really great ideas. I’m interested to see what she writes next.