Books

Books open up new worlds and new experiences to us. Through the pages of a book, we can visit places and learn things that would never be possible otherwise.

Here on Christ Teen, we hope to feature books that will interest and intrigue you. Most will be Christian books, but occasionally, we will also post about books that are mainstream, yet still relate to the Christian life or faith in some way.

Happy Reading!

Christian Book Series: Legends of Astarkand by Krystine Kercher

Legends of Astarkand follows the adventures of Bjorn Horsa, a young man who has traveled with a handful of close friends, his mentor, Sir Kyle, nineteen knights and one scoundrel to the land of Astarkand where prophecy says he must save the kingdom. To save the kingdom, he must first be acknowledged as Eiathan's and take the throne of Astarkand. Just one problem; Astarkand already has a king--a very bitter, angry man named Olaf, who hates Bjorn and wants to destroy him.

A Shadow on the Land tells the tale of how this conflict plays out. You may recognize similarities to the story of Saul and David from the Old Testament.

Topics this story explores: a damaged environment; civil unrest; corrupt, brutal lords; a petty, spoiled prince (or even two!); handsome heroes, dames in distress; daring rescues and escapes, quirky situational humor, and even a little romance!

King's Ride and Eiathan's Heir continue Bjorn's adventures as he seeks to secure his crown and his kingdom in spite of sorcery and a very hot dragon!

Find out more about my books and print out a nifty bookmark at http://krystinekercher.com/published-books/!

DawnSinger and WayFarer by Janalyn Voigt

DawnSinger: A headstrong young princess and the guardian sworn to protect her fly on winged horses to the Gate of Life above the Well of Light in a desperate bid to release the DawnKing, and the salvation he offers, into a divided land. Will they each learn in time that sometimes victory comes only through surrender?






WayFarer: When an untried youth ascends to the high throne of Faeraven, his mistakes tear kingdoms apart and allow just one chance at redemption. He must humble himself before the man he banished.
Elcon, an untried youth, assumes his duties as High King. But as trouble stirs between nations and rebellion threatens Faeraven, his position is far from secure. Can Elcon trust that the Elder youth accompanying Kai is the DawnKing, sent by the High One to deliver his people? Or has something gone horribly wrong?
Driven to prove himself, Elcon embarks on a peace-keeping campaign into the Elder lands, where he meets a beautiful Elder princess. But Aewen is betrothed to another, and Elcon has promised to court the princess, Arillia, upon his return. Declaring his love for Aewen would shame them both and tear apart the very fabric of Faeraven.
Elcon’s choices lead him into the Vale of Shadows, where he learns that to deliver his people, he must first find his own redemption.

Finding Angel by Kat Heckenbach 

Angel doesn't remember her magical heritage...but it remembers her.

Magic and science collide when she embarks on a journey to her true home, and to herself.

Angel lives with a loving foster family, but dreams of a land that exists only in the pages of a fantasy novel. Until she meets Gregor, whose magic Talent saves her life and revives lost memories. She follows Gregor to her homeland...a world unlike any she has imagined, where she travels a path of self-discovery that leads directly to her role in an ancient Prophecy...and to the madman who set her fate in motion.

From the author, Kat Heckenbach:

"Aimed at teens who enjoy fantasy, magic, adventure, and mystery. The magic is rather science-based, though--no incantations or wands, just innate magic that does follow laws of physics. I wrote the kind of story I loved reading as a young teen, and still love reading. Finding Angel has been compared to the Fablehaven Series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and A Wrinkle in Time. It's not overtly Christian, but Christians will recognize a lot of symbolism, including my favorite scene which draws on the last chapters of the book of Job--as told through the music of an Elven rocker,"

Guest Post by Angie Brashear - Christian Fantasy: A Life-Saving Genre

Definitions of literary genres can be…well, complex. Even tricky. Attempts to define Christian fantasy vary, though I’ve spent little time fretting over an official definition. I mean, Christian fiction typically illustrates a Christian world view within its plot, characters, or both. And the fantasy genre commonly uses myths and legends as a primary plot element, theme, or setting. So, in my opinion, Christian fantasy embodies fantastical elements in an internally consistent setting all the while reflecting aspects of the Christian world view.

