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Sober Faith: Payton Skky, #2

Review

Sober Faith: Payton Skky, #2

SOBER FAITH, the second book in Stephanie Perry Moore's Payton Skky series, picks up right where STAYING PURE left off. Payton, the young African-American protagonist, is enjoying the final moments of her long-awaited debutante ball when an unexpected circumstance arises. Bam, one of her companions, pulls out a bottle of champagne for a toast, and Payton's best friends --- Rain, Lynzi and Dymond --- are more than willing to participate. Although Payton hesitates, curiosity gets the best of her and she too decides to partake. Soon, the night gets of control. Payton's friends invite themselves over to her empty house, bringing cases of beer with them. Payton quickly decides to stop drinking, but her friends have other ideas, and an untimely entrance by Mr. and Mrs. Skky seals Payton's fate.

Payton's friends embark on a downward spiral, culminating in a life-threatening situation that will test the girls' friendship. Also tested is Payton's relationship with her all-too-perfect man, Tad Taylor. Tad has some major questions about the behavior of Payton's friends, as well as her own. Although Payton thinks she finally has it all together and needs to share her faith in God with her friends, she soon realizes that she too is in need of some serious spiritual growth.

SOBER FAITH is one of the few novels I've read that confronts the prevalent issue of teen drinking in an honest manner. Moore should be commended for writing about four straight-A students, straight off their debutante ball, who are tempted by alcohol. Most books I've come across that address this issue have relied on the typical "high school party crowd" stereotype. Moore also does an excellent job portraying an intensely close friendship among four girls who can survive even the most life-altering circumstances.

However, as the story develops, Moore goes a bit too far to make her point. As soon as each character takes a sip of champagne, they are on the fast path to total destruction. Within weeks, Dymond has worked her way up to harder drugs and Lynzi is a full-blown alcoholic. Moore clearly wants to demonstrate the very real consequences of underage drinking, but I believe she relies too much on invoking fear and guilt into the reader, which often makes the plot too unbelievable. In addition, the novel is notably much shorter than its predecessor. Although this makes for a quick read, it seems as though the author has tried to pack each page full of as much drama as possible; I felt like I was being bombarded with one emotional event after another.

These reservations notwithstanding, SOBER FAITH confronts serious issues that are often left untouched and is guaranteed to keep the pages turning.

Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby on July 1, 2000

Sober Faith: Payton Skky, #2
by Stephanie Perry Moore

  • Publication Date: July 1, 2000
  • Genres: Christian, Fiction
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Lift Every Voice
  • ISBN-10: 0802442374
  • ISBN-13: 9780802442376