I Will Be with You

At first glance, Ellie Brown appears to be a typical, rather awkward teenager from a stable lower-middle-class family living in a small town in Maine. But as the readers get to know Ellie better, they will find she is dealing with issues at home that are deeply affecting her. Her dad is a hardworking construction worker who dotes on Ellie; however, her mom harbors jealously toward Ellie because of her relationship with her dad. Her mom’s emotional abuse takes its toll on Ellie’s self-esteem. As a result, Ellie’s attempts to prove her mom wrong about her and her efforts to find love in all the wrong places leads her to make progressively poor choices in friends and boyfriends. Through it all, Michael Miller, a Christian boy she has virtually grown up with, remains her steadfast supporter, though Ellie fails to recognize him as such. As Ellie’s life choices plummet her lower and lower into dangerous situations, Michael watches from a distance and tries to protect her whenever he can or whenever she lets him.

--Laurie Curtis Larmon