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Stealing Bradford: Carter House Girls, Book 2

Review

Stealing Bradford: Carter House Girls, Book 2

STEALING BRADFORD is the fast-paced follow-up to Melody Carlson's MIXED BAGS, the first book in the Carter House Girls series, and it doesn't lose a beat or its momentum.

Beginning the morning after the party where she was dissed by boyfriend Connor, and then does some real soul-searching and invites Christ into her heart and life, DJ wakes up anxious for her first day at Crescent Cove High School. Getting ready, she deals with a jumbled-up mess of emotions and confusion about what just transpired between her and Connor the previous evening. Why did he reject her? Didn't he care? Is he interested in the high-strung, flirtatious Taylor now? Suddenly, DJ remembers Rhiannon's words to pray when you're in trouble and don't know what to do. So she does --- in the car on the way to school --- and can't believe that, despite the troublesome circumstances, she has peace inside her heart.

Too bad the entire first day of school isn’t such smooth sailing for her. DJ sees Connor, who abruptly excuses himself from her company. Lunch brings extra tension to the situation when DJ feels his rejection more keenly than ever and runs out of the cafeteria. As she retreats the emotional scene, DJ prays some more and tries to settle down. Ironically, God gives her plenty of opportunity for distraction from her own problems by offering her immediate challenges to love her friends (and enemies) in numerous practical ways.

First, roomie Casey, with her Goth/Punk look, is receiving the wrong kind of attention at school. Not only does she get pushed into a locker, she is about to get beaten up while trying to sneak a smoke. DJ thinks fast and saves Casey from a real physical assault that finally begins to thaw the ice between the two former best friends. Feeling somewhat better after making a small impact on Casey, DJ is then thrown into the middle of another relational battleground --- this time between the snooty Taylor and DJ's Christian friend Rhiannon, and Rhiannon's boyfriend, Bradford.

DJ must draw her own battle lines and try to get others to see past their own personal perspectives while she tries to figure out what she believes is right in this tangled trio of lost and newfound love. She does the noble thing and changes rooms at Carter House, saving Rhiannon from having to room with Taylor after Bradford breaks up with Rhiannon. In typical DJ style, she confronts Taylor and the two hash it out. Trying to see both sides is almost a full-time job for DJ, and she is relieved when she and Connor do their own "hashing it out" and work out their differences. Still, others at Carter House are not so forgiving. And when Taylor's MySpace page gets sabotaged with soft porn, she disappears. Now DJ and the girls must figure out where Taylor is, who is to blame, and what to do next.

With its believable dialogue and highly comical teen situations, Carlson's readers will eager await book three in the Carter House Girls series.

Reviewed by Michele Howe on April 29, 2008

Stealing Bradford: Carter House Girls, Book 2
by Melody Carlson

  • Publication Date: April 29, 2008
  • Genres: Christian, Fiction
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • ISBN-10: 0310714893
  • ISBN-13: 9780310714897