Looking for a Wholesome Read for Teen Girls? Review of The Last Ride: an Andrea Carter book from Susan K. Marlow

Leah Courtney
We've enjoyed reading and reviewing several of the Andrea Carter books by Susan K. Marlow. The book series, which begin with the Circle C Beginnings when Andrea is a little girls, continue on through Andrea's growing up years with the Circle C Adventures, and are culminating in a series based on Andrea as a teen in the Circle C Milestones. (Susan also has a series for boys called The Goldtown Adventures.)

Wholesome Christian fiction for teens

The Andrea Carter books follow the life of Andrea, a girl growing up on a ranch in California in the l870s. Andrea- called Andi as she's growing up- is quite the tomboy and is a good deal younger than her older siblings. Her three brothers and sister alternately baby her and frustrate her- especially when they want her to act like a lady.

Andrea's father died when she was very young, and her oldest brother, Justin, has been the head of the family. Her other brothers- Chad and Mitch- can be annoying to Andrea, but they are also quick to come to her rescue when trouble finds her- as it often seems to. Her sister, Melinda, is a perfect lady, despite growing up on a ranch, and she wants Andrea to look and act ladylike as well. Andrea, on the other hand, prefers wearing overalls and riding the ranch on her beloved horse, Taffy.

I had the opportunity to review the newest book in the Circle C Milestones series- The Last Ride. In this book Andrea learns the power of forgiveness when her delinquent cousin comes to stay with her family on the ranch.

From the book's synopsis:

Andi's newest adventure may be more than she can handle--even with her family's help Andrea Carter is turning sweet 16 and life could not be better. She's about to finish school, her sister Melinda is getting married, and her older brother Justin has a new baby to spoil. 

There will be plenty of time to work with the colt of her treasured palomino horse, Taffy, and best of all, Andi will finally get to work full-time for the ranch she loves. There's just one problem: a city-slicker cousin named Daniel. Left there by his father, with a cryptic warning that New York City life has done damage to the young man's character, Daniel wants nothing to do with the ranch. He ignores Andi's lessons, walks away from responsibility, wrecks valuable equipment, and even runs away to San Francisco. The Carter family is in a frenzy trying to keep Daniel under control. 

When Andi discovers a horrifying secret about him, he forces her to stay silent. But all that changes when Daniel's actions put lives in danger. Andi's anger over her loss threatens to destroy not only Andi but her entire Circle C world. Can anyone break through the wall around Andi's bitter heart and help her find healing? 

As always, I enjoyed this Andrea Carter book. This series will be great for teen girls looking for a more grown up story but one that has good values and a good view of relationships. Although Andi is older and the situations she encounters are more mature, the reading level of the book is still pretty simple, and even reluctant readers can probably handle the short chapters.

Girls who enjoy horse stories will appreciate the love Andi has for the ranch and for her beloved horse, Taffy. My girls have enjoyed this in the Andrea Carter books we've read.

You can learn more about the Andrea Carter books and about Susan K. Marlow here. You can find The Last Ride on Kregel here and on Amazon here.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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