Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Review · Young Adult

Caught in the Crossfire by Juliann Rich

Caught in the Crossfire by Juliann RichSynopsis from Goodreads:

Two boys at Bible camp; one forbidden love.

That is the dilemma sixteen-year-old Jonathan Cooper faces when he goes away to Spirit Lake Bible Camp, an oasis for teen believers situated along Minnesota’s rugged north shore. He is expecting a summer of mosquito bites, bonfires with s’mores, and photography classes with Simon, his favorite counselor, who always helps Jonathan see his life in perfect focus.

What he isn’t expecting is Ian McGuire, a new camper who openly argues against phrases like pray the gay away. Ian is certain of many things, including what could happen between them if only Jonathan could surrender to his feelings. Jonathan, however, tosses in a storm of indecision between his belief in God and his inability to stay away from Ian. When a real storm hits and Ian is lost in it, Jonathan is forced to make a public decision that changes his life.


Jonathan is spending yet another year at Spirit Lake Bible Camp. However, this year will be different. The new guy, Ian, captures his interest the way girls do other guys. The most intriguing thing of course is Ian’s acceptance of his own sexuality over religion. As the month of camp progresses, Jonathan’s faith and acceptance of his sexual come into conflict.

Juliann Rich’s Caught in the Crossfire (first in The Crossfire trilogy) is an okay piece of fiction. It was a quick read (finished in two days). I love seeing a YA novel about accepting people of all sexualities. This was a fairly uncomplicated single plot. I wish there had been a subplot, or something else more. Because of this, I don’t see myself reading this book again in the future.

Jonathan changes the greatest. Ian already accepted he is gay, but he didn’t otherwise change much. The other campers remain the same. Simon may have had some development, but if his dialogue is anything to go by, he already held a liberal view of Christianity which would have eventually led to his job’s termination.

The formatting of the e-book was good. Image-wise, I like the cover, but I don’t understand why the colored blocks overlay Ian’s face.

The obvious theme here is accepting others and one’s own sexuality.

I recommend this quick read to anyone struggling with coming out of the closet and to any Christian who is willing to open their mind a little.

Genres: Christian Fiction, YA, Contemporary

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

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