StephanieStephanie is a troubled and angry young woman who also happens to be a brilliant composer and musician . . . and a drug addict. This is a story of real life struggles, change, acceptance, and redemption.

Before I go any further, let me say that this is a Christian novel, and I am not a Christian, so I hope I judge it fairly. In addition, I am not musically inclined and have never used drugs, so I can’t relate to a lot of the situations in the book, but I still enjoyed it.

When the book began, I really did not like Stephanie’s character. She was hateful, rude, and violent. I chalked it up to the fact that drugs make people into different people—the kind no one wants to be around. MINOR SPOILER ALERT: When Stephanie has a sudden transformation, she became very likable, and I have to admit, that I was a little insulted with the implication in the novel that this was solely a result of her becoming a Christian. However, it may be that I just interpreted it that way, and perhaps when she quit doing drugs because of a supernatural strength from God, that, in turn, made her a nicer person. But don’t think you know what’s going to happen. There are some twists and turns in this novel.

The author, Melissa Service manages to keep the reader turning pages with some interesting characters and some other-worldly action. But what I liked best about this book was the message of acceptance. Service is able to elicit a sense of responsibility in the reader to help his fellow man—to see others who are different from us through the eyes of a loving mother or a heart-broken father. Definitely worth the read. 4 out of 5 stars.—Christina Knowles

Buy it: Stephanie: One. Life. Lived. by Melissa Service