Sort of like a more serious version of That's So Raven, Samantha's various entanglements kept me enthralled from the start. Every book--except for the last one, of course--ended with a cliffhanger that left me panting for the next one. I did find that the final volume, Payback, was slightly slow in parts, but it still had a knock-your-socks-off finale, which I will not give away here.
As usual for Melody Carlson, this is written amazingly well. The first person narration is so well done, you can easily hear a teenage girl's voice in your head while reading her words. Someone should get a young actress like Victoria Justice or Bridgit Mendler to perform an audio narration; seriously, those who prefer to hear their books instead of read them would be in for a treat if they listened to this on CD.
(Please keep in mind that this is a young adult book series, and, therefore, not intended for young children!)
- Sex: Discussions of teenagers having sex, though it is all vilified. One story arc features a child predator.
- Nudity: None.
- Violence: Fights involving teenagers are both shown and discussed. A kid dies in a fire. Some of the visions also involve violence. A shooting is discussed in somewhat lurid detail. All of the violence, however, is shown as sinful and not an answer to problems.
- Drugs: As mentioned above, the protagonist's brother is a drug-addict; elsewhere, someone else dies due to drug use. All of it is vilified.
- Language: Implied usage of profanity, though it is vilified.
- Frightening/Intense Scenes: The whole tone of the series is bleak. Samantha has a vision of hell that is somewhat freaky. Her mom also goes missing, and it is assumed that she was kidnapped by a significant other. The possibility of a terrorist attacking a prom may be unsettling in light of recent events.
- Other: Some may be bothered by the series' premise of a girl who has visions from God.