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Cheri is an innocent fourteen-year-old raised in a small town in Nebraska . Her father lands a promotion, demoting her to a status of ‘nobody’ in a much larger and inhospitable city. One of the few people she connects with in her new school spills the beans that Cheri is still a virgin. Some of her cool schoolmates frown on that condition and exert pressure on her to unbuckle the chastity belt. Faced with the loneliness of the new environment and coupled with relationship problems with her father, Cheri finds the temptation growing strong. When her father recruits a sixty-something babysitter, she is ready to rebel. However, she finds that Jean Macalester is no ordinary woman, especially to a girl with aspirations of resuming a love affair with music. Jean's womanly wisdom, background as a flute teacher, and love of God provide a counterweight to the peer pressure of Judy Green, the girl who goes on a personal crusade to convert Cheri to modern morality. When Cheri and Duke Williams, Cheri's new crush, discover the church youth group plans a chastity pledge, they have to decide whether to join or fly solo. While guarding her own purity, Cheri tries to help friends in distress, win top chair in the band, and set her dad up with the teacher from the chastity class. When two of her friends are brutally assaulted, the members of the youth group have to work through the pain together as they discover that chastity is not the only Christian virtue they need to embrace.
Surviving high school is one of the most challenging times in a teenager's life. And when you're new in town it's even more difficult. In "Love Waits" by Donald James Parker, fourteen year old Cheri is forced to face some tough problems when her mom dies and her dad moves them from a small town in Nebraska to the big city. It's bad enough that Cheri doesn't know anyone, but when one of the few girls she meets finds out she's still a virgin and tells everyone Cheri feels forced to rectify the situation. But she runs into a road block when her dad gets a neighbor to keep an eye on her. Cheri is all set to hate Jean but instead they develop a close relationship, one that changes Cheri's outlook - and her life. With the help of the grandmotherly woman next door neighbor Cheri goes through a process of self-discovery and religious re-awakening and learns about the consequences of pre-marital sex. Her new boyfriend is a member of Jean's church and the two likable teens are strong enough to embrace their faith and stand up to the pressure of their peers. Cheri, especially, seems wise beyond her years as she tries to deal with problems at home. When her mother died the relationship between father and daughter suffered and her dad turned to sports, alcohol and a new blonde bimbo to fill the emptiness. The story is heavy on faith-related content but what could have come across as preachy is instead presented as an entertaining story with a message - one that benefits adults as well as adolescents. I shared my copy with a sixteen year old girl. She had no trouble identifying with the characters in spite of some dialogue she felt was over the top. Teenage slang and humor changes with time and locale but the struggles are universal, the same ones that we all deal with. She was caught up in the story as I was and anxious to see where it would lead. Half way through the book it seemed as if the characters had grown in their relationships with each other and with God. Things were going smoothly and it appeared as if all was resolved. That's when the author threw another curve ball, added more conflict and the pages start flying again. This is a wonderful story about family, friends and God that parents might want to read along with their teenagers. It's a realistic look at contemporary teens and the challenges they face. That being said there is content that may make some readers uncomfortable. The author takes on some serious issues dealing with topics most of us don't want to think about including death, pre-marital sex, rape and teenage pregnancy. The dangers of promiscuity are spelled out, with very definite views on sex, relationships and abortion. This is a book with real life lessons and all presented in a sensitive way with messages of love, kindness and forgiveness. It's an inspirational story, I highly recommend it.
Gail Pruszkowski from "Romantic Times BOOK reviews"
This is a must for all teens!! What a great story of Godly teaching for our youth!! This story is realistic and very exciting and fast paced reading..An adventure you will remember for a long time. And a great encouragement for teens faced with these pressures of sex in today's society. I recommend this for every parent of a teenager.
Margaret W. Smith
You're still a virgin!" Judy's tone softened. "You know, girl, I can help you out here, so you can drop out of the losers club. I have a friend, wickedly cute by the way, who's got the same condition as you. I told him I'd be glad to help him solve his problem, but he doesn't want to be with a girl who's already done it. I think he feels insecure. You guys would be perfect for each other." Peer Pressure - As parents, we all know it's there, but do we really know how strong it can be? There are two kinds of peer pressure - one good and one bad. In Love Waits, Cheri is faced with both. At 14, should she take the sex plunge that Judy and some of the other girls have taken, or should she follow God's word and take the pledge to stay pure until marriage? It's a hard decision to make, especially after meeting Duke, the boy that Judy wants to set her up with. So which pressure will be the strongest and win Cheri over? Love Waits clearly brings to light the pressures faced by teens every day. As I remember back to my own teenage years, I can remember some of these pressures and how hard they were to resist. But I also feel that as time goes on, the pressures increase with each generation. Love Waits is a book that I wish had been around when my children were growing up. I would loved to have read it first, so I could better understand what my teens were going through, and then had them read it letting them know that they aren't alone. That there are kids out there just like them that have and are going through the same pressures. That they will carry the choices they make throughout their lives. To me, this is a book that needs to be read by all parents and teens.
Martha Cheeves - Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat