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Summer Promise: Book 1 in the Christy Miller Series [Kindle Edition]

Robin Jones Gunn
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From a Wisconsin farm to a California beach, from a measly allowance to unlimited shopping sprees, from an uncomplicated life to a highly sophisticated one. These are the head-spinning changes that lead to Christy Miller's...

Summer Promise

As 14-year-old Christy leaves her family's Wisconisn farm to spend the summer at her wealthy aunt and uncle's beach home in Newport, she realizes this could be the best season of her life. She's full of hope that surfer Todd will like her; the beach crowd will accept her; and she can become like her gorgeous new friend, Alissa.

But the summer doesn't unfold as Christy hoped; she discovers this season also holds heartache. Todd wavers between Christy and another girl; 16-year-old Shawn dies in a drug-related surfing accident-and the police want to know how Christy was involved; Alissa discloses that her sophistication hides a painful past.

Through it all, will Christy keep her promise to her parents not to do anything she'll regret? Or will she do anything to get Todd, to be accepted, to force her summer to give her everything it promised?

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin Jones Gunn is the bestselling, award-winning author of sixty books with 2.75 million copies sold worldwide. She began writing novels for teens, including the Christy Miller series, after serving in full-time youth ministry for over twenty years with her husband, Ross. She has taught at writers’ conferences and been a guest speaker for a variety of groups in settings from Hawaii to Helsinki. Robin and Ross have been married for twenty-eight years and have a grown son and daughter. They live near Portland, Oregon.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Off to a Bad Start

“I hate you! I hate you!” Christy Miller shouted at her reflection in the closet-door mirror. With a wild grrrr she wadded up her beach towel and heaved it at the mirror, watching it wobble and distort her lanky proportions.

“Christy darling?” came a shrill voice from the hallway. “Are you back from the beach so soon?”

“Yes, Aunt Marti.” Christy grabbed a brush and pretended to be untangling her long, nutmeg-brown hair.

Her aunt, a slim, stylish woman in her forties, opened the guest room door and looked around. “What was all the commotion? Who were you talking to?”

“Nobody. Just myself,” Christy answered calmly, trying to suppress the volcano of fiery emotions boiling within her.

“Why aren’t you out on the beach, dear? It’s a gorgeous day, and here you sit in your room, talking to yourself.”

Aunt Marti dramatically pointed her acrylic fingernail toward the door. “You should be out there enjoying yourself!”

Christy bit her quivering lip and didn’t answer.

“This is California. Live a little! We didn’t fly you all the way from Wisconsin so you could spend the summer hiding in your room. Get out there and make some friends.”

Suddenly the internal volcano erupted with great force, spewing words with the hot tears. “I tried, all right?” Christy choked. “I tried to get in with some of the beach kids, but they’re all a bunch of snobs! I can’t stand them! They’re rude and mean, and they laughed at me.” Christy covered her face with her hands; the tears oozed through her fingers.

“I had no idea!” Her aunt switched tones and ushered Christy to the edge of the bed. There, there. Tell me what’s bothering you, dear.”

It took Christy a few minutes to compose herself before she said calmly, “I don’t fit in with the people here. They think I’m a nerd.”

“Well, are you?” her aunt challenged.

“Am I what?”

“A nerd.”

Christy didn’t answer. She stared across the room at her reflection in the mirror.

“Well?” her aunt prodded.

“Look at me, Aunt Martha!” Christy jumped up from the bed and stood in front of her. “I’m as white as a frosty cone–sort of shaped like one too! If that doesn’t make me a nerd in Newport Beach, I don’t know what does!”

“Really, Christy. A frosty cone?”

“Well, look at me.” Christy stretched out her arms to provide a full view of her 5-foot-5-inch, 110-pound frame. Her one-piece bathing suit covered her Olive Oyl torso like a bright green Ace bandage.

“Tell me I don’t look like a frosty cone.”

“You don’t look like a frosty cone.”

