I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.This book was a nice change from the usual coming of age/romance YA books. The author, Ross, knew that you can tell a wonderful, heartwarming love story without including sexual themes. This was the thing that I loved most about this book. Kudos to Ross for creating a book that is completely appropriate for all ages!
This story was has some of the most relateable characters that I have come across recently. Lexy is an average teen trying to find her place in the world when suddenly she discovers her mom has cancer and the family must move across the country for her to receive treatment. She is devastated because it is the beginning of her senior year and she had just been named the editor of her school paper, something she had been dreaming about for years. Like the typical teenager she is, she fights with her parents over the decision, throwing little temper tantrums and being obstinate. She worries about fitting in to a new school and trying to find a way on to the school paper. Right away she meets two wonderful guys who are also great characters. Brian is the all American boy, the sweet boy next store type, and is the Senior Class President. He helps Lexy find a place in the school and takes her in to his circle of friends. What girl hasn't dreamed of meeting a guy like this?! Then along comes Ash, the seemingly bad boy that everyone warns Lexy about. She is immediately drawn to him and she senses there is more to him then there seems. Again, what girl hasn't dreamed of meeting a guy like this?! The books is even complete with the witchy, queen of the school type of girl who immediately sets her sites on Lexy. So many great and endearing characters!
I also loved the subtle use of Christianity in the story; hence the title of Prodigal. It is not over the top religious, in fact Lexy is agnostic in the beginning, but uses some of the stories and verses in the Bible to lend to the story. The most important of which is the forgiveness that God has for everyone, including Ash, who is carrying a dark secret that threatens to destroy him.
There is only one thing about the book that I did not like. The use of a lamb on the cover seems like a very odd choice for me. I can't for the life of me figure out why they chose this cover. The only thing I can even remotely think of is that it is possibly representative of another name Christ is known by; The Lamb of God. Not sure if this is what they were thinking but it is my only idea. Please do not let the cover dissuade you from reading this book though!
If you get the chance I would highly recommend you read this book. I think it is a great choice for anyone that likes YA romance, especially a cleanly written one.
Parent Guide: I could find nothing objectionable in the book.