A super long time ago there was a freshly minted pre-teen girl (me!) who discovered a book series that changed her life and she lived happily ever after in literary heaven…
When I was 12 years old, I was living in a new state, going to a new school, making new friends, and for the first time ever – falling in love…with reading.
Sixth grade was the year that I fell head over heels in love with my first love – books. It was in the very beginning of my insatiable journey down the literary path that I discovered a series written by the ever amazing Robin Jones Gunn. I haunted the stacks of my local library, squirreling away every Christy Miller book that they had, sadly they only had the first ten. When I discovered that there were two more books to go in that particular series, I think you could hear my joyful screams all the way back to my home state Alaska.
The Christy Miller Series hooked me, capturing a piece of my bookish heart and never letting it go. For twelve books, I got to know Christy and her friends. I was there through all of the bumbling and embarrassing moments. I was there when Todd finally kissed her! When she went through her first heartbreak. When Rick did what he did (still irritates me to this day). When she became best friends with Katie. When she fell in love with the God of the universe. When she learned how to love God and be a daughter of the King in a real way, in an accessible way. When Todd was wonderful, and confusing. When it came together and broke apart. When she got the bracelet from Todd and all I could think was ‘awe, so sweet, when will I meet a guy that will give me a forever bracelet’, when said bracelet meant more than just a romantic entanglement between a boy and a girl. When said bracelet came off and finally made it’s way home (I cried like a baby). I was there for each of these moments and so many more and I cherished every bit of it.
Christy was a uniquely wonderful girl. There was something so undeniably relatable about her, that she became a dear friend. Being able to be there through all of her struggles and triumphs that so mirrored my own in many ways, and in other ways not so much (I got to live vicariously through her) was awesome.
And Todd…Todd wasn’t just the boy you had a bookish crush on. He was such an intriguing character, a guy trying to have a relationship with God. And doing it in a way that was beautiful. Todd taught while he was being totally crush worthy. He was the guy that I prayed God would bring into my life. While Christy was falling in love with him, and they were falling in love with each other, they were teaching me what a real loving Godly relationship should look like. Because while Todd was the perfect book boy for Christy and I rooted for them throughout years and many many books, I also really just loved who he was. How into God he was, how important his friendship and love for Christy was, it was remarkable and gorgeous. He always encouraged her walk with the Lord and in turn Christy encouraged him as well, even when that encouragement broke their (and mine, as the reader) hearts. They also trusted that God would bring it together and when He did, it would be glorious. While Christy was learning amazing God truths, love truths and friend truths from Todd, so was I. I was also learning how I wanted to be treated by a guy.
The Series introduced me to some of my most nearest and dearest friends that I’ve ever had. And okay, I know that if you are reading this, some of you may be shaking your head and murmuring “I think that Echo girl is cray cray…does she realize that these are characters in a book…they aren’t real…she knows this, right?? Right??”
Well, for me Christy, Todd, Katie, Doug and all of the other plethora of characters that lived in these pages were very much real. They were friends that I grew up with, they taught me about God, about love, about life, growing up, following your heart and being a good friend. These books taught me what a ‘God Thing’ was, and how to recognize and give praise when in the midst of it. The term also became a permanent part of my daily vocabulary.
When I needed to disappear from my life, I would re-read these precious books. I drug my original cover copies, mixed in with the second edition copies, with me through many moves that crossed state lines and Alcan trips, they went with me through the rough, the thick, the thin. They now live on a shelf next to all of my other Robin Jones Gunn titles, but they are some of my most re-read books on my shelves and I have a record amount of shelves right now (10!!! Eeek!).
After twelve books in The Christy Miller Series, then came Sierra’s series, and then RJG went back to the three people that I loved most and brought to life Christy and Todd: The College Years. I squealed like a crazy person for days when those books came out. I would pinch my pennies and stalk the shelves at the Bible Bookstore, purchasing them one by one as they came out. I devoured them and then I did it again.
Over and over, it became one of my favorite continuations of a series that I have ever read. And again, my original covers went with me everywhere for years. They now gently rest beside the books that came before them.
After the trilogy ended, Katie came along with her own series, and while I loved it – cuz’ it’s Katie!! I really wanted to know what happened next for my favorite book couple of all time…
Turns out I get to find out!!! This long and happy book post is to celebrate the fact that Robin Jones Gunn has written another Trilogy about Christy and Todd!!!
The Married Years!!
I’m freaking out, so beyond excited and happy!
Today is the official Release Day for Book 1!!!!
Forever With You!!!!!
Of course though, Amazon won’t be able to ship it to me for about 3 weeks, but I can still rest in the happy place of knowing that it is written, published and will be coming to my doorstep soonish.
Robin Jones Gunn is one of my favorite Authors and has been for over half of my life. She has an incredible gift for teaching God’s love in the most gentle way that I have ever encountered. She taught me so many life truths, God truths, and love truths, that have continued to stay with me over ten years later. I am so utterly thankful that she put pen to paper and brought Christy and the gang to life. God used her and all of the books that I’ve ever read penned by her to impact my short life. I think I’ve got close to every book she’s ever written and published and each and every time, I delve into the pages of any of her books, she teaches me new and old truths, while making me laugh and sometimes cry.
Thank you Robin Jones Gunn for being so much apart of my childhood and teen years and then following through into my adult life. Thank you for bringing to life characters that I connected with and understood. Thank you for teaching me that God’s love is forever and giving me something to hope for when it comes to relationships. I want to find my Todd. Thank you.
And to all of you, if you’ve got teenage girls, get these books for them. They’re powerful, sweet, timely and wonderful in all of the best ways. You’ll love them, your girls will love them. You’ll thank me for this book recommendation, trust me 🙂
Complete Series Reading Guides on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/list?id=41954.Robin_Jones_Gunn
Happy Book Release Day, Christy & Todd, I am so glad your back…
Black Sheep Girl
And some truth in the form of words from one of my favorites books…