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Title: The Scenarios Series (Truth or Dare, All That Glitters, Magna, Making Waves, High Stakes, Essence of Lilly)
Author: Nicole O’Dell
Published By: Barbour Books
Decisions, decisions! How is a girl supposed to choose? Lessons of right and wrong are put to the test in the Scenarios series, where you can test your decision-making abilities in an eye-opening, but safe, way. Each book follows a character up to the point where she has to make an important, life-changing decision—then it’s your turn to choose. Will your choices lead to a happy ending? (Taken from Goodreads.)
Nicole O’Dell’s Scenarios series are truly great books. Though it is one series, in each book there are new characters in new situations. The characters felt a little flat at times, but for the most part it wasn’t hard to love them.
One thing I really loved about the whole series was the Christian themes. It takes true talent to do a Christian book—if you do it wrong it can come off really cheesy—and I thought Nicole O’Dell did really well on this aspect. I really liked the way the main character always was (somewhat) willing to put church first, while still worrying about what their friends would think; they were true to the teenage Christian mindset/culture and I was able to relate to that. I enjoyed the way the main character was able to (in some situations) turn her friends to Christ and how praying was a regular thing for their families. I loved how the Christian message was written into the books as part of the story, but also as an outreach as well. And again like I’ve said, it’s hard to pull these kind of books off, but I think O’Dell did fine.
And, of course, I loved the two ending options. The scenarios the characters get themselves into are scary yet real and both endings are written naturally, as if there was no other ending. It was fun to read the two ways the character could have gone and see the results of both! Nobody can not like the ending because if a reader doesn’t like one ending there’s the other one 🙂
My personal favorite of these books was Truth or Dare, which was focused more around friendships and thereof was eaiser for me to relate to than the other stories about boyfriend drama. (Haha.) The other few books were really well done, too. Overall, the whole series is a definite 5-star rating and a series I’ll definitely reread again.
No negative content. There is a lot of mature content though, as the author deals with real life teen struggles; however, it is all addressed in a wholesome way, and does not glorify the wrong things.
Overall: A clean, Christian read for girls, these books will have trouble reaching a secular audience, but I think they will and should do great among Christian readers as a story with characters with real struggles.
Recommended to: 12 and up