The Secret Life of Samantha McGregor, No. 1
by Melody Carlson
Paranormal books are hot with the YA market right now, but many Christians donít want to load up on the whole
"psychic" thing, so this series: "The Secret Life of Samantha Mcgregor", brings in Godís power instead of
psychic powers. Samantha Mcgregor has prophetic dreams and visions. Her dad understood about them, but her mom
doesn't - at all. When Samanthaís visions seem to be trying to show her things about a missing school friend,
Samantha has to decide who she can tell and how best to use the gift God gave her. Bad Connection had some
great moments that were both tense and believable. Also, the characters felt considerably more real and
three-dimensional than a lot of religious fiction Iíve read. Sometimes the exposition got a little overwhelming
(really, we believe itís okay to get gifts from God - honest!) and sometimes I did wonder if I really believed
Christian teens thought about God every other moment all day long. Still, Carlson was handling a touchy subject in
Christian circles - the manifesting of spiritual gifts - and she understood her audience well. Iíll admit that
when the author resorted to the old "look in a mirror so I can describe myself," I groaned out loud, but that was
the only groaner in a genuinely interesting book that is definitely a step above the norm for the market.
Bad Connection made me curious about the series and eager for the next book, especially with the
cliffhanger ending of this one!
NOTE: Reviewer Jan
Fields is the editor of Kid Magazine Writers emagazine and has written dozens of
stories and articles for the children's magazine market.