Lacey has always felt very comfortable in her family, in her church, and in her faith. Growing up in a very small close-knit town, she's been best friends with Starla Joy and Dean forever, and her relationships - especially the one she shares with God - have always been of the utmost importance to her. But now that she's sixteen and she has a new boy to share thoughts, ideas, and feelings with, she finds herself wondering if it's alright to question those same beliefs that have always brought her comfort.
Much of the plot revolves around the teens' involvement in their church's production of Hell House, a popular grand theatrical event that aims to help other teens see that a life committed to God, as well as behavior and thoughts free from sin, are truly the best pathway to Heaven and happiness. But many of the scenes are intense, including the abortion, suicide, and gay marriage scenes, and some of the conservative Christian ideals observed here will make more liberal readers feel uncomfortable. Many readers will be glad for Ty Davis, who encourages Lacey to question the black-and-white teachings of her church and her father, stressing how important it is for individuals to make their own choices, and recognize that a personal choice doesn't always mean that you can't understand the behavior and beliefs of others. This novel makes a strong case for tolerance and understanding for all people.
Reviewed by kate the librarian.