21 June 2014

Book Series Review: "SummerHill Secrets" by Beverly Lewis

Author(s): Beverly Lewis
Published: 1995 - 2000 by Bethany House
Merry Hansen is a teenager living in Amish Country, Pennsylvania.  She loves photography and has four cats and a loving family.  In these ten books, she experiences various struggles, from a friend's mother who has become entangled in a cult, to an accident that leads to Merry losing her memory.  Through it all, Merry learns to trust in God...even when the odds seem to be insurmountable.

The Good
As someone who still watches the Disney Channel, I found these youth-oriented stories to be fairly enjoyable.  Merry is a likable protagonist/narrator, and her friends and family are admirable individuals as well.  The fact that church is an important part of Merry and friends' life is definitely a good point.  Also, the writing was great; you can almost hear a teenaged girl's voice when you read it.

The Bad
The biggest problem I had with these stories is that they tend to wrap up too quickly.  Instead of going into detail, Merry will quickly tell how everything worked out in the last chapter, which kind of ruins things.  Also, the last volume in the series seemed tacked on, and was a bit unnecessary.

Over the past few years, I have read several entire Christian "young adult" series.  First, it was the Sierra Jensen series by Robin Jones Gunn; then, it was Christy Miller, a companion to that one by the same author; next, it was Savannah by Denise Hildreth; then, it was Holly's Heart by Beverly Lewis; after that, it was Katie Weldon, also by Gunn; and, now, I can add SummerHill Secrets to the list.  While moderately enjoyable, it was not without its flaws, and, if you're new to the genre, I'd suggest reading one of the other series I mentioned--particularly the first two by Robin Jones Gunn--before giving this a try.  Maybe the right audience would like it more than I did, but I still liked it...to a degree.

Score: 3/5

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