“You’re just saying that.” Christy plopped on the floor and folded her arms across her stomach.

“Oh, come now, Christy. You might be a bit of a late bloomer, but really, you’re a very sweet girl, and you’ve got a lot of potential.”

“Yeah, right. Tell that to the surfers out there. The one who said, ‘Hey! It’s a walking green bean.’”

Her aunt looked confused. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Christy let the tears drip and sniffed loudly. “Don’t you see?”

“I see that you got upset over a little remark about a green bean. That doesn’t make sense at all.”

“They meant me, Aunt Marti! No other girl on the beach had on a bathing suit like this ugly one! I’m the walking green bean!”

Christy covered her face with her hands and cried until the tears ran down her arms. It was the kind of crying that comes from the pit of the stomach and brings a headache with it. The kind that makes a person snort and gasp, and no matter how idiotic you feel or how hard you try, you can’t stop.

“Do calm yourself, will you, dear? It’s not as bad as all that. We can certainly buy you a new bathing suit easily enough. And just think. They called you a bean, not a frosty cone. See? They’re saying you’re thin. That’s almost a compliment.”

Christy gasped in short spasms, trying to relax.

Her aunt took the opportunity to make her point. “This is exactly the reason I told your mother I wanted you to spend the summer with us. You deserve more than your parents can give you right now, and goodness knows your mother and I didn’t have much when we were growing up.”

Christy wiped her nose with the back of her hand.

“Here. Use this, will you please?” Marti handed her a tissue. “As I was saying, my goal this summer is to treat you to some of the finer things in life and to teach you, Christina Juliet Miller, how to become your own person.”

Christy blinked and tried to suppress a wild belch that bubbled up as a result of so much sobbing. Too late. The muffled urp leaked out.

“You’re certainly not going to make this easy for me, are you, dear?”

“I’m sorry.” Christy felt an uncontrollable urge to laugh. “Are you sure you’re ready to transform a belching green bean frosty cone into ‘her own person’? Could be
kind of dangerous!” Christy broke into laughter.

Aunt Marti shook her head and didn’t join in. “We’ll start tomorrow, Christina. I’ll call and make an appointment for you to have your colors done at nine, and then we’ll start shopping for your new wardrobe.”

Christy instantly sobered. “I didn’t bring much money with me.”

“Don’t be silly! This is my treat. A few outfits are certainly not going to break me. And one other thing: We really should have your hair cut. Something short and stylish. My hairdresser, Maurice, does marvelous work. By the time we’re done with you you’ll look and feel like a new person.”

She said it with such finesse, Christy almost believed her. A new wardrobe? A new hairstyle? And what did her aunt mean by “having her colors done”?

“Why don’t you shower and dress, dear? Your uncle doesn’t know it yet, but he’s going to take you to an early dinner and a movie tonight.” Aunt Marti swished out the door.

Christy approached the mirror with a new perspective. Twisting her long, nutmeg-brown hair on top of her head, she posed this way and that way, trying to imagine how she would look with short hair. She couldn’t quite picture the change.

She wished Paula were there. Paula, her best friend back home, always gave her advice when it came to major decisions like this. But then, what did Paula know? She was the one who helped her pick out the dumb green bean bathing suit!

Christy scrunched up her nose and stuck her face close to the mirror, examining her skin for new blemishes. No new and ugly bumps today. But her cheeks were flushed, and her nose was bright red from crying. Even her eyes showed the effects of her crying spree; they were puffy and bloodshot.

“I have such stupid eyes,” she muttered. “They’re not blue, and they’re not green. They’re just sort of nothing–like the rest of me.”

“Knock, knock,” Uncle Bob called out from Christy’s open door.

She immediately released her hair and turned away from the mirror, embarrassed that he had caught her in the midst of such scrutiny.

“Looks like we’ve got a date tonight for the movies.” His merry eyes looked at her from beneath his baseball cap. He must have just come back from golfing, judging by the perspiration stains on his polo shirt. “Anything special you want to see?”


