I once told my roommate about my friend whose boyfriend had lived in Edinburgh with his grandmother. And then I paused and couldn’t remember anything else about him. Because he was not really my friend. He was a character in one of Robin Jones Gunn’s YA series. Not to sound like I didn’t have any friends (I did!), but Christy Miller and her friends were my good friends. They weren’t real but they were special to me and I always envied their friendships and their lives. My high school self was so sad when I got to the end of the series.

Needless to say, I was overjoyed when Gunn released the Christy & Todd College Years as well as the Katie Weldon series. There were three in both those series so imagine my surprise when I saw a fourth Katie book online!

Katie’s story had left off with her getting on a plane to Africa with Eli. And I loved that it ended there. No expected happily ever after and marriage, (what authors seem to think is a woman’s ultimate purpose and goal in life). I was so glad that Gunn had just left it at Katie following God, and it just so happened at Eli happened to be called by God to the same place.

So. With all of that said, I was kind of disappointed to see another book because I knew it would have to be the clean, resolved, marriage-plot ending instead of simply letting a character be single, be okay with that, and be content following God without a man.

I ended up actually really enjoying the final book in Katie’s series, Finally & Forever. It picks up with Katie on the plane to Kenya with Eli. They’re off and running as soon as they arrive with adventures and thought provoking conversations, family drama and hilarious situations. And it’s good. The marriage plot is lurking there, as expected, but I was really impressed with the way Gunn handled it with a delicacy and an underlying regard for different ways to go about dating and marriage.

The end was a tad disappointing for me but ******SPOILER ALERT****** only because I figure, if they’re going to get married (which they obviously are), Gunn has written some darn good proposals and I was expecting Finally & Forever to have one. Not so much.

All in all, I appreciated the time with one of my favorite characters who I have enjoyed since her debut in Christy Miller’s second book. Thank you to Zondervan for the review copy in exchange for my honest opinions.

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