Real, Not Perfect

Focus On the Family. (Riverbend Friends: Bk. 1). Apr. 2021. 240p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781589977044.
Gr 7 Up–Fifteen-year-old Tessa of Riverbend, IN, finds herself in a situation that she never dreamed would breach the walls of her religious family. Her father is having an affair with a former sweetheart with whom he connected over Facebook, and to make matters worse, the woman is pregnant. Tessa’s best friend, Mackenzie, is moving to Florida, and her friend/crush Alex seems to have eyes for everyone but her. Tessa, always known as the perfect girl, tries to pretend that everything is ok, when the truth is far from it. Dad has chosen Rebecca over Tessa and her mom; mom is broken; Mackenzie attempted suicide after her move to Florida; and Tessa is stuck in a drama class that makes her feel even more out of place. Coleman adeptly delves into a topic that affects many families. This book reveals the many emotions and scenarios that can occur when children and their families go through divorce. Tessa must learn to accept that life and people are not perfect, but they are real and that Jesus puts people and events in your life at just the right time so they can “help you swim.” Coleman intertweaves themes of depression, mood swings, and suicide in a nuanced and thoughtful way. Tessa and her family are cued as white, and background characters are of various ethnicities.
VERDICT Recommended for Christian fiction shelves.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing