It’s rare that I read YA books since, well, I’m not a YA. I’m a MA (middle aged adult) but still, if the writing is solid and intrigues me I will pick them up. Or three of them, as I did recently with Jenny B. Jones’ “Charmed Life” series. I adore her writing and one thing I like about her YA works are that they are not written down to a young audience.
I know that I’m not the only one that reads her YA stuff, either. At the ACFW conference the year before last, I embarrassed myself when I saw her on the elevator by getting all “Oh my gosh, you’re Jenny B. Jones? I love your writing!” right in her face but she was gracious and went with it. Later, I told this story to the table of writers I sat with and they all said they loved her work, especially her YA books.
The books are written with an uplifting vibe, lots of humor, and real romance. Too often when I read a romance it’s all about sex, and there isn’t an urgency for the characters to get together in a deeper, more spiritual way. I like books with a light romantic vibe that tell you all about the characters and give you a sense of their personality. The YA series has the romance drawn out. It’s slow and satisfying, and completely appropriate for a young reader or a middle aged fangirl.
The faith aspect in these books is present but not “hit you over the head” boring. Too often I feel that writers are preaching to me instead of entertaining me, and books need to be enjoyable for their story first and foremost. This book has a sweet but flawed character as the heroine and you see her grow and mature as the three book series progresses. By the third book, you want her to have the things she longs for because you’ve spent the series being thoroughly entertained by her thoughts and humor. You see the character grow and want her to have all that she dreams of.
Here’s all the books in the Charmed Life series by Jenny B. Jones: