Tag Archives: Motorcycles

Review: Dawn on the Road by Lea Waterhouse

Dawn on the Road
Lea Waterhouse
CrossLink Publishing
Published February 23, 2017

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

When Dawn learns of an opportunity to visit a college for the arts, she feels desperate to go. She knows, though, her parents would never, ever go along with her dreams of pursuing a career in photography. But when an old friend from her past returns to town and offers Dawn a ride on his motorcycle, Dawn realizes this might be the perfect chance to chase her dream, and reconnect with the gorgeous guy she once left behind.

Dawn’s sense of the world (sometimes lack of it) and her struggle to embrace her dream really resonated with me. I liked the ways in which her journey remained her own. Sometimes I felt like Justin’s wisdom and superior experience sort of overshadowed Dawn, but I liked that Dawn, on her own, crafts this spiritual journey apart from her relationship with Justin. I also liked that this story isn’t wholly a romance. At the heart of the story, Dawn faces some issues of maturity and cosmic questions. She’s a bit shallow and unfocused at the beginning, but definitely shows some growth by the end of the book.

The one thing that kind of left me shaking my head is the ending. I don’t want to give away what happens, but I felt like through the whole story Justin behaves a certain way, and then at the end he makes a choice that felt contrary to his character and the rules he’d established for himself.

On the whole this was a quick read with strong spiritual content that would probably appeal to young readers looking for stories featuring Christian girls. I liked the way the story used Dawn’s interest in photography as well.

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Cultural Elements
Dawn’s parents are atheists and pretty forceful about their beliefs. Justin is a Christian but reluctant to share his beliefs with her.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
Dawn’s mom educated her about sex and provided condoms, so Dawn would be prepared. Dawn feels embarrassed about this, but when she leaves for her trip with Justin, she brings one condom along, just in case. She feels very attracted to Justin, and it seems he feels something for her, too.

One kiss at the very end of the story between a boy and girl.

Spiritual Content
See above. Dawn attends a church service and later begins her own exploration of the Bible and prayer. She becomes a Christian through these experiences.

Violent Content

Drug Content

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Review: Running Lean by Diana L Sharples

Running Lean
Diana L. Sharples
Published August 6, 2013

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Haunted by a cruel playground song, Stacey is determined never to be fat again. With her best friend Zoe, she embarks on a rigid diet, rejecting the high-calorie, deep-fried southern dishes her family seems to thrive on. But just when Stacey has it all under control, a fainting spell alerts her boyfriend Calvin that things aren’t as well-ordered as they seem. Stacey brushes off the event as “female problems” and hopes Calvin will just forget it.

Calvin just wants Stacey to be okay, and he’s willing to pay just about any price to make that so. He endeavors to support her, but his own emotions become increasingly strained as his bike – and through it his way of coping with life – begins to fall apart. Though Calvin wants to believe he can love and encourage Stacey through her insecurities, it becomes impossible to ignore the downward spiral her life is taking. Calvin isn’t sure he can push her into recovery without breaking her.

In her brave debut, Sharples captures the raw driving intensity of emotional insecurity and the terrible tension it places on a relationship, boldly describing a tragic teen issue. The reactions of Stacey’s friends and family, the helplessness Calvin wrestles with all felt very real and true to character and life. Though a message of hope is woven through its pages, the story Running Lean isn’t dominated by its spiritual messages. Rather, each character wrestles with thoughts about and feelings toward God in his or her own timing and way.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Sexual Content
Stacey and Calvin share kisses and hold hands, but both have made a commitment to abstinence until marriage. Things get a little hot and heavy between them as Stacey’s emotions spiral further out of control and Calvin tries to reassure her of his love by pressing her physical boundaries further than she’s comfortable with. Clothes stay on, and nothing much ultimately happens before Stacey stops Calvin. There are brief references to a past sexual abuse situation. While the scars of the experience, both physically and emotionally still manifest in the victim, not a lot of detail is given about the events.

Spiritual Content
Since his brother’s death, Calvin has had difficulty thinking about spiritual things. He’s grieving and angry and offers of prayer from his friends and family only frustrate him further. As his relationship with Stacey becomes more and more strained, Calvin begins to rethink his “okay on my own” religious stance and consider asking for God’s help with the situation, since he’s way past knowing what to do on his own.


Drug Content
Stacey visits a party at which alcohol is present. She doesn’t drink anything, but others around her do.