Popular by Tindell Baldwin

Baldwin shares her story of rebellion throughout her high school years.  Rebellion against her family, rebellion against her parents, and rebellion against her relationship with God characterized these years for Baldwin.  She chased popularity through drinking, relationships with one boy after another, and did everything contrary to what her family stood for.  She shares not only her thoughts and feelings about this time, but also what her parents did to parent her and try to stop the downward spiral or “rapids” as her father put it to her.  Eventually, Baldwin answered the call of Jesus to her heart and changed her life.  However, even though she repaired her relationships, she honestly shares how her past mistakes continue to impact her present relationship.

There is so much wisdom tucked in the pages of this book!  Baldwin does a great job sharing the thoughts of young girls and the potential pitfalls of life as a teenager.  Her honesty and straight-forwardness in her writing make it very easy to trust her viewpoint.  It was heart-breaking to read of how her past impacted her relationship with her husband.  I pray that girls who need to read this book, read this book!

I think this book is a great tool that parents could use as a starting point in talking with their daughters about issues in a way that is non-confrontational or accusatory.  Teenage relationships, drinking, and drug use can be difficult topics to initiate a conversation with your teen about, but if parents wait until there is a problem, it makes it harder to start that conversation.  I really like the way that Baldwin shared about how her sister-in-law listened to her and was her friend.  I think this book could serve as a second voice for young girls to go beyond parental “meddling” in the lives of girls striving to be independent.

If you are a teen girl or have a teen girl in your life, this is a must read, even if there are not any problems present.  I think it gives parents an insight into the realities of life for a high school girl.

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