I am Christy Miller. Wait, no! I mean, read the Christy Miller books.

(Disclaimer: this is for the wimminfolk. The dudes can read some Terry Pratchett instead.)

Are you a preteen or teenage girl? Have you ever been a preteen or teenage girl? Are you a grown woman who maybe still gets a little weepy when certain commercials come on depicting older couples walking hand-in-hand down beaches at sunrise, or somebody blowing out some candles on a birthday cake? If you fit into any of these categories, then your life is not complete until you’ve read the Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn. She is a Christian author who wrote this series of 12 books for teen girls, starting with “Summer Promise” and ending with “A Promise is Forever”. OK, I know you’re distracted by the “art” on the cover there–but you know what they say–don’t judge a book by the hairdo or clothing choices of the woman on the front. And Christy doesn’t actually wear white polyester pants with hot pink swirlies in the book.

I read them when I was 11 for the first time, and have re-read the series at least a dozen times since then. In fact, I read them all again just last year. They are freshly written, they don’t deal with “topics” (sex, drugs, eating disorders) in a heavy-handed way (I never felt preached at as a young girl)… and you just love the characters! In fact, I refuse to call them “characters”. They are real people and that’s just that. My childhood friend Stacy and I argued passionately over whose imaginary volleyball team Christy and her boyfriend Todd were on–they were real to us. And I should add that Christy and Todd are on my imaginary volleyball team to this day, in case anyone’s asking.

There is an equally wonderful follow-up trilogy to the series called “Christy and Todd: the College Years”—but start at the beginning, my friends. This trilogy is the icing on the cake. And people don’t eat the icing first. At least they’re not supposed to. Ehem. (I mean, I just lick it to be thrifty, I swear! Waste not want not! Icing saved is icing earned!)

I still cry when I read these books. There’s an especially heart-wrenching moment in “Sweet Dreams” (book 11), when Christy and Todd are watching a sunset at the beach, and they’re, like,  holding hands, and, like, she can tell, like, (sniff) something is really bothering him, so she says (sniff)—but I’m not giving it away! (yes, it’s my strategy to draw you in with that well-crafted cliffhanger, why do you ask?)

Robin Jones Gunn just nails the thoughts that go through our heads as women—the insecurities, the hopes, and the confusion. In fact, sometimes I think “maybe I AM Christy Miller!” And then I quickly look around to see if there are any psych-ward clinicians waiting to drag me away. This identity disorder has been with me since 2004, when I emailed the following to my husband from my parent’s apartment in Spain:

“Well darling–I’m going to run downstairs to get my stock of hairclips back up, and then I might retreat a bit into my Christy Miller book. I picked up the first one thinking “this will be good for a laugh”, because I was so obsessed with them as a teenager, and I’ve discovered that though the lessons the author is trying to teach are rather obvious, I still love these books!! Sweetie, it’s time you know this–I was Christy Miller!! I lived in California and hung out on the beach and dated Todd Spencer, the surfer with the screaming silver blue eyes!
Just kidding. But reading Christy does feel like reading my own journal, in a weird but wonderful way. She was my escape world for so long, my alternate life. This is why we want to have daughters (note the coercive/persuasive use
of “we”): so that they can read the Christy Miller books!!!”

These books hold such a special place in my heart. Buy them for a teenage girl in your life. And read them yourself too. Unless you’re a dude. I’m sorry that the covers are so corny. Christy herself is apologizing inside for her spiky do and hairspray-coated bangs. But once you get past that, the inside will melt your heart.

Postscript: My spiky-haired Christy edition is no longer out there … they have revamped Christy’s image and dragged her kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Hooray for modernization!

13 thoughts on “I am Christy Miller. Wait, no! I mean, read the Christy Miller books.

  1. Pingback: Iced Tea with Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup | The Pajama Chef

  2. Kelley Quigley

    Hi! I just did a Google search for books like Christy Miller and your blog came up. :) My 12-year-old daughter is obsessed with Christy Miller, and I’m on the lookout for other similar books. Do you have any recommendations?

    Reply
    1. Jenna Post author

      Hi Kelley! Aw, that’s wonderful–I was also obsessed with Christy when I was 12. =) I sense a kindred spirit. Anyway, I don’t know of any books that are similar per se, but I remember loving Lori Wick’s “Sophie’s Heart.” It’s very corny, but I loved it anyway and re-read it every now and then. I also liked Lori Wick’s “Pretense” (also corny but there you have it =). In terms of older books I loved (by older I mean less contemporary), the Emily series and the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery have been enduring favorites of mine. Good luck finding more good books for your girl!

      Reply
    2. Amy

      There is also the Sierra Jensen series by Robin Jones Gunn!!! She’s a character in the last Christy Miller book (of the original 12). There is also a Katie Weldon series (Christy’s best friend), which are only a few years old. All of the characters are inter-twined, and you learn even more about Todd and Christy through the Katie books! This coming from a 32 year old who started reading the Christy books at age 12, and has read them over and over and over. I am currently re-reading book #3 of the Christi miller series!

      Reply
      1. Jenna Post author

        Amy, I love that you love these books too! I’m actually just reading the Katie Weldon series right now (again, but I haven’t read the last book yet). I love ’em. =)

    3. McKayla

      Hey! So Robin Jones Gunn has written sequel series about different characters throughout the books. The two that I know of are about Katie Weldon and Sierra Jensen. Both have captured my heart almost as much as Christy Miller has!

      Reply
      1. Jenna Post author

        I have read the Sierra series (though it’s been a long time), and have recently started through the Katie series. Good . . . but not as good as Christy! =)

  3. ohAmanda

    OK, so I’m gearing up for the new Christy & Todd Forever book so I was making sure I’d read all the other books in the series (like about Sierra, etc.) and ran across your post. And oh! That was exactly it for me! I felt like *I* was Christy. Every way she thought and reacted is how I was–and how she wanted to be, I wanted to be! I seriously get gushy and mushy thinking about Christy. *sigh*

    Anywhoo, just had to say hello to a fellow forever-friend. :)

    a

    Reply
    1. Jenna Post author

      I love that you thought you were Christy too! =) And I love finding fellow Robin Jones Gunn lovers.
      Hope your Thursday is off to a rockin’ start!

      Reply
  4. tammy

    i just finished reading robins book spoken for great book. then i did some more looking int o her books that i might be interested in so i googled her books christy came up and so did so did the sister chicks i hope that what is called , i think my 13 might be inserted in the christ books not shur yet since she likes a books sires on cats right now but being a mum would it be funny for me to read a book that is for youn adults and are the sister chick books any good

    Reply
    1. Jenna Post author

      Hey Tammy! I’m quite late to responding to you (sorry!) but I didn’t see your comment until just now. In short, the Sisterchicks books are fine, but I don’t enjoy them as much. Some are better than others. They’re just not as much to my taste as Christy for whatever reason. Anyway, hope you enjoy them if you decide to pick them up!

      Reply

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