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on August 14, 2000
The promise shared is one of holding on to your dreams, and holding out for God's best. My sister Mandy and I read this book when she was a freshman in high school, and I, a twenty-three year old, stay-at-home mom of a little girl named Lindsey.
When Mandy and I shared these special moments in the life of this fictional girl known as Christy Miller, we laughed, and we cried. We learned together what it was like to relate to the joys and trials of a young woman going through the kind of change that one goes through when getting to know God in a personal way. The memories for my sister and I will be long remembered. This past Christmas Mandy handed down her "Christy Miller" collection to Lindsey. Again, the promise will be shared, even as I read the books with my twelve year old daughter. Lindsey is already introducing her younger sister, Lauren, age four, to all her "friends" from the Christy Miller series! The sharing of another promise to "read the books together" has been made.
The writings of Robin Jones-Gunn are a true legacy. Her love for the Lord and her desire to share that love and the joy of knowing Him are ever present in her works. I can not thank the Lord enough for her giftedness as an author. The quality and moral integrity with which she addresses her audiences is a true joy to myself, as an avid reader, and also as the mother of a young girl in search of an adventerous and realistic read.
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on December 27, 2012
Christy Miller Volume 1 is a collection of the first three books in the Christy Miller series. I confess, I'm a little late to join the Christy fan club, but better late than never! I haven't reviewed a three-book volume before, so bear with me. (Warning, spoilers!)

What I liked about Summer Promise, the first book: Christy is a great protagonist. She's real with her struggles and teenage dreams. Miss Gunn was able to teach without sounding preachy. I loved Todd and all his whacky analogies to Christian faith. I thought it was kind of funny reading about some of the outdated technology. The thing I liked the most about this book is Christy's promise to her parents to not do anything she might regret later on. It seems to be a theme for the book and I really like that. It saves Christy from some trouble.

Christy Miller Collection, Vol. 1 (Christy Miller, #1-3)What I liked about A Whisper and a Wish: Out of the three, this was not my favorite. Maybe it was the lack of seeing the awesome characters at Newport Beach because the Miller family moved to Escondido. I felt Christy was drowning in some sort of emotional whirlpool and that didn't do much for me. One thing I did like was a verse Miss Gunn presented in Christy's Sunday school class, "Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character'." (1 Corinthians 15:33) It got me thinking about my life. Miss Gunn went on to make some great points using this verse. It was a highlight for me. :-)

What I liked about Yours Forever: We're back in Newport Beach! I was so happy to read about the crew from Summer Promise again. Man, this one is full of drama. Haha! Sadly for Christy, this quick Christmas break with her Aunt and Uncle doesn't quite go as planned. She is so eager to spend time with Todd and her other friends that she lets her Aunt's plans slip twice. Problems seem to pop up everywhere for Christy with no visible reason as to why. Thankfully, Miss Gunn wraps the last book with a bow.

Here are a few minor things I didn't like overall: Though this book was written a while ago, Christy's innocence made her seem more like a twelve year old than a fourteen or fifteen year old sometimes. I also did not like the so called Christians that Christy befriends in Escondido.

Whew! That was long. To quickly conclude, I will note for you that Miss Gunn's writing is fantastic. It was so easy to read, I loved it. I'll be passing this book to my twelve year old sister. :-)

I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done.
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on November 12, 2014
I loved these books as a young teen, so I decided to read them again when I was feeling nostalgic. As an adult, I still enjoyed the series— the stories are engaging and wholesome— but there were a few messages that I found troubling.

Primarily, I did not like the "cultural Christian" aspect of the books; many of the main characters' beliefs are not necessarily Biblical, rather, they reflect cultural values often found in the American Christian church. Most of these beliefs aren't a big deal, but a few are problematic in that they misrepresent the gospel. Other issues that I had with the content: Christy is completely and utterly boy-crazy with few interests of her own (extracurriculars, ambitions, dreams) beyond a few short-lived stints. Because of this, her character falls just a wee bit flat, and also sends a pretty strong message to young girls reading the series. I would like to have seen Christy mature as a character in her boy-craziness, but even later on in the series she still struggles with obsessing over her crushes/ boyfriends. Additionally, Christy becomes a Christian in the books as a young teen, but almost immediately adopts all of the values/ morals of the Christian faith (i.e. easily begins doing devotions, disdains dating non Christians/ smoking/ swearing/ etc.) with little evidence of a real struggle over her values. It is simply an unrealistic depiction of growth as a young Christian and embodies a little bit of a judgmental attitude. Honestly, there are a lot of instances throughout the series when Christy reads like my mother as opposed to a young girl trying to find her way and experiencing growing pains. I wish that she had encountered more doubts and questions in her faith.