“Okay. I’ll take a look in the paper to see what’s playing. Your aunt’s not much of a movie fan, so I hope you don’t mind that it’s just you and me.”

“No. That’s fine.”

“We’ll leave in about an hour, okay?”


“By the way,” he lifted his baseball cap and wiped his forehead, “I haven’t told you yet, but I’m glad you came to stay with us this summer.” Then he added, “You are my favorite niece, you know.”

“I also happen to be your only niece!”

“Minor detail, my child, minor detail,” he quipped, politely closing the door.

With a sigh, Christy flopped onto the bed. She didn’t feel like showering, and it wouldn’t take her that long to change. With an hour to kill, she decided to write to Paula.

Christy liked to write–especially when she had a lot on her mind. She would get everything out on paper, and then when she reread it, it would be like looking at her own thoughts in a mirror. Usually things came out clearer on paper than when she tried to say them.

Finding the pad of stationery Paula had given her when she left Wisconsin, Christy set to work. Paula insisted that she write the first letter to her on this stationery.

Dear Paula,
Hi! How’s everything back on the farm? The plane trip out
here was fun for the first hour, but then it got boring. I didn’t see any
movie stars at the airport, but I still have your notepad, so I can get
some autographs in case I see anybody famous.

Remember when you called last Thursday and I told you I
couldn’t talk? It was because my parents were giving me a big lecture
about my trip out here. They made me promise I wouldn’t do anything
this summer I would regret later. Can you ...

Product Details

  • File Size: 796 KB
  • Print Length: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (June 21, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Y89SVG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,941 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharing the Promise 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read for Teen Girls December 27, 2012
By Rosie
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Young girls will love this series! 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a tween!
My daughter went from hating to read to finishing Christy Miller books in 3 days. She is soon to be 13 and says she feels like she can relate to 'christy', she loves this series!
Published 7 days ago by Macaco
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I picked up this book on a whim, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it because I am quite a few years past the teen years. however, I found this book very enjoyable. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Liz J
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for girls!
I bought the book for my 16 year old sister and she loved it!
Published 2 months ago by Bianca Wohleking
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It is a great book based on values that I believe whole heartedly!
Published 2 months ago by Kori
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Bought this as a gift but she loves it.
Published 4 months ago by Tonia
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved these books as a young teen
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—... Read more
Published 6 months ago by alee2012
2.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK!
Got the book a lot early then I thought but it had more damage to then I expected. GREAT BOOK!!
Published 7 months ago by Alice
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect for middle school AR.
Published 9 months ago by GH
5.0 out of 5 stars It did not disappoint! She gobbled up these three stories and now ...
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! Read more
Published 10 months ago by BeckySch
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down.
I fell in love with Christy Miller series back when my sister Heather handed me the second book.( read it out of order first). Read more
Published 10 months ago by msagirl592
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More About the Author

Tales of Christy & Todd continue in Robin's new series "Christy & Todd: The Married Years". Book 1 "Forever With You" and Book 2 "Home of Our Hearts" are both available now. Book 3 "One More Wish" is coming in summer, 2015.

You are warmly invited to visit Robin's website at Be sure to sign up for the Robin's Nest Newsletter and have a browse in the Online Shop.

Over the past 25 years Robin has written over 85 books with over 5 million copies sold. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Hawaii.

Her best-selling, award winning novels include the Christy Miller series for teens as well as the Sierra Jensen and Katie Weldon series.

The popular Glenbrooke series features eight gentle love stories and her Sisterchicks(R)novels are a favorite among midlife readers who enjoy the emphasis on travel and friendship in the series.

Robin's standalone novels include "Gardenias for Breakfast", "Under a Maui Moon", "Canary Island Song" and "Cottage by the Sea". Her newest release, "Victim of Grace" offers a personal glimpse into her life as a wife, mother and writer. Other popular non-fiction includes "Praying For Your Future Husband" and "Spoken For".

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