Out With the In Crowd by Stephanie Morrill
It’s senior year, and Skylar Hoyt should be having the time of her life. Instead, she returns to school after a Christmas break unlike any she’s ever had. Her parents are on the verge of breaking up, her younger sister Abbie is nearing the end of pregnancy but doesn’t seem worried about buying diapers or deciding on names, and Skylar’s still trying to figure out how to stay on the right track after rededicating her life to God. She’s learning that God doesn’t just want to be with her at home or at church — He even wants to be part of things she used to not care about at all, like her grades.
At least things are still good with her boyfriend Connor, even though he doesn’t always understand why Skylar is focusing so much on helping Abbie or trying to keep the peace between her parents. Or at least things are still pretty good until Skylar finds out that her former best friend Jodi — the reestablished queen of the ‘in’ crowd now that Skylar has left the partying life — is dating Skylar’s ex Eli. Then Jodi starts working her charms on Connor, nearly sending Skylar over the edge with paranoia.
Skylar doesn’t regret her decision to follow God, but she’s like anyone else who’s ever wished the walk would be a little easier. She struggles to keep her old knee-jerk reactions at bay and to figure out what God wants her to do in life. Most of all, she’s learning how to speak up at the right time and in the right way to help the people she loves.
Although Out With the In Crowd is written for teenagers, it’s a good read even for adults because the themes cross generational and social lines. Skylar and the other characters are super believable teenagers and a few surprises along the way keep the story moving. The only suggestion I would have is that you read the first book in the series, Me, Just Different, before jumping into Out With the In Crowd. Morrill does a good job including enough background to help you know what’s going on, but you’ll enjoy the story a lot more if you know all the details from book 1. Book 3 in the series, So Over It, will be out in July, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of Skylar’s story.