Life-Changing Love: A Novel about Dating, Courtship, Family, and Faith

Life-Changing Love

Author: Theresa Linden
Publisher: Silver Fire Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 330
  • $ 13.99

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Caitlyn Summer, soon to be fifteen, must practice old-fashioned courtship with high parental involvement, but she has a terrible crush on shy Roland West and she has competition from a girl with no restrictions. As Caitlyn struggles to remain faithful to God, her parents, and herself, her best friend gets pregnant and might get an abortion. When Caitlyn discovers her mother's past mistakes, she begins to resent all the guidelines her parents expect her to follow.  The characters in Life-Changing Love face the questions: Who am I? Where am I headed? How am I going to get there?
Sexuality: Mild

There is NO graphic sexual content, but this story compares the relationships of two teenage girls, one who must practice something like old-fashioned courtship with high parental involvement and the other who has an intimate relationship with her boyfriend. Readers learn through characters’ conversations that the second character ends up pregnant, and her boyfriend wants her to have an abortion. A girl takes a pregnancy test. The girls discuss the development of the unborn baby.

A boy is shown putting on his shirt in a girl’s bedroom. A teen boy kisses a teen girl a few times. It is described as a passionate kiss on one occasion.

When a father tries to talk to his teenage boys about relationships, one boy says, “Uh, we got that in Sex Ed. It was very detailed. Very.” Their father insists that they respect girls. He tells them to use self-control and wonders aloud what one of his boys does with his girlfriend when no one is looking.

A mother has a discussion with her teenage daughter, where she admits to having gone too far even though “I had no intention of giving myself away before marriage.” She encourages her daughter to protect her virtue, and she laments that her parents had not discussed these things with her and how easy it was to make a mistake. She also explains how the culture has cheapened the gift of sexuality, separating it from true, permanent, self-donating love.

Violence & Gore: Mild A teen boy punches his brother in the stomach. A teen boy punches the driver’s seat in his car. Two teen brothers have a rough sword fight. Profanity: None Bad language is indicated with phrases like, “a harsh curse word ripping out” and “he let loose a stream of curse words.” A parent uses the phrase, “When hell freezes over,” when he discovers that his teenage daughter is pregnant and wants to place her child for adoption. Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: Mild A troubled teen smokes cigarettes in several scenes. The same troubled teen spikes drinks with alcohol at a get-together and is challenged about his behavior by his twin brother.

ISBN:
Publication Date: 2016-05-26
Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches

Customer Reviews

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C
C.A.
A great tool for discussing relationships and sex with your teen

Not only is Life-Changing love an entertaining read, but it's a great tool for launching conversations between teens and parents about their expectations for dating and relationships.

Caitlyn Summers is in love with being in love. She yearns for her first boyfriend and her first kiss. And she knows just the boy to make those dreams come true: Roland West. Only Roland, despite the mixed signals he sends, is not interested in having a girlfriend.

By contrast, Caitlyn's gorgeous best friend Zoe has gone from zero to well beyond the speed limit in mere days with Roland's dangerous older brother Jarret.

When Jarret's twin Keefe returns from a trip to Italy with his father, he's changed -unwilling to allow Jarret to manipulate him, introspective, pious, and intrigued by Caitlyn.

The lives of the West brothers and Caitlyn and Zoe turn topsy-turvy as they struggle to navigate obedience to their parents, the longings of their hearts, and the predicament Jarret and Zoe have created for themselves.

Theresa Linden does an outstanding job of capturing the tension of the teenage years. The result is a moving story that shows the consequences of premature sexual relationships and the value of pursuing friendships that honor God and respect the dignity of each person.

S
S.R.
well-crafted connections and a poetic atmosphere

Life-Changing Love is a poignant tale about the beauty of life and the importance of being yourself. It was well-written and compelling, inspiring me to finish it within a few days.

The writing was filled with lovely imagery that allowed me to not only visualize the scene, but go beyond it. That is to say, it had this poetic quality that moved beyond the 'common' world in which we live to a description of a more transcendent nature. As a result, it could be argued that it connected to one of the main themes of the novel: Life is beautiful.

Theresa Linden is both a gifted storyteller and an excellent writer. The development of her story, from well-crafted connections and a poetic atmosphere to the journeys of the characters within, defined the book as both literary and lyrical. I enjoyed her characters---from relatable main characters such as Caitlyn to supporting roles such as the difficult, but ultimately loving, Peter---and look forward to seeing where the story takes them next. I hope that Ms. Linden is writing a sequel to this book because I would love to read it!