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10.15.2016

Straightened
A Kennedy Stern Novel #4
By Alana Terry

Kennedy Stern is returning to America and her sophomore year of Harvard. She has days to acclimate to the total change in time night-is-day and day-is-night. Ruben won't be returning and Kennedy just isn't sure how she'll get through this year without her best friend and lab partner. The Lindgrens have adopted Woong a young orphan from Korea. And she's about to step into another potentially explosive situation with the Abernathy family - the last she needs after last year's kidnapping.

But this time she quite literally walks in as Senator Abernathy and his teenage son Noah are seeking help from Pastor Carl Lindgren. Noah has been struggling in secret with his feelings, seeking help from those who have left the gay lifestyle behind. But Noah's efforts have had no affect on how he feels. With his long held platform of traditional family values Wayne Abernathy is determined to see his son fix or out of the house.

What should have been a family matter is about to become network fodder when an unexpected act of violence ends a life and suspicion is cast upon a member of the family. With her unusual upbringing in China Kennedy is left with questions as to what and who is right when it comes to the issues that have been raised around her.

If her return to the US is any indication her second year of college may make the first year seem like a breeze (which anyone who has read the preceding books would know it wasn't).

One thing can be said about Alana Terry's Kennedy Stern series, she doesn't shy away from issues that can divide people and tear rifts in families, friendships, communities, and churches. And Straightened is no different.  With characters who fall on all the sides of the issue one is given insight into different points of view.  And as Carl says to Nick, "...this is an issue we'll never agree on. And that's ok. I'm not afraid to hear your views, because I know what I believe." And in today's world this is one topic that will remain a point of contention. And I'm sure there will be points in this book that different readers will take issue with, but (and this is important) the author presents characters who are real and not just a platform for her opinion.

I was provided an uncorrected ARC of this book by the author.  No review was required and all opinions are my own.

About the Book:
A teenage boy begging God to make him straight. An evangelical father refusing to accept his son is gay. A college sophomore who could never predict the dangers about to overtake her and the ones she loves. 

An intense and compassionate novel from beloved indie suspense author, Alana Terry, who has won awards from Women of Faith, The Book Club Network, Readers' Favorite, and many others. 

No matter where you stand, Straightened will challenge you to delve into the controversy with your eyes wide open and extend the grace and empathy too often lacking from all sides of the aisle.