Saturday, June 20, 2015

The New Recruit by Jill Williamson

Typical Spencer: "I used to like church. When I was a kid, I looked forward to Sunday school, bringing my quarters for starving children in Africa, making cross crafts out of popsicle sticks, memorizing Bible verses, singing songs with hand motions, and showing Grandma the cartoon story in the take-home paper. Somewhere along the way I just lost interest. But I’m glad, you know? Because when I look at the people who are my age— those churcher teens— I don’t want to be one of those people. Those happy, peppy, “Yay, God!” types. I’ve got my friends. I don’t need all that… joy."

Spencer Garmond thought he was an ordinary kid who lived with an ordinary grandma and who went to an ordinary (though boring) Christian school. And then he gets an opportunity to join the Mission League. A bunch of Christian spies? What a joke. But threatened with military school and intrigued by his family history, he joins them. Now this better not be a waste of what might have been a great basketball conditioning summer. And they better not preach at him.

I seriously loved The New Recruit with its action-packed story that was also full of truths about God. Jill Williamson did a great job of making Christianity something very real and applicable to teens. At first, Spencer doesn't want anything to do with the "churchers", but later he comes to realize that maybe God really does care.

Spencer is a great character, who is fun to read about and very relatable. His voice, dripped with boyishness and quick wit and just plain freshness, was one of the best parts of the story.

The New Recruit is the first book in The Mission League series. The others are Chokepoint (novella), Project Gemini, Ambushed (novella), Broken Trust, Lockstep (novella), and The Profile Match.

For more on Jill Williamson visit her website and Facebook page. She also blogs regularly at Go Teen Writers.

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