September 3, 2011

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

Release Date: July 19, 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 288
Series: n/a
Review Source: Library

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver's license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, Lacey's junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her. Ty Davis doesn't know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for Ty make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion.

Melissa Walker has crafted the perfect balance of engrossing, thought-provoking topics and relatable, likable characters. Set against the backdrop of extreme religion, Small Town Sinners is foremost a universal story of first love and finding yourself, and it will stay with readers long after the last page.

My Thoughts:
‘Small Town Sinners’ is an incredibly compelling and touching novel. Melissa Walker offers a very nuanced and non-judgemental examination of religion, belief, and truth. When reading the book I was really touched by Lacey and Ty and their discussions and doubts.

There are a lot of horrifying scenes in the book of what the church is saying through their Hell House. It makes me sad to know these things really happen, because I feel like no matter what you believe you should have respect for people as human beings. Condemning people for their sins in this way seems so opposite of the ‘God is love’ message. These are the types of questions and reactions that ‘Small Town Sinners’ elicits, which I think is fabulous and important.

The book contains a beautifully written and sweet romance and some touching friendships as well. It’s a truthful examination about faith and how questioning is part of being a teen, and even part of being a human being. To me the book is really about searching for answers and truth while knowing that there may not always be an easy answer. ‘Small Town Sinners’ is moving and relevant and I highly recommend it, as it was one of the best contemporaries I’ve read this year.

The Cover:
Beautiful! I love the apple and its symbolism.


Find Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.


  1. This really sounds good but I'm kind of afraid to read it -- don't know if I can handle those "horrifying scenes." Great review. Thanks.

  2. I keep reading great reviews on this, but it just doesn't appeal to me. I might give it a try later.

  3. I've never heard of this before, but I'm adding it to my list. It sounds fantastic. Thanks for the great review!

  4. I love the cover! This one might be a library check-out for me. Nice review!

  5. I'm so glad to hear that you liked it because I really want to read this one. Great review!

  6. I was already eager to read this book but your review has me even more interested. It sounds very intriguing!

  7. This sounds surprisingly good! :) I hadn't thought much of it but your review has gotten me interested! ;)

  8. I am usually interested in books that raise issues surrounding religion, but your comments about the horrifying scenes give me pause. I appreciate the heads up, as I don't like being surprised by that kind of thing.

  9. Being wary of religion in general, I wasn't sure this book was for me, but your review definitely changed my mind. It sounds like it could be a thought-provoking and insightful read. Thanks!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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