Shoot the Wounded by Lynn Dove

From the Back Cover:

  SHOOT THE WOUNDED is a contemporary Christian novel that deals with relevant social issues such as teen pregnancy and family violence. Set in the small fictional town of Maplewood, in southern Alberta, best friends Leigh and Ronnie find their friendship and faith challenged when Jake, a good looking Christian boy, moves into their neighborhood. Leigh is especially delighted that Jake is paying more attention to her than any other girl at school or church, but what she does not know is that despite his bold declaration of being a follower of Christ, he's carrying a dark secret from his past that has the potential to destroy his integrity and have his friends question the legitimacy of his faith.

My Review:

Lynn Dove does an excellent job recreating a story about challenges and frustrations that many go through in their youth.  Her characters have depth and come alive in this story that is mostly about three young people, Leigh, Ronnie and Jake.  Leigh and Ronnie are great friends, until high school when everything changes, at least with Ronnie.  She's hanging out with new friends, doing new stuff and denying her faith with her life.  Leigh is hurt and frustrated as well as lonely.  Enter Jake, the new kid in town.  He's good looking, a Christian and seems to really like Leigh.  As the year wears on, they become very close friends.  Just friends and while Leigh is okay with that, she also realizes she's falling for him.  Then, suddenly Ronnie is back in her life and it's like nothing has changed between them.  As Leigh and Jake help Ronnie pass her classes and get back on track, Leigh notices that she is getting left out and it seems more Ronnie and Jake than Leigh and Jake. In a classic bout of jealousy and hurt, Leigh steps away just when Ronnie needs her the most, so Jake must step in and step up.  Can the three work things out before it's too late?  What is Jake and Ronnie's relationship really about?  How will the past affect them all?

I felt like this book was a really good book, dealing with hard topics -- gossip, scandal, teen pregnancy, family violence/abuse.  I would think that it is appropriate for mature 14 and up (I have teens that are 14 and 16 and would definitely let them read it!).  I am looking forward to sharing this book with my teens and our church library and looking forward to reading the other 2 books in the series.

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