Cottonwood Whispers by Jennifer Erin Valent is the sequel to Fireflies in December. I am never sure about a sequel by a new author, with great delight I can tell you this is a good one.
Our favorite nosy 13 year old is now turning 17 and getting ready for her last year of school. Jessilyn is facing many strange and different things. One of them being that her best friend Gemma is not acting like herself, which really annoys Jessilyn. Also, maybe now Luke will notice her as a woman and not just a bothersome girl.
When a neighborhood child is hit and killed, Jessilyn is beside herself with grief, and when the sheriff seems to arrest the wrong person, she is determined to prove that he is wrong.
I think the thing I liked about Jessilyn is she really does struggle with her faith. Nothing is clear cut for her and she doesn’t believe just because her parents and best friend believe. Which does cause her a bit of stress because she knows that it hurts her mother and yet it doesn’t force her to believe something she just doesn’t find true. It makes for an interesting dynamic of the story that you don’t always find in an historical story.
This is a nice and simple story. I don’t mean it wasn’t good, just not a hard read. I had a 6 hour bus ride to a white water rafting trip and I was able to read the book on that. It wasn’t any problem staying in the story, which is always a good thing. So if you haven’t read Fireflies yet, do that first and then finish off the summer reading season with a good read.