Clean Teen Thursdays ~ The Fill-In Boyfriend

To see what Clean Teen Thursdays is all about check out this POST. 🙂


When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Content Observations: There isn’t any foul language or sexual content in this book. There is kissing, but the most extreme that gets is with Gia stating she had a make-out session. It’s not even described or further commented on. So, it’s fairly chaste kissing as far as the content goes. It’s perfect for teens that are fans of romance novels but looking to keep things clean. 🙂

Discussion Questions:
1. Was Bradley in the right to break things off with Gia over her obsession with her friends? What about his timing?

2. What lessons on lying might you learn from Gia?

3. Bec called Gia’s behavior in the beginning cowardly. Was she?

4. Was Bec right to interfere in her brother’s life?

5. Did Gia later do things that were courageous?

6. Did Bec do any growing herself?

7. What lessons might be learned about social media concerning the video?

8. Gia said that if expressing personal feelings made others feel bad then she’d rather keep them to herself. Is this always the right thing to do?

9. How did Gia outgrow her friends?

10. What growth was evident in Gia and her relationships (be sure to think of her relationship with her mom and brother, too)?

Happy Reading,


Clean Teen Thursdays ~ Anca’s Story

Want to know what Clean Teen Thursdays is all about? Check out this POST. 🙂


Dare you read Anca’s Story?

Three young children smuggle themselves into Auschwitz in search for their parents.

If you’re looking for werewolves, vampires and faeries and paranormal fantasy, try somewhere else. The only wolf in this story is very real, and the only connection with vampires is the distant Transylvanian mountains in Romania, where this story begins.

If you’re looking for light-reading where they all live happily ever after then again, try somewhere else.

If you want serious, no-holds-barred literary fiction set against the background of real historic events then this is for you.

Saffina Desforges made her name writing hard-hitting crime fiction.

This book is about that most horrific crime of all: genocide.

Goodreads * Amazon

Content Observations:
This book was written with a YA audience in mind. There’s no foul language and no sexual content. However, you can expect extreme violence. This book paints a vivid picture of what the Jews experienced during the Holocaust.

Discussion Questions:
1. In the beginning of the story, Anca has already dealt with some extreme adversity. She remains upbeat, though. How do you think you would feel in her situation.

2. What did you think about Maxim’s decision to cut Anca out of Raisa’s life?

3. Anca said with a true friend, “One could be true to oneself and not fear to lose that friendship.” Do you agree? How would you describe friendship?

4. When Anca chose to leave Izabella’s, should she have left the children behind?

5. Do you think Henryk should have confessed the truth to Anca?

6. Do you think the citizens should have fought back, or was it right for them to do whatever work the Germans required?

7. Ultimately, Elone married a German man. Anca said she separated the Nazi from the German. What does this say about her character?

Happy Reading,


Clean Teen Thursdays ~ A Long Walk to Water

Not sure what Clean Teen Thursdays is about, check out my first POST. 🙂


The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Goodreads * Amazon

Content Observations: This is a fairly short read, but it packs a big punch. There isn’t any strong language or sexual content. You can, however, expect extreme violence without it being graphic.

Discussion Questions:

1. Salva felt fortunate to be able to attend school, although it took him an half to get there. How do kids in this country view the privilege to have an education?

2. What are your thoughts to the religious aspect to the war? Is it okay to force people into a religion?

3. For seven months out of the year, Nya’s days were spent getting water – dirty water? How does this make you feel about tasks you must do and find yourself complaining about?

4. It would have been so very easy for Salva to give up hope. Have you found yourself losing hope in much less dire circumstances? Any new perspective on this?

5. The Nuer and Dinka tribes were constantly at battle against each other. Both sides probably spent a lot of time seeking revenge instead of forgiveness and understanding. Any thoughts on this?

6. Ultimately, Salva has water wells drilled for the Nuer people. What does this say about his character, and does this inspire you in any way?

Happy Reading,


Clean Teen Thursdays ~ Rebel Mechanics

If you’re one of my regular followers, then you probably already know I’m a homeschool mom. One of the many factors playing into my choosing to homeschool was the fact that I went all the way through school without ever having read a full novel. NOT ONE.



I know. I was literally college bound when I finished my first novel. You might be thinking I must have been a horrible student. Nope. Straight A’s were easy.

Anyhow. So, now I know that I obviously LOVE to read. And, I want my children to LOVE it, too! I’m on the right track with that, I think. And well, I now run a mini library out of my house where I share my love of reading with other moms and kids, also.

It is from this mini library that I’ve entered into some of my most joyful book discussions. I get asked for recommendations constantly. One of the more recent requests I’ve had is for clean teen books with substance. There are a lot of young teens out there that can read on an adult reading level, but don’t enjoy the foul language or sexual content. That’s where this post comes in.

Each Thursday, I’m going to share a different clean teen book. This won’t be my review of the book. However, it’ll be a book that I’m stamping as clean, and that I think has enough substance to have a good discussion or something to think about. I’m even going to help out with that! I’m going to include some discussion questions and some ideas for writing exercises. This extra content won’t be relevant to everyone, but I know some teens in particular that will appreciate it.

So, without further ado, here’s my first recommendation ~


Goodreads * Amazon

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

Content Observations:
This book doesn’t contain any foul language. There’s a kiss, but it’s not an intense scene, and romance isn’t the whole focus of the story. I wouldn’t even classify this as romantic. There’s zero sexual content. Magic plays a role in the story, but it’s not at all dark.

Discussion Questions:

1. Is it okay to lie for a just cause?

2. Should Verity have forgiven Alec?

3. What warnings about boys can young ladies take away from the story?

4. Were there any parts of the story that you wish the author would have elaborated on? Write out the scene as you would have liked it to appear.


I might disagree with some of their methods, but their accomplishments impressed me.

Are there times when you’ve dismissed someones achievements because of their actions? Is this okay?

6. Verity believed the poor wouldn’t gain anything from a revolution. Was she correct? Do the poor today benefit from politics?

7. The wealthy of the time couldn’t hold certain jobs because it would have been beneath them. Is that true today? Thoughts on this?

8. Henry initially used Verity, also. What was different between his actions and those of the Mechanics’? Or Alec’s?

9. Verity means truth. Do you think there was a reason the author might have chosen this name?

10. Any thoughts on how they should revolt? Should they revolt? And what government should be set up afterwards?

IF you’d like to discuss any of these and don’t have someone at home to discuss them with, I’d love to chat here. Just drop me a comment! I always love to chat about books!

Bloggers, if you like the idea, and would like to create your own Clean Teen Thursdays post, that would be awesome! Shoot me a link in the comments. Or, if you have any suggestions for Clean Teen Reads, then I’d love to hear them!

Happy Reading,