Into the Spotlight by Leslea Wahl
The devastation of a ruined summer.
The gift of a second chance.
Can Josie learn the lessons she needs to discover her true self?
After a humiliating event and overwhelming peer pressure, 16-year-old Josie flees her home to spend the summer with her aunt on a South Carolina Island. Her fresh start turns into the summer of her dreams as friendships grow, romance blossoms, and a series of thefts surround her with excitement.
However, when tragedy strikes someone close to her, Josie realizes there are more important things than her reputation. As she sets out to solve the mystery she has become entangled in, she not only realizes the importance of relying on her faith but along the way also discovers who God wants her to be.
From the author:
Each month I have the opportunity to recommend faith-filled teen novels here on Amazing Catechists. This month, however, I’m going to share about one of my own books. Into the Spotlight is my newest adventurous teen mystery—well, sort of. This book is actually the re-release of my second novel, An Unexpected Role. While it may have a new publisher, title, and cover, overall, it is the same special story.
I’m often asked which of my books is my favorite. It’s hard to answer that question as all my novels are special to me in some way. However, I must admit there is something about this particular story that has always touched my heart.
Could it be because the main character’s mother is also an author of teen fiction? Or maybe because this main character, Josie, is just so enjoyable to write about? After all, Josie’s dramatic yet clumsy nature really makes for some entertaining scenes. While those are both fun aspects of the story, I believe my connection to this novel rests in the underlying theme—finding who God wants you to be.
Josie, like many high school students, is caught up in her small world. She has worked hard to fit in and avoid being the target of bullies at her cliquey high school. But when things come crashing down around her, she realizes she only succeeded in losing herself.
Truly being ourselves and discovering God’s plan for our lives is something we probably all struggle with at some point. We know God has made each of us with unique interests and characteristics. But do we actually embrace our individual differences, or do we try to suppress them, attempting to be like everyone else?
Sadly, the joy and innocence we have as children can disappear as we grow older. Societal expectations can influence our lives. Just like Josie, we can be left wondering who we are and what happened to the person we used to be. Luckily for Josie, through the interactions with some unique characters, she learns a few lessons about embracing who God has created her to be, something that is important for each of us to remember.
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