Just got done reading "Peculiar Treasures" and "On a Whim" by Robin Jones Gunn. I didn't realize when I first started this series that it is a series that goes with some other books this writer has written. It looks like she started with the Christy Miller series, then Christy and Todd; the College Years, Sierra Jenson, and then Katie Weldon Series. So, if you wanted to read them all, you would probably want to start with the Christy Miller. I don't know if I will bother to go back and read them all, since now that I started these I already know where Christy and Sierra have ended up so far. Still while this series goes along with the others, it stands alone just fine. She gives enough history to be updated and enjoy the books just fine.
My favorite part about the books was the main character, Katie Weldon. She is a fun, quirky, cute character. As well as being well-flawed. I like to read about a character that isn't perfect, does stupid things, loses a temper sometimes, has issues…because that is real. I feel like I can learn how to live better when I read about someone else who isn't perfect learning how to live better. I also liked some of the little qualities that the author gave to Katie, they were ones I could relate to. For instance, Katie is a big bargain hunter, I loved a part of the second book involving garlic-butter popcorn that she bought at garage sale! It cracked me up that she was going to feed her friend food that she bought a garage sale, without telling her! I have to say buying food a garage sale, maybe where I draw the line! It was a fun part of the book though. I got the feeling that the author really enjoyed and liked this character as she wrote her.
There was something the author seemed to overdue that annoyed me a little, too many metaphors! Some of them bordered on silly. I am all for using literary elements such as this, but to a point, it can be overdone. In the first book, she used the metaphor of "Peculiar Treasures" and how we are a peculiar treasure to God, and how he puts peculiar treasures into our lives. This was a cool metaphor which she backed up with Scripture, it was the title of the book, and well-done. There was another that started off a little cool about an old Hawaiian proverb, and the "ripening" of a relationship. But it ended up with women in the book calling their husband "Gummy Bears" and their relationships with their boyfriends "Gummy" or "Not Gummy". That just went too far and made it really silly! There was like 3-4 pages at the beginning where Katie talks to her boyfriend about driving in the slow lane, switching to a fast lane, and turning on turn signals. This was all meant to represent the level of commitment in their relationship and how quickly their relationship was progressing. As I was reading it I was thinking that it was too silly. Then to make it worse the metaphor was carried on throughout the whole book! UGH! I am sorry but who really talks to their boyfriends like that? And what boyfriend actually sits there and participates in a conversation like that? If I started talking to my husband like that, he would soon by rubbing his temples, turning up the volume on the basketball game, and just nodding and saying "Mmm-uhm". It wouldn't be a long time at all before he would have totally turned off the volume on what I am going on and on about and would not be listening at all! Guys don’t think like that. I would like to see a writer, who decided to write about real men, who act like real men, and that's ok that they act like real men, why not? I think it would be refreshing. Not that it is not okay to read sometimes just for fun, about unrealistic men and relationships. But when the guys are constantly unrealistic I feel like it just puts ideas of how men and relationships should be in women's mind that aren't real.
Still, with all that said, I would recommend these books. The writer pointed out some really great Scripture references, made me think about a lot of different topics as far as Christian living is concerned, I learned a lot. On top of all this, it was a good piece of fiction, that was interesting and held my attention. They are definitely worth the read.