Author: Tamra Torero & Preston Norton
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Published Date: October 9th 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Christian Fiction
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ .5
Sixteen-year-old Jacob has always been able to charm his way out of trouble with the law. But when he’s sentenced to work at a family Christmas tree farm in place of Cody Matthews—a boy killed in Jacob’s last DUI—Jacob is in for a harsh reality check. This emotional story of loss, love, and redemption is impossible to put down.
"I had so far been successful thus far in dehumanizing Cody in my head. How else are you supposed to deal with inadvertently killing another human being?"Jacob has had a rather rough life and in his teenager years so far he has been spending them partying and flirting with every girl he can. That is until one night while driving home drunk after a party his whole world changes. He hits someone and they end dying. But that isn't what magically makes Jacob start changing his ways. Instead what starts to change him is when he is ordered by the judge to work on Cody's dad's christmas tree farm until Christmas Eve. Most people would feel lucky to be getting out of going to juvie, but Jacob isn't happy.
"Look, I don't know what you're trying to accomplish here. I'm not buying this Good Samaritan show you're putting on, and I'm not just some stupid troubled teen that you can reform with it. I'm sorry I ruined your perfect little white-picket-fence life with your son. I really am! But this whole nice guy act? It's not doing anything! Just tell me what you really think of me, okay? Yell at me! Scream your guts out! Get it out of your system! Just stop whatever the heck it is that you think you're doing, because it is literally driving me insane!"
But he does it anyway and during his time at the farm. He realizes multiple things. One that the chip he has on his shoulder isn't helping him any. Second that not all people have ulterior motives some just really want to give up a better start in life. and lastly that even though you've done bad things that you can still be forgiven and that you can always change.
"I'll be the first to admit that I've never taken kissing seriously. I always did it just for fun. It didn't mean anything. It that's because I've never met anyone that makes me feel like I do when I'm around you. You, Corrine.. you make me feel like everything is right in the world. Even when it's not! Even when everything is screwed up! Even when I'm just a screwup! You make it feel right... because you make me want to do better. To be better."Overall I really enjoyed this story. And I know I keep saying this about this book, but it does truly remind me of a hallmark movie from the early 2000s. It was sweet book with a positive message, that only has a small bit of romance.I don't want to talk to much about it because it is a short book, and I don't want to give anything else away about it.
I hope to find more books like this and I am interested to see if this publisher has any more good YA books because I had never heard of them till now.