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The Christy Miller Collection, Vol. 1 (Summer Promise / A Whisper and a Wish / Yours Forever) Hardcover – December 22, 2005
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About the Author
Her popular Christy Miller series has gathered over 3 million fans who keep asking for more. The characters now continue in the Christy&Todd: The Married Years series.
Robin's award winning Sisterchicks® novels are book club favorites along with her non-fiction titles, Victim of Grace and Praying For Your Future Husband.
Robin is a frequent speaker at local and international events. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Hawaii.
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
“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?”
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.
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 believe that?
The funny part is, the only thing I regret is that I ever came here.
I hate this place! There’s nothing to do, and everybody is so stuck up.
It’s so boring. At night, all I do is sit around and watch TV.
At least one good thing is going to happen. Tomorrow my aunt
is going to take me shopping, and guess what? I’m probably going to
get my hair cut! Can you believe it? I’m kind of scared, but I think
she’s trying to give me a new image or something.
Well, I’ve got to go. I’ll tell you how the big makeover turns
out. Just think, you might not recognize me when I step off the plane
next September. You’d better write to me.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book and all the other ones related to it. I am sending these out for my nieces to read since they are just getting to their teenage years. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Lea Williams
I couldn't wait til my daughter was old enough for these books. I wanted to get them for the Christmas of her freshman year. Read morePublished 21 days ago by A customer
These books have changed my life! I love them so much!! I've read them all! I actually just ordered book 17! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
These have been some of my favorite novels for years and I have even bought them for friends! They're very modern and engaging stories that teach girls of all ages some very... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Nina Sessions
My youngest daughter read these as a young teen and now my oldest daughter's daughter is enjoying them at age 11.Published 7 months ago by Cindy A. Jent