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Out with the In Crowd: The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt #2

Review

Out with the In Crowd: The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt #2

Phase two of Skylar Hoyt’s intentional “reinvention” --- the subject of the second book in Stephanie Morrill’s trilogy --- is a bit more difficult to navigate than our conflicted heroine expected. While she’s finally dating the boy of her dreams (Connor), her friends are making her life miserable. Her parents’ relationship has only gotten worse, and her 15-year-old sister Abbie is as big as a house. Can Skylar stay committed to her anti-partying, pro-God/church-going approach to senior year amidst all the bedlam?

As in the first book, Skylar is a bit insecure about her relationship despite the fact that it’s what she thought she wanted. After months of dating Connor, she’s still not 100 percent positive that she trusts him. Sure, he says he loves her. And he’s always there to support her and listen to her problems. Plus, his family has accepted her with open arms. But could it be that he still holds a candle for her ex-best friend Jodi, even though Jodi is now dating Skylar’s ex-boyfriend Eli?

With alliances constantly shifting and everyone in Skylar’s crowd seemingly dating each other’s castoffs, it’s hard to understand why these characters call themselves friends at all. Jodi starts attending church and youth group in order to get closer to God (but maybe it’s because she wants to get closer to Connor to get back at Skylar for “stealing” him away from her). Lisa snitches to Skylar whenever she sees Connor and Jodi together. And Connor seems to be completely incapable of being truthful about his relationship with Jodi --- even if it is just platonic, at least for the moment. Undoubtedly frustrating to experience; assuredly even more frustrating to read about.

But there are many moments in OUT WITH THE IN CROWD that are quite moving. It’s stirring to watch Abbie’s transformation from stubborn pregnant girl into proud mother. Her massive mood swings and initial refusal to take any responsibility for the pregnancy or do anything to prepare (birthing classes, buying baby clothes and supplies) until the baby is actually born feels absolutely true-to-life for a girl in her situation. Morrill’s descriptions of the birth and the harried moments leading up to it are some of the best in the first two books. Connor’s brother, Chris, plays an increasingly important role in Abbie’s life, and it’s touching to watch their relationship evolve.

Yet despite the wrap-up of the Abbie vs. Pregnancy plot, Morrill leaves a lot up in the air when the second book comes to a close. Will Abbie and Chris make it official? Will Skylar and Abbie’s parents stay together? Will Skylar and Connor last, or will Jodi get the final word? There’s plenty to look forward to in the third book: a vacation in Hawaii, preparations for college, possible reunions with old friends. Hopefully Skylar and her crew will learn from their past mistakes and move on from dating each other’s or their own exes for lack of anything better to do. It’s time for Skylar, at least, to come into her own.

Reviewed by Alexis Burling on January 1, 2010

Out with the In Crowd: The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt #2
by Stephanie Morrill

  • Publication Date: January 1, 2010
  • Genres: Christian, Fiction
  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Revell
  • ISBN-10: 0800733908
  • ISBN-13: 9780800733902