Thursday, April 3, 2008
Title:Bad Connection (The Secret Life Samantha McGregor, Book 1)
Author: Melody Carlson
Primary Audience/age group: girls 12-15
Genre: Contemporary Christian Teen-Lit, supernatural fantasy
# of pages: 256
Year of Release: 2006
Part of a Series? Yes, 1st of four in series The Secret Life of Samantha McGregor
Description: Meet Samantha McGregor - She seems like your average teen, but Samantha is unusually gifted. God gives her visions and dreams that offer unconventional glimpses into other people’s lives and problems. It’s a powerful gift with a lot of responsibility…
Bad Connection: Book One
Kayla Henderson lives on the edge. She likes to break the rules, considers partying an extracurricular activity, and can’t stand her parents. So, most people aren’t surprised when she goes missing. Like everyone else, Samantha McGregor assumes Kayla has run away. But then she has a vision where Kayla is tied up with duct tape over her mouth. Freaked by the image, Samantha wonders, Is Kayla alive or dead? Was the vision real or just a silly dream? Most important, can Kayla be found before it’s too late?
If God Gave You a Vision, Would You Trust It?
Samantha McGregor knows that Kayla Henderson likes to break the rules, considers partying an “extra-curricular” activity, and can’t stand her parents. Fine. That’s Kayla’s thing. Samantha’s not even surprised when Kayla goes missing. Hadn’t she been saying she was going to take off, to go meet her online “boyfriend” in person? It might not be the smartest move in the world, but Kayla would be okay. She always was. Then the vision comes…and reveals that Kayla is far from okay. Samantha freaks. Was her vision from God or just imagined? If Kayla’s really in danger, what can Samantha do? Only one person can help her: Detective Ebony Hamilton, her father’s former colleague.Now this unlikely pair must work against the clock—and the system—to patch together the truth and find Kayla…before it’s too late.
Story Behind the Book
“The secular world has become very interested in ‘supernatural’ gifts. Take, for example, shows like Joan of Arcadia , The Medium, Monk, and Dead Zone . Yet it’s God who gives every good and perfect gift. My guess is that we humans barely tap into the vast variety of gifts that He has to offer. Not only that, but our fast-paced, high-tech culture rarely relies on those good ‘old-fashioned’ character traits like insight, intuition, wisdom, and foresight. My hope is that this series will provide a fun way for teens to explore deeper levels of spirituality and creativity while inspiring them to a greater love for God.” — Melody Carlson
Review: I enjoyed this book. It was quick, easy reading. Dialouge driven. Faith based. The main character, Samantha gives all glory to God and has a close, committed relationship to Him that serves as a great example for our daughters. There are many Scripture quotes/paraphrases (from the Message). The author has included a resource guide and discussion questions in the back of the book.
Positive: Samantha purposefully surrounds herself with other Christians. Her inner-circle of friends share her belief in God. They pray together and care about each other. Samantha is respectful of her mother, even though at times it is difficult. She turns to God with her problems and worries, acknowledging that He is in control.
Spiritual Elements: All elements of this story are spiritual.
Violence: Nothing is overtly gruesome or violent, although one scene that Samantha has a vision of is quite morbid.
Sexual Content: None
Recommendation: This book/series addresses an interesting issue - a person's ability to receive dreams and visions from God. There are many theological views of the subject which may influence your opinion of this book. If you don't have a problem with your daughter reading a book that is based on that subject then I can easily recommend this book to you! If she is reading secular books where this happens - definetly get her this series!