Publish Date: July 2011
Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver's license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, Lacey's junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her. Ty Davis doesn't know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for Ty make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion.
I don't think a contemporary has ever touched me as much as this one. Being raised in a Christian home living by my parents rules my whole life, I was able to easily relate to Lacey. I loved joining her on the journey through her emotions and convictions. It was just so incredibly real.
There were so many things I loved about Small Town Sinners that I'm not even sure where to start. I thought it was cool to be exposed to different beliefs. Lacey's beliefs in right and wrong were so much more black and white than anything I've ever experienced. It's a crazy to thing to have everything you've ever known to be right suddenly come into question, but that's precisely what happens to Lacey.
Going into the book I thought Ty was going to be in the middle of everything. I thought he would be this bad boy tempting Lacey, but it wasn't anything like that and I think that's one of the reasons I love it so much. Sure, he was the catalyst, but the way it goes down it really could have been anyone. Ty comes in and just makes Lacey think for herself a bit. And that's his main role. It's not like he was just shoved in there to make the plot move along, but he's also not the focal point with Lacey all lusting after him or anything. The main story was really all about Lacey's struggle with what she believed in and I can't put into words how much I absolutely loved that.
I think I'll just stop it here before I make you guys read an entire novel about this book :P
Final Thoughts: If you're looking for a contemporary that will make you think and isn't all about the guy and the romance, this is definitely the book you want. If you're afraid of it being too preachy, don't be. This is just a story about a girl who realizes she may not believe what she's always been told.
Rating: 5 stars