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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han, Beyond the Break is a funny and gorgeous debut about a girl experiencing her first love. Well, second, if you count her faith . . . and that's where things may get complicated.

Manhattan Beach native Lovette has two rules in life. One: no surfing. Not after her brother's accident. Two: absolutely, no dating. And going into her junior year of high school, she's pretty happy with that arrangement. She has friends, her church youth group, and God to fall back on when things get dicey. But after Jake Evans walks into her life, following these two simple rules gets a lot more complicated.

Jake is the boy from Lovette's childhood who grew up. Handsome and sweet, he unlocks the part of Lovette that wants nothing more than to surf the waves again. And as their relationship grows, she begins to question what it means to be faithful: to her family, to God, but mostly, to herself.

Told with humor and heart, Heather Buchta delivers a sparkling debut that asks the question: Can you fall in love, be a teenager, and also be a good Christian?

©2020 Heather Buchta (P)2022 Tantor

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Heartfelt.

This book is quite lovely. I haven't read too many books that really lean in to the kind of conservative Christian upbringing I had (and later moved away from) but this one really touches on that well--and not in a mean way, but an honest one. This story works as an honest deconstruction of purity culture, if not a radical one, the main character learning to understand God in a more complex way, beyond the black and white that we're told when we're young.

The romance arc ends on a bit of a bittersweet note, but it's rather sweet and tender during the arc of the story--and realistic to a fault. But the character's relationship with her parents, that comes out so well.

This is a really touching story, one that I'm sure I'll revisit.