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If Only You Knew
by Mags Storey
Summer love isn’t supposed to be complicated. But then Joe meets two great-looking guys on the same day, and her life gets complicated fast. One guy makes her heart skip a beat, but can he be trusted? The other guy is trustworthy and totally outrageous, but is he still hung up on his crazy ex-girlfriend? With both guys demanding her attention, Jo’s not sure who to trust with her heart.
Then in a strange turn of events, someone begins stalking Jo, and she wonders if it’s connected to the horrible accident she witnessed last summer. With her life in danger, she’s not sure who she can trust. And to make matters worse, she has no job, no future plans, and no idea what her next steps should be.
At the beginning of the book, Jo’s story is slow-paced. However, suspense is added when Jo tries to solve the mystery of the accident she witnessed. Jo is a loveable character who many teens will be able to relate to—she is confused about life, love, and her place in this world. The ending leaves the reader with a surprising, sweet, and satisfactory conclusion.
Some readers may be turned off when the pastor in the book spends two to three pages preaching about the Bible. However, the characters in the book do not come off as preachy, perfect people, but as regular people—some who have a firm belief in God, and others who question God’s motives.
- There is some kissing between Joe and her boyfriend. The scenes do not go into much detail. For example, “All I know is that somehow out lips found each other and in that instant everything else in the world disappeared and all I knew was that Sam’s mouth was on mine.”
- In one scene, two men try to hurt Jo and her friends with a baseball bat. Then the two men chase them with a vehicle and ram them off the road.
- In another scene, Jo is walking when the two men (from above) follow her in their vehicle cat–calling and threatening to kill her and her friend. One of the men yells, “How ya think. . . those legs of yours will look flattened under the wheels of my car?”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Jo discovers that her boyfriend had been in jail. Before his jail time, the boyfriend describes the night he tried to kill someone, and while he was drunk, high, and scared, he turned himself in to the police.
- Jo’s boyfriend also talks about how he used to, “drink too and use some drugs and stuff. . .”
- One of the character’s father is a recovering alcoholic.
- Jo said that she cussed, but there are no actual cuss words.
- Throughout the book, the characters discuss their relationship with God. Some characters have a positive relationship with God, others do not.
- In one church scene, the preacher discusses Philippians Chapter Two and how one should obey God. The pastor then goes on to explain how people should examine God’s word.
- One of the characters talks about how she is waiting for God to bring the right man into her life.
- At a wedding the pastor discusses the meaning of the Bible verse, “Love is patient. Love is kind.”
- At one church service, the pastor talks about Jesus’ crucifixion.
- In one scene the church is practicing a play that reenacts John Chapter Four, the “The Lady at the Well,” story.
- Towards the end of the book, Jo accepts Christ and then later one of Jo’s friends explains how she cannot be separated from Christ’s love.