Series Speed Date: Round #4

This section will cover any key details about the series.

Katie Parker Production Series
Books In Series: In Between, On the Loose and The Big Picture
Released: 2007 | 2007 | 2008
Publisher: Sweet Pea Productions
Pages: 349 pages | 333 pages | 347 pages
What do these covers say about this series?

I bought the first book quite a while ago because it was on sale for Kindle. I'd enjoyed Jones' two adult books but had loved her young adult standalone, There You'll Find Me. It was so wonderful and moving, so I was partially drawn to the series because of my familiarity with the author. Now, when I bought the first book, they had totally different covers. The ones pictured above are the recently released redesigns, and they're much better than the originals. I don't necessarily love them, but they are an improvement and fit the story inside.

Based on the summary, what can you expect going into this series?

Based on my previous experience reading Jones, I knew that I could expect warmth, humor and a thoughtful approach to a tough subject. Writing about everything from fear to grief, Jones approaches potentially heavy topics with grace and a smile. In this series, you'll meet Katie Parker. Her mother is in prison, her father is nowhere to be found, and she's about to be placed with a foster family that's nothing like her. Katie doesn't know where she fits in or what defines her - her family's screwed up past or this new opportunity for her future? Since the series is Christian fiction, I also knew to expect faith to play a role in Katie's journey to discover where she truly belongs.

What are some highlights of the series?

A sarcastic, brave and hurt young woman.
A responsible, smart and kind best friend.
A realistic, nice but somewhat frustrating love interest.
A caring, intentional and well-meaning set of foster parents.
A sassy, hilarious and crazy "grandmother."
A painful past and a heartbreaking mother.
A struggle to figure out who you are and that you're valued.
A few sweet, silly adventures.
An attempt to push the boundaries and find out who cares.
A story of family, faith and belonging.

How will you feel closing the last page?

I thought the ending was satisfying! Most of the major questions in Katie's life are resolved, and the book leaves you with lots of hope for her future. I thought a few things were wrapped up a little too neatly, but it's a pretty minor complaint. There is one thread of the story that remained open, and I think readers have been so vocal about wanting to find out how it ended that Jones is writing another book (or maybe a novella?) set several years later to show how it's all played out. Either way, this was a sweet series that remained consistent throughout all three books.

Summing up this series is just three words?

Sassy. Sincere. Sweet.

Is this series worth your time?

Hmm... So, I had mixed feelings on these books. I read all three books on vacation at the beach, which was the perfect place to devour the series. They were sweet and fun, but I felt like they were ultimately a bit unfulfilling. I wanted a bit more - they never really felt like emotional reads, even though all the elements were there. It also got a little cheesy or over-the-top at times. And, honestly, I suspect I might have liked them more when I was an actual teenager. So, I ended up feeling mostly disconnected from them overall. Jones writes with warmth and humor, and I don't regret reading the series. But I think they were a bit forgettable for me, so I don't see myself really pushing them on anyone in the future.

aka - If intrigued, do more research to see if they're right for you!

1 comment

  1. Well, this series sounds pretty cute! I'm not entirely certain I'd read it, unless I was in a (mental) place where I wanted something a bit lighter than my usual fare. I'm glad that, in spite of not fully falling in love with these books, you still found them enjoyable.


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