Friday, July 29, 2011

London Confidential Series

The London Confidential series by Sandra Byrd is "where British fashion, friendships and guys collide, and where an all-American girl learns to love life and live out her faith."

I introduced this series months ago with the first book, Asking for Trouble, but quickly devoured the entire series of four books. If you want a faith-based series of pure chick-lit for your young teen, this is the best I've found. It's authentic and upbeat and never once resorts to dramatic plotlines of sex, substance abuse, depression or other nasties that too often permeate today's YA literature. The main character is fresh, stylish and firmly grounded in a solid Christian faith.

Book 1: Asking for Trouble
This book introduces readers to fifteen-year-old Savannah (Savvy) Smith, originally from Seattle but now living in the UK with her mom, dad, and ten-year-old sister. Savvy dreams of being a journalist, but lacks the experience her new school, Wexburg Academy, requires. She juggles learning British customs with a crush on Jack, the newspaper editor, and trying to save both the paper and her social life from simultaneously going out of existence. She pitches the idea for an advice column, but must prove herself worthy if she wants to get the job. Can her faith and integrity withstand the pressure?

Book 2: Through Thick and Thin
We pick up right where the first book left off. Savvy is now the undercover writer of the advice column for Wexburg Academy Times, but desiring something a little less anonymous, Savvy turns to other avenues to get her name in print. An upcoming fashion show seems the ideal opportunity. But before long her aspirations toward literary fame and popularity take over and cloud her judgment. Savvy stumbles through some poor decisions, including personal makeovers with very bad consequences, a few social faux pas and a forbidden trip behind her parents' backs. Eventually, though, our girl returns to what she knows works best: following God's guidelines for honest and compassionate living.

Book 3: Don't Kiss Him Goodbye
May Day (and the May Day Ball) is quickly approaching. As an American and still relatively new to the UK, Savvy hasn't a clue what a monumental event this is. Think prom on a bigger scale. Other students secured their dates months ago. Now here she is with very few available prospects. Soon, though, she meets Rhys, a nice fella with a reputation for trouble. But he seems nice and he's cute, so what's the harm? And what options does she have? Meanwhile, Jack had promised Savvy a byline, but when a less-than-friendly girl with more seniority resurfaces, he must pit the two against one another. Savvy also gets involved in a ministry that incorporates her love of fashion with a way to help single mums get good jobs and support their families.

Book 4: Flirting with Disaster
In the last book of the series, Savvy's faith is tested once again. The big question: does she really trust in God alone or is some of her faith in superstitions and luck? The newspaper staff needs to elect a new editor for next year. The race is split between Natalie, the competitive force in Book 3, and Hazelle, an honest, but prickly character with whom Savvy has contended since entering Wexburg Academy. Everyone has chosen sides and the winner depends on Savvy's vote. Meanwhile, in an effort to stay in good graces with the popular crowd, Savvy complies with an "if you're really my friend" email forward, but too late discovers that it contains a trojan virus, one that nearly destroys the shop ministry she supports. Throughout, Savvy must choose if she's going to do the right thing and trust God to work out the details or if she want to look out for herself and do it her own way.

The entire series is told in first person, from Savvy's perspective, and covers her first year in the U.K. The books also feature occasional images, mostly small sketches or journal entries.

What I Like: I love everything about this series! Each book offers fun, clean, chick-lit for Christian teens. They are quick-paced stories with authentic, likeable characters. Readers can easily relate to the Savvy's dilemmas while parents can be confident their girls aren't diving into dramas of questionable integrity. The Christian content is obvious, but not preachy. Savvy's advice and the lessons she learns grow from a solid foundation of biblical truth, usually supported with direct quotes from Scripture.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: 12-16

Publisher Info:
Tyndale Publishers, 2010; ISBN: 1414325975 (Asking for Trouble); Paperback; 256-288 pages (depending on volume); $6.99

Buy Don't Kiss Him Good-bye at for $5.99 or at for $6.99.
This title is also available on Kindle for $4.79.

Buy Flirting with Disaster at for $5.99 or at for $6.99.
This title is also available on Kindle for $4.61.

Special Info: Visit the author's website at

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