Sunday, July 1, 2012

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Release: July 19, 2011
Source: Library
Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver's license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, Lacey's junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her. Ty Davis doesn't know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for Ty make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion.
I tend to enjoy books about a person who is questioning his or her religion, so I had high hopes for Small Town Sinners. Although it started out a bit slow, it eventually drew me in and overall didn't disappoint me one bit.

The romance between Lacey Ann and Ty was quite well done. They have their inevitable arguments, but their disagreements about faith and what is right or wrong went a little deeper than the "You were cheating on me this whole time!" kind of fights that you often see. The dynamic of their relationship was a refreshing break from others that I have read about.

This book is not just a romance novel, though. The most interesting part of the plot was Lacey Anne's search to find out if she really believed in everything her religion had taught her. The story started before Ty came to town and before Lacey Anne started reevaluating her faith, so  I got a clear view of the events leading up to her beginning to question her beliefs. I loved that she became more and more open minded, but never denounced the House of Enlightenment.

Small Town Sinners does a fabulous job portraying religion, and is more recommendable than other books about this topic, as it doesn't seem to be pro-religion or anti-religion. The message is not that having faith in a certain church is evil, but it doesn't give the vibe that you have to believe in order to be a good person. It is simply a story about one girl finding herself and falling in love along the way.

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