Saving Maddie

232p. 978-0-38573-804-0.
Gr 9-Up Joshua Wynn, 17, is the son of a preacher. As he is constantly reminded by his parents, this means that he represents his family, community, and, most of all, his church. In other words, he had better be good, and he is. But being good all the time can be hard. Joshua has recently been dumped by his girlfriend and feels isolated from his peers. Then his childhood friend comes back to their small, Southern town and his worldview is upended. Madeline is also a preacher's kid, but her interpretation of what that means includes tight, low-cut shirts and purple lipstick. Joshua could never have imagined all these changes in his former best friend. He is instantly smitten and quickly finds himself in over his head. Joshua wants to save Maddie, but first he has to find out what happened to make her act the way she does. This novel is lively and endearing, but also heavy-handed at times. Though the characters are original, they sometimes feel as if they've been set up to illustrate certain points. Teens interested in religious questions may appreciate Joshua's struggle with his spirituality and sense of self."Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA" Copyright 2010 Media Source Inc.
Joshua had a crush on Maddie when they were kids. When she returns to his father's church all grown-up, wearing a tight dress and purple lipstick, he begins a clumsy mission to redeem the wild, beautiful girl but ends up saving himself instead. Despite awkward characterizations, Joshua's earnest exploration of his faith is touching and authentic.

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