Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Growing Up: A Contemporary Christian Romance by Trisha Grace

Please note that since I read this book the title has been changed to Growing Up: Ghosts of the Past #3. 

I read the first two books in the series and was excited, based on the blurb, to see where this story would go. Unfortunately, I was greatly disappointed for a number of reasons.

This isn't a romance novel, which it's listed as. It's a suspense/thriller series that has involves a group of friends. Book 3 picks up where book 2 left off. The story is told from Ryan and Ashley's point of view, which is interesting because Ashley is a new character in the group. As a single mother who was raised in an abusively religious household, Ashley has a few issues that she needs to sort out. The biggest of which is that has suddenly found herself being re-introduced to that father of her child. Ryan is equally shocked to discover that Ashley had been pregnant when they broke up all those years ago.

There were several missed opportunities here for the author to subtlely show the flaw in extreme behavior by not only Ashley's father but also with Ryan's mother, a woman on the opposite end of the spectrum from Ashley's father. Both Ashley and Ryan find out life-changing facts about their parents but they were downplayed and wrapped up quickly.

This may have also been part of the reason that Kate had become something of a zealot. In the first book, Kate was a character that happened to be Christian and her actions and beliefs were a part of her. In the second book, she became more vocal, mostly because Evelyn was so hard headed and they had been friends for years. In this book, she's forcing her religious beliefs on others in a very underhanded way. I really don't like who Kate is becoming. It's very easy to see Kate becoming the same character that Ashley's father is in the next few books.

Rather than focus on Ryan and Ashley's relationship, or how their parent's behavior affected them, it focuses on the same storyline from the previous two books. The exact same plot that was settled in the last book is brought back. At some points, I had to put the book down because the storyline had become so unbelievably ridiculous that I needed a break from it.

The story, despite never-ending, is well written. The story flows well and it's not awful as long as you remember that it's not a romance book.