>I can still remember that warm summers day like it was yesterday. My mom and I took a trip to the Christian bookstore. I was about 15 years old and enjoying the summer while trying to find things to occupy my time. After a bit of browsing the store, in the teen fiction section of course, that is when I came across it. Or how I like to think of if, that is when the Lord led me to it. It was the cover of the book that drew me in first. It was of a teenage girl and boy walking on the beach and the boy was carrying a surfboard.
It was the summer so the summer scenery caught my eye.I love everything to do with the ocean and there was a boy and girl which makes me assume teenage romance…Of course I’m going to pick it up and read the back of it to see what it’s all about!! That’s all it took, I ended up buying the first 4 books right then and there.

The books are about a girl named Christy (who starts out as 14 in the first book) and she lives with her family in Wisconsin. She leaves the family farm to spend a summer with her rich aunt and uncle in their gorgious beach home in Newport, California. Her aunt and uncle spoil her in ways that she never could have dreamed of. Buying her a ton of expensive new clothes, makeup, taking her to nice dinners and movies..etc. Remember, this is a farm girl, so California riches are very new to her. She spends most of her free time hanging out on the beach and that’s where she meets a cute surfer boy named Todd. After a series of events, Christy meets and hangs out with Todd and his friends. She soon learned that this surfer group of friends who are cool, fun, and down to earth are also really different from her other friends. They are Christians and believe in Jesus. Christy grew up in a Christian home…at least they went to church, but she never really accepted Jesus into her heart, so she does that in this book as well and it changes her life and the life of her family dramatically throughout the next books. There are 12 in the series total.

So that is the basis for the first book, and the rest of the series goes on through Christy and Todd’s high school years where Christy tries our for the cheer leading team, goes on a trip to Hawaii, on a skiing trip with her best friend Katie Weldon (who is important to note), becomes a summer camp counselor, and a ton more of exciting things throughout the books.

I think the reason why I fell in love with these books so much as a teenager is because they made you believe the lives of the people you were reading about were real. The Christian teenagers in these books believed in real purity even despite the temptation to be close to one another and that was really rare in my own life in high school. I longed to have Christy, Katie, Todd, Doug, Tracy, and the rest of the group as real life friends, and I know that pretty much anyone who reads these books has probably felt the same way. I know how hard it is to be a “real” Christian in high school…especially when you don’t have a great group of Christian friends to hang out with who enjoy the same things you do and are trying to stay away from the same things you are trying to stay away from.
There are also real life choices regarding partying/drugs/alcohol, friendship, purity, relationships, and a lot more and it was all done in a very realistic way.
Not to mention!!! every girl who reads these books will believe in, and will want to wait for, their real life “Todd” A cute, very cool, down to earth christian guy who was willing to put the Lord first in every single thing that he did. PLUS he was a surfer!! It makes a girl hope and pray that there are good guys out there just like Todd who are going to come along when the time is right.

I wish I could tell every teenage girl I know about these books!! If I ever work in a youth group, I am going to heavily push these books because I think they hold a lot of encouragement and inspiration for young teen girls.

The Christy Miller series didn’t stop there though!!! Everyone wanted to know what happened to Todd and Christy and the rest of the group after high school. Did they go to college together, did they get married, what happened?! So thankfully, and I was so thrilled about this, Robin Jones Gunn created “Todd and Christy the College Years” whooo hooo! It’s a series of 3 books that came out…I think towards the end of when I was in high school, so it was perfect timing for me to read them.
You can imagine what the books entail…dorm life, more serious relationships, jobs, classes, freedom, mission trips, a backpacking trip through Europe!!! And even marriage and babies. Yep it’s all in there ;) But I have to say after reading these 3 incredible books, there was a great “let down”. I was so SAD that their stories were over…I wanted them to go on forever…

And guess What!!!!
The stories continue! Yep that’s right. Robin Jones Gunn is writing the characters to live on!
Only this time, instead of being mainly about “Todd and Christy” these books are called “The Katie Weldon Series” and they are about Christy’s best friend Katie ( as mentioned above).

There are only 2 books out on this series so far, the first book being the one above, but the 3rd one comes out this JULY!!! I am so stinkin pumped. I can not even tell you!! Because Katie is Christy’s best friend , Christy and Todd, along with the other groupies, are still in the books, but it’s mainly about Katie and her life which is still WAY fun and great!! Another reason why I am loving the Katie Weldon series is because I can relate to it. She is in her 20′s, in college, surrounded by friends getting married and having children, and dealing with all the normal things that 20 something year olds deal with. LOVE IT!

So that was my journey through the Christy Miller Series and on to the Katie Weldon Series. I hope that everyone can find or have found books that they are truly passionate about. The hands of a Christian writer who allows God to write their words for them, is so very wonderful. Robin Jones Gunn is, in my opinion, is a great Christian author. She has a lot of other books and series that I hope to check out eventually as well.

The end :)

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