by Cherlisa Starks Richardson
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Purple Phoenix Publishing LLC (November 27, 2013)
About The Book
Sixteen-year-old Summer McClain seemingly has it all—a doting mother and father, two best friends who stick closer than glue and a grandmother who can cook the pants off any chef who dares to go up against her. Her world is perfect in every way—until tragedy strikes the core of her family.
When Summer thinks the worst thing in her life has happened, she’s dealt more blows that make her question her young faith. Her two best friends, who should be there to love her through her devastation, have personal issues of their own, and on top of that, a girl at school starts bullying her for no reason. Will Summer be able to withstand the heartache, pain, and pressure she has to endure?
In her debut novel, Summer Rain, Cherlisa Starks Richardson has woven together a gripping novel that shows the faith even a child must have to endure when challenged with the pain life sometimes presents.
SUMMER BROWSED THROUGH the different messages posted on Facebook. Nothing new, just the same old stuff teens usually post—pictures of girls with duck lips posing in the latest fashions, boys and girls posing in the mirror holding up their phones, and corny jokes. Sometimes an occasional shot is made at some unsuspecting kid. OMG! Am I reading this right? Summer lifted her head from the headboard of her bed and pulled her iPad closer to her face. Her eyes grew wider as she stared at the screen. Maybe her eyes were playing tricks on her. She hadn’t been getting much sleep lately. She blinked to see clearer. The kids at East High had gone completely crazy. Hadn’t their parents preached the same message to them that hers drilled into her about watching what you post on the Internet? They had no shame in their game and didn’t care who got hurt when they went in on people. The ruthless words they were calling Megan on her page were enough to make even the loosest girl want to crawl under a rock.
Summer read the last comment then turned off her iPad. She’d only gotten on the Internet as a distraction to help keep her awake. She had no idea what she was getting into when she logged onto Facebook. As soon as she thought the kids at her school couldn’t get any meaner, they were taking it to a new level. She couldn’t forget the worst comment about Megan—I hope you die. You’re too nasty to live. Summer’s mouth fell open when she read it. How could anyone be that mean? Then again, why am I surprised? That was the norm at East High. Every other week there was a new target.
Granted, everyone agreed that Megan brought the name calling on herself to some extent. Rumor had it she was trying to get the attention of one of the jocks on the basketball team. Everyone was saying that when she couldn’t get his attention by flirting with him, she went so far as to join the cheerleading squad. That didn’t work, so she resorted to sending him nasty text messages. When he didn’t respond to that, she eventually made the dumb mistake of sending him the picture that made her infamous. She was posing on a bed with nothing on but her bra and panties. Who does that? That’s when everything hit the fan. The boy posted the picture on Instagram using an anonymous account. All of the kids that followed him on the account sent it to their friends who sent it to their friends until it had made its way around the entire school. The hallways were buzzing with the same question every day—who started the picture going around? Whoever the dude was, he was keeping his identity a secret.
I had the pleasure of reading “Summer Rain” by Cherlisa Starks Richardson for review. It’s a pretty amazing book as it is an appropriate read for teens and their parents. It carries within it’s pages a number of lessons about life and teachings about faith in God.
The McClain family goes through many trials and David McClain, a veteran police officer, reminds his daughter, Summer, to trust in God, that God knows the plan He has for you. David is a mighty warrior for Christ and works to raise his family in the joy of knowing their Savior. He doesn’t hesitate to let others outside the family know that he lives his life for Christ, which is incredibly refreshing!
Through a series of tragic and preventable events, David McClain dies, but not before telling Summer “Don’t let my life be in vain.” but his death has a number of unintended consequences. Summer become withdrawn, overwhelmed, develops a lot of anger and bitterness, and suffers from a broken spirit. Those surrounding the McCain family also have problems that come to light: David’s partner, Jay, feels guilt for not being with David when he was shot; Summer’s friend, Antoine, disappears without any communication to anyone; a girl from school, Monique, begins to bully Summer and it escalates as the school year begins; Jasmine, Summer’s best friend has bulimia, it comes to light and through the intervention of Summer’s mother, she goes away for treatment.
Through all that happens, we are reminded that “. . . weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning”. Psa 30:5 NIV The knots in the story begin to unravel and ultimately the family comes to realize that God worked in their lives and He showed each one of them that He would get them through even the toughest of times.
This is a fantastic book, written with a great amount of heart and I highly recommend it!
~ Patricia, Room With Books ~ © Feb 26, 2014
About The Author
Cherlisa Starks Richardson is a graduate of Indiana State University and also has an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. Mrs. Richardson is a motivational speaker and a school board member in her township. She and her family lives in Indiana. For more information, visit her website at www.cherlisarichardson.com
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter link https://twitter.com/Cherlisa
Facebook link https://www.facebook.com/CherlisaStarksRichardson
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