Sometimes you fly. Sometimes you fall.
“A spicy novel about two young women daring to fly free in life and love while accurately depicting the thrill of ski jumping!”
"The Lord is my Shepherd and he knows I'm gay." - Troy Perry, Metropolitan Community Church founder
after that fateful night at the homecoming dance, Jonathan Cooper faces another set of challenges. Ian McGuire has been charged with assault and battery by the state. Jonathan's dad is back from Afghanistan. his mom looks stressed out and unwilling to discuss Jonathan's "identity crisis." his relationship with Simon, his former camp counselor, is strained. moreover, Jonathan is still keeping mum about what happened at the dance. his biggest concern though is how to get Ian out of jail. if he breaks his silence, would things get better or just get worse for him and Ian?
this is the last book in the Crossfire Trilogy and it is a fitting conclusion to the romance and drama that started in Caught in the Crossfire followed by Searching for Grace.
everything comes full circle and nowhere has been Jonathan's faith in himself, his family, friends and in God more tested. author Juliann Rich weaves real-life scenarios to address this and takes the reader, along with Jonathan, Ian and the other characters, on an unforgettable and emotional rollercoaster ride.
just like in the previous books, the writing flows smoothly. every word, phrase or sentence is in place. nothing is overlooked. as much as i wanted to rush through the pages to find out what happened next, i had to hold my horses. i admit that it was not always a pleasant journey but it was worth the trip.
i caution readers to brace themselves with this third book. there are some big surprises in store and it would be prudent to keep a box of tissues handy - just in case.
Jonathan Cooper was caught in a crossfire. he knew what he was and what he wanted. because of his religious convictions, he continuously asked and searched for grace even when in doubt. in order to save himself and others, he had to take a final stand. only in doing so could he be at peace with himself, with society and with his God.
*received a copy for review from the publisher via NetGalley
"He that maketh many friends doeth it to his own destruction; But there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." - Proverbs 18:24 American Standard Version (ASV)
summer is over. Ian McGuire returns to his foster parents' farm and Jonathan Cooper goes back to school at East Bay Christian Academy. rumors of what transpired at Spirit Lake Bible Camp wends its way inside the private school. Jonathan faces the scorn and disgust of his soccer teammates. if that was not enough, he must contend with his mother who retreats into silence more and more whenever the subject of being gay is raised. Jonathan also worries about his father who is on tour of duty in Afghanistan; what to do and how to face him when he returns home. with Ian miles away from him, Jonathan feels so alone. Frances "Sketch" Mallory and Mason Kellerman from art class enter the picture and provide support and friendship. on the night of the homecoming dance, Ian is in town and Jonathan brings him to the event. things turn for the worse and blood is spilled...
this is the second book in the Crossfire Trilogy and things get more intense not only for Jonathan but for everyone within his circle. author Juliann Rich further explores and expands the issues and events that took place after Jonathan's coming out. the reader is also introduced to new characters and would be pleased to know the return of a few good ones - Simon, Dawn and Bear, her Great Pyrenees.
again, the writing is perfect. the characterization and dialogs are spot on. the emotions are as raw and honest as ever. Ms. Rich also employs flashbacks and she handles them very well. i think only a few writers could manage that. the transition from past to present or present to past is so smooth that readers will not get confused - only enlightened as the story unfolds.
the struggle between the emotional and the spiritual is still addressed and the author continues to present different views on homosexuality via realistic situations and through her characters.
if i loved the first book Caught in the Crossfire, i loved this second part even more because it demonstrated Juliann Rich's consistency in her writing and her adeptness in storytelling.
*received a copy for review from the publisher
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." -1 Corinthians 13:12 King James Version (KJV)
sixteen-year old Jonathan Cooper is back at Spirit Lake Bible Camp with his fellow teen believers. he looks forward to enjoying his summer away from home but his plans are steered in a different course when he meets and falls for Ian McGuire, a new camper. Jonathan is caught in a crossfire between his feelings for Ian and his belief in God. when a storm hits camp, Jonathan is faced with a difficult decision. whatever he chooses, it will have far-reaching consequences.
this is the first book in the Crossfire Trilogy. there is no doubt that it is very well-written. author Juliann Rich knows what she is writing about. she presents different views through her characters and allows the reader to reflect on them and hopefully be able to gain a new perspective.
her protagonists and other players are neither stereotypes nor caricatures. Jonathan's struggles and Ian's attitude toward homosexuality are realistically portrayed and so are the varied reactions of some campers and counselors. some are accepting while others are either apathetic or prejudiced.
i have high praises for this book and its author. this coming-of-age/coming out story is a perfect read for anyone who has ever struggled with what he emotionally feels and with what he spiritually believes in. there may be a lot of drama and conflict but there is also so much beauty and wisdom in here as well. i think that a lot of readers can easily relate to the story and its characters for its universal theme regardless of their sexual orientation, color, race, background or religious affiliation.
*received a copy for review from the publisher