Happy Valentine’s Day! Where I live, ice is dripping off roofs, the grass is slushy, and the roads are slick as my section of the South recovers from an uncharacteristic ice storm. I’ve had three (three!) days off school due to the weather this week, which is crazy and has never happened before. During all of my downtime, I’ve worked on homework, caught up on some sleep, navigated my house by candlelight (power outages…), and read. It’s been perfect weather for curling up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. So today, I want to share a novella I recently read. I want to do this because:
1) I loved it and I’m all about sharing good books
2) It’s, um, free. Take it from a college student, you can’t beat free.
3) It’s a love story. In several ways. Which makes it completely Valentine’s Day-appropriate. Read on…
By now Abbie Hoyt should be used to not fitting in. She hasn’t since she got pregnant at fifteen. But five years later, as her son begins kindergarten, Abbie wrestles anew with where she does—and doesn’t—belong. It’s not with her old high school friends, who are partying their way through college. Or with the other mothers at Owen’s school. They look at her like she carries some kind of disease. Abbie’s not even sure she fits into her sister’s life now that Skylar is getting married.
When wedding festivities throw Abbie back into the company of her ex-boyfriend, Chris Ross, the questions only get worse. Maybe Chris still loves her like she loves him, but what college-age guy wants to be saddled with a five-year-old? And how selfish would she be to ask that of him?
Abbie is used to the world throwing stones—she knows how to protect herself. But can she figure out how to open up and trust again before she throws away a chance at happiness…for good?
We first meet Abbie Hoyt in Stephanie Morrill’s The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series. This novella answers a lot of questions about Abbie’s future that readers are left with at the end of her sister’s books. However, even if you’ve never read the other books, you’ll still enjoy this novella.
One of my favorite things about Stephanie Morrill’s writing is her ability to nail a teenage voice. It’s always authentic. In this story, Abbie is twenty, so she’s still young. But she’s also been through a lot over the past five years, which is reflected in how she narrates her story. She was forced to grow up too fast, so I really like the balance of youthfulness, yet understanding of the world that comes across in her narration. She’s an interesting character to read.
There are some important themes throughout this story. We’re talking forgiveness, grace, redemption, and unconditional love. And yet, the themes are so natural and never seem preachy. It’s easy to feel for Abbie; to groan with her and cry with her and smile with her. Even if you can’t relate to any of her outward circumstances, her questions about why she would be offered grace when she doesn’t deserve it ring true and relatable. The subject matter deals with some real topics, but they’re handled beautifully, and ultimately point to God as Healer and Redeemer.
Of course, my favorite part of this story is how it’s a continuation of a character’s journey that began in a previous series. Abbie was such a great character in Skylar’s series, and I’ve told Stephanie Morrill how much I’d love to catch up with Abbie after the series. I was not disappointed. I loved revisiting the characters (Skylar’s getting married, y’all!) and slipping back into their world for a little bit. This is a novella, so it’s shorter than a full-length book, but every single sentence matters. A lot happens in these pages, and I devoured them quickly. I’m not doing any spoilers, but I will say that when I reached the end, I was very satisfied.
If you’re into well-written, moving stories, then stop by Stephanie Morrill’s website and download your free copy of Throwing Stones (link below). Also, visit Stephanie’s website to check out Me, Just Different – the book where we first meet Abbie Hoyt!
Now go find yourself a comfy sofa and cup of hot chocolate to enjoy while you get to know Abbie. Happy reading!
Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. She is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into a Published Book, and the Ellie Sweet series. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers on her blog, http://www.GoTeenWriters.com. To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrill.com.
Download the FREE Novella:
- Click here to read the story online or download it to your computer or e-reader!