Granted, I would absolutely recommend these books for any teen girl— I've even bought them as gifts. Overall, they are worth a read and capture so much of the magic of coming of age. However, some of the content is worth at least discussing and does not necessarily reflect Biblical truths.
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on February 14, 2006
Robin Jones Gunn's popular Christy Miller series is now available in three volumes. The first three stories, Summer Promise, A Whisper and a Wish and Yours Forever make up the first volume.

Summer Promise: Christy Miller is fourteen and has the entire summer in front of her. She's staying in California with her aunt and uncle at the beach! A promise has been made to her family, and there might be some problems with some of her friends. But her friend, Todd and his Christian friends provide Christy with a new way to look at life and God. The ups and downs of a teenager are accurately portrayed and you'll smile, wince and remember what it all felt like to be young.

A Whisper and a Wish: The Miller family is moving to California! Christy will start her sophomore year in a new place with new people. And as all teenagers do, Christy isn't sure about how she'll fit in with the other kids. Christy's adventures in growing up will make you laugh and bring a tear or two to your eyes as she learns from mistakes and grows closer to God.

Yours Forever: Todd is in town at the same time Christy is visiting her aunt and uncle at the beach during Christmas vacation. Christy is interested in Todd and wants to fill the hours just "being with him." But things go awry and it seems everyone is angry with Christy and she needs to sort out why God allows things to happen the way they do.

These stories made me yearn for my youth again. And the wonderful part of the Christy Miller series is Christy's growth in faith.

Armchair Interviews predicts: Young girls who haven't read Robin Jones Gunn's Christy Miller series will be reading far into the night, missing bedtimes.
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on June 2, 2001
I would like to thank Robin Jones Gunn for writting this series and having it be avaiable to read in Utah. When I first saw this book series, I was so happy that I found a Christian book series in a prominate L.D.S. state. This series helped me to get interested in reading and reading faster and injoying what I am reading. I related to the girls in the story expecilly Christy when she talks to her self, I tend to do that a lot. It made me so happy that she meet Todd but it kind of made me jellous in wanting a good Christian relationship with a guy. I have never read books so fast and been so interested in what I am reading until I found this. I even prayed that I would find a good Christian book that I could relate to and now that I have I am so very thankful. This book is the start of all of the books if you don't read this one first it will be soo confusing so I highly suggest that you read them in order. So thank you again to Robin Jones Gunn for writting this series for me and many other young women mostly out there. It used to be kind of hard to get this series because the next one had a lot of holds on them because other teenagers were out there reading this wonderful series. So If you haven't had the chance to read these books give it a chance it can change your life because I know it has changed mine.
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on December 3, 2013
Summer Promises was released in 1989. To be honest the book has aged well as I couldn't tell it was from 1989 minus some different language used then that isn't used so commonly by teens now. Gunn though looks at Christy the eyes of a mother more so than another teen might look at her. She shelters her, coddles her, and assumes that she might be surrounded by the impure acts that teens can get involved in, but would never actually do herself. We get a perception of a teenage girl through a worried mother's eyes, than how a teen might actually perceive themselves.

Summary: Christy Miller is leaving her home in Wisconsin for the summer to spend time with her aunt and uncle at the beach. With the growing frustration of finances at her home her family feels it is best for her to spend it somewhere more enjoyable. Aunt Marti wants to help Christy transition more into a teenager. Christy doesn't seem very confident about her dress or appearance, but with a makeover her summer seems more promising for dating. After meeting Todd though she finds boys are a little different than she expected, or at least he is. His attention is placed on someone that is above the shallow things that Christy hopes will get his attention.