But the debate (at least for some) surrounds who writes Christian fantasy. Writers who are Christians, writers who claim to be Christians, or writers who believe Christianity is a fantasy to begin with? It’s not a debate I choose to enter, for the truth lies outside the discussion: the genre influences nonbelievers. My path to salvation began with a classic fantasy, told to me in the midst of my secular world.

When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis aloud to my class. In doing so, she opened my eyes to adventure and possibilities, all the while helping me escape a world of darkness for a short time. At its conclusion, I wondered, Is God real? He couldn’t be, right? For if He existed, innocent young girls wouldn’t suffer the wrath of drunken addicts, or the torment of abandonment.

I continued to speculate. Each time God placed believers in my path—a high school teacher, a college friend, and a college coach—my fascination with the possibility grew stronger until the truth stunned me like a slap to the face. God indeed lives in the form of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He rescues. He saves. And He waited for me. Then He embraced me. It all started with a little seed, planted in the empty heart of the girl I once was. A love for reading expanded to a love for writing. A desire to know God became a desire to serve Him, to reach nonbelievers.
And Never Let Go was born.

In all things, I’m grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for embracing a lost, lonely girl. That He died for me…there is no greater gift. My prayer is that I’ll never let go of His truth.

About Angie Brashear:
When Angie Brashear isn’t working or taking care of her family, she writes. Usually at night after her kids fall asleep. She’s an avid reader and runner, both of which perplex her husband. Saved in her early twenties, Angie is grateful for the Lord’s presence in all aspects of her life. She is originally from Rockland, Maine and currently resides in Cameron, Texas with her husband and three children. Follow her at http://facebook.com/AngieBrashearAuthor, https://twitter.com/AngieBrashear, and http://angiebrashear.com.

Interested in her book, Never Let Go? Preorder it here

Guest Post by Kasey Giard: Favorite Christian Books for Teens


As a parent and reviewer, I’ve read stacks of fabulous books over the last several years, but there are a few that stick with me, ones I find myself returning to like old friends. Here is a short list of my favorites:

Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl – When she finds herself betrothed to a prince who’s not exactly handsome, Princess Una refuses him, falling instead for the handsome jester. In this series debut, Stengl introduces a fun and often unexpected cast of characters, from the cat who isn’t really a cat to a fierce and dangerous dragon.

The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill – Ellie Sweet is tired of being left out by her friends. Her revenge? She crafts a story in which she is the heroine and the catty ladies-in-waiting get just what they deserve. It’s great, until Ellie’s book is published and her friends discover their roles in the story. Hilarious and heart-wrenching at once.

Glass Girl by Laura Anderson Kurk – After her brother is murdered in a school shooting, Meg and her family move across the country to rural Wyoming. The force of Meg’s grief threatens to shatter her until she meets Henry, a rancher’s son whose gentle affection might be a healing balm to Meg’s soul… if the rumors about his girlfriend turn out to be untrue.

Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen – Fifteen year-old Luca knows one day he will take his father’s place and journey to the depths to barter with the water rats for another year’s supply of water for his people. When the nation’s protectors turn on Luca’s father, he is forced to flee. To survive, he must embrace a faith that doesn’t make sense and step beyond the strict rules and regulations placed on his people by the mysterious Council of Nine. Aquifer is an intense dystopian novel with a hint of romance.

There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones – Eighteen year-old Finley Sinclair follows her brother’s journal entries on a journey through Ireland, looking for the God he so powerfully encountered in the people and places there. What she finds instead is a Hollywood hunk and a grouchy would-be grandmother. Can she protect her heart, finish her music composition and find God in time for her audition at the New York Conservatory? Fans of Nancy Rue and Stephanie Morrill will love the fun and romance of Jones’s latest novel.

