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Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

Small Town SinnersLacey Anne Byer has always been the good girl. She obeys her nine o’clock curfew, attends church regularly, and never argues with her parents. She’s never minded not being the center of attention, but this year, Lacey is definitely ready for a movie moment or at least something more than ordinary. This year, she’s determined to land a good role in Hell House, her church’s way of teaching about sin and drawing new people to their faith. She’s sure that’ll be her chance to shine. But then Ty Davis moves to town, and suddenly, all Lacey can think about is shining in a different sort of way—a way that would get Ty to notice her. Ty is sweet, smart, and cute, and Lacey finds herself falling for him even though the fact that he doesn’t believe like she does confuses her. But as the number of shocks and conflicts connected to Hell House increase, Ty is the only person she can talk to as she starts to question the behavior of her church community. And as these conflicts grow closer to home, Lacey will have to decide whether she wants to be the girl shaped only by her church’s beliefs or the girl who’s defined by her own.

I’ve always found it a little difficult to read books that are so heavily connected to religion and faith, mostly because I have my own doubts and am just not a very religious person. Small Town Sinners, however, is thankfully in no way preachy; it neither endorses nor condemns the beliefs and practices of one religious sect but instead explores the gray areas between organized religion and personal faith. Walker has taken an interesting look at a girl from a very conservative evangelist family who is confronted by a series of events which cause her to doubt and question everything she was raised to believe. Lacey’s journey to self confidence and self definition is beautifully portrayed and realistically written because Walked has a true talent for crafting such complex and utterly believable characters. I’ll admit that it was still hard for me to get through certain sections of this book where the more negative side of organized religion and the more controlling part of conservatism came into play, especially because Lacey’s character often got trampled under all of this. I can’t deny, though, that Walker has done a wonderful job of showing the integral role that religion and faith can play is people’s lives, usually for the better.

Fans of the Violet trilogy by Melissa Walker will be interested in taking a look at her newest novel, Small Town Sinners, despite its rather different content. This novel will also appeal to fans of The Dark Divine by Bree Despain and Days of Little Texas by R.A. Nelson.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from personal collection

2 munch(es) :

YA Book Queen said...

I completely agree that Walker did a wonderful job with portraying religion and the role it has in people's lives...I remember how worried I was that this book would come across as overly preachy, but it truly was wonderful. Amazing review! :)

melissa said...

Amazing review! i have seen this book everywhere and was very interested in reading it.

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