Characters: I don't know why but many of the female characters in Christian books are so annoying. They usually seem to always be PMSing. Christy has these freak outs and melt downs that were embarrassing to read. I know I've acted emotionally before, but never over a wrong assumption regarding a boy. She seems to grow very attached to someone who hasn't been very open about how he feels too. Todd never initiates much between them. He never gets physical, doesn't ask to kiss, and even invites other female companions on their dates, yet she pursues him with the tenacity of a stalker. Todd is a bit of a likable character, but he doesn't seem realistic. I hate to say it but I've just never known a guy or boy at any age of my life like that. Plus, I was very confused by the age of Christy. She seemed more like 12 instead of on the verge of going to high school.

Writing: The writing style seems like something a bit suiting for those younger than the 7th grade and up reading level that is given for the book. Now the content seems more suited for those who are middle schoolers, but I've never heard a kid that age talk the way these do, then again maybe in the 80's kids acted a little younger than they do now. I also didn't feel Christy was a very strong female character to be portraying to females.

Plot: There are female characters in novels that act like females, but you still can walk away feeling something inspired from them. With Christy I didn't feel empowered as a female after reading. I just felt like this makes girls look really insane. I get that the transformation was that Christy was turning to Christ, but it just felt very cliche. I assume it has to do with the early 90's trend that moved into Christianity, but I think that the approach taken in this novel might be a bit outdated. I saw plenty of kids and teens find Christ in this way when I was younger, and it just never seemed to be this very deep life changing thing that stuck with them after they left school. It's sad, but it seemed the deeper people delved into their theology as teens the more likely they were to have more deeply rooted faith.

I think as a nice, fun, and more innocent read this book works for younger girls, especially for parents wanting to try to open a conversation with their daughters who are becoming teens. Now the best teenage Christian fiction I eve read though was the Diary of a Teenage Girl novels. They may read different now that I'm older, but I just found they were much more complex, and easy to relate to as a teen, plus the teens in those books actually sound like teens.

Rating 5 of 10.

This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing in exchange for a review.
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on April 21, 2014
I enjoy the detail of the characters. How they intertwine with one another. Through laughter and tears. I will enjoy reading this over and over again. The author writes to where you want to keep reading. What will be next. I enjoy the scripture references throughout.
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on June 17, 2011
I will always love the Christy Miller series, because it introduced me to, and made me fall in love with, the Christian romance genre. I'm a huge fan of falling in love with your best friend, first loves staying together and everything, so I love the story of Todd and Christy. Todd was my first "I want one!" fictional character "crush". I am trying to get my little sister to read these books - I just bought them for her birthday tomorrow from Amazon:) - and I hope my daughter will someday.
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on July 22, 2014
Bought this for my 14 yr old daughter on the recomendation of a friend because I wanted an entertaining young adult book written from a Christian worldview. It did not disappoint! She gobbled up these three stories and now we're waiting for the next book set to arrive. :-)
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on August 3, 2011
Robin Jones Gunn posted this week on a social media site that during a radio interview she was introduced as Christy Miller. I can see why. The character she created is so realistic that I, as a non-fiction aficionado, enjoyed this book greatly.

Summer Promise: Book 1 in the Christy Miller Series is a Christian book, and I normally have a bias against books that weave the "plan of salvation" into the story line, but aside from that I want to read the rest of this series, and I'm not even the target age range!

I believe this was originally published in the mid 90s, it's a bit dated in the fact the teenagers have no cell phones! I thought different times how crazy it was none of them texted! What a difference fifteen years makes!
The book doesn't shy away from difficult topics. Drinking. Drugs. Death. Sexually active friends. An alcoholic mother of a friend. These might make this book not a great choice for a tween, but unfortunately this is the world in which teens live, so tackling these topics in a book would likely be a great help to some girls.

Christy is from Wisconsin, but living with her aunt and uncle for the summer. She makes new friends who are different from those she knows back home. She takes risks in wardrobe and changes her hair, starts wearing make up and she falls for a guy who takes her to Disneyland for her birthday, but then at the end of the day things aren't quite the way she thought they were. . .

The biggest thing I disliked about this book is it's part of a series, and of course, when the end comes, you're left wondering what is going to happen next. But, I solved that by reading reviews online of book two in the series. I do want to finish reading this series at some point!

FTC disclaimer: I received a digital download of this book for review purposes. The opinions are my own.
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