Love Waits – Donald James Parker

Surviving high school is one of the most challenging times in teenage life. And when you're new to the city, it's even harder. In the "Love Waits" of Donald James Parker, fourteen-year-old Cheri is forced to face some tough problems when her mom dies, and her father moves them from a small town in Nebraska to a big city.

It's bad enough that Cheri does not know anyone, but when one of the few girls she meets finds out she's still a virgin and tells everyone that Cheri feels she is forced to correct the situation. But she encounters a blockade when her father gets a neighbor to watch her. Cheri is ready to hate Jean, but they develop a close relationship, the one that changes Cherie's look – and her life.

With the help of grandparents, Cheri goes through the process of self-awareness and religious awakening and teaches about the consequences of pre-marital sex. Her new boyfriend is a member of Jean's Church and two cute teenagers are strong enough to accept their faith and resist the pressure of their peers. Cheri, especially, looks wise outside of her age while trying to cope with problems at home. When her mother died, the relationship between her father and daughter broke out and her father turned to sports, alcohol and a new blue bimbo to fill the void.

The story is difficult about content related to faith, but what might come as a prediction is instead presented as a fun story with a message – one that uses both adults and adolescents. I shared a copy with a sixteen-year-old girl. She did not have a problem identifying with characters in spite of a dialogue she felt across the top. Teenage jargon and humor change with time and localization, but the struggles are universal, the same ones that we all deal with. She was involved in a story like I was eager to see where she would lead. Halfway through the book it seemed that the characters grew in mutual relations with God. Things went smoothly and it looked as though everything was resolved. That's when the author completes another curve, he added more conflicts, and the pages are starting to fly again.

This is a wonderful story about family, friends and God that parents may want to read together with their teenagers. This is a realistic view of contemporary teenagers and the challenges they face. It has been said that there is content that could make some readers uncomfortable. The author deals with some serious topics dealing with topics that most of us do not want to think about, including death, pre-sexual sex, rape, and pregnancy of teenagers. The dangers of promiscuity are precise, with very clear attitudes about sex, relationships and abortion. This is a book with real life lessons and presented in a sensitive way with messages of love, kindness and forgiveness. It's an inspirational story, I recommend.

Love Waits by Donald James Parker is available as a free download of e-books on the author's website.
Sword of the Spirit Publishing
ISBN 13: 978-0-578-01560-6