Kasey Giard is an aspiring writer and avid blogger at http://thestorysanctuary.com where she reviews young adult and middle grade novels and includes notes on content. She lives in Florida with her family and two very silly cats. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing video games, daydreaming, and going to the movies.

Lady White by Gina Bovyn

A book by a teen author! Gina Bovyn is nineteen years old. Her novel, Lady White, was released last October.

The Realm’s sole purpose was to glorify the God who created them. Yet as selfishness and greed grew in the hearts of men, the Realm’s purpose was forgotten. Only the Kingdom of Linolae withstood the power of the evil one and made a stand against his lusting allies, remembering the God who always caused them to triumph. But the times grow darker and an army must arise. Only a lass worthy can lead this kingdom to victory and save the Realms from their own destruction. From the loins of a very unsuspecting maiden will she come.


Alina aer Anya, otherwise known as the White Lady, carries a sordid past as she rides with her band of men killing for the nobles’ coin. She searches for her own path in life, one without trust, without love, and without the God of her mother. But as she rides to fulfill a task for a power-hungry ruler, she finds a crossroad in her path, and her hardened heart begins to soften. Will she allow evil forebodings and her sordid past to keep her from a trusting friend and the arms of the man she loves? Or will she turn at life’s crossroad and begin her days anew? As she pens her tale in the dungeon of King Richard, only her writings and the hope of escape keep her alive.

This is the tale of how the notorious White Lady became the beloved Lady White.

From the author:
I wrote this novel to show people, especially my generation, how merciful God is and that no matter how badly you may have messed up in your past, God is there and ready to turn it all around for you and He still loves you. It's not your ordinary Christian novel, but a fantasy filled with lots of action and romance, but clean and Godly, which is why I believe teens (especially young women) would like it.

New Novel for Tweens by Mary Hamilton: Hear No Evil


Hear No Evil (Book 1 of the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series)

Brady McCaul’s first summer camp experience starts off on a sour note when his mom drops him off and tells him he can’t come home. She doesn’t want him living with her anymore. While Brady tries to figure out what he did wrong, he finds loyal friends in his blind but capable cabin mate, Steven, and Steven’s spunky friend, Claire.

Together, they team up for plenty of action in ball games, canoe races and sweatshirt relays. But while Brady’s talent on the trumpet earns him a top spot in the camp talent show, it’s not enough to counter the ugly words he hears from the camp bully. Cruel taunts and teasing deepen the pain from his dad’s abandonment six years ago and now Mom’s rejection. To top it all off, a misunderstanding makes Brady wonder if anyone cares about him. Even God seems to have left him alone during a night of survival on the lake.

Will Brady discover the truth about God as well as his mom’s rejection? Find the answer in Hear No Evil on Amazon Also available on Barnes & Noble and Christianbook.com

Meet more of the characters and connect with the author at www.maryhamiltonbooks.com or on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/mhamiltonbooks or Faceook: www.facebook.com/maryhamiltonbooks

Review: Captives by Jill Williamson

Wow! Let me say it again... WOW!
Captives by Jill Williamson is a truly amazing read! Not only is the story really engrossing and the characters realistic, but the author has managed to weave in a wonderful Christian theme without being preachy.

So many of today's Christian fiction books for teens are preachy, but not Captives. Also, so many of today's fiction for Christian teens tends to avoid the "sensitive" subjects such as drug abuse, marital relations before marriage, materialism and others - but not Captives! Author Jill Williamson tackles these issues head on - in a genuine and utterly wonderful way that allows readers to sit back and just enjoy the story without getting caught up in the issues.

I'd give the book ten stars on a five start scale, if I could. It was that good.

Here's the blurb from Zondervan:
One choice could destroy them all.

When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many---including his fiancée, Jem---taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.

Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.

Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls.

Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ façade before it’s too late?

This book was provided to me for review by BookLook. You can find the book on Zondervan's site.

More about the author:
Jill Williamson is a novelist, dreamer, and believer. Growing up in Alaska led to love books, and in 2010 her first novel, By Darkness Hid, won the Christy Award. She loves working with teenagers and gives writing workshops at libraries, schools, camps, and churches. Jill lives in Oregon with her husband and two children. Visit Jill online at www.jillwilliamson.com

Review: Outcasts by Jill Williamson


Okay, I admit it, I've been sucked in to the Safe Lands realm. After reading the first in the Safe Lands series, Captives, I absolutely had to read the second book in the series, Outcasts.

Author Jill Williamson did not disappoint in the second book of the series. It is every bit as exciting and thought-provoking as the first book.

In Outcasts, the group of "outcasts" are all still searching for a way to escape the Safe Lands. Their efforts are thwarted at every avenue by the government and corrupt officials of the Safe Lands. Their children are at risk. Their babies are being stolen. The pressures and addiction-causing environment of the Safe Lands is still slowly battering away at the morals of some of the "outcasts". They are truly desperate to leave.

I couldn't wait to read the entire book, it was quite a page-turner, but when I reached the end, I found myself a little sad that the story was over. I really became interested in the stories of the characters, their moral dilemmas and their plans to try to escape.

Outcasts ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I'll be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, Rebels, which is due to release later this year. Keep the good stuff coming, Jill Williamson, I'm eager to read more!

Review: Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek

Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek, second book in the Faithgirlz! The Good News Shoes series, combines faith, fun and action into one good read for tweens.

When Riley Mae's dad helps get her a gig as a spokesperson for the Swiftriver Shoe Company, she gets more than she bargained for. Soon, Riley Mae is up to her neck in adventure again.

The story is fast paced and fun, filled with adventure and a good dose of faith.

To Dance Once More by Sherri Wilson Johnson

TO DANCE ONCE MORE is the story of Lydia Jane Barrington, a Victorian debutante. Lydia lives on a plantation in Florida under the watchful eye of her father. She’s quite an independent young lady who does not want to fall into the trap (as she sees it) that her mother and sisters have fallen into—marriage and motherhood.

She wants to travel the world and experience life before giving her heart to a man. One day, her eyes are opened to love and no matter what, she cannot forget the blissful feeling it causes. She begins to believe that love isn’t such a bad thing after all. Then she discovers a secret that prohibits any of her dreams from ever coming true. She begins a quest to free herself and her family from a future of bondage. Hearts are broken and lives are torn apart because of Lydia’s own selfishness. Will she surrender to a call that God placed on her life and be able to experience love after all? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Sherri Wilson Johnson is the author of TO DANCE ONCE MORE and SONG OF THE MEADOWLARK. She is from Georgia, has been married since 1988, and is a former homeschooling mom. She loves to write, read, eat ice cream, ride roller coasters and make people laugh. She loves Jesus and hopes to spread His love to the whole world through her writing.

From the author:

“TO DANCE ONCE MORE, my debut novel, is a book teens would enjoy because the main character is a sixteen year old young woman when it begins. It is set in Florida during the Victorian times when debutante balls are the highlight of society. Lydia Barrington wants to break away from the traditional role of women. She wants to explore the world and be free. She spurns love. But then she falls for the dashing Hamilton Scarbrough and feels like she has betrayed herself. One day she overhears an argument between her father and an unscrupulous businessman and learns that her future (and her love life) may not be hers to plan. She rushes to find a solution and even battles with whether or not she should give herself to Hamilton in an effort to safe herself from a future of torture. TO DANCE ONCE MORE deals with the purity of the heroine and the hero, faith, perseverance, and selflessness. Teens (and young single women) who have read my novel have told me that it has encouraged them to remain pure and to believe that waiting for God's best is much better than settling for seconds.”


Worth the Wait by Laura Jackson

Worth the Wait Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn't get it. She always does the right thing - doesn't God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait.

About the Author: Laura Jackson loves books---reading and writing them. A life-long reader, Laura studied English in college and taught 7th grade language arts before earning her Master's degree and becoming a school librarian. Now, she spends her days sharing great books with kids and her evenings writing books about teenage girls discovering God and His plan for